Omen, Slough Feg and more at John Dee (2010)

John Dee (Oslo, Norway)

Omen, Slough Feg, Dark Quarterer, Necronomicon, Torch
Another day at the 'Metal Merchants Festival' started in the early evening. The warm and […]
By Erika Walberg
January 30, 2010

Another day at the 'Metal Merchants Festival' started in the early evening. The warm and cozy atmosphere inside John Dee felt very inviting since the icy winds outside chilled through skin and bones. Day two started out with another Old School band, from east of Norway this time. Swedish TORCH reunited a couple of years back and have been touring quite frequently and doing it really well too. When it's like this I don't mind bands reuniting, when it still feels alive and vibrant and still have a little of the feeling from back in the days. TORCH has all that and it's always a pleasure to see them. The thing though, the crowd supporting them was quite sparse though, it's not possible to blame it on early hours either because this festival allows a nice lie-in. Perhaps it has something to do with the ridiculously expensive beer? Dan Dark and his band did what they've been doing for the last couple of years, it sounds great but it's not as sensational now when charm of the news has blown by. If they going to stay they need to do something more really.

TORCH setlist
  1. "Warlock"
  2. "Beyond The Threshold Of Pain"
  3. "Electrikiss"
  4. "Battle Axe"
  5. "Dark Sinner"
  6. "Sinister Eyes"
  7. "Fire Raiser"
  8. "Watcher Of The Night"
  9. "Beauty And The Beast"

Sometimes it's so hard to predict what will happen. The first two NECRONOMICON records really didn't impress me. Their rough VENOM oozing half obscure Thrash didn't fit my taste really and frankly the obscurity rather came from incapability to play than something planned or studied. To their defense it still was quite cool.Today's version of the band doesn't have much to do with the original line-up, only vocalist / guitar player Volker "Freddy" Fredrich remains. Musically, for good and band there's not much left of the old days either. The good is that NECRONOMICON really sounded great but it wasn't much left of what I remembered of them. Then I realized they've been releasing quite a bunch of records over the year so shame on me for not doing my homework as I've should prior to this event.It's always good with an eye-opener. A band I thought would be just good made a really impressive performance and increased my interest in them.After this I'll absolutely keep my eyes open for news around NECRONOMICON.

  1. "Magic Forest"
  2. "Nightstalker"
  3. "Cold Ages (Darkland III)"
  4. "Haunted"
  5. "Stormbringer"
  6. "Hard Pain"
  7. "Possessed Again"
  8. "On Pain Of Death"
  9. "Bone Daddy"
  10. "Paralizer"
  11. "Possessed By Evil"

One of the bands I was looking forward to see the most was DARK QUARTERER. They're quite new to me but it was long since a band struck hard and I didn't listening to anything else for weeks when I got my hands on their records. Live DARK QUARTERER was a quite odd experience though. Everything sounded perfect, perhaps even better than on the albums. Visually it was a greater surprise though, the band was a little odd looking, I should have expected that because I've seen the pictures on their web page but I was still so surprised. Then, that the little grey haired man who looked like some hippe-artist should be able to sing like that, damn! That's all I can say. Gianni Nepi sounded almost angelic live and his voice had more life than on record. DARK QUARTERER's latest release feature one of my absolute favorites, "Shadow Of The Night". I could never for my life imagine they would play that one, it clocks in on over 13 minutes. But that's what is great with the 'Metal Merchants' festival, they allow the bands time enough to play a real set even if the band doesn't have a headline position. "Colossus Of Argil" was of course one favorite as well together with the "Dark Quarterer"-song and "Pyramids Of Skulls". Absolutely amazing all the time and I can't wait until I get another chance to see them live.

