Joined: 25 Feb 2007
|Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:22 pm Post subject:
|Went to Beyond the Gates in Bergen last week. Easily one of the best festivals I've been to, possibly (probably?) the best lineup top to bottom for my tastes that I've seen. Bergen is a cool town surrounded by a number of mountains, quite beautiful. The venue had fantastic sound and great sightlines all over making for a memorable experience.
Whoredom Rife: hadn't listened to this band much until a few months back when I heard and fell in love with their EP. The LP didn't grab me the same way at first but after a few listens, it grew on me. Their live show was excellent, powerful, energetic.
Cult of Fire: this set was better than when I saw them in 2013. Nothing after the first album does it for me, but it translated to the live setting very well.
Dark Sonority: easily the highlight of the fest for me. Just a captivating a magic(k?)al experience. Opened up with the first track from the Kaosritual LP and I was entranced the whole 45 minute set. It felt like 15.
Mgla: again, even better than when I saw them in 2013. The new album took a while to grow on me, and I still like WHTN a lot more, but the Exercises material was very powerful and well executed.
Master's Hammer: what a treat. Their first ever set outside of the Czech Republic. Mostly Ritual and J. Occultist material, two or three tracks from later records, but it was everything I wanted to hear for the most part.
13th Moon: reminded me of Mare meets Demoncy. Very ritualistic set but one of my least favorites of the weekend (not because they were bad -- the opposite is true -- but because of the strength of the rest of the lineup.)
Vorum: I'm a big fan of their material, especially the later records, but while they were killing it live, the strobe lights were too much. Chaotic visuals for chaotic death metal.
Misthyrming: I like this band on record but it never pulls me back in. Live though, they absolutely killed it. One of the best sets of the weekend.
Negative Plane: Great set! Excellent mix of stuff from both albums.
Ruins of Beverast: I'm not big on this band -- they bore me a bit -- so I didn't watch their whole set, instead finding the VIP room with half price beers (but still $7 because Norway). I watched around 3 songs though, and they were quite good.
Vemod: One of my most anticipated sets and they didn't disappoint. Just transported me to a whole other place entirely. The new material they played (which made up most of the set) was mesmerizing.
Revenge: Never seen them before, just pulverizing.
Mayhem: played the DMDS set and sounded MASSIVE. They were great, easily the best Mayhem set I've ever seen.
Vircolac: wasn't too familiar with this band aside from one EP but I need to investigate more. They were very good.
Darvaza: this was another one of the highlights. Ferocious and feral.
Sahg (replacing Sumerlands, canceled flights): Caught two songs and wasn't doing it for me.
Black Magic: didn't play any of their Show No Mercy-inspired material, only new 70's rock sounding stuff, but in spite of that, this was one of my favorite sets. I really hope they put some of this stuff to record because it's leagues above other bands doing the retro-rock thing.
Exciter: Hit after hit, one of the high points.
Denner/Shermann: this was like if the guy from Halcyon Way fronted a Mercyful Fate cover band. Cover band probably not the right term given who's involved and the band named after. They played Black Funeral, Evil, and Into the Coven and sounded great but the original material...pass...
Enslaved (Vikingligr Veldi set): this was AWESOME. Enslaved's always been a great live band even if I can't get into some of their newer works but this was the Enslaved set I'd been hoping for all these years. Midgards Eldar especially was a treat.
Overall, would return to this fest -- next year's lineup looking promising -- and it was cool seeing some of these bands in such a historic (for metal) city. Also checked out Fantoft Stavkirke, which is mandatory for any metal fans in the area I suppose.