Once again The Garage program was on already at noon for the festival’s last day, lines and all. First out were Finnish post-metal doomsters Crib45, then the lineup saw Esoteric and Winterfylleth, before a filled-to-the-brim Garage witnessed Blood Red Throne showcase true brutal Norwegian death metal, fronted by none other than festival organizer Yngve “Bolt” Christiansen himself. With seven full-length albums to their name, the only downside to the show was seemingly the bands too short set. Not that it was awfully short, it was just not long enough. But then again, people got a kickstart to their last day of the festival, ‘Arterial Lust’ and all.
Due to some unfortunate mix-up with the old- and new festival program, a lot of people weren’t aware that Sarke were the first band to step onto the mainstage this Saturday. So as Nocturno Culto walked on, no more than approximately two hundred people were in attendance. However that quickly changed as the band played through ‘The Drunken Priest’, ‘Condemned’, ‘Primitive Killing’, and their own ‘hit’, ‘Pessimist’. Nocturno Culto fronting the all-star band with his usual anti-frontman persona also through the Celtic Frost cover ‘Dethroned Emperor’, and fittingly through closer ‘Too Old, Too Cold’, a Darkthrone cover. Before going off stage, he calmly thanked people and wished them well “with drinking water or whatever they were doing”. Too old, too cold.
After Vallenfyre had obliterated the people showing up early at the Studio stage, the mainstage had some Polish classics on offer, in the shape of Decapitated. The band did as usual impress with both their technicality and their song material, although the fans still seem split on the band’s decision of later years to become a more modern groove metal oriented band. ‘Spheres Of Madness’ and ‘Day 69’ will forever be crowd pleasers though.
Back upstairs in Studio, the national treasure of Tsjuder, the black metal trio, were on stage and already aurally assaulting the packed room. The three piece delivers totally uncompromising black metal, devoid of anything other than pure darkness and sheer brutality, and the crowd seemed to enjoy their asses off. ‘The Daemon Throne’, ‘Helvete’, ‘Slakt’; from the looks of it they were all crowd pleasers.
Then the mainstage welcomed the veterans of Teutonic thrash metal, Destruction, who did as they always do, lay everything in ruins, also making up the thrash alibi for the Saturday, before Impaled Nazarene, the crazy Finns were on stage upstairs, once again producing long lines of people waiting to catch a glimpse of them. During their set however, just as the band started playing ‘Flaming sword of Satan’ from their latest album, some brilliant mind intentionally hit the fire alarm. All festival-goers and bands were suddenly forced into the cold Norwegian winter outside, as routine inspections of the venue were had.
Finntroll were on next, and must have been helped by standing half naked outside the venue, because they gave it all, and impressed the many folk metal fans in attendance. So-called troll ears and all.
To the ones who witnessed the next band, they were quite in agreement about this being one of the very festival highlights. Small stage, big stage presence. We’re talking about the mighty Asphyx, fronted by none other than living death metal legend Martin Van Druunen. The band were completely killing it right from the start. ‘MS Bismarck’, ‘The Last One On Earth’, ‘Deathammer’, ‘Death The Brutal Way’, and the insanely crushing ‘Scorbutics’, they all set the old school death metal agenda of the evening.
Back down the last headliner were on stage, and they were none other that Satyricon. This time around playing more than just the normal set, even introducing material from ‘Rebel Extravaganza’ back into the setlist in terms of ‘Filthgrinder’, that lyrically somewhat obnoxiously narcissistic song. The band as usual had all the professionality to tackle the expectations from the multinational audience present. ‘Mother North’ and ‘Du Som Hater Gud’ from Nemesis Divina making sure all foreigners got the authentic Norwegian black metal experience.
As the main venue emptied out, some people made their way upstairs to catch a rather seldom experienced show, Finnish technical death metal band Demilich. Not exactly a band known for their plentiful live performances. Though, the most impressive part of their set was really how their vocalist manages to make those insanely deep growls. Although, their set was indeed impressive in total too. Still, at the end the room seemed half empty. Maybe people finally got tired, maybe they went to that last afterparty, or maybe Blastfest actually finally out-kvlted them?
Then it was all at an end, but even as this edition of the festival ends, the first bands for the next edition are being booked. There are only great expectations to be had.
WORDS BY TRISKELION P.L.