Apr 102019
 

 

(We have already published one review of the Japanese band Desecravity’s new album, by Vonlughlio, but our contributor Karina Noctum has written one as well, which provides different perspectives on the music, and so we’re presenting it here.)

I remember when I first listened to Desecravity’s Morphic Signs and was in awe back in 2014. They play a perfect blend of tech and brutal Death Metal. Morphic Signs is a continuous blasting without breathing. If you appreciate the heavy-metal-inspired solos added for maximizing the climax effect after a series of ear-pummeling riffs a la Vital Remains (because more is more…), then Morphic Signs is the perfect album for you. If you like it, then you will love Anathema, their latest album, which is is a display of neoclassical virtuosity all made fast as hell. They have successfully taken the sound to a new level. Continue reading »

Apr 042019
 

 

(Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum returns to us with the following interview of Mattias Hemminby of the Norwegian bands Eldamar and Askheimr.)

This is an interview with Mattias Hemminby about his one-man Black Metal project Eldamar and his new project called Askheimr.

When it comes to Eldamar, I think that the music has a great atmosphere influenced by Burzum and the greatness of Lord of the Rings. I have always found Eldamar pretty peculiar and interesting due to its pretty harmonious composition. Eldamar’s style is ambitious and aesthetically beautiful and not easy to achieve, especially taking into account all the limitations a one-man underground project faces, but in spite of this the result is favorable and I enjoy the music a lot. I think it has a touch of uniqueness in the way it has been put together, and of course its “Norwegianness” surfaces. adding a lot to it.

I have always been interested in one-man projects, and this is another one that has not only captivated me but many others. Eldamar has been well-received in the atmospheric Black Metal world since its inception and now it has a fan base. But the same composer has engaged in other endeavors in the form of Askheimr, which is a Black/Death band that draws from Scandinavian influences, particularly from Finland.

What follows is an introduction to both bands, an inquiry into particulars about composition and the thoughts behind Eldamar and Askheimr, and what we can expect in the future. Continue reading »

Feb 062019
 

 

(In this new interview our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum talks with guitarist Tjalve of the Norwegian black metal band Svartelder, whose latest album Pits was released by Dusktone on January 26th of this year.)

Svartelder is a Norwegian band that caught and kept my attention ever since I first listened to them. They bring forth dark melodies that are characteristically Norwegian. I can’t say I can compare their music to other bands directly, but however it does evoke Mayhem, Arcturus, and perhaps a bit of modern melody also comes to mind, like the sound of Old Man’s Child, although faintly. But this is why Svartelder is interesting. The music is a bit familiar, but it is something different at the same time.

The composition and performing reflect the high skills of seasoned musicians such as Tjalve (1349, Den Saakaldte, Pantheon I), Doedsadmiral (Nordjevel, Doedsvangr), Spektre (Gaahls Wyrd, Horizon Ablaze) and Renton (Trollfest). Their latest album Pits, which is out now, is very interesting as a whole. It stands as a cohesive piece; the songs seem to fit an overall plan when it comes to the song order (this is something to be truly appreciated in this era of iTunes albums made so that each song targets one particular section of the market). Pits is enjoyable because of the particular considerations that seem to have been given when it comes to tempos and arrangements, as well as the excellent musical performance.

But anyway, you should definitely try it for yourself, and form your own opinion, because it is worth your time. And now, we talk with Tjalve: Continue reading »

Jan 172019
 

Left to right: Dan Darforth (Bass), Carl Stjärnlöv (Guitars), Sverker Widgren (Guitars, Vocals), Pär Johansson (Drums)

Photo by Jens Rydén

 

(This is a very interesting interview conducted by our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum with Carl Stjärnlöv, guitarist/songwriter of the long-running Swedish metal band Diabolical, whose fifth album Eclipse will be released on February 15th.)

 

You tour in Europe, you have established the band, and many have listened to or seen you live here, but how would you introduce yourselves to a U.S. audience? Diabolical can no longer be described as just another Swedish band (and good for you 🙂 )

We’re a death metal band that has evolved into something else; we’re not bound to any traditional views of what death metal or black metal “should” sound like. While we still have our foundation in death metal with some dashes of black metal, our music incorporate choirs, orchestral parts, and mellotrons. On our new album there’ll be plenty of clean vocals as well. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that bands such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson are held in just as high regard as Morbid Angel among the members of the band, and I think that’s reflected in our sound. Continue reading »

Dec 262018
 

 

(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum prepared this review of the Riders of the Apocalypse show that took place in Oslo on December 19th.)

I usually publish reviews of concerts in Oslo just for a Norwegian audience, but I think this concert review can be of interest for the international NCS audience. The NCS statistics for 2018 were really cool. I must say I was impressed with the amount of visits (more than 1.7 million) and I’m pretty glad we have readers from more than 100 countries all over this small planet. I would like to thank everyone who supports NCS and all those who read my occasional contributions. It is my wish for 2019 to be able to contribute even more!

