Norway has come to town. The first omen was the snow that appeared last night, to some it was another obstacle in the busy life in the major city. To us meant that Gorgoroth had arrived. This is their first concert in Croatia so it was a big response and an air of anticipation, from black metal fans and even the casual crowd, curious just see these “evil dudes from Norway”.
Personally, I was a bit in-between; loved the first three and the last two albums. The now infamous Ghaal/King ov Hel (or poserdom to be more precise) era don’t really care about and their attempt to steal the band from Infernus is a new level of asshole.
The club that was hosting this infernal night was Boogaloo, already well known and might even to dare to call it a famous place for events of many genres. It also had its infamous for its hit-or-miss sound. Flip of a coin if you wish. Luckily, this night the coin has landed on its good side, but we will get to that.
The first band of the snowy evening was Tyrmfar; a melodic black metal band, but after seeing them I must say this is more in the realms of technical death metal. A bit of an oddity from the rest of the bands of that night but personally I did not mind at all because the guys went on the stage on full assault to an already half-crowded club. Tyrmfar started on schedule at 19:15 almost right on a minute and wasted no moment hitting songs right after another. A manner that is going to happened many more times. The sound in the first few songs was quite lacking and I remember few of us having that “aw shit not again” face. Luckily for us and especially for the band the live sound was corrected during the first half of their show and the Swiss boys soldered on, good sound or bad sound.
Despite not having a bass player the songs were really crushing and the energetic presentation from the side of the band was really selling the quality of the material. Despite little verbal contact, the band got the audience pumped up in little time. The vocalist looking like your average Joe was storming around like it was their first date on the tour and not the last. Kevin on guitars (also the hair department of the band) was not far behind as well. You can really see that the guys enjoyed every second of their performance. Their new album is called Dialectic of Ego and the Unconscious and if you dig the technical side of extreme metal, this will the shit for you.
Hats Barn came next and how the guys in Monty Python use to say; “and now something completely different”. The moment Trymfar said its thank you’s and goodbye’s the stage was getting entirely draped in animal skulls, altars and huge French guys in black robes and chains asking to turn up the bass during the sound check. Hats Barn is one of those bands that I can never in my life been able to digest; the songs are minimalistic, the vocals sounds like it’s going through Chinese torture with spontaneous stepping on Legos. If the guys were a bit rawer we would all go home with some kind of rust disease. Now, some of you would read this and think that is sounds actually cool. Well more power for you, there should be an audience for this and the audience in Boogaloo mostly digs their performance. I was simply not one of them.
The last of the support bands were Doodswens with a bit different line-up that it was in their debut and currently only album Lichtvrees. Inge van der Zon or simply I., is the only original member of the band who started the gig with a ritual-like candle burning with an eerie intro in the background. Don’t know what it meant, but it got the job done in building the atmosphere for their 40 minutes of performance.
Despite having a problem with the band’s strange production in their debut album I must admit that songs live is a different beast and must add that the new vocalist N. (who also handles the bass duties) is much better and more audible. Similar to previous bands, Doodswens rarely wasted time and pushed with one song to another to already pumped and filled up crowd cheering every time N. raises its fits. The sound on the stage was very impressive and really complemented the band’s overall performance. The songs overall can be a bit predictable but that can be forgiven since this a still a young band and special kudos to Inge for blasting those drums like a badass.
Finally, the band of the night, the rightfully legendary Norwegian black metal band active since 1992 had for the first time come to Croatia to open Hell. Boy did they.
After their intro “Marche funèbre” the band appeared on stage in front a virtually packed Boogaloo and blasted with “Bergtrollets Hevn” from their Antichrist album. During the first minutes of their performance all my doubts and nostalgia for past members like Pest, Tormentor and others just flew off the window. This line-up destroyed the stage. Hoest (from Taake) is a fucking beast and an excellent example of what a vocalist and frontman of a black metal band should be. Why he is not a permanent member of Gorgoroth is fucking beyond me. He effortlessly emulated Pests vocal style with adding his own. Even did some of the “clean” singing in “Blood Stains the Circle” which was fucking awesome to hear. Not to mention several “ugh” vocal moments that to casual viewers did not mean much but for the fans of the Pest era is very much appreciated. Not to put behind other members: Infernus is a fucking presence as it is and its joy to Phobos on the drums who also plays in the criminally underrated band Aeternus. As usual for Gorgoroth verbal contact with the audience was put on a minimum but Hoest’s non-verbal interaction with us was on point and you were on their hellride through their long catalogue. Despite their “100% serious” approach to their music, it was quite evident that all the members had a great fun and enjoyed their time on stage. The only gripe I can give is that their performance could have lasted longer, an extra 15-20 minutes could have been all the difference. Nevertheless, Gorgoroth truly showed their worth as one of the pillars of black metal in general.
Until next reading; KRIIIIIIIG!
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