Sep 032019
 

 

(Our Atlanta-based contributor Tør was fortunate to attend the 2019 edition of the Beyond the Gates festival in Bergen, Norway (headlined by Watain, Mayhem, Emperor, and Abbath), which took place on August 21-24, and he provides the following thoughts about the experience, and a treasure-trove of his own wonderful photos.)

Beyond The Gates VIII has just wrapped up and I am back in my Airbnb room — the cool Bergen breeze is coming in through the open window. It has been one hell of a festival with all three days providing quality entertainment for all who were lucky to witness it. I have lots of things to say about the festival itself, the city of Bergen, the country of Norway, and the friends I met along the way: things about why Norway is one of the happiest countries in the world, how Bergen is one of the liveliest cities I have visited, and why metal has become such an international phenomenon. However, those are heavy subjects for my tired soul and best left for another time. For now, a brief overview of the last three days will suffice. Continue reading »

Jul 092019
 

 

On August 21-24, 2019, the eighth edition of the Beyond the Gates festival will take place in Bergen, Norway, featuring a remarkable line-up of bands, headlined by Watain, Mayhem, Emperor, and Abbath. Our Atlanta-based contributor Tør was able to get the attention of BTG founder and principal organizer Torgrim Øyre, to discuss not only the upcoming event but also its history, and the predecessor Bergen festival Hole in the Sky. Our thanks to both of them for this interview.

 

Tell us a little bit about the history of Hole In The Sky/Beyond The Gates and how the idea for them came about.

Hole in the Sky was founded as a tribute to our late friend Erik «Grim» Brødreskift. He was a prominent figure in the metal scene in Bergen. Erik played with bands like Immortal, Gorgoroth, and Borknagar. Initially it was intended to be a one-off where friends from Bergen were paying their respects to their lost friend. The line-up was based on Bergen bands only. After the first festival, people kept saying that we should make it a tradition as there literally were no underground festivals in Norway at all at that point. This was pre-Inferno too. The festival quickly took on a life on its own. Slowly growing from the 300-cap venue Garage and moving into USF Verftet a few years later. It was an intense time. Not a lot of metal bands had played these shores before, so everything felt new and exciting. Everyone involved had very high standards for Hole in the Sky and after 12 years, we came to a point were we felt that we had done everything we could within that framework, so in order not to repeat ourselves and possibly compromise the quality of the festival, we felt that it was a good thing to put the fork in the road and end on a high note. Continue reading »

Jun 122019
 

 

(Our Atlanta-based contributor Tør was in the audience at The Loft on June 6th when the Devastation on the Nation Tour made its stop in Atlanta, and he provides these impressions, with his own excellent photos following the text.)

I have been looking forward to this night for months. The Devastation On The Nation Tour is in full swing, and co-headliners Dark Funeral and Belphegor are being supported by a host of bands including legends Incantation, HATE, Vale of Pnath, Nightmarer, and Malformity.

I make it to The Loft and have to walk up the stairs past some teeny-bopper event going on in the first-floor lounge area. Yes, I am a metal snob. I walk in the middle of HATE’s set, and Sinner’s vocals hit me like a brick. After a short setup, death metal legends Incantation take over the stage. With every riff and groove, I’m reminded of why this band has such a cult following. Incantation embody American death metal in the most imaginative way possible and I have a total blast watching their set. Continue reading »

May 172019
 

 

(Our Atlanta-Based contributor Tør attended the performance of Meshuggah and The Black Dahlia Murder on May 6th at Buckhead Theater, and provided us with these impressions and many of his photos of the performances, most of which follow the text below.)

It is a rather peculiar scene: a bunch of metal fans lined up on the sidewalk of one the trendiest parts of the city waiting for Meshuggah and The Black Dahlia Murder to perform. The Buckhead Theater is a wonderful venue for all kinds of live music and I am glad I can finally catch a show there for the first time after six years of living in Atlanta. Continue reading »

Apr 182019
 

 

(On April 11th our Atlanta-based contributor Tør returned to The Masquerade venue to take in Finnish-heavy performances by Children of Bodom, Swallow the Sun, Wolfheart, and local openers Summoner’s Circle. He sent us this report, along with a large batch of his own excellent photos from the show, most of which appear after the review.)

The traffic makes me want to ditch my car in the middle of I-75 and move to Europe. I get to The Masquerade customarily late but manage to catch a bit of the openers, Summoner’s Circle.

On their Facebook page the Knoxville outfit describe themselves as “a six-piece theatrical metal band that blends elements of doom, death, black and progressive metal into what they refer to as simply Epic Metal”. While genre-blending is not my cup of tea, I am pleasantly surprised by the solid display on stage. These guys are serious about what they do and the costumes and imagery match the grandiose sound they produce. Check out their first full-length, Tome, if you haven’t already done so. Continue reading »

Apr 022019
 

 

(On March 27th our Atlanta-based contributor Tør made his way to The Masquerade venue to take in performances by Aenimus, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Hypocrisy as part of their ongoing national tour. He sent us this report, along with a large batch of his own excellent photos from the show. For a full list of remaining dates on the tour, go here.)

I walk in late and it’s already happening. Openers Aenimus have just taken the stage and are blazing through their set. The crowd is into it: with every riff, the front-row crowd inches closer to the stage monitors. I stand on the side and enjoy the gig -— I like what I’m hearing. The metalcore-tinged proggy riffs take me to a place I’ve been to before but can’t quite recall. I’ve liked what I’ve heard of the new album, Dreamcatcher (Nuclear Blast) so far, and the band doesn’t disappoint live. Despite the solid start to the night, nothing prepares me for what is to come soon. Continue reading »

Mar 182019
 

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(The following review of the DECIBEL Magazine Tour‘s stop in Atlanta last week was written by Tør, a self-professed metalhead, data nerd, and ex-academic, who first appeared at our site with a post based on his Ph.D. dissertation on the spread of metal across national  boundaries. All the wonderful photos in this review were also made by Tør.)

The night got off to a good start: I was able to dodge the dreaded Atlanta traffic relatively easily on my way to catch Morbid Angel, Immolation, Necrot, and Blood Incantation on the Decibel Magazine Tour 2019.

I arrived at The Masquerade just in time to witness a solid mid-week crowd greeting Denver’s Blood Incantation with a warm Southern welcome. The band have been praised as one of the most promising acts in modern death metal and it’s easy to see why: They masterfully sailed through a thirty-minute opening slot by taking the crowd on a journey of progressive and cerebral death metal complete with slow enchanted passages and downright hard-hitting choruses. The technical ability and overall performance on display were quite astounding and solidified their place as one of the most innovative newer death metal acts in my mind. Continue reading »

Feb 262019
 

 

(The following article was written by Tør, a self-professed metalhead, data nerd, and ex-academic, who is also a contributing writer and photographer for a number of online metal publications. The article, and the accompanying interactive maps, are based on his work on a Ph.D. doctoral dissertation.)

Metal historians and researchers often explain the proliferation of metal music in terms of early tape-trading and local scene formation. The story is a familiar one: a small group of young metalheads get together and listen to a few tapes, trade tapes with other metalheads, and get inspired to make their own music. Indeed, the early spread of metal music and culture occurred in large part due to the human networks formed by individuals in local scenes. However, there is an emerging debate about the way in which metal has spread across the globe and what that process entails in the digital age. Continue reading »