Tons of Rock 2015

Text: Tina, Kvile, Siv, Astrid, Tom, Jan-Inge & Cayza. Photo: Tina & Cayza

A new year and some new opportunities. The weather was a bit more on the festival site this year even though it was a small rain shower or two on the opening day. It was possible a few more rain showers during the weekend, but they were overshadowed by the amazing program and the great atmosphere. We also think it seemed like several more people had found their way to Tons of Rock this year so we hope that it means we’ve got a festival that should last for a lifetime now. After a trip to Sweden for some food and drinks that were replenished in the camper then we were headed back to Halden. The caravan camp was already full, to our big frustration but after some negotiations it turned out that we had room there anyway when some friends of ours already had held a space for us next to them. The festival could finally start for our part, in good time before the first band went on.

THURSDAY

Space rockers Black Debbath defies the rain and opens Tons of Rock in 2015 with their combo of Black Sabbath and Stoner Rock interspersed with large doses of dry humor. The guys do a good show and fires away with familiar melodies as “Dum Dum Minister” (“Stupid Stupid Minister”), “Problemer innad i Høyre” (“Problems within the Right”) and “Nei til Runkesti på Ekeberg (Skulpturpark låta)” (“No to Jerking Off Trail at Ekeberg! (Sculpture Park song)”) and strikes with their slipper ceremony and demonstration of the Black Debbath kitchen cloth inbetween the hits. All are dressed in silver spacesuits and insists that they are just stopping by on a short visit on our planet. It is inevitable not to smile when you look at these guys here. –Tina-

Gjørme opens this year’s Tent Stage with hard-hitting rock in Norwegian with some hammond organ here, with fast and at times funky beats and guitar solos with a yelling fuzz vocals. This band has the festivals most boring image, but appearances are deceptive. Sound and lighting is good and ther are som audience scattered in front of the stage. It seems like the festival hasn´t properly started yet and I´m guessing that many people are still at the camp having a drink or three. –Tina-

Ihsahn started on time and it was the first time I saw him. People who attended clearly enjoyed this band, but even so, I felt that something was missing. There were many people and the sound was very good and those in attendance were clearly satisfied.          -Astrid-

Alcest from french is a band I think I’ve barely heard live once previously. That time I didn’t took much attention to them, but fuck.. this went through marrow and bone and straight into my soul when I heard them playing in the tent this time. It was music of a completely different dimension than I had imagined  and remembered and they are decidedly one of the top 5 on my part at this year’s festival. -Cayza-

Then it´s time for some pure real rock’n’roll. And what could be better then than Backyard Babies who are pure real rock n roll in hearts, mind, skin and music. Dregen and Co. holds nothing back, and fires away with catchy and scrawny sleaze rock with loads of good energy and great intensity. The crowd is a little affected by the rain but is happy and there is good singalong factor. Eventually the audiencegets carried away so it becomes a full jubilation in front of the stage. –Tina-

Eluveitie I got a huge sense for when they played at Karmøygeddon a few years ago, so I was really looking forward to see and hear them live again. Once again they played awesome and with a charm that could melt most people. There against there were a few pathetic spectators throwing their nearly empty pint glasses up on stage while they entertained and then I simply got embarrassed that there are such people among us. If they didn’t liked their music then they might just buss off to do something else instead of playing urn mood for the rest of us who thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. This band also comes under the festival’s top 5. -Cayza-

Testament appears as a super band and the only negative about this concert is that little rain throughout the hole concert. The sound is good and the guitars are somewhat divided on either side so that one can go to the left if you want to focus on Skolnick’s solos, or to the right to hear Peterson’s amazing riffing. Chuck Billy’s vocal works sublime and on the vocal breaks he plays «microphone stand guitar» and enjoying him selves. The rhythm section to Testament is also one of the world’s best so eventually you marks one more negative thing with the concert: 1 hour is far too short for this super band. -Kvile-

