Live Review: Arcturus, Blood Incantation, Voros, Abstract The Light

22 September 2017 | 5:00 pm | Fionna Broddesson

"Compositionally ingenious, they evoke a sense of intrigue with their obscure blend of chaos and grandeur."

First on stage, Abstract The Light made a dramatic entrance dressed in long, black robes and with their drummer blindfolded. Tracks from their EP From Out Of The Void were received with applause aplenty; particularly their set closer Gateways To Sulphur Chrysalis, which featured contrasting female vocals by In The Burial's Mel Bulian.

Voros hit the stage next and delivered a technical set that had it all; groovy and thrashy one moment, unrelenting and crushing the next. Immediately capturing the audience's attention, the band didn't let it go for a second. The heavy riffing on Sea Of Dead Trees kept the air guitarists in the throng busy with band and fans alike clearly having a great time.

Taking the intensity up a notch was Colorado's Blood Incantation, who slayed the crowd with a monstrous and foreboding assortment of songs from their critically acclaimed debut album Starspawn. Their sound was primitive and desolate, guttural vocals delivered effortlessly by Paul Riedl alongside his technical guitar duties; the whole band obvious masters of their instruments. Blood Incantation's old-school death metal sound has drawn them a lot of attention, but they are innovative enough to keep things interesting and compelling.

With excitement and anticipation heavy in the air Arcturus made their entrance, indulging fans with a lavish setlist full of highlights that spanned their entire musical career. He seemed just the right amount of inebriated and Simen "ICS Vortex" Hestnaes was in a party mood, at times whimsical and eccentric but nevertheless always entertaining. The vocalist's connection to the audience was jovial, he gave generously of himself, but this never detracted from his incredible vocal execution. Clearly the whole band were in their element. Standout tracks The Chaos Path and Hibernation Sickness Complete had the crowd in rapture while Crashland was just sublime. With a handful of 'extras' thrown in for good measure, the performance reached its apex with a storming rendition of Raudt Og Svart, a felicitous way to end an unforgettable night.

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It had been ten long years since the legendary Arcturus graced our shores, but many would argue they were more than worth the wait. It isn't just the musical pedigree of the individual members that makes this band special, it's also their ability to create exquisite soundscapes that take the listener on an interstellar voyage to the great unknown. Compositionally ingenious, they evoke a sense of intrigue with their obscure blend of chaos and grandeur both of which was showcased brilliantly in their live show.