Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2

Slow Dragon Music follows up on the experiential wrap write-up of this year’s Inferno Metal Festival and Conference.

Welcome back! In Part 1, we talked about everything up to the end of the first session of Inferno Music Conference panels. It’s amazing to think that just a day and a half filled a full article, but that alone shows how much goes on at this event. Yeah, it’s led to an odd split, as we head into the live music portion of the Thursday, but it is deserved. Let’s have some more!!!


Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Konvent

Things go from one extreme (sitting down for ages) to another (eternal standing), as first band of the day – København’s Konvent – open the big Rockefeller stage. The room is already heaving, and we’re sure it wasn’t this busy this early on last year. Substantially younger than some of the other acts, Konvent’s blackened doom paced metal has drawn a lot of hype in recent years. From the offset, Rikke Emilie List’s eerie vocals penetrate Oslo, against a blackened wall of riffs and bludgeoning beats. The friendly neighbours have come to set the standard.

You might think Norway is cold in at Easter. But no…

It’s absolutely melting compared to home. How the locals are surviving the the absolutely packed, sweaty, pit is beyond comprehension. (Recalling Jessica Pimentel‘s earlier conference story of it raining sweat at the show where she met fiance Tomas Haake, I look round not to see twitterpated individuals, but a smirking, smelly, drenched Scotsman wafting his trouser department and describing how he’s “stuck together” It’s not like the movies, folks – AVZD) Danish youngsters, Nakkenaekker, don’t seem phased as they kick off their European tour with Crypta and Plaguemace at Inferno. If tonight’s anything to go by, though, they’re going to be Nakken-knackered come May. Serving straight up death metal with a truck load of RedBull, the energy is (literally) at fever point.

Perspiring like a tory in a room full of unattended orphanage piggy banks, we tick-tock back upstairs for Trondheim’s extreme metallers, Keep of Kalessin. Youthful exuberance passes the baton to weathered experience, and things are almost as furious, but with more gothic tinges, old school vocals, and plenty of colourful lead work. The symphonic theatrics are impressive and fill the space and stage well. It’s the perfect setting, with tiers of fans inhaling every note as they rise (but not quite my cup of tea I’m afraid – Near on fifteen years ago KoK toured with Saturday’s headliners Dimmu Borgir, and Nergal in his alternate Inferno form, and it was nice to hear some of the older tracks played from around that time. For me though, I like things a little rough around the edges, a little less polished, hence Slow Dragon – AVZD)

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2

We’re getting into our rhythm, now. Up and down, band after band.

København’s epic metallers Orm are hard to describe. Progressively instrumental whilst pushing the boundaries of heavy soundscapes, they present an obliterating scythe of blackened riffs, smattered with brief moments of reprieve, and one huge, haunting mid passage. It’s a suffocating jouissance, melodical asphyxiation if you will, and the crowd breathe Orm’s every breath.

Lashing out furiously after them are homegrown Nordjevel. To be honest, although we know of the band, with so many lineup changes over their career, it wasn’t 100% who was up today. Still, the floor is wall to wall in anticipation (you can tell today is sold out), and they hurtle into some trve black metal, of course accompanied by flaming pyrotechnics. Because it’s not hot enough already. Yeah, ok, fire is cool, we’ll give you that.

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Crypta

We’re now six bands deep as Crypta take to the stage. And standing in the rain.

It’s the one unfortunate feature of the event; the size disparity between the two stages means when there’s a band everyone wants to see downstairs, you can end up waiting to filter through a “one out – one in” situation. We do eventually gain entry, and it is rammed. Sound wise, this is one of the tightest productions of the day by far, and the band are on top form. As mentioned above, this is the first show of their European tour, and they make the most of blasting tracks from last year’s Shades of Sorrow and more, to an immersed audience.

Dip diving from speed to weed, next up is the old guard of Swedish doom metal, Candlemass. There’s no messing with this classic sound. You know what you’re getting, and the getting is good. We call it a little short with the need to eat, and not wanting to repeat the wait for entry downstairs, because…

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2

It’s now time for the last band on John Dee, California’s Cattle Decapitation.

They enter the stage and the crowd do, in fact, go wild. The photographers not so much, as singer Travis Ryan tells them to royally F-off, for basically being between them and the audience, who are getting proper riled up at this stage. Eventually, an apology of sorts offers that they’re “just American!” Cultural relations in tact (as well as zoom lens), the show ramps up its camaraderie, and the crowd and band are one sweaty tumbleweed of hair and other matter, disappearing and reappearing amongst the throngs of denim and leather.

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Kampfar

Finally, we reach the first of the headliners, as Kampfar – a universal SDM “big band” highlight – concludes day one, and stripped down theatrical staging is put to maximum effect. It’s fantastic to see a band we first became hooked on live at Inferno move up to a headlining spot. They were clear audience favourites in 2022, so it’s well deserved, and they deliver handsomely on the responsibility. Brutal punch after punch, the band keep fast pace throughout as if we were in the last hours on earth. And what better way to go out..?

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2


Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Arthur Brown

We should be destroyed. We should be utterly exhausted, disheveled shells. We sure as shit deserve hangovers.

