Guitar World Invades Norway's 2010 Hole in the Sky Festival
Day Three, August 23: Premature Autopsy
The start of day three was marked by the first, of several, hangovers. It wouldn’t be “True Norwegian Black Metal” any other way, I suppose.
To combat my battle fatigue (and the wet, chilly weather), I scarfed down some breakfast at 7-11 and downed tons of "kaffe." I decided that I should just kill time in the hostel lounge, due to the less-than-favorable weather conditions, and head out to the Rock Merch shop when it opened at noon. While sitting around, I met an Australian named Justin. He was sporting an Autopsy hoodie from their performance at Germany’s Party.San Open Air a week before. We chatted for a while and made plans to meet later at Garage.
I then headed out to Rock Merch, which is kinda like Norway’s Hot Topic: the most popular store to purchase official band merchandise. They didn’t have anything too fancy, and with Norwegian prices, I was feeling a bit gun shy. However, I uncovered a pretty awesome Venom shirt and got a 50% discount. The reason for the discount was that the Hole in the Sky program acts as a coupon. Good info to know…
Hole in the Sky officially takes over
As soon as I dropped my stuff off at the hostel, it was off to Garage once again for one of my most anticipated days of the festival. I was finally going to get to see the resurrected Repugnant, Sweden’s ultimate death metal band. Also performing were London, England’s Sadistic Intent-worshippers Grave Miasma, Holland’s atmospheric-black metallers Urfaust and a double Greek assault from the fantastic dark death metal cult Dead Congregation and the legendary Rotting Christ.
At the Garage I met up with my buddy Henrik Palm of Sonic Ritual and In Solitude, and his friend Christoffer “138” Jonsson, ex-bassist of Sonic Ritual and DS-13. Trips are always better with awesome company and I couldn’t have gotten a better crew. Soon we linked up with the Kolbotn, Norway, gangs Obliteration and Nekromantheon, which turned into a serious hang marked by massive Hansa consumption.
Urfaust started off the night with their tortured black metal. The crowd response was good, despite the fact that Urfaust were the odd-band-out, as the rest of the bands were all death metal (aside from the now-mellow Rotting Christ). The young Grave Miasma came on next and, as great as they were, only set the mood for Repugnant: one of the highlights for me at Hole in the Sky. The band—founding vocalist/guitarist Mary Goore and newcomers Gottfrid Åhman of In Solitude and Invidious on bass, Adam Zaars of Enforcer and Tribulation on lead guitar and Emil Svensson of Degial and Graveless on drums—were on fire for the entire set and delivered cuts from Epitome of Darkness as well as early demo/EP tracks. Epic!
Grave Miasma, Photo by Christoffer Jonsson
As much as I love Dead Congregation (especially their Purifying Consecrated Ground EP), following Repugnant is a rough task and I couldn’t wrap my mind around anything else at that point. When Rotting Christ hit the stage, I only stayed for about 15 minutes before I went upstairs to the afterparty, where Primordial’s Alan Nemtheanga was DJ-ing. It was there that things got lost in a drunken haze…
Day Four, August 24: Hard N’ Heavy
Are you familiar with the classic Tankard song “The Morning After?” I am, and it was definitely one of the songs for this trip’s “soundtrack.”
Henrik, Christoffer and I were invited to Dark Essence Records’ listening session for upcoming releases from Vulture Industries, The Batallion (!) and Helheim, who also premiered their new music video for the track “Dualitet og Ulver.” It took place at a fancy music/theater hall 10 minutes from Garage, where we all met at 2PM.
Joining us was Gottfrid, who was killing time before he went back to Sweden later that day. He’s another interesting guy, and all-around nice dude. The four of us had some pretty killer conversations that ranged from Dave Mustaine, to listening to the Cro-Mags while on a wild acid trip, to [Agnostic Front’s] Vinnie Stigma and popular metal/music blog culture in Sweden. Christoffer is one hell of a storyteller.
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