Jan 162011

I had way too much fun last night. This morning, I feel like I’m being punished in a circle of Hell far worse than anything Dante imagined in The Inferno. But despite a hangover of galactic proportions, I’ve got something for you. Two somethings, actually. They served as a reminder that no matter how much I want to kill myself today, there are reasons to Keep . . . Living.

When we rolled out our list of 2010’s most infectious extreme metal songs, Part 2 of the series paired up songs from two of our favorite bands, Keep of Kalessin and Living Sacrifice. By coincidence, yesterday I saw two brand new performance videos that feature both bands, and they’re both good.


Last year, Keep of Kalessin made their debut in the Eurovision contest, riding the song “Dragontower” to a third-place finish in the Norwegian finals.  Even though “Dragontower” was the most accessible song on Reptilian, KoK’s third-place finish in the national contest was further proof that Norway and the U.S. are so different that they might not really be co-existing in the same universe.

But yesterday, there was more proof. KoK made a guest appearance on the nationally televised semifinal round of the 2011 Norwegian Eurovision song contest, performing another song from Reptilian — in a duet with Alexander Rybak. I tried to think of a U.S. parallel, and the first thing that popped into my head was Immolation showing up on American Idol to perform with Justin Bieber.  (more after the jump . . .)

Rybak is a singer-composer-violinist-pianist-actor who won the International Eurovision Song Contest finals in Moscow in 2009.  Representing Norway, he achieved the highest point total any country has achieved in the history of the Eurovision contest. It appears he has been a big fan of Keep of Kalessin, and wanted to perform with them. And yesterday, he got his wish.

So, here’s a video of Keep Of Kalessin performing “The DIvine Land” along with Alexander Rybak at the Norwegian Eurovision context last night (January 15, 2011). (KoK has released a 2011 version of the song on iTunes — but unfortunately it appears, so far, that it’s only available on the version of iTunes available to Norwegian consumers.)


We’re huge fans of Living Sacrifice here at NCS. What jump-started our fandom was watching them play a live set in their 2008 revival tour with Demon Hunter. They just kicked all kinds of ass and completely stole the spotlight from Demon Hunter.

Now, the band is going to begin dribbling out professionally filmed live performance videos from the touring they did in 2010. The first one is footage of them performing “Bloodwork” in their hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas, on December 12. This is a heavy fucking song performed by some genuine originals. The video looks very cool, too.


That’s all I’ve got.  I’m now going to crawl under a rock and resume my whimpering.

  9 Responses to “KEEP-LIVING”

  1. That Rybak-Kalessin performance was pretty kick ass. Not something I’d expect to be on TV here in the United States though, that much I’ll agree with. Is that new version of “The Divine Land” a copy of this or studio version with Rybak’s contribution or just a re-recording/remix/remaster?

    It’s nowhere near the clusterfuck that Biebermolation would should the planets realign centuries early (or maybe millennia is more appropriate) to inspire a union so foul that the holy and unholy forces would be forced to unite in response. Certain songs are more violin friendly than others and I’m just guessing, but Alexander Rybak doesn’t seem like he’s just a violinist playing on stage with one of his favorite bands.

    Maybe sometime metal will have a stronger mainstream appeal again, this time without the cookier-cutter formula and the big hair. Perhaps something like this could make it to one of the “it” shows one day, but probably not anytime in the near future.

  2. That KoK performance made my day.


  3. Hi! Umm…sorry about the radio silence for the last while….

    The KoK was awesome, but it didn’t do anything to win me over as a fan…I think I’m just done with melodeath for a while.

    The violin bit was awesome…but a lot of the time I felt like it was getting lost in the mix. Perhaps certain instruments just don’t stand up well against heavily distorted guitars?

    That said, this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viMbnj_Ei2A) is the most metal nonmetal music I can ever imagine. And it’s 3400 years old. I’m sure I’m the last person on the interwebs to see this, but if not…

    Oh, and I’m moving to Tokyo finally!!!!!! I may disappear again because I have two weeks to get ready and find an apartment, but I’ll be back after that.

    • Well this is a relief — I was beginning to fear something shitty had happened to you, but instead it sounds like something really good has happened. Congrats on the move to Tokyo! And thanks for the link to that ancient music. It is indeed very metal non-metal music. I could imagine a black metal band doing an arrangement of that song to great effect, although it’s pretty amazing as is.

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