>Rotten Sound

Posted: 2010/07/22 in Death Metal

>

* Genre(s): Grind core
* Representative Albums: “Cycles”, “Still Psycho”, “Murder works”






Biography


Finland, like most countries, has its mainstream, middle-of-the-road pop stars (people who sound like Celine Dion or Gloria Estefan singing in Finnish) as well as its musical extremists who cater to the underground; and rock doesn’t get much more extreme and underground than Rotten Sound. In the ’90s and 2000s, Rotten Sound has favored a brutally harsh, violent, angry, and ferocious approach to death metal/black metal and grindcore. There is nothing merciful about Rotten Sound’s blistering albums, which have a very claustrophobic quality and give the listener no room to breath; when a Rotten Sound album is finished playing, one feels drained and exhausted. And while that mercilessly intense approach has earned Rotten Sound no mainstream acceptance, the band has enjoyed a small but extremely devoted cult following.


Founded by guitarist Mika Aalto in Vaasa, Finland, in 1993, the band quickly earned a reputation for being one of the most intense bands on the Scandinavian death metal/grindcore scene. Rotten Sound — whose early influences included Slayer, Napalm Death, Suicidal Tendencies, Entombed, and Carcass — started recording in 1994, when the headbangers’ debut single “Sick Bastard” came out on the Genet label. Subsequent releases included 1995’s “Psychotic Veterinarian” on SOA, 1996’s “Loosin’ Face” on Anomie, and 1997’s “Splitted Alive” on IDS. Under Pressure, Rotten Sound’s first full-length album, was released by Repulse Records (a Spanish label) in 1998 and was followed by Drain (also on Repulse) in 1999. In the early 2000s, Rotten Sound signed with Necropolis’ Deathvomit subsidiary, which released Still Psycho in 2000 and Murderworks in 2002.


Over the years, Rotten Sound has had some personnel changes; in 2002, the band’s lineup included founder Mika Aalto on guitar, vocalist Keijo Niinimaa on vocals, Mika Häkki (who replaced Pekka Ranta) on bass, and Kai Hahto on drums. In the early 2000s, all four of them preferred to go by one-letter nicknames: Niinimaa went by G, while Häkki called himself H, Aalto went by Q, and Hahto called himself K.


HISTORY


Rotten Sound is a Finnish grindcore band, formed in 1993 in Vaasa.


Rotten Sound plays music in the same vein as Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror, lyrically attacking social issues such as greed, conformity and racism. The band has been praised mostly for its ferocity and relentlessness, as well as the unusually high musicianship of the group, particularly ex-drummer Kai Hahto, who left to join the Finnish progressive / melodic death metal band Wintersun.


Formation, Under Pressure and Drain (1993–2000)


Rotten Sound was founded by guitarist Mika Aalto in Vaasa, Finland, in 1993. The group started recordings in 1994, releasing the single Sick Bastard through Genet label. Their subsequent underground releases, between singles and EPs, included 1995’s Psychotic Veterinarian on SOA, 1996’s Loosin’ Face on Anomie, and 1997’s Splitted Alive on IDS.


Rotten Sound’s first full-length album, Under Pressure, was released by Repulse Records (a Spanish label) in 1998 and was followed by Drain (also on Repulse) in 1999. This album was also the debut of second guitarist Juha Ylikoski. In early 2000, the band signed with American Necropolis Records, a subsidiary Deathvomit label for release the EP Still Psycho, which included a cover of Carcass’s “Reek of Putrefaction”. Paul Kott of Allmusic praised the album saying, “Rotten Sound does a good job, and although the audio production does leave something to be desired, the finished product is well worth listening to for any fan of earlier death metal and more recent grindcore. The video segments are very well-produced, with fantastic live audio recording, multiple camera angles, and good edits.” The band toured in Europe to promote the album, along with label mates Hateplow, In Aeturnum and Malevolent Creation.


Murderworks and Exit (2001–2005)


Rotten Sound release their second full-length, Murderworks, in 2002. The Allmusic reviewer Alex Henderson stated, “This 2002 release gives the listener no room to breathe; from start to finish, Murderworks is an exercise in sensory assault for the sake of sensory assault.” For the album’s promotion, the group headline a European tour, titled Murdering Europe, with support of two Czech bands, Fleshless and Lykathea Aflame. They also toured Europe during June 2003, along with Hateplow and Debauchery. In May 2004, Rotten Sound teamed up with Circle of Dead Children, Phobia and Strong Intention for US Grind the East Coast tour. The band’s fourth studio album, Exit, was recorded at Soundlab studio in Örebro, Sweden with engineer Mieszko Talarczyk and mastered at the Cutting Room. Shortly after their release, the album peaked at number 22 on the Finnish album charts. In March 2005, the band teamed up with Disfear for a co-headline Scandinavian tour.


Members





* Mika Aalto (aka “Q”) – guitar (1993–present)
* Keijo Niinimaa (aka “G”) – vocals (1993–present)
* Kristian Toivainen – bass (2010–present)
* Sami Latva – drums (2006–present)


Former members


* Toni Pihlaja – bass (2003-2009)
* Masa Kovero – bass (1994)
* Ville Väisänen – drums (1994)
* Kai Hahto (aka “K”) – drums (1995–2006)
* Pekka Ranta – bass (1998–2000)
* Juha Ylikoski (aka “J”) – guitar (1998–2001)
* Mika Häkki (aka “H”) – bass (2000–2003)

Discography



EPs


* 1995 – Sick Bastard (Genet Records)
* 1995 – Psychotic Veterinarian (S.O.A. Records)
* 1996 – Loosin’ Face (Anomie Records)
* 2000 – Still Psycho (Necropolis Records/Merciless Records)
* 2006 – Consume to Contaminate (Spinefarm Records / Power It Up Records)
* 2010 – Napalm (Relapse)


Full-length albums


* 1997 – Under Pressure (Repulse Records/Revenge Productions)
* 1998 – Drain (Repulse Records/S.O.A. Records)
* 2002 – Murderworks (Autopsy Stench Records/Necropolis Records/Century
Media Records/Relapse Records)
* 2003 – From Crust ‘Til Grind (Century Media Records)
* 2004 – Murderlive (Spinefarm Records)
* 2005 – Exit (Spinefarm Records/No Tolerance Records/Willowtip Records)
* 2008 – Cycles (Spinefarm Records)



Splits


* 1997 – Spitted Alive Split with Control Mechanism (I.D.S. Records)
* 2001 – 8 Hours of Lobotomy Split with Unholy Grave (M.C.R. Records)
* 2003 – Seeds of Hate Split with Mastic Scum (Cudgel Agency)

>Dissection

Posted: 2010/07/03 in Black Metal, Death Metal

>

  • Genre(s):Black Metal
  • Representative Albums: “Storm of the Light’s Bane”, “Storm of the Light’s Bane/Where Dead Angels Lie”, “Live Legacy”
  • Representative Songs: “Where Dead Angels Lie”, “Night’s Blood”, “Feather’s Fell” 

Biography

Gothenburg, Sweden-based death metal outfit Dissection were formed in 1989 by singer/guitarist Jon Nödtveidt and bassist Peter Palmdahl; with the addition of drummer Ole Öhman the following spring, the group recorded its first demo, The Grief Prophecy. Following the 1991 Corpsegrinder single “Into Infinite Obscurity,” Dissection recorded a second demo named The Somberlain, which resulted in a contract with No Fashion Records and their first album (also titled The Somberlain, but also featuring second guitarist John Zwetsloot) in late 1993. Johan Norman replaced Zwetsloot for the follow-up, 1995’s Storm of the Light’s Bane, but then, in July of 1997, Nödtveidt and a friend were charged with the brutal murder of an Algerian homosexual. Both were convicted and Nödtveidt received an eight-year sentence, bringing about the end of Dissection.
Öhman formed a new group called Reaper, and the release of a rarities collection, The Past is Alive, in 1998 felt like the band’s last rites. But the ensuing long silence was eventually broken by 2003’s Live Legacy box set, and Nödtveidt’s release a year later allowed him to finally revive the Dissection name, starting with the two-song Maha Kali EP (part of which was recorded while he was still in jail). A potential collaboration with former Emperor drummer Bard Faust didn’t work out, but by late 2005, Nödtveidt had assembled a new Dissection lineup out of guitarist Set Teitan (see also Aborym), bassist Brice Leclercq (of Nightrage), and drummer Tomas Asklund (ex-Dark Funeral). This foursome recorded Dissection’s well-received third studio album, Reinkaos, which was issued in May 2006 by The End Records, and seemed to confirm the band’s triumphant rebirth — later documented on the aptly named Rebirth of Dissection in-concert DVD.


