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Concert Reviews: TONS OF ROCK 2019

Posteado en Inicio el 5 d-03:00 July d-03:00 2019 por RISE!

Starting in 2014, Tons of Rock has quickly become one of the biggest and most important festivals in Norway with people from more than 50 other countries visiting as well. Also they always feature bands from different genres, so there’s something for everyone no matter your age and musical taste, and that’s one of the keys for their success. For its sixth edition, the organisers decided to move the event from Halden to Oslo, using a huge green area called Ekebergsletta located in the Ekeberg area, a few minutes away from the city centre.

 

OPENING CONCERT – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26

ACCEPT + KORK (Norwegian Radio Orchestra)

The opening concert was held on June 26th at the Oslo Opera House where the German legends Accept played together with the KORK (Norwegian Radio Orchestra) giving a magnificient concert. They played with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on one of the main stages at Wacken Open Air in 2017, but this was a different experience being indoors on a really special venue like the Opera House, better known as Operahuset or Operaen in Norwegian.

The orchestra (even the director) came out on stage in skeleton costumes and together with a keyboardist, a violinist and the band members they started the performance with some classical music pieces from Mussorgsky (“Night on the Bald Mountain”) and Beethoven (“Scherzo” and “Pathetique”) and then the vocalist Mark Tornillo appeared on stage to play “Princess of the Dawn”, the first Accept song of the evening.
We were able to listen to many of their anthems as well as some of their material from recent years with Tornillo on vocals such as “Stalingrad” for instance. Some more classical pieces were played by the band while the vocalist went off backstage; one of these was the amazing “In The Hall of the Mountain King” by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, which caused enthusiasm on the audience. Another highlight was “Metal Heart” with the crowd singing along its immortal riff. The encore consisted of “Teutonic Terror” from their “Blood of the Nations” album released in 2010, and the long awaited “Balls to the Wall”. Approximately ninety minutes of a fantastic opening concert on a Wednesday evening.

Outside it was raining but that didn’t stop “Detroit Rock City” from sounding while fireworks came out from the building’s roof to mark the beginning of Tons of Rock 2019. Luckily, the weather conditions changed the next day and it was warm and sunny the whole festival.

 

DAY 1 – THURSDAY, JUNE 27

When entering the festival area, you could see how everything was distributed accordingly, from the food and merch stalls to the amusement park for kids, everything was in the right place. There were also a special tent called Tons of Art where different artists had exhibitions, the camping and press area, and three stages: the main one and two others called Scream Stage and Vampire Stage, named after the works by Edvard Munch, the most popular painter from Norway and one of the most important painters in the world. In fact, there were discounts on the Munch Museum for those who showed the festival wristband at the entrance.
The positive aspect about the distribution of the stages is that you could go from one stage to the other in less than five minutes, so you wouldn’t miss any band unless they were playing at the same time.
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Concert Reviews: ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO at Herr Nilsen (Oslo, Norway)

Posteado en Inicio el 5 d-03:00 May d-03:00 2019 por RISE!

ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO at Herr Nilsen (Oslo, Norway)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

by Jorge Patacas

 

On March 27, the legendary Testament guitar player, Alex Skolnick, arrived in Oslo with his Alex Skolnick Trio project, which also features Nathan Peck on bass/double bass and Matt Zebroski on drums. The event took place at Herr Nilsen, a small Jazz club located in front of the court where Varg Vikernes was sentenced in 1994.

