BEYOND THE GATES “Bjørgvin Black Mass 2017” – Day II – Bergen, Norway
With the first day of the Bjørgvin Black Mass over, it was up to the (very different) bands of day two to bring the energy to even higher levels.
Misthyrming was the first band of the evening, and it was not the most impressive opening act the festival could have had. It was for the most part not alot of energy on stage, and the soundscape was for the most part thin and seemed a little empty. The band wasn’t really able to engage their audience enough, and the whole performance sadly felt like it neither gave the musicians, nor the fans alot to work with. This was quite a sad thing, because Misthyrming can do better and they have been better before.
Misthyrming at Beyond the Gates Festival 2017
Photo by Stig Pallesen/STIPA Photography
Negative Plane continued the trend of being a band that definetly could have done a better job with their absolute 0% charisma on stage, combine this with a rather uninspired audience and mostly slow paced rock’ish metal songs, and then you have one of the weakest gigs throughout the whole festival. It seemed as if the people controlling the lights had fallen asleep or went out for a smoke during the entirety of the show, seeing as it was the same, red gloom from start to finish, and it definetly did not help the band’s live presence.
After a bit of a difficult start, the day got alot better when The Ruins of Beverast came on stage to save the day. One of the more plain looking bands that had the strongest atmospheric feel in their music of the day. This was also slow paced, but it felt way more intense because of the energy in the music. Now, it might not have connected too strongly with the people that came to see Mayhem, but The Ruins of Beverast definetly presented a nice, floating adventure through their catalogue. It was not perfect, and the sound was rather bad, but the band itself and their musical expression made this into an interesting concert.
The definite winner of "best musical act" of the night was Vemod. Again a band entered the stage, looking like they just wandered in to the place from the street. Still, Vemod proved that you can let the music do all the talking, and as long as the music is good enough on it’s own, you will not need alot of stuff on stage or costumes to make a good point. The song "Venter på Stormene" was executetperfectly, and the audience responded appropriately to the masterpiece of a performance. Let’s hope this band sticks around for a while!
Mayhem at Beyond the Gates Festival 2017
Photo by Stig Pallesen/STIPA Photography
Revenge was a fascinating case. They absolutely kicked things into top gear. From the moment they started playing, til the moment they left the stage, Revenge played at top speed, not giving the audience a single moment to breathe. They basically conquered the stage by the means of pure force, and it was glorious to witness. Probably also the only band of the evening to get a decent light show on stage that didn’t make people want to fall asleep. The sound wasn’t anything impressive, but it didn’t seem like anyone cared, because Revenge could not care less. They just played their super intense music, and the audience would just have to listen, whether they wanted to or not. Absolutely brilliant!
So.. Mayhem. This band has so clearly lost their edge that it is not really toointeresting to talk about it anymore. The band lives on past glories. The music is quite honestly not really able to compete with today’s giants, and yet somehow, it was interesting to see them perform their old gem, "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas". They executed it quite well, and they showed that they are still able musicians. So even though Mayhem is not as interesting as they once were, or if they are not as edgy or special, they still hold a very important place in black metal. And to some
extent, this actually makes their show better. To see the very first True Norwegian Black Metal band, no matter if it has withered, is still like seeing into the past, and that is the magic they probably have hoped to create with their DMDS Live concept. Not a great Mayhem concert – or not really even a great concert on its own, it still gave an intense feeling and atmosphere that the whole festival is about.