An all-Norwegian lineup has drawn a heavy contingent of underground metal devotees tonight, especially considering the unfortunate clash with Jex Thoth/Ufomammut and Cruachan.
Opening proceedings are Bergen’s DOMINANZ , whose industrially tinged blackened metal still somehow manages to offer a nod to Viking-era Bathory. It’s an unusual combination but their mid-paced and epic approach works well live. ORKAN  are another solid outfit with a good live presence – perhaps unsurprising, since the group feature two members of Taake’s live lineup. Aggressive but with a noticeable sense of groove, there are comparisons to be made with Taake; Hoest himself even appears before the end to contribute some guest vocals. Curiously, THE 3RD ATTEMPT  are in many ways a more familiar proposition than the other support bands, despite being only a year old. That is, of course, because the band pick up where Carpathian Forest left off – and feature Tchort and Blood Pervertor from that very outfit. Tonight they capture the same slightly unhinged spirit, the combination of raucous rock’n’roll vitriol and earnest Nordic black metal going down a storm.
Of course, most are here to see TAAKE  and the reception is fierce. Reflecting the intensity of the crowd (or vice versa) is the pumped-up attack of the band and indeed it’s fair to say that the possessed feeling of Hoest’s onstage persona remains one of the strong points of the Taake (and, in recent times, Gorgoroth) live show. Of course the impressive consistency of the band’s back catalogue is just as relevant, and tonight those songs are recreated in electrifying fashion – even the infamous banjo solo of Myr. The ever-present groove within the hooks mean that their material is always rousing, even when spat into the audience with such pace and bile.
It is perhaps this combination of aural violence and surprisingly accessibility – not to mention the wonderfully individualistic and idiosyncratic nature of the songwriting – that accounts for the band’s undiminished popularity.