Openers Nothgard (7/10) got the night off to a good start and you could really tell how happy they were to be back onstage – frontman Dom had been ill the past few nights, so the band had unfortunately wound up cancelling a few of the shows. You could tell he was struggling with his vocals at times, which did affect the performance a little, but the enthusiasm and effort was there and that’s one of the most important things – with everyone giving it their all, that was all you could ask for. In addition, it was great to see the new material from their excellent new album Age Of Pandora in a live environment, so hopefully they will be back over here soon.
Main support came from the True Norwegian Balkan Metal nutters TrollfesT (10/10), who were on top form throughout. It’s impossible not to have a good time at a TrollfesT show because they’re just an infectiously fun band that are out to have a laugh, and the music is incredible – what more could you want? From Dr. Leif Kjønnsfleis’ spinning hat with balloons on, to Bokn’s incredible dancing and movement about the stage and multiple members posing mid-song for photos, the atmosphere was absolutely electric.
In my previous review of them at Underworld, I bemoaned the lack of saxophone, but this time around it didn’t feel like there was anything missing because the violin more than made up for the lack of saxophone and also gave the songs a fresh new spin, helping to keep them fresh. One of the highlights of the set had to be Villanden, which was a most welcome inclusion as it didn’t feature in the performance last time round, and it was an exciting and energetic performance of the song.
Another great inclusion was Solskinnsmedisin, which basically consisted of one gigantic party onstage with all the members decked out in their beach party gear, and there was even some crowd participation at the end, with everyone singing I wanna go to the Cabana party back to the band! They then closed with Helvetes Hunden GARM, which naturally saw everyone barking along with them at the chorus. It was a faultless set from TrollfesT – this band just gets better and better.
It almost felt like a bit of a comedown when Equilibrium (8/10) took to the stage, thanks to the sheer madness and energy that TrollfesT maintained throughout their performance, but the crowd was behind them almost immediately and as Waldschrein got going, the room erupted into a massive pit that almost couldn’t be contained.
The band just looked like they were having a lot of fun onstage – in particular bassist Jen, who couldn’t stop smiling and laughing – and an early highlight of the set was an Uns’rer Flöten Klang. It was somehow even more majestic whilst perfomed in a live environment and it was difficult to stop yourself from dancing along to it as the song progressed.
There were a few weak points of the set, such as the positioning of slightly slower track Freiflug between Waldschrein and Uns’rer Flöten Klang because it killed the momentum somewhat, and Met lacked the power of its studio counterpart. However, it was a largely faultless set and as a whole it was a highly enjoyable night.