With Norwegian music enjoying a pinnacle in both creativity and renown it is not surprising that some of the big European festivals are issuing line-ups with strong Norwegian presence.
Most significant in this respect is perhaps the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany –the biggest metal festival in the world- which this year will be headlined, or co-headlined at least, by three Norwegian bands: Dimmu Borgir, Immortal and Enslaved. The former just entered the billboard 200 album list on a remarkable 43rd place with their recently released album “In Sorte Diaboli”. And this unprecedented feat for a black metal Band speaks for itself of course. Dimmu is simply the biggest band in black metal and the only superstars of the genre. At Wacken they will surely be received as the dark overlords they indeed are.
Dimmu Borgir’s concert is scheduled for august 2nd, at 1400 hours.
Tracks on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/dimmuborgir
Immortal is another Norwegian band to count amongst the most influential at the dark end of the metallic scale of hues. When they decided to disband in 2003 it was to the grim disbelief of metal fans around the world, for such was Immortal’s standing. And this position they have found anew after the band resurrected itself. Front-man Abbath has later related that disbanding was never meant to be a permanent decision, only one to secure the true peace of mind they were after in order to find anew the deep and personal sources of their music. After four years in hiatus the trio is now back, refreshed by a delve into the secret pool of darkness close to their hometown of Bergen. Renowned as an explosive live act many a Wacken metal head can look forward to a special occasion.
Immortal are scheduled to perform on August 2nd, 1700 hours.
Immortal on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/immortalofficial
The third Norwegian headlining act is Enslaved who are presently about to embark on the European leg of their RUUN World tour II. With the award-winning and celebrated album RUUN (2006) to present, Wacken’s “open air” will undergo a thermodynamical change, at least experientially, as the frost of Enslaved is released.
Time of concert: TBA
Listen to Enslaved at: http://www.myspace.com/enslavedmusic
In addition to these fiends of light and Christianity, Norway will also be presented by the more disparate band Animal Alpha, a band that has taken metal to different extremities. AA have blown unwitting audiences away with their supreme potency and unpredictability, merging barbed-wire metalisms with bizarre, rococo stage appearances, and, most of all, a female vocalist who single-handily gives voice to the entire spectrum of human emotion, from bedevilled craze to eerie lullaby.
Animal Alpha: August 2nd, time TBA
AA on myspace: http://www.myspace.com/animalalpha
The other major European summer festival with the strongest Norwegian presence is Roskilde in Denmark. This is not something new, for in the spirit of Scandinavian fraternity, Roskilde always plays host to many Norwegian bands; often of the new and most exiting kind. But this year the Norwegian line-up appears more stirring than ever before. The spearhead is the zeitgeisty ensemble 120 Days, a band manifestly nearing the sun, to judge by their international reception. Their trance-inducing electro-rock is currently the thing to tune into on both sides of the Atlantic.
120 Days: July 5th, 20.00
The Lionheart Brothers is the newest find, and their recently released debut album “Dizzy Kiss” has been hailed as a magnificent and magical space-pop venture.
The Lionheart Brothers: July 8th, 20.00
A band to have already won a European following is The whitest boy alive, led by Erlend Øye (of Kings of Convenience fame). Their feather-weight analogue electro is like a bike ride down a gentle slope; a feeling of suave, softly throbbing presence.
The whitest boy alive: July 7th, 20.00
Among the veterans must be counted Bigbang and Thomas Dybdahl. The former have been in the game of sunburst rock for many years, but their latest album “Too Much Yang” still proved something of a victory. It is an album nearing perfection within their specific genre; strong melodies, superb instrumental execution and a distinctly truthful feel.
Thomas Dybdahl’s latest album Science (2006) was his first issue after the completion of the already classic “October Trilogy”. Sleep-drugged and soulful, he invokes the emotions of summer epiphanies gone, or to come.
Thomas Dybdahl: TBA