Finn Håkon Rødland is the main black steel professional, whose advocacy for the artwork type is altering public notion. By advantage of his accomplishments as an creator, curator, and collector, Rødland has turn into one among Norway’s best weapons. Though his rise has been comparatively stealth, he has been featured in main papers, similar to Aftenposten. That is partially as a result of Rødland has miraculously managed to assemble crucial black steel assortment on the earth. Rødland’s museum-worthy archive completely paperwork the historical past of The True Mayhem and different unbelievable bands with photos, letters, recordings, devices, stage apparel, and so on.
Throughout Past the Gates final 12 months at Grieghallen, Rødland offered a photograph exhibition known as “De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas” that targeted on the golden age of Mayhem. The fastidiously curated showcase included photos from Thorns’ Snorre Ruch and Mayhem’s Attila Csihar. The opening of “De Mysteriis” was adopted by a DJ set by Watain’s Erik Danielsson, who was among the many exhibition’s attendees. Whereas at Grieghallen, Rødland served as a wingman to Pytten — black steel’s best producer — throughout the latter’s guided excursions — that ended on the exhibition. On the final tour, they had been even joined by Attila himself.
Over the previous decade, Rødland has been concerned in a number of different tasks likewise aimed toward preserving the legacy of Mayhem. Not solely has Rødland assisted with the re-release of Wolf’s Lair Abyss and the Blasphemer-era field set A Season of Blasphemy, however he was additionally the instigating pressure behind the epic field units for Cursed in Eternity, De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas, and Pure Fucking Armageddon. Just like the last-named effort, Rødland contributed to a number of different releases that got here out in 2022 alone: Manes’ Ihjelbrent Skatt field, Mysticum’s Industries of Inferno field, Dimmu Borgir’s reissue of Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, and Josh Brown’s Historical Black Artwork: Nidrosian Black Metallic. Rødland additionally lately carried out interviews for Ulver’s Trolsk Sortmetall field, which shipped in February.
Notably, Rødland performed a behind-the-scenes function in NRK’s four-part TV sequence Helvete: Historien om norsk black steel (2020). His data and assets helped make Helvete an impressive documentary that raised consciousness of the significance of the style whereas offering an correct, clever, and humanizing depiction of the artists concerned. Shortly afterward in 2021, Mayhem obtained the 2020 honorary Spellemann Award, or “Norwegian Grammy,” from their buddy Thomas Seltzer of Turbonegro. Necrobutcher later offered Rødland with a mini Spellemann harp. Everybody who appreciates black steel needs to be equally grateful to Mr. Rødland for his work, which he carries out with enthusiasm and a perfectionist’s consideration to element. Surprisingly, he has by no means accepted a cent for all of his painstaking efforts. Slagmaur, one among our favourite bands, mentioned it finest:
“Finn Håkon has for sure been a useful resource within the black steel group and a glue that historical past badly wanted for posterity. What this man has achieved by way of blood sweat and tears to safe the world heritage of black steel is unprecedented, and I imagine we now have the perfect forward of us.”
With out additional ado, we current our dialog with the venerable Mr. Rødland himself.
We’ve heard that you just’re presently within the means of placing collectively a field set for Thorns’ insanely influential Grymyrk demo. That’s clearly a noble job; we actually wanted correct documentation of the Grymyrk interval. And, after all, you’re the precise individual to inform this story. So, might you please inform me extra about this venture?
In terms of Thorns, I’ve turn into good pals with Snorre [Ruch] over the previous couple of years. He gave me all of his tapes in some unspecified time in the future in time. I began attempting to type them out, discover out what kind of recordings he had, and uncover the perfect tales behind them. I actually preferred studying in regards to the Stigma Diabolicum period — earlier than they grew to become Thorns — and what sort of folks had been members of the band throughout these years. It’s been so fascinating to analyze all this, particularly Grymyrk. That recording has been so basically necessary within the Norwegian black steel scene and actually instrumental in defining the sound of Norwegian black steel together with Euronymous and Darkthrone.
