The multi-instrumentist Thomas Eriksen is the mastermind behind Mork, one of the most prominent bands in the current Norwegian Black Metal scene. “Det Svarte Juv” is the name of the fourth full-length studio album released this year by Peaceville Records. We conducted an interview with Eriksen to discuss the new album, the old school Black Metal sound, the story behind the name, his hometown Halden and more!
RISE!: – You have released your fourth studio album “Det Svarte Juv” this year again via Peaceville Records, what do you think is the best of working with the label?
Thomas Eriksen: Yes, we had everything planned out correctly to have it out during the Inferno Festival in Oslo, where Mork also had a show-spot. So everything went along very well, with listening-sessions, signing-sessions, Mork beer-launch, the show and the release itself. Before signing with Peaceville, I was in dealings with other big labels as well. However Peaceville turned out to be the better for my needs at the time. Today all four albums are out via them and the co-operations work out well and I am allowed a lot of freedom. I guess they have noticed that I am somewhat in control of what I am doing and that I am a hard dedicated worker for my art.
R!: – What was your main source of inspiration when writing “Det Svarte Juv”?
TE: The title itself is actually about ten years old. It was back then planned out to be a concept EP depicting the faces of depression and downfall. However the idea was shelved. Move ahead about a decade and I am faced with my own personal dark times. With the passings of several family members, break-up and illness, all within one single year really colored my world. So the title popped out again and felt like a fitting one for this current album. It’s a varied album with themes from depression all the way to strong self-belief and self esteem. Musically I have been letting loose more and more for each album, by not sticking too much to the firm frames of classic primitive black metal. I have of course gained more confidence throughout my Mork career, which also helped letting me open up my creativity influences even outside the genre.
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The legendary Norwegian Death Metal band, Cadaver, is back. This time, the mastermind Anders Odden, also known as Neddo, decided to do everything by himself and the band is currently working on a new studio album, so it was a perfect time to interview him. The multi-instrumentalist also plays in Satyricon, Order, Magenta (with his wife Vilde) and has been part of Celtic Frost and Apoptygma Berzerk, just to name a few. He is also a key figure in the Norwegian Black Metal history, since he was there from the beginning, been in the so-called “Mayhem house” a few times and was a friend of Euronymous, so he has a lot to say about this topic too. Enjoy!
RISE!: – You’re currently working on a long-awaited Cadaver album, why do you feel it’s the right time to do it?
Anders Odden: Because I just had so many ideas to make new music for Cadaver. Since 2012 I’ve been recording demos. I felt that it was unfinished in the past. I had good lineups before but there’s always been some problems, like in any band. So now I’ve decided not to rely on others but to do it for myself. When I decided that, it came very natural because this is my long-term project that I had since I was 15-16 years old. Maybe I realized this is the kind of stuff that works best where I can be creative and feel like I have something to say where people can pay attention to it as well, so I decided to do it as Cadaver. It would be wrong to call it solo project because it’s not really only me, there are others who help me out, but I’m doing basically all the vocals for the first time, which I also did somehow in the past making demos. That’s one of the things that happen when you get older, you get more confident on what you want, so it’s better to start doing it now than to start ten years from now because I would be too old maybe.
R!: – So what are the challenges you have to face by working this way?
AO: First of all, I thought I would have big challenges or figuring out how to make my voice function within the Cadaver frame. But that was much easier than I thought. I had a lot of experience singing live since 2007 with a project which was called Karaoke From Hell, which is a live band that invites people to the stage to sing classic metal and rock songs, so when I did that I had to sing a lot of songs too to get people in the mood when nobody wants to go on stage. I was doing Motorhead stuff and even Kiss, you know, all kinds of styles live. I didn’t do full concerts but maybe five or six songs. Somehow I developed certain style or certain way of doing things, but when I was translating that into Death Metal it was just about figuring out how to do it in a way that I can listen to it without thinking it’s me. So when I discovered how to do that, it was fine, I just can listen to that as if it’s music, so that’s the trick for me really, that solved a lot of problems.
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MYRKUR at John Dee (Oslo, Norway)
Opening Act: JO QUAIL
Tuesday, November 4, 2018
by Jorge Patacas
Since the release of her first self-titled EP in 2014, Myrkur, the project of the Danish multi-instrumentist and actress Amalie Bruun, has been acclaimed and at the same time criticized with prejudice and without any serious foundation just for the fact that she included Black Metal parts in her music, because she didn’t play this kind of music before. Despite those detractors with unfounded prejudices, “M”, her debut album released by Relapse Records in 2015 had a lineup actually linked to Black Metal including Teloch of Mayhem on guitars and Øyvind Myrvoll of Nidingr on drums. The album was also produced by the great Kristoffer “Garm” Rygg of Ulver. It’s a fact that with each new album (she just released an EP called “Juniper”), Bruun makes clear that she has a lot of talent both on the songwriting and performance, covering a broad spectrum of sounds, which has Scandinavian folk roots that are perfectly combined with her incredible ethereal voice, the use of traditional instruments and atmospheric Black Metal passages. This results in a unique formula that has taken the metal scene by storm. As part of her European tour, she performed with her band on November 4th at John Dee venue in Oslo, Norway, and it was the first time I had the opportunity to see her live show, so the expectations were high.
As a side note, Sigurd Wongraven AKA Satyr (vocalist for Satyricon) showed up minutes before the doors were opened. He was going to attend the show, so we talked for a couple of minutes and he clearly remembered the only show that Satyricon played in Uruguay back in 2011.
The doors were finally opened at 7:00 pm, and one hour later, the British cellist Jo Quail appeared on stage as the opening act. She was there alone with her cello and some recorded tracks and managed to catch the attention of the audience that almost filled the venue. Quail has released three LPs, three EPs and a live DVD since she began her career in 2010. For this forty-minute performance, she chose four long songs, each of them having a previous introduction and explanation of what had inspire her at the time of writing them. Even though these are instrumental compositions, topics such as night or the power that water has over humanity are some of the inspirations of Quail at the time of writing her pieces which are hypnotic at times, while others have both quiet and loud passages, ensuring the applause and the good reception of the audience.
Just fifteen minutes after the end of her show, the lights went out and the musicians of Myrkur (which means “Darkness” in Icelandic, by the way), began to come out one by one on stage, including Jo Quail again on cello.
The setlist was split in two parts, starting with a purely folk acoustic set with five musicians on stage apart from the vocalist, who surprised us with a powerful voice, even with some acapella passages that left everyone astonished. “Bonden og Kragen”, from her last EP, “Jenta”, “Flickan”, “Ramund”, “House Carpenter” (first English song of the night) and “Himlen Blev Sort” were included on the first half of the set, which concluded with a Nyckelharpa (Swedish traditional string instrument) solo by Myrkur herself.
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