Gefle Metal Festival 2018

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Rolling out of bed Thursday morning, I wasn’t at all prepared for the summer that would ensue. Sure, it’s been summer in Sweden for like twelve weeks by now, which isn’t normal I might add, but when you enter an old gasometer for a music gig that revolves mainly around hell on earth, the sensation of actually BEING in hell was at least setting the mood.

When stepping through the entrance to the gasometer, it was like being covered by a blanket of a moist, dense condensation of human flesh and sunsweaty skin, with subtle hints of beer, camping and electronic equipment ready to malfunction at any second in the pressing heat.

The emergency exits stood open at all times, if anyone inside would decide that enough is enough and throw themselves out through the door to meet a slightly different kind of heat, with less hints of skin and more hints of dead grass, melting pavement and old mud tiles slowly wishing they could seize to exist in the setting sun. Fortunately, two stages were outside and merely one in the depths of hell inside.

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Don't let the clouds excite you. They released two drops of rain the entire weekend.

A few days before the festival started, we concluded that the amounts of alcohol consumed would go through the roof with the promised perfect hanging outdoors-weather and that it would turn into one so called Off Our Faces Metal Festival, metal optional if you manage to actually locate the stage where your favourite band plays. But! Instead, I experienced a pretty sober festival, with my theory being that the frying sun took the edge off the usual metalhead stamina, seeing as there was no actual place to hang out in the shade.

I mean, metalheads ARE my peeps, my peoples, but hell, they’re drunk on outings. Very drunk. And I would lie to you guys if I denied waking up Friday morning after the pre-party, experiencing a roller coaster when turning sides in my bed after a night heavily laden with tequila, beer, cider and hey, why not a little vodka to go with that? In my defense, I had only slept two hours the night between Wednesday and Thursday and instead of a nap on Thursday I got dragged out to the fringe parts of town and forced into a stream. Well, by forced I mean “I’m dying from heat exposure and that brown piece of water looks good to me even though it’s upriver from a beach that is too dirty to swim at”.

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Ahem.

Anyways, on Thursday night this year, there was a warm up with the promised last gig of a cult classic band for my generation of metal- and non-metal fans, The Kristet Utseende. Their music is pretty much about genitals and a little bit about religion, drugs, alcohol and other racy subjects in a punk fashion. Yeah, I don’t get it either but whatever.

Then on Friday and Saturday the real festival commenced, lining up band after band of the metal persuasion. This year, I only had three bands I wanted to actually see, and then a couple of others that I could enjoy at a distance while feeding on onion rings or rolling around on the only little patch of dying grass that exists on the area of the festival.

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I'm always in for a piece of At the Gates, one of the best bands out there! The thumping bass triggered my hangover though, so half the gig I watched from a distance. Hrm...

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Angry Finns, yes! 

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And then of course my peeps in Apocalypse Orchestra with their doomy doomyness and flagellant and everything (not in view)! 

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All in all, it was a lovely festival with lots of people, new and old friends and acquaintances, lots of beer, lots of hangovers (2½ in three days) and lots of loud music and an unflinching torment from the ball of fire in the sky. It was really nice, is what I am trying to say! A couple of years ago it rained so much that I couldn’t even take out my phone to take a commemorative picture of the bands playing, fearing it would drown and die, so I prefer this kind of weather if I have to choose..

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After this entire post about the festival itself being only about weather, I should add that I do realize that there are a lot of places in the world that easily outheat themselves in comparison to Sweden, but sporting temperatures of around 31C/almost 90F for weeks isn’t normal. Us pleb citizens have no means to shelter ourselves at home with fancy stuff like AC. I mean, Swedes spend like 10½ months of every year trying our best to keep the damn heat IN, not OUT. And in my defense, even the tattooer visiting my boss, a native to India, questioned what the fuck is going on with the temperatures here. “I mean, I’m used to it but this doesn’t feel like 31 degrees at all! At least 35-36!”.

Gefle Metal Festival 2018, I almost can’t believe it’s already passed.

Album: Slugdge - Esoteric Malacology

I don’t usually do this, but this time I have to. I’m no reviewer and I don’t know jack shit about music, but I do listen to music a lot and know when I hear something I really appreciate. As most of my close friends already know by now, I found this for me new band on Easter Thursday. I had been thrift shopping with friends and was celebrating having Friday off by lying spread eagle on my couch with my laptop and… what do you mean “I knew it!”? Hey, you watch it, you reader you!

Anyways… I had this playlist of metal album review videos on and had checked off a few bands to look closer at, when another video started. This one was about the album Esoteric Malacology from the band Slugdge. Yes, it’s a word play on “slug” and the genre named “sludge”. From what I gather it’s pronounced “Slug”+”the reflex sound one makes when your crush suddenly shows up and asks you a really simple question that is impossible to answer because your brain blew up in pure surprise”.

