INFERNO FESTIVAL 2006 (Live) – Day 3

at Rockefeller, Oslo, Norway, Saturday, April 15, 2006


Following up the thundering conclusion of the Friday show is obviously not an easy task, but there were more solid bands in store to come, with British doomsters Cathedral headlining the third and final day of this year’s Inferno weekend. The Swedish kings of brutality, Marduk, were brought in to suck the last drops of lifeblood from the tired festival goers, and with Death Metal hotshots Myrkskog brought in to replace Scum – a change for the better, if you ask some – this was to be another cosy night.

Besides the music, the social life, the beer, and whatnot, there are still a lot of things to experience and learn during such a weekend. For example, it is probably wise to schedule your CD shopping before you’ve begun drinking, especially when you’re a student with rather limited resources like some people who’s identity shall remain nameless. Still, in this state, it is indeed easier to check out bands you may not have checked out otherwise. Just about everyone owns that bought-under-the-influence Polish underground Gore Metal 7,” right? Oh, what charming youth.

Also, on a festival for the more extreme genres, there are always the unlucky ones who didn’t foresee the sudden rain storms when putting on the evening’s corpse paint. It’s just as funny every year when people run shivering into the venue, having spent hours getting the paint to look just right, looking like someone glued a wet dust cleaner bag on their face — umbrellas may not be very METAL, but they get the job done.

The young, single Metalheads out there have probably learned the old rule of “never hit on a woman until you’ve seen her outside the concert hall” too –- this goes both in terms of makeup and (lack of) lightning. – “Argh, what’s that itching between my thighs?!?”

Speaking of paint – the rather irresistible clowns you’re seeing in this report were painted by the brilliant Hege Bakken. Slip a message and say hello.


To the music, then … and the very promising Black Metal (BM) combo Legion was the first band of choice for the night. Their rather intricate style of BM (one could hear influences ranging from the brutality of Marduk to the more melodic approach of Dark Funeral and Lord Belial) was very well-played and grooved quite a bit. However, there’s still lots of work to be done when it comes to stage performance.

Guitarists David Svartz and Rikard Kottelin, and guest bassist Kristoffer Andersson make weak attempts of interacting with the crowd, but singer Kjetil Hektoen -– known first and foremost for taking care of drum duties in Crest of Darkness and Enthral — has to work on his stage performance. He might be excused in that he has little or no experience as a frontman, drummers have a tendency to stay behind their drum kit most of the time, but hopefully he’ll grow more comfortable with the role. The music is good, and the band plays well -– drummer Emil Dragutinovic (also in Marduk) has to be mentioned here, he performed awesome –- and with a few more gigs under their belts, they can really be something. There’s still work to be done, though.


Norway’s underground Thrash/Death act Vesen was next up on the smaller stage; these two first gigs both took place at John Dee; but their attempts at a rather aggressive mix of the two aforementioned genres comes out well. Where Legion did well playing-wise and less than well in terms of stage performance, Vesen was a bit like the other way around. The band, led by the very charismatic frontman Thomas Ljosåk, did well in entertaining the crowd -– was that “HOMO” (“fag” in Norwegian) written on Ljosåk’s back? -– but the gig wasn’t all that tight and the music needs to be worked on too.

Vesen live at INFERNO FESTIVAL 2006
Photo: Henrik Fridén

Ljosåk actually had the old Native American greeting “ugh” written on his stomach -– it’s a shame that the MER lazy photographer wasn’t present yet. Although musically not too impressive, the crowd seemed to enjoy what they heard and saw, so a total disaster it wasn’t. That’s some compliment indeed.


The level of musicianship rose considerably when moving up to the main stage at Rockefeller for 45 minutes (wasn’t it?) of pure Myrkskog magic. Led by a very inspired Destruchtor, the band performed an explosive and intense set, and this intensity was to be both the best and the worst of this gig. On the one hand, it’s amazing to get a true punch in the face by the massive guitars (this band does not sound like a trio, even live!) and hyper-speed drums (courtesy of the true multi-talented Sechtdamon, who played bass with Emperor the night before). Still, quite a few of Myrkskog’s songs tend to sound rather alike when played in quick order, and the set became kind of one-dimensional as time went by.