I do know that the Greek label Kyrck launched a Stigma Diabolicum / Thorns compilation years in the past, however I felt that Grymyrk is such an necessary recording within the historical past of Norwegian black steel, and it deserves a separate launch. I mentioned to Snorre: “You must launch Grymyrk as a stand-alone launch as a result of it’s an iconic recording!” I didn’t cease telling him that we wanted to do it, and he simply lastly mentioned: “Yeah, okay, I perceive.” And I do know others additionally agree with this. Then, we simply began engaged on it and known as Peaceville, so they are going to be releasing it. This was a few years in the past. Then, I labored fairly intensely with Snorre on an interview for a while. I feel it’s ten pages. I attempted to essentially create a timeline and pinpoint which members are on every recording and after they occurred. I already had some dates on the tapes and stuff, however they’re not full. On the identical time, I spoke with Bård [Eithun, “Faust”] and Marius [Vold] about what they may keep in mind. After which, I accomplished the Snorre interview. I’m presently specializing in interviewing Bård, Marius, and Harald [Eilertsen]. So, Grymyrk will hopefully be launched this 12 months.
It appears that evidently you’re additionally actively conquering Mayhem’s Deathcrush interval. May you please take me via your expertise engaged on that field set?
It’s an necessary period. The Deathcrush album is iconic. The unique pink cowl is the holy grail for all collectors. Only one,000 copies had been printed for the primary urgent. The backs had been hand-signed by Euronymous as a result of his identify was omitted beneath his image resulting from a printing error. So, I used to be at Jørn’s [Mr. Jørn “Necrobutcher” Stubberud’s] place this summer time and picked up numerous materials. The unique vinyl had this little slip saying that there was purported to be a booklet inside, however we didn’t have time to finalize it, so you’ll be able to order it as an alternative. However they by no means printed it. We truly had the grasp sheets. It’s a two-page booklet with some photos. That’s going to be a pleasant version — lastly having the ability to honor the promise to ship a booklet and totally different promo supplies and all. I’ve scanned all the pieces. And only for the enjoyable of it, I made some copies for myself in numerous colours similar to they did again within the days — pink, yellow, inexperienced, and stuff. So, that appears fairly cool. The following step is to look into the photographs, Jørn’s private photograph archives. We’ve numerous pictures; we simply have to resolve what to make use of. Clearly, numerous these pictures have been used earlier than in The Demise Archives e-book and different releases, however it’s necessary to seek out the precise photos to honor that period. So, Jørn and I must inform his story as a result of it’s his story. Each Pure Fucking Armageddon and Deathcrush are Jørn’s legacy. I’m simply serving to him understand his imaginative and prescient.
The Deathcrush field set can be launched by Voices of Surprise. It should have the Deathcrush recording, clearly. I’ve the uncooked combine from Maniac. Perhaps there isn’t that massive of a distinction between the uncooked combine and the mastered model, however, as a fan, I feel it’s cool all the identical to have the totally different documentations. We’ll embrace the demo tape that Maniac did, the Septic Cunts demo, if all goes effectively. Maniac has mentioned sure, and Jørn has mentioned sure. The Demise rehearsal recording can be there. They rehearsed for 2 days. Solely a handful of copies of the tape had been initially launched and bought at Helvete. I imagine that just a few of the originals nonetheless exist, mine being one among them. I’ve additionally discovered some radio interviews as a result of Mayhem had been within the studio on Excessive Voltage — they had been there in 1986 and 1987 as visitors, speaking about Mayhem, enjoying some Mayhem, but in addition enjoying tracks from their favourite bands. It’s fairly old-school, however I hope they’ll use it. I would wish to translate it for the e-book, in order that’s a giant job. Hopefully, I’ll be capable of work to have all the pieces accomplished in 2023 after which have it obtainable for pre-orders in some unspecified time in the future in time on the finish of the 12 months or one thing.
You’ve rebounded rapidly from finishing Mayhem’s Pure Fucking Armageddon field, which comes together with your 80-page e-book! Readers ought to know that you just had been additionally the principle creator behind a 92-page hardcover for the deluxe version of Cursed in Eternity after which a 96-page hardcover for the De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas field. Anyway, is there something you’d prefer to say about what you discovered whereas researching Pure Fucking Armageddon because it was simply revealed this previous September?