Yet, here we are, rocking up to the hotel lobby, ready for the second installment of extreme metal music industry panels. Our first was a rare treat, with the God Of Hellfire himself, Arthur Brown. His voice is, however, like the soothing tones of a favourite uncle, and comfort starts to take over. Enthralling as his lifetime of bizarre tales is, the Sandman starts knocking, and it’s just as well the caffeine flows freely. We refresh, then take in a truly enlightening history lesson, looking into the background of the real Dracula, and a further career talk with Sólstafir vocalist Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason (who is, by the way, hilarious). Then it’s time to lace boots, strap helmets, and get back to the front!


Everyone was down early for a live set from the incomparable Arthur Brown band. Dressed to impress, Arthur and his merry, shimmery fae folk literally kicked things off with equal parts oddity and comforting reminiscence. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, not to be missed, which, to be fair, is something Inferno are rather good at. It’s hard to believe the guy is 80 years old+, as he dances about, performing the hell(fire) out of the stage, putting some of the younger counterparts of the day to shame. Musically, it’s just as weird and acid tinged as you’d expect, inebriating the audience with his potent psychedelic poetry.

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Vorga

Not wanting to miss a minute of it, we run into a little bit of an overlap, which means we don’t quite catch the start of Vorga. Luckily, it’s not quite as rammed as it was on Thursday (yet), and we still get in for some neon drenched extremity, courtesy of the UK/Bulgaria/Germany based black metal cyber cult. The Luminous pentagram center stage definitely stood out.

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Vltimas

Then it was time for Vltimas…

This band seems to have been a great divider amongst the audience. It certainly was in our camp. (Personally I loved them, and it was great to see Vincent doing this divergent vocal take live – Slow Dragon). According to their label, Season of MistVltimas are legends of the underworld. Any good Satanist knows to bow down and worship at the horned feet of David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel), Rune Eriksen (ex-Mayhem) and Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy)”.

The “supergroup” know how to perform and put on a good show of course, and through grooving pace, and occasional doom warbling, this is still kind of blackened death, although with more distinct tracks than many other bands in this sphere. (For me, this was more Paul’s cup of tea than mine. Paul’s cup’s been in the dishwasher, the logo is in near mint condition and it’s carefully stored on the “good shelf”. I was waiting for a sip out of my chipped mug with the last fortnight’s coffee rings adding to the texture of my next brew... – AVZD)

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Carpathian Forest

It looks like a few people were on premises specifically for that set;

Downstairs is fairly airy for Costa Rica’s Umbra Conscientia, and their canonical, chthonic black metal. It means an unusually easy shot at the bar, and a bit of a breather between the brutality. Back upstairs, though, things flip entirely when Carpathian Forest take the stage. (This was one of the major draws of today’s main stage for me – AVZD). It’s barely possible to move for bodies as their pumping beat driven black metal swamps the room. Everyone is out in force for the filthiest sound, and it feels like a sellout crowd again (it’s not, but it must be damn close right now). They careen through a mad set, featuring mouth organs, Motohead worship, and a cover of Turbonegro’s All My Friends Are Dead.

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Extermination Dismemberment

Beat downs and anti-aircraft machine-gun riffing are order of the day next with North Germans, Extermination Dismemberment. This is not exactly a band for surprises, but they are tight, and they’ve probably landed on the best production for this style I’ve heard at Inferno. It is quite “contemporary” though, and you can see some old heads not quite on board (I personally love it, but is it a fit for the fest’s character..? – Slow Dragon). This is the second last night of a tour for them, and you can see they’re swinging hard, going out on a high.

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Solstafir

Sólstafir is a hit and miss band for me. I am very much waiting to see what they play. As we walk in it is a blended number, ranging from driving heaviness to ephemeral atmospherics. I’ll take it. – Slow Dragon

They do keep things introspective for the duration of their set, but it doesn’t feel too pop, and, to be honest, it’s a nice change from the intensity of previous acts. It’s been a pretty intense couple of days of music already, and with the help of liquor, things are getting a little bit “blendy.” Their positioning on the bill is kinda perfect.

When you’re just two guys, playing a full on metal festival, and technology rebels against you, the most rock n roll thing to do is say “fuck it” and just smash the bastard anyway. Welcome to Mantar. Again, the crowd might have been slightly thinner, but they owned it with impressive force of character. Combined with their swirly, black-smoke psyche, it makes for a truly memorable moment.

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2 - Gorgoroth

(To be brutally honest, for me, what’s just gone before means Friday headliners, Gorgoroth, are sort of just there. Or maybe I’m just too tired/old. This is not a diss on their set, but it doesn’t vibe as much in this corner. I guess being more underground in taste means the underdog is going to grab a huge chunk of available appeal, attention, and energy. I am absolutely in the minority, though, and as we dip out a little early, the spirit in the venue is still high. – Slow Dragon).

We’re only halfway through the fest proper at this stage, and, in truth, it starts to feel a little daunting.

We’re not ones to miss out on bands just to get an easy ride. We want to cram in as many as we can, and get our bucks’ worth. Still, we are stubborn, and we survived it before. Only two days to go… Bring it on!!!

Slow Dragon & AVZD

Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2

Catch Pt.1 here – Pt.3 coming soon


Inferno 2024 Festival and Conference wrap Pt.2