The arrival of the Easter holidays meant that it was time to pack my bags and head to Oslo for this year’s sold-out edition of Inferno Metal Festival. This was the first year that the festival would be held in John Dee and Rockefeller over all four days. Although I missed the opportunity to check out other venues in Oslo, I did not miss frantically running across the city trying to squeeze in as many bands as possible on the first night.
Due to an unfortunate flight delay I missed the first couple of bands but thankfully arrived in time to see Naglfar. An impressive and lively set had the sweat dripping from singer Kristoffer “Wrath” Olivius as he delivered a fantastic performance. “The Darkest Road” was superb and “Black God Aftermath” was a nice surprise. Finishing with the fantastic “A Swarm of Plagues” their 45 minutes on stage went far too quickly.
Shining were added onto the bill after it was announced that Katatonia would not be playing. Initially Shining had some problems with their guitar sound but this was quickly resolved. Frontman Niklas Kvarforth prowled in his usual unnerving manner, occasionally slamming the mic stand into the stage.
Shining have just released their tenth album X – Varg utan flock, which sees elements of jazz and classical music interspersed with black metal. The set tonight took an almost prog like turn, acknowledged by Kvarforth’s comment ‘So much better than the black metal bands’. For me “Jag är din fiende” was the highlight of the set.
The smaller of the two venues, John Dee, was already filling up before Shining had finished in preparation for American black metal band UADA. Judging by the numbers in the room and those waiting to get in, they should have been in the larger Rockefeller. “Devoid of Light” received a fantastic response from the crowd and the material from the new album sounded great. Hopefully UADA will return to Inferno and play the bigger stage.
Legendary Swedish black metal band Dark Funeral would play a 25th year anniversary show at this year’s Inferno. Of course the band has been through various line-up changes since 1993, with guitarist Lord Ahriman being the only original member left in the band. A great varied set at this years Inferno, highlights being “The Arrival of Satan’s Empire” and “Nail Them to the Cross”.
One Tail, One Head were high on my list of bands to see at this year’s event and they did not disappoint. Once again John Dee was packed and an intense, high energy performance from singer Luctus, who was absolutely dripping in sweat, followed. Opening with “One Tail, One Head’, which was breathtaking, other stand out songs were “Worlds Open, Worlds Collide” and “Splendour of the Trident Tyger”. They don’t appear live very often so if you see them playing in your area and are a fan of black metal, check them out.
Wrapping up the first day were old school death metal band, Obituary. Their stripped back show was a stark contrast to the corpse paint and stage props of Dark Funeral who had went before them. But Obituary did not disappoint the fans in Rockefeller, many of whom had came to see them in particular. Vocalist John Tardy looks and sounds the same as he ever did. Highlights for me were “A Lesson in Vengeance” and of course “Slowly We Rot”. A perfect end to the first day at Inferno 2018.
Photos by Exposing Shadows Photography