Archive for Norway

Helheim unveil new album details

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , on 15th March 2019 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of Viking black metal. If you are into bands such as Enslaved, Kampfar or Taake then there is a good chance that you will also like the Norwegian black metal group Helheim.

Their latest album ‘Rignir’ is scheduled to hit the shops on 26th April 2019 via Dark Essence Records. The title means “rain” in Norwegian and it is inspired by the climate in the band’s home city of Bergen.

You can see the cover and the track-listing below:

1. Rignir
2. Kaldr
3. Hagl
4. Snjóva
5. Ísuð
6. Vindarblástr
7. Stormviðri
8. Vetrarmegin

Helheim - Rignir

The album release will be followed by an European tour with record label mates Madder Mortem as support. Here is the full schedule:

Apr 12  Kvarteret , Bergen, NO
Apr 21 Dark Easter Metal Meeting , Münich, DE (Helheim only)
Apr 25 Quantic Club , Bucharest, RO
Apr 26 Flying Circus , Cluj Napoca, RO
APR 27 Vörös-Kék Yuk, Budapest, HU
APR 28 Nova Chmelnice , Prague, CZ
APR 29 Backstage, Paris, FR
MAY 01 The Underworld , London, UK
May 02: Logo, Hamburg, DE
MAY 03 Konfus, Esbjerg, DK
MAY 04 Skullcrusher, Dresden, DE

In the meantime you can watch their latest video for the new single ‘Kaldr’.

For more details go to:

http://www.helheim.com/
https://www.facebook.com/helheimnorway

Savn – Self-Titled

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 26th April 2014 by Nico Davidson

Savn
Self-TItled
Released 28th April 2014
Gothic Folk Metal
Released via CDR Records Norway

Since 2000, Norwegian gothic metal legends Sins Of Thy Beloved have remained suspiciously inactive. Following years of rumours of a possible reunion, Stig Johansen and Anders Thue came back onto the scene with a new band – Savn (Norwegian for “deprivation”) which features Midnattsol vocalist Carmen Elise Espenæs. Savn’s self-titled release is the effort of these three musicians.

The album begins with the folkishly ethereal song Musical Silence, gently laying down a path for Carmen’s hypnotic vocals to follow along. The folkier instrumentation does a grand job at cementing the track together, enforcing the strength of the guitars. Hang On screams out with a heavier and darker sound whilst still incorporating well refined folk elements. Carmen’s vocals also take on a darker aspect throughout this song, building up an atmosphere alongside the instrumentation. Anders’ use of keyboard medleys adds a lot to both the sound and the atmosphere.

The guitars in the song The Demons In Me are painted with several Cimmerian shades, which are added to which deeper touches of despair by guest vocals from Michelle Darkness (End Of Green). The folk elements help paint the musical funeral dirge where as Longing For Love has a sliver of hope running throughout the dusky music. Carmen’s vocals are as angelic as ever but leave trace hints of sorrow in their wake, adding emphasis to the emotion that flows throughout the song. The keyboards dance almost Plutonianly throughout I Am Free which features Leaves’ Eyes frontwoman and Carmen’s sister Liv Kristine as a guest vocalist, showing the power of the two vocalists as well as making this the first time that Liv has appeared on one of Carmen’s songs. The folk elements take a backseat for some of the track, allowing the keyboards and guitars to weave a tapestry of solemn sounds.

Sorrowful bursts into action with a truly tragic sound, leaving no room for any hint of joyful elements. Even Carmen’s usually angelic voice sounds more twilit in their performance, walking hand in hand with the gothic styled stringed instrumentation. All I Want travels down a similar road to Sorrowful, taking on a deeper sound and displaying more of Carmen’s majestic vocal style. Nearing the end of the album is Now Or Neverwhich is slower paced than a lot of the songs on the album and twice as doomtastic, making an awe-inspiring use of Stig’s growls and Anders’s eerie style of keyboards. Lengselens Hånd is the final track of the album and it is perhaps the most soulful and emotive piece of music on the whole album, taking a soothing approach for most of its duration and allowing Carmen’s vocals to provide a gentle touch to the album – A gentle touch that continues even during in the heavier part of the song where the keyboards carefully step out each note in a celestial manner.

Leaving the sounds of their other projects at the door, Carmen, Stig and Anders have created an album that not only displays their talent as a band but their talents as individual musicians and songwriters as well. Savn is exactly the breath of fresh air that the metal scene needs.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Savn online:

http://savn-official.com
http://facebook.com/SavnOfficial

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Pagan metallers Fortid release video for title track from Pagan Prophecies

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 2nd January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Extreme pagan metal warband Fortid are celebrating the new year with the release of their new video for the title track from their 2012 release Pagan Prophecies. The video was filmed and edited by Hannu Mikola of Visual Vortex and includes footage of the band performing live during their 2013 tour of Finland, as well as a series of images that point to the doom of mankind. Mikola followed the band on their tour of Finland, recording the performance of the song each night. The video can be viewed below.