Pure Fucking Armageddon lined the start of Mayhem, so it was necessary to seize the historical past surrounding it. That was a extremely attention-grabbing venture. I knew that there have been totally different recordings that existed. Usually talking, I’m a sucker for obscure particulars and data. Just like the story in regards to the pig’s heads: They obtained them from this place known as Butcher Bob, and Jørn nonetheless has a sticker from this place on his fridge. There’s additionally the story in regards to the cassette participant that Jørn used for the recording of those tapes and the way it was shot to items with a shotgun. I attempted ceaselessly to seek out the model on that cassette participant based mostly on the pictures however with out luck. If anybody acknowledges it, please get in contact, haha! Then, there are the main points in regards to the emblem that Nella — a buddy of Maniac from Rjukan — refined after Jørn’s first draft, the Norwegian newspaper clipping Norwegian newspaper clipping from December 1984 with an image by Guido Rocha that was used for the quilt, and the way they ended up on the chart for imports in Kerrang! in 1987 after they visited Shades in London in ’87 and gave them 125 copies.
The explanation why they did the primary photograph shoot was truly that they wanted to have pictures for Slayer Journal. Simply discovering out who took the totally different pictures, when all of it occurred, and why they took them was so fascinating. It was Øyvind Ihlen who took numerous these pictures again in these days. He’s the one who had Panic fanzine. He did the interview with Mayhem that was truly their first. Folks thought for a very long time that the primary one was by Metalion for Slayer Magazine, however Øyvind Ihlen beat him by a couple of weeks. Øyvind Ihlen took numerous pictures for each of those interviews — the burning pig’s head, clearly. Folks thought that the photograph they used for the promotion for the return after they obtained again collectively for the tour in ’95-ish regarded like a bat head, however it was a pig’s head that was burning. So, the tales about these issues had been cool to seize. We included the Panic fanzine interview as a result of there was a recording of it. In fact, it’s actually obscure, however it’s now documented for eternity. It’s included in addition to the Ski gig.
Now that you just’ve realized so a lot of your ambitions with Mayhem and churned out a lot phenomenal materials, how do you are feeling about the place you might be in your quest to doc their historical past?
I feel that’s actually necessary. For me, this style, and Mayhem specifically — it’s world heritage. It’s Norwegian music, however it’s type of world heritage. It appears that evidently some folks within the public are beginning to perceive that. Giving Mayhem the honorary award at Spellemannprisen is one instance. Helvete is one instance. The Nationwide Museum having a black steel exhibition is one other instance. However I feel there’s an extended solution to go to additional understand that after I’m saying that you’ve Munch, and you’ve got Grieg, after which you will have Mayhem, I’m not saying that solely to make a title within the newspaper, however I truly imply it. I actually assume that when folks look again in 100 years, it’s going to be true. It’s going to be Munch, Grieg, and Mayhem.
So, attempting to doc this a part of historical past and all the pieces that there’s to find out about it’s a actually necessary job for the time after we are gone, you recognize, as a result of I didn’t need the bootlegs or random previous interviews to be the legacy and solely documentation of this band. I actually wished to seize the actual story and the precise occasions, the precise folks, and look past the sensational quotes in fanzines and previous letters after they had been like of their 20s. So, after I did the De Mysteriis field set, I used to be type of all the time having an in depth dialogue with Euronymous’ previous pals. That’s why it was so necessary that after I visited, for instance, Nocturno Culto — I went to his place and gave him the completed field — he simply sat there taking a look at it and mentioned: “That is completely made in Euronymous’ spirit. That is completely how he would have wished it.” He was crystal clear that Euronymous would have been pleased with this. So, that’s type of the reassurance you want to have the ability to do that kind of factor — that you’ve the belief of all the blokes concerned, the blokes within the band, the setting, the individuals who truly knew him and had been there when all the pieces occurred.
After Deathcrush, we can look again and say that we now have lined just about all the pieces from the begin to De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas. We’ve somewhat shock with Lifeless [Per Yngve “Pelle” Ohlin] in a while as effectively. Keep tuned!
