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Blastfest 2017 Preview

Aspherium, Abyssic, Lucifer's Child, Gehenna, Cut Up, Ajattara, Memoriam, Scour, Sigh, Hour of Penance, Hell, Marduk, Hate Sphere, Blood Red Throne, Akercocke, Leprous, Between the Buried and Me, Elizabeth, Devin Townsend Project, and many more
in Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at United Sardine Factory
by Erika Kuenstler

Norway, arguably the cradle of many phenomenal bands, has always had a special place in the heart of metal fans. Especially so in the frozen chest cavities of Black Metallers, otherwise too trve to express emotions. And so it is to this unholy land to which many fans from all around the world make a pilgrimage each year to the fourth instalment of BLASTFEST festival. From the 22nd to the 25th of February 2017, thousands of fans from all corners of the globe will converge on Bergen for an unforgettable four days of Metal mayhem.

Despite all the recent drama surrounding the festival, with bands cancelling and being cancelled for political reasons, BLASTFEST have still managed to pull together a phenomenal international lineup that not only showcases some of the best bands from the Black Metal and Death Metal scenes, but also gives us glimpses into the rich history of the scenes. Wednesday night sees the festivities kicked off with the Club Night at Hulen, featuring bands like ASPHERIUM, ABYSSIC, and LUCIFER'S CHILD. As can only be fitting given the festival's location and the culture of Norwegian Black Metal, the night will be headlined by veterans of the scene, GEHENNA.

Thursday, the first official day of the festival sees some spectacular bands take to the stage, including the likes of TORTURE KILLER, CUT UP, and AJATTARA. Penultimately MEMORIAM will grace the stage. Featuring ex members from BOLT THROWER and BENEDICTION, this is an all-star band that puts on a dazzling performance. I had the pleasure of seeing them in action this year, and if that spectacular show was anything to go by, this is one performance you don't want to miss. And to top it all off, BLASTFEST has another highlight in store: SCOUR will be headlining Thursday night, marking the global début of Phil Anselmo's new band. Now, with a long history in bands such as PANTERA, DOWN, and SUPERJOINT RITUAL, it's not surprising that SCOUR has already garnered such a gathering of fans, and BLASTFEST will be your unique opportunity to catch this band live for the first time ever. So if you want to be part of history in the making, be sure to order your tickets now.

Friday is no less packed with treats to look forward to. Take for example the Japanese band SIGH, whose 1993 album “Scorn Defeat” was one of the nine albums released through Euronymous's label Deathlike Silence Productions before his untimely death. One of the bands I'm most looking forward to is HOUR OF PENANCE. These Italian Technical/Extreme Metallers play all too seldom in Central Europe, making this relatively rare treat. Following this will be HELL, veterans of the English Heavy Metal scene. And if you think the day couldn't possibly get more blasphemous, the war machine that is MARDUK will annihilate all with an exclusive “Heaven Shall Burn When We are Gathered” set. This quintessential MARDUK album, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year was arguably the first album which saw MARDUK move towards the musical style for which they are now so well known. And that's not even it yet for the day: BLASTFEST will soon announce the headliners for Friday night, so be sure to stay tuned.

The final day of the festival is no less mouth-watering, featuring a slew of bands such as HATE SPHERE, BLOOD RED THRONE, AKERCOCKE, LEPROUS, and BETWEEN THE BURIED & ME. One thing to definitely watch out for on this day is ELIZABETH, a tribute show to BATHORY. Featuring members from GEHENNA and THRONE OF KATARSIS, who could pay better homage to BATHORY's first three albums? Other highlights to watch out for: DEVIN TOWNSEND will be delivering an exclusive heavy set, so this is something that should definitely not be missed by fans. Day passes for Saturday are pretty much sold out, so if you're planning on going just for this day, make sure to get your pass now.

As for accommodation, BLASTFEST have again enlisted Augustin as the official festival hotel. This hotel is exclusively reserved for metalheads going to BLASTFEST, and has all the things you need to make your festival experience as epic as possible. They've even extended breakfast times to 11am to make sure you don't miss breakfast after a long night of headbanging to some of your favourite bands, and will soon be announcing daytime activities. So be sure to secure your tickets soon for this festival, and check out BLASTFEST's homepage for more details. Metal Temple looks forward to seeing you there!

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