Fortid was originally formed by Icelandic musician Einar Thorberg (Curse, Den Saakaldte) as a solo project in 2002, and the subsequent release of what is known as the Völuspá Trilogy, comprising three full-length albums, Thor’s Anger, The Arrival of Fenris and Fall of the Ages, established Fortid’s reputation and led to Thorberg’s move to Norway between the release of the second and third parts of the trilogy, where he recruited a permanent line-up.  Aside from Thorberg on guitars and vocals, Fortid’s current line-up includes Øystein Hansen (formerly of Thornbound) on guitars, Rikard Jonsson (Forsefed Horsehead, ex-Deject) on bass and Daniel Theobald (Curse, Den Saakaldte, Ethereal Forest) on drums. Work on the band’s fifth full-length album has just been completed and is ready for the mixing stage, and, whilst not wanting to go into too much detail yet, Thorberg recently revealed that the lyrics for the, as yet unnamed, album will be in Icelandic.

Fortid online:

http://facebook.com/fortid
http://youtube.com/FortidNorway
http://soundcloud.com/fortid
http://fortid.bigcartel.com/
http://myspace.com/fortidofficial
http://reverbnation.com/fortid

 

Fortid founding member issues statement about upcoming album and other projects

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 6th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Einar Thorberg, the founding member and frontman of Norwegian Extreme Pagan Metallers Fortid has issued an update on the progress of the band’s fifth full-length album.

“The drums have been finalised, and we’re well into the pre-production stage and happy with the way things are progressing.  With this album I didn’t want to make a repeat of 2012’s Pagan Prophecies or any of our other albums come to that, so there will be more diversity in tempo, and maybe even an occasional flirtation with pop/rock, but not enough to upset our fans.  The lyrical concept of the album deals with the quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding of oneself and the universe through Nordic tradition and the story of Odin.  The lyrics will be in Icelandic, which is my mother tongue and allows me to express myself more personally and deeply than I could in any other language.

Thorberg formed Fortid in Iceland in 2002, essentially as a solo project, and released the first two parts of the Völuspá Trilogy, the full-length albums Thor’s Anger and The Arrival of Fenris, before moving to Norway and releasing the third part, Fall of the Ages.  By this time Fortid had a permanent line-up which today includes Thorberg on guitars and vocals, Øystein Hansen (ex-Thornbound) on guitars, Rikard Jonsson (Forcefed Horsehad, ex-Deject) on bass and Daniel Theobald (Curse, Den Saakaldte, Etherial Forest, Sarkom) on drums.

As well as Fortid, Thorberg has a number of other projects he is involved in, one of them being Midnattsvrede which has largely remained dormant since 1994, but is now active again, and set to release a split album with another of his projects, CurseMidnattsvrede’s contribution will be 4 tracks, one of which will be a cover of Ved Buens Ende’s Carrier of Wounds, a song that Thorberg is particularly excited about, having laid the groundwork for it back in 2007.  As he explains:

Finally the piece is going to come to light, and we’ll be interpreting it in a whole different way.  The track blends perfectly with Midnattsvrede’s own material and if you know VBE you’ll get some kind of idea of what to expect – but only partly!

Curse’s contribution will be one very long song which is divided into four separate tracks dealing with a blend of philosophy and science. It won’t be in the Black ‘n Roll style of Curse’s last album, but will hark back to the more atmospheric style that the band used on the split with Skydom.

In July, Thorberg will hit the stage at the Eistnaflug Music Festival in Reykjavík, Iceland, with Potentiam, the band that he fondly refers to as “the slowest working band there is”.  Despite this, after 16 years Potentiam is still going strong, with drums and half the guitars already recorded on what will be the band’s fourth full-length album which will feature eight tracks in the gloom-laden style for which Potentiam is known.

If Fortid and three other projects were not enough, Thorberg has also finished recording an album with Gudmundur Óli Pálmason from Sólstafir for Unknown Circle, a band he calls his new “experimental pet project”.   No decision has yet been taken as to how to proceed with Unknown Circle, but the album is ready and waiting.