However, with amazing Death Metal tunes like “Hate Syndicate,” “Blood Ejaculation,” and “Discipline Misantrophy,” it’s difficult not to have a good time, and the overall impression of the performance is that of an extremely well-played, powerful, display of brutality.

Bolt Thrower

Also considered within the Death Metal genre, although considerably less brutal, are the quintet of Brits that forms Bolt Thrower. Their way of mixing melody and heaviness without sounding Swedish is catchy and well-suited for a live setting, and the crowd ate from the band’s hand from the first powerchord all the way to the very end. Led by the charismatic Karl Willetts, the band delivered a solid performance, very traditional Metal in appearance, and as such a fresh breeze among the dark and gloomy stage set-ups of the majority of the bands. Guitarists Barry Thompson and Gavin Ward also deserve an honorable mention, displaying the weekend’s fattest and fullest guitar sound, and some very precise riffing.

As noted with Myrkskog, a number of Bolt Thrower’s songs have a very similar structure – slow intro, then faster beat with melody, then verse, chorus, etc. -– and for those unfamiliar with the band beforehand, this may alter the impression a bit. However, the fans, or Those Once Loyal as the band entitles them, were satisfied, and with good reason. A rock solid performance by a rock solid band.


There was more brutality ahead, as Marduk was next up on the main stage. There have been some debate following the review of Borknagar’s performance the day before, and the comments made about Vintersorg’s choice of sweater. Marduk definitely steers clear of this discussion -– this is spikes-and-corpse paint heaven –- with the occasional glass of fake blood poured over the sweaty singer halfway through the show.

The last big line-up related news from the Marduk camp are those about the change in vocalist. 2004 saw former Funeral Mist singer Arioch taking over after long-time frontman Legion. Arioch seemed like an excellent choice based on the band’s performance this night, as he did a phenomenal job both vocally and in terms of crowd entertainment. In contrast to many aspiring Black Metal frontmen, he is truly convincing in his attempt at being “evil,” and suits the band’s music and image perfectly.

Musically, this also was an exciting experience. Led by several tunes from the phenomenal Panzer Division Marduk, the band performed a fast, ferocious, and entertaining set. The crowd made some complaints about the vocals being too low in the mix, but overall they sounded balanced and fine. The vocals were not too prominent, but that just made the band sound intense and “old-school.” As expected, the instrumental performances were top-notch -– for the second time that day, drummer Emil Dragutinovic delivered impressively, and Morgan Håkansson and Magnus Andersson, on guitars and bass, respectively, also pulled off the very speedy riffs in an impeccable manner. The festival’s fastest band was also among the festival’s very best, and provided an impressive dose of straight-ahead, hyper-blast Black Metal.


There was not too much energy left when the British lot, led by a very inspired Lee Dorrian, entered the stage as the festival’s last band. Unfortunately, their music has never been too interesting, but it must be noted that the band grooved well, and, as mentioned, Dorrian did very well in entertaining the crowd, and the band head-banged along too, making the fans more than satisfied. They will get a large pic, then, since the review was so brief. Here goes:

Cathedral live at INFERNO FESTIVAL 2006
Photo: Tina Victoria Strand Høgsdal

And thus ends the weekend -– to put it in a genre-fitting way -– and a successful event it was. The bands delivered the goods, the arrangements went by smoothly, and there’s really not much to complain about.

There’s still more Inferno coverage to come here at Metal Express, though –- a rather fantastic display of photos from the weekend, for example, and if you’re lucky, there are some other goodies waiting for you too. Stay tuned!

Report from day 1 can be found by clicking HERE, and for day two, click HERE.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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