Motörhead tribute band Bömbers, reels of a hard-hitting and solid dose of rock’n’roll that is the boss himself, Lemmy, worthy. It´s the first time I see them and can´t help but getting impressed. The music is on constantly on highspeed and on full power. The guys in Bömbers have stage thatch in large dosis, and it´s not excactly a bad thing that Abbath is a real Lemmy lookalike. His voice isn´t so unlike the original either. Extra fun is it to hear him talking in a westcoast norwegian dialect. It’s hard not to get carried away and in front of the stage the conditions are pretty wild. Abbath reaches the microphone to the audience so they can cheer. It is not without reason that Bömbers is to be seen a lot at festivals both in Norway and abroad. –Tina-

FRIDAY

Supernova Downtown, the first band on Friday, doesn’t attrack many people. Hardrock with harmony guitar lines and punch could work better if they had not looked down at guitars so much, and if they had better flow between songs. At the best it sounds a little like Motörhead, the song “Alcoholic” is appreciated, and at the end the band loosen up. -Kvile-

NiteRain plays hard rock ala 80s. There is nothing to say on the commitment which among other the guitarist played both on the back and with his teeth and the vocalist was both high and low. To me it seemed like they were a little too tent for the job and it was therefore a somewhat uneven performance in my eyes. Not to many people among the crowd, which often happens when a band is playing so early in the afternoon, but some at least appreciate that the singer after the concert shared his beers with the audience. -Tom-

Aspherium gave us great music, but they were very boring on stage. The only action that happened was when the singer who also played guitar switched from a black guitar to a white guitar for the last songs. There were many spectators there, good lighting and good sound and from my point of view there were no technical problems. There was a good atmosphere throughout the concert. -Astrid-

Pagans Mind has become one of Norway’s best bands of its genre. There is also no doubt that they know their stuff, but it was a little too much instrumental for my part. People turned up in front of the stage a little by little without a greater mood for that reason. -Tom-

Diamondog from Oslo plays grown-up quality rock ‘n roll, and the few people in the crowd stands nodding to what we get served. The sound is again good and the band does a decent job with nothing special for the few of us in the audience. -Kvile-

Swedish hardrock band Graveyard takes us back to the 70s, both in sound and look. A lot of groove, but also slow parts which is nice to listen to while you have a beer in the sun. -Kvile-

Studfaust is a relatively new band consisting of musicians from other bands. They play “dirty” rock n’ roll. Straight forward and not so important if not everything is perfect. The big moment for the vocalist and us was when they got a guest preformance by JJ French of Twisted Sister for a song. People were a little distraught back in the tent and it didn’t seamed that they really understand what happened. -Tom-

Gojira was one of the bands I had been looking forward most to see at this year’s festival. Last I saw them was when they warmed the up for Metallica at Valle Hovin and it gave absolutely appetite for some repetation. Tonight’s performance was undoubtedly better. Great weather, bright, clear and the guys rays on stage. Highlight of the evening was when we also learned that we were the only ones who manage do get an interview with them after their gig. They was also one of my top 5 on Tons of Rock 2015. -Cayza-

Nifelheim. This band gave a lot of black-metal show on stage with light a little more gloomy than the others. There were plenty of spectators who enjoyed the concert and personally I enjoyed their show very well. -Astrid-

Legendary DumDumBoys and perhaps Norway’s best rock bands of all time delivered as always dry solid. I was a little surprised about how few people had come to see them. There was very little people when Preple and the guys started. Now Tons of Rock may appeals to another type of audience, but this was for my opinion the highlight of the festival. -Tom-

Aura Noir plays rough and brutal as expected. They hit loose with their Unholy Thrash Metal and hard riffs throws you around and around, fast fast, with tempo changes and hoarse, raspy vocals. These Black Thrash Kings from Norway does an awesome badass concert. It takes more than a fall from a window to stop these guys. Lucky for us! The audience at the front are in ecstasy. As a little curiousity suddenly Prepple and Kjartan from Dum Dum Boys suddenly stands among the audience despite the fact that they literally walked off the stage themselves in the middle of this Aura Noir concert. -Tina-