Fortid online:

http://www.facebook.com/fortid
http://www.youtube.com/FortidNorway
http://soundcloud.com/fortid
http://fortid.bigcartel.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/fortid

 

TROLLFEST BEGIN RECORDING SIXTH FULL-LENGTH ALBUM

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th June 2013 by Contra Mundi

Trollfest, whose music sounds like a combination of folk, metal, madness and an 80’s game soundtrack (Editor: So, something absolutely kickass then?!) have begun recording their sixth studio album. So far, they have the drum tracks nailed and have something a little different to offer their fans this time around. Trollfest had this to say:

We will record eleven metal tracks and we also have a couple of acoustic songs up our sleeves, but at this stage obviously we are not sure which ones will make it onto the album.  We will, however, be taking a slightly different musical direction with this album.  The sound will undoubtedly beTrollfest, but it will vary from our last two releases.   We will also be using a different studio this time.  We have been more than happy with the Strand Studio who did an amazing job on En Kvest For Den Hellige Gral and Brumlebassen but we just wanted to get a different sound to match our new musical direction so we decided to use Endre Kirkesola’s Dub Studio in Oslo.

With their self-proclaimed musical brand of ‘True Norwegian Balkan Metal’ which sounds like a tongue in cheek acknowledgement of the ‘True Norwegian Black Metal’ slogan bands such as Gorgoroth and Carpathian Forest sport, Trollfest have a steadily increasing fan base and a proactive attitude to their music performance and production. Having seven members that have already made their name in prestigious Black and Extreme metal bands, their combined ability with a variety of instruments from all corners of the world is extremely impressive.

They have so far in 2013 played a number of festivals and enjoyed a tour of North America as part of legendary Paganfest America Tour. Expect to see them unfurl their joyful madness at the Masters of Rock and Wolfszeit Festivals and be sure to catch sight of their spectacle.

To celebrate Trollfest’s 10th anniversary, the band have released a limited edition 12” picture disc named A Decade of Drekkadence; which includes 16 tracks of new and previously unreleased material spanning the band’s career. There are also three covers, including songs from Tom Waits and Britney Spears which will undoubtedly be terrific. The artwork on the disc is a creation from collaborators Swedish Cartoonist Jonas Darnell and designer Terje Johnsen who have worked with Trollfest in the past and is quite something to behold in terms of uniqueness. The vinyl also includes an email address that purchasers can contact to receive an MP3 download.

The album will be released on NoiseArt Records. The album is available exclusively from this location. A video for the Spears track “Toxic” was recently released and can be seen below.

Trollfest online:

http://www.trollfest.com
http://www.facebook.com/trollfestofficial
http://trollfest.bigcartel.com/
http://soundcloud.com/trollfest
https://twitter.com/TrollfesT_Band
http://trollfest.blogg.no/
http://www.myspace.com/trollfest
http://www.reverbnation.com/trollfest

 

Germanic metallers Fjoergyn confirmed for Warhorns 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 16th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

With a line-up that is already boasting some the UK’s and Europe’s finest underground folk, Viking and black metal acts such Old Corpse Road, Maelstrom, Dothborgia, Kull and many more, the epic Teutonic metal band Fjoergyn have been confirmed for the second edition of the Warhorns Festival that will take place in York on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September.

Tickets, for this month only, are priced at the same price last year:

£19 – WEEKEND
£6 – FRIDAY DAY TICKET
£15 – SATURDAY DAY TICKET

Further details on the festival can be found at this location.

Fjoergyn online:

http://www.fjoergyn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Fjoergynofficial/

 

Saille release video for Blood Libel

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 4th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Belgian black metal band Saille have recently released the video for their single, Blood Libel, taken from their second album Ritu which was released via Code666 Records and Aural Music on 18th January. The story portrayed in the video is based on the actual incidents of blood libel, which is a false claim that religious minorities murder their children to use their blood in aspects of their religious ceremonies or holidays.

The video for BLood Libel can be viewed below. The video was directed by Nicolas Daenens who previously worked with Saille for their video for Plaigh Allais two years previous. The video for Blood Libel was shot on location in a region of Belgium called Meetjesland, which featured both the woods and abandoned church that appear in the video.

Saille online:

http://saille.be
http://facebook.com/saillemetal

 

ReVamp move album release forward plus announce new bassist

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch symphonic powerhouse ReVamp, fronted by Floor Jansen who recently acted as on-tour vocalist for Nightwish, have announced that they are moving the release dates for their currently untitled second album forward. The announcement came via the band’s official Facebook page. The new release dates are:

21st August – Sweden
23rd August – Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Norway
26th August – UK, France, Benelux, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland
27th August – Italy

Release dates for Japan and the US are to be announced.

In recent and related news, ReVamp also announced the addition of their new bassist; Henk Vonk, who is replacing Jaap Melman who left before the recording of the second album. Stream of Passion’s bassist Johan van Stratum filled in bass duties for the second album. Henk Vonk comments on joining ReVamp:

I’m stoked to have been asked to join the ReVamp ranks. I’ve known Jord and Ruben for years and have played with other ReVampers before in other projects. This is a great honour and I look forward to see each and everyone of you on tour!

