Fagerlund's reviews

Here I will post my reviews, of mostly Metal concerts/festivals that I've been to.

Scandinavia Deathfest

Kategori: Festivals

Well then! The Maryland Deathfest crew decided we needed a Scandinavian Deathfest celebrating that particular style of Death Metal, and when they bring together a lineup like this there's no surprise I grabbed a ticked less than five minutes after they were released. 

 

 

Friday, October 11:th

Wombbath

First out were veterans Wombbath, who despite having been around for 29 years are still relatively unknown in the genre for some reason. But with Jonny Pettersson on vocals you know you're getting quality Death Metal (and lots of beard!). This is the archetypical in your face kind of Death Metal that you tend to find in the north of Sweden (Wombbath are from Sala, which is in the middle though) which shares a lot with the Stockholm sound. HM2 guitar pedal and blastbeats. They delivered a solid gig, not an easy task opening up a festival like this!

Sorcery

Second out were even more veteran Sorcery (33 years since they formed!), who're from Sandviken, northern parts of Sweden and they continued with the same trademark sound. Sorcery tends to go for the more aggressive and faster pace though, giving their gig a sense of urgency and a bit of a punch.

Demonical

Third band out, and surprise! More Swedish Death Metal! Who would've thought?! It was the 11:th time I saw these guys, and I think the third since Alex Högbom took over vocal duties. This time original drummer Ronnie Bergerstål (ex-Grave) was back behind the kit as well. I don't know if this was the first show with him back or not, but it was good to see him! Despite seeing these guys so many times I was impressed with this set, they came out like a well oiled machine and simply crushed. Alex now seems like he has always been in the band, and Ronnie played like he never left. Good times! 

Undergang

First none Swedish band of the festival was these danes! And the style of Death Metal changed instantly. These guys are going for a cacophony of sound instead of the general drive you'll hear in Swedish Death Metal. Lots of reverb on the vocals, which as a Swede was kind of funny because it was almost as if he was just speaking Danish and not growling... Anyhow, this wall of sound style isn't quite my thing so I only watched parts of the set. 

Purtenance

After Denmark we started the Finnish part of the festival, as there were three Finnish bands in a row! First out were there Death Doomy-guys, by far the slowest band of the festival up until this point. I quite enjoyed the change of pace, and these guys sure knows how to make that Asphyx-like sound. Good stuff!

Rippikoulu

So apparently this is some kind of underground legend in Finland. I can honestly not say why. The guitar tone was absolutely terrible, really cutting into your ears with it's dissonance. Looking these guys up they've apparently only released two demos in the 90's and an EP in 2014. I guess it speaks for itself that they never got signed for a full length album. 

Demilich

And then last of the Finnish trio were Dimilich! I've actually seen these guys before at Brutal Assault, but that year I saw 85 bands so this didn't really stuck in my mind. And that's why it was a really pleasant surprise to discover that they play pretty technical Death Metal, in the vein of Death and Morbid Angel. And they did it back in '93 already! The songs sound surprisingly fresh to be that old! And I also have to mention that the frontman had some of the funniest talk in between songs. Great set!

Unanimated

Ah, good ol' Unanimated! This was one of the bands I was really looking forwards to seeing since I hadn't seen them before, so the expectations were quite high! And they delivered their Blackened Death, pretty well I would say. But it kind of felt like something was missing for it to be really good. Instead I was left feeling like the set was a bit long. But then they changed pace and delivered some classics like Die Alone and Life Demise, and it felt quite alright after all.

Benediction

Ah, something not Scandinavian in the lineup! These Brummies are back with their original singer Dave Ingram to deliver their oldschool English Death Metal. And damn was Dave in a good mood! I'm not sure how many gigs they've done with him, but you could tell he was having a blast being back in Benediction. And their new drummer! Damn, that man was good! Without a doubt Benediciton was the highlight of the first day for me. 

 

Saturday, October 12th 

Putrid Vision

Day two! And first band I managed to catch was this young band (formed 2018), but they absolutely doesn't sound young! Like the name suggests they play some really oldschool sounding filthy Stockholm Death Metal. HM2 pedals and blast beats. You know the drill. Good stuff.

Soils of Fate

First band I managed to catch on the second stage was this Brutal Death Metal band from Stockholm. Unfortunately it's not really my style, and it was a bit too much monotonous for me to get grabbed by it.

Sarcasm

This band has such a great name really, unfortunately their Blackish Death Metal doesn't quite grab me as much. It felt rather... uninspired to be honest. 

Death Toll 80k

Off to the second stage and some very political Grindcore from New York. Lots of energy and aggression, and in typical Grindcore fashion it was impossible to hear the message that was apparently very important to them. Also in typical Grindcore fashion they finished their set in half the time they were allocated.

Centinex

Going back to the mainstage where more Death Metal from Dalarna was coming up! Since Alex Högbom left they brought in Henrik Andersson for vocal duties instead. And I'd say he did a good job! Pretty solid set!

Entrails

Back to the Stockholm style of Death! This is very much inspired by old Entombed (should come as no surprise if you've seen the logo), and I think this is one of those bands that manages to take the style of another band and do it very well. So the similarities aren't really an issue for me. And they really delivered a good set this day as well, definitely one of the better gigs of the day!

Birdflesh

This is one of those underground legends in Sweden. It's a very humorous Grindcore band, with everything you'd expect from that. Super short songs, in fact, they probably had more songs in their set than every other band playing this day together! Also the only band to perform in bird suits. I mean, what's not to love?

