From Paris, France. “Founded by guitarist Perversifier aka Amfortas in 1994 with a clear vision to keep the black metal flame burning as an act of aesthetic terrorism – as adamantly based in the underground as opposed to any attempts to co-opt, commercialise or turn the style into a self-parody” – Bio @ Season of Mist
“Merrimack means infinite depth/abyss, taken from a Graham Masterton book, where it refers to a great marine chasm swallowing up every human travelling near its borders, as explained by Perversifier in an interview”
Fantastic gig!! I saw MERRIMACK in 2010 at Party.San with a very young Vestal. Met Perversifier himself when he was talking to a friend of mine and just had to ask if the front guy was still the same. He told me that the PSOA gig was one of the first live with Vestal. Maybe even THE first.
13 years and counting and the guy was absolutely furious and brilliant. Stayed around for most of the set. Good stuff and convincing even in full sunlight.
Something about the French bands…so many cool ones.
Band: Perversifier Guitars Daethorn Bass A.K. Guitars Vestal Vocals Blastum Drums
– Latest album: Omegaphilia Full-length 2017
– Current label: Season of Mist Underground Activists
– Mortuus (Marduk, Funeral Mist) did some (additional) guest vocals on the 2012 album “The Acausal Mass” (Abortion Light)
– The drummer Blastum is also live drummer for Osculum Infame, one of my favourite bands @ the last years festival!
– Interview w. Perversifier @ thisisblackmetal.com 2019
[Live clips below by Tales From The Frontline & Gronn Onland. Check out their channels!]
- Category Archives Steelfest 2023
Black/Thrash from Tampere, Pirkanmaa, Finland. Originally founded by Sulphur (Jarno Hämäläinen), Infernus (Kaitsu Pekkarnen) and Pimeä (Mikko Äimälä) in Kuopio, Finland in 1994. All 3 also in BARATHRUM at that point (according to Metal Archives).
Definitely a band I would go & see again. Somebody bring them to Sweden!?
Me & Marco totally took advantage of their demon stuff we found lying about behind the stage. A nice picture somewhere below ⇓
Band: Sulphur Vocals, Guitars, Bass Axeleratörr Guitars (lead) Pestilent Slaughter Guitars Kalle Salminen Drums
[Live clips below by leatherheaven & Tales From The Frontline. Check out their channels!]
The French never cease to surprise.This one was spectacularly odd:D Basically an one man band by Léon Harcore / Vaerohn (who still back in 2010 didn´t necessarily fancy doing live gigs. Glad he changed his mind later, tho:))
Can´t really describe the show, so I borrow from Brutal Assault (where they are playing in August this year!!):
“After more than a decade of existence, PENSÉES NOCTURNES, a one-man band led by Vaerohn, have gone from a studio project to the stage.
Get ready for something crazy. Black metal music enriched with brass instruments, piano, accordion, Theremin etc. surrounded by a nightmare: all this creates a twisted and grotesque, chaotic, avant-garde, deranged circus.
PENSÉES NOCTURNES will take you to carnival parties, showcasing spectacular church organs, philharmonic orchestras, but not forgetting brass bands, piano decadence, dissonant or depressing black metal riffs or even post-black, crazy pure voice.” You get the idea?
The Live guys: Gégé Accordion, Keyboards, Vocals Le Grand Bass Jacky Drums Roro Guitars Zakouille Guitars
– PENSÉES NOCTURNES is a real French UFO – brutalassault.cz
– “The rule is actually there is none” – Vaerohn, July -22 @ metallerium.com
– Absolutely nothing to do with anything, but there is a wine called Pensées Nocturnes
Black/Death from Hamina, Finland. Existing as WITCHCRAFT since 2013. They started up as Black Feast (2009-2012) and in 2013 name change to Blasphemous Witchcraft. For a short while.
The past decade they´ve released a whole bunch of ltd edition demos (mostly cassettes) and some splits.