Twisted Sister are propably the band most of my vintage have grown up with and that has inspired us to continue listening to metal music. When they announced that they had been going for over four decades then I will admit that I actually felt a little old, but what the hell. Just look at Dee Snider. He is as handsome today as when he started … if not even more handsome. They advertise that they will now retire, but it remains to be seen then, if they manage that when fans want more and more and more. Anyway, they made a «hooter than hell» show, literally and it was truly one of the festival’s best performances. -Cayza-

Legendary Mayhem fills Tentstage to its brim, in fact it seems like the whole entire festival has stopped by. Mayhem does, as expected, a crazy good gig with enormous amounts of smoke and strobes. AS usual they open the seance with “Silvester Anfang” followed by much newer material at first before they play some older material. The intro to “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” feels like a clean release and “Freezing Moon” follows closely behind. Peeled pig heads and animal bones are back in place, but it somehow feels a little bit strange when it smells like the ready meals division at the local supermarket in front of the stage. -Tina-

It’s fun when the oldest deliver such a strong and good show as Venom did on Tons of Rock. I was a little in doubt that I managed to see Venom after seeing such a sparkling and fantastic concert with Mayhem as all over was an impeccable concert, but the old is the oldest and that Venom proved with their concert. Fun that they deliver so well after so many years and it was a terrific ending of the evening on the main stage. -Jan Inge-

Kiss Army was the last band on Friday and I was super tired but had to pass by seeing this. The tent was packed and the crowd in a really party mood and ready for some Kiss songs … and the songs came like pearls on a string. The only thing I have to say is that I missed “Lick It Up” and “I was made for loving you.” They might have played them, but if so it headed way beyond me. All around me people was rocking and in ecstasy and it was distinctly that they was satisfied. Several said that this was so powerful. -Siv-

SATURDAY

Although the band called themself The last band, they started the last day of the festival. It was an aggressive band with very good sound-mix. From my point of view I liked this band that I never heard of before, but it was not many in the audience so early in the day. -Astrid-

Having seen the great the performance Triosphere did at Karmøygeddon some weeks ago I think this was a little down touch. It didn’t seemed that they got the same glow this time. It might have been due to early appearance, the last day for people and too little showen up to watch them. Maybe they were tired, but somehow the band delivered their stuff perfect as usally, with just a little feedback in the system and the sound that disappeared a bit for a few times. But that is rather the sound guys mistake. -Cayza-

In front of a large bat skeleton Tribulation opens with calm church organ before a rarely hoarse and fuzzy voice takes you far down into the darkness and The Return of the Vampire. All band members have chalk-white face, black eye sockets and long hair. The guitarists throw their hair and upper bodies as they balletic, nightmarish and sneaky dance with their guitars. Some of the riffs are gong-like, and makes you think of the Bauhaus stanzas “The bats have left the bell tower. The victims havebeen bled. Red velvet lines, the black box .. “. Tribulation delivers a melodic, moody and evocative concert with a good stage show. -Tina-

Dunderbeist plays rock that fits the festival’s name. A lot of punch and the sunny weather makes enough eager fans sweat. This is catchy party-rock, but a bit much “oi, oi, oi” for some of us.  -Kvile-

Planet Mastergod plays heavy, sticky and dark hardrock but unfortunately they don´t quite live up to their name. The guys from Halden are fairly quiet on stage and don´t do much more than play their music. Lowdown and calm beats makes me restless so I’m go and check out Solstafir instead. -Tina-

The Icelandic cowboys Solstafir is a bit introverted on stage, but this sounds good. The atmosphere they make would have worked better at the small tent since there are not so many people in the audience, but “Fjara” and the other lovely tunes works ok. They also give us some Norwegian talking, always appreciated by the audience. -Kvile-

“Mini-stage»

What ?? Are there four stages? After hearing some music in the background at the toilets I visit, I discover that there was a little scene more. 200 m from the main stage, the festival had hidden a small stage for small bands and a more beautiful place to hold a concert you might look far to see. Be sure to take a walk by there at the next festival so you can get great view over the city while a local band entertains you. -Kvile-

Rammsund at Tons of Rock was something I looked forward to. Last I saw them were in the «jungl» far inside the forest of Sørum a “long time ago” before they took the break as they have had for some years now. Seeing them on stage now was as if they had not been away at all. “Du Hast” (You are in Norwegian) is something special, but also fuckin funny and cool. The tent was crowded and everyone sang along. Looking forward to the next gig with the guys. -Siv-

Artch started over 30 years ago, but this was probably the first time for many to see this classic power metal band live. At the best the  heavy parts sounds like old Iron Maiden, and the slow parts like Judas Priest. The grown-up audience is nodding to the music, finally having the opportunity to hear songs from “Another Return to Church Hill” live.

