Aug 212019
 

 

(This is Karina Noctum‘s interview of Steingrim, drummer of the Norwegian black metal band Vreid, whose latest album Lifehunger was released by Season of Mist  in September 2018. The interview took place in late June at the Tons of Rock festival in Oslo. All photos were made by Andrea Chirulescu for the Midgardsblot festival, 2019.)

 

What’s behind the name “sognametal” and what makes bands that are under this name stand out within the Norwegian Black metal scene?

Sognametal was an expression from the founder of Windir, Valfar. He wanted to stand out from other bands in the same genre. After that they just labelled the music coming from the region Sogn og Fjordane as Sognametal. That being said I don’t think all the bands coming from that region play the same type of music. So now 25 years later on I don’t think the label Sognametal can be applied to a certain music genre, but it’s the label you get when you are from a certain region in Norway. But again, he wanted the band to stand out, but it was meant just for Windir music and that’s what was Sognametal, so the irony is that now there are 10 or 15 bands under the same label as well. Continue reading »

Jul 312019
 

 

(Wil Cifer conducted the following interview of Jay Gambit, the principal creative force behind the genre-bending band Crowhurst, whose latest album III was released earlier this year by Prophecy Productions.)

Earlier this year I reviewed the latest album from this experimental black metal project, which was the third part in a trilogy. I recently managed to find the time to catch up with Jay Gambit, the main man behind this project, to discuss his creative process behind this album.

 

There seems to be a theme of working with different personnel for each record you make. Is there a reason behind this?

I view lineups as more of an assembly of musicians I think will benefit the record. Andy [Andrew Curtis-Brignell] was the backbone, no doubt about it – but there’s a lot more musicians on III like Ethan from Primitive Man and other folk whose sonic signature was distinct and complementary to various recordings. What keeps this from being a solo project is that I feel every musician brings their own presence, and by playing around with different formulas each record – you can get some spectacular and unique results. Continue reading »

Jul 182019
 

 

(Our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum scored a coup with this interview of Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen at the recent Tons of Rock festival in Oslo, where Blasphemer performed with his band Vltimas, which also includes David Vincent and Flo Mounier (their debut album Something Wicked Marches In was released by Season of Mist this past March). Blasphemer has left his mark on the history of metal through the music of such bands as Mayhem and Aura Noir, and more recently with Vltimas and Earth Electric. This interview touches on all these experiences, and what the future holds for him. All photos accompanying this interview were made by Andrea Chirulescu.)

 

How did the idea of forming Vltimas originate?

I’ve been playing so much extreme metal for so many years that it was always a mission of mine to form a band that I could call my little baby. Something that I created from the start, because with Mayhem, I didn’t start it; I joined Mayhem. The same with Aura Noir, I just joined them.

So it was something that was on my to-do list, you know. Starting something from scratch and building something up from the ground. So when I quit Mayhem I was thinking about it, but at the time I just thought I had to take a break from extreme metal, from Black Metal, so I did not pursue it. I did other styles within metal instead. Continue reading »

Jul 092019
 

 

On August 21-24, 2019, the eighth edition of the Beyond the Gates festival will take place in Bergen, Norway, featuring a remarkable line-up of bands, headlined by Watain, Mayhem, Emperor, and Abbath. Our Atlanta-based contributor Tør was able to get the attention of BTG founder and principal organizer Torgrim Øyre, to discuss not only the upcoming event but also its history, and the predecessor Bergen festival Hole in the Sky. Our thanks to both of them for this interview.

 

Tell us a little bit about the history of Hole In The Sky/Beyond The Gates and how the idea for them came about.

Hole in the Sky was founded as a tribute to our late friend Erik «Grim» Brødreskift. He was a prominent figure in the metal scene in Bergen. Erik played with bands like Immortal, Gorgoroth, and Borknagar. Initially it was intended to be a one-off where friends from Bergen were paying their respects to their lost friend. The line-up was based on Bergen bands only. After the first festival, people kept saying that we should make it a tradition as there literally were no underground festivals in Norway at all at that point. This was pre-Inferno too. The festival quickly took on a life on its own. Slowly growing from the 300-cap venue Garage and moving into USF Verftet a few years later. It was an intense time. Not a lot of metal bands had played these shores before, so everything felt new and exciting. Everyone involved had very high standards for Hole in the Sky and after 12 years, we came to a point were we felt that we had done everything we could within that framework, so in order not to repeat ourselves and possibly compromise the quality of the festival, we felt that it was a good thing to put the fork in the road and end on a high note. Continue reading »

Jul 082019
 

 

(Our Norway-based writer Karina Noctum had the good fortune of interviewing Mayhem drummer Hellhammer recently, following a Mayhem festival performance in Oslo, and we present the conversation here.)