ReVamp online:

http://revampmusic.com
http://facebook.com/ReVamp
https://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial
http://www.nuclearblast.com/revamp

Tristania – Darkest White

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 18th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Tristania
Darkest White
Released 3rd June 2013
Gothic Metal/Symphonic Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Tristania have been an essential part of Norway’s metal since their formation in 1995. Following a number of line-up changes over the years, Tristania have reinvented themselves but kept true to their roots. With six albums already released, Darkest White is the band’s seventh studio release.

Number begins the album with its black metal inspired riffs, running in the same vein as bands like Mayhem or a less melodic Immortal. The harsh vocals of Anders help cement the black metal sound but it’s the vocal work of Mariangela that brings the more harmonious elements to the song, whilst the subtle uses of keyboards injects the gothic elements. The title track, Darkest White, differs vastly from the opening song; featuring more use of male vocals and a constant flow of keyboard passages while the guitars belt out alternative sounding riffs.

Other tracks on the album seem to changes from a keyboard-laden sound to a guitar-driven one, displaying the emotional vocal workings of frontwoman, Mariangela. A lot of the songs on the album, overall, aren’t as powerful or emotive as they could be, leaving a lot to be desired, especially for new listeners to the band.  Lavender is quite a relaxing track, the kind you can just chill out to with beer in hand and the use of vocals throughout the song just make it evermore soothing. Arteries brings the album to a vicious end, in similar fashion to the way the album began only taking the song on the more destructive path of death metal influenced sounds followed by some adept conjuring of bloodthirsty vocals and melodic clean singing.

Darkest White shows a vast evolution in Tristania’s sound, though it sounds to be an album that the listener won’t grasp straight away. The constant change of sounds and musical elements throughout the length of the album took away the emotional levels usually found in Tristania’s music.

3/5

Nico Davidson

Tristania online:

http://www.tristania.com
http://www.myspace.com/tristania
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialTristania
http://www.twitter.com/tristaniaband

 

Fortid begins work on fifth studio album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 5th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Extreme pagan metallers Fortid have begun work on what will be the band’s fifth full-length album.  Recording is set to take place in the early summer, and, whilst not wanting to give too much away, the band have revealed that all the lyrics for the album will be in Icelandic and that they already have a lot of material, more so than for previous albums.  The as yet untitled album will be the follow up to 2012’s much lauded Pagan Prophecies.

Formed in Iceland in 2002 by Einar Thorberg as a solo project, Fortid’s reputation was firmly established following the release of three full-length albums. Collectively known as the Völuspá Trilogy, the three albums, Thor’s Anger, The Arrival of Fenris and Fall of the Ages, were released between 2002 and 2010. Between the release of the second and third parts of the Trilogy, Thorberg moved to Norway where he recruited a permanent line up and Fortid became a fully functioning studio and live band.   Aside from Thorberg on guitars and vocals Fortid’s current lineup includes Øystein Hansen (ex-Thornbound) on guitars, Rikard Jonsson (Forsefed Horsehead, ex-Deject) on bass and Daniel Theobald (Curse, Den Saakaldte, Etherial Forest, Sarkom) on drums.

Fortid is set to play the remaining three dates of the Northern Darkness Tour in May along with Sweden’s Gra and Finland’s Antagonist Zero.  Dates as follows:

Thu 09 May, PRKL Club, Helsinki, Finland
FRI 10 May, Taidetehdas, Porvoo, Finland
Sat 11 May, Club Tapper, Tallinn, Estonia

Fortid online:

https://www.facebook.com/fortid
https://www.youtube.com/FortidNorway
https://soundcloud.com/fortid
http://fortid.bigcartel.com/
http://www.myspace.com/fortidofficial
http://www.reverbnation.com/fortid

 

Rival Sons release video compiled of fan footage

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 27th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Rival Sons have released a video for their latest single, Wild Animal, compiled from footage sent in from their fans.

The band, who recently returned home from a near sell-out European headlining tour, held a competition asking their fans around the world to send in clips of their own creative interpretations of the song.  The winning entries were chosen by the band and put together to make the official fan video. Rival Sons drummer Michael Miley comments:

So check it out.  Before our recent European tour, we asked our fans to submit 20 sec clips for the song Wild Animal off our latest album Head Down.  What a riot it was going through these!  Now, we present to you the culmination of our fans’ (all your!) hard work and creativity on the ‘Official Wild Animal Fan Clip’.  We’re always interested in encouraging creativity and so many of our fans worldwide totally put real time and effort into these clips; the entries were awesome and far exceeded our expectations!  Yo!  Rival ‘Sons and Daughters’: you’ve outdone yourselves!  We’re gonna have to set the bar higher for the next one haha!  We want to thank you all for the entries, and also all your support on our recent European tour – man, you guys are awesome.

