May 212018


(Agonia Records will release a new album by The Konsortium on June 1st in Europe and June 8th in North America, but you can read Andy Synn’s review of it today.)

Cast your minds back, if you will, to the heady days of 2011, which is when Islander stumbled across (and reviewed) the debut album by the mysterious Norwegian collective known as The Konsortium, in what would prove to be this site’s first (though by no means last) encounter with this group of memorable metallic misfits.

In the years since then we’ve covered the band a handful of times, whether it be appearing at Inferno Festival in 2012, or being picked out as one of my “Most Anticipated Albums of 2018”, but the truth of the matter is that pickings have been remarkably slim over the last seven(ish) years or so, as the various members of the band have all been busy with other projects and priorities.

Thankfully, Rogaland quickly makes it clear that all this time spent waiting has not been in vain, as it’s one hellishly addictive, ruthlessly aggressive, slab of Black/Thrash brilliance. Continue reading »

Mar 292018


Here we are just past hump day for this week, and I have a big mountainous hump of music to choose from for this round-up. Much has been left on the cutting room floor, but this particular collection of recent songs and videos by seven bands felt like a good musical trip, one with changing moods and varied forms of intensity, and of course I quite enjoyed all of it. If you find just one thing that gets you excited, then my time here will have been well spent.


Who Is The Konsortium?” That was the title of a post I wrote back in May of 2011 after coming across a striking track named “Lik Ulven” by a mysterious Norwegian group whose line-up included guitarist Teloch (from Mayhem and Nigingr) but was otherwise masked and shrouded in secrecy. I still didn’t know who was in the band when I reviewed their self-titled debut album the following month, but the music spoke for itself in quite charismatic tones.

Roughly a year later, still masked, The Konsortium played Inferno Fest in Oslo, and yesterday I enjoyed re-reading Andy Synn’s comments about their performance: Continue reading »

Jan 132018


(Here’s a personal list by Andy Synn identifying eagerly anticipated forthcoming 2018 albums.)


One week ago Islander published a list of upcoming albums expected to be released over the course of the next twelve months, and also solicited comments and recommendations from our readers concerning which albums (and EPs) they were most looking forward to.

Well, as successful as that endeavour was, now it’s my turn to talk up some of my most anticipated album scheduled for release in 2018. Continue reading »

Apr 112012

(Our man Andy Synn attended the INFERNO FESTIVAL in Oslo, Norway, on April 4-7, 2012, and here’s his review of the first day’s inferno.)

Running a little late, the first band of Inferno Festival 2012 for me was, somewhat ironically, a band from just down the road from my own home. Anaal Nathrakh were, as always, a nasty proposition in the flesh, delivering some seriously abusive blasting accented by Dave Hunt’s tormented screams and regal singing voice. Definite highlights were the annihilating (and deceptively melodic) “Satanarchist” and the unforgiving mindfuck of “Pandemonic Hyperblast”, the band seemingly focusing on their more unrelenting material this time out.

Tonight’s show was noticeably (and unusually) sloppier than I’m used to, with a few obvious errors in timing and tightness evident to the familiar listener. This was all explained though, with Dave Hunt educating the crowd on the shittiness of US border control who had failed to allow his cohort Mick Kenney over to Oslo for the show, leaving them to conscript a last minute stand-in guitarist, whom the extreme pressure understandably left ill at ease.

Even more pissed off than usual, at one point the band’s ever-volatile frontman, responding to an ill-advised heckle from the crowd, verbally confronted his abuser, saying that although he didn’t “want to sound like Phil Anselmo”, he was in no mood to take shit from anyone after the band put all the effort into pulling together and making it over to Inferno despite these last minute setbacks. Despite its problems, this set proved that nothing short of total global extinction can stop the march of Anaal Nathrakh. Continue reading »

Dec 132011

This is the third part of a multi-part post about up-and-coming Norwegian bands. The first part is HERE, and the second part is HERE.  And here’s an abbreviated version of the full explanation that appears in Part 1:

Pyro” is the name of a radio program on one of the radio channels (P3) operated by NRK, the state-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. The NRK P3 radio channel is mainly aimed at younger listeners, and Pyro is the 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. What I’m doing in this series is just repeating what I found on the Pyro web site, doing my best (with the lame assistance of Google Translate) to give Pyro’s descriptions of each band they picked as the best new metal bands in Norway, plus the same music from each band that they gave as an example (most of the songs can be found on Amazon mp3 or downloaded from the Urørt site via the links provided in the music descriptions below). Since my verbiage isn’t a professional translation, any fuck-ups are mine, not Pyro’s. I’ve also added some notes of my own, which are in brackets.

So here we go with Part 3. In this part, we’re including  Aristillus, Livstid, The Good the Bad and the Zugly, Blodspor, and The Konsortium. Below the images in the rest of this post, I’ve turned each of the band’s names into links that will take you to their social media sites, in case you want to explore further. Continue reading »

Jun 202011

Not long ago we came across a song called “Lik Ulven” (Like the Wolf) by a mysterious Norwegian band called The Konsortium, and wrote about it here. You can’t like a song as much as we liked that one and then just let it go. So we wrote Agonia Records and politely requested the chance to hear the entire forthcoming album, which will include that song. To be honest, there may have been some pathetic begging involved — but we got our wish.

Three years in the making, The Konsortium’s self-titled debut takes the caustic machinery of black metal and brashly drives it in some very interesting and creative directions. Much as Anaal Nathrakh has done, The Konsortium embeds within their songs a melodic core, often expressed by memorable clean vocals (which are quite varied but usually have a somewhat inhuman, wailing quality reminiscent of Dave Hunt‘s), but they’ve surrounded those briefly emerging melodies with one powerful sonic assault on the senses after another.

The vocals on the album (which include guest contributions by Kvelertak‘s Erlend Hjelvik) are certainly one of its more unusual features. They include deep, demonic, abraded roars; throaty, agonizing howls; wolfish barking; baritone chanting; clean vocal harmonies; and those rising wails that will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Sometimes they have an over-the-top theatrical quality, and sometimes they sound like something that just wants to tear your guts out. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 022011

Damn, I’m finally able to go outside without shivering and being beaten about the head and shoulders with high winds and rain blowing sideways. That must mean it’s June in Seattle!  And so it is. A largely dismal May is behind us, the Seattle Mariners are astonishingly only a game and a half out of first place in their division (that’s baseball for you outlanders), and the summer lies ahead.

What else lies ahead? A bunch of new metal, of course. And because it’s the beginning of a new month, we’re bringing you another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album during April or preceding months, we wrote about them in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. Continue reading »

May 242011

I try to skim through Blabbermouth for news at least every other day. And “skim” is exactly what I do. Most of what I see just scrolls past my eyes like freight cars at a railroad crossing, exciting very little interest. There’s often no rhyme or reason to what might make me stop and pay closer attention to a post.

This morning, rhymeless and reasonless, I paused at a post about an outfit called The Konsortium. The facts, as represented in the post I read: The band is from Norway. They recorded a self-titled debut album over a one-year period. It will be released on June 24 via Agonia Records. It includes guest vocals by Erlend Hjelvik (Kvelertak).

Beyond that, there was this description of the music from the band’s press release: “black metal with various thrash, avant-garde and non-metal influences creating [its] own atmosphere and identity.”

As for the band’s members, we know that guitarist Teloch from Mayhem and Nigingr has joined the band. Otherwise, all we have is this statement: “THE KONSORTIUM features various members. Some of them better and some of them [not as well] known to the metal (but not only) community.” I think the right word for that is “cryptic”.

And then, there’s the song that was available for streaming on Blabbermouth — and of course that’s why I’m bothering to write this post: The song is a jackpot payoff for all the Blabbermouth skimming I’ve done this month.  (a bit more info, plus the song, after the jump . . .)

Continue reading »