However, Dissection’s summer tour plans were abruptly cut short, and it was announced that the band would split up following a final string of U.S. dates, which were subsequently canceled due to difficulties obtaining an entry visa because of his criminal record. And then, even while fans were still coming to grips with their disappointment, news began spreading across the Internet that the 31-year-old Nödtveidt had committed suicide with a gunshot to the head, surrounded by candles in his Stockholm, Sweden, apartment, sometime around August 16, 2006. Shortly before the suicide, Nödtveidt is said to have sent farewell letters to his father and several friends and acquaintances — one of which reportedly read, “I’m going away for a long, long time. I’m going to Transylvania.”

Biography

Dissection was a black/death metal band from Strömstad, Sweden. The band was formed in 1989 by Jon Nödtveidt and disbanded in 2006 after Nödtveidt’s suicide. Dissection released its first EP in 1991.

In 1988, a thrash metal band by the name of Siren’s Yell was formed in the Swedish town of Strömstad. Its members were Jon Nödtveidt, Ole Öhman, Peter Palmdahl, and Mattias Johansson. The group recorded a single demo before breaking up in 1989. Nödveidt and Öhman continued on to play in the band Rabbit’s Carrot, in which they claim to have never felt quite at home. Nödveidt was increasingly leaning towards death metal and other forms of dark extreme music. Dissection was officially formed in the autumn of 1989 by Nödveidt, who had left Rabbit’s Carrot. Dissection’s line-up, however, was not complete until early the next year when John Zwetsloot joined.


In 1990, Dissection played their first live show with death metal act Entombed. In the same year, they also recorded and released a demo entitled, The Grief Prophecy. It contained three songs and featured illustrations by the artist known as Necrolord, who later created most Dissection album artworks. A special edition of The Grief Prophecy was later released in memory of Dead, the former vocalist for the notorious Norwegian black metal group Mayhem, who committed suicide in 1991. The special release featured album art drawn by Dead himself. Dissection also played a live show in his honour, at which they performed the Mayhem song “Freezing Moon”. The Grief Prophecy was soon spread through the underground, and the French record label Corpsegrinder Records offered Dissection a deal to record an EP. Later that year, Dissection accepted the deal and recorded Into Infinite Obscurity. The band continued to tour.
In 1992, Dissection began work on a full-length album, The Somberlain. Because of coordination problems among members, the entire band moved to Gothenburg, Sweden (where they shared a rehearsal space with At the Gates) in the summer of 1993. The album was finished and released the following December. It was formally dedicated to Euronymous, the then-guitarist of Mayhem, who had been murdered earlier that year. The group also appeared on a Peaceville Records’ compilation CD.


During November 1994, Dissection signed a record deal with the German record label Nuclear Blast. In 1995, the band’s second full-length album, called Storm Of The Light’s Bane, was released. The following year, Dissection also released a short EP entitled Where Dead Angels Lie. It was compiled from previous rare and import releases, and contained only cover songs and demo tracks.
In 1997, Jon Nödtveidt was convicted of helping murder Josef Ben Meddaours, a 38-year-old homosexual Algerian in Gothenburg. He was released from prison in the autumn of 2004. Nödtveidt formed a new line-up for Dissection with none of the previous members participating. Subsequently, Dissection recorded one two-track EP entitled Maha Kali and toured heavily with the “The Rebirth of Dissection” tour. In 2006, Dissection released their third full length album “Reinkaos” through their own label, in association with The End Records. The lyrics in the Reinkaos album contain magical formulae from the book, and are based on the teachings of the “Misanthropic Luciferian Order” of which some others in the group were members. Shortly after the release, in May 2006, in an online chat interview, Dissection announced plans to split following a short tour. This tour was to include two US dates, but these were eventually canceled after Nödtveidt was denied an entry visa to the US, due to his prior incarceration.


The band played its final European concert in Stockholm on Midsummer, 24 June 2006.
Sometime between August 14 and 16, 2006, frontman Jon Nödtveidt committed suicide, and was found dead in his apartment on the 16th. Nödtveidt’s death was confirmed by the Swedish distributor Sound Pollution, whose staff has worked with Dissection throughout the band’s career. Media reports had the man’s body next to a copy of The Satanic Bible. However it was later confirmed by band-mate Set Teitan to in fact be a Satanic grimoire, which is believed to be copy of the Liber Azerate written by Frater Nemidal, leader of the MLO. A posting on the Sound Pollution web site  reads: “RIP Jon Nödtveidt 1975-2006. Condolences from Sound Pollution & Black Lodge.”


The band also made an official statement upon Dissection’s official website.

Philosophical beliefs:

The vocalist of Dissection, Jon Nödtveidt, was a member of the Misanthropic Luciferian Order founded in 1995, Contrary to popular belief, he was not its co-creator, but “was introduced […] by close friends at a quite early stage.” The order has since renamed to Temple of the Black Light. Some members of Dissection were very involved in the group. Former bassist, Haakon Forwald of Disiplin, pulled out of Dissection, saying it was partly in order to concentrate on his esoteric studies. The MLO planned to release Liber Azerate, a grimoire written by MLO Magister Templi Frater Nemidial in 2002. It was released on the internet in Swedish and Norwegian. Azerate is the hidden name of the “eleven Anti-cosmic gods”, as described in the book.


The Temple of the Black Light believe in “Chaosophy”. They believe that Chaos is the plane and/or power with infinite amounts of space and time, containing all dimensions, in contrast to cosmos, which only has three spatial dimensions and one linear time dimension. Chaos, unlike the cosmos, is ever-changing.
Extreme militant nihilism is taught within the group, and they say the true satanist is not part of the modern society, as it is founded upon lies.


They believe in three forces, three dark veils – chaos, emptiness and darkness, which were expelled from Ain Sof in order to make way for the manifestation of The Black Light in The Outer Darkness that soon became Sitra Ahra. The three forces are the three steps back to a mysterious chaos.


These forces are above the Thaumitan, a two-headed god who allows the connection to the spiritual world. Members of the MLO seek to make that connection and channel the Black Light.


The Temple of the Black Light also believe there are eleven aeons; those of Moloch, Beelzebuth, Lucifuge Rofocale, Astaroth, Asmodeus, Belfegor, Baal, Adramelech, Lilith, Naamah and Satan. Azerate is eleven united as one, and these forces combined are those revered by the MLO/Temple of the Black Light.
Some former members of Dissection have gone on to form other bands, also influenced by their beliefs based on the MLO.

Members

Final line-up

 

 

Former members

  • Peter Palmdahl – bass (1989–1997)
  • Ole Öhman – drums (1990–1995)
  • Mattias “Mäbe” Johansson – guitar (1990) (session live)
  • John Zwetsloot – guitars (1991–1994)
  • Johan Norman – guitars (1994–1997)
  • Tobias Kjellgren – drums (1995–1997)
  • Emil Nödtveidt – bass (1997) (session live)
  • Brice LeClercq – bass (2004–2005)
  • Hakon Forwald – bass (2005)
  • Erik Danielsson – bass (2005–2006) (session live)

Discography

Studio albums

Live, EP, and compilation releases

Demos

  • The Grief Prophecy (1990)

Videography

  • Live & Plugged Vol. 2 (VHS) (1997)
  • Rebirth of Dissection (DVD) (2006)
  •  

>Finntroll

Posted: 2010/06/16 in Death Metal

>

 Formed: 1997
Genre(s): Black/Folk Metal

 Finntroll is an extreme metal and folk metal band from Helsinki, Finland. They combine elements of black metal, death metal, and folk metal with a type of Finnish folk music called humppa. Finntroll’s lyrics are mostly in Swedish, the only exception being the song “Madon Laulu” on Visor Om Slutet. Finntroll’s first singer Katla decided to use Swedish over Finnish since he was part of a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland and the sound of the language seemed to better suit the band’s “trollish” outfit. Despite several vocalist changes, this tradition has since been continued.

According to bandmembers Vreth and Skrymer, they took their name from an old Finnish legend where Swedish priests coming to Finland had an encounter with a wild-looking man who killed most of their party. The survivors came back bearing the tale of the Finn-Troll.
Finntroll’s lyrics mainly deal with legends and tales revolving around the fictional Troll-King “Rivfader” and the trolls fighting against the Christians who invade their lands and try to spread their beliefs. A recurring theme is the story of two priests named “Aamund” and “Kettil”. The first three full length albums feature a rather short but fierce song about the two men who constantly get themselves into trouble with the trolls, only to get beaten up and mutilated over and over again by the wrathful followers of Rivfader.

As of February 2010, the band’s discography includes 5 full-length albums and 2 EPs, their latest album Nifelvind was released February 17 in Finland.

