2/2 Odense Metalfest Wrap

Odense Metalfest 2023

2/2 Odense Metalfest 2023 Wrap

Towards the end of October, 2023, Slow Dragon Music made our maiden voyage to Odense Metalfest… And here’s part 2 of our experiential review!

Rest. Rest is important. Lessons learned from overdoing the tourist thing, and not getting enough sleep, we slouched about in a preparatory slumber for over 12 hours, only stopping out for Hafla burgers, which it has to be said were epic in flavour and portions. (Hey, you gotta eat – Slow Dragon).

Heading into the venue, we caught up with our host Jakub at the All or Nothing Tattoo booth, temporarily shop squatting in Musikhuset Posten to adorn the crowd with their art. He is a very busy man, but, like us, appears a little less worse for wear than the previous day. All together, on we go…


Odense Metalfest 2023 - Hard Lessons

After a bit of a later start for the second day, Aalborg hardcore crew, Hard Lessons, are here to “kick ass and chew bubblegum“. Their vocal assault gets the heart of the crowd pumping with a little help from what seems like the whole backstage of cataclysmic guests. I’ll say it again, but it was so refreshing to see the Danish scene collaborate between bands so well “on the night” (AVZD) Between the band and the crowd, the shared love between metal and hardcore is still showing to be strong, with a packed out room from the offing.

Odense Metalfest 2023 - Dysgnostic

First band on the big stage this day were Danish contemporaries, Dysgnostic; so far, one of the heaviest on offer.

Self described “dark, twisted, intense and dissonant death metal” , they draw an eerie presence to the big stage and I knew I was going to love it (AVZD). Previously known as Defilementory, the stage’s air of murkiness, was sliced with delicate composition and prodigious riffage. Starting with a slow, sludgy kind of vibe, before a more blackened death effect took over, this was a supreme obliteration for just the second act of the day. Other than the headliners, it was kind of between these guys and Panzerchrist for band of the weekend. (I went to the merch stall, I gushed, they were nice. No shame – Slow Dragon).

Odense Metalfest 2023 - Avarice

A hard set to follow, but back on the small stage, follow it Avarice do, and enthusiasm was no less abundant for their tight-yet-organic breed of death-thrash. They reminded me a little of Dundee based Metal to the Masses: Scotland winners Catalysis (AVZD), as they dropped a monstrous sound, and what might have been, competitively, the most crowd surfing within the set we’d seen thus far. Less than six months after their debut album, self-titled Avarice and then Reborn In Blood, it was evident that they are a band to watch. That’s taken literally by a some wide-eyed fans floor level, as vocalist Anders Sindling rips off his shirt and throws it into the tornado. It seems the crowd has other thoughts, though, as a fan reappeared on stage, returning what seems like said shirt. 

It seems like a lot of the better known names for the local scene had been saved for the Saturday, as Steel Inferno hit the stage.

There’s barely been any floor space in front of any act today, and these gents slammed home the message that old school’s cool. Marking the 7th anniversary of their debut album, Aesthetics of Decay, these Danish metallers may be relatively young amongst their festival counterparts, but mastered a definite 80’s influence, set in the genres arguable heyday (think Maiden/Priest …on speed – AVZD). Classic metal completely came to life in all ways, fantastic and questionable, but all in a good fun. Chains hung from everything on stage, as Steel Inferno patches and archetypal cuts adorned a swelling crowd in militant fashion. Lyndorff, the band’s guitarist and “primary songwriter” carves through, hell-for-leather, as yet another group send the tension higher. 

2/2 Odense Metalfest 2023 Wrap

So, I do like hardcore, but I hadn’t been fully feeling it this weekend – until now (Slow Dragon). Mindslaver are absolutely knocking it out of the park. Maybe it’s because they are a bit more “metal”. Maybe it’s because I have more energy for the second day. The Hamburg mob ended the first leg of their tour at Odense Metalfest with tour mates Hard Lessons on the small stage, and it seemed they were trying to steal the crowd surfing crown from Avarice. Both fans and band members were diving into what can only be described as a ramen bowl of legs, arms and nondescript limbs. 

Odense Metalfest 2023 - No Turning Back

The hardcore continued with the Dutch troops in No Turning Back.

They had the crowd in their hands, with probably the biggest pit so far, and brought a prestigious, seasoned punk rock edge to the big stage, having been around for a mere 26 years. The singer told us something about how Danish is like drunk from where he’s from. He also professed the band’s hatred of stage barriers, launching a battle cry of “Come on stage and stage dive“, and asked for the “biggest circle pit“. Both requests were thoroughly fulfilled. 

We were now really cutting through what has turned out to be a fantastic second day. Back on the smaller stage, Sylvatica were slaying it, with gothic, melodic, folk death metal. This band are unique in the way they adapt so many genres, and encompass a rounded, metal-accessible sound, guiding the crowd through their story-telling set. It really does cement a camaraderie within the room, something that perhaps we’re losing a little in the UK, with so many sub-sub-sub genres.

Saturday was, in general, my favourite of the two days (Slow Dragon). I also talked to the locals a lot more (apparently I’m “the Scottish guy” – more of you need to come over for this!). It’s hard to believe this is the second last band. As good as they were, I reckon we could have gone a couple more before the headliners, as the crowd pulsated and swayed through Sylvatica’s conclusion. 

Odense Metalfest 2023 - Asphyx

All things, however, have to come to an end, and Dutch death metallers Asphyx begin what will close the the final moments of the festival.

The Netherlands’ brutal best were not there to mess about. Heavy thudding drums complimented the pulse rate of the first few rows of the pit, whilst speed guitars, and sometimes melancholic musings, reminded us that this was our last chance to thrash out before the call of the day job. Truth be told, I completely lost the plot for this band (Slow Dragon). OK, so maybe the majority of the crowd wasn’t up for full on action by this point, but it was possible to get some kind of push pit on the go down the front. A core clutch of us kept it going from start to finish, as Asphyx delivered a continuous flurry of extreme metal uppercuts. 

This was a knock-out finale to a sterling two-day event, which was stacked with great performances you might not have too frequent a chance to catch elsewhere. Certainly not so up close. The whole way through, we really felt welcomed and involved, by bands, organisers, and the local metal community. And ‘community’ is an accolade the Odense massive certainly seem to embody. It’s going to be hard to resist another round…

Read part 1/2 here.

2/2 Odense Metalfest 2023 Wrap

Please note that despite all efforts on a popular language learning app to improve, our Danish is limited. If there are any mistakes in our translation of comments made on stage, or song / album titles, this was made purely by our drunken, Scottish-talkin’ arses and corrections can be made if you let us know! Apologies in advance, we’re trying…

Odense Metalfest 2023 Wrap
Odense Metalfest 2023 Wrap



2/2 Odense Metalfest 2023 Wrap