25 May 2024

29-03-2024 Inferno Festival

Location: Oslo (Norway)

The second day of Inferno starts with Arthur Brown on the mainstage. The British Rocker is a bit extravagant to look at while performing, antlers, a helmet on fire are part of the show and combining this with some costumes and mimics the spectacle is ready for the early Inferno audience to look at. Mind you, Arthur is not the youngest so to say so many chose to grab the opportunity to see it. 82 years old and still performing as if he is as young as he feels. The man has plenty of tracks to choose from and some crowd favorites came by here. We loved hearing”Fire Poem” which was played right at the start of the set but Arthur made some good choices in the set to have the energy divided nicely, something younger artists can learn from. A great opening of the day!

In the small stage we went to see Vorga. They are a German Black Metal formation that has been around since 2016. This day the second full length album of the guys came out so they certainly had some eagerness to show. “Beyond the Palest Star” was therefore obviously well presented this night. The giant pentagram in the center of the stage already signals the audience what to expect and thus their set was bringing exactly that. The music self was not really jumping out to us, the band does not bring something we have not heard before, but with their enthusiasm and an eye for décor they made us watch till almost the end of their set. Well done.

After the magnificent Tuska performance of Vltimas and an excellent new album called “Epic” being released about a week prior this show we knew we were up for something. The band member have been known from other bands they played with like, Cryptopsy, Aura Noir, I Am Morbid/Morbid Angel. The audience seemed mixed about them. On forehand we heard a lot of people say they rather had the other bands of the band members. Vltimas however, has this one thing speaking for them and that is they know how to put up a live show. Tight playing, not going overly dramatic in the show and putting in a good dose of heaviness to their songs to please the audience. You could certainly notice a shift in the response during the set. People seem to receive it better when they got used to it a bit more. Halfway they set they played the track “Invictus” which seemed to work well here today. So in the end we can conclude Vltimas certainly won the hearts of some of the viewers here today.

The next band was Umbra Conscientia, a band which has their background in Costa Rica. The are currently around for about 6 years and have two albums out of which the last one dates back to 2022. Their show was set up to be a fas paced, one with an aggressive character and that was certainly the vibe from the first track on. As it became pretty filled in the downstairs area we decided not to watch the full set of the band and therefore we’ll left after a couple of tracks.

Carpathian Forest was next on the main stage with their show. The band has been around for over three decades but the past couple of years there are no new releases from their hands. Seeing them back at the stage certainly brought some interest. The guys have enough material to choose from with a long discography on hands. What jumps out most is their sense of humor,meaning not all you hear and see should be taken so seriously and that is a refreshing feel in between bands who put in a lot of effort to come across exactly as their music is written. Some big Norwegian flags on the stage show the audience their pride for their heritage which adds to their show. Carpathian Forest is an interesting band that did a nice show, but seems sometimes a bit misunderstood by their audience.

Extermination Dismemberment was starting to tear things up in the John Lee stage. The band makes Brutal Death Metal and is therefore a tad bit more aggressive and energetic than most bands that are playing here today. The guys come from Belarus and have been around since 2009. Last year they came with their album “Dehumanization Protocol”, which was their third full length. The band brings the passion close the audience which is not too far from stage anyway but nevertheless the band does not hesitate to come up front. Bassist Viktor is often the one dragging up the spotlight and not only for his style of performing but also because the bass is very present in the mix here today. Leaving the audience with a good dose of power after their set the band had a succesful show here today.

Solstafir is a band you come across often when you frequent European metal festivals and so seeing them today we thought as another show that they do, knowing what to expect but as they enter the stage and start their set they do this with an easy and glare that makes you wonder still what direction they will take their set this day. The band has not released new material in the past few years but has a long discography to draw from. The guys have chosen a nice variety from their albums being represented today and what we liked most from it is that the songs are keeping up a certain dynamic that ensure you don’t drift off too soon if you are not into their sound. It’s entertaining enough to keep watching their show and that has not always been the case with shows from them we have witnessed. So somehow they managed to captivate us today. Tracks “Akkeri” and “Bláfjall”were certainly songs that interested ud today. A good show from these Icelandic guys, leaving us with their good vibes.

Next we would go to see the German duo of Mantar. The guys are based in Hamburg and have been around for twelve years doing their sludge metal. The two are facing each other on the stage, giving the audience a side view, something that is interesting to see especially for the drummer as you are actually able to see him a bit better than whether he would be facing the audience and gets hidden by his own kit. Guitarist Hanno in front of him has a way of hyping up the other, the two seem to have an interesting way of communicating during their set. Interesting to watch. While the hall is really full, we leave the scene after a while so some of the people eagerly waiting to get in has a chance to see them too.

Last band of the day is Gorgoroth. With more than three decades on the counter they have set themselves a solid name and have they grown to the status they have. They start if the set with some older material “Bergtrollets Hevn” is awakening the audience and getting them into the mood. Somewhere halfway the set the band surprises us with the track “Blood Stains the Circle” which is a track that drew our attention right away. It is a nice one in their set although maybe not the most popular one amongst the audience. Tracks like “Unchain My Heart!!!” or “Revelation of Doom” did that trick for them. Gorgoroth is not the most outspoken headliner of the festival, but with their way of coldness into their sound and their calm way of performing combined with the aesthetics they bring the band show themselves kings in setting the atmosphere right amongst them.

Links:

Inferno Festival