8/31/13

Past lives pt 3

Well well well, I feel like it's time to return to View from a Hole again. I recently came back to Finland from my one year exchange period in Norway. That year was musically very mind-opening, and both my taste in and knowledge about music have expanded. I was quite active in terms of going to  live shows, which I'm very, very happy about. Changing from going to concerts maybe once in two years to seeing shows more than monthly was a big, welcomed change. Here is a list of the shows I saw during the past year in Tromsø (I'm sure I forgot something) :

7.9.2012 Sjukdom, Skaur
22.9.2012 Ulver & Tromsø Chamber Orchestra
28.9.2012 Endolith, Pushing Device, Itchinside
29.11.2012 Endolith, Sjukdom, Blood Red Throne
19.1.2013 Next Life, Reptile Master
23.2.2013 Skada Vara
1.3.2013 Dienamic, Scornful
16.3.2013 Rammsund
22.3.2013 Ondt Blod, Blood Command
23.3.2013 Endolith, Haterial
19.4.2013 Dominic, Jack Dalton
30.4.2013 Bislaget, Dread Men Walking, Skada Vara
3.5.2013 Ondt Blod, Die a Legend
31.5.2013 The Wolves, Die a Legend, 666, Nikkeby Lufthavn, The Carmelitz
19.7.2013 Bukta Festival: Kvelertak, The Hives, Witchcraft, The Good the Bad & the Zugly
26.7.2013 Adjentist, Changeling

...and sometime in the spring there was an indie rock show with Blood Forest Family and another band whose name I've forgotten.

Most of these names won't probably say anything to you, unless you are from Tromsø/Northern Norway. So yes, mostly smaller local bands, but also some bigger stars. All Norwegian, except The Hives and Witchcraft from dear old Sweden, and BEHOLD, Haterial from Finland. Mostly metal, but also some hardcore, indie rock, and even reggae and folk. I also went to a few more classical concerts, which I didn't list here because I don't have much to say about them. Except that I should mention my love for marching bands at some point. Hmm.

The best ones from this patch have been Skaur, Sjukdom, Ulver, Blood Red Throne, Skada Vara, Rammsund, Die a Legend, Endolith, Reptile Master, Next Life, and of course the four bands I saw during Bukta. I will try to write a separate post about them.

I've shared my thoughts of some of these concerts here before and probably promised to write more, but time flies and thoughts fade. I'll take my time now to write a few words of a few selected shows and bands.

*****

In total I saw Endolith three times, and they are one of the most promising metal bands in Tromsø - at least from the bands I know. They play a unique type of industrial, progressive, PHILOSOPHICAL metal. I can't help but get connotations to Meshuggah, but not in a bad sense. The first two shows I saw, the band consisted of two guys, the singer/guitarist and the drummer, but the third time around they had a new singer. I must say I was very fond of the guitarist's vocals before. He has a good range both in clean and raw vocals, but I guess he wanted to focus more on guitars or something. Their show in March was the first one with the new singer, so you couldn't expect perfection. His style was VERY hardcore. He had an admirable rage and energy on stage and he's definitely a great performer, but was a bit too brutal in terms of vocals. Probably the venue's sound output and my position in the audience had something to do with it too. Actually, both venues where I saw Endolith (Bastard Bar twice and Roadhouse once) were not perfect for their sound, which would require a cleaner output. Or maybe it's not the venue but the mixing. Whatevs, I don't know. Here, listen to Endolith:



*****

Blood Command is a nationally popular rock band in Norway. Quite poppy, but they label themselves as hardcore/deathpop/rock/punk. Deathpop? ...Personally I sensed no death in this band, but ok. In the tiny Bastard Bar their show reached semi-violent levels as the band was literally facing the audience, so that was good, and also, the strenght and cute screaming brutality of the singer girl was very inspiring. I was able to keep my interest up for this band for about two weeks afterwards, then I got bored. Too many easy melodies that began to annoy me soon - but if I ever get a chance to see them live again, I will.



