Stua Notodden, Oktober 6 - 7

Day 1

I arrived at the festival a bit late this first day, so I didnít see the demo-band DECIPHER. But from what I heard afterwards the audience had met up early this afternoon to see the festivalís first band.
LEPROUS was the festivalís second band out and it was a positive surprise for me as I wasnít familiar with the band in advance. Leprous is playing a mix of prog rock/metal and symphonic black/extreme metal with both clean vocals and growling (or whatever they call the black/death metal vocals) from vocalist/synthist Einar Solberg (who also does the keys in Emperor). We also got a piece of classical music on the piano at the end of the concert. The band sounded very good and at least very exciting. This is a band to look out for in the future both live and on record (album review elsewhere on this site soon).

Then it was BENEA REACHís turn, an extreme metal band that gave me nothing. I donít understand why this band have three guitarists. I rush to the next band, TORCH, that served us a mixture of hardcore, extreme metal and punk that was just bailed out nonesensically. I understand why this band played for only 19 paying people in Hamar the day before.

But then the bigger names started to enter the stage and the first band out was the metallers in RED HARVEST. Weíre talking brutal heavy/power metal here! For me itís too much in the long run, but the band proved that they know how to do their things. This band have an energy of an atom bomb when theyíre on stage.

SUSPERIA was the next to last band this first day at the festival and it was obvious that many had come to see them live. There was a very lively crowd that got a solid dose of fast melodic thrash metal. I used to liste to thrash metal many years ago so this band gave me a little flashback, in a positive meaning. Susperia also played two brand new songs that will appear on the next album (that the band is working on in the studio these days), as well as an okay version of W.A.S.P.ís ďWild ChildĒ. I will also add that there were most people in the crowd during Red Harvestís and Susperiaís concerts.

Headliner this first day was the melodic power/prog rockers PAGANíS MIND. Thereís no doubt that this band is very professional and very clever musicians. There seems to be differing opinions on Nilsí vocals, but I think he does a great job just like the bandís instrumentalists. But I find their songs average despite of the bandmembers capability. And on top of that, it sounds very similar to Dream Theater at times that it can almost be characterized as plagiarism. During the 100 minutes Paganís Mind stood on stage the crowd got smaller and smaller, so it isnít just me that think the band should have written better songs. The band closed their set and the festivalís first day with a cover of Iron Maidenís ďThe TrooperĒ.

Day 2:

This second day started at 4.30 p.m. and the first band out was the festivalís second demo-band FRACTURE. This local gang did their second concert ever this day. Since last concert they had hired an extra guitarist, Wegard Golbeiowski, for the event. The band had only rehearsed three times with two guitarist and they were so satisfied with Wegard that heís now a permanent member of the band. And with two guitarists the bands sound was fatten up this Saturday afternoon. The performance was very good, both musically and vocally. Thereís no need to point a finger on the PA-sound either. We were served songs from the demo ĎIsolation Wingsí as well as a couple of new ones. Many people had arrived early to check out Fracture live, and they seemed impressed of what they heard. It will be very exciting to watch this promising band in the future, both live and on record.

I didnít see the next band SHE SAID DESTROY as I had to have some food before the prog rock/metallers CIRCUS MAXIMUS entered the stage. But the PA-system partly broke down, which resulted in that the bass and vocals was cut out from the sound now and then throughout the concert. The problem was some defailts with some amplifiers. That was very sad as the band played extremly well this night (like last time I saw them live), so I canít blame the bandís performance and achievement. One thing I wanted from Circus Maximus this night was the song ďThe ProphecyĒ, which they didnít play. But instead we got to hear two brand new songs (one of them called ďMy DestinyĒ) from the upcoming album the band is currently working on in the studio.

The sound problems continued into T÷MMERMENNís concert before it was fixed. But this band also completed their concert. Like Paganís Mind this band is getting boring in the long run despite of the bandís clever heavy metal musicians. Thereís nothing wrong with TŲmmermenn for that matter, but their songs shouldíve been better. TŲmmermenn sings in Norwegian language and with their heavy style it sounds weird sometimes (with lyrics like ďIím free as the birdĒ).

More prog rock was on the way when MAGIC PIE entered the stage. The sound problems was by now fixed and we again got great sound throughout Magic Pieís concert. Magic Pie must be the best prog rock band in Norway now. You have to look a long time for a more harmonized and tight band like this, and they have great songs. I will compare Magic Pie to Spockís Beard with its musical similarities and all of the bandís six members sings (either lead and/or backing vocals). The sound is getting so massive and big that makes oneís hair stand on end. For those of you who donít know Magic Pieís music, I can tell you that they have similarities to bands like Yes, The Flower Kings and, as ementioned above, Spockís Beard. Like some of the other bands on this festival Magic Pie is also working in the studio these days, and we got to hear some tasters which sounded very good. The band seems to continue in the same vein as their first album, so this is very promising in advance to the upcoming album.

The festivalís last two bands, MORTIIS and EMPEROR is too heavy for me, so I wonít say too much about them. I can tell that the audience were completely hooked by these two bands. So many had come to see these two bands, especially Emperor that reunited this summer for some performances. Thereís no doubt this extreme black metal band have been highly missed. But for me itís too extreme.

In the end I will say that the festival were well organized, and thinking of this as a non-alcoholic arrangement the audience gave an even more honest feedback by being sober. Itís unusual to see Emperor fans with nails around their arms enjoying prog rock from Magic Pie, but this proves that people isnít just true to their own style. So there is actually possible to arrange great rock concerts/festival without offering alcohol!

The sound started on a moderate level and were increased throughout the day as well as alsomst silence between the bands. Just a little heavy rock on elevator music level. Itís good to have a rest on the ears in between. All in all Iím very satisfied with MotstÝy Festivalen 2006 and Iím already looking foreward to next yearís festival. I will especially thank Tor Oddmund and Einar (the festival organizers) as well as Fractureís Per Morten and PŚl for a great weekend at MotstÝy!

Review and photos by Per Erik Jansen

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