Final 12 months, you offered the Mayhem photograph exhibition “De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas” throughout Past the Gates. We heard about a few of the magic that occurred there because of musician and presenter Tarjei Strøm, who facilitated the guided excursions. Are there any updates concerning your upcoming exhibition in Berlin?
I met with Torgrim Øyre [a music journalist; Beyond the Gates’ festival manager; the founder of Revelations Music; and Malignant Eternal’s frontman, a.k.a. “T. Reaper”] a couple of weeks in the past. The idea for the exhibition on the Norwegian Embassy has type of developed as a result of, in some unspecified time in the future in time, they found that the Swedes had one thing related in thoughts. In Berlin, the Nordic international locations share the identical assembly house, this exhibition space. So, after they found that each Norway and Sweden had related plans to do one thing, they needed to mix them, and the scope is now Nordic. The working title is “Der Harte Norden,” which roughly means “The Exhausting Nordics.” They’ve truly employed Ika Johannesson, who wrote Blood, Hearth, Demise: The Swedish Metallic Story.
So, she and Torgrim and his colleagues got here and checked out my assortment final week, I had discovered numerous gadgets that I steered to characterize Norway. Norwegian black steel has so many iconic album covers and visuals, so these might be the core of the Norwegian part, I feel. We most likely received’t carry first prints and such resulting from challenges of safety and transportation. However ideally, we might current album covers, the T-shirts and lengthy sleeves from the ’90s, pictures, flyers, posters, fanzines, and a few uncommon relics, and perhaps stage-worn outfits by numerous bands if they’ll borrow such gadgets.
I’m additionally going to be on the Inferno competition in Oslo this 12 months, the place I can be moderating a chat with the NRK group who made the Helvete sequence. So, that needs to be attention-grabbing as effectively. This may happen on the ultimate day of the competition. I don’t have the main points but, however I assume they’ll announce them after we get nearer to the competition’s opening date.
You’re initially from Nannestad, however you’ve been a long-time Jessheim resident. Clearly, some wonderful bands come from Jessheim like Dimmu Borgir. And the second full Mayhem gig passed off there: That was the primary present with Pelle, although the band had already performed a few songs at Bootleg. So, might you please communicate a bit about Jessheim’s function within the historical past of black steel?
Wanting again, that occasion was a particularly necessary for the Norwegian scene — like an official launch — with corpse paint, pig’s heads on stakes, and Lifeless’s iconic performances. This made such a robust impression on everyone current and set the usual that has endured.
Lots of the guys who would turn into key gamers in iconic Norwegian black steel bands had been there. Some say about 50 folks had been there, perhaps 100 max. All people was current — for the document, I wasn’t there — however folks got here from throughout Norway, and even some from different international locations. You had folks from Bergen, Trondheim, Sarpsborg, and Oslo. The present was held at this place known as Folkets Hus. It’s gone now, sadly. It was an previous place the place folks went to have events, dance, and maintain small concert events again within the day.
There have been some rumors a couple of video recording of the Jessheim gig for years, however it was like a fable. Too good to be true. After years, I used to be lastly in a position to get to know a member of Demise Mission, who performed on the gig, and he truly had the video recording. It was what all followers from everywhere in the world might have hoped for. It’s recorded from distance and with out zooming, however you’ll be able to see Lifeless, Euronymous, Hellhammer, and Necrobutcher — the legendary 4 of their prime. I used to be extraordinarily completely happy to share this with the world after we included it with the Cursed in Eternity field set.
That they had numerous technical difficulties throughout the live performance. There have been some lengthy pauses. You possibly can hear folks speaking, speaking in regards to the odor of the pig’s heads. You possibly can hear the glass beer bottles. It’s nearly like you might be there within the viewers. I all the time assume it’s so fascinating to take a seat and have a look at the photographs and video. It’s like a time capsule.