History

Finntroll was founded in 1997, by Teemu “Somnium” Raimoranta (guitarist of Impaled Nazarene) and vocalist Jan “Katla” Jämsen. Their first demo, “Rivfader” (“Ripfather”), was recorded about a year later, in 1998. After the demo recording, drummer Samu Ruotsalainen (from Barathrum, Shape of Despair and Rapture), guitarist Samuli Ponsimaa, keyboardist Henri “Trollhorn” SorvaliMoonsorrow) and bassist Sami UusitaloSpinefarm got interested in the band then, and made a contract, yielding the album Midnattens Widunder(“Monstrosities Of The Midnight”) as a result. (from joined the band. The record label

The next step for Finntroll was the album Jaktens Tid (“Age Of The Hunt”), which was released in 2001. This album managed to climb to rank 20 of the Finnish album charts, exceeding expectation of band and publisher alike. The following wave of popularity attracted the attention of Century Media, which began promoting Finntroll for the rest of the world. The following summer, the band had their first time playing on open air festivals in Finland and other countries.
The year after the release of the album Jaktens Tid proved to be a misfortune for Finntroll: some tours had to be cancelled, and in the aftermath of his problems, vocalist Jämsen had to retire from the band due to a viral-based tumor in his vocal cords which could not be removed surgically; he retired after the release of the EP Visor Om Slutet.
Said EP was recorded in early January 2003, in a forest cabin near Helsinki. It was an “acoustical experiment”, where Jämsen and the new vocalist Tapio Wilska (of Sethian and Lyijykomppania) shared the singing duties among them. Visor Om Slutet (“Melodies About The End”) was released as a mid-price EP and held rank on the Finnish midprice chart for several weeks.

On March 16, 2003, shortly before the release of Visor Om Slutet, guitarist Teemu Raimoranta died when he fell off a bridge in Hakaniemi, Helsinki. Although they had lost their last remaining founding member in this tragic event, the band did not dissolve, but after some time decided to go on, touring Europe for two weeks, supported by the band Katatonia. Guitarist Mikael Karlbom was hired as a replacement for Raimoranta.

In 2004, the band released another EP, Trollhammaren (“The Trollhammer”), a prequel to the soon to follow album Nattfödd (“Nightborn”). This release earned them international acclaim and had the band embarking on their first North American tour, along with the influential thrash metal band Sodom in early 2006.
During 2005, keyboardist Trollhorn decided not to play live anymore due to private reasons. A replacement for shows to come was found in Aleksi “Virta” Virta of the band Imperanon, whom he knew from SibeliusMusic College in Helsinki, where Trollhorn had been teaching. After some auditioning and rehearsing, he became a steady part of the touring line-up.

On January 29, 2006, Tapio Wilska, vocalist of the band since 2002, was fired from the band. In a statement issued on the band’s website, Wilska states that he would like to keep the reason for his dismissal private.
Following Wilska’s parting with the band, they decided to take on Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns of Chtonian and Twilight Moon as a full-time member on vocals.
A new album, titled Ur Jordens Djup (“From The Depths Of The Earth”), was released March, 2007. This fourth album put more emphasis on epic keyboard riffs with very loud but melodic guitar and downplayed some of the Humppa elements. Former vocalist Katla was brought in to write the lyrics for this album. The last song contains an acoustic hidden track entitled Trollvisan which can be heard at 11:03 minutes. It is commonly believed to be the installment’s “Aamund och Kettil-Song”, yet there is no mention of the two priests ion the lyrics, the song rather refers to “de kristna” (“the Christians”) in general.
After being a session member on keyboards since 2005, Aleksi “Virta” Virta was made a full time member in late 2009.

The band has recorded a live performance for its upcoming first live DVD. A release date is yet to be confirmed. They have released their fifth album, titled Nifelvind (“Nifelwind”), and Katla has again written the lyrics. The progress on the album was recorded by Trollhorn in a studio diary found here. On January 15, 2010 Finntroll released a music video for the new song “Solsagan” on their MySpace page in preparation for the album releaseThe new album was then released in February 2010.

Current members

•    Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns – vocals (2006–present)
•    Samuli “Skrymer” Ponsimaa – guitar (1998–present)
•    Mikael “Routa” Karlbom – guitar (2003–present)
•    Sami “Tundra” Uusitalo – bass (1998–present)
•    Samu “Beast Dominator” Ruotsalainen – drums (1998–present)
•    Henri “Trollhorn” Sorvali – keyboards (1998–present)
•    Aleksi “Virta” Virta – live keyboards (2005-present)
 

With:
•    Jan “Katla” Jämsen – lyrics (1997-2002 / 2006-present)
Former members
 
•    Katla – vocals (1997-2002)
•    Teemu “Somnium” Raimoranta – guitar (1997–2003) (deceased)
•    Tapio Wilska – vocals (2002–2006)
 
Studio albums
•    Midnattens Widunder (1999)
•    Jaktens Tid (2001)
•    Visor Om Slutet (2003)
•    Nattfödd (2004)
•    Ur Jordens Djup (2007)
•    Nifelvind (2010)
EPs
•    Trollhammaren (2004)
Demos
•    “Rivfader” (1998)
Videos
•    “Trollhammaren” (2004)
•    “Nedgång” (2007)
•    “Solsagan” (2010)
•    “Under Bergets Rot” (2010)

>Enthroned

Posted: 2010/05/21 in Norwegian Black Metal

>

Formed: 1993
Genre(S): Black Metal

Enthroned is a black metal band formed in Charleroi in 1993 by Cernunnos. He soon recruited guitarist Tsebaoth and a vocalist from grindcore/black metal band Hecate who stayed until the end of December 1993. Then bassist/vocalist Sabathan joined. The band released a 5-track demo tape in mid-1994 which brought them to the attention of several independent labels. A 7-inch split EP with Ancient Rites was then released by the underground label Afterdark Records. After the label’s demise, Evil Omen Records (a sub-label of Osmose Productions) released Enthroned’s first full-length release, Prophecies of Pagan Fire. Shortly thereafter, the band enlisted second guitarist Nornagest. Eventually, Tseboath was replaced by Nebiros.

1996, along with Ancient Rites and Bewitched, Enthroned began an extensive tour of Europe.

In April 1997, as Enthroned was to begin recording Towards the Skullthrone of Satan, Cernunnos took his life. Enthroned recorded the album with a session drummer in honor of Cernunnos and performed at the Dragons Blaze festival with newly acquired drummer Namroth Blackthorn.

In April 1998, the band toured the European continent with Dark Funeral and also released the MCD Regie Sathanas which was dedicated to their former drummer Cernunnos. Later that year, they toured again with labelmates Hecate Enthroned and Usurper. At the close of 1998, the band entered Abyss Studios (Sweden) to record The Apocalypse Manifesto. This third album was released in May 1999, which dealt with the biblical concept of the Apocalypse as interpreted by a satanic perspective.
Enthroned rounded off the 20th Century on tour with Marduk and continued to take European crowds by storm with several other live performances.

In 2000, the band parted ways with Nebiros and recruited Nerath Daemon as their new guitarist, went on a German mini tour followed by several other European shows and recorded Armoured Bestial Hell in the Real Sound Studio (Germany). This fourth album was released in April 2001. Namroth Blackthorn was replaced by Alsvid from the French Black Metal band Seth. Enthroned continued to play many live gigs in and around Europe, as well as in the US.

In early 2002, Enthroned signed to Napalm Records releasing their fifth full-length recording, Carnage in Worlds Beyond, later that year. In June 2003, Nguaroth (guitars) and Glaurung (drums) joined Enthroned played a South American tour and released their sixth album, XES Haereticum.
In 2005, Enthroned released their first official live album, Black Goat Ritual, recorded during their tour of Brazil. Enthroned parted ways with longtime vocalist Sabathan, at which time Nornagest took over the vocals, Phorgath joined the band on bass.

In June 2007, Enthroned recorded their seventh album Tetra Karcist, seeing the return of old drummer Alsvid for the studio sessions.
Ahephahim joined as the new official drummer in June 2007 and Enthroned signed with Regain Records in January 2008. At this time, some members of the band opened a recording studio, Blackout Multimedia. In the mean time, Ahephaim & Nguaroth left the band due to a lack of time and were replaced by ex-Gorgoroth drummer Garghuf and Nerath Daemon took back the position he left five years ago in Enthroned, changing his name to Neraath. Enthroned’s eight album, Pentagrammaton, was released on 22nd March 2010. Since then, Nornagest has given up playing guitar in live performances, due to him developing chronic tendinitis in his wrist, and has instead become the band’s frontman. Former members Lord Sabathan and Nguaroth joined the band for a one-off live performance in 2010 as an act of reconciliation.

