My expectations for Karmoygeddon gets bigger every year-no wonder as the festival has had a steady rise in quality in both artists and the event itself the last years. I actually got «goosebumps» when I arrived at the venue thursday afternoon when I saw all the people dressed in black outside! It might be a sickness, but I dont need a cure! This years line-up was impressive, and I especially looked forward to seeing Amorphis for the second time, and of course Kreator! And as always I expect to get some new favorites during the festival, I always make sure to let some bands remain unknown until they play at the festival, giving me a chance to be blown away by surprise.
Of course, the music is not the only thing I was looking forward to- hanging out with friends, reconnect with friends one rarely meet and of course meet new fellow metalheads-this is an important part of the festival experience! And theres always the smoking area, which between concerts are so crowded that any need for physical contact one might have is taken care of….
This year I had as a goal the hear all 21 bands-I came close with 20 of them…. I unfortunately missed Insomnium as I was invited to a listening-session for an album being released by a local band this year and I didnt want to miss that. There are no photos in this review as I feel the text and videoes is enough, I might make a image-article later. This is not in-depth analyzis, just impressions from a musicloving, and most of the time -a little drunk- festival enthusiast.
The Karmøygeddon 2014 festival took place in Haugesund, and is split between two stages in the same building- JimmyLegs wich has a capacity of about 200 people and is used for the first smaller bands that starts of the days, and Byscenen with a capacity of about 750 people used for the bigger bands later in the night.
This is not the first time In Vain played at Byscenen, and it was a joy to see them again! This is pretty straight-forward metal with punch, perfect as a starter for the festival. They go from straight metal to more melodious songs during the concert. Some of the songs were a little slow for my taste, but I like a band who have the guts to play different styles during a show and not just play it safe with the fast stuff. Good attendance for the first band.
In Solitude was one of the bands I didnt know before the show-and that might just have been a mistake…..without knowing any of the songs before the show, I kinda «lost track» of it and it became a bit unispiring. Dont get me wrong-this is good metal, it just didnt quite do it for me as a new listener. I had a couple of friends on the floor who were fans before the show and they loved it!
Kampfar kicked ass! Heavy, in your-face music, good connection with the crowd-exactly what we needed around 21.00 day one of the festival! Definetely one of my favourite shows from the whole festival, mabye especially because I didnt know them that well before the show and they still gave me a hell of a time! They do get a little theatrical on stage, but its not to much, just adds to the experience.
Kampfar speeded things up-and Morgana Lefay followed! Another band with great stageperformance, good interaction with the crowd and strong metal sound! I imagined I could hear some «Queensryche» in their sound but this was late in the evening so it might have been just me…. Great concert and highlight of the day for me together with Kampfar.
For many this was the highligt of the day-and the festival as well, Vreid/Windir/Ulcus(Sognametal) whos only doing 3 concert played Byscenen in Haugesund this thursday! Their style of metal is a bit darker and heavier than I usually prefer it, but this had a very nice 90`s-feel to the sound and I found myself sitting through the whole concert. The crowd looked very pleased at the performance, and I heard a lot of good words on the performance after the show!
After the concerts I went up to the 1.floor where there was an after-party «just to see who was there»….. This took 2 hours, some drinks and a lot of talking about music and showing tattoos…..oh well, this is also part of the festival experience!
Thursday was fun-very fun. I felt this quite strongly the second I woke up friday morning…… No time for rest and comfort though, first concert was already at 15:20 so a quick rum&coke, shower and on with the leatherjacket. Time for metal again! Surprisingly a cold beer and some warm sun outside the venue before the first show made it all soooo much better….!
The day started of pretty hard with the guys in «Faanefjell» playing hard «trollmetal» (in lack of a better word…) which is a little bit outside of mye prefered genre. Still, decent good metal to get us started on the second day-and from what I could see in the crowd, getting started was pretty hard for some of the people who had also been around the day/night before…. I never quite understood what the singer said between the songs though…making norwegians with ear plugs and a hangover understand danish is slighly more challenging then bringing peace to the middle-east I imagine…
The only true «rock» band of the festival-and what a rockband they are!!! This is old-style AC/DC rockmusic, pure delishious hard rock energeticly delivered from stage! This band had so much energy and passion for the music, and the crowd immiedlately picked it up and made it their own as well! Some might say the music wasnt very «original»-but in my opinion-if its good, you might do it more than once! I had an absolute blast at this concert and hope to see them again, what a great booking by the Karmoygeddon crew to find these gems from Spain!
This is one of the bands where I think it was a bad idea not to check them out before the festival. This was quite vocal-lyric based and without having heard any of the songs before, I simply didnt get quite into it. The crowd in front of the stage seemed to enjoy it, but they were able to sing along I noticed-I guess I`ll have to take this one on myself.
Enforcer really turned up the pace and delivered the goods! Great fast, hard`n heavy metal, good riffs and the crowd really got a boost during the show! Definetely a great concert that sat the moode for the rest of the evening for many of us I think. The stageshow/clothing-not quite sure if its a bit ironic but I giggle a little at the «oldschool» style and doesnt give a rats ass really-they delivered metal as promised and we loved it!
Unfortunately I missed out on Insomnium, but I was lucky enough to get this great feedback from Insomnium fan Ida R. Hellum:
«Insomnium was fantastic. I`ve been a fan of them for 8 of my 24 years, and the concert at Karmøygeddon was an experience for life. They were incredible live, the atmosphere was insane. As the»hard-core» metalhead I am I cried like a baby, my voice still havent come back after screaming along for every song. After the concert I had to drink beer after the tears had stopped, I was totally beaten. It wasnt just that the concert was insanely awesome, but the people in the band as well. I met them after the concert, we shared beers and I got all of theire autographs. Thes eguys are so down to earth, and they clearly appreciate their fans. A+ to Karmoygeddon for booking them after they had to cancel last year»
Thx for the help Ida- and what you mention here is quite uniqe for Karmøygeddon-many of the performers/artists mingle with the audience during the festival, which is really appreciated by the fans.
