The best way to sanctify Easter, for the metalheads, is to headbang at Inferno, the metal festival that every year pays a blasphemous tribute to the Easter celebrations. Inferno festival has for sure a certain magical aura because it takes place in Oslo, the place where the whole black metal movement was born, but, apart from that, Inferno is today definitely the best metal festival indoors. It is not just for the amazing lineups every year, but it is all the event and how it is organized that make this festival amazing. The atmosphere is definitively one of the strong sides: you have the opportunity to live in hotel transformed in a kind of metal disco from the morning to late at night, and you might happen to meet musicians at breakfast or in the lift.
Apart from that, the organization of the event was significantly improved in the 2018 edition: for the first time all the concerts were held in the same venue, the Rockefeller / John Dee, which made it much easier to attend the concerts. Among the collateral events I mention two nerdy ones: a drum clinic with Cato Bekkevold of Enslaved and a guitar clinic with Ihsahn that I myself attended as a guitarist. Ihsahn shared some background about the composition process for both Emperor and his solo project, and it was very interesting. When it comes to the musical part, this edition was Sweden dominated: Grave, Dark Funeral, Shining, Necrophobic just to mention a few. Inferno is traditionally a mainly black metal-oriented festival, but it also gives much space to other styles. For example, I was very impressed by Origin, American brutal death metal band formed by incredibly virtuoso musicians. Difficult to choose the high points of the festival, it also depends on the tastes. To me it is always a pleasure to see bands like Shining and Satyricon, they deliver as always; Carpathian Forest was another highlight: they played many glorious old hymns, but also the new songs: “Likheim” and the Turbonegro cover “All My Friends Are Dead” from the new single, plus the cover “A Forest” by The Cure. Tsjuder embellished their show by closing with “Sacrifice” by Bathory: Frederick Melander, former bassist of Bathory, came on stage and took Nag's bass and played it. That was also a high point. Other bands that I enjoyed very much were Fleshgod Apocalypse, Naglfar, Schammasch, Auðn and many others.
On the other hand, the choice of the stages is perhaps questionable: why bands like Schammasch, Grave, Necrophobic had to play on the small stage of John Dee? At least their concerts did not overlap with others, which is good and not obvious.
Well, now I think the best thing is to give the word to some videos I shot; they describe the festival better than any word.
Text, photo and videos by Herjann