29.11.2004

 

HOLE IN THE SKY FESTIVAL 2004 

first part:  second day of the festival

 

26 August 2004 -  in Bergen - NORWAY

 


 report  by Haavard Holm 

 

INTRO 

MANIFEST

SYRACH

CHTON

KEEP OF KALESSIN

ZYKLON

 

INTRO  

 

Just when the Summer festivals seems to come to an end around in Europe, we have here in Norway

a great little festival the very last weekend every August called Hole In the Sky.

Year after year they have impressed with getting a interesting line-up of both local and foreign bands,

this years headliners being Kreator and Danzig which again was a good way to top the last years

festival.

For me this was the first time I found the opportunity to travel to the very nice city of Bergen on the

western coast of Norway, a city where you have all opportunities to combine a great festival with

daytime events like taking a walk in the Norwegian mountains, fishing or just getting absurdly pissed

before the evenings festival. Well, enough of that, here is the first part (of three) from the festivals first

day for me, Thursday 26th of August...

This was really the 2nd day of the HOLE IN THE SKY Festival 2004, and a report from the first day you'll never

have from me, as I thought that day was a bit so-so on the programme, even though bands as Red Harvest and

Atrox were listed. Still it was not enough to drag me down to the rainy westcoast-capital of Norway, so

then my choice to arrive in Bergen on the 2nd day seemed quite perfect. A bunch of allright bands that evening,

and the event taking place at the infamous "Garage" as a warm-up to the main event on Friday and Saturday when

the whole festival was taken to a much larger venue. The "Garage" venue suited very well this evening, it's small and intimate, and no band was too small or too big for the event, in other words the way it should be for a successfull night, although the quality on the bands was a bit up and down along the evening.

 

MANIFEST

These boys have played very frequently around in Norway these last years, and especially as they come from the same place as I, Trondheim, I have had the chance to see them many times already.

But it has to be said that I can't stand rockstars who wants to appear tougher than the train on stage, and with the

Manifest vocalist he really had a sad impact on stage. To behave as a monkey is one thing, but reaching new lows

when you ask the audience for their menstruation pads and other humiliating ramblings in between the songs.

Luckily it was just their vocalist taking it to that extreme, the others played well and managed to create some sort

of life on stage. As the band has been able to play a lot of gigs they have also got the routine  as a live act, and

seemingly is also more and more professional. The problem is their songs which are at the best half-done, with a

part here and there that could suit its purpose, but still with a lack of a complete feeling and more just like a clone

of Meshuggah and Sepultura, just terribly much more boring. 

GRADING:            5 / 10

 

SYRACH

A local band from Bergen, Syrach, has been already playing for many years, their previous album was out in 1996

and they are still working on getting a new one out... The band doesn't have a whole lot of routine as a live act yet,

but this evening it didn't really show, as the band did a good figure on stage. The bands problem is more that they

do not seem to know where they are heading with their music. What in the basic sense is all around the slow forms

of Doom Metal is somehow distorted when the band suddenly jumps over genres far too often to really give the listener a chance to understand their music. A combination of Doom and Viking-Metal is not very lucrative for most metalheads , I would think, especially not when the combinations are performed in such a elementary way that it sounds primitive at its best.

A part of the set still worked out okey, and a little more variation was good when the vocalist of

Octavia (all female band, now signed with Candlelight) did a contribution on their last track this evening,

and made me at least conclude that this was a ok gig. 

GRADING:            5 / 10

 

 

 

 

CHTON

Sorry boys, after seeing this band the week before at a local arrangement the disappointment was huge.

Also these boys are from Trondheim, and perform a very brutal and relentless sort of Death Metal, maybe a bit

influenced by bands as Autopsy and Deicide. But here they really did not have a good performance, mostly due

to be the victim of a sound which was way too poor. During the first 3-4 songs only one of their two guitars had a sound at all, and all the punch was gone. It was a pain to see a band just as confused as the audience to what was going on, and a sound engineer who refused to admit there was anything wrong.

The sound improved a bit towards the end of their set, but it was far too late to make their appearance at this

years festival a very memorable one. Sad, as the band can make a good figure on stage, but they desperately need

their sound to also work out. 

GRADING:            4 / 10

 

 

 

 

KEEP OF KALESSIN

It's quite a tough ride for the drummer of Keep of Kalessin, as he also actually play in Chton. So he did two gigs in

a row, and while Chton is fast enough on it's own, that must just have been a warm-up for Keep of Kalessin as this

is high-speed Black Metal all the way. And this was for many the highlight of the evening, as although there was

quite a crowd before this evening, suddenly the venue was totally packed and it was impossible to reach the front

without fighting for your spot.

Unfortunately also in the set of Keep of Kalessin I have the feeling something is lacking, maybe it is partly the sound I feel is too thin and weak with only one guitar, or just that I do not always think the vocals of Attila Csihar is as charming as everyone else wants them to be. The most impressive to me is the tornado on drums, which just goes on and on and on without a break.

Towards the end it improves a bit with songs as "Obliterator" and "Agnen", but still I had expected a bit more from

Keep of Kalessin as well... 

GRADING:            6 / 10

 

 

 

ZYKLON

In the end there was absolutely no doubt who tonights most memorable act would be, Zyklon blew everyone else

off stage with their high-octane set of pure Death Metal. From the first chords it was proved that Zyklon is at least

a division above any other band tonight, and this unstoppable machine both had the crown and sound on their side

to enhance their appearance even more.

The bands tightness and experience proved to be a winner, and when the sound even allowed the guitarsolos to come out perfect, then it was really awesome to witness this band.

While variating around their two albums "World of Worms" and "Aeon", things especially picked up when the band

did the titletrack from the latter one, and I can not imagine anyone going home unhappy after the show.

I would even dare to say that Zyklon live is a much more comfortable experience than on their albums, and that really showed this Thursday in Bergen...

GRADING:            8 / 10

 

to be continued

Haavard Holm    

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