Moonspell replaced Katatonia which I had been looking forward to, but this was no poor replacement…live it migth actually have been a step up from what I heard. It was not hard noticing that this band have been going at it for some time, they knew how to get the crowd going-most of the crowd had at least one arm over their head for most of the concert! Delightful hard metal who created an amazing atmosphere in the crowd before headliner Kreator, great performance, and I`m definetely buying some cd`s soon! After the show I`m pretty sure I saw several of them out there enjoying Kreator with the rest of us!
When I was young, my parents often told me not to be so angry….they should have given me a Kreator album instead so I could get some aggression out of my system! Holy crap what a great positive aggression Kreator threw at us this friday! The band played the crowd like puppetmasters from the start with the glorious «Phantom antichrist» to the end with my personal favourite «Civilizatin collapse»+extras. It was amazing to see a band that have been at it for many years-and who often plays for much bigger crowds- really put an effort into it and giving us what we wanted and then some! This is one of my best concerts EVER, and my only regret is that my back stopped me from joining the mosh-pit the band whipped forward from stage. Looked like great fun! That said, it was a great experience to be in the back together with metalheads, many members from other bands and just look at the crowd going crazy in front of the stage. Kreator said the hoped to be back for a third time- I sincerely hope that will happen soon! I`m defininetely putting my missing kreatos cd`s on my shopping list after this awesome experience!
Having learned from my previous mistakes(?) I went straight home after the concerts friday-still one more day to go, and it was a long one!
I wont lie-two days of drinking, loud music, human interaction and little sleep kinda made me feel a bit like that one leftover sock at the bottom of the laundry hamper….. Still, with what felt like quite å decent appearence all things considered I arrived at JimmyLegs at 14:00, ready for the first concert on the last day of the festival. Mixed feelings this early afternoon when I had my first drink of the day with a sideorder of cold water….sad it was the last day, happy it was going to be a long day…
Local band Reism had the difficult task of starting of the third day of the festival, starting as early as 14:30. The attendance was more than decent considering the early start on this day, and included a very charming young future metalhead with big pink ear muffs! Reism is a band I havent seen live before, but I had heard some songs online and was looking forward to seeing them live for the first time. I was not disappointed- a goth-melodic styled metal was just what the doctor prescribed as a starter this saturday. Good music delivered by a group of skilled musicians lead by a beautiful and gifted vocalist, who used her voice with great diversity. A great start on the third day, and I was glad I dragged my ass out of bed earlier than my body really wanted to.
Another band in the big box labelled «hard heavy metal» for the festival, unknown band for me but they delivered some good metal and got the crowd to raise their arms. They mixed in perfectly between the goth-melody based metal of Reism and the rock/punk style of Backstreet Girls.
Backstreet Girls – third year in a row at karmoygeddon and we love it! JimmyLegs was packed wall to wall, people sang along and it was a perfect last gig at JimmyLegs for the day! This is why Backstreet Girls are welcomed back year after year!
OG is another band thats hard to categorize- I brought a small notebook with me to help remember which band I was writing about, and here it says «hard heavy metal»- which at the same time says it all-and nothing at all… Is it important? Not at all, they playd good metal, to a good crowd and thats all that matters. Loved it when the singer borrowed the drinking-horn (viking-style!) from a girl in the audience and tasted her beer! Good interaction with the audience in general which always makes for a good show.
Second female vocalist of the day (and the festival) and this one also looks like something from a goth-dream…I`m not complaining, she had a good voice as well. Not quite into the type of metal Sirenia playes, not that theres anything wrong with it, just not quite my cup of rum&coke so to speak.
Obliteration turned the speed up-petal to the metal from start to end with this band! A little bit to heavy for my taste actually, so I missed part of the set due to a needed break for some food and fresh air (well-actually some cigarettes but whos counting…). My friend at my table who likes his metal a bit darker and heavier than I do had a big smile on his face when I left-and a even bigger one when I came back and was very pleased with the bands performance. Love the style of the bass-player btw!
Now this is right up my alley- hard, fast straight heavy metal, I could hear influence from the classics such as Priest and Maiden and I loved it! They had just enough of that little extra to be not «just another heavy band» but a band you remember. They`re coming out with a new album this summer and I`m looking forward to it after this performance.
Here my notebook says «More angry germans. How many are there???» but in a positive meaning of course, Kreator blew us away friday- Destruction wasnt far behind saturday! It was easy to see and that not just me but the whole crowd was more than ready for some more great angry german trash metal! I`ve been missing out on this band, but not for long I can tell you, definetely a show to remember and I`ll be listening to more german trash in the future!
Amorphis from Finland headlined Karmoygeddon two years ago-they impressed me that time, and I`ve bought several of their cd`s since then and often play them. I was not disappointed this year either, this is great metal, some melodic parts that really fits the band-and this audience- very well! A great ending to the festival.
The after-party was crowded, loud and fun-thats pretty much what I have to say on that matter. I wont speak of my sunday, unless that I`m pretty sure people have fought wars- lost- and still felt better than I did….
My top 6 favourites Karmoygeddon 2014
Thank you so much to the entire crew for another great festival! You guys not only do a great job booking band, you do a fantastic job making us all feel welcome and making sure we have a great time!
It looks like Karmøygeddon 2015 will be taking place about 20km from haugesund at another venue- much is uncertain at the time being, but I know one thing- 30.april-2.may I`ll be at Karmøygeddon 2015 no matter what!
Photo of me showing how my longweekend was….doesnt get any better than this!