The second day of Tons of Rock 2015 had a more diverse mix of bands than Thursday. Mayhem are pioneers of Norwegian black metal, while Venom are credited for giving the black metal name to the genre. Twisted Sister’s aggressive music coupled with singer Dee Snider’s look, and the Norwegian rock band DumDum Boys who is still one of our best live act. And then, Gojira, with their deadly precise and sometimes rhythmically complicated metal, it was a day for most tastes. (Picture above: Twisted Sister) My first band this day was NiteRain from Norway. They are a heavy rock band with a definite glam appearance. On stage they did a good show, posing and playing tight and good rock. The band has been on tour in Europe and the US, and they have played support for La Guns on their European tour in 2012. Their debut album Crossfire has been well received. Next out was Pagan’s Mind, also from Norway. I have never seen either them or NiteRain before, and Pagan’s Mind was a surprisingly tight and good band. Their singer is one of the best I have heard in the progressive/heavy rock style, and the band have a good and well deserved following. The band started up in 2000, and all the original members are still playing in the band. They have released five studio albums and are definitely worth seeing. From Pagan’s Mind on Fort West it was over to Fort East to see Graveyard from Sweden. In style they are also more of a heavy rock band than a metal band. As a rock fan I really like their music. They are coming up with a new album on Nuclear Blast this autumn, Innocence & Decadence. On stage I have never been too fascinated by them, but that is mostly from a photographer’s perspective. I have no complaints about their playing, which is hard, precise and with some good songs. Before Gojira came on stage it was obvious that the venue filled up with fans who had waited until then to come to the festival venue. Gojira have a solid and absolutely well deserved fan base in Norway, and they have played here several times the last years. I am just as much impressed by the band evey time I see them, and their gig yesterday night was maybe the best Gojira concert I have seen so far. DumDum Boys have been around since the late 70’s, then they called themselves Wannskrækk (fear of water). The band as we know it reorganized in 1985 and released their debut album on Sony in 1988. Their commercial break through came the year after with Splitter Pine. DumDum Boys are one of the big four in Norwegian rock history from the 80’s and 90’s together with deLillos, Raga Rockers and Jokke & Valentinerne. In 1998 they went on a 5 year hiatus, but came back in 2003, and have kept on releasing albums and touring since then. Their lineup has been the same since 1993, except for their keyboardist who quit in 2007. Singer Prepple is maybe the most charismatic Norwegian rock singer, and guitarist Kjartan Kristensen is a songwriter who paints lyrics in an impressionistic style. As a live act everything is centered on Prepple, and if you haven’t seen them before, do it now! They are doing a few local festivals this summer, before they play Rockefeller in Oslo in December. The band everyone was waiting for was Twisted Sister. They have been playing and shocking people with their cross dressing and their music since 1972 with a hiatus from 1983 to 2003. Singer Dee Snider is still one of the more flashy front persons in rock, but he is also a very hard working artist, giving the fans real value for their money. At Tons of Rock the cross dressing part was toned down, and the band presented themselves as a very god and competent hard rock band, with Snider running and jumping around more like a 30 year old than as the 60 year old he is. The contrast from all the other bands this day to Mayhem is big. They perform with a stage setup that contains leftovers from a slaughter, with seven pig heads and bones and stuff hung up on scaffolds together with torches placed around on stage. Mayhem is also the oldest Norwegian black metal band still playing together, with bass player Necrobutcher and drummer Hellhammer as the only remaining founding member. If you want real old school black metal, you have to see Mayhem. The setup and repertoire last night was approximately the same as on their 30 year anniversary at Oya last year. My last band for the evening was Venom from Newcastle, England. Their second album, Black Metal in 1982 gave name to the music style, and they are still playing together. Bassist and singer Cronos joined the band in 1979 and is the only member from the early period The other two members on guitar and drums joined in 2007 and 2009. Musically I found Venom much less hardcore black metal as for instance Mayhem. Venom is much more an extreme heavy rock band, but with a black metal attitude. But they did a good show and the fans seemed quite content. All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.
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Kjøtt are Not one of The Nigeria four in Norwegian rock! That’s Raga Rockens ( but of course you know that) 😉
Thanks for pointing it out. Yes, I knew that, I was just a bit too quick this morning 🙂