Our guest writer Lumi Kartunni continues with his report of the rest of last weekend’s Inferno Festival, while Bad Sounds photographer Morgan Flament shares the last batch of photos, capturing the nobby, but unavoidable goths in Satyricon.
Now it´s Friday and since that day is covered by another writer, I shall be very brief about it.
I don´t know if there was anything I was really looking forward to. Saw the last part of the Witchcraft concert (who replaced Ghost), and that was pretty good. Then I went to see Moonspell, just out of curiosity, and left after two minutes (or three). Then I went to see Suffocation, just out of curiosity, and left after two minutes (or three). But also talked to someone who said it was one of the best death metal concerts he had ever seen, so, people are different. I´m only pawn in game of life. So don´t take it from me.
Maybe if I´d taken the time to listen more than two or three minutes I would have been transported to a magical experience of beauty and transcendence. I never rule out that possibility. But those minutes I heard seemed like hours, and I couldn´t take much of it.
Saturday… Started like any day in festival season, late awakening, hangover, hoping a few beers will do the trick. Isn´t that what it´s like? Don´t ask me, I´ve never been to a festival. I´m writing this from a secret island in the Pacific Ocean. I “went to see” Baptism, a Finnish black metal band. It was pretty boring. I wish I had been there in time to catch Morbo, since Bowel Ripper said they´re a good band.
Saw a few minutes of Hades Almighty, but maybe there is a higher meaning behind me never having checked them out. This could not inspire me to stay. Only returned at the end of Solefald. Had checked out some of their music on Youtube, which didn´t move me, but still, when I saw them on stage, they seemed like one of the better bands on the Inferno bill this year, and that´s saying a lot more about Inferno than about Solefald. I guess. I didn´t see much.
Anyway, the last part made me wish I had seen more, as it was clearly not your average band. Can´t even decide how much I liked the music but it was at least more interesting than most bands I had witnessed so far, and better than what I remembered from Youtube. And they had a painter paint a painting while they played. And I know most music journalists probably hate such banal cliches, but I think it´s alright!
But that was basically on my way to catch Diskord, who was among with Spectral Haze and Saint Vitus the bands I was most eager to see. And wow… The first word that comes to mind is “overwhelming”, this “technical” death metal is something everybody should see. Their music might be complicated but at the same time it just kicks so much ass that you just have to give in, submerge to this strange, twisted cyber horror story. A friend and I later discussed the feelings we got from the music, and we both had some visions of future cyber organisms and artificial consciousness, maybe a mind locked inside a computer, infused with a feeling of horror movies. They can play so fast, so tight. But it is the compositions, the everything, that makes this band a winner. And they don´t look like your average death metal band either. They look just like “average guys”. But the music transported me to another world, more than any stage outfits or pyrotechnics in the world could do. Diskord, pure class. Everybody who likes death metal, also the more “primitive” forms of death metal, should see them asap. Even people who usually don´t like “technical” death metal would find lots of awesome riffs and parts among the complex compositions (that, most importantly, rock!)
So, what could top that? Satyricon? That was intended as a joke. I actually stood for 15 minutes waiting for Satyricon to start playing, with the moving spotlights over their logo and all. But then I thought, if they wanna have such diva manners, fuck it. So I went to have a beer and a smoke before Saint Vitus. Which was of course the most important concert of the whole festival. But I saw a little bit of Satyricon on the way down, and it wasn´t as bad as I feared, and it was cool to feel the instant warmth of the pyrotechnics, even when standing 10 meters away. They were actually one of the more interesting bands I had seen at Inferno 2013 so far. And that of course says a lot more about Inferno.
I guess I started (or continued, actually) disliking the band after watching some disastrous performances on TV, when they performed in very “commercial” settings, well, why not, who would mind Darkthrone performing from Panzerfaust during “God Morgen, Norge”. But maybe that is why. That Satyricon doesn´t really have the extra edge that separates their music from commercial appeal, or whatever I don´t know what I´m talking about here, but I guess when I saw Satyricon live (on TV) at those events, whatever they were, the performance didn´t seem rebellious, it just fit right in there with the commercials and everything. But at the same time they probably reached out to a whole new audience and made shitloads of money. Good for them. They seemed alright I guess, especially when they played a song from 1996.
But Saint Vitus awaited, so I had to run downstairs. This was the moment we had all been waiting for. Dave Chandler, the man with bandana, guitar and a crazy grin. Finally another rock concert. Hadn´t been to a real rock concert since Wednesday, with Spectral Haze. This is some good dance music. Very easy to dance and headbang to, very easy to stretch out your arms in worship of Dave Chandler´s loving wah-wah madness. I think he must be the guy in the world who has used most wah-wah of all humans dead or alive. Since late 70s he´s been pumping out one wah after another. Lovely accompanied by the band. And no matter what good vocalist they have in Wino, Dave Chandler always steals the show.
What is this band? You don´t get much wiser from reading this? Well, they are a doom metal band from Los Angeles, one of the pioneering bands of the eighties style doom, but they have always been “different”, for a number of reasons. One, their Black Flag/punk/hardcore influence. Secondly, Dave fucking Chandler. The guitar solos (and accompaniment) have elements of the utmost freakout. Doom turns to bliss.
This concert was so good that I literally couldn´t go back out immediately, I had to walk a few rounds in the room, just as if some of the concert was still in the walls, and I could absorb it if I only went slowly and grinned enough. I later told a friend I had a wah wah in my heart or soul. Saint Vitus are here to unmask the conspiracy. If enough people saw Saint Vitus the world would be a much better place, go see them.
All in all, Inferno 2013 was rather disappointing, due to rather uninteresting booking, or should I just say a lot of “poor taste”, but so, taste is subjective, but still… There are people who love bands and people who HATE the same bands. Who´s to say who´s right? Not me.
Three bands (of those I saw) were remarkable and plain AWESOME, Saint Vitus, Diskord and Spectral Haze.
I am sure Inferno will have to book better bands (or let´s say, fewer uninspired generic black metal bands and “forward thinking nu goth metal”) if they want to “survive”. Or maybe they are idealists and just wants to have a great festival for Nemi- and Dimmu Borgir-fans from rural Norway and abroad. Inferno sure has it´s charm. Even sometimes when it´s pleasant to have something to “hate” (a little). Not Inferno in itself, but what and when it represents uninspired uniform generic music (and culture at large).
If I worked at Inferno I would book Vomitor. First person to book them to Oslo gains extensive gratitude and eternal hails.