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By:Larm 2012 Day 1 in pics & review (Dark Times, Execration, The Avalanche, Maribel, Beaten to Death & more)

by BBG

Dark Times in Oslo – 2/16/2012
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By:Larm is Norway’s version of SXSW, a mass of bands and seminars in Oslo over three days. By:Larm’s focus is the best of Scandinavia though, and they highlight the region across 24 venues and seminar sites. As a result, most of the bands at By:Larm have never broken on our shores and more than likely haven’t even played the states. That made for a lot of research and a considerable amount of excitement when I found something new and fresh. I definitely found some fun and interesting bands during day one this year (February 16th). Read more about it, commplete with pictures, below…

My evening started at the Rockefeller, which is split into two stages: Rockefeller Annex and John Dee. Rockefeller Annex was hosting Thulebasen early, a Danish trio that mixed elements of shoegaze, 90s slacker-indie like Pavement & Dinosaur Jr and the playful dual harmonies of Deerhoof. Next door, Magnet (who I saw a few days prior) played a set of his warm, indie folk.


Thulebasen

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Magnet

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Mono was my next destination, where I headed to catch quirky shoegaze quintet The Avalanche. The Trondheim band mixed elements of their dreamy-pop with noise rock and odd rhythms, but tied all of it together with gorgeous four-part vocal harmonies. Unique and fascinating stuff.

The Avalanche

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My next destination was the small venue Revolver, a basement space that held around 80 people. Maribel, mixed psychedelia, blues, and dream-pop to come off as a more shoegaze-y Black Angels. The breathy vocals of Rebekka Von Markstein were particularly mesmerizing.

Maribel

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Next up was a change of pace, a bit of Norwegian grindcore! Beaten to Death is a five-piece “Norwegian grindcore boyband” that contains members of Tjsuder, and the band plays an interesting version of grind that reminded me of Unsane. The dual guitar attack has stripped most of the low-end out of their guitars and leaves only the higher pitched squeal, which is futher accentuated by the bright tones of a pair of Fender Telecasters. Their energetic lead vocalist may recall Neil Fallon of Clutch, but his energy is definitely infinitely more infectious.

Beaten to Death

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From Mono it was back to Revolver to catch the thrashy Norwegian crew Overthrow. The four-piece, who recently signed with Indie Recordings, play a fierce version of thrash with nods to Slayer, Sodom, black metal, death metal and hardcore. So far they only have some demo material, but look for their debut LP on Indie Recordings and via Prosthetic in the US.

Overthrow

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Black metal collided with death metal for Oslo’a Astaroth, who was adorned in stage blood at Rockfeller Annex. The band was followed by the Fenriz-endorsed death metal of Execration, which tipped their hats to Autopsy, Death and the hordes of “tion” death metal bands of past & present. Both were great.

In between the death-obessed pair at Rockefeller, I went to Revolver to catch most of Oslo’s Dark Times, a punk trio related to the Black Hole Crew (with Okkultokrati, Haust, Drugged SS and Blackest Woods). Lead by the bratty vocals of guitarist AK, Dark Times played dark punk/post-punk indie pieces from their debut 7″ in addition to a cover of The Wipers. Check out some of their material at Bandcamp. They were one of the few bands that I saw more than once at by:Larm.

Astaroth

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Dark Times

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Execration

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My final band of the night was also at Revolver, the triple-guitar team Vestindien. Clearly influenced by the fruitful early days of Revelation Records, the Bergen crew definitely put a different spin on the preceedings with their thrashy black-metal influenced guitar-work and death metal influences. It was an energetic live set, mostly due to the strong vocals of Torjus Raknes.

Vestindien

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to be continued…

PREVIOUSLY: my visit to the World Snowboarding Championships in Norway (Turbonegro, Andrew WK & Santos Party House pics, included)

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