I’m actually proud to say that Dimmu Borgir comes from Jessheim and Nannestad, my dwelling turf. They went to the varsity in Jessheim — Shagrath, Silenoz, Tjodalv, Brynjard Tristan, and Galder, who later joined. And Galder and Tjodalv co-founded Previous Man’s Youngster. So, there was a particular setting that began right here. Shagrath was truly in Oslo as effectively as a result of he was in Ulver for six months, so he was a part of that setting as effectively. And later, you had Susperia from the Jessheim space as effectively. And we should not neglect Minas Tirith, who had been necessary again within the days. I keep in mind when Mayhem performed right here in 2011, and I obtained to introduce a few of the previous Minas Tirith members to Attila. Attila was so honored to satisfy them. Very cool.
Do you assume you continue to would have turn into a black metaller even in the event you weren’t from Jessheim?
Turning into pals with the Dimmu guys was necessary by way of offering the impetus for me to analyze the music. However I had an rising fascination with the artwork, and opening this Pandora’s field of black treasures would have been inevitable anyway.
It’s not a secret that you’ve the best black steel assortment on the earth. What made you begin accumulating?
The accumulating gene goes all the way in which again to Kiss and childhood as a result of — and I feel that is actually necessary — after I was rising up, I used to be dirt-poor. My household was poor, so we had no cash. So, I used to be all the time dreaming about Kiss posters, Kiss playing cards, simply having the ability to purchase Kiss on tape, and so they had numerous tapes. Simply having the ability to afford the tapes, you recognize — it was a battle. For years, I simply needed to simply copy the tapes. That was how you probably did it again then. You copied them. Kiss is my childhood in a nutshell. It was Star Wars, Superman, and music in a single. All the pieces was simply so fascinating and great. So, I began to gather as a child and purchase these Swedish magazines known as OKEJ and likewise ROCKET. I simply liked sitting there and searching on the photos — chopping them out from the magazines and gluing them into this e-book that I all the time made like all different children again then. So, the accumulating gene was a part of my childhood and my fascination with Kiss. After which, after I began listening to different bands as effectively, you recognize — you wished their tapes and in a while, it was the LP and the T-shirt. However again then, it was actually costly, particularly for a child.
So, after we fast-forward to Mayhem specifically, it was only a pure factor to have a drumstick from Hellhammer, a guitar choose, or the setlist, you recognize, some good recollections from the gigs you attended. After which, after we obtained to be pals, alternatives got here to have extra particular stage-worn relics — Maniac’s lyric sheets written for his or her recordings, Helhammer’s cymbal used on albums and stuff like that. The ball simply saved rolling. I like to doc and acquire gadgets that function proof of necessary occasions. And through the years, turning into pals with the bands I like to take heed to has been an honor and an absolute pleasure.
In terms of black steel relics, you will have all the pieces from ridiculously iconic objects to some actually fascinating but obscure gadgets. Is there something that you just’d nonetheless like to accumulate?
Yeah, there are iconic gadgets that I do know exist that I might like to have, however I do know that I’ll by no means be capable of have them as a result of the those that have them won’t ever half with them. However that’s completely positive. They’re in good locations like Neseblod or with the private pals of Euronymous. I’m very proud of what I’ve. My focus now could be extra to assist and work with pals within the scene, do interviews, work on necessary releases, and proceed to unfold consciousness of this necessary motion and its heritage.
Clearly, you will have numerous actually necessary letters. What shocked you most about their content material?
Nicely, I obtained the letters from Euronymous to Maniac a few years in the past. I feel the humor. They had been joking on a regular basis. That was a extremely totally different facet. Throughout the first years, I feel there was numerous humor in Mayhem. That was very nice to see in these letters. I feel that was the factor I actually preferred probably the most in addition to how a lot Euronymous wished Maniac to be within the band and the way beneficiant he was when describing Maniac as a vocalist. I laughed quite a bit simply studying these letters as a result of they had been actually enjoyable.
And Lifeless’s letters are a mixture of band promotion and information, plus they replicate his fascination with Transylvania. He was planning to rearrange a visit there and convey some like-minded folks alongside. He drew maps and shares in regards to the subject in his letters. Very cool stuff. I additionally love the postcard he despatched to a buddy from Leipzig the day they performed there in 1990. Iconic stuff, clearly.