For those who are not familiar with Alex’s side project, it was formed in the beginning of the last decade after he developed his passion for Jazz studying and obtaining a degree at the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City.
As part of the tour for their fifth album “Conundrum” (2018), the band showed all their virtuosity in front of both Testament and Jazz music fans. In a relaxed atmosphere, while the audience had a drink on the cold Wednesday night, Alex and his band played a setlist that included everything. They started with two pure Jazz compositions, “Unbound” and “Culture Shock”, both featured in their latest effort with a very good response. Then it was time for a very different version of Aerosmith’s classic, “Dream On”, adapted to the style of the trio, and then set out to play Funk in a song dedicated to the late pop icon Prince. But Skolnick’s versatility when playing all these different styles would not end there, since next one was “Django Tango”, which is, as its name indicates, a tango dedicated to the historical Jazz musician, Django Reinhardt, a song that was included in his solo album, “Planetary Coalition”, released in 2014.
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Concert Reviews: MONSTER MAGNET at Parkteatret (Oslo, Norway)

Posteado en Inicio el 23 d-03:00 January d-03:00 2019 por RISE!

MONSTER MAGNET at Parkteatret (Oslo, Norway)

Opening act: PUPPY

Sunday, January 13, 2019

by Jorge Patacas

 

Almost twenty-one years have passed since the Monster Magnet breakthrough album “Powertrip” was released and their videos for “Space Lord” or “Powetrip” were in MTV’s rotation when it was actually a music channel. Times have changed a lot since the end of the 90’s, but the group hailing from New Jesey which has the vocalist/guitarist Dave Wyndorf as the remaining original member, has managed to be active for thirty years now releasing good material. “Mindfucker” is their tenth full-length album which was released by Napalm Records in 2018, so they’re currently promoting it. As part of their European tour, they arrived in Oslo on January 13th to play for a sold-out venue in the heart of Grünerløkka area.

The doors were opened at 19:10 and fifty minutes later, the warm-up act Puppy took the stage to play a 30-minute set. Don’t let yourself get fooled by the band’s name which may cast some doubts, they’re going to convince you with their music from the first minute. Puppy is a trio from London, England which was founded in 2015 and now they’re about to release their debut album “The Goat” via the well-known Finnish label Spinefarm Records. Their sound has a clearly 90’s vibe mixing Alternative Rock/Metal, Grunge and some Nu Metal influences with “Billy Corgan-ish” vocals. “Entombed” is one of these songs that could be considered a classic hit now if it would have been released twenty five years ago; it’s catchy, it has a very good guitar solo, and even the video looks like it was released two decades ago. But all of their songs are worth to listen to, so check out their debut album when it’s out!
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Concert Reviews: MYRKUR at John Dee (Oslo, Norway)

Posteado en Inicio el 21 d-03:00 December d-03:00 2018 por RISE!

MYRKUR at John Dee (Oslo, Norway)

Opening Act: JO QUAIL

Tuesday, November 4, 2018

by Jorge Patacas

 

Since the release of her first self-titled EP in 2014, Myrkur, the project of the Danish multi-instrumentist and actress Amalie Bruun, has been acclaimed and at the same time criticized with prejudice and without any serious foundation just for the fact that she included Black Metal parts in her music, because she didn’t play this kind of music before. Despite those detractors with unfounded prejudices, “M”, her debut album released by Relapse Records in 2015 had a lineup actually linked to Black Metal including Teloch of Mayhem on guitars and Øyvind Myrvoll of Nidingr on drums. The album was also produced by the great Kristoffer “Garm” Rygg of Ulver. It’s a fact that with each new album (she just released an EP called “Juniper”), Bruun makes clear that she has a lot of talent both on the songwriting and performance, covering a broad spectrum of sounds, which has Scandinavian folk roots that are perfectly combined with her incredible ethereal voice, the use of traditional instruments and atmospheric Black Metal passages. This results in a unique formula that has taken the metal scene by storm. As part of her European tour, she performed with her band on November 4th at John Dee venue in Oslo, Norway, and it was the first time I had the opportunity to see her live show, so the expectations were high.

