At John Dee, Oslo, Norway, September 9, 2011

Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

Two underground heavyweights from the Norwegian Metal scene had teamed up for a short tour entitled The Blood & Bones – Live Collective 2011. Both bands hail from Trondheim: Manifest, a hard-boiling Groove/Thrash/Death Metal band, and Goat The Head, a “Contemporary Primal Caveman Death Metal” band. This mini-tour included gigs in the Norwegian cities Bergen, Oslo, and Hamar. The Oslo gig took place at John Dee, and though the venue was far from packed, those who were there got their money’s worth, and then some.

Goat The Head

Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

Goat the Head opened the show with the heavy and massive “The Hunt Is On (Sexy Son),” and though they’re a Death Metal band (a “contemporary primal caveman” one) they have a lot in common with their mates in Manifest. Many of their songs have slower and incredibly heavy parts that hail from Groove Metal. “Uncanny Valley Clan” is a good example of this.

Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

The band entered the stage in what appeared to be spacesuits. Everyone in the band kept these clothes on during the show, except for the vocalist. His clothing had to give way, piece by piece, for fur and blood throughout the show, giving the proper look to their own mantra “Contemporary Primal Caveman Death Metal.” The night’s funniest moment was when this growling maniac asked the crowd: “Is there anyone in the audience that has absolute pitch and can give me a B?”

Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

Goat The Head is a band of skilled musicians. At times it’s really amazing to watch them play incredibly technical stuff with the greatest of ease. The band mixes incredibly heavy and groovy Death Metal with humor in-between and they owned the stage from the second they entered until the last chord was struck.

Setlist: The Hunt Is On (Sexy Son) / Primal Caveman Death Metal / Reveille / The Ubiquitons Cube / Crater Of Excarnation / Wicked Mimicry / Mother Horse / Salt / Uncanny Valley Clan / Neolithic Rocket Science / Otter Skull / Beast Man


Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

Manifest plays Death/Groove Metal combined with Modern Thrash Metal. The band has been one of Norway’s best live underground bands for the past couple of years, and proved this to be true on this fateful night. And no wonder, they’ve gained a lot of experience from playing well-known Metal festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Inferno, Hole In The Sky, Moshfest and Metal Rock Fest.

The band delivered a heavy set with a great blend of Death and Groove Metal. Songs like “Tonnie Von Adelaine” were among the more Death Metal-oriented songs presented to the crowd, while “Written In Blood” and “A .45 To Pay The Rent” are excellent Groove Metal songs mixed with Modern Thrash Metal.

During the evening the vocalists from both bands did a guest appearance in the other band’s set. That was an extra treat for the crowd, but the two vocalists seemed to really enjoy doing this and there was no doubt that there is great chemistry between the two bands.

Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

Though Manifest also consists of skilled musicians that can play technically challenging songs, it’s easily the vocalist, Stian Leknes, who catches your attention. He delivers the lyrics with precision and integrity, and he’s not afraid to “get out there,” which he proved by jumping down to the floor and wrestling two guys in the crowd during a guitar solo.

Now European Metal fans can soon check out their latest release Written in Blood as it has a European release date; 11.11.11. This is still a band every fan of Death, Groove, and Thrash Metal should check out. They deliver with intensity and it’s a shame that their not signed to a major label.

Setlist: Unrelenting / The Art Of War / Manufactured Lie / Tonnie Von Adelaine / Written In Blood / Hydroplaning / Machinery of Violence / Lullaby (Bedtime for Bastards) / Grind Whore / A .45 To Pay the Rent / Savage


  • 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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