  1. "Wandering in the Dark"
  2. "Pyramids of Skulls"
  3. "The Blind Church"
  4. "Shadow of the Night"
  5. "Colossus of Argil"
  6. "Retributioner"
  7. "Last Breath"
  8. "Dark Quarterer"

If DARK QUARTERER was 100% control, SLOUGH FEG brought 200% madness to stage. I've never ever seen as hysteric energy coming out of stage. Ok, SLOUGH FEG is both odd and obscure but they're not this intense on record. It was the first time I saw them live and I could never for my life imagine what was to come. Mike Scalzi was climbing around with one foot on the monitors and one on the security fence with the guitar and all. At times he was walking over my head when I was crouching down in the minimal photo pit. It's very fascinating that a band can play with that kind of drive without having the music sound punky, Thrash or Speed, just exactly the same as they do on record but a little bit more of everything. I've never experienced such intensity from a band ever before and it's very rare a band is as tight as SLOUGH FEG was. Latest release "Ape Uprising" felt a little stronger as an album compared to a few of their earlier releases but live all songs were equally good. It was cool to see a band that barely any has even heard of if you talk to the general mass of Metal heads can get full support at a place like this. People were singing a long to "The Hunchback Of Nortre Doom". That in combination with "High Passage / Low Passage" and "Asteroids Belt" was a very strong start of a gig. And then SLOUGH FEG continued in the same pace and style all the way through the end. Afterward, I was completely blank, felt exhausted just by taking everything in. I don't think we, in the gang who went to the Festival even spoke a word until after OMEN. This was one of the oddest experiences at a concert ever, but one of the best too.

SLOUGH FEG setlist
  1. "The Hunchback Of Nortre Doom"
  2. "High Passage / Low Passage"
  3. "Asteroids Belts"
  4. "Ape Uprising"
  5. "Tiger! Tiger!"
  6. "Hiberno-Latin Invasion"
  7. "Lycantropic Fantasies"
  8. "Fergus Mac Roich"
  9. "The Wickerman"
  10. "Warriors Dawn"
  11. "Frankfurt Hahn Airport Blues"
  12. "Look Behind You"
  13. "The Red Branch"
  14. "Sky Chariots"

With the reference to last night when parts of the crowd decided to walk out before the headliners played I was a little scared that it would be the same here, or even worse since OMEN has been touring quite a lot the last couple of years. I think OMEN has managed to live on old credits for quite some time now and still managed to keep it interesting. George Call has an amazing voice and he's a great stage personality too. He always seems to be on an excellent party mood and he's having a lot of fun on stage. But what's the most remarkable about this band is Kenny Powell, he really looks crazy with that haircut. His performance really doesn't tune lunacy down either.But you can not but love him.Even if a small part of the crowd dropped out before OMEN started playing the pressure in the front was immense and really sweaty. That was good to see, that they still have a strong following. They should have because the whole back catalog is amazing. Brand new "Blood On The Water" sounds really promising too, quite catchy one and absolutely suitable in the classic OMEN sound. Then of course it won't strike as hard as "Ruby Eyes (Of The Serpent)", "Into The Arena" or "Don't Fear The Night" but those songs has had over 20 years to grow too. As usual OMEN was a real joy to watch and they were a great ending of a really cool festival.

OMEN setlist
  1. "Termination"
  2. "Death Rider"
  3. "Dragons Breath"
  4. "Ruby Eyes (Of The Serpent)"
  5. "The Axeman"
  6. "Teeth Of The Hydra"
  7. "Blood On The Water"
  8. "Into The Arena"
  9. "The Curse"
  10. "Die By The Blade"
  11. "Don't Fear The Night"
  12. "Warning Of Danger"
  13. "Battle Cry"

Perhaps Kanonhallen was more suitable for a Festival since that venue allowed more merchandise and space but John Dee is doubtless a better place when it comes to the concerts, sound and lights so with that in mind it was a good choice to move. Also the accessibility of John Dee, close to the city center, decently priced food and so on made this a better place and a festival as great as the 'Metal Merchants' deserves only the best. And there was a whole bunch of good gigs at this event too, first day TANK was outstanding, second day the competition was harder. OMEN did great as always but SLOUGH FEG and DARK QUARTERER made greater impacts on me since it was the first time I saw both of them. In the end SLOUGH FEG did the biggest impression and they were simply amazing, best on the festival. I sure can't wait 'til next year!

(photos by The Hydra Erika)





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