Last night In Flames played Oslo Spektrum with While She Sleeps, Wovenwar and Papa Roach. I saw two of these and In Flames, and I liked all three a lot. Interestingly enough, around 3-4000 people were there, more than usually come to metal concerts. (Picture above: In Flames). It might be a bit unfair towards the hard core metal bands to put In Flames, and even more Papa Roach in the same bag as 1349, Enslaved, Satyricon Entombed and other black and death metal bands. In Flames play melodic metal, and singer Anders Fridén sings more like a hard rock vocalist than most other metal singers. This is not to say that they played a bd gig, on the contrary. But before they came on stage, I heard two other bands. My first band last night was Wovenwar from San Diego. They are no veterans, being formed in 2013, but they got positive attention when they released their debut single All Rise this spring. Their first and self-titled album was released in August. On stage at Oslo Spektrum they were good, with a classic stage show from a metal band. In style they are more related to the heavy metal style than black metal. Their songs are good, melodious and hard, played, and the band sounded tight, much due to their drummer, Jordan Mancino. Papa Roach have been around for some 20 years, and they come from northern California. Their style is quite different from the two other bands last night, as they mix rap and heavy metal. The good thing is that it works perfectly. Their first album, Potatoes for Christmas was released in 1994, while Infest became their break-through album. Their so far latest, The Connection, was released two years ago. On stage, singer Jacoby Shaddix is the main focal point. He moves and sings like a rapper, but withe energy of a heavy metal vocalist. Their songs are are infectious, with great hook lines and catchy refrains. The band is tight and hard. I must admit that their lively and fresh sounding material got me in a great mood. I don’t mind harder metal at all, but nothing beats a good melody, specially when it is performed the way Papa Roach do it. The last band last night was In Flames. They are one of Sweden’s most celebrated band in the harder part of the musical landscape, and their success is well deserved. Their music is much more straight metal than the other two bands, but they have also more melodic songs than I am used to hear from metal bands. In Flames were instrumental in the development of the melodic death metal in the mid-90s. Since then they have gone more twoards the melodic and away from the death metal. This meant they lost many of their earlier fans, but they have gained many new ones, and a lot of their Norwegian fans had gathered in Oslo Spektrum last night. It has been three months since I last saw a metal band live, and last night was a good occasion to get some aggression thrown at me from the bands. That all three that I saw also make music based just as much on melody than on rhythm and riffs alone, was a nice bonus. And did I mention that all three bands were fun to shoot? Now I can look forward to the two Norwegian metal festivals, Blastfest in February and Inferno at Easter. All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.