Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

As 2017 marks the year of the great return of Norwegian symphonic black metal giants, Dimmu Borgir, they will release their highly-anticipated double-DVD Forces Of The Northern Night on April 28th. Available in different formats, the release will contain two live rituals:

Their legendary concert in Oslo, showing Dimmu Borgir on stage with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and a bombastic choir as well as the entire performance at Wacken Open Air with almost 100 musicians in action.

Today, the Norwegians unveil their first video from the Wacken show – see the raging black metal hymn “Mourning Palace” live with the Czech National Symphonic Orchestra inside!  (more…)



Norwegian duo, Darkthrone, has announced its new album, Arctic Thunder, to be released on October 14 via Peaceville. Arctic Thunder marks the band’s first new studio material since 2013’s triumphant The Underground Resistance, its most successful release in recent years.  (more…)

ragnarok_psychoReview by Jeff Maki
Have you ever listened to so much extreme metal that everything starts to sound like Morbid Angel? They really were the forefathers of extreme metal, weren’t they? “Dominance & Submission,” the opening track of Norwegian black metal band Ragnarok’s eighth album, Psychopathology, instantly brought the legends to mind. Then there was the oncoming apocalypse that is Ragnarok. (more…)

Enslaved - In Times - ArtworkReview by Jeff Maki
On its astonishing 13th studio album, In Times, long-running Norwegian progressive black metal band Enslaved follows its recent releases Axioma Ethica Odini (2010) and RIITIIR (2012) in developing its sound further, progressing into unknown territory for an extreme metal band, yet managing to retain a substance of its roots. Consisting of only six songs, all clocking in over eight minutes, In Times is an album that presents somewhat of a challenge for listeners but nothing we can’t handle. (more…)


So what’s this about a “cabin in the woods?”

Long-running Norwegian progressive black metal band Enslaved is about to release its astonishing 13th studio album, In Times, (March 10 in North America, Nuclear Blast), followed by a supporting tour. Following its recent releases, Axioma Ethica Odini (2010) and RIITIIR (2012), Enslaved has developed its sound further, progressing into unknown territory for an extreme metal band, yet managing to retain a substance of its roots, as one of the early ’90s Norwegian black metal bands. Consisting of only six songs, all clocking in over eight minutes, In Times is an album that presents somewhat of a challenge for listeners in this age of short attention spans. But you know what? Enslaved’s 24-year-long evolution into what we hear today has built up a steady fan base that’s only grown in the past few years, especially after getting some great exposure touring the U.S. with Amon Amarth in 2014. Fans have come to expect a new high-quality and intelligent Enslaved album every few years, yet they still don’t entirely know what exactly to expect, if that makes any sense.

So what makes In Times tick? What was recording the album like? And what’s this about a cabin in the woods? Live Metal’s Jeff Maki got a call in from Norway and on the other end was guitarist and founding member Ivar Bjørnson to explain it all.

Enslaved: "Channeling the wisdom of Odin"

Enslaved: “Channeling the wisdom of Odin”

From their beginnings, rising out of the Scandinavian extreme metal scene in the early ‘90s through today, there aren’t many metal bands that have covered as much musical ground as Norway’s Enslaved. Their influence of Norse mythology is credited with helping to pave the way for the subgenre of Viking metal and the many Odin-worshipping bands that have followed. And then there’s black metal. Arriving around the same time as other Norwegian corpse-painting bands such as Immortal, Darkthrone and Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved has been a prominent figure and survivor of the notorious Norwegian extreme metal scene. Nowadays, Enslaved has added a huge influence of progressive rock, but their style remains extreme, epic and unique. Yes, if you’re a metal fan and keep up to speed on the genre, Enslaved is a name you’ve often seen but maybe never heard.

The band is perhaps looking to change that. Enslaved has just released its 11th album, Axioma Ethica Odini (Sept. 28, via Nuclear Blast in North America) and is on its first tour supporting it, opening for the mighty Dimmu Borgir in packed U.S clubs. On the Darkness Reborn tour’s Nov. 7 stop at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Md.,’s Jeff Maki and Ryan Mavity caught up with Enslaved’s founder, vocalist and bassist, Grutle Kjellson. (more…)

Dimmu Borgir" "Taking Chance with Galder"

Dimmu Borgir” “Taking Chances with Galder”

The Norwegian symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir recently released its ninth album, the epic, black magic-inspired Abrahadabra (Oct. 12, Nuclear Blast). Recorded with a Norwegian orchestra and 38-member choir, the album is a grand feat, taking these corpse-painted satanic fiends to a different realm. At the same time, it can be closely compared to past recordings such as Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia and Death Cult Armageddon. This is a band that’s always been about taking chancesnow more than ever (they even recently toured Europe with Korn.)

