Report: “Hole in the Sky 2006” - Morbid Tales from the City of Rain
Photo: Grizlas. For more photos look here>>
This is a report of the festival “Hole in the Sky 2006″ which took place in Bergen, Norway on August 23-26. The concerts of August 25 and 26 are described in the report.
It’s becoming an annual tradition to visit Bergen on the last weekend of August. And it is not the fish market or wooden houses which attract me there. Similar things can be found in other cities too. The “Hole in the Sky” festival being held at this time is famous for good bands and special atmosphere, it rallies metal fans from different places to this Norwegian city.
After a long bus trip I finally reached this place surrounded by seven mountains. Surprisingly it wasn’t raining here! The legendary “Garage” pub is quite close to the station so a thought about a glass of beer leads me there. While reading the local newspapers I got to know that the film producer Stuart Pollock was visiting Bergen on festival days with plans to shoot a movie here based on the book “Lords of Chaos”, making Greven the main hero in this story. Smells a bit Hollywood though…
At six p.m. I found a building named “United sardine factories” and ready for the Friday’s concert. Everything started precisely and GRIMFIST were already on stage. I still have sentiments for their first album, but the outfit of vocalist is too hardcore now. All these dreads and shorts have nothing to do with metal, in my opinion. Anyway, they created much energy with their music, making a good start for the evening called “Blessed form Below”.
WITCHCRAFT from Sweden took everyone back to the 70-ies. This was further from metal though their music contained elements from different styles. Nice and “light” show which made people glad and someone from the crowd nominated them as the best band of Sweden.
GOJIRA were recommended as the strongest French band so I was keen to see them live. No doubt that they are very technical musicians. However, some link was missing in their performance. Everything seemed to be divided into separate parts to make their energy grow into the real demolition force.
One must mention that ATHEIST t-shirts sold well that evening. The reunion of this band has lightened the sparks in the eyes of many fans. How they look on stage could cause long discussions even though they sounded amazing. The only obstacle was the sauna-like heat at the location so finally I needed to seek the shelter at the press bar for a glass of cold beer.
After such technical music passages the invasion of German thrash metal attack was just on time. The Butcher strikes back! Of course we are talking about DESTRUCTION here. The crowd seemed to be exited from the energy of this band and Schmier called fans for a moshpit. Suddenly, a security guy jumped into the crowd and started to calm down everyone. What made him react in such a way was a big question for me. Perhaps he was envious? When DESTRUCTION started to play “Bestial Invasion”, Grutle form ENSLAVED decided to help Schmier with vocal parts and I must say he succeeded.
The last band on Friday night was SATYRICON promising surprises to the fans. However, they probably forgot their promises and only “Supersonic Journey” brought some fresh colours to their show. In spite of that “Mother North” was a good conclusion for that night.
Saturday evening started with melodies of high quality from KEEP OF KALESSIN and later on local doom legend SAGH. I found that they sounded more like stone rock than doom, but I can be wrong.
The city of Bergen was a start for the plague named Black Death in the middle ages in Norway. It started in 1349. And this date was not forgotten that night either. A big horned steal helmet appeared on the stage accompanied with the fire show of Ravn. All this created an atmosphere more typical for the old school Black Metal. Unfortunately, in the middle of their performance, the electricity on stage went off suddenly, which caused quite a long break.
The great expectations that night were focused on the new band of Abbath from IMMORTAL, named “I”. There are only a few who can be so good on the stage as this man. It seemed that the old spirit of BATHORY was back and there is no doubt that their album “Between Two Worlds” will blast a storm.
After a while MY DYING BRIDE entered the stage playing both new and old material, leaving smiles of amazement on the faces of their fans. It was so dark and so intellectual too!
And finally here are the creators of Morbid Tales, the band which already has become a legend – CELTIC FROST. It took a long time before they started to play because of the sound check, which seemed to be endless. The crowd started shouting “uhh!” and there they were with “Procreation of the Wicked”. What surprised me a bit was that Tom Warrior wore a thick shirt and a kind of wool hat on stage, in such a heat! I guess he couldn’t shake his frosty feeling. The tales went on with “Dethroned Emperor” and “Into the Crypts of Reys” but somehow in a slower tempo. Later on “Ain Elohim” and their new material followed but I felt like I’ve gotten enough of everything.
Leaving the USF building through the dark streets of Bergen I was thinking that the annual tradition of visiting this city at the end of August must not to be broken. So don’t break the oath!