Rockharz - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

It was my wish that we should go up and see Månegarm, because even though I hadn’t really heard them before, I had a pretty good idea of who they were and what they played. As it turned out, it was a completely other band I had in mind, but there you go…

”We’re Månegarm and we’re gonna kick your asses!”
- Erik Grawsiö (vocals/bass)

For those of you who are not familiar with them (myself included obviously), Månegarm is a Swedish black-slightly-folk/pagan metal band; so it should be more or less right up my alley actually. But let’s take it from the top shall we?

For some reason, the concert began some five-plus minutes before scheduled, so we missed out on the very beginning and only saw the end of the first song. Why I have no idea…
My first impression (after realizing it was another band) was that they had a very military look, reminding me slightly of Vreid whom we had seen the day before, without sounding very much like them though. Also, their violin player seemed quite the odd-ball; when handling his instrument he seemed very focused and able, but when his talent wasn’t required he was instead headbanging, something he did without the slightest sense of rhythm or melody. Sometimes I even wondered if he was thinking about the same song as the rest of the band, or maybe he was just drunk, who knows. He did have fun though, that’s for damn sure!
Anyway, the rest of the band, with the one exception of Grawsiö, seemed to have a very good time as well and gave a good performance. I would especially like to point out the two guitarists, Jonas ‘Rune’ Almquist and Markus Andé who smiled a lot and were no strangers to posing for the crowd.
Grawsiö did enjoy himself as well I suppose, but he never really did anything but standing still at the microphone (a stylish red and black one, true to the colours of the band). He spoke a lot to the crowd though, and this certainly worked in his favour.

The music worked well, I personally liked the songs with mixed harsh and clean vocals the best, and the large crowd was easily persuaded into shouting along or waving and clapping their hands when asked to do so.
Because of this Grawsiö wasn’t sad to announce one special song of the set for us; ”We’ve got a special surprise for you guys. This one we’ve never played live before, in fact, it’s not even recorded.”
The song was called Eternity Awaits, and it was a fast and aggressive creation, with some mid-tempo breaks with violin included. No clean vocals as far as I recall except for some ohOHoh during the solo. What made this song even more special though, was that this was the first time I saw Grawsiö step away from the mic, and even headbang for a bit! A very welcome change of pace.
As this was all new to me, and Grawsiö neglected to mention many of the song-titles in his comments, I couldn’t possibly give you an accurate and complete setlist from the show, but I can tell you that they played I Evig Tid with a (possibly) prolonged violin solo as an intro, and they finished the show off with the fittingly called Hemfärd.
After they were done, they were called back on stage by the shouts of their fans and they were glad to take a proper bow before leaving for good.

So, did Månegarm kick our asses? Well, I probably wouldn’t go that far, but they certainly did play a most entertaining and well executed concert, and left me with a wish to check them out upon arriving home. What more can one ask for?

Setlist (incomplete):

Vedergällningens Tid
Nattsjäl, Drömsjäl
Eternity Awaits
I Evig Tid

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