in Oslo, Norway, Thursday, August 9, 2007

All photos by Kristian Singh-Nergård

The Festival

Øyafestivalen is located in the capital of Norway (Oslo). The area itself is not that big and you have to place your tent in a nearby campsite or sleep at a hotel. There are three different stages at the area with Enga being the biggest. The weather was nice with not a cloud in site and almost 30°C. In other words; it was a perfect day for a festival, cold beer, and great music. The festival is characterized by ecological food, a peaceful atmosphere, nice small shops (with real things to sell, and not the usual junk you find at bigger festivals; for instance Roskilde in Denmark) and an almost annoying tidiness. The latter is not a bad thing, though, because this is the cleanest festival area you’ll ever attend. The headliners worth mentioning (for Rock/Metal enthusiasts) this year were Nine Inch Nails (US), Tool (US), Primal Scream (UK), Eagles Of Death Metal (US). and El Caco (NO).

Thursday, the second day of the festival, was completely sold out. This means that 11,000 tickets were sold. Øyafestivalen has all kinds of music and you can find everything from Electronica and Pop to Heavy Metal, but this review will just focus on the Metal/Hard Rock acts!

Jazkamer (NO)

JazkamerFirst was Norwegian Electronica/Metal band Jazkamer. The band consists of two drummers, four guitarists, and one DJ. They performed the entire Metal Music Machine album (where members of the Norwegian Metal monsters Enslaved and Manngard made guest appearances) that was released in 2006. Their music has been compared to Sunn O))), Earth, and Fantômas, but with their own expression on top.

The music was both brutal and aggressive, but also very repetitive. After a couple of minutes, it became really boring. It seemed that the guitarists were interested in nothing but creating feedback and to play some really heavy riffs on the same chord over and over while the two drummers kept playing different rhythms. Also, the band lacked the communication with the audience that’s necessary to create a certain mood. The concert was simply dull and boring.

Gogol Bordello (US)

Gogol BordelloThough Gogol Bordello isn’t straight out Hard Rock or Heavy Metal, it’s important to write a few lines about them anyway (you see Blackmore’s Night mentioned on various Rock/Metal sites all the time as well). Gogol Bordello is a Folk music-inspired Gypsy Punk/Rock band from New York. The band is fronted by vocalist Eugene Hütz (originally from Ukraine) and fiddler Sergey Rjabtzey (originally from Russia).

The band had such energy on stage that immediately infected the approximate 5500 members in the crowd. The music Gogol Bordello plays is a very catchy mix between Balkan/Russian Folk music and fast, energetic Punk, and Hüts’ crazy performance on stage was as entertaining as it was right for this type of music.

El Caco (NO)

El CacoEl Caco was formed in 1998 and has released four albums since 2001. Their musical style is Heavy Metal with heavy and groovy riffs, some would even say it’s close to Stoner Rock. The trio went on stage with a flaming pyro show and the song “Fallen” from their 2005 release The Search. Vocalist/bassist Øyvind Osa’s voice is perfect for this band. He sings the fast, almost-Thrash Metal songs just as good as the slower and heavier stuff. The band is very tight and there were no flaws to detect on stage, though the band suffered from some feedback on the bass.

El Caco played mostly songs from this year’s release From Dirt and the previous The Search, but they also had the time to visit older stuff from their first album VIVA. A little more enthusiasm from the band members towards the crowd wouldn’t have killed them, but they finally got the crowd included with the closer “Someone New” from The Search. All in all, a great concert.

Eagles Of Death Metal (US)

Eagles Of Death MetalDon’t let the name fool you, Eagles Of Death Metal play a party characterized form of Rock ‘N’ Roll. The band is probably best known for two things: being the side project of Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age, Ex-Kyuss) and being thrown off the Guns N’ Roses tour in 2006. Homme is currently busy touring with QOTSA, so the band was fronted by the energetic Jesse Hughes (guitar/vocals). Axl Rose named the band “The Pigeons Of Shit Metal” when they warmed up for G N’ R, but there was nothing shitty about the band’s performance at Øyafestivalen. Well, maybe you could say something about Hughes’ voice. His voice was very hoarse, apparently do to him being sodomized by two Norwegian girls the previous night. He excused his badly shaped voice and asked the crowd: “If I shake my dick real hard, will you forgive my lack of voice?” The crowd’s cheer obviously meant that he was forgiven.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the music despite Hughes trouble with his voice, and so he commented between two songs: “I’ve never sucked this bad while being loved like this! So, I’m gonna suck even harder, how about that?” The set consisted mostly of songs from their first album Peace Love Death Metal (2004) and the highpoint was “Whorehoppin (Shit Goddamn).” Fans also got a few good songs from last year’s release Death By Sexy; “Don’t Speak (I Came To Make A BANG!),” “Cherry Cola,” and “I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News).” Eagles Of Death Metal proved to be a band that can get the party started and they had the audience right where they wanted them.


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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