Collected notes & links:
– Latest release: Evil Manifests Compilation 2022 (cassette / Ltd 50 copies)
– Label: Escafismo Records
– The German quality tape label Darkness Shall Rise got some of the tapes in stock darknessshallrise.de/product/witchcraft-fin-black-imprecation/?v=f003c44deab6. A couple of cd/lp @ levykauppax.fi. There are several places you can still find WITCHCRAFT tapes so just google for them.
Death Metal from Zion, Illinois since 1997.
VERY sunny and hot on stage when the guys performed but they did a good job:)
“Evil Incarnate specializes in pure death metal a la Possessed, Numskull and otherst. They were formed in 1994 as Apollyn and released a demo called Beyond Blasphemy.
With Vehenkamp in the fold the band recorded a new demo called Deliverance From Salvation. In 1997 the guitarists change and two former Fear Spawned Religion members join. Simultaneously, the band changed its name. The demos Evil Incarnate and Christ Destroyed followed. Blood Of Saints was essentially a compilation of the band’s music so far. The 1997 and 1998 demos were put on CD by Deathgasm and on cassette by Ramu Records. After several years of absence the band returned in the summer of 2005 with a new album, label and drummer. Vehenkamp was reportedly booted from the band for personal reasons. The band planned to work with Sinister Sounds as of 2006, but the two parties split up when the Canadian label was unable to issue a band compilation on time. Christopher of Krabathor joined the band in 2008.” – metallian.com
[Live clipS by Gronn Onland, sarvi, ]
Collected notes & links:
– Latest release: Lucifers Crown Full-length 2023
– Label: Bestial Burst
– Interview @ Canadian Assault Zine March 2009
Can´t find so much information of these guys but VORNAT was formed in 1993 in Kotka, Finland. Lyrics about Occultism, Darkness, Satanism & Anti-Christianity. Released a couple of demos (-94 & -96), a split (w. HELLFUCKED from Germany) in 2002 and a compilation in 2020. After 20 years of absence they played live at Haukka Winterfest 2019 ((w. Thaukhnifur – Guitars, Vocals; Behemoth – Bass, Vocals; Erektor – Guitars; Nekroblaster – Drums). » 3 songs recorded by Baltic Sea Productions. Most (or all, really) info is from the Metal Archives.
Really liked this band and been listening to whatever I could find on the web after I got home. Lots of good songs! Was already hooked on “Unholy Evil One” when they played it so good thing that is also the one in the live clip so you can get the idea:) VORNAT don´t play so much, basically never, but at least the status is now “on hold” instead of “split up”.
[Live clip by Gronn Onland]
Collected notes & links:
Last day, first band on the outdoor stage.
“Spawned by the mind of infamous composer BST (Aosoth, The Order Of Apollyon) in total isolation, during the first lockdown of 2020, Sotherion is a one-man project paying homage to the late ’80s and early ’90s, the second wave of black metal. Inspired by disgust for the modern world and its deification of mediocrity and glorification of rats and motivated by a search for old ways of recording razor-sharp guitars and low-pulsing kick drums, the debut demo Schwarmgeist came to be in a heartbeat, acting as a beacon for what was next to come.”
– terrarelicta.com 2022
So far just the demo is released but hopefully more to come soon! The band is new but BST and the live guys have been around for a longer time. Checked a bit on Metal Archives and basically they play and have played in loads of (great) bands. So not exactly a bunch of newbies. And the band was clearly way better than my (quite few) pictures. Brutal mid day sunlight.
Very nice ofc for the general wellbeing but very hard to get the camera settings right. Some of the overly bright/stupid coloured crappy ones I just gave a layer or two of something for the more artsy feeling. And I can call myself a “Visual Artist”. Seems very popular these days..;) Death before auto settings!
