Blastfest 2016 Preview

Blastfest 2016 Preview at The Goat Tavern

‘I recommend everyone to start a big festival, so that you can book the bands that YOU want to hear! It’s like making a playlist, just a little bit cooler!’

Yngve ‘Bolt’ Christiansen – Blastfest organiser

Is there a better way to celebrate Norwegian music than a festival with 50 Norwegian bands from all different corners of the metal world? The third edition of Blastfest looks significantly different to previous years but it’s still very diverse in terms of the line-up. It is incredible to witness how the festival evolves and how everything is being put together to unite metalheads from all over the world to come to Bergen and revel in the infinite pleasure of Norwegian music. Let’s all have a look at what the festival offers – The Blastfest Preview includes 15 tracks from the bands which we will have an honour to witness next month. Let this edition of Blastfest be very special!

BLASTFEST HOMEPAGE
BLASTFEST ON FACEBOOK


1. 1349 – Slaves

The plague is here! The music of 1349 might be rooted in some classic black metal principles but it’s their 2014 album – Massive Cauldron of Chaos, which brought a lot of novelty. The omnipresent blasts will overwhelm the Røkeriet scene on Friday night. The unstoppable machine of 1349 was always falling nicely into my taste but I never had a chance to see the band live. So, as always, I am very intrigued what that horde can do on stage. The slaves shall serve!

Friday, Feb 19th

22:00 Røkeriet scene

LINKS

1349 HOMEPAGE
1349 ON METAL-ARCHIVES


2. Kraków – Ten Silent Circles

Peace and tranquillity! Kraków’s third full-length album – Amaran, has been one of the most interesting albums released by Dark Essence Records in 2015. The band’s music can’t be so easily categorized as it penetrates different regions of metal. The balance between chaos and order, actually relevant to all Kraków’s album, is a characteristic feature of this outfit and I am really curious how this translates into the live performances as I never had a chance to see Kraków on stage before. I fell in love with Ten Silent Circles because of how it gains on drama – from order to chaos, and how it beautifully returns to its original atmosphere at the end of the song. I really hope to hear this track live at Blastfest.

Friday, Feb 19th

19:10 Sardinen scene

LINKS

KRAKÓW HOMEPAGE
KRAKÓW ON METAL-ARCHIVES


3. Blodhemn – Djevelen i Menneskeform

It was in 2014 when I’ve seen Blodhemn live when they supported Mayhem in Bergen and I really liked this Taake-inspired atmosphere which they put on in their music and on stage. It includes the quintessence of the Bergen scene and I am sure that everyone will have the same feeling when Blodhemn is on stage in Garage. Both Holmengraa and H7 are fantastic albums but it is the first one that seriously got me infected with the spirit of Blodhemn. It is a real Djevelen i Menneskeform, that is a devil in a human form!

Wednesday, Feb 17th

19:30 Garage

LINKS

BLODHEMN HOMEPAGE
BLODHEMN ON METAL-ARCHIVES


4. Kampfar – Gloria Ablaze

In the shades of fire!!! Over the last year, Kampfar became one of my favourite live acts. Gloria Ablaze, I think, was written as a live song – its intensity and dynamics are purely staggering when Kampfar is on stage. Profan, their last year’s release, managed to come into my liking almost after the first listen. I had a chance to see Kampfar live twice recently during their tour with Gehenna and Gorgoroth and trust me, new material is seriously vicious live. It will also be great to hear the immortal Ravenheart again!

Thursday, Feb 18th

16:35 Røkeriet scene

LINKS

KAMPFAR HOMEPAGE
KAMPFAR ON METAL-ARCHIVES


5. Chrome Division – Serial Killer

Prepare for booze, broads and Beelzebub! Chrome Division will surely serve some entertainment on Wednesday night and it will be a great ending of the first day of the festival. It will also be fantastic to see Shagrath and Shady Blue in action on such a small stage in Garage. Also, I think that it might be a good way to pay some tribute to the mighty Motörhead – get yourself a ‘Lemmy’ from the bar and enjoy the Chrome Division performance!

