Månegarm Open Air 2023

8/10

Before jumping into this review, we need to tackle what Månegarm Open Air actually is.

You might have figured out already that Månegarm Open Air is organized by the band with the same name.
Many years ago, a old friend to the band asked them “Why don’t you guys start your own festival?”. At that time the band just thought it was a funny idea, but fast forward a few years and the band actually sat down and discussed it in a more serious way to check out the possibilities to do this for real.
Together with a bunch of sponsors and the fine people at Pythagoras Industrimuseum, where the venue is being held, it was made a reality in 2019 and is being held since then (with exception for 2020 and 2021 for obvious reasons).

With a acoustic evening on the friday and metal performances on saturday, you can expect a real neigborhood friendly festival, held a few minutes from the town center in Norrtälje, which is the hometown for our hosts in Månegarm. The venue holds a great outdoor scene that fits all visitors, great thing is that the food and beer stalls is located on the same site so no worries missing out a performance while waiting for your food/beer! Down a small slope around the corner of the great scene you find a much smaller scene that offered some cool folk music from the band “Suttung”, that played some tunes between the bands on big scene. Inside the museum you can find a great hall where you found cool exhibitions, official band merch and the meet and greets that were being held during the day. Although you find people from many nationalites, most people at the festival are regulars that been here since the beginning which creates a very hospital atmosphere. Not to mention that you could find the members from Månegarm walking around the crowd taking photos and greeting their guests. Although the festival, with all it could offer, were up to a great standard, one could not stop themself being frustrated that there were only one foodstall which had a long queue time up to almost 40min. Something to be thought about and be improved for the upcoming years.

With that said, Månegarm Open Air have been one of the friendliest and most intimate festival I have ever been to, and im looking forward to see how they can improve this even more.

What: Månegarm Open Air
Where: Norrtälje, Pythagoras Industrimuseum
When: 26/8-23
Rating: 8/10

 

Check out the performances that were being held this year:

 

Fredlös (Medieval/Folk Metal)
First band to kick off the day is “Fredlös”, a local band that gives you the feeling of a truly epic landscape blended with heavy guitars and traditional music. A cool opening and quite different from everything else we saw today, and I couldn’t say we have a more fitting band to start off a viking metal festival. Fredlös started out in the spring of 2021 but released their self-titled debut in February this year which also featured “Erik Grawsiö” (Månegarm) on some of the tracks, we didn’t however get to see him perform them together with Fredlös on this gig.

Best performance: “Våt Varm Jord”
Rating: 7/10

 

Zornheym (Symphonic Black/Death Metal)
Straight out from the mental institution with stories surrounding it’s horrors and evil prisoners, we have Zornheym! Founded by it’s creator, “Zorn” (Lead Guitarist) we are greeted with a fast symphonic extreme metal performance that really kicked up the festival a notch. With it’s theatrical theme regarding mental illness, horrors and, of course, mental asylums, this band really stood out from the rest of the bands that were more viking focused. Something that came as a great surprise for most visitors who only had great things to say afterwards and mentioned Zornheym as one of the best performances this day.

Best performance: “Keep The Devil Away”
Rating: 9/10

 

Kvaen (Black/Pagan/Viking Metal)
Kvaen is the project built around the guitarist Jakob Björnfot (Autumn Death) that delivers us a intriguing black metal performance merged with some viking tunes and lyrics. Most interesting track that brought out more melody was “Ensamvarg” which really caught my interest. This for sure jumped straight into my own Spotify playlist.

Best performance: “Ensamvarg”
Rating: 8/10

 

Wormwood (Melodic Black Metal)
Formed back in 2014, Wormwood have seen some interesting transformation musicwise. Started off as a black’n roll band but now turned into a melodic black metal act with folk and rock influences, they have truly found their unique and impressing sound. If you’re into atmospheric or melancholic black metal, be sure to check out these guys since they killed it with their performance!

Best performance: “Tidh Ok Ödhe”
Rating: 9/10

 

Skyforger (Pagan/Folk/Black Metal)
Straight from Lativa we have Skyforger, a legendary folk-metal act formed back in 1995. Bringing with them a nice mix of heavy metal, black and folk metal involving lyrics surrounding Baltic Mythology and warfare. Spectacular performance and something worth checking out if they play in a venue close to you!

Best performance: “Son Of The Mare”
Rating: 8/10

 

Týr (Progressive/Folk Metal)
Týr requires almost no introduction. Hailing from Faroe Islands, Týr have been around since 1998 and have peaked themselves to being the most established and famous viking metal bands out there. With numerous famous tracks such as “Hold The Heathen Hammer High” or “By The Sword In My Hand”, Týr is a force to be reckoned with and the most anticipated acts this day. Their show crushed it and really drew on the audience like we haven’t yet seen before this day. Myself have been longing seing this group for quite some time now, and I were not disapointed.

Best Performance: “Hold The Heathen Hammer High”
Rating: 9/10

 

Månegarm (Viking/Black/Folk Metal)
And here we have the hosts of the festival themselves! One of the pioneers in the genre, Månegarm have been playing their blend of viking metal for 27 years and keeps going strong. With an amazing end performance of the day with their raw, fast and primitive black metal, one could only be sad that the performance had to end at midnight.

Best performance: “Vedergällningens Tid”
Rating: 9/10

 

 

Also, check out the exhibits we could see this day:

 


Ve & Fasa

 


Sharp Studio Norrtälje

 


Daudr Art

 

Be sure to check out all exhibitors and mentioned bands in the links if you want to learn more!

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Author:

I have been a Metalhead ever since I was old enough to comprehend what music was. Something really called to me when I for the first time heard my fathers IRON MAIDEN albums being played, that gave me such goosebumps which only made me want more! Ever since then, I’ve been listening into multiple genres with the hunger of exploring new metal music and keeping track of upcoming bands. My favorite genres today is Black Metal and Blackgaze which includes most of my favorite bands, but my biggest favorite of them all is called HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY. I’m really passionate about the metal community and frequently goes to concerts to try to support as many band as possible by buying merch and promoting them by doing reviews. I believe with all my heart that the metal community will always be a underground society that will never die, and all it’s habitants are the most amazing individuals that have walked this earth.

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Månegarm Open Air 2023

September 6, 2023

Although you find people from many nationalites, most people at the festival are regulars that been here since the beginning which creates a very hospital atmosphere. Not to mention that you could find the members from Månegarm walking around the crowd taking photos and greeting their guests.

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