Borknagar – Winter Thrice (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Borknagar

Album: Winter Thrice

Label: Century Media Records

 

When a Scandinavian band releases a winter-themed album in the middle of their winter, it usually means that my first experience of that record is on a sweltering Australian day, whilst dodging bushfires and dropbears. The real success of the album comes if that music can still transport me to a land of windswept fjords and frost fallen earth. Continue reading

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The Good The Bad and the Zugly – Hadeland Hardcore (2015)

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Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: The Good the Bad and the Zugly

Album: Hadeland Hardcore

Label: Fysisk Format

 

I am by no means a hardcore punk expert, I wouldn’t even go as far and say I’m a particularly big fan of hardcore punk, but I know what I like and The Good the Bad and the Zugly is definitely one of my favorite bands within the genre. Their music is firmly rooted in hardcore punk, but they’ve also got some hard-rock influence that’s very noticeable on certain tracks on this new album, Hadeland Hardcore and their discography in general. In many ways I would say they’re Turbonegros more chaotic and heavier little brother. Continue reading

Kampfar – Profan (2015)

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Author: Jan Jakobsen

Artist: Kampfar

Album: Profan

Label: Indie Recordings

 

Earlier this year I saw Kampfar at a small festival called Transistor in the tiny town of in the midst of Norway’s woods. There could not have been more than 70 people in the room, but what an impression and what a performance that was. The gratitude and energy shown by the band members was fantastic and they showed a genuine appreciation for each and every person that showed up by performing as if it was gig at a major open-air festival. Continue reading

Saligia – Fønix (2015)

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Author: Dave

Band: Saligia

Album: Fønix

Label: Ván Records

Saligia are a Norwegian black metal duo who released their debut Sic Transit Gloria Mundi in 2011, followed by the Lvx Aeternae EP in 2013. I enjoyed both of those releases immensely, so I was quite pleased to see that they had released a new full-length and leapt at my first opportunity to give this new one a spin. As soon as the first track started, I was quite perplexed as I wasn’t even sure that this was the same band. It would be a rather significant understatement if I were to say that this album is a departure from the haunting atmosphere that their previous works developed so well. Continue reading

Flight – Flight (2015)

Author: Dave

Band: Flight

Album: Flight

Label: Bad Omen Records

Flight are a new heavy metal band from Norway whose purpose seems to be to hearken back to the classic metal era of the early nineteen eighties. And insofar as that is their purpose, they certainly have succeeded at it – in spades. The lineup is simple: a drum kit, a bass, and a couple of guitarists who trade off riffing and playing solos. No keyboards, no synth effects, no harmonies. Just basic, old school heavy metal. But inasmuch as that has been the recipe for a good number of metal acts, you need more than that to make a compelling album.  Continue reading

Tusmørke & Spectral Haze – Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler (2015)

Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: Tusmørke & Spectral Haze

Album: Tusmørke Vs Spectral Haze – Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler

Label: Duplicate Records

With an album titled as weird as Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler, roughly translated to “Electric Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Future Fables”, you know you are in for a treat. This split consists of two of Norway’s best progressive and spacey rock outfits of the 2010’s. Tusmørke is 70’s progressive rock made in 2015 in every sense; they got the Jethro Tull flutes, the Yes esque-vocals and the general weirdness of King Crimson. They have already released two critically acclaimed full-lengths and their live shows are notoriously experimental, performing mainly unreleased material. The other half of this split is space rockers Spectral Haze. Their music is a cosmic journey through space and time, heavy Sleep influence mixed in with a drugged out atmosphere. Relax, eat some mushrooms and travel throughout outer space together with Spectral Haze. Continue reading

Tsjuder – Antiliv (2015)

Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: Tsjuder

Album: Antiliv

Label: Season of Mist

Norwegian trio Tsjuder have been playing the black metal game for quite a long time now. Starting up in 1993, surfing along the already big black metal wave crashing through Norway, and Europe in general, they did not release their first LP before 2000. Kill for Satan was mediocre in every sense. Other bands like Marduk and Dark Funeral had already released better albums in the same aggressive vein. In 2004, with their third album, Desert Northern Hell, Tsjuder finally found their stride. An universally praised black metal classic, merging the aggressive Tsjuder sound with more and better riffs, longer tracks and just better songwriting in general. There was a take-no-prisoners attitude on Desert Northern Hell that few black metal bands manage to recreate, relentless aggression from start to finish, but still managing to sneak in some melodies here and there. Continue reading