Of course, with any new Dimmu Borgir album, fans, critics and “esteemed” music journalists waste no time in crying “sell-out” or “mainstream” and other misguided, kvultist viewpoints. Yes, the band has changed its style over the years and experimented with each release, but mainstream is the farthest thing from this band. We won’t see them as guests on American Idol anytime soon. To all those writing negative and close-minded reviews, see the band live like we did or talk to the band members, then maybe your opinions and critique would have merit. Abrahadabra is a fantastic album, exploding with new classics like “Born Treacherous,” “Gateways,” “Dimmu Borgir” and “Chess with the Abyss.”’s Jeff Maki and Ryan Mavity recently had a lengthy conversation with one of the band’s creative forces, Galder (Thomas Rune Andersen), lead guitarist since 2000. Aboard the band’s bus at its stop on the Darkness Reborn tour at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Md., he talked with us about Abrahadabra, working with the orchestra and the band’s evolution over the years. (more…)

Dimmu Borgir: "Darkness Reborn in Towson"

Dimmu Borgir: “Darkness Reborn in Towson”

Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved

By Ryan Mavity

After a nearly three-year absence, Dimmu Borgir is back with a new album, Abrahadabra, and a U.S. tour, and much has changed for the band.

Gone since the Invaluable Darkness tour are drummer Hellhammer, bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex and keyboardist Mustis. In their stead are new keyboardist Brat (who, like Madonna Wayne Gacy used to in Marilyn Manson, just kind of stands there and looks creepy), drummer Daray and bassist Cyrus.

The remaining members, vocalist Shagrath and guitarists Galder and Silenoz, are the real stars of the show, as they have been for nearly a decade. They all play a certain role on stage; Shagrath as the frontman/evil rock god; Galder plays the dark jester; and Silenoz, who looks like the WWE’s Undertaker, prowls the stage looking like he’s seeking fresh souls to take to hell. (more…)

Dimmu-abraOver the past decade, Norwegian extreme metal band Dimmu Borgir has become the black metal equivalent of Metallica. Purists bemoan the lack of … something in their music and cry “sell out” because they have been embraced by people that are not necessarily the core audience.

But where Metallica has gone back to their roots in recent years, Dimmu has doubled down on its course. You think going on a mainstream metal tour like Ozzfest was something? We’ll tour Europe with Korn! You think using an orchestra was something? We’ll use a choir! Didn’t like our using clean vocals? Fuck you, we’ll use a female vocalist!

The band’s new release, Abrahadabra, adds even more bombast to what was already a bombastic sound. There’s no overlying concept here like the band’s previous release, In Sorte Diaboli. The title is a reference to noted black magic practicioner Aleister Crowley, but there is no endorsement or arc referencing Crowley’s views or beliefs. Abrahadabra is about a band being whoever the hell they want to be, which does fit in with Crowley’s libertarian social views. (more…)

enslaved-axiomaWhen I saw Enslaved open for Dimmu Borgir in Towson, Md., I tweeted, “Enslaved are too good for their own good.” Let me explain.

In the early ‘90s, these Norwegians were part of the black metal scene, yet unlike most of their peers, they didn’t have Satanic lyrics or imagery. So, for a short period of time, they called themselves “Viking metal,” due to the influence of Norse mythology on their lyrics. Enslaved now somewhat regrets the Viking metal label, as they don’t want to be associated with the kind of bands playing that style today. The band survived and even prospered somewhere in between these two styles for years and, with recent albums, started evolving into a progressive black metal band. Sound like a lot to take in? (more…)

darkthrone-wagonsNorwegian black metal? No, not anymore. Circle the Wagons is a new beginning for Darkthrone, a new decade and a total shift in style for the black and death metal pioneers. The band—which has recorded as the duo of Nocturno and Fenriz for several albums—put an end to its under-budget, primitive black metal sound with 2004’s Sardonic Wrath and later experimented with a crust-punk style. With Circle the Wagons, Darkthrone has reinvented itself with what I believe is a first in metal: a black metal band playing ‘80s hardcore punk music. (more…)

immortal-all-shall-fallSince the release of their first demo in 1990, Norway’s Immortal has been one of the most important black metal bands. And no, not only because of their now notorious band promo shots with the boys decked out in leather, spikes and ridiculous black metal garb. Though not Satanists, Immortal lives by the true black metal code—the famous corpse paint, band monikers, and an underground, occult status and way of life. True to following the code, they don’t want to be liked. More importantly, they don’t want you to like them. They’ve now only released one album in seven years, played only a handful of live shows and have had the all-too-common revolving cast of characters in the band. They see themselves as a kvlt underground act and want to keep it that way. They recently even turned down a nomination for a “Spellemann” award, which is often referred to as the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy. No, Immortal doesn’t want you to like them, so you know what—I won’t. (more…)