25 May 2024

30-03-2024 Inferno festival

Location: Oslo (Norway)

On this day we did not start our evening at the main venue but we decided to go to one of the club shows around town. The place is called Kniven and they had the band Imbalance on the bill. Now why we chose to see these guys has been discussed in our podcast already, so you can hear all about that there. Glad that we made this decision, the band turns out to be magnificent to start the day with. The formation has been around for 20 years under this name but has not a whole lot of releases out. The Thrash they make is doing well here, the venue is fully packed and we were lucky enough to see the amazing riffing from their guitarist up close. But let’s be clear, that is not the only highlight. Their drummer creates a little spectacle on their own and while vocalist Herald seems quite calm in performance he has a lot of strength in him for someone who was in a surgery recently as he tells us. Glad we got a chance to see them, surely recommended!

The British formation Saor was honored to open the day at the main stage. The combination of Atmospheric Folk and Black Metal brings some unique character to the hall. Plenty of people came out to witness it from the beginning so they were facing a full house. The last release of Saor dates back to 2022 and with plenty of albums out there was enough to find in the set list to bring a diverse Saor experience. Recorded we see Andy picking up all instruments himself but live some people were along obviously. An interesting dynamic is created by the use of various instruments and while the tempo sometimes drops a bit it remains interesting to watch throughout. A good way to open the day in the main venue.

In the downstairs we are witnessing some avant-garde Black. It is the local Tilintetgjort which is opening the stage. They are quite a young formation, started the band in 2020 and about a year ago they came with their debut album. Hooded up the vocalist comes in the lay some heaviness over the dark tones his band lays down, the venue not being the fullest just yet, but some locals have came out to see them. The guys show that they have a good idea of what they want to bring with their music but does not manage to convince me just yet. A bit more of a unique identity needs to grow and thus we leave them to it for now. Let’s see in a couple of years what they are up to.

Orbit Culture has becoming very successful in a short time. Yet the band has some years on the counter. Last year their album “Descent” came out and we have seen them play at many festivals. Now it is time for Inferno to enjoy some Melodic Death, but what comes to notice fast when seeing their set is that they have a good dose of vehemence in them, letting the stress being more at that part. Listening with care we hear that vocalist Niklas in the cleanest parts remind sligthtly to Ville Laihiala, but then throws in the rawer side of his voice to march over that. Performance wise they are quite active, but the audience is not as wild as we have seen at other shows of them. Perhaps because the festival line up beyond them is bit more different from their sound. Nevertheless we got to enjoy a solid set from these Swedish guys, who mix all the elements together flawlessly.

We briefly looked into the downstairs where In Twilights Embrace were performing today. The band is from Poland and has a Black Metal sound to them. We did not stick around long after the photo’s were taken so not much of words to give on them today.

Me and That Man is a project by Adam Darski aka Nergal of Behemoth. It is not so much an extreme metal project, which the man acknowledged himself by telling the audience he does not understand that this project got booked here, whereas for Behemoth he loved being there. The acoustic Folk/blues project has certainly rights to be here as the audience was clearly up for it. Usually their albums are filled with a variety of vocalists but live Adam is doing most of them himself. Bringing in some guests enriches the experience. Naturally we saw Jørgen Munkeby joining with his saxophone and also Sivert Høyem was joining. Not surprising seeing they are from Norway and yet a great addition to the set. Altogether the set is full of entertainment and regardess the fact that it may not be that extreme in metal, the darkness is certainly felt during the show. One of the most outstanding shows of the festival even.

British cellist Jo Quail was ready for the audience at Inferno. She has played with many of the artists that have at one point be at the festival as well and has set a name for herself with the release of the various records that she made. With her heavy sounds, she can put so much detail into the tracks she is playing, just leaving he audience waiting for the tiniest aspect of them to create an impact. Timing is key for this kind of music and she masters it in her compositions. The audience that gathers in front of the stage seems to be the audience who knows what to expect, they observe calmly and let the atmosphere take the best of them. A mesmerizing performance for those who can allow themselves to get sucked into it.

Borknagar has currently three decades of music going and released their album “Fall” about a month ago. Some of these tracks were played but did not yet have the wildest impact on the audience just yet, so people certainly had to get to know them still. Some of their older material was doing better. “The Fire That Burns” and the track “Voices” are standing out. However, something that is letting us down a bit is the strength of the vocals here today versus the recorded version. It seems that the voice live is disappearing a bit within the music and that is making the sound a bit more flat. A pity, for vocalist Lars can certainly make the difference in a track.
The band seem to please the audience well today, not having the wildest response but keeping the people watching to their diverse set.

Closing the smallest stage was Khold. A Black Metal formation with a more aggressive feel to it, rather than having the atmospherical part being the main. The band is around since 2000 and recently album number eight got out. In fact, it is fresh as it can be, being released just a week before the show. They are performing to a very full hall, making you think a bit bigger stage would have suit them better. An active show is played where the guys are putting in a lot of energy in reaching out to the audience, having a connection. Works as a charm as it seems as they certainly got back what they have been putting in. A nice one to heat up for the headliner of the night.

The Mainstage was for Dimmu Borgir to end the night. The band has performed their Symphonic Black Metal all over the world and had great success with their releases. The last album is dating back quite a bit already so for the audience it is nice to see them on the stage hearing them play a good variety of their songs. The band chose some of their oldest material to start with and mixed it with more recent material. Interesting to see is that they not always choose the most intense songs but kept the energy quite in one line. Some crowdpleasers come by at the end of their set, having tracks like “Mourning Palace” make its impact. Since the band is looking back on their career they brought in some of their past members to join and play some songs like that, which was welcomed wildly by the audience. Fans got a great opportunity to travel back in time and witness this unique set. Dimmu Borgir exceeded our expectations here today.

Links:

Inferno Festival