Line-up

• Nornagest – Lead vocals (2007-), guitar (1995-)
• Neraath (formerly Nerath Daemon) – Guitar, vocals (2000-2004, 2009-)
• Phorgath – Bass guitar, vocals (2007-)
• Garghuf – Drums (2009-)
• Tzelmoth – Live Guitar, vocals (2010)


Former members

• Ahephaim – Drums (2007-2009)
• Nguaroth – Guitar, background vocals (2004-2009)
• Alsvid – Drums (2001-2004)
• Lord Sabathan – Lead vocals, bass (1994-2006)
• Glaurung – Drums (2004-2007)
• Namroth Blackthorn – Drums (1998-2001)
• Nebiros – Guitar (1995-2000)
• Da Cardoen – Session drums on Towards the Skullthrone of Satan (1997)
• Cernunnos – Drums (1993-1997)
Committed suicide by hanging on April 19, 1997
• Tsebaoth – Guitar (1993-1996)
• Asmodeus – Guitar (1995)
• Alexis – Lead vocals (1993)

Discography

• Prophecies of Pagan Fire (Full-length, 1995, Evil Omen Productions)
Re-released with a bonus CD entitled Commanders of Chaos in 1999 by Blackend Records
• Towards the Skullthrone of Satan (Full-length, 1997, Blackend Records)
• Regie Sathanas – a Tribute to Cernunnos (EP, 1998, Blackend Records)
• The Apocalypse Manifesto (Full-length, 1999, Blackend Records)
• Armoured Bestial Hell (Full-length, 2001, Blackend Records)
• Carnage in Worlds Beyond (Full-length, 2003, Napalm Records)
• Goatlust (EP, 2003, Painkiller Records)
• XES Haereticum (Full-length, 2004, Napalm Records)
• Black Goat Ritual: Live in Thy Flesh (Live album, 2005, Napalm Records)
• Tetra Karcist (Full-length, 2007, Napalm Records)
• Pentagrammaton (album) (Full-length, 2010, Regain Records)


>Graveworm

Posted: 2010/04/05 in Black Metal

>

Formed: 1997
Genre(s): Black Metal

Biography:

Originating from Bruneck, Italy, Graveworm are a melodic/symphonic black metal band with influence of gothic metal. They were formed in 1997, and are themed towards sadness, death, love and occult.


Even before Graveworm released any demo they got signed by Serenades Records, who saw an incredible show of the band close to their hometown Brunico. A demo was produced straight after, featuring classic hymns like “Eternal Winds” or “When The Sky Turns Black”, which were featured on their debut album “When Daylight’s Gone”. A great album, even more in the Gothic Metal vein, which increased a huge interest within the scene. A tour with Crematory, Therion & Lake of Tears followed and proved the enormous power the band creates on stage. Shortly after the tour the MCD “Underneath The Crescent Moon” followed, featuring the bands hymn “Awaiting The Shining”, as well as the classical version of the track “Awake” sung by Sarah Jezebel Deva (CoF and Therion), who became close friends with the sympathic Italians after their tour. A video for the track “Awaiting The Shining” was produced, featuring a documentation done by national Italian TV, who made a road report about the band when they played the Serenades Records festival along with Haggard and others.

Graveworm soon became popular, played the Wacken Festival in 1998 and started the songwriting for their second album “As The Angel Reached The Beauty”, released in 1999. A German tour with Mystic Circle, Stormlord and Suidakra was done, followed by an European tour together with AgathodaimonSiebenbürgen, as well as festival shows at the “Wave Gotik Treffen” and others. and

In 2001 “Scourge Of Malice” was released, featuring their most brutal material, including the Iron Maiden cover, “Fear Of The Dark”, which was released on the “Tribute To The Beast” compilation. A first headliner tour was played, supported by Vintersorg, Dornenreich and Darkwell, which turned out to be very successful. The band played the “Summer Breeze Festival 2001”, as well as a headliner show at the Italian “Badia Rocks” in 2002. Graveworm decided to sign with Nuclear Blast and started the production of their fourth album “Engraved In Black”.


The record was produced in March/April at Stage One Studio with Andy Classen (Die Apokalyptischen Reiter and others), who did an incredible job once again. “Engraved In Black” became an even heavier and more intense record compared to the band previous ones, but still with all typical Graveworm trademarks. Vocalist Stefan Fiori screams and growls as if his life would be in danger. Tracks like “Legions Unleashed” or “Renaissance In Blood” are among the best tracks ever written by the italian band. Once again Graveworm did another cover-versions, “It’s A Sin” of the 80’s Pop act Pet Shop Boys and “Losing My Religion”, originally by R.E.M.


In 2005, they released record (N)Utopia.


At 2007 Graveworm releases another album called “Collateral Defect” with one cover, “I Need A Hero”, originally by Bonnie Tyler.



Current line-up:
Stefan Fiori – Vocals (ex-Abigor)
Sabine Mair – Keyboards
Harry Klenk – Bass
Martin “Marschtl” Innerbichler – Drums
Eric Righi – Guitar
Thomas “Stirz” Orgler – Guitar

Discography

Studio albums



>Taake

Posted: 2010/03/31 in Norwegian Black Metal

>


Origin: Bergen, Norway
Formed: 1993 – present
Genre(s): Black Metal

Taake is a Norwegian black metal band whose name is derived from the Norwegian word “tåke” which means fog.

History

In 1993, Ørjan Stedjeberg, now known as Ulvhedin Høst (often spelt Hoest), formed the first version of the band Taake under the name Thule, together with Svartulv, who was only twelve years old at the time. Thule released two demos; “Der Vinterstormene Raste” 1993 and “Omfavnet Av Svarte Vinger (Embraced By Black Wings)” 1994. Somewhere between the release of the latter demo and “Manndaudsvinter” in 1995, the band transformed from Thule to Taake which was more representative of the band and the area where Høst was from; the mountains of Bergen, Norway. Shortly after this release a 7″ EP was released in 1996 called “Koldbrann i Jesu Marg,” which would be the last demo recording that Taake would release.

The first full-length album “Nattestid Ser Porten Vid (Night Sees the Wide Gate)” was released by Wounded Love Records in 1999. The album was written entirely by Høst but he brought in a session musician, Tundra to perform bass and drums. It was recorded throughout 1997 and 1998 at Grieghallen. “Nattestid…” is part I of a trilogy, all the writing on the CD and lyrics in the booklet are written in runes. All of the lyics are sung in Norwegian. This album is now known as a classic.
The second installment of the trilogy “Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik (Heaven Cries over Bjoergvin)” was released in 2002. Again a seven song concept album, the theme for “…Bjoergvin…” is death (Bjoergvin is the former name of Bergen). On this record, Hoest surrounded himself with a band for the record: C. Corax on Guitars, Keridwen on bass, and Mutt (Gaahlskagg, Trelldom, Sigfader) on drums.

The final installment of the trilogy was released in 2005 by Dark Essence Records. Entitled “Hordalands Doedskvad (Hordaland’s Deathchant)” it adhered to the 7 song format (representing the 7 mountains surrounding Bergen) of the first two records, but showed a change in style (Hordaland is a county in Norway). While the first two records in the trilogy were clearly 80s metal influenced, this album was performed in a more traditional black metal style which was reminiscent of Enslaved, Bathory and early Mayhem. “…Doedskvad” also differs from the other in that it features a number of guest musicians. These include the infamous Nattefrost from Carpathian Forest, Taipan (Orcustus), and Nordavind (ex-Carpathian Forest), as well as others. Following this release of this record Taake has had some minor releases, and played a few festivals (most notably Hole In The Sky Festival in Norway, with Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved on guitars), but according to the official website they are “on ice for awhile.”

Preceding the still 2006/2007 European tour, Taake revamped their official homepage, moving away from the defunct site. Following the infamous show in Essen, the band have been removed from several festivals and have taken much fire. It wouldn’t be acquainted with publicity if it was happened thereby – Lava who has been bassist since 2002 left the band. The new website has also served as a place for Blabbermouth to get all the latest inflammatory statements from Hoest.
On September 8, 2008, Hoest announced on his homepage that he had recorded the fourth Taake album, simply titled “Taake”. The album was recorded for Hoest’s own label Svartekunst Produksjoner and is distributed via Dark Essence Records.
Controversy

In March 2007, during a concert at Essen in Germany, Høst appeared on stage with a swastika painted on his chest.[1] Allegedly, he also spat and threw beer bottles at the audience. This resulted in strong protests from both the audience and the press who were covering the concert. In Germany, the use of the swastika is strictly forbidden by law, and the remainder of Taake’s German concerts were cancelled. It is widely believed that this incident was purely for shock value. Following the incident, Høst stated on the Taake website:

On 2 April 2007, Høst made a further statement:

My previous statement clearly states that I apologize only to our collaborators who might get problems because of the scandal. This means that I take full responsibility and should receive all “problems” myself. But what problems did I get? We raped Essen on one of the first days of the tour and the word spread within minutes. For the rest of the tour I was such an easy target for verbal or physical abuse on stage, walking around the venues, in the streets, etc. But I didn’t receive any confrontation. So keep your pathetic internet debate going, but don’t think for one second that I take any of you seriously. Furthermore, I never did anything to make Taake a “big” band. I was hoping to lose some fans with the Nekro EP, so now I certainly expect to get rid of some more.

