Inferno Metal Festival 2022- Day 2 Review

Inferno Metal Festival 2022- Day 2 Review

24th April 2022 0 By Queen Nikki

To arise from slumber, fully clothed, shoes and all face-first sideways on my lovely hotel bed was a bit disappointing, but not as much as realising I had slept through the delicious hotel breakfast. At last a vague memory pops up of 4am stumbling through corridors, swinging a six pack of duty free beer in search of the afterparty I bought back to the hotel. I don’t think I found it. 

KIm Holm’s Live Artwork

Coffee, coming to my senses and finally locating my phone and jacket, I was organised for day 2 of Inferno Metal Festival 2022.

Based in the Clarion Hotel, the Inferno Music Conference kept our days full of panel talks and open discussions. Covering a wide array of topics this year there was Social Media Marketing and even Academic Metal Studies.

The round table discussion ‘Change in the Face of Challenge’ touched on the industry changes, difficulties post pandemic and moving forward. This was an interesting room to be in for this discussion. Label managers, artists, promoters, management teams and press, this room was busy. Different opinions, conflicting and relating were flying all over the place from some of the biggest names in the industry. At the end we agreed this conversation could go on for six more hours so we left it at that and headed towards our afternoons. 

Sipping ice old beer on the roof top of the hotel admiring the view of the Oslo fjord on a warm Norwegian spring day, was a good start. Then we set off for the venue.

On the way to check out the merchandise, we pass by the main stage where Norwegian Viking’s Einherjer are showcasing their Norse Mythology inspired music to Inferno for the first time in over ten years. The bands three part guitar harmonies ring through as the Inferno beasties throw fists back and forth to the catchiness that is Nord og Ner. 

Asagraum photo courtesy of Terje Ottesen

Downstairs at the John Dee stage, the basement is filled with the scent of incense and its time for the Inferno debut of the Satanic Black metal coven that is Asagraum. As we are all there early, we make it in time for the final sound check. Vocalist and guitarist HannaObscura’ van den Berg, speaks through, “I’m gonna need a lot, A LOT of reverb in the vocals, like old Emperor!” We like this! After a long battle to get the sound perfect, all members are stood tall with horns held high in their grudge-esque appearance. Their magic takes over and they mean business. Obscura hisses black metal venom as black liquid drips from her words, playing through Black Sun Prayer.

“Ave Sathanas!”

Next an adventure around the corner to the Oslo Street Food Hall, where we found a meal option for everyone. Albeit overpriced, at least we got some good food in our bellies and some craft ales which was a nice change from the venue beer.

Back to the festival, passed the smoking area and down again to the basement we arrive to an interesting sight. A small group of trouble makers are blowing bubbles all around the room and towards the stage while those awaiting a mosh pit jump around trying to pop them all. Suddenly, mysterious hooded figures peer out of the smokey darkness on the John Dee stage and we are transported into H.P Lovecraft’s world with The Great Old Ones. This French quartet serve us their Post-Black metal from the depths of Cthulhu’s lair for their first Norwegian show. I’m not always one for this sub-genre but as the ghostly backing tracks thicken the atmosphere, I’m drawn more and more into their stories.

Gorgoroth Photo Courtesy of Kenneth Solfjeld

Up we go, four flights of stairs to the very top for some ‘fresh’ air on the smoking balcony and jump in for a look down on some True Norwegian Black Metal with Gorgoroth. Although most fans seemed a little disappointed at the basic stage setting, given the bands egregious history with live performances, they warmed to it as soon as founding member/guitarist Roger ‘Infernus’ Tiegs shows up and rips a hole in the roof above us. Hoest who plays his part as the live frontman of Gorgoroth haunts the stage, nail and spike covered arm bands all the way up to his razorback. Cleansing Fire starts and a shirtless circle pit whips the crowd into even more disorder. Watching the madness unfold from the comfort of the third balcony, crowd surfers are keeping security on their toes and girls are on shoulders showing their boobs to Gorgoroth. Inferno is well and truly warmed up now. Time for shots! 

Kim Holm Photo Courtesy of Uncle Allan Photography

Artist Kim Diaz Holm (Den Unge Herr Holm) is always busy front of stage, head banging away as he creates his incredible live ink art pieces of the bands, as they play. His art is so inspiring and the audience love seeing him in the zone. You can learn more about Kim’s art HERE

Meanwhile, something is brewing in the basement and it was too late for coffee. Hailing from France, Deathgrind madmen Benighted had their sights set on waking Inferno up and holy shit! Julien Truchan is an absolute menace on stage and his vocals are a total punch in the face! Although their songs are short-lived, their set isn’t and the songs just keep coming. Justin demands a hard mosh pit in the small John Dee room, he explains that this song is only 1 minute and 20 seconds long so he is sure we can last that long. They play the insanity that is Slut which calls for a back and forth of everyone screaming the word “SLUT” at each other. Benighted fans give it everything they’ve got, lucky I had finished my beer or it would’ve been swept up in the circle pit.

As we arrive early and stick like glue to the barrier of the main stage, out of the smoke we see a glistening forehead, which could only belong to Cronos, founding member, vocalist and bass player of tonights headline act, Venom. The drunken crowd close in and is mostly silent until screams and sounds of horror pierce our ears as they open with Witching Hour. Not even one chorus in and there are already tech issues, however they move on quickly and keep us with them. I consider myself to be a pretty big worshiper of Venom, but I was pumped to see them close enough to the stage to match Cronus’ grimacing facial expressions to his comedic ramblings between songs.

“We haven’t made a setlist for tonight, so we’re picking songs at random”, Cronos jokes, in his punchy English accent, “and we survived all this covid shit!”. I love watching guitarist Stuart ‘Rage’ Dixon perform, his on-stage antics and crazy eye contact always entertains. Danny ‘Dante’ Needham pounds the drums like a hound of Hell, twirling and throwing the drumsticks, he is giving us every trick in the book. They play through an impressive Venom backlog including Don’t Burn The Witch, Buried Alive and Countess Bathory which seemed to be the favourites for their first show back post-pandemic. The sound throughout was impeccable overall, considering Cronos’ in ear radio broke mid-set. “Norway killed the radio star”, He laughs.

Cronos of Venom Photo Courtesy of Terje Ottesen

Back for an encore after a (what felt like) very long version of Warhead, they pull out the big guns that Norway was waiting for. Black Metal gets Inferno up, this is what they want and everyone is screaming, this is what started it all some might say. Finally, to much applause and horns in the air, Venom say goodnight to us with In League With Satan, which the chorus of, could still be heard chanted while security ushered the mess out of the venue. 

“EVIL… In League With Sataaaan!”

We finished our night at Rock In bar, downing some craft beers and then back to the hotel to try and fall asleep ‘in’ the bed as opposed to ‘on’ it this time. 

See The Inferno Day Two Recap Video HERE

For All Things Inferno Metal Festival click HERE


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