This interview with Hellhammer was conducted after the gig at Tons of Rock in Oslo on June 28. I will have the opportunity to see them yet again at Beyond the Gates festival in Bergen, which has an incredible line-up and has not sold out yet. In addition, there is going to be a European tour by Mayhem (with support by Gaahls WYRD and Gost) in late October-November as well.

I think it was a pretty good timing for this interview, as I got some tidings about what to expect when it comes to the new Mayhem album that is currently in the making at the renowned Necromorbus Studio in Stockholm. Continue reading »

Jun 262019
 

 

(We’ve been the beneficiary of many interviews conducted by Norway-based writer Karina Noctum at this year’s Inferno Festival in Oslo, and this is one more — a lively conversation with drummer Daniel Tveit and vocalist/guitarist Andreas Fosse Salbu, who performed with their band Sepulcher at Inferno but are also members of Reptilian and Inculter.)

In my series of interviews conducted at this year’s Inferno Festival I wanted to include an up-and-coming underground band because my heart is always with the underground. And besides, I really like the Old School Death/Thrash/Heavy style that is coming out of Norway. Out of the bands available I chose Sepulcher. I find their sound heartfelt, true to the beloved roots we all cherish. and raw!

They come from a small town on the western coast of Norway called Fusa. This interview deals with particulars about the emerging scene they come from; a conversation about their sound, recording, and producing; and it also deals with how they try to stay as faithful as possible to the sound that characterizes them. Continue reading »

Jun 252019
 

 

(Our Russian friend Comrade Aleks has reappeared at our humble abode, this time with a new interview in which he picks the brain of Carlos D’Agua, vocalist of the part-Portuguese, part-Finnish band Collapse of Light.)

Collapse Of Light is an international atmospheric doom/death project started in 2010 by three ex-members of local doom/death act Before The Rain (Carlos D’Agua (vocals), Carlos Monteiro (guitars), Gonçalo Brito (guitars)) and vocalist Natalie Koskinen (Shape Of Despair and Depressed Mode, amongst others). They weren’t fast, and their debut full-length album Each Failing Step appeared only in 2018.

This impressive material needs some development, which I hope to find on their sophomore album… Being a fan of its soothing depressive vibe I’ve contacted Carlos D’Agua and learnt few things about the band. Continue reading »

Jun 192019
 

 

NCS contributor Karina Noctum, based in Norway, talked to Hans Fyrste (ex-Ragnarok) about his band Svarttjern, which also counts in its ranks Grimmdun (drums), HaaN (guitars), and Malphas (bass), who are currently in Carpathian Forest, and guitarist Fjellnord (Magister Templi). They are on Soulseller Records and currently recording a new album. The conversation revolves around the band’s personal significance, the lyrical themes, and different perspectives when it comes to music and record labels, among other things… All photos accompanying the text are the work of Silje Storm.

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How would you describe your sound and how does it stand out from other bands in the scene?

That’s a hard question, but I think that over the years Svarttjern has kept on going with doing what we want to do and I think our thrash influences have grown more and more. At the same time we have gotten more in-depth in Black Metal, which is more of the aggressive nature of the music. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I think we can say it’s dirty music with a touch of elegance. Continue reading »

Jun 062019
 

 

(In  this new interview our Russian friend Comrade Aleks talks with vocalist Tes Re Oth of the Belgian extreme metal band Insanity Reigns Supreme, exploring the band’s evolution in sound since the late ’80s and how their evolution will continue on the next album.)

Started in 1989, this Belgian band went a long way from good old doom-death metal to something more sinister and heavy. I would say “blackened death metal”, yet that’s not exactly that they do. Back then they had taken the band’s name from a song by the UK-based death-metal/grindcore/doom band Prophecy Of Doom, and slowly worked on their own identity. All of their four albums have their distinctive features: The first one, …And Darkness Drowned The Land Divine, tends to classic death-doom; Prophecy Of Doom represents a more rigid apocalyptic side of the same themes; and the third, Occultus Insanus Damnatus, shows the band’s interest in a more aggressive and infernal death metal sound, which was fully discovered on Unorthodox.

Insanity Reigns Supreme ideologist and vocalist Tes Re Oth will help us to learn more about their occult vibes. Continue reading »

Jun 052019
 

 

(This is Karina Noctum‘s interview of Tobias Gustafsson, drummer of the long-running and recently reactivated Swedish death metal band Vomitory.)

 

Vomitory has been a major influence for the more brutal side of the swedish DM scene. What do you think is your most important contribution to the development of the Swedish DM
scene?

We never had a specific Stockholm sound or Gothenburg sound. Perhaps something in between. Anyway, we have always been more influenced by the US sound or more grind influences than the average Swedish Death Metal band. There is also the fact that we have always stayed true to our sound and been quite consistent throughout our career; that I think has been our most important contribution. Continue reading »