Let’s discuss a bit about Pelle Ohlin, who tragically handed away in 1991. For the sake of readers, I’ll say that he joined Mayhem in ’87/88. However earlier than that, he was the vocalist for Morbid, which he co-founded. He was truly purported to do a reunion present with Morbid in ’89 that was cancelled. And he started rehearsing with them once more earlier than his loss of life: They deliberate to document a 7” in 1991. The attention-grabbing factor is that “Dr. Schitz,” Jens Näsström, has acknowledged that there isn’t a purpose to imagine that Pelle would have give up Mayhem as soon as he moved again to Sweden, which he apparently would have achieved, and may need fronted each bands on the identical time. So, anyway, you latterly attended a Morbid reunion present in Sweden with Jens; “Napoleon Pukes, Ulf “Uffe” Cederlund; “Gehenna,” John Hagström; and “TG,” Torbjörn Gräslund. We beforehand mentioned that Erik Danielsson and Daniel Ohlin — Pelle’s different brother — carried out as effectively. How was that have?
I truly don’t keep in mind how I came upon about it. Once I was made conscious of it, I simply thought to myself: “I’ve to go there. I can’t miss this occasion.” After which, I met Erik Danielsson when Watain had been enjoying in Oslo. We talked about it, and he had some data for me that I didn’t know: He was going to do the drums for the reason that legendary L-G Petrov died of most cancers a couple of years again, and Pelle’s brother was going to sing. And I mentioned: “What’s Anders going to sing?” “No, there’s one other brother.” I couldn’t miss it for something on the earth.
I feel that the capability was 180 folks. I took the prepare over. The occasion was held at a spot known as Klubb Fredagsmangel. I used to be there after they opened the doorways, and I met the Morbid guys. I knew Dr. Schitz somewhat from earlier than, on-line so to talk, and it was very nice to satisfy him and the remainder of the band as effectively. Humble guys, right down to earth. Dr. Schitz, who is definitely a psychologist, had his white physician’s go well with. So, that was actually cool. And I had the Deathcrush vinyl that Pelle bought to Dr. Schitz — the final copy that Pelle bought in Sweden. I’ve that from a couple of years again. After which, I met Anders Ohlin. He’s an excellent good man, actually empathic, actually soft-spoken. I hadn’t met Pelle’s different brother, “Necrobird” — his identify is Daniel — however I immediately I mentioned to Anders: “This man within the room, is that your brother who’s going to sing?” He launched me, and that was so great. He had the identical traits as Pelle — how he regarded and his palms.
Once they did the gig, I simply tried to do as a lot as potential by way of recording and taking photos whereas nonetheless being current within the second and having fun with the live performance. It was completely insane. Daniel, you recognize, he was actually just like Pelle in his efficiency model, and he sang rather well. So, for me, it was a extremely emotional factor simply to see it and be a witness to this one-time taking place — it was to have fun the December Moon demo tape. I feel they did it in an exquisite means. Respectful.
Moreover that historic night, what had been a few of the finest concert events that you just’ve attended recently?
I feel I set a private document for attending concert events in 2022. There have been so many throughout the summer time. I used to be in any respect of these festivals with Dimmu Borgir in Belgium, Portugal, UK, and Norway. Seeing them at Tons of Rock on the principle stage with a completely packed crowd with 30,000 folks was actually unbelievable and a proud second for me. Although I used to be there to type of be across the band, I used to be additionally in a position to see a few of the different bands — previous heroes like Judas Priest and Alice Cooper, all that arduous rock stuff. I additionally loved lastly seeing Imperial Triumphant in Oslo. I met Zachary, the vocalist, in New York some years in the past — a real gentleman. They’ve achieved this cult standing within the underground. I like their unbelievable Manhattan visuals, and I’m glad on their behalf that they’re doing so effectively.
