Hellbotn is a festival that is located at Kolbotn which is a suburb in Oslo so the transportation is not a problem from downtown. The local venue counts with several stages of different sizes. The biggest one of them has really good sound and plenty of space so it has nothing to envy those venues in downtown Oslo where big bands use to play. I mean I wish I could see more concerts arranged in Kolbotn for sure. Or else it is a pretty nice place to be in the afternoon provided good weather conditions.

This year’s edition of the Hellbotn festival brought some renowned headliners and got more stages on day two compared to the previous year. The band selection was a bit more varied on day two than on day one. The first day started with Filthdigger a band that is from Oslo and play old school Death Metal. They have released so far one album and several demos. Their latest EP is yet to be released. The second band to play was Incinerator. It is a band that was debuting at Hellbotn. The show was pretty good. They play old school blackened thrash and it was the perfect warm-up for Nekromantheon and Nocturnal Breed that day. They have pretty cool riffs and solos and I’m actually pretty looking forward to the release of a full-length. So far they have released an EP called Awakened by Evil through Snake Oil Kassetforlag and just a limited amount. Luckily they do have the songs up on bandcamp. Everyone should check it up. It is recommended for fans of Nifelheim, Deströyer 666, Aura Noir and Bathory.

The one band I was looking forward the most was Nekromantheon. The band is related to Obliteration, but it is less active, unfortunately. Both bands share the bassist and guitarist. The music is more or less in the same old school vein, but Nekromantheon are pretty thrash and have some darkthronish vibes at times. It’s a pity the band has not released anything new since their acclaimed Rise Volcanic Spectre back in 2012. Nonetheless the band played a song that will be included in a future release called Scorched Death. So we got a bit exclusive preview. But even though it will take time it is for sure a new album of theirs will be awesome and better as any previous because the musicians keep evolving in their careers and that has been shown in Obliteration’s latest release Cenotaph Obscure.


NOCTURNAL BREED live at Hellbotn Metalfesto 2019
Photo by Kjetil E


The headliner of the night was Nocturnal Breed which is a band that was quite inactive as well for many years. Now they have released a new album called We Only Came for the Violence via Folter Records and many of the songs played live come from that album. In my opinion the band should have been gotten a bigger stage. Their latest albums is deemed one of the best releases by many reviewers so far. I like both their more blackened songs like War-Metal Engine and the more Motörhead inspired songs like the one named after their latest album. I was lucky that two of them were played live. I think they incarnate the old school black thrash look and attitude thoroughly. They are really what this type of music is all about so the experience live is a pretty authentic one, but you couldn’t expect less from a band that has been around for a while. They have been pretty prolific of late and had an european tour previous Hellbotn so we got to see them fully recharged which was the perfect way of closing day one.



Since the festival got bigger on day two it was moved to the bigger stages in the same building as the first day. As previously said the biggest of the stages has a pretty good sound and lights and I wish they were used for metal concerts more often.


MORK live at Hellbotn Metalfesto 2019
Photo by Kjetil E


Day two was going to bring some surprised as far as variation in terms of genres concerns. I was more familiar with the Black Metal bands of course, but many of the other acts were unknown to me and I really like that in a festival because I like to discover new bands as well. I mean the line-up for me should be a mix of known, less-known and it’s cool with totally unknown stuff. So the night shows started with Blodhemn whom I had seen many years ago in Bergen. It’s pretty dynamic and well performed Black Metal. They have released a new album this year called Mot Evig Ruin through Soulseller Records. Some songs from this latest album like Et gjekk Ein Faen, Østfront, Dra Te’ Helvete were a part of their live set.

Then I catched Liverum, a band that was unknown to me. They reminded me of Gojira and that particularly french metal style. It was a pretty interesting concert although it started a bit late and it overlap with Mork’s show which was a pity. I particularly enjoyed their most prog songs because I think it is always interesting to think about how bands compose the parts and how they arrange the tempos. Then it was time for Mork. It was a much more relaxed concert than my previous one with them at Inferno because there was plenty of space so it adds a lot to the experience. I really liked the lights as well and the atmosphere on stage. It was an excellent concert, they played songs like Mørkets Alter, I Hornenes Bilde, Dype Røtter.

The contrast between Mork and the next band to play at the second stage couldn’t have been greater. I really didn’t know what to expect with some video of a riot in the US in the background and something Trump related. It wasn’t metal so yeah it was Nödutgang for Mark which well mixes hardcore and punk. If I ever listen to hardcore so I’m mostly into beautiful melodic hardcore and some blackened hardcore as well, but not much into punk so it wasn’t my cup of tea really. I haven’t really explored the genre so well, but it is always interesting to see non-strictly metal bands live. NfM are pretty energetic and I think this makes it credible on stage. And another credible and probably my favorite act out of all underground bands that day was Foreseen from Finland. It was just pretty good, fast-paced thrash and probably not the first thing that you associate with Finnish Metal. They have some German influences and some old school thrash riffing as well, but they also are inspired by hardcore.


CARPATHIAN FOREST live at Hellbotn Metalfesto 2019
Photo by Kjetil E


I have lost count of the times I have seen or partly seen Carpathian Forest this year as they have played in many of the festivals I’ve been to. Still I think the shows of the most renowned norwegian bands in Norway are better because the bands tend to do special stuff and the shows kinda have a different atmosphere since they are at home. Of course you got the special Thorns show with Satyricon which is the coolest show ever. The Mayhem show with Manic and Manheim. Emperor playing in their hometown and so on… So yeah this time Carpathian Forest invited actually two guest vocalists, they were Hans Fyrste (ex-Ragnarok, Svarttjern) and Skrotmunn Råtepøl. CF played songs like Ancient Spirits of the Underworld, Likeim, Rock N’ Roll Glory Hole, Mask of the Slave, Journey Through the Cold Moors of Svarttjern. In addition they played a cover from Angst Skvadron called Negativitetens Kvelertak as a tribute to T. Nefas (this is actually the second Nefas tribute I have experienced; the first one was somewhere in the woods in Germany) So yeah this is the good thing with attending shows in Norway, you never know what kind of surprises they will come up with or who they will invite as live guests.

I was looking forward to see Cadaver perform live. It was awesome to see that their live line-up now counts with Destructhor and Secthdamon. Cadaver is a good showcase of the greatness of old school DM and the American influence is pretty recognizable, but I think their best songs are still the ones that are more blackened and sound more norwegian. That being said, I’m pretty pleased with the new single Circle of Morbidity which has a blackened vibe ala Satyricon in addition to the ever present old school DM frame. It is also pretty cool that they count with Jeff Becerra as guest for the single. The whole festival ended with the Black Industrial machine Mysticum and their now less bedazzling show than in previous occasions. They played songs like Annihilation, The Ether, Fist of Satan and Cosmic Gun from Planet Satan and Black Magic Mushrooms and Crypt of Fear from In the Streams of Inferno. So I really hope that next year edition of the festival makes use of the other stages and keep as it was this year because it was really a good festival to have after summer madness. I hope as well many others will consider attending next year so it keeps growing because it is necessary to have a festival like Hellbotn in the Oslo area.