In 2006 the activity in Taake came to a meantime halt, since Høst was imprisoned for a violent assault. On July 30, 2007 the Taake website announced that the plans for the coming world wide tour was put on hold “due to a certain band member’s imprisonment”. On September 20, 2007 Hoest announced on the band’s website that he had been recently released from his 3rd incarceration for violence.

Discography

Der Vinterstormene Raste
Omfavnet Av Svarte Vinger
Manndaudsvinter
Koldbrann i Jesu Marg
Nattestid Ser Porten Vid
Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmelrik
Hordalands Doedskvad
Nekro
Svartekunst
Taake

Compilations and split releases

• 2004: Nordens Doedsengel (split EP with Amok)
• 2005: Helnorsk Svartmetall (compilation of early demos)
• 2005: Taake Vinyl Box (compilation containing Nattestid Ser Porten Vid, Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik, Helnorsk Svartmetall)
• 2006: Lagnonector (split single with Vidsyn)
• 2006: Dra Til Helvete! (split EP with Gigantomachy)

Band

Hoest (Ragnarok) – Vocals, All instruments

Live members
• V`gandr (Aeternus, Helheim, Deathcon, Cult of Catharsis) – Bass
• Frostein “Tundra” Arctander (Frostmoon, Tundra) – Guitar (Formerly also Bass, Drums, Vocals)
• Aindiachaí (Slavia, Deathcon)- Guitar
• Thurzur (Sigfader, Infernal Manes, Gaahlskagg, Deathcult) – Drums

Past members
Thule
• Svartulv “Katta” “Kattaræv” (Tarmer) – Drums, Vocals
Taake
• Svartulv “Katta” “Kattaræv” (Tarmer) – Drums
• Dim – Vocals
• C. Corax – Guitars
• Keridwen – Bass
• Mutt – Drums
• Lava (Aeternus, Amok) – Bass, Vocals
• Mord (Helheim, Cult of Catharsis) – Drums

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/taakeofficial

>Obscurity

Posted: 2010/02/10 in Black Metal

>Formed: 1997
Genre(s): Black Metal/Death Metal

The weather in the Bergisch Land (landscape in Germany) is always more extreme than elsewhere in Germany.Especially during the less sunny months bitter cold, permanent snow and icy roads are the best basics for hypothermian reefs, chilly high-speed drumming and Ice Aged warrior lyrics…or to shorten it: Black/Viking Metal of the most uncompromising kind.

Obscurity is a German melodic death/black metal band with strong viking metal influences hailing from Velbert, a city in the Bergischen Land in North Rhine-Westphalia. They are one of the early German death/black/viking and pagan metal bands.

HISTORY:

Founded in 1997, Nezrac (singing), Ziu (bass), Arganar (drums), Agalaz (guitar) and Dornaz (guitar) followed their vision of honest sound art under the sign of the Bergisch Lion. After their highly recommended debut CD „Bergisch Land“ (2000), the manifesto of brutal metal: „Thurisaz“ followed in 2003. Their second work earned the quintet stunning reviews and also for numerours live concerts (with Desaster, Endstille, Nagelfar, Mystic Circle, Thyrfing, Warhammer, Raise Hell) leading to excellent sales figures. After Dornaz (guitar) left the band in 2003, Cortez with his six-string went successfully into the battle with Obscurity.

As a band like Obscurity doesn’t have to reinvent itself with every new opus, the route direction for writing new songs was clearly given, namely to take the musical meanness to further extremes and to be even more uncompromising. In 2006 Obscurity went to the Hagener Midas Twins Studio. Recorded by Andy Brings and Haan Hartmann, produced by Bony (singer of the Japanische Kampfhoerspiele) a 45 minutes contemptuos thunderstorm of sound was created. It was crowned with German lyrics (meantime all songs are in German) whose Battle/God/Rune topic drives a bloody taste of iron in the throat (after the 2nd song at the latest).

„Schlachten & Legenden“: 10 hymn-like songs, far away from all warehouse-keyboardstereotypes and against any NSBM-scum. Who now thinks that our five „Bergisch“ warriors acquired their precision and their heaviness on their actual long-player only through modern sound recording technology, should honour Obscurity on one of their live-crusades through Germany and find out that they fight on stage at least as brave as in the studio.

hey pick the name Obscurity because in their formative years their musical style cannot be clearly assigned to a specific metal genre. Since Obscurity means darkness as well as lack of clarity this synonym adequately describes their extraordinary and comprehensive musical scope. This is even emphasized by the Viking Metal influences which were developed at a very early stage. Bands playing this kind of metal often choose names originating from Nordic mythology, so the band name may be rather unusual here but it is still representative and typical of Obscurity.
Obscurity’s “trademark” is the Bergisch Lion, the heraldic animal of the counts and subsequent dukes of Berg, which reigned over the Bergisch Land in the Middle Ages. This “trademark” is a recurrent theme in the band’s history and features almost all releases.

In 2003 founding member Dornaz leaves Obscurity. He is still a “stand-by” member of the band and also shared the stage with them on their 10-year anniversary. After Dornaz’ departure experienced guitarist and longtime friend Cortez takes up his position. Through his joining of the band they gain more heaviness and enlarge their musical spectrum.

The same year the band signs a distribution contract for their album Thurisaz with Twilight.

In 2006 the band signs a new record and distribution deal for the follow-up album Schlachten & Legenden with Massacre Records.
In 2007 Obscurity celebrates the band’s 10-year anniversary. The album Schlachten & Legenden is released in April and distributed by Massacre Records/Soulfood.
In 2008 shouter Nezrac leaves the band. The same year the squad signs a new record contract with the music label SMP/Trollzorn.
The album Várar hits stores March 2009 being distributed by SMP Records/Soulfood.
The band distances itself explicitly from any politically extremist views in the metal scene saying that Nazism can never be in accord with metal. This attitude is vehemently expressed by Obscurity in their booklets, through interview statements, in announcements during live gigs and even in one of their songs

Lyric – Musicstyle

Lyrics

Obscurity’s lyrical themes range from martial, battlesome ones to themes derived from Nordic mythology and also include purely fictitious ones. In their early days they also used lyrics which were typically black metal. Political themes, however, were never of any significance for the band and, therefore, never taken up. Their lyrics are mostly in German.

Musicstyle

During their first years Obscurity mainly played death/black metal with some viking metal influences. Since 1998 Viking Metal aspects have been exerting a more and more dominating influence on the band which is primarily displayed in their lyrics as well as in some musical elements.

Their musical direction today is a mix of melodic death metal and black metal enriched with strong Viking Metal influences and also possessing some thrash metal features.

Obscurity confine themselves to playing traditional metal instruments (drums, guitars, bass). Fancier instruments, which are frequently used in Pagan Metal, like keyboards, violins, flutes, medieval gear and other instruments are intentionally not to be found here.

Their music is very fast, heavy and spiked with hymn-like melodies. The band’s sound is sometimes very cold and brute, yet harmonizing and brilliantly produced. It is deeply rooted in the “underground” but still very catchy.
Obscurity are often compared with bands like Amon Amarth, Naglfar, Dissection and Unleashed. With regard to some of Obscurity’s musical elements also Bathory or Immortal are mentioned as references here. Of course, these comparisons are drawn on the basis of subjective impressions and are to some extent not shared by the band members.

All recordings of demos and albums of the years 1997-2008, layouts etc. have been solely self-financed and self-produced by Obscurity. The band refuses to let their responsibility and freedom of artistic expression be taken away by contracts of any kind. Both of their distribution and record contracts were only agreed to after completion of the albums. It was only for their four official records that they got an experienced producer/co-producer on board – Bony (shouter of Japanische Kampfhörspiele), a longtime friend and companion of the band.

Members

Agalaz
Arganar
Ziu
Cortez

Discography

• The Rebirth Of The Dark Empire (Demo, 1997)
• Christian Decay (Demo, 1999)
• Bergisch Land (Album, 2000)
• Thurisaz (Album, 2003 – release 2004)
• Schlachten & Legenden (Album, 2006 – release 2007)
• Várar (Album, 2009)

Homepage: http://www.obscurity-online.de/
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/obscuritybergischland

>Faustcoven

Posted: 2010/02/02 in Black Metal

>Formed: 2002
Genre(s): Black Metal

Faustcoven is a black/doom metal band from Norway, founded in 2002 by Gunnar Hansen. Faustcoven is aiming for a heavier, more gloomy sound than the usual sound of modern black metal bands. In an interview by The Metal Crypt, asked about his inspirations for Faustcoven’s style, Hansen stated the following:

I wanted to do something completely different, something darker and heavier. I also am heavily into old doom metal, and saw that the sound and heaviness of bands like Saint Vitus and Pentagram was very compatible with the more evil and frentic approach of Bathory, Venom and Mercyful Fate. And I just loved the idea of combining it into something both heavy and sinister.

