K17, Berlin - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Prior to going out on tour, Borknagar had asked their Facebook followers, which band would be good to bring along. Kampfar was one of the names mentioned, and apparently they hooked on well enough to end up on the tour, as the main support.
Personally, I have no history worth mentioning with Kampfar, but they were here, we were here, so why not give them a go, right?

“Guten abend Berlin! It’s good to be back!”
- Per-Joar ‘Dolk’ Spydevold (vocals)

The crowd had grown quite a bit by this point in the evening, but it was still nothing to brag about. On a positive note, it seemed Kampfar was better known by the Berlin crowd than Diabolical had been, and they were actually greeted by some spread shouts as they took to the stage.
First came the musicians, the always pissed off looking Jon Bakker on bass, Ole Hartvigsen on guitar, and Ask Ty on drums. Only when it was time for some lyrics to be added into the mix did Dolk appear, and once again the crowd showed its appreciation by shouting in response to him entering. Gloria Ablaze, the opener of the 2015 album Profan, was also the song that opened up this evening’s set, a song followed in quick succession by Ravenheart, taken from the 10 years old album Kvass.

“I fucking adore you for being so patient! You want some old shit, right? This next one’s from 1994!”
- Dolk (vocals)

This set a tone of a band willing to shake up the bag, and deliver songs from all over their own history. To my ears, it made no big difference, but I could hear from the people around me that it was well received.
It wasn’t just the setlist that grabbed the K17 crowd however, although I’m not going to lie and say it didn’t help. No, Dolk’s own grip on the audience was just as effective. He didn’t mind speaking to the crowd between songs, sharing memories of touring and whatnot. Like the way he described Kampfar’s last visit to Berlin, where he himself had been so drunk, he had passed out backstage, but as he quickly added, “Let’s not do that again, shall we?”
Dolk wasn’t the only one working for the benefit of the crowd either, Bakker instigated a crowd chant during Troll, Død Og Trolldom, and in general, all of the band members were present and giving off a lot of energy.

“Germany, you know this shit, right?!”
- Dolk (vocals)

In response, the Berlin crowd was also louder, livelier, and having more fun. No question about it.
There wasn’t any one moment that stood out in particular, the energy of the entire concert had risen. It finally proved on the right path towards the main act of the evening, Borknagar.
So, after finally having my proper introduction to Kampfar, I’ll admit to them playing too raw a form of black metal for my general liking. Having said that, I do not regret seeing them here this evening for one bit! What they may have lacked in musical preference, they made up for in giving a very good performance.


Valgalderkvad (snippet)
Gloria Ablaze
Troll, Død Og Trolldom
Our Hounds, Our Legion
Valgalderkvad (snippet)


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