See Rival Sons live at the following shows:

Jun. 08 – Kivenlahti, Finland – Kivenlahti Rock
Jun. 14 – Bergen, Norway – Bergenfest
Jun. 15 – Oslo, Norway – Norwegian Wood festival
Jun. 16 – Castle Donington, UK – Download festival

Rival Sons’ new album, Head Down, is out now in Europe on CD and limited edition vinyl at this location and on iTunes here. The album is also available now in the USA via Century Media/Earache Records at this location.

Rival Sons online:
http://www.rivalsons.com
http://www.facebook.com/rivalsons
http://twitter.com/rivalsons

Extol ink deal with Indie Recordings, comeback album to be released in June

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 23rd April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Indie Recordings have proudly announce the signing of Extol and the release of the self-titled comeback album, Extol. The new album will see the light of day 21st June in Norway, Germany and Austria and 24th June throughout the rest of Europe.

The first single Open The Gates is out now! Norway’s number one rock and metal radio show, Pyro, described the song as hard and heavy, but also melodic and beautiful.

Extol’s new self-titled album is a like a complex metallic alloy. The playfulness of the songs and the brutal bonding of genres are transformed into a fusion of atmospheric and harmonic prog rock, merged with the tempered thrash and death metal that Extol so uniquely master. This album leads us straight to the core of Extol. The band’s drummer David Husvik comments:

Extol is the album that was planned all the way, but never materialized. Partly due to changes in the line-up, but also because of the band´s urge to always reach for something new. The album is the recap of 20 years of Extol-history, both musically and lyrically.

Extol online:

https://www.facebook.com/ExtolOfficial
http://extol.indierecordings.no/

Norwegian metallers Sirenia reveal album title, artwork and track listing

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norway’s premier gothic metallers Sirenia have revealed that their sixth studio album is set for release via Nuclear Blast Records on 1st July, 2013. The album is called Perils Of The Deep Blue, and the track-list for the standard and ltd. digipak edition (including two bonus tracks) reads as follows:

01. Ducere Me In Lucem
02. Seven Widows Weep
03. My Destiny Coming To Pass
04. Ditt Endelikt
05. Cold Caress
06. Darkling
07. Decadence
08. Stille Kom Døden
09. The Funeral March
10. Profound Scars
11. A Blizzard Is Storming

Bonus:
12. Chains
13. Blue Colleen

Vocalist and guitarist Morten Veland comments:

The entire band and all the people we are working with are absolutely ecstatic about it! This album takes Sirenia to the next level and brings many new sides of us to the table. There’s typical tried and tested Sirenia stuff but also approaches that you’ve never heard from us before. I think I’ve never felt so good about an album throughout my entire career. I mean, I love them all, but this one is something special. It’s the result of two and a half years of blood, sweat and tears. I’ve literally put my heart and soul into this record, so I am very curious to see what our fans as well as the press will think about it!

Perils Of The Deep Blue was produced by Veland himself, while the mixing and mastering was done by Endre Kirkesola in Dub Studios, Oslo. Veland stated:

The writing process has been going on for about two years. I always have ideas for new stuff, so I started writing even before we had released our previous album The Enigma Of Life. Most of it has been recorded in my own studio. I love to work there as I always feel inspired – plus we can take our time with whatever we do, for there is no time pressure. Just like for all of our previous albums, we also dropped by Sound Suite Studios in France – a great place that feels like home, too. This time we recorded the Marseille choir there that one can always hear on our records, as well as some of my acoustic guitar parts.

The album artwork was originally painted by Anne Stokes – though it wasn’t intentionally created to be used for this role, as Morten explains:

I came across the artwork on the Internet and immediately fell in love with it for obvious reasons – it’s no secret that I’ve always been fascinated by Greek mythology and sirens. So we got in touch with Anne and luckily she granted us the permits to use it for the record. I actually drew the inspiration for the album title ‘Perils Of The Deep Blue’ from the artwork. In my opinion, it’s the perfect Sirenia cover – there was no way we could have let that opportunity slip away!

 

Norwegian dark metallers Aeternus announce new bassist

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 11th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norway’s premier dark metallers Aeternus announced today that Krakow frontman and bassist Frode Kilvik, who had recently played on stage with the band for their appearance at this year’s Inferno Festival, would be joining as full-time bassist. As is so often the norm with bands, his role with Krakow, the band he co-founded in 2005, will remain unchanged.