History

Faustcoven is a Black/Doom Metal band from Norway, started in 2002 by sole member Gunnar Hansen (with Johnny Tombthrasher, and Terje Kraaboel having contributed live drums in the studio). The sound of Faustcoven however, is far removed from what one usually expects from Norwegian Black Metal, being mainly inspired by the first wave of Black Metal, trad./proto Doom and classic Heavy Metal of all shapes.
The production is bassy and heavy not the usual trebly & thin B.M.-production, the riffs groovy and midpaced instead of tremolo raping two note melodies, and no blastbeats are to be seen for miles around. Instead of frozen forests and evil elves, the atmosphere of Faustcoven invokes horror and DOOM. Oh yeah, and; No corpsepaint! Neither is Faustcoven a Funeral Doom band in disguise, the riffs are more dynamic, trying to follow the lead of Sabbath, Pentagram and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost rather than the more static, droney riffs many other Black/Doom bands use. The most modern part of Faustcoven is probably the extensive use of dissonance, lending a sense of eeriness to the music, but the total package is one mans personal time machine back into the 80’s (and sometimes even the 70’s).
Signed on die hard old school label Barbarian Wrath, the discography of Faustcoven so far apart from demos, includes 2 full lengths (The Halo of Burning Wings (2003) and Rising From Below the Earth (2008)) and one 7’’ split with fellow Norwegian band Koldbrann released in 2006.

The next several months will also see the two albums released as LP’s on legendary vinyl label Nuclear War Now!, a demo/rehearsal anthology on Under the Sign of Garazel, and a split 7’’ on Iron Tyrant with German labelmates Cultes des Goules. The next full-length, tentatively titled “Hellfire & Funeral Bells” is also in the works, although it will not be released anytime soon.
While representing a rebellion against everything modern, gothy and sterile, as well as the so called old school mid 90’s clichés of Black Metal, firmly rooted in the underground, what Faustcoven first and foremost is, is a passionate declaration of love for everything that was great about 70’s and 80’s Metal, and a salute to the gods of the riff.

Faustcoven played live for their first time at the Hole In The Sky festival in Bergen, Norway the 26th of August 2009.

Studio albums

• The Halo of Burning Wings (2003)
• Rising from Below the Earth (2008)

Compilations and split releases

• Koldbrann/Faustcoven (2006) – split single with Koldbrann.
• The Priest’s Command (2009) – consist of tracks from the two demos, rehearsal tracks from The Halo of Burning Wings and one previously unreleased track (Atomsmasher).

Demos

• Satanic Doom 2002 (2002)
• The March of Cloven Hooves (2003)

Band members

Current members

• Gunnar Hansen – vocals, guitar, bass (2002-present)
• Johnny Tombthrasher – drums (2004-present)

Official Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/faustcoven

>Formed: 2001—present
Genre(S): Black Metal, Blackened death.

Frost Like Ashes is a Christian blackened death/thrash band that formed in Kansas City, Missouri in 2001. The band has released two EP’s (Born to Pieces and Pure as the Blood Covered Snow) and a full-length CD titled Tophet, and their songs have appeared on 2 compilations titled A Brutal Christmas and A Treasury of Sorrows. Previously signed to Psycho Acoustix Records and currently to Sullen Records, an imprint of Open Grave Records, their music combines elements of black metal, death metal and thrash metal with keyboards and virtuoisic vocals notable for “switching between about 10 different extreme styles within a given song.” Their lyrics have achieved attention for their harsh output, providing a Biblical point of view for the regular, cruel themes of black metal music. The band is also controversial for using the typical war paint style often associated with the black metal visuals. Their live act incorporates a reversal of stereotypical black-metal images—for example, spitting in and tearing up a Satanic Bible and smashing a goat-skull adorned pentagram with a sword.

History:

Two of the band members, vocalist Azahel and drummer Adonijah, were former members of a controversial deathrash band called Possession that was active from 1992 to 1998. Frost Like Ashes was formed on the vision of guitarist, Sebat (ex-World Funeral, ex-Coven), who would recruit Azahel (vocals) and Syntyche (bass) in 2001 and begin what has become an underground juggernaut hybrid of black/death Metal. Adonijah (drums), completed the group and they released their first EP on SoTD Records in 2003. In January 2003, Qoheleth joined the band as their first full time dedicated keyboardist. Up to this point Adonijah would compose and record the keyboard parts. They were able to get on the bill for Freakshow 13 in Las Vegas, performing alongside such bands as Stavesacre and Mortal Treason. In 2004, The band parted ways with Syntyche and acquired the skills of new bassist, Ruach.
In 2005, after some delays, Frost Like Ashes’ first full-length CD, Tophet, was finally released. The recording has received many positive reviews and has helped Frost Like Ashes gain more popularity and notoriety.
In the Spring and Summer of 2006, Frost Like Ashes performed in Omaha with Psyclon Nine and Epicurean, and in Minnesota with Crimson Thorn, Becoming the Archetype, and Crimson Moonlight.

In March 13, 2008, Blabbermouth.net reported that the band signed a record deal with Sullen records, an imprint of Open Grave Records, for the release of the band’s new EP, titled Born to Pieces. The follow-up to the group’s 2006 acclaimed album Tophet will be issued this May and will be available as a limited release, with only 250 units to be produced. Fire of the Polish black metal band Elgibbor played bass for Frost Like Ashes at their Cornerstone Festival concert on July 3, 2008 to mark his full time permanent membership in the band. The EP sold out shortly after its release, and a limited edition 7″ vinyl was printed of Born to Pieces later.
Previously the band announced that they are currently working on an album entitled Gods of the Great Whore that will be a concept album based on a book the vocalist Azahel is writing. An update from the band’s official website on January 2, 2009, stated that the band has put Gods… on hold until the book is written; however, they have written new material for another album to be released first, tentatively entitled Who Walks in the Darkness, and is to be based on a novel by R. A. Salvatore entitled Homeland. Tentative tracklisting was also published on their website.

Members

Current members

• Azahel – vocals (2001—Present)
• Sebat – Guitar (2001—Present)
• Fire – Bass (2008—Present)
• Adonijah – drums (2001—Present)
• Qoheleth – Keyboard (2004—Present)


Former members

• Syntyche – Bass (2001—2004)
• Ruach – Bass (2004—2008)

Discography

• A Brutal Christmas (SOTD Records) – 2002 (compilation)
• Pure As The Blood Covered Snow (SOTD Records) – 2003
• A Treasury of Sorrows (Lifeless Records) – 2004 (compilation)
• Tophet (Psycho Acoustix Records) – 2005
• Born to Pieces EP (Sullen Records) – 2008

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/frostlikeashes

>Forgotten Tomb

Posted: 2010/01/07 in Norwegian Black Metal

>

Formed: 1999, Piacenza
Genre(s): Black Metal
Representative Albums: Springtime Depression, Negative Megalomania (2007)

Biography:

Forgotten Tomb is an Italian blackened doom metal band, formed in Piacenza in 1999. The band’s music has been compared to early Katatonia, Burzum and Dolorian’s 1999 debut album When All the Laughter Has Gone. The lyrical themes revolve around depression and suicide. The band’s founder, guitarist and vocalist Herr Morbid (Ferdinando Marchisio), describes himself as a “completely depressed, paranoid and suicide-fixated person”.

Forgotten Tomb’s debut recording, Obscura Arcana Mortis, was recorded by Herr Morbid as a solo undertaking in 1999. It was released the following year in CD format through Treblinka Productions and limited to 215 pieces. The band’s first full-length album, Songs to Leave, was released in 2002 through Selbstmord Services. After several line-up changes, the album was followed by Springtime Depression in 2003 and Love’s Burial Ground in 2004. Both albums were released through Adipocere Records. In 2006, Forgotten Tomb signed with Avantgarde Music and recorded its fourth full-length, Negative Megalomania. The album was released in January 2007.

