Admittedly, this title could be misunderstood – it’s not about a show with all five bands, but two different gigs featuring the Australians Ne Obliviscaris, once headlining (supported by Brymir and Oddland in Helsinki) and once they play support for Enslaved in Berlin (plus Oceans of Slumber). Reporter for the latter show is Kathleen Gransalke :
15.10.2016, Lido, Berlin
Welcome to the Intercontinental ProgFest with Oceans of Slumber from Houston, Texas, America; Ne Obliviscaris from Melbourne, Australia, and Enslaved from Bergen, Norway, Europe. Today’s stop at their ongoing Europe-tour: Lido Berlin, Kreuzberg.
For city (and general) standards it was an early start at 18:30 h for the first act; due to a disco globe and not so much the beer we feel a bit dizzy, and excited.
Nevertheless because of Oceans of Slumber, the opening act of this evening. Who are they, what kind of music are they playing? Four guys and surprisingly a lady – singer Cammie Gilbert – enter the stage.
At this point not so many people are present, when the band deliver their songs which often begin softly but emerge later into epic Prog anthems. The band formed in 2011 does not sound like a support act at all, they appear very professional. Many styles are mixed here, and also clean and growl vocals (by guitarist Sean Gary), and they manage to hypnotise the audience with their dramatic overall concept. Only Gilbert’s slightly detached attitude seems a bit off, but maybe this is part of the stage concept? They conclude the show with a cover, Nights in White Satin from The Moody Blues. The now much bigger crowd sings along, and quite enthusiastically.
The Australians Ne Obliviscaris would have had the longest journey to Berlin, not counting their European headliner shows e.g. in Helsinki. Feeling relaxed by Oceans of Slumber, this sound tsunami surprises us a bit.
Ne Obliviscaris offer everything they have – 2 guitars, drums, bass, a violin and two singers who could not be more different. One is Xenoyr: a mysterious grim looking growler all in black. His opposite, Tim Charles, a cheerful bundle of joy in jeans and sweater singing clean and playing the violin. First it is a full attack on your senses, only occasionally interrupted by calmer parts with violin – and you can pretty much just guess what the band is actually attempting to deliver here. Later in the show the sound is getting better, and the auditoral cortex finally manages to comprehend the complex context of the final song. A pity it took so long, therefore it’s difficult to evaluate the show.
The main act, the veterans Enslaved, are definitely the most experienced musicians of this evening. This Norwegian band was founded in 1991 by singer Grutle Kjellson and Gitarrist Ivar Bjørnson, both still quite young, Kjellson 13 and Bjørnson 17 years old. A short calculation might reveal that it’s a quarter of a century ago – and the reason to celebrate the band anniversary with a tour and a selection of tracks of all their career stages. And naturally the first notes of the opening track are absolute ear candy, and you cannot help but get into the rhythm. Admittedly the author of this report is not that familiar with the back catalogue of those Norwegians, but their set is absolutely appealing – melodious, melancholic and still incredibly heavy. A well-done overall package delivered by likeable Northmen who entertain us also with some details from their band history, and other funny stories. It is also remarkable that the average age of the audience tonight at Lido absolutely matches the age of the members of the headlining band. After the main set of about one hour there is still time for a some encores – eg. the rarely played The Crossing – and then the show is over. We check our watch – it is 22:15 h. Not so much of a night life in Kreuzberg…
Oddland / Brymir / Ne Obliviscaris
Helsinki, Oct 12, 2016, Nosturi – reporting: the chief editor
Nothing odd about Oddland here – those guys fit quite well to the headlining band with their multi-layered sound worlds, combined with clean vocals, melodic choruses and the occasional growl. First the band seemed to hold back a bit, or maybe they were nervous – or maybe both, but soon the guys became more comfortable on the Nosturi stage. Which they rocked quite mercylessly too…
The band thanked the audience several times for showing up punctually, and in such large numbers (which is indeed rare, and it was a Wednesday!) And it seems they won over the crowd – which was so attentive during calmer parts that you could have heard a needle drop …
During the Brymir you could have juggled with bowling balls, though – nothing what you could call calm moments here. Those guys look like Vikings from the TV series, and it seems they planned to lay ruin to the foundations of Nosturi. Hell what a show, the Pagan Metal sound wave alone could give you a new haircut, and then this energetic show…
I preferred to retreat, but not because those guys are indeed so scary – even the opposite is true, they have a lot of fun on stage, which easily transfers to the audience. A fan even received a birthday gift, when Thus I Became Kronos from the new Slayer of Gods album was dedicated to him.
But then, finally, Ne Obliviscaris! First of all, you don’t get to see those Australians so often, and secondly headlining a show where fans get to hear more than 3 songs fitting into a support slot. What can I say – I knew beforehand that this band is amazing, but would they be able to carry the intensity over a headliner live set? Answer: yes. The Finnish barometer for the quality of a band – the bar area was totally deserted.
It’s fascinating how they translate those complex diverse songs with Black- / Death- / Grind- / Prog- / Pagan Metal / Alternative / Rock / Jazz elements (and Flamenco was added in the encore) with such precision live on a stage. In between clean vocalist / violinist Tim kept thanking the fans for their support, because only due to their crowdfunding (HERE the details) the band is able to go on tour or make new albums – and a new one is in the making… From the back I could observe the enthusiastic crowd, and people started shouting for more even before the band had turned around to retreat. And even the encore left the impression that the show was way too short … The band obviously enjoyed the show as well, as Tim went for a crowd surf… In case you have not heard of those guys before, it’s high time to check them out!
Photos: K.Weber Photo gallery HERE