Arkona, Metsatöll, Svartsot & Aktarum at Biebob (Vosselaar, Belgium): a must see – 29/11/2015

  Van Muylem    1 december 2015

It has been a while since I have been to Biebob. As for Arkona: I loved them already last time, Metsatöll was a must see for me (missed them due to traffic jam in Durbuy but ran into them and had a nice interview with them), Svartsot is a bit in the same line as Metsatöll and the Belgium opener was a yet to discover band. And yes: there was an accident in Antwerp South, so a lot of people were late (I was exactly one minute too early).

The guy’s from Aktarum describe themselves as Troll Metal from Belgium and are clearly influenced by bands like Metsatöll, Fintroll, Korpiklaani … Expect heavy stuff, grunting, spectacular riffs and great stories about trolls! I almost wrote Trolls et Légendes, ahum (little wink). They set the place on fire from the first note (Game of Trolls) with the right track and eager to show off their qualities and believe me: they do have them and they rock! Just sad that they only played before the early birds, but luckily enough towards the end of their set more and more people got in. Their sound is pretty harmonic, the synth is a great extra and their singer knows how to grunt, scream, sing and keep the act straight! If you manage to make people clap their hands after only 2 songs (Rock’n Troll) than you are really a good band! I felt a lot of energy and a lot of potential within this Troll & Roll metal band! You guys Rock!

I was looking forward to see Svartsot after watching some of their tracks on you-tube and it all got confirmed in the most positive way! They have the looks of folk/pagan metal lovers & brought some Danish fans along. The booze on stage was clearly appreciated and apparently Belgium has good bear (coming from Danish it sounds like music to me). Already from the start they proved to be a band that wants to create a party on vibe, a bit like with the live shows from Korpiklaani. They have talented people amongst them!  Hans-Jørgen for example, who plays whistles, mandolin & bagpipes: the way he does it all and the way he creates the party vibe is just great! The live act of Thor (their singer) is also magical and absolutely enchanting! The clear vocals from James, the bass that he plays and his physical is absolutely giving that extra thing that makes it special! It was all very impressive and the crowd showed off how much they are loved by clapping, , crowd surfing, dancing on the polka, pogo a gogo … It was a hot party and nobody got hurt (it was pretty rough at some point). Midsommer was one of the many highlights. Sköll and party on! At the end (during Skønne Møer) Thor even ran into the crowd and got his crowd surfing part! It was absolutely amazing and am already looking forward to see them again!

Metsatöll has a special instrument called Kannel and with this one their show got this special thing to create the difference! Yeah, Lauri is one of their assets, just as Marko Atso with his special and very energetic drum style! The rage and the energy came over me as if it was a train: Külmking, Metsalase very, Must hunt, Küü, Kivine maa, Sõjahunt, Tõrrede kõhtudes, Saaremaa vägimees, Surmamüür … they all got played so fast that I lost control over the tracks they played. It almost felt like I was in the middle of a Punk show: 1,2,3: lets’ play, keep it short and start the next song almost before ending the one before with no time to breath! It was very sharp, from the beginning. Luckily we got some softer tracks from time to time and even some polka. They played a lot songs from the last 2 albums Ulg & Karjajuht. When they started an a cappella track it was really quiet and they got a lot of respect for doing it, quickly knocking us all down with a new killer track, very brutal but very efficient! The roof was on fire! A polka turned the heating totally in the wrong direction and the roof started to sweat.  See on See Maa is one of those tracks that will keep on rocking an sounds very melodic! Closing with a last bomb called Lööme Mesti was a good choice, it felt good and we all enjoyed it! I hope to see them again on stage and why not in Estonia (as I go over there twice a year)!?

A band that I should have seen already twice is Arkona (family matters cut it down to one), but I really enjoyed this Russian whirlwind and up-tempo folk and polka pagan metal band (pfiew, what a description). One thing is for sure: they set the place on fire, from the first note and directly created their typical feel and atmosphere. Masha is clearly still in a good shape, just as Vladimir knows how to fire up an audience and play all of his instruments in such a perfect way whilst giving directions to the fans! You can feel the energy and once again I got reminded why I love their last album so much! Yav' is just the perfect opener, quikly followed by Ot Serdtsa K Nebu and Goi, Rode, Goi! You just had to be there to be impressed by pogo’s, crowd surfing, clapping hands, raising arms, singing/screaming along (and I mean it: in Russian), dancing polka’s, having fun and creating a warm and good place to be! It’s good that from time to time there is a softer moment, to cool down and catch some breath! Liki Bessmertnykh Bogov, Zakliatie, Na Strazhe Novikh Let and Slav'sja, Rus'! All great tracks getting the best performance! Sometimes it’s really raw and I get a bit afraid of all the moving around and pogo’s, but it all ends good and with the satisfaction of the fans we even get some encore’s! It was a heavy folk/pagan Metal party and with Yariló as last track and a final goodbye and greetings to the fans we end this great night! Heading back to my safe home in Brussels, fighting against a storm and lots of rain coming down whilst my car feels like punching bag as being punched by the wind but I endure it after so much fun!

Aïteh as they say in Estonian, thank you and Nägamist (until the next time)!

Arkona (Russia)

Metsatöll Official (Estonia)

Svartsot (Denmark)

Aktarum (Belgium)