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After a little bit of talking about the TWO guys that have the band, Matt Moss and Kev Pearson, the reviewer played a clip. It was guitar heavy, fast drums and then... it all lowered itself into my heart with low drums smattering away accompanied by a guitar loop tying everything together. HOLY FUDGE! I perked up, and listened intently. The reviewer mentioned the “blackened, tech, death metal range” and “A little bit of Bloodbath and old school Opeth”. Yup, yup, yup, let’s do it! “A little bit of Bloodbath for you guys that miss the days when Åkerfeldt was in that band”.

UHM, YUP? *tear falling, remembering the good old days*

He played another clip, this one holding clear similarities to Gojira. OH GOD THERE’S NO TIME LET’S DIVE INTO THIS FRIGGIN BAND! And so I did. And I found my way home. At 2 AM I had to tear myself away from looping the album and its social commentary dressed in a slime worshipping suit.

Gosh. I’m pretty sure this is the album of 2018 and it’s just the beginning of April. EVERYBODY MUST LISTEN! Okay, no, just kidding. If you’re not very fond of clear growling vocals (you can make out words! My fav!), blackened death metal with melodic loops, fast drums mixed with deep clean singing, tech and the theme of the band – slugs, then maybe this one isn’t for you. But, if in the least of doubts, fucking do it.

It’s so good. So so good. SO GOOD!

Favs: Crop Killer, Slave Goo World, Salt Thrower.

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*shrieks*

Gefle Metal Festival 2017

The festival is over once again. Opposite of the luck we had this festival weekend with great weather, it rained all Sunday long. I’m guessing the grey hues with its cool air fanned quite a lot of hungover visitors in their struggle to find their way back into the boring everyday existence after two days of enjoying the music and lovely atmosphere of thousands of like-minded metalheads gathering in a small spot in a town a few hours north of Stockholm.

The lines to the bars were too long, the staff happily keeping us waiting so people wouldn’t get too drunk. It worked. It also left us hungry and thirsty because there were no time to stand around in line for 25 minutes every time you wanted something to snack on. Being sous vided in one’s own sweat under the blaring sun didn’t help things out either.

But it was lovely, the weekend as a whole. I’m greatful for the opportunity to be able to walk over to a festival, that this year also offered no rain, no mosquitoes and lots of energy! Last year, I was beat and just wanted to sleep and mellow out with my friends, but this year I found myself enjoying the bustle.

Jinjer! So good!

It was fun to see Paradise Lost but it made me realise how few songs of theirs I actually listen to. Those I do listen to though, are DABAMM.

Historically questionable Amon Amarth made a prescence with their iron age helmet with horns. Not really being my cup of tea, I ventured after a cider before they whipped out the huge dragon on the stage, that one I got to look at from a distance.

Bloodbath. My beloved.

Freaking Opeth. Add a shrieking high pitched sound that doesn’t end and you have my mental state before, under and after this performance. It’s my fourth time seeing them live and I don’t even care. They’re so life alteringly good.

The weekend was lovely. I shall remember it dearly.

Gefle Metal Festival 2016!

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I’m in my bed. I’ve worked today, and then it was time for a nap. Next to me rests a cat. In the corner of my eye I see another one, curled up on a blanket on the floor. My door is open, and through it creeps music. Soft, oriental in its nature, and beside it I get a story told. A story about a city, with all its noises, the chuckling of hens, wagons rolling over cobbles streets, the murmur of people going about their day, laughing, discussing. The boys are going on a new adventure in their role play session, while I’m curled up in my bed, saying no thanks to any social interaction.

There was no rain during the festival, bless it. We hung out, laid splayed out on the few lawns that decorate the area. It was perfect. New and old friends, the tones of metal music thundering out over the landscape, people gathering to catch a glimpse of their favorite bands in the company of other worshippers, also raising their fists to the heavens in pure excitement.

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Long haired friends looking at long haired fans watching long haired musicians

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Finally I got to see At the Gates live, the band that was my gateway in to the world of metal music, the wonderful aural environment that I surround myself with to this day. Dark grey, heavy clouds towered over us the entire weekend, withholding their tears, just enhancing the stage shows with their lights and effects. The beer flowed, and a little too pleasantly at times, at least for some when meeting the more progressive acts. I met a friend coming down the ramp from one of those acts, raising his hands in defeat, stating “This, is waay too complicated for me right now”.

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I skipped the more cult classics as Abbath and Sportlov, and it somewhat irks me today but I know I wouldn’t have appreciated it anyways. I saw the bands I came there for, looking calm on the outside but screaming like a fan on the inside, hung out with our three house guests for the weekend and had a bloody good time.

But now I’m all spent, and this introvert will keep to herself for the next few days to regain energy.

Lovely! 

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