Aeternus itself was formed in 1993 in Bergen, Norway, by guitarist and frontman Ares, and, until the release of the latest album …And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth, on Dark Essence Records at the beginning of April, the band had remained relatively quiet since the release of the previous album Hexaeon. Aside from Ares, who is the only remaining member from the original line-up, and Kilvik, Aeternus includes Specter (ex-Gravdal) on guitars and Phobos (Gravdal, Malsain, Galar) on drums. Commenting on the new addition, Ares said: “There is no doubt that Specter and Phobos infused the band not only with new blood, but also with a fresh perspective. Frode’s arrival will expand on that for sure. It was obvious from his performance at Inferno that he has an incredible stage presence that fits perfectly with the attitude we all project when we play live, and his considerable musical skills are well-able to handle the sometimes complex demands of Aeternus’ music . Not to mention the fact that he’s a great guy, which is probably even more important, and we are all very much looking forward to working as a unit.

…And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth, which is the band’s seventh album, was produced at the Conclave and Earshot Studios in the band’s home town of Bergen by Bjornar E. Nilsen (Vulture Industries, Black Hole Generator). The first pressing of the album includes Aeternus’ 1995 Dark Sorcery EP as a bonus. All music for the album is by Aeternus, whilst the concept and lyrics are by Helheim’s V’gandr, who is also a former member of Aeternus.

More information about Aeternus can be found on the band’s Facebook page at this location.

Taake Hits The Road For 20th Anniversary Tour With Helheim and Orkan

Posted in News with tags , , , on 18th January 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian black metal titans Taake today announced the dates for the upcoming European tour which is part of the band’s 20thAnniversary celebrations. Supporting Taake on the tour will be Norway’s Viking metal raiding party Helheim, who themselves celebrated their own 20th Anniversary last year. Also on the tour will be thrashers Orkan whose line up includes members of Taake, Byfrost and Gravemachine. Routing for the 10 date tour as follows:

FEBRUARY
Thu 21, Baroeg, Rotterdam (NL)
Fri 22, Iduna, Drachten (NL)
Sat 23, Helvete, Oberhausen (DE)
Sun 24, Magasin 4, Brussels (BE)
Mon 25, Glazart, Paris (FR)
Tue 26, Ferrailleur, Nantes (FR)
Wed 27, CCO, Lyon (FR)
Thur 28, United Club, Turin (IT)
MARCH
Fri 01, Z7, Pratteln (CH)
Sat 02, Nifflheim Festival (DE) (HELHEIM only)

Of course, if you’re in the UK, you will need to travel to see Taake on their 20th anniversary tour – Disappointing, we know, that they’re not hitting the UK.

Formed in 1993, Taake’s contribution to the Norwegian Black Metal Scene has been considerable; with founder Hoest remaining true to his Black Metal roots, whilst still being able to breathe life and originality into the genre even after twenty years. The band also  recently announced the impending release of a double Anniversary CD which will not only feature exclusive new tracks, but also rare and previously unreleased material as well as alternative versions and recordings that have, until now, only been available on vinyl. This is certainly exciting news for CD collectors. Gravkamre, Kroner og Troner (Tombs, Crowns and Thrones), will be released on Dark Essence Records on the 1st of March in Norway and the 4th of March world-wide.

More information about Taake can be found on the band’s website at this location.

Six tracks from Taake, including the brand new track “Et Pust av Oeyne” from “Gravkamre, Kroner og Troner” can be heard at this location.

 

Vreid album release show at Nifelheim festival

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 12th October 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Norwegian melodic black metal band Vreid will release their new, yet untitled album in February 2013. To celebrate this, the band will present the new album at an exclusive release show only at Niflheim Festival in Stuttgart, Germany on 2nd March 2013.

For all of those wondering about the festival headliner – it will be announced very soon. Keep your eyes open!

http://www.northwind-promotion.org/
http://www.niflheim-festival.com/

 

Solstheim – II

Posted in Review with tags , , on 1st August 2012 by izaforestspirit

Solstheim
II
July 2012
Black Metal
Self-Released

‘II’ is the debut EP from the Scottish black metal band Solstheim. It is the follow-up to their self-titled demo. Now Scotland is not a country that you would normally associate with black metal but given their proximity to Norway its within reason to suggest a possible Nordic influence in Solstheim’s chosen style…

So, after the dark ambient style ‘Intro’, it’s straight into some black metal with ‘The Alchemist’ offering a mix of fast guitar riffs and melodic/atmospheric undertones. Comparisons to fellow British black metal band Hoarstone and Satyricon spring to mind. ‘Of Sundered Stone and Earth’ sees a slight change in the speed, verging on doom metal/ambient climates at times. Luckily the guitar riffs and eerie vocals ensure that this song fits the overall tone of the EP whilst the drums at the end add to the creepy atmosphere.

Come to think of it, the term ‘atmospheric black metal’ seems like a fitting way to describe the whole album. Each track contains at least some elements of it ranging from the aforementioned ambience of ‘Of Sundered Stone and Earth’ to the faster, more ferocious-sounding ‘Aeon’.

4/5 – A very good debut from a promising black metal band.