The first thing that caught my attention when I saw the line-up for the concert that took place the 19th this month was Svart Lotus. I had heard about the band before and knew it was 1349‘s bassist who was behind the project. But as to what the other band playing Riders of the Apocalypse could be exactly I wasn’t sure at first. The other band scheduled to play was going to be Superlynx, and I had heard from some rock-knowledgeable friends that they were good, but I hadn’t really checked the band for myself as I tend to have just enough time for metal. So I figured I would go based mainly on the 1349 connection. Continue reading »

Dec 122018
 

 

(This is Karina Noctum‘s interview of Sindre Solem, guitarist/vocalist of the Norwegian death metal band Obliteration, whose new album Cenotaph Obscure was released by Indie Recordings on November 23rd.)

Since I moved to Oslo I have been fortunate to be able to attend several special shows, including one for the release of Obliteration’s new album. It was an energetic gig and the band gave it all they had, in a completely heartfelt way. I have always had the band in my mind when it comes to old school oriented music, and there they will remain now more than ever with their new release because it fulfills my expectations.

Years have gone by since their last release, and everyone in the band developed musically without losing their essence. I think that is an important quality to applaud since many bands go in pretty strange ways as the years pass by. Cenotaph Obscure is true to the core of what Obliteration represents, and that is the Norwegian old school blend. I have to mention that they are influenced by the Kolbotn scene, and with that I mean Darkthrone, and that’s a huge advantage that you notice here and there in small details for all the audience’s pleasure. Continue reading »

Oct 182018
 

 

(One of our Norway-based contributors, Karina Noctum, prepared this evocative review of the Motstrøms concert on September 29 at the Myrens Dam in the heart of Norway’s Telemark region. All of the accompanying photos were taken by Andrea Chirulescu.)

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Motstrøms, which translated from Norwegian means “against the current”. Motstrøms was a celebration of a long and many-faceted musical career. It was about Emperor, Ihasahn’s solo project, the projects he has developed together with his wife Heidi Tveit, as well as the musical contributions of significance from other important musicians such as Leprous and Raphael Weinroth-Browne, among others.

Motstrøms is a fitting name indeed, taking into account Ihsahn’s musical character. I was excited when I first heard about it, and felt right from the beginning that it was going to be a special evening. I started getting “the I can’t believe I’m here” feeling just before arriving, the kind of feeling I do not get in Oslo anymore. Besides, Emperor were going to play some songs, and I had to be there. I have been following pretty much every Emperor concert I could attend, and I’m grateful for any new concerts because I know it will stop abruptly some day, and that will be it. Continue reading »

Sep 042018
 

 

(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum was in Bergen, Norway last week for part of the latest edition of the Beyond the Gates festival. This isn’t a complete review of the fest, but rather some reflections about the location, some musical recommendations prompted by the line-ups, and impressions of some of the performances that made a particular impact. Credit for all the wonderful photos in this post goes to Jarle H. Moe.)

Beyond the Gates is a festival that takes place every year in the mythical Black Metal city of Bergen (at least, it certainly seems mythical). It’s a paradise for blackpackers (a name for the hopeful souls who make the journey to the land of Black Metal and if they do their research well may end up in Abbath’s garden), a good city if you are into grey, doleful weather and dark surroundings. You’ve got the beautiful and dark mountains of might surrounding the city; it rains pretty much every day; and as a consequence the shadowy forests will be under a shroud of fog. All in all, pretty Black Metal.

If you are considering traveling in spite of everything I’ve mentioned above then go here and you will find a comprehensive list of metal stuff to do in Bergen. I find Bergen a nice place since I like grey skies, dark forests, mountains, and rain, so being there is a happy experience for me, especially when combined with music. Continue reading »

Jun 062018
 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: NCS Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum had the good fortune of both attending this year’s Inferno Fest in Oslo and interviewing some of the musicians who performed there. The last of those discussions is the one we present today — an interview with guitarist/vocalist Secthdamon of the resurrected Norwegian symphonic black metal band Odium. The band’s 1998 album The Sad Realm of Stars was reissued by Blood Music a few years ago and is still available here.

Odium’s performance at Inferno was their first in 19 years, and a celebration of The Sad Realm’s 20th anniversary. The live line-up consisted of Secthdamon (Emperor, live), Gortheon (Myrkskog), Destructhor (Myrkskog, ex-Morbid Angel), Dominator (Dark Funeral), Righ (Cor Scorpii), and Morindune. Continue reading »

Jun 052018
 

 

(We present Karina Noctum’s interview of DzeptiCunt (ex-Ragnarok), bassist for the Norwegian black metal band Nordjevel, who are working on a new album named Necrogenesis which will be released by Osmose Productions and who will be embarking on a European tour with Hate in July, following appearances at Hellfest (France) and Garasjefestivalen (Norway). The interview took place during Inferno Festival 2018.)

 

You released an EP last year. Are you in the process of writing a new album?

Yes indeed, we are close to finishing our second album! We are very excited to see how it will turn out altogether; the songs that are already written are killer!

 

What stage is the album’s creation at now?

The album is in the making as we speak, we have written 6 songs and another 4-5 coming up soon. We haven’t decided which songs will be on the album yet — we’ll see when all songs are recorded. Our designer will be starting on the artwork for the upcoming album these days as well. Continue reading »