There is a new metal festival in town and it has been given the name Laudata Nex Magicka. Apparently Latin for Praised Death Magic. The venue for this 2 night event was a new concept called Blæst / Brukbar. In the newspaper they said that they wanted their bar to be in an international league so I guess they got a god start with this festival that attracted people from at least 12 countries, even though it only held about 300 people.
First band out on Friday was newcomers Sortilegia from Canada. When I updated my notes after the last band of the night I did not remember them at all. Generic, melodic, dark metal with desperate screams and an alarm sounding guitar; a bit warmer sound than what is usual. What was quite original for a metal band though was that they played in almost darkness. Only 2 table candles on each side of the stage. Judging by the pictures I find of them they have a girl on vocals and guitar, so for this reason I might give it a second listening when their first full length album comes out later this year.
Next act out was Urfaust and for this band my expectations were sky high; but at the end of the show all I wanted was to get high. On anything! It started slow and repetitive; the audience was turned on at once. And even though I did not understand a word of the dutch chanting vocals, it sounded convincing. The people around me were dancing and banging their long hair like there were no tomorrow. An old bald guy next to me gets so into it he falls over and have to be helped up. And we are still on the first tune and after 20 minutes they are still on the same riff. Lo-fi black metal they call themselves; I thought I would be more dynamic and experimental. It made me really want to listen to Einstürzende Neubaten or Faust. The show would probably have been better if I were as wasted as the band were this evening.
Last band of first night was Vemod. The people standing next to me was talking about how the guys in Vemod showed up for a job interview and had forgotten to bring a CV it would not matter, they would get the job, because they looked so straight. To me black metal have always been a rebellious genre, this is definitive not the case with Vemod. The concert starts melancholic and romantic, but even though they are a black metal band with suits, have two large incense holders, sell crappy jewelry on the merch stand, and is seen out in the city of Trondheim in jogging clothes; despite all this they bring me straight back to the black metal of the early 90’s and blows my mind. Buddhist black metal. Of course it’s not easy to hear what he is singing about but between the songs they say things like “The new sun shall shine, and my silence shall sing”. The music is as bitter and romantic as black metal should be. Superb, focused musicians playing complex, dynamic, national romantic buddhist black metal that takes you in and brings you through a rough blizzard.
Bölzer. Shirtless. Blond. Bearded, tattooed viking; that played guitar like he played bass at the same time. First band out on Saturday and already on the second song the entire audience had their hands in the air. Raw, masculine, action packed, rock n roll; with an animal touch. I had goosebumps after 20 seconds. The singer had vocal variations from old Swedish death metal to hyena screams. This was topped with complex catchy rhythms that, just when you thought you could relax and enjoy the groove for a while, took you buy storm with a wild tempo. I almost lost my breath. The exception from the fact that majestic is not cool is Bölzer. They were only a guitarist / vocalist and drummer, and I did not notice the drummer, so I guess he was good! The only band at the festival without candles on stage.
We were sitting downstairs when Cult of Fire started to play and the bartender came running over and was screaming, “which one of you is smoking an e-cigarette?” He kept running around and screaming “who the hell is smoking an e-cigarette?”; but it was just Cult of Fire that had fired up their two massive incense altars. Cult of Fires music is too dramatic for me; I place them in a line after Cradle of Filth, Therion and Lacrimosa; dark and atmospheric with shimmering guitars and with some Burzum rip off riffs and church organs on playback. On playback they also had some overridden recordings of flames. They played in full body costumes and with bird masks. I asked myself if I would be frightened if I met them in a dark street late at night, and the answer was no, but I would love to meet them all dressed up at my local supermarket. So if you read this Cult of Fire, I think you should wear the costumes all the time! What is interesting though is that they have no persona, they are totally covered up in costumes and surrounded by big symbols on stage. Shiva’s, Ohms, pentagrams and to top it all off they had two big scythes as a microphone stands. It’s quite a visually appealing expression yet they should work more on their choreography. I think they ended the show with a Emperor cover.
Mare. When Mare came on I had no more words for describing metal left. One more set of chandeliers. One more fancy costume, this time more sultan like. The rest of the audience seemed like they had enough too and between the songs it was dead silence and people were checking their phones. The highlight of this last show of the festival was Krizla from Tusmørke’s small time refreshing dancing in the audience.
It’s the cleanest metal festival I have been too, with a superb collection of different candle solutions, quite large enough with 6 bands and since they called it vol. 1, I guess you can start saving up your money now to go to vol 2.