Iza Raittila

Airbag – All Rights Removed [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 31st October 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Airbag
Album: All Rights Removed
Release year: 2011
Genre: Atmospheric Progressive Rock

“All Rights Removed” is the second album by Norwegian atmospheric progressive rockers Airbag. The band all ready have a strong following in their native country Norway as well as a large following in Poland, which is proven by the fact their song “Colours” was featured – for four months – in the top ten list of Polish national radios. The new album is described to be much darker and more atmospheric than their debut album.

”All Rights Removed”, the title track, is the first part of the album. Beginning with a typical rock sound which progresses as the vocals are introduced, which are a reminder of U2. The guitars have a hint of an older Pink Floyd and the percussion fits in perfectly with the guitars. The guitar solo has a cool sounding spaced out tone to it, giving it that extra edge compared to the rest of the guitar work. “White Walls” brings about a new atmosphere with it, feeling like a Pink Floyd meets A-Ha composition. The vocals are strong, full of emotion and conviction. The percussion elements helps keep that laid back feel to the music as well. The one thing that makes this song truly complete is the soulfully performed solo.

The third song of the album comes about in the form of the light yet haunting sounds of “The Bridge”. Some sections of the song make the listener feel as if they’re listening to Anathema though the song does retain its own unique sound as well and the vocals keep the emotion flowing throughout the song. “Never Coming Home” has a dark and solemn sound and atmosphere, sort of like My Dying Bride and Anathema. The vocals don’t fit in well with the dark sound, causing unintentional disharmony. The introduction of the guitars brings back some form of harmony to the track, fortunately enough. the use of acoustic guitars adds a subtle and almost hidden dynamic to the song, keeping it versatile and fresh. The solo leads the track is a powerful yet saddening finish.

”Light Them All Up” is definitely the most interesting song on the album. There’s a beautiful use of a violin that creates a haunting and mystifying atmosphere that entrances the listener’s ears and captivates the soul. The album finishes with “Homesick”, beginning with an acoustic section mixed with vocals that feel as if they’re overpowering the guitar. As the song progresses, new elements are introduced like more melodic guitar sections played on electric guitars mixing with the acoustic sections. The percussion instrumentation adds some excitement to the music, as do the vocals.

Though the album contains only six tracks, it’s one of the most impressive pieces of musical craftsmanship to come out of Norway since the days of Edvard Grieg. Each track is so masterfully composed and played, that Airbag have shown that it’s the quality of the tracks – not the quantity – that matters.

4.8/5

Taake – Noregs Vaapen [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 27th October 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Taake
Album: Noregs Vaapen
Release year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal

Noregs Vaapen is the fifth studio by Norway’s legendary Taake. The album is said to refine the band’s True Norwegian Black Metal sound and incorporate some new elements as well including black’n’roll grooves. Hoest, the mastermind of Taake, has invited his live line-up [Thurzur, V’gandr, Aindiachai and Gjermund] to contribute on some of the tracks and it was been stated that there is guest appearances from the likes of Demonaz [Immortal], Attila Csihar [Mayhem] and Nocturno Culto [Darkthrone] as well as others.

The first track of the album is “Fra Vadested til Vaandesmed”, which has Nocturno Culto accompanying Hoest on vocals and Bjoernar Nilsen [Vulture Industries] on the mellotron. The intro starts with a face ripping guitar section that only gets heavier when the drums soon come in. Hoest’s vocals are on top form, which is obviously to be expected. His trademark melodies can be heard clearly, incorporated in his riffs, making the track more interesting. Culto’s vocals are devilishly grim and guttural sounding, though they don’t hold a candle to Hoest’s vocal work on the track. The mellotron section towards the end is soul piercing and icy. A great addition to the song though very unpredictable.

”Orkan”, which only features Hoest on all instruments, starts with a grim yet mid-paced intro, a sort of crescendo to building up for the entry of the vocals. The drum work is astounding, adding a very edgy and violent sound to the song. Like the previous track, Hoest’s vocals are on top form – and it’s certainly good to just hear his vocals. The guitar work, however, is the most entertaining aspect of this track as it features Hoest’s trademark work and some black’n’roll grooves as well, enough to keep the listener hooked.

The third song of the album is “Nordbundet”, features Attila [Mayhem] doing vocal work alongside Hoest and Lava [ex-Taake] doing some guitar work. The guitar riffs are raw and somewhat terrifying while the drums tight and well played. The vocal work is impressive and entices the listener to keep the track playing. The guitar solo provided by Lava is brilliant though it is definitely not what you’d expect to hear on this album. “Du Ville Ville Vesteland”, which features vocal work from Demonaz and V’gandr as well as guitar solos from Aindiachai and Gjermund, begins with a sinister guitar and drums section which progresses into something just as violent as sounding with a hint of melody before reverting back to the original riff. The three differing vocals add a truly unique sound to the track and they add emphasis to the aggressiveness of the music. The softer guitar medley towards the end sounds somewhat like an old western medley but yet it works well with the track which is the really odd part. The two guitar solos are brilliantly delivered as well.

