Enslaved and Solstafir 2018 (Perth, WA)

29 August 2018 at Rosemount Hotel

It’s been a cold dark gloomy Wednesday in Perth and I could do with some music to accompany the mood. What better way to do this than seeing Norwegian extreme metal giants Enslaved playing a double header with the Icelandic post metal act Sólstafir. Both bands have had great success in combining multiple sub genres from within the heavy music spectrum and tonight I get to whitness both playing the Rosemount Hotel.

First band of the night is Perths very own black metal outfit Wardaemonic, hitting the stage in true form wearing all black, lots of spikes and some amazing corpse paint to finish out the look that’s become synonymous with the genre over the last 30 years. Opening the set with one of the bands slower songs was a great choice and really set the tone for the night. The extreme drumming from Maelstrom makes it hard to believe he is also doing his fare share of vocals alongside Lord Bane, but they pull it off flawlessly. Pounding there way through some of the tightest, raw sounding black metal there is to be offered up in the fine city. After putting a chill down the spines of everyone in the room Wardaemonic have proved why continue to gain success with another amazing show.

Sólstafir are up next and the room has filled with eager punters looking to get a fix of metal. Whilst I wouldn’t exactly say they are metal, they do have a very dark undertone with elements of metal thrown in. Starting tonights set off with Silfur-Refur from the 2017 album Berdreyminn, was a really fun and gave us our first taste of what was to come. Having seen these guys only at large European festivals you never really get the full experience. Where the smaller venue provided a nice intimate atmosphere, frontman Ađaldjörn Addi Tryggvason’s interaction with the crowd made everyone in the room feel like they were a part of the music. Midset sees the band play Fjara and I peer around the room to see a crowd completely immersed in the feeling only a song like that can give. Ending the set off was crowd favourite Goddess of the Ages and while its sad to see the band leave the stage, I was left feeling like I had finally experienced Sólstafir the way you are meant to.

Closing out tonight’s entertainment is the mighty Enslaved, a band that have been at the forefront of the blackened folk metal genre for two and a half decades. Hailing from Norway the band hit the stage with the familiar sound of Roots of the Mountain, a 9 minute journey into the darkness they have created. With over 15 albums under their belt, the band have plenty to offer in the form of heavy riffs, blast beats, guitar harmonies and interesting melodic sections. After playing a few songs off some of the early 2000’s releases I remembered that frontman and bass player Grutle Kjellson had promised “something special” on this tour in an interview earlier in the year. While pondering what it could be, I hear the unforgettable intro too Loke off the bands 1994 debut album Frost. I know there’s people in that room that had been wanting to hear some really old stuff and got some and more with Jotunblod off the same 94 release. In between those old classic black metal tunes was the only song of their last album E with Sacred Horse. With the night coming to an end the band wraps thing up with Allfǫðr Oðinn my favourite off Yggdrasill.

As the house lights are turned on and many punters head for the doors I’m left thinking “could tonight have been any better?” And the answer to that is no. I genuinely believe each band played the best I have seen them play. The overall musicianship from all 3 bands was on another level and if it wasn’t so expensive to travel east I would have followed this tour around Australia.

Line-up: Enslaved, Solstafir, Wardaemonic

Reviewer: Peter Mitchell