LISTMANIA CONTINUES: NORWEGIAN METAL TO WATCH FOR (Part 1)
This is a different spin on Listmania. For this post, we’re jumping outside North America and landing in Norway. Also, this isn’t really a “Best Album” list. Let me explain:
NRK is the state-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. It operates three main TV channels, three main radio channels, and several “niche” channels on radio and the internet. The NRK P3 radio channel is mainly aimed at younger listeners in the 15-30 age bracket, and of course, since this is Norway, it includes a healthy dose of metal. As far as I can figure out with help from Google Translate, “Pyro” is the name of the NRK P3 radio program that focuses mainly on metal and hard rock.
Last week, the Pyro web site rolled out its 2011 list of the most promising metal bands in Norway. I found out about this by seeing a Facebook post by a Norwegian band who showed up on the list. I got curious, and so I visited the site. Now, because this is radio programming, I figured the music wasn’t going to be quite as extreme as a lot of the metal that’s our bread and butter here at NCS. On the other hand, this is fucking Norway, and so I decided it would be worth spending some time exploring what they had to offer — and I guessed right.
I don’t speak Norwegian, of course. So, I used Google Translate. It rendered the Norwegian text on the web site into a kind of English . . . the kind spoken by people who’ve suffered some kind of severe trauma to the speech center in the brain. But I could get the gist of the text, and so I’ve tried my best to clean it up and make it mean what I think it means. But since this isn’t really a translation, I may have fucked it up. All errors are mine, not Pyro’s.
On the other hand, I’m not terribly worried about the text, because the site included music from each of the bands, so we’ve got music to hear, and the music is what counts, isn’t it?
So with all that explanation, here’s Part 1 of Pyro’s selection of the best new Norwegian metal (I divided this into Parts, because there’s a lot here). You may be about to hear the next Kvelertak or the next Ghost . . . or something even better, according to your tastes, who knows.
REMEMBER: This is my lame attempt to paraphrase from a sketchy English translation of what’s on the Pyro site. If you speak Norwegian, then of course you’d be better off visiting the site itself via this link. I’ve added Facebook links where possible in the band names. I’ve also had to find examples of the music that I could embed in this post, since the Pyro music players weren’t embeddable, but I found all the songs that were cited, plus some.
“PYRO SELECTS THE MOST PROMISING BANDS IN NORWAY 2011”
A lot of new Norwegian metal is waiting for you. Pyro has again tried to decide who the best new bands are here at home.
Once a year we look back at the brand new Norwegian bands we’ve been most excited about over the last eleven months, and we’ll give you a simple and straightforward overview of the whole. As usual, we have probably forgotten some bands, while other performers completely forgot to send us demos or albums.
This band is from Oslo, but also contains members from Stavanger (Erlend Hjelvik from Kvelertak). No matter, Djevel made one of this year’s best Norwegian albums with Dødssanger. Pitch-dark melodic black metal that is cold and ugly, but also beautiful. Djevel is more of a studio project than a touring band, but this debut is leading the way toward something that could become big on the dark side of the metal spectrum.
The men in Devil came as a surprise in the spring with their EP Magister Mundi XUM, and followed it with more of a good thing in the album Time To Repent in the late summer. The genre? Norwegian doom, or vintage metal if you will, from Akershus. Devil has already received great attention from the outside world, and is truly a treasure you should poke around a bit when you have time and the desire. Listen to the monster song “Time To Repent” below.
Young and very quarrelsome metal from Sørum, purified by the inspiration of modern metal that bands such as Purified In Blood and Lamb Of God provide. We discovered the band through the Urørt radio site, and since then, “Continental Plague” has been a favorite. Check the song below.
“Bulk” is perhaps a little strange for a band name, but it is nevertheless a name we’ve been hearing for quite a long time. Bulk has in fact been around since 2004, but only this year released their debut disc Guardian. Bulk plays stoner-rock and metal mixed with lubricants of energy (although they call the music “bulldozer-rock”), and the title cut made one of this year’s better songs. Check the song below:
This is a metal band from Namsos, now based in Trondheim, who just released their debut EP, Waiting. On their web pages, they mention Converge, Gojira, and Insense as inspiration, and it blends in nicely with the music they present. Promising? Sure. Listen to the song “Basic” below or watch the video to “Black Cloud”:
Crap, I almost missed this post in all the Great Katmania. So far I love Djevel and am intrigued by the old school groove of Devil…the rest is kind of meh. But it’s from Norway so I guess I’d better give it all a few more listens.
Okay, you like Djevel, which seems to mean “devil” in Norwegian, and you like Devil, which seems to be English for Djevel, and so maybe you have Rosemary’s Baby in your Thor’s uterus.
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I’m with Troll here, Djevel sounds promising.
I agree, Djeval sounds good, but I think they could drop or modify the spoken word parts. No clean speaking.
‘Bulk plays stoner-rock and metal mixed with lubricants of energy’
Isn’t Norway just the best? I like my energy to be firmly lubricated.
Have heard some Devil previously, and liked it pretty well. The rest of these are new to me, will need to investigate further.
But thank you for posting this list! I feel like sometimes by only reading the American or British publications, we might miss out on a lot of great stuff.
It’s impossible to make everyone happy with a “best of” list, but not including Blodsgard on a list of Norway’s most promising metal is a glaring oversight on the part of NRK and Pyro.
I agree that Blodsgard ought to be included on anyone’s list of best new Norwegian bands. And to be clear, we’re not endorsing the Pyro list, just using it as a way of exposing people to new music.
You were clear 😉 Exposure to new music is why we’re all here originally, and it’s definitely appreciated. …and glad you agree….
I really enjoyed Scornful. Definitely something fresh in the metal scene.