”Myr”, featuring Thurzur and Gjermund, as well as Nilsen and Skagg [Deathcult], takes a break-neck speed approach to the music in the beginning, sending out a vicious guitar riff mixed with barbaric drums. There is a slower section further in as the music progresses which allows for a voiceover which adds a different sound to the music. The song reverts back to its fast tempo as the vocals burst in. There’s a use of white trash styled banjo that’s provided by Gjermund. It takes the listener by surprise as it blends well with the rest of the track and the vocals – Kind of like a hillbilly rendition of black metal.

“Helvetesmakt” takes a slower approach compared to “Myr”, featuring vocal work from Nilsen and some mandolin work from Gjermund. The vocals are top notch, being the most brutal aspect of the song. The guitars are grim and bloodthirsty sounding whilst also cold and unmerciful in their sound. The mandolin brings about a strange and mystifying atmosphere that few bands – let alone black metal bands – ever successfully create. This is certainly the greatest piece on the album. The final track, which is also the longest, comes in the form of “Dei Vil Alltid Klaga Og Kyta”. It features vocal work from Skagg and guitar solos from Thurzur and Gjermund. The intro begins in true black metal style but not as generic sounding. The vocals near enough destroy the guitars in terms of loudness and aggressiveness. As the track progresses on it becomes more ingeniously composed and played. The change of tempos throughout the song keep the interest of the listener and Skagg’s vocals keep the track sounding fresh, as do the guitar solos.

”Noregs Vaapen” has been described as one of the most anticipated black metal releases of this year and no wonder why. Taake have done more than just refine their True Norwegian Black Metal sound, they’re refined the entire genre. Each track is so masterfully composed, you’d think it was crafted by the gods. “Noregs Vaapen” is a testament to the fact that black metal isn’t dead and it will no doubt be near enough impossible for Taake to top this release.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Old Corpse Road – The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 4th August 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Old Corpse Road
Album: The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless
Release year: 2010
Genre: Black Metal/Folk Metal


Old Corpse Road are a blackened folk metal band hailing from Darlington located in the north-east of England. Throughout the years they’ve been together, they’ve shared the stage with the likes of Windrider, Skyclad and Hecate Enthroned as well as creating musical history by being one of the first British black metal bands to do produce a spilt with another black metal band [The Meads of Asphodel]. Their most recent release, “The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless”, is the first part of the previously mentioned spilt.

The eerie and dramatic piano medley of “Hob Headless Rises” comes first which is slowly replaced by the shredding guitars. The vocals are strong and raw, with a hint of a Cradle of Filth sound in them. The keyboard sections are beautifully played and add a very tense atmosphere to the music. The drums are masterfully and intelligently played but retain a certain ruthless aggression at the same time. The guitars are impressive, being both shredding and heavy. The acoustic sections brings a very folk-like element to the track which works well with the rest of the track. The clean vocals also help bring about a folk-like element.

“The Devil’s Footprints”, named after an incident in 1855, begins with sound of fast-faced guitars fading in before the introduction of the drums. The spoken vocals add a very archaic and epic feel to the song whilst the screams and grunts bring the aggressive element to the track. The keyboards, blending well with the guitars, bring a certain mystique to the track whilst the drums slowly become more rage-fuelled in their playing. The keyboard sections are both enchantingly and beautifully played, add a dash of calm of the furious metal storm within the song. The softer played guitar and drum sections also bring a touch of calm to the song as well.

The final track is “The Witch Of Wookey Hole”, named after the infamous witch. The song begins with a dark, haunting synth intro which is gradually accompanied by the sound of acoustic guitars and drums. The track turns brutal with the introduction of the feral guitar riffs and the beast-like vocals. The drums are almost machine-like in their playing, very precise yet savage at the same time. The synth sections bring an immense eerie sound to the track as well, helping the music fit in with the lyrical theme of the song. The vocal-keyboard-drum section is simply brilliant, adding a fresh sound to the sound. The narration, which quotes the words spoken by the priest who confronted the Witch of Wookey Hole, adds a very epic and sagaic sound and feel to the song. the choir-like vocals that follow place emphasis on the epic feel.

“The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless” may only be three tracks but it lasts long enough to make it feel more like an EP. The way that Old Corpse Road mix narration with screams and grunts is amazing and the music is masterfully composed. “The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless” greatly demonstrates the talent and ability of Old Corpse Road. the production values are astounding as well. It’s certainly a release that fans of folk and black metal should get their hands on.

5/5

Nico Davidson