Skálmöld has been one of my favourite bands since they released ‘Baldur’ in the deep and dark winter of 2010. I saw them shortly thereafter in Gamli Gaukurinn and was absolutely blown away. A couple of years later it is May 11 and I find myself again, in Gaukurinn, and tonight’s line-up has me very excited.
Kontinuum have been active since 2010 with a solid following although they haven’t had the overnight success of Skálmöld. Right from the get go, their machine gun drums get the sober crowd riled up-nodding giving way to head banging as more tattooed long haired enthusiasts gather close to the stage. After a melodic and energetic set, they’ve set the bar high for the next band.
When The Vintage Caravan step up, Gaukurinn is packed. The trio unleash on the crowd ’70s hard rock that is reminiscent of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, both of whom had disbanded and reunited before The Vintage Caravan members were out of their diapers. Most people seem to be enjoying themselves, except for a small group of grumpy metalheads who twiddle their thumbs in the corner. Luckily for them Skálmöld are up next.
SONGS OF HEROES, BATTLES, BLOOD AND BETRAYAL
Skálmöld channels the warm up bands’ buzz into a more aggressive direction, as befits a headlining act. Even the unfortunate few who don’t know or understand the lyrics are pulled in as the rest of the fans passionately recite the songs word for word.
This is the band that everyone came to see. The fans are like a stack of gasoline-soaked bales, igniting each time the band members pump their fist or clap their hands in the tightly packed venue. Skálmöld switches mid-way through the concert from their new album, to ‘Baldur.’ Three years after release, the songs are still executed with great finesse.
The rest of the night is a blur of wonderful guitar solos, hard-on-inducing Viking lyrics, and guttural screams from hell’s frozen depths. More mosh pits, more collisions of meaty flesh, and more laughs ensue. The floor is sticky with spilled beer, but absent blood or broken teeth.
As the night comes to a close, I hug fellow fans and walk out with them as if they were dear friends. Covered in sweat, with torn up vocal cords, I couldn’t be happier with the night.
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