Wednesday, Feb 17th

23:35 Garage

LINKS

CHROME DIVISION HOMEPAGE
CHROME DIVISION ON METAL-ARCHIVES


6. Green Carnation – Writings on the Wall

This is certainly a band that adds some variety to Blastfest. The melancholic character of Green Carnation is irrefutable and I think it may interest some of the orthodox metalheads as well. They might have been focusing on death metal in the early days, but their music is now based on progressive metal/rock with the beautiful vocals of Kjetil Nordhus being a definite trademark of the band. The acoustic elements of Green Carnation are grandiose and I can’t wait to see Røkeriet scene filled with this unforgettable experience.

Saturday, Feb 20th

22:00 Røkeriet scene

LINKS

GREEN CARNATION HOMEPAGE
GREEN CARNATION ON METAL-ARCHIVES


7. Taake – Nattestid Ser Porten Vid I

Yes, it will be the third time I see Taake in Bergen. And I must admit it is one of the most important points for me in Blastfest’s line-up this year. It’s a another band that needs no introduction. However, it needs to be seen live to fully comprehend its quality. Under all those riffs lies an omnipotent energy which allows me to sail somewhere far away every time I see Taake live. Hoest’s charisma and behaviour on stage are just inimitable. Nattestid Ser Porten Vid I is an unquestionable proof of the band’s excellence and Hoest’s pride of his offspring. Even if you are not entirely convinced with Taake music, you need to see it live. Trust me, it will change your mind.

Thursday, Feb 18th

19:50 Røkeriet scene

LINKS

TAAKE HOMEPAGE
TAAKE ON METAL-ARCHIVES


8. SlegestHo Som Haustar Aleine

Lively heavy metal tone with black metal vocals? Why not… Slegest is another band taking part in the Dark Essence Records label night which is definitely worth attention. It is an interesting musical combination which will help you catch some breath and have a break from the powerful blasts. Their only full-length album so far – Løyndom, reveals a secret of a very uniform and compact package of great metal vibes. Ho Som Haustar Aleine is undeniably my favourite opus of the group and I can’t wait to jump a little bit to this when Slegest is on stage!

Friday, Feb 19th

17:35 Sardinen scene


LINKS

SLEGEST HOMEPAGE
SLEGEST ON METAL-ARCHIVES


9. In the Woods… – Karmakosmik

As the band once said: ‘Something is not meant to be forgotten’. And indeed, it’s good to see In the Woods… working again. The ambience of their music is really calming and I know that their avant-garde will be an important point at the festival. One hour on stage may not be a lot but I hope that the band will find time to present one of their masterpieces, Karmakosmik, to the broader audience. I’m also quite curious how their new vocalist, Tommy Sebastian Halseth, will cope with In the Woods… difficult compositions.

Thursday, Feb 18th

22:00 Røkeriet scene

LINKS

IN THE WOODS… ON FACEBOOK
IN THE WOODS… ON METAL-ARCHIVES


10. Gorgoroth – Profetens Åpenbaring

The Thursday headliner needs no introduction whatsoever! It will actually be the third time I see Gorgoroth in the last two months but I am still hungry for more. Again, it’s one of those outfits that put you in such an extraordinary mood that you forget you are on the festival among hundreds of other people. Also, whatever I say about Hoest being in charge of vocals in Gorgoroth will be an understatement so for those of you that did not have a chance to witness it, I’ll let you judge for yourself. Just wait for Profetens Åpenbaring to come along in the setlist… Let me assure you, this performance will absolutely be Under the Sign of Hell!