However in terms of black steel, there was clearly Past the Gates. I’ve to say that I used to be operating from live performance to live performance. Each day, the lineup was filled with really-really high-quality stuff. I feel the day at Grieghallen was crucial occasion in regard to Norwegian black steel that I’ve ever witnessed. Having the ability to see Enslaved do Vikingligr Veldi! After which, seeing Emperor — they did just about the identical as I noticed after they had been in Notodden, you recognize, the stream live performance. So, I knew what to anticipate, and it was unbelievable. And Mayhem’s efficiency was too, clearly. I’ve by no means heard black steel being carried out with such wonderful sound. Ever! You simply felt the drums. It was actually an incredible day. Nothing can ever contact these three gigs in my view.
I might additionally like to say that Past the Gates had this band known as Darvaza with Wraath on vocals. They did two Celestial Bloodshed songs from their first album — “Cursed, Scarred and Without end Possessed” and “Gospel of Hate” — with H. Tvedt, on guitar simply as earlier than with Celestial Bloodshed. He performed stay with the band within the previous days and seems on their sophomore album, Ω. I’ve by no means seen Celestial Bloodshed stay and by no means will be capable of both as a result of Steingrim [Torson, their vocalist, who was sometimes referred to as “Mehimoloth”] is lifeless. However, you recognize, having Wraath, the co-founder, and H. Tvedt — it was a particularly highly effective second. I do know it was actually emotional for Wraath as effectively. It was actually unbelievable seeing these two songs there. That was really-really particular for me. And Djevel — unbelievable gig. Vemod — unbelievable gig once more. So, the competition was simply so-so filled with the perfect Norway has to supply.
Earlier that summer time, I attended Imperium Competition, the place I noticed a lot of bands, however my highlights had been Slagmaur, Dødheimsgard, and Dold Vorde Ens Navn. I’m so completely happy that Haavard is again within the scene. So, you will have his classical guitar side in DVEN. And “Vicotnik,” Yusaf — he’s so multi-talented and has so many tasks. He makes extremely fascinating music. Stunning! I’m wanting ahead to the brand new Dødheimsgard album. The debut album by Vicotnik’s new venture Doedsmaghird will hopefully come out six months afterward. The DMG launch can be a twin to the DHG document.
Not solely do you will have the perfect style in music, however you’ve additionally achieved a ton to make sure that persons are taking note of the standard bands that they wouldn’t have found in any other case. Do you will have any black steel suggestions for our readers?
If we glance past the plain bands — those folks already ought to find out about like Arcturus, Ulver, Emperor, Darkthrone, Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Immortal, Gorgoroth, Thorns, Mysticum, Gehenna, Gaahls Wyrd, and extra — I wish to point out Dødsengel, who lately launched a monster album, Bab Al On.
Once more, Celestial Bloodshed is a unbelievable band that was put to relaxation when Steingrim died in 2009. He was so necessary within the Nidaros scene. After his loss of life, Kaosritual remodeled into Dark Sonority and remodeled a few of the tracks that they’d been engaged on and likewise did some touring. So, folks ought to positively look into Dark Sonority and Kaosritual.
Mare is, in some ways, the flagship within the Nidaros scene, and so they lastly launched their monolith Ebony Tower in 2018. It’s a few of the finest Norwegian black steel that has been launched within the final a long time.
I wish to point out a really distinctive venture by Steingrim known as Selvhat. It’s a unbelievable venture. “Kvitrim,” Eskil, did the drums on their most necessary work, Gjennom moerket famlende, which takes you on a darkish and delightful journey into darkness, despair, and hopelessness. Final 12 months, my good buddy Ole from Terratur Possessions launched a Selvhat compilation, Avskjed, and likewise issued a re-release of Gjennom mørket famlende, which actually was beforehand not possible to seek out. Folks ought to positively look into that. I’ve Steingrim’s tapes, his private ones. H. Tvedt, a.ok.a. “Kaos,” and Kvitrim shocked me and gave them to me as a present after I was visiting Trondheim. An unbelievable honor.