Members

Current line-up

• Herr Morbid – Guitars and vocals
• Razor SK – Guitars
• Algol – Bass
• Asher – Drums

Past members

• Torment – Bass
• Wudang – Session guitars
• Wedebrand – Session drums (ex-Shining)
• Henrik Nordvargr Björkk – Effects

Discography

• Obscura Arcana Mortis (EP, 2000)
• Songs to Leave (2002)
• Springtime Depression (2003)
• Love’s Burial Ground (2004)
• Negative Megalomania (2007)

http://www.forgottentomb.com/ Official page
http://www.myspace.com/darknessinstereo Myspace page

>MAYHEM

Posted: 2010/01/05 in Norwegian Black Metal

>

• Formed: 1984, Norway
• Genre(s): Black Metal
• Representative Albums: “Live in Leipzig”, “Wolf’s Lair Abyss”, “Chimera
• Representative Songs: “Freezing Moon”, “Necrolust”, “Deathcrush

Biography

Formed around 1985 by Necrobutcher and guitarist Euronymous (born Oystein Aarseth), Mayhem was the first death metal band from Norway to make much of an impact in their homeland, which in the early ’90s developed a burgeoning underground scene rife with violent, sometimes anti-Christian activity — as evidenced by Mayhem’s non-musical history. Drummer Hellhammer, who at one time worked in a mental hospital, is the only remaining member of the band’s prime-period lineup. Lead vocalist Dead committed suicide in 1991 (two years after joining the band) by shooting himself in the head; Hellhammer made a necklace using some of his skull fragments, and Euronymous reportedly cooked and ate pieces of Dead’s brain. Euronymous, in turn, was stabbed to death while in his underwear on August 10, 1993, by the band’s bass player, Count Grishnackh (born Christian Vikernes). Grishnackh’s alleged motive was jealousy over the fact that Euronymous had a more evil reputation; he inflicted 23 separate wounds, it was also rumored, so as to outdo rival band Emperor’s drummer, Faust, who was convicted in the stabbing death of a homosexual acquaintance. When police arrested Grishnackh, they found over 150 kg of stolen dynamite in his house, complete with a plan to blow up a large church on a religious holiday. Grishnackh went on to pursue his electronic-influenced project Burzum while in prison; meanwhile, Euronymous’ parents requested that his bass tracks be erased from Mayhem’s 1994 album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, (which featured session vocalist Attila Csihar). Still, thanks to growing worldwide interest in Norwegian death metal, Mayhem product has continued to appear on the shelves into the next century. Hellhammer also put together a new Mayhem lineup, which has toured sporadically. During one such tour in 2003, a concert-goer in Norway received a fractured skull as a sheep head flew from the stage while band member Blasphemer was cutting the head away from the torso.

History:

Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, Norway. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the influential Norwegian black metal scene. Mayhem’s career has been highly controversial, primarily due to the suicide of vocalist Dead, murder of guitarist Euronymous, and their violent stage performances.
Over time Mayhem has evolved through a variety of black metal styles, delving at times into areas of dark avant-garde industrial and electronica.

Early years (1984–1987)

Inspired by groups such as Bathory, Venom, Slayer, and Celtic Frost, Mayhem was founded in 1984 by guitarist/vocalist Øystein Aarseth (aka Euronymous), bass guitarist Jørn Stubberud (aka Necrobutcher), and drummer Kjetil Manheim (aka Manheim). The band name is taken from the Venom song, “Mayhem with Mercy.” This lineup recorded and released the demo Pure Fucking Armageddon. Euronymous concentrated solely on guitar following the hire of a vocalist in 1986. During 1986 and 1987, Sven Erik Kristiansen (aka Maniac) and Eirik Nordheim (aka Messiah) were recruited as vocalists. This lineup recorded the band’s first album, Deathcrush, and released it through Euronymous’s newly formed label Posercorpse Music.

The initial 1,000 copy release of Deathcrush quickly sold out. It was later repressed in 1993 by Posercorpse Music, which was renamed Deathlike Silence Productions as a joint venture with Euronymous’s Oslo specialist record shop Helvete. Euronymous’s plans for this new outlet included that it was to be “…like a black church in the future. We’ve thought about having total darkness inside, so that people would have to carry torches to be able to see the records.”
By mid-1988 both Manheim and Maniac had left the band: Manheim left to find a mainstream job, and Maniac left due to depression.

With Dead (1988–1991)

After two brief replacements, their positions were filled by Swedish vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin (aka Dead) and local drummer Jan Axel Blomberg (aka Hellhammer). According to Bård Eithun of the band Emperor:
He (Dead) wasn’t a guy you could know very well. I think even the other guys in Mayhem didn’t know him very well. He was hard to get close to. I met him two weeks before he died. I’d met him maybe six to eight times, all in all. He had lots of weird ideas. I remember Aarseth was talking about him and said he did not have any humor. He did, but it was very obscure. Honestly, I don’t think he was enjoying living in this world.

With Dead as vocalist, the band’s concerts became notorious. Whilst performing, Dead would often cut himself with hunting knives and broken glass. Additionally, the band often had pig or sheep heads impaled on stakes and planted at the front of their stage.

At some point in 1990, the members of Mayhem moved to “an old house in the forest” near Oslo. They began writing songs for their next album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. On 8 April 1991, Dead committed suicide in the house owned by the band. He was found by Euronymous with slit wrists and a shotgun round to the head. Dead’s suicide note read “Excuse all the blood” and included an apology for firing the weapon indoors. Instead of calling the police, Euronymous went to a nearby store and bought a disposable camera to photograph the corpse, after re-arranging some items. One of these photographs was later stolen and used as the cover of a bootleg live album entitled Dawn of the Black Hearts.

Eventually, rumors surfaced that Euronymous made a stew with pieces of Dead’s brain, and made necklaces with fragments of Dead’s skull. The band later stated that the former rumor was false, but the latter was true. Additionally, Euronymous claimed to have given these necklaces to musicians he deemed worthy.
According to Stian Johannsen (aka Occultus), who briefly took position as vocalist after Dead’s suicide:
He (Dead) didn’t see himself as human; he saw himself as a creature from another world. He said he had many visions that his blood has frozen in his veins, that he was dead. That is the reason he took that name. He knew he would die.

De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (1991–1994)

Dead’s suicide affected Necrobutcher so much that he left Mayhem, thinning the band’s ranks down to two. In 1993, Live in Leipzig was released as the band’s tribute to Dead.

Later that year, the recording of Mayhem’s upcoming album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas resumed. In Dead’s and Necrobutcher’s absences, Attila Csihar of Tormentor handled vocals, and Varg Vikernes of Burzum handled bass guitar. Due to adverse media and police attention, Euronymous was forced around this time to close his scene focal point record shop Helvete. Much of the album was recorded during the first half of 1993 at the Grieg Hall in Bergen. To coincide with the release of the album, Euronymous and Vikernes had conspired to blow up Nidaros Cathedral, which appears on the album cover. Euronymous’s murder in August 1993 put an end to this plan and delayed the album’s release.

On 10 August 1993, Varg Vikernes murdered guitarist Euronymous. On that night, Vikernes and Snorre Ruch travelled from Bergen to Euronymous’s apartment in Oslo. Upon their arrival a confrontation began, which ended when Vikernes fatally stabbed Euronymous. His body was found outside the apartment with twenty-three cut wounds – two to the head, five to the neck, and sixteen to the back. Vikernes claims that Euronymous had plotted to torture him to death and videotape the event – using a meeting about an unsigned contract as a pretext. On the night of the murder, Vikernes claims he intended to hand Euronymous the signed contract and “tell him to fuck off”, but that Euronymous attacked him first. Additionally, Vikernes defends that most of Euronymous’s cut wounds were caused by broken glass he had fallen on during the struggle. Regardless of the circumstances, Vikernes was arrested within days, and a few months later he was sentenced to 21 years in prison for both the murder and church arsons. With only Hellhammer remaining, Mayhem effectively ceased to exist.

In May 1994, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas was released and formally dedicated to Euronymous. Its release had been delayed due to complaints filed by Euronymous’s parents, who had objected to the presence of bass guitar parts played by Vikernes. Contrary to contemporary reports these were not re-recorded by Hellhammer and appear unblemished.

With Maniac and Blasphemer (1995–2004)

By late 1995 Hellhammer had decided to reform the band with the help of new guitarist Rune Eriksen (aka Blasphemer) and two previous Mayhem members – Maniac and Necrobutcher. The first release of this new lineup was a 1997 EP titled Wolf’s Lair Abyss, and was followed by some live European shows. One of these took place in Milan, Italy, guest starring Attila Csihar, and was recorded for the Mediolanum Capta Est live album of that year.

In this new phase, racist statements made by Hellhammer (who spoke out against race mixing and foreigners in Norway) and the use of Nazi imagery such as swastika flags in the rehearsal room, the Totenkopf emblem and band merchandise featuring the symbol of the military branch of Nasjonal Samling led to controversy and accusations of neo-Nazism.

In 2000 the band’s second full-length CD, Grand Declaration of War, was released. Strongly influenced by progressive and avant-garde metal, the album was concept-based, dealing with themes of war and post-apocalyptic destruction. Maniac largely abandoned the traditional black metal rasp for dramatic spoken-word monologue, with most of the songs sequencing seamlessly into one another. Reaction to the album was polarized. Some criticised the album for its avant-garde and electronic elements, which they perceived as pretentious, and for Maniac’s vocals, which they perceived as inferior to Dead’s and Attila’s. Others saw it as a laudable attempt to recreate and redefine black metal, with critic Brian Russ of BNR Metal going so far as to call it “really the first cohesive work the band has ever done” and “a fitting culmination to their career thus far.” In retrospect, the electronic elements of the album were often heavily overstated by its detractors, appearing notably in only a single track, “A Bloodsword and a Colder Sun.” It should also be noted that from Wolf’s Lair Abyss up to the present, Blasphemer has written all of the music for Mayhem’s releases. Maniac wrote the lyrics from the reformation of the band until his departure in 2004.