Interment

More Swedish HM2 death! I've seen these guys a couple of times before, and well, I'm rather forgiving when it comes to technical playing in this style of Death Metal. It's okay if it's not exactly tight, as long as the right feeling is there. And previously these guys have kind of crossed that line, so it was a bit too off for me. But this time they showed they can deliver when they want to! Much better gig, and they really got the energy in the performance. I bet the sold out venue inspired them!

Toxaemia

I had never heard of these guys, but apparently they're one of those really old school bands that wasn't around for that long that has recently reunited. They played a little bit more doomy style of Death Metal, and I quite enjoyed it. However, I was pretty tired at this point and tried to save my energy for later so I only watched their gig from the sideline sitting down, but I hope to get another chance to see them!

Nuclear Assault

Another one of those bands that has been around forever! But not in Stockholm apparently, as this was their first gig in Stockholm in 30 years! They actually decided to commemorate this by bringing the same backdrop they used at that old gig! Pretty cool I think! Now, this was a bit of an odd one in the lineup since they play Thrash Metal, and the American style at that - but it's good with some variety in a festival lineup. And they definitely brought that.

So after Nuclear Assault I actually wanted to go see General Surgery at the other stage... but people weren't leaving the main stage... so I didn't either. Because well, I'm not missing the headliner of Scandinavia Dismemberfest... er, I mean Deathfest.

Dismember 

Long time no see! And if there was ever any doubt about who the headliner of the festival was, it was quickly proved when the crowd was singing along in the guitar melodies of Override of the Overture loud enough to be heard over the amps! And it didn't take long until the moshpit started, and it kept going pretty much during the entire set. So the crowd was pumped, and the band was also pumped. Perhaps they had a bit too much celebration though - if you remember my previous comment about me being generous when it comes to the technical side of things in this genre? Well, it definitely had to be applied here. And coupled with some technical issues, the start of the set was a bit rough. But luckily the guys brought back the momentum and delivered one damn good comeback! Not only did they go back in time to the first demo (performed with Matti off stage even) but they played every classic Dismember song of the earlier discography! And I guess you know it's 2019 when Matti has to present Skin Her Alive with a disclaimer about not actually skinning girls...
I always loved Dismembers great sense of melody that they somehow manage to deliver without losing any of the heaviness of Stockholm Death Metal - and it was on full display this night! I don't think anyone was disappointed after this one!

Override of the Overture
Soon to Be Dead
Bred for War
Skinfather
Pieces
Casket Garden
Deranged From Blood (Carnage cover) Played as trio by David & Fred with Robert on bass/vocals)
Deathevocation (Played as trio by David & Fred with Robert on bass/vocals )
Of Fire
Bleed for Me
Reborn in Blasphemy
Collection by Blood
Skin Her Alive
Misanthropic
Dismembered
On Frozen Fields
In Death's Sleep
Fleshless
Dreaming in Red

 

Sunday, October 13th

Impure

The bonus day of the festival started with this rather new American atmospheric Black. Again, it's good with some change of pace! And this was certainly a different pace, with much slower stuff than anything else on the festival I think, but still with bursts of aggression. Pretty nice!

Vanhelgd

These guys also play a bit more atmospheric, but of the Death Metal kind. This might sound weird at first, but when you listen to it, it all makes sense. I've seen them a couple of times before and they seem to be one of those bands who know how to deliver. Super solid set, really enjoyed seeing them again and already looking forward to next time!

LIK

Ah, LIK - the band that formed to try and fill the empty space left behind when Dismember disbanded... now supporting Dismember! And that's not only on stage apparently, but they helped out a lot off stage as well - and it was a very conscious choice of Matti Kärki to wear a LIK shirt on both of Dismembers performances! So I've seen these guys live a couple of times before, and they're always really good. Super high energy, and they really manage to capture that melodic feeling of Dismember while still doing their own thing. It certainly helps that they have Chris Barkensjö on drums who's a beast! And you could tell the guys enjoyed this set as well, obviously playing a bit faster than expected as they had to add another song! Good times!

Grave

So this was the 18:th time I saw Grave. Am I bored of them yet? Absolutely not. Again, they have their own brand of Swedish Death Metal that distinguish itself with a great sense of transitions between heaviness and speed, never losing the groove. They're also master of the wall of sound. I've mentioned earlier in this review that I don't tend to like when the soundscape is just a cacophony of sound - but Grave does it the right way. You can always hear each instrument clearly, despite it being an assault on your eardrums. But in a good way. And this set was also really nice! A good mixture of the old classics with some newer songs sprinkled in as well! My only complaint would be that the set was a bit short. But what can you do, it's a festival after all!

Dismember 

What's better than seeing Dismember? Seeing Dismember two times in two days! And to make it even better, they also topped their performance from the previous evening! I did notice that there was a lot more water consumed on stage, which might have a hand in that - but I think they managed to avoid all of the little kinks of the previous night delivering an all around better show! They also did some changes in the set, which I think made it flow even better.
The one thing that was perhaps not as good was the energy in the crowd which was definitely a bit lower than the previous night. But you can probably attribute that to the fact that it was after midnight... on a Sunday... that's one thing I really wish the promoters would've done better. With only five bands playing on the last day they really could've started earlier.
But even so it was a great show, and I'm happy I went for the bonus day as well!

Override of the Overture
Skin Her Alive
Live for the Fear (of Pain)
Skinfather
Casket Garden
Pieces
Bleed for Me
Of Fire
I Saw Them Die
Reborn in Blasphemy
Collection by Blood
Soon to Be Dead
Misanthropic
Dismembered
On Frozen Fields
Bred for War
In Death's Sleep
Fleshless
Dreaming in Red

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