“While the Mütiilation kind of sound typified French Black Metal during the 90’s, It were bands like Deathspell Omega, Antaeus, Arkhon Infaustus and Aosoth that brought a significantly different sound to the French Black Metal table. Bestial, wild and with a solid Death Metal edge to it, yet quite challenging with all kinds of contrarian and slightly dissonant riffs. To that tradition we can count Sotherion too” – thewhisperingdarkness.com March 2023
[Live clip by Gronn Onland]
Aesthetics of Death, Misery & Suffering From Kouvola, Finland since 2003. Not so many releases,tho. A couple of demos and a compilation of both demos.
“RUTTOKOSMOS are one of the great “what if?”s of Finnish black metal. The band formed sometime in 2003 and released the five-song Ja minä näin kuoleman demo in 2006 and then the six-song Kärsimys demo a year later. Afterward, nothing was heard from RUTTOKOSMOS ever again. Only one member concurrently played in Divina Inferis, and the other two members either disappeared and played pseudonymously in other bands” – werewolf.fi
Very early (12.30PM) on the last, and very very tired, day so needed my second large bucket of coffee. Breakfast is THE most important thing:) But I never leave a gig without having some kind of an idea what it´s all about when it comes to new (for me) bands. Ofc not always enough, but if I find something interesting, I´ll go all in after getting back home, digging up everything I can find. So many bands I´ve never even heard of and can´t recall any boring or shitty gigs these 2 years I´ve been visiting Villatehdas. Ofc everything in relation so the scale is pending from “good” to “awesome beyond belief”. Also some very rare performances. Like this one. When did they even play live the last time?
[Live clips below by Gronn Onland & sarvi (also one from rehearsals]
– Latest release: Kärsimys Compilation 2021 (released by Werewolf Records)
– Independent / not signed for the moment
– For the Japanese: Disk Union have the compilation in stock
(There are several Disk Unions in Tokyo. You´ll find the Hard Rock/Metal one in Shinjuku!:))
The one and only Roger Nattefrost ! Dunno what to say more than it was a blast and the best CF show I´ve seen so far:D Such an awesome band and Nattefrost totally ruled on stage.
[Live clips by Gronn Onland, SilesianWoods Promotions, HCSE]
Collected notes & links:
– Latest release: Likeim EP 2018
– Interview Carpathian Forest/Nattefrost 2023 w. Rauta @ Steelfest
I love the first “Spells”. Some of the later albums are ok but not on my best list. I think the last album I´ve heard in full was “Adimiron Black”.
Anyways, the gig was pretty good in which case. Maybe one or a couple of songs from “Spells” bu quite a many from the “Ww” album. I saw GEHENNA some years back at Blekkmetal in Bergen and they only played The early stuff. But that was the whole point there so I never heard the newer material live. Better than expected:)
“Gehenna was formed in January 1993 as a nameless project by Sanrabb, Dolgar, and Sir Vereda. They didn’t give the band a name until they had enough material, which would represent their voice.” – The Metal Archives
“Though Gehenna’s “Murder” is in the death metal field, most of this Norwegian band’s time has been spent in the black metal camp. Debuting in 1994 with the EP First Spell, Gehenna’s relaxed, somber melodic black metal was rather unique, highlighted by some interesting eerie synth work from then-keyboardist Sarcana. Though the band has had a pretty steady recording career quality-wise, many will still point to this first effort as the band’s best.
The next two albums showed a move toward a more aggressive, but still melodic, black metal style, somewhat like Emperor at that time. With the move to a new record label (Moonfog) came the transition album Adimiron Black. Still black metal, but decidedly harsher, with keyboards far less prominent, this pointed toward a bigger change to come. And come it did, in the form of 2000’s Murder. With only scant traces of their black roots, Gehenna has really gone full-tilt toward death metal, with even the vocal style abruptly shifting from the typical black metal snarls of the early days toward a low-pitched death growl. Indeed, if Murder and First Spell were played back-to-back, one would be hard pressed to believe they both came from the same band. The group has continued to straddle the death/black in recent years, with 2005’s WW veering back toward the black territory” – bnrmetal.com
[Live clip by Tales From The Frontline & Gronn Onland]
Collected notes & links:
– Latest release: Unravel Full-length 2013
– Label: Indie Recordings