In May 2003, Mayhem made headlines again when a Mayhem fan, Per Kristian Hagen, landed in the hospital with a fractured skull after being hit by a severed sheep’s head that had been thrown into the audience from the stage. Assault charges were filed, but the band considered it to have been entirely accidental.
In 2004, Mayhem released Chimera. It showed a return to their earlier raw and brutal style, but with considerably better production values than earlier releases. Chimera still maintained a progressive edge. In 2004, Maniac was forced out of the band, according to Necrobutcher, because of stage fright-induced alcoholism. Necrobutcher also stated that because of this, a violent encounter ensued between the singer and Blasphemer, during which the guitarist kicked Maniac down a flight of stairs and smashed his head facefirst twice into a wall. Attila Csihar was reinstated as his replacement.

Ordo Ad Chao (2004–2008)

The band’s fourth album, titled Ordo ad Chao (Latin for “Order to Chaos”), was released in April 2007. Ordo ad Chao contains a much rawer sound than the rest of the band’s recent work; the drums are not equalized and the mix is notably bass-heavy (black metal typically lacks bass). The album continues the band’s experiments with unorthodox song structures, with “Illuminate Eliminate,” at 9:40, being the band’s second longest track to date (behind Grand Declaration of War’s “Completion in Science of Agony (Part I)” at 9:44). The album received strong reviews and was the band’s highest-charting album to date, peaking at #12 on the Norwegian charts. In early 2008 Ordo Ad Chao won the Spellemann (Grammy) award (the largest and oldest of Norway’s music awards shows) for Best Metal Album of 2007.
In April 2008, Blasphemer decided to leave the band. He issued the following statement regarding the matter:

The main reason behind this conclusion lies in the fact that I simply don’t see any future for me in the band anymore, at least not a future I’d like to participate in over the coming years. I’ve been playing my part in the band now for more than 13 years already, having composed, produced and released several albums with great vision, dedication and craftsmanship, to arrive at this crossroad of opposites. Sooner or later, all things comes to an end, and in my case, this circle is complete.
Blasphemer played European festival dates with the band through the summer months of 2008, playing his last gig with the group in August. This marked the departure of the musician credited with the bulk of the musical composition of the band’s three most recent studio albums.

After Blasphemer’s departure (2008–present)

Statements of touring plans for late 2008/early 2009 were announced on the band’s web page a few weeks after their final dates with Blasphemer, prior to any word on new members. In October 2008, it was announced that a musician named Morfeus (Dimension F3H/Limbonic Art) had “joined forces” with Mayhem as guitarist for their upcoming South America Fucking Armageddon tour, replacing Blasphemer.
The band toured through late 2008 and 2009 with this lineup, prior to announcing Summer 2009 dates with a French metal musician calling himself Silmaeth on second guitar. Both Morfeus and Silmaeth are presently considered touring (as opposed to full-time) members. In November 2009, the band were arrested in Tilburg, Netherlands, after destroying a hotel room while on tour.

Members

Former Members:

• Vocals: Maniac (1986–1988) & (1995–2004), Dead (1988–1991), Attila Csihar
(1992–1993) & (2004–2008)

• Guitar: Euronymous (1986-1993) & Blasphemer (1995-2008)
• Bass: Necrobutcher (1986-1991) & (1995-2008) And Grishnackh (1992–1993)
• Drums: Manheim (1986–1988) and Hellhammer (1988-2008)

Current:

• Necrobutcher – bass (1984–1991, 1995–present)
• Hellhammer – drums, percussion (1988–1993, 1995–present)
• Attila Csihar – lead vocals (1992–1993, 2004–present)
with
• Morfeus – guitars (2008–present)
• Silmaeth – guitars (2009–present)

Former

• Messiah – lead vocals (1986)
• Manheim – drums, percussion (1984–1988)
• Torben Grue – drums, percussion (1988)
• Kittil Kittilsen – lead vocals (1988)
• Dead – lead vocals (1988–1991) (deceased)
• Occultus – lead vocals, bass (1991)
• Count Grishnackh – bass (1992–1993)
• Blackthorn – guitars (1992–1993)
• Euronymous – guitars (1984–1993), lead vocals (1984–1986) (deceased)
• Nordgaren – guitars (1997–1998)
• Maniac – lead vocals (1986–1988, 1995–2004)
• Blasphemer – guitars, bass (1995–2008)

Discography

• Deathcrush (1987)
• De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (1994)
• Wolf’s Lair Abyss (1997)
• Grand Declaration of War (2000)
• Chimera (2004)
• Ordo Ad Chao (2007)

Videography

• 1998: Live In Bischofswerda
• 2001: European Legions: Live In Marseille 2000
• 2002: Mayhem – Cult of Aggression (Norwegian/Swedish documentary by Stefan Rydehed)
• 2005: Appearance in Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey
• 2005: Appearance in BBC One World episode Death Metal Murders
• 2008: Pure Fucking Mayhem (English documentary by Stefan Rydehed)

http://www.thetruemayhem.com/ official page

http://www.myspace.com/officialmayhem Official Myspace

>Ragnarok

Posted: 2009/12/30 in Norwegian Black Metal

>Genre(s): Black Metal
Formed: 1994
Representative Albums: Nattferd, Diabolical Age and Blackdoor Miracle

Ragnarok is a Norwegian black metal band. The band was formed in Sarpsborg, Norway in 1994 by Jerv and Jontho, after they left Thoth, their previous band. Lyrical themes include paganism, Vikings, anti-Christianity, and Satanism. The band’s name comes from the Old Norse word ragnarok, which in Norse mythology refers to a prophesied war of the gods.

History

Ragnarok made a name for themselves locally by recording demo tracks and a compilation album including the song Et Vinterland i Nord with their original lineup, consisting of Jerv on bass, Jontho on drums, Rym on guitar and Thyme as the vocalist. The band received good feedback for their demo work and soon signed to the cult label Head Not Found Records, who released Ragnarok’s debut album Nattferd in 1995.

The band was generally dissatisfied with Head Not Found Records, and intended to leave in 1996, but were persuaded to sign a contract for two more albums after the label offered them a much better deal. Unfortunately, this deal meant that Ragnarok was forced to turn down a deal with Century Media, who expressed interest in signing the band after a show in Oslo later that same year.

In 1997, work was begun on Ragnarok’s second album, titled Arising Realm, which featured Shagrath of the band Dimmu Borgir on keyboards. In 1998, Ragnarok went on tour for the first time, playing eight shows in Denmark and Germany in addition to the Hellraiser Festival in Leipzig. At the end of the year Ragnarok started recording Diabolical Age, their third album. Diabolical Age was not finished until late in 1999, and by the time it was actually released Thyme had left the band, to be replaced by vocalist Astaroth, and Sander had joined as a second guitarist. It was soon clear, however, that Sander was not cut out to perform with the band, so he was kicked out and replaced with Lord Arcamous shortly after the eventual release of Diabolical Age in 2000.

Later in 2000, Ragnarok embarked on a short tour with Swedish band Satanic Slaughter, in the course of which it became clear that Astaroth was not capable of continuing on with the band. He was kicked from the band after the tour. Lord Arcamous filled in as vocalist for the recording of the album In Nomine Satanas on Regain Records, but he himself was replaced with Hoest of the band Taake in 2002.

After Hoest joined the band, Ragnarok was finally able to go on tour and perfect their sound for their next album. Blackdoor Miracle was recorded in 2004, and both the band and its fans were pleased with the results.

After a renewal of the lineup the only remaining old member, drummer Jontho, announced they will start touring with the new lineup and are planning for a new album through Regain Records early 2009.

Current members

• HansFyrste – vocals
• Brigge – guitar
• Decepticon – bass and backing vocals
• Jontho – drums

Former Members

• Høest – vocals 1999 – 2008
• Thyme – vocals 1994 – 1999
• Astaroth – vocals 2000 – 2001
• Lord Arcamous – vocals 2001 – 2002
• Sander – rhythm guitar 1999 – 2000
• Jerv – bass 1994 – 2007
• Rym – guitar 1994 – 2007

Discography

• Et Vinterland i Nord demo (1994)
• Pagan Land demo (1995)
• Nattferd (1995)
• Arising Realm (1997)
• Diabolical Age (2000)
• In Nomine Satanas (2002)
• Blackdoor Miracle (2004)
• Collectors Of The King (2009)