Grenjar, one of many precursors of kinds to the Nidaros setting, is a extremely attention-grabbing band as effectively. All the pieces Kvitrim has been concerned in is value exploring because it all the time has the very best commonplace potential. And Steingrim was the vocalist in Grenjar. It’s a bit Ulver-esque. You get a really feel for landscapes, you recognize, the folkish forest factor. So, that’s one thing value trying out. There’s truly some thrilling information concerning Grenjar. Kvitrim has been feeling nostalgic about that venture and subsequently has determined to honor the previous materials. He has an album that he’s going to finish and launch. He has invited Mannevond to do the vocals since Steingrim regarded as much as him as an artist.
After which, there’s Sarath, one other nice Nidaros band.
I might additionally like to say Past Man — one other one among Wraath’s tasks. I actually preferred the 2008 Neter-khertet demo, which was recorded after they had been nonetheless generally known as Vordrinn and had a little bit of a distinct lineup. They launched their debut album in 2021.
After which, there’s Ritual Demise, who had been based in 2016 by Wraath and Nosophoros. Kaos was a part of that band from the primary EP till the top of final 12 months. Lord Nathas joined in 2018, and he’s been an ideal asset. Ritual Demise lastly launched their debut album this previous December. I extremely advocate that.
We are able to anticipate a brand new album from the magnificent and obscure Slagmaur that can hopefully come out this 12 months via Prophecy Productions.
In fact, Whoredom Rife is one other band that I all the time advocate. They’re in some ways main the pack, touring and delivering sensible albums time after time. They in actual fact simply completed recording their new album. It’s set for a launch later this 12 months. The identical goes for Misotheist — we will anticipate a brand new album someday this autumn. Misotheist has a pleasant mix of previous and “new.” I can hear they have to be impressed by Deathspell Omega.
After which lastly, Djevel have manifested themselves as absolutely the most interesting of Norwegian black steel with their final two albums. Naa skrider natten type, the latest addition, is a complete masterpiece of real craftsmanship.
Are there any picks you’d like to say that fall outdoors the class of black steel?
The proficient Leon Kristoffer can be releasing a full-length album beneath the venture identify Spirit Tomb. It’s simply darkish, classical piano and cello with clear vocals. It’s unbelievable! He’s been making all these movies. It’s like a cinematic expertise, and I simply find it irresistible.
I like Seigmen as effectively. I might say Seigmen is without doubt one of the most necessary bands from Norway in the event you look past Norwegian black steel. I should have listened to their album Complete one million instances. And I feel that folks ought to try Radio Waves as a result of, even for Seigmen followers, that’s a extremely underrated album. Seigmen was actually necessary for me within the ’90s, and I’m actually glad they made a comeback. For me, it’s actually magical music.
As you’ve advised me and Aftenposten, years from now, bands like Mayhem and Emperor could have a spot within the historical past books. However I’m a bit anxious about a few of the others which are additionally legendary however in additional of a cult means. Do you assume that these bands will nonetheless be remembered?
That could be a excellent query. You possibly can have a look at the scene, and you’ve got the previous bands which are already legendary and effectively established in the present day. After which, you will have the underground scene — in different phrases, the remainder. There are wonderful bands everywhere in the world, however I select to primarily deal with the Norwegian scene, although I additionally love some bands from France, Sweden, and Finland. Most of those bands usually are not meant for larger audiences, and I don’t assume that needs to be a objective both.
The superb bands that we now have talked about right here will for certain have their place within the historical past books of black steel. I interviewed Kvitrim for the De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas field set, and thereby included a extremely esteemed spokesman for the Nidaros scene, bringing consideration to their necessary work. If my work helps carry consciousness to those necessary bands inside the scene, I might be glad for that final result.
Is there anything you’d prefer to cowl that we didn’t contact upon?
I hope that by elevating consciousness via my work, collaborations, and assortment that the Norwegian authorities, whether or not or not it’s the Nationwide Museum or whoever, will truly perceive and recognize the historic worth of Norwegian black steel as Norway’s cultural legacy. Hopefully, they’ll assume the accountability of caring for my assortment when the time comes. It has such a excessive historic worth, not just for Norway however globally. It could be a disgrace if I died and my children needed to cut up up the gathering and promote it to collectors everywhere in the world, you recognize, scattering it to the very best bidders. This belongs in a nationwide museum in Norway when the time is true.