*****

The hardcore scene in Tromsø is nice for such a small northern city. Die A Legend is one of the leaders in this league, with their brutal yet original hardcore. Ondt Blod is kind of like their younger, more melodic little brother. Ondt Blod played their first show warming up for Blood Command, and I loved them - saw them a second time later and also enjoyed myself. But back to Die A Legend. I can't help but think how awesome it would be to slip in some fast blastbeats.. What can I say, metalheads will metal. (...Wut?) And also.. One of the guys in Die A Legend plays in Reptile Master, which I wrote about here. They blew my mind in January '13. Unfortunately Reptile Master didn't play any other live shows before I left, which made me sad. But there is still time, and Tromsø is not too far away.. I will find Reptile Master again! (Or if I win in the lottery, I will personally pay them to play in Finland!)

Ooh I got sidetracked. But check out Die A Legend:


*****

Younger folks seem to be interested in playing more hip/modern/trendy music. Tromsø is full of people I'd label as hipsters - not in any sort of negative way though, but it's a culture I can't really relate to. Mostly because these people like to listen to melodic yet boring indie rock. Sometimes with a bit of pseudo hardcore thrown in there. This kind of music for me is... not very appealing, mostly because I don't find any soul in that kind of music. It's just a matter of taste, again. For me the most boring concert I saw during this year was a 2-band show with Blood Forest Family and another band who I can't even remember. Ok, there's almost always something good in live rock music, if nothing else, you can always go stand next to the speakers and try to make your ears bleed, although even this is not always possible if the music is very gay soft. You can also try to admire the musicians enjoying themselves on stage and watch how they play and how their facial expressions change with every chord they play. Or you can drink beer.
So yes, this indie night made me almost fall asleep, but at least it strenghtened my opinions about what I like and what I don't like in music. To borrow an expression from Finnish: I don't like tit slapping music.

******

With some hardcore elements thrown into indie rock, it's not as bad. These kind of bands are abundant in the rock music scene today. Some of them are better than others - for me, the more hardcore, the better. At least Jack Dalton, Dominic and Changeling fall into this category of the bands I saw. Perfectly enjoyable live, but I probably wouldn't find long term enjoyment of them. Here's Jack Dalton:



*****

Metalcore on the other hand wasn't as abundant as probably in bigger cities. Dienamic had some metalcore elements in their metal, but Adjentist was the only band I'd label more into the metalcore category (even though they seem to prefer to call themselves progressive metal).  They were fun to watch live. Young energetic guys and talented guitarists. Not what I would choose to listen on record but cool live shows anyway.


****

That's about it for now, Bukta and Kuopio RockCock stuff coming up later!

9 comments:

  1. Good article young padawan...keep spreading the propaganda, and come up to Iceland one of these days !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! But.. YOUNG padawan? Dude I'm older than you :P

      Delete
  2. What I wanna say is that your writing is young compared to mine, who´s published in such fancy and renowned papers such as Utropia, Utropia or Utropia (Ho shit, they also published your stuff too, can't make that argument...)

    Anyway, you're on the right track, keep up the good work.

    Btw: got my gifty gift ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I got your point Mr. Professional Journalist ;)
      Got your gift too, tusen takk! You know what I like. Btw you should send me your current address (via e-mail).

      Delete
  3. Well, I am not even sure if I have your email so I will just write everything here:

    The Master of Kosmos
    Laugavegur 134
    101 Reykjavik
    Svalbard

    and my email (if you don't have it)
    : gototheesperworld@hotmail.com)

    And I´m happy you liked my gift. When you come, we´ll see them live, you should be able to practice your sextet gang-bang technique then.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, Am I not like... "Anonymous" right now ? Considering that I m not on Fecesbook, I don't think many people would guess who the "Master of Kosmos" really is, bar for people who know that already.

    I am most mighty !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really cool to see you writing about Sjukdom again, always fun for us to see!
    We're about to finally release our debut album, I hope you'll consider looking into it.
    Again, thanks and I hope to see you again one day!
    - Avsky, vocalist of Sjukdom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm super excited of your upcoming album (that is coming up soon, I saw you guys released the date) and I'll definitely try to get my hands on it!

      Delete