As a side note, Sigurd Wongraven AKA Satyr (vocalist for Satyricon) showed up minutes before the doors were opened. He was going to attend the show, so we talked for a couple of minutes and he clearly remembered the only show that Satyricon played in Uruguay back in 2011.
The doors were finally opened at 7:00 pm, and one hour later, the British cellist Jo Quail appeared on stage as the opening act. She was there alone with her cello and some recorded tracks and managed to catch the attention of the audience that almost filled the venue. Quail has released three LPs, three EPs and a live DVD since she began her career in 2010. For this forty-minute performance, she chose four long songs, each of them having a previous introduction and explanation of what had inspire her at the time of writing them. Even though these are instrumental compositions, topics such as night or the power that water has over humanity are some of the inspirations of Quail at the time of writing her pieces which are hypnotic at times, while others have both quiet and loud passages, ensuring the applause and the good reception of the audience.
Just fifteen minutes after the end of her show, the lights went out and the musicians of Myrkur (which means “Darkness” in Icelandic, by the way), began to come out one by one on stage, including Jo Quail again on cello.
The setlist was split in two parts, starting with a purely folk acoustic set with five musicians on stage apart from the vocalist, who surprised us with a powerful voice, even with some acapella passages that left everyone astonished. “Bonden og Kragen”, from her last EP, “Jenta”, “Flickan”, “Ramund”, “House Carpenter” (first English song of the night) and “Himlen Blev Sort” were included on the first half of the set, which concluded with a Nyckelharpa (Swedish traditional string instrument) solo by Myrkur herself.
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Concert Reviews: UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS at Rockefeller Music Hall (Oslo, Norway)

Posteado en Inicio el 11 d-03:00 December d-03:00 2018 por RISE!

UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS at Rockefeller Music Hall (Oslo, Norway)

Opening Act: L.A. WITCH

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

by Jorge Patacas

 

Seven years have passed since I discovered the British band Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats with their second album “Blood Lust”, released via Rise Above Records, owned by Lee Dorrian (Cathedral, ex Napalm Death), as well as the rest of their five-album discography. It’s shocking to see the amount of bands that have emerged in this decade playing Occult Rock in the style of the late 60’s and 70’s bands, each of them taking that sound to the current era and adding its own identity, that’s how we can clearly differentiate one from the other. The most obvious example is the successful Swedish band Ghost, but bands like Kadavar, Jex Thoth, Lucifer, Royal Thunder, Windhand or Witch Mountain are other exponents who have been inspired depending on the case in Psychedelic Rock, Progressive, Blues and most notably in the eternal Black Sabbath riffs. Even pioneers of Occult Rock like Coven, formed in the second half of the 60’s, with their legendary vocalist Jinx Dawson as frontwoman, have played again and even released new material on the current decade. This movement has brought excellent bands, the aforementioned are just some ofthem, but one that has caught my attention since the first time I’ve heard of them was Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. These guys from Cambridge who just released their fifth album “Wasteland”, have a very unique sound where psychedelia mixes with the doom riffs from Sabbath school and even with Stoner passages. They’re also inspired by the same period when it comes to the visuals, not only on their musicians aesthetics, but also in their music videos, posters and merchandising. It’s a band that in some way captures the mysticism that surrounded many groups of the time and bring it to this digital era, and that draws the attention of those who in part miss that musical period. Fate has led me to be residing in the Scandinavian region today, specifically in Norway, where the Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats would be present, being the first time that I personally was able to see their show.

Outside the temperature was below zero despite being autumn in the Nordic country, but once inside the climate changed radically.
We are talking about the Rockefeller Music Hall, one of the most popular in Norway in terms of gigs, which capacity for 1350 people.
As its name suggests, L.A. Witch, comes from Los Angeles, California, and they were the band who was responsible for opening the night. It’s a female trio formed in 2011 with a sound that captures and transports the listeners to analogical periods, where garage rock and indie are clearly present with a hint of psychedelia around each of the compositions. The trio formed by Sade Sanchez on guitar and vocals, Irita Pai on bass and Ellie English on drums, released their self-titled debut album in 2017 and this tour is exposing them to new audiences. We’ll see what will be the result of this great opportunity for them.
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