Thursday, Feb 18th

00:15 Røkeriet scene

LINKS

GORGOROTH HOMEPAGE
GORGOROTH ON METAL-ARCHIVES


11. The 3rd Attempt – Sons of the Winter

Being one of the most successful last year’s debuts from Dark Essence Records, The 3rd Attempt already managed to prove what they are all about. Having played their first ever show at Blastfest last year, the band immediately poisoned me with the Carpathian Forest atmosphere and I was really waiting for the full album with anticipation. So much energy on stage, both in music and appearance. Sons of the Winter as well as Nekrogrammaton might be the live hits, but it’s the entire Born in Thorns album that is just ace live material. This performance will be a perfect apex of the Dark Essence Records label night!

Friday, Feb 19th

23:10 Sardinen scene


LINKS

THE 3RD ATTEMPT ON FACEBOOK
THE 3RD ATTEMPT ON METAL-ARCHIVES


12. Voluspaa – En Hymne Til Våre Udødelige Forfedre

I made myself familiar with Voluspaa only last year but I immediately fell in love with what Freddy Skogstad had done. The whole Åsa album is a brilliant piece of work perfectly blending various aesthetics but focusing on the viking atmosphere. It has quickly become a necessary album to listen to during my frequent travels to Norway. The combination of clean vocals, chants and harsh growls is reviving and I can’t really imagine this atmosphere in Garage! Hellig er vårt norske land!

Wednesday, Feb 17th

20:15 Garage

LINKS

VOLUSPAA HOMEPAGE
VOLUSPAA ON METAL-ARCHIVES


13. Sahg – Repent

It’s at Blastfest 2014 when I first saw Sahg and it was a good change to that extreme line-up of the festival. The Black Sabbath atmosphere of Sahg’s music is incredible and with their 4 full-length albums, the band is not trying to conceal the inspiration. A good dose of energy will flow from the stage! Olav is doing a brilliant job with the vocals and the whole creation of Sahg always puts me into good mood. I hope their show will be at least as good as it was 2 years ago!

Saturday, Feb 20th

19:10 Sardinen scene

LINKS

SAHG HOMEPAGE
SAHG ON METAL-ARCHIVES


14. Svarttjern – Mistanthropic Path of Madness

The intensity of Svarttjern will take over the Garage scene on Wednesday. No compromises, only The Misanthropic Path of Madness! It is one of the few bands at Blastfest that will bring the spirit of true Norwegian black metal to the masses. It’s worth mentioning that the band is currently working on Ultimatum Necrophilia successor, Dødsskrik to be released in spring. Some live premiere of a new track maybe?

Wednesday, Feb 17th

20:15 Garage

LINKS

SVARTTJERN ON FACEBOOK
SVARTTJERN ON METAL-ARCHIVES


15. Khold – Der Kulden Rår

Simplicity of Khold’s music has always been staggering for me! Forming an obvious trio with Sarke and Tulus, Khold does not give a chance to be seen on stage very often. This is one of the reasons why that show should not be missed. Khold’s 6 full-length albums form a splendid discography with a lot to choose from. The spirit of the band will speak its mind on the main stage Saturday afternoon and it be an impeccable inauguration of the final day at Blastfest 2016.

Saturday, Feb 20th

16:35 Røkeriet scene

LINKS

KHOLD ON FACEBOOK
KHOLD ON METAL-ARCHIVES


Obviously, we cannot take for granted all the other allures that Blastfest is offering next month. It’s not only the fact that we will also have a rare opportunity to see such avant-garde groups as Arcturus, Manes or Solefald, but also many of us will have a chance to verify if the new Abbath creation is worth all that hype and excitement. Abbath closing the festival will surely be a nice ending to Blastfest, just like last year’s Satyricon, beautifully ending the show with Mother North and K.I.N.G. You just couldn’t imagine a better finish to a Norwegian festival, could you? I am sure that Blastfest 2016 will bring similar vibes soon… Let this time be the best way to celebrate the finest pieces of Norwegian music!

See you all there!

ALSO, CHECK OUT OUR PHOTOS FROM PREVIOUS BLASTFEST EDITIONS!

BLASTFEST 2014
BLASTFEST 2015