Today the music conference was to see black metal legend Ihsahn host a guitar clinic at the official hotel. There was already a queue forming with people eager to listen to what Ihsahn had to say about song writing, playing guitar and his equipment. Even as a non-musician I found this an extremely interesting way to spend the afternoon. Ihsahn welcomed questions from the audience and was warm, friendly and personable as he talked about different aspects of his time with Emperor and his solo project.
Every year there is also a heavy metal auction of various items of interest held in the hotel. This year we saw items such as Mayhem Deathcrush first pic disc from 1998, Satyricon “Pesten 1996” single and Burzum Aske original first press CD from Deathlike Silence Productions along with many others. A definite interest to any collector.
There was an atmospheric start to the evening in John Dee with black metal band Necronautical’s candle lit stage. First song “Strom” lasted over 10 minutes but held the crowd’s interest throughout. The set contained another four songs from the latest album The Endurance at Night. A promising UK black metal band, I look forward to seeing them again.
Norwegian band Krakow were up next on Rockefeller stage and despite being unfamiliar with their material I was completed blown away by their performance. They combined stoner metal groove with periods of extremity to create a fantastic set. The last song in particular was mind-blowing.
I am sure everyone knows by now but UK band Memoriam were founded after the death of Bolt Thrower drummer Martin Kearns. So despite the band only having been around for 2 years they are veterans of the death metal scene. Vocalist Karl Willetts looks like he is having the time of his life on stage. “Soulless Parasite” and “Reduced to Zero” were stand-out tracks along with Karl’s touching tribute to his mother, who sadly has dementia, in “Nothing Remains”. A masterclass in death metal.
The solo material from Ihsahn is very different from Emperor but is also varied between each album. Yet the way the set flows is perfect. Ihshan is a amazing guitarist but credit but also go out to the rest of the band who were all equally accomplished musicians. The highlights for me were the upbeat “Until I Too Dissolve” and contrasting dreamy melancholic “Pulse”. A saxophonist joined the band for the last two tracks “A Grave Inversed” and “The Grave”. So far Ihsahn had provided two of the finest shows at this years Inferno.
Tonight would be the last date on the second leg of the Deep Calleth Upon the Deep European tour and my eighth time seeing Satyricon live. Tonight was something special, possibly the best I have seen them. Strong and confident after being on tour over the past few weeks they did not miss a beat. They must have played for two hours – how drummer Frost manages this I will never know!
The set list was also fantastic, combining the new material such as “Deep Calleth Upon Deep” and my personal favourite “Black Wings and Withering Gloom” with songs as old as “Walk the Path of Sorrow”. The traditional sing-a-long for “Mother North” saw the band leave the stage briefly before returning and completing blowing everyone away with “The Pentagram Burns” and “Fuel For Hatred”. By the time they play final song “K.I.N.G” it seems like everyone is singing along or part of the mosh pit. As they stand for their final bow Satyr appears proud as he states “We made this into a concert, not a social media gathering”. He deserves to be proud. Even I could not have predicted how amazing Satyricon were going to be tonight.
Photos by Exposing Shadows Photography