-Kvile-

The Good The Bad & The Zugly was another unknown band for me. There was a band with punk style and although it is a festival with “tons of rock” there were more people here than on the other concerts. Not quite my style, but the audience liked it.

-Astrid-

Swedish In Flames shoots loose with hefty metal interspersed with some hardcore and thrash interspersed. Inbetween the band play some acoustic and an occasional ballad. In Flames doesn´t want to play for dead meat and strongly encourage crowdsurfing. And they get what they want! There becomes some hefty crowdsurfing and moshpit in front. In Flames make a good concert with a proper stage show. No expense is spared regarding smoke and pyro, and the guys have plenty of audience thatch. The sound unfortunately is a bit variable, but it takes more to put a damper on the mood. -Tina-

Yngwie Malmsteen said “more is more”, and the Italian death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse must have heard this. The band plays in baroque dresses, the female opera singer wears a masquerade costume and the keyboard is hidden in a piano. Between songs the band march off and on the stage and the whole show is well-rehearsed. The tent is crowded, and the audience appreciate to see a band who gives us something more. More is more. -Kvile-

New Glow! I have followed the Seigmen from the very beginning and have been a quite big fan of them and I was very disappointed when they stopped playing. I was at the reunion concert a few years ago which was awsome, but the release concert this spring was not so good. It was characterized by poor planning and poor self-esteem, so I was very excited to see Seigmen on Tons of Rock. They proceeded to the degree a better concert than last time i saw them and it was almost a perfect show. Some parties can we call great art, but I still miss that they play any harder parties and that they produce some harder songs in the future. Seigmen is a real live band which I hope to see many more years. -Jan Inge-

Enforcer is the penultimate band to rip loose at the tent pegs at this year’s Tentstage. They play up to full steam with swift, classic Heavy Metal with fuzzy and sscreaming vocals that at times goes into a falsetto and cool, catchy riffs along with hefty guitar solos. The guys are diecast conducted and takes you right back to the 80´s liberalism. It’s really fun to watch them. Enforcer poses willingly for the audience and delivers a superb stage show. Sound and lighting is good. The smoke lies so heavy over the stage that you almost get the impression that the festival is trying to use up the smoke they have saved on the other days. A lot of people have come to see them even though Enforcer must compete with Seigmen playing simultaneously. -Tina-

About Kreator I can only say two things: No abow, and noone next by. I’ve seen the band live countless times, but tonight’s performance must have been one of the best ever. Mille Petrozza is not only one of the handsomest vocalists I know of, but he is an incredibly nice guy in general. When sitting at the bar to talk to him (something I’ve got the pleasure of doing 2 whole times at Karmøygeddon) He has a charm who just exude so unbelievable that one can not help but like the guy and his band. His songs came like pearls on a string and it seemed as neither he nor the audience wanted the concert to end. A tremendous show which ended with both pyrotechnic and confetti lead that it probably topped my list Top 5 and I’m already looking forward to see them again.             -Cayza-

Iron Made Em started in the tent while Kreator still played and it was probably also the reason why there were not many in the audience at first, but when “666 The Number of the Beast” came thundering over the loudspeaker, it did not take a long moment before the tent was crowded. It is delight to see this guys on stage. It was an impressive packaging and performance and they show a joy that rubs off on us in front of the stage. The audience loved them. -Siv-

With that this years Tons of Rock was over for this time and we in Helvete Magazine really hope that the festival is here to stay now. Thanks to all involved who made the festival as a new wonderfully adventure.

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