At Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, Norway, March 19, 2015

Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

All photos by Kristian Singh-Nergård

Everything was set for the proggiest night of the year at the sold-out Rockefeller venue in the heart of the Norwegian capital. The European tour headlined by Devin Townsend Project with special guests Shining and Periphery had finally come to Norway.


The Progressive Metal/Djent band from Maryland, USA, are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. They celebrate this by releasing a double album. It’s been three years since their last album release but it’s definitely been worth the wait. The double album, consisting of Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega is a great release. Out of the eight songs played in the set, six were from the new double album.

Periphery’s front man and vocalist Spencer Sotelo does a great job communicating with the crowd and getting everyone participating. He even demanded a circle pit, which the crowd happily obliged. His vocals were flawless and there wasn’t a single mistake to be detected. Of course, you can’t talk about Djent without mentioning the guitarists, which there were three of. Band founder Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen plays some wicked leads while Mark Holcomb holds the ground with bass player Adam Getgood. There’s no doubt as to why Periphery are considered one of the pioneers of the Djent movement. And of course they’ve got the machine Matt Halpern on drums. Someone should write a book about his drumming skills because this guy is talented. Even though a lot of the stuff he plays is technically challenging it looks as if he’s just having a good time and plays with such ease.

Periphery is definitely a band to check out. There are many layers to their music and a lot to explore.

Setlist: Icarus Lives! / Make Total Destroy / The Scourge / Psychosphere / 22 Faces / The Bad Thing / Alpha / Graveless


Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

The Norwegian Avant-garde band Shining will tell you that they play Blackjazz. The band was founded in 1999 as an acoustic instrumental Jazz quartet, but soon started experimenting with a more avant-garde, electric, rock-oriented sound. The release of their fifth album, Blackjazz, saw them incorporating Metal into their sound for the first time.

The setlist consisted of songs off Blackjazz and their 2013 release One One One. The dived right into “The Madness and the Damage Done” from Blackjazz and set the bar for their wall-of-sound styled Metal. There were a lot of Shining fans among the crowd and the band really shone when having the home-field advantage.

Vocalist, guitarist and saxophonist Jørgen Munkeby once again proved himself to be a great front man, and he had the crowd right where he wanted. The band is tight and proves that they have a strict work ethic. It’s especially great to see Tobias Ørnes Andersen, who recently became an official member (despite being a touring member for a couple of years), pound the shit out of the drums.

Unfortunately, the sound wasn’t the best. There was too much bass in the mix and this caused the saxophone to drown at times. Still, Shining delivered the goods and showed themselves to be among Norway’s best Metal bands, holding international standard.

Setlist: The Madness and the Damage Done / The One Inside / Fisheye / My Dying Drive / 21st Century Schizoid Man (King Crimson cover) / I Won’t Forget


Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

Devin Townsend has been an active musician for more than twenty years now. He got his big break as vocalist for Steve Vai back in 1993 and continued with the Extreme Metal band Strapping Young Lad and an extensive solo career. He has released sixteen albums under his own name (which includes Devin Townsend, Devin Townsend Band and Devin Townsend Project).

He delivered some great tracks such as “March of the Poozers” (off last year’s ), “Lucky Animals” (off Epicloud), “Addicted” (off Addicted) and of course the epic “Kingdom” (off Epicloud). The crowd seemed to enjoy the show though songs like “Truth,” “Namaste” and “Night” seemed unfamiliar to most people.

Devin included the crowd in “Lucky Animals” by having everyone do jazz hands to the chorus. He made them practice a couple of times, and realizing how bizarre it is to have a packed venue of Metalheads do jazz hands he exclaimed: “Of my god this is gonna be something you will not talk about after because it’s gonna be so weird!” Devin is always smiling and joking around and seems genuinely happy to be doing what he does.

Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

It’s a bit weird that Devin chose to include so many non-Devin Townsend Project songs in the setlist. After getting the crowd all worked up and excited with “Lucky Animals” the band went right into “Life” and “Christeen” from his solo project. The crowd was silent and didn’t really respond to those at all. Six out of fifteen songs were non-Devin Townsend Project songs (seven if you count “Kingdom” but to be fair he plays the Epicloud version of the song).

Photo by Kristian Singh-Nergård

Actually his new double album consists of the album Sky Blue, which is a Devin Townsend Project album, and Dark Matters, which is a Ziltoid concept album. The latter is the sequel to his 2007 solo album Ziltoid the Omniscient. Confused? That’s probably what the crowd were too. The lines between Devin Townsend’s solo albums, the Devin Townsend Band and the Devin Townsend Project are blurry even though the musical expressions of those three bands/projects are very different.

The jokes and the occasional well-known songs is really what saved the show. It’s always a pleasure to see Devin Townsend live but the setlist was bland and he has undeniably delivered better shows than this. After the European tour, he’s taking at least a year long hiatus. Let’s hope he returns well rested, with loads of energy and ready to deliver great shows once again.

Setlist: Truth (Devin Townsend song) / Deathray / Namaste (Devin Townsend song) / Night (Devin Townsend song) / Storm (The Devin Townsend Band cover) / Hyperdrive! / Rejoice / Addicted! / March of the Poozers / A New Reign / Lucky Animals / Life (Devin Townsend song) / Christeen (Devin Townsend song) / Ih-Ah! / Kingdom


  • 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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