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Album Reviews: ASTRA – “Oathkeeper – Part 1”

Posteado en Inicio el 21 d-03:00 March d-03:00 2020 por RISE!

ASTRA

“Oathkeeper – Part 1”

(Eufonia Records)

by Jorge Patacas

Astra is a new two-man project based in Oslo, Norway. As the story goes, the multi-instrumentalist Sondre Ramstad Paulsen started to work on his own songs while he was still a teenager back in 2012 after not being accepted into the music school and being told he wasn’t good enough for his friends band, which, ironically, included the other current member of Astra, his childhood friend William Strengelsund. They both reunited in 2016 and ended up working together as a duo on the majority of the songwriting with Strengelsund providing the vocals. Their debut concept album “Oathkeeper – Part 1” is an epic journey into the ancient land of Kalgard, a saga that’s being told through ten songs of which three are instrumentals. Musically, it sounds pretty solid and interesting to keep the listener hooked on. It’s a Symphonic Metal album, yet we can easily find influences from Progressive and even Power and Melodic Death Metal with vocals ranging from clean to screaming. Every instrument is placed on the right place according to the climate each song requires and the catchy choruses will make the experience even more enjoyable.
The album will be released on April 3rd and you can listen to their first single “Hammerdown” below!

 

 

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Interview: VOLUSPÁ

Posteado en Inicio el 25 d-03:00 November d-03:00 2019 por RISE!

Inspired by mythology and folklore, Voluspá was founded by vocalist Sól Geirsdóttir and bassist Stefan Roke in 2012 and now it’s a four-piece that also includes Hilde Stenersen on backing vocals and Varg Saastad on guitars and other additional instruments.
This Norwegian folk rock band started out as a studio project and finally took the stage with two great performances at Midgardsblot festival this year. They’re currently working on new material and we talked with the band about this as well as their history, the instruments they use and more!

 

RISE! – When and why did you decide to start with this project?

Voluspá: It was Sol who started the project by herself back in 2007. It was then the songwriting began. Sol later met our bassist Stefan Roke who has been producing and arranging the songs in studio from 2013. Since then, Voluspá has been a studio project – until now.
Sol started this project from a need to express herself musically and artistically through lyrics, melody and style. The need to connect with the past and to create something that later could end up as a music career.

R!: – What’s your musical background? Have you been involved in other bands in the past?

V: When it comes to the band, we have different musical backgrounds. Varg is the creator of the neo-folk project Fedrespor and earlier drummer and composer in the black metal band SEKT that was active between 2007 and 2012. Varg has also been involved in other underground music projects that probably will never be released. Stefan has worked as a sound-tech in Demningen studio with Erik Grønner. He has also been involved with the rock band Plinth from Bergen. Sol has classical vocal training as well as traditional folk vocal training (kveding). She attended a folk high school in Voss back in 2007/08 where she began writing several of the songs that we released and developed for the “Trollbunden” release this year.
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Interview: MORK

Posteado en Inicio el 10 d-03:00 November d-03:00 2019 por RISE!

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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Concert Reviews: HELLBOTN METALFEST 2019 (Kolbotn, Norway)

Posteado en Inicio el 21 d-03:00 September d-03:00 2019 por RISE!

HELLBOTN METALFEST 2019 (Kolbotn, Norway)

August 30-31, 2019

by Jorge Patacas

 

Hellbotn Metalfest started out in 2014 in the city of Kolbotn located 20 minutes from Oslo, known for being the hometown of bands like Darkthrone. Since the beginning, the organizers had the idea of creating a festival for local bands, adding bigger names from the Norwegian scene year after year. This edition was held once again at Kolben Kulturhus which, as the name suggests, is a cultural center where, among other things, there are concert halls. Previously they used only the small stage, but in 2019 only the first day had concerts in that room, while for the second stage they added the larger main stage and another hall as a secondary stage.

DAY 1

It all started on Friday, August 30th with sold out tickets, where four bands were part of the lineup. Filthdigger straight from the Norwegian capital city were the first to appear on stage, and they had no mercy, attacking from the beginning with their old school Death Metal full of power and energy. Unfortunately, the fire alarm went on during their performance due to the smoke machine installed on the stage, so the venue had to be evacuated for about fifteen minutes until we were told to re-enter, and so the band was able to resume their set that featured songs from their only album album so far, “Damned by the Living Dead” (2016).

Incinerator was the next group on stage, with members of Austrian, Bulgarian and Norwegian origin, but based in Kolbotn and Oppegård. They have just released their debut EP “Awakened by Evil” on cassette through the local label Snake Oil Kassettforlag, so they played songs included in it, with “Angel Slayer” being a highlight. Very interesting Black/Thrash band that is worth watching live.
Another band that came out of Kolbotn is Nekromantheon, who played next. Among its ranks are Arild Myren Torp (guitar/vocals) and Sindre Solem (bass/vocals), who also share duties in Obliteration, but unlike their other project, Nekromantheon have more Thrash influences, although the old school flame is there too. Excellent performance with Solem really into the show encouraging the audience to scream at all times.
After five years of silence when it comes to studio albums, Nocturnal Breed returned this year with “We Only Came For The Violence”, an album containing pure Black/Thrash tracks such as “Choke On Blood”, “Nekrohagel” and “War-Metal Engine” which we got to hear that evening, as well as older material such as “Alcoholic Rites” and “Nocturnal Breed”.
Something that has always been part of this quartet is the theatrical side of their performance, and that’s why on this occasion two girls dressed as nuns appeared on stage, with inverted crosses and gas masks, spilling “blood” on the vocalist. The show went on until the fire alarm sounded again to our surprise, and it was midnight already, so many people decided to leave, while approximately half of the audience was still there once the show was resumed a few minutes later. The band managed to finish their set with “Armageddon Nights” and the cover of Death, “Evil Dead”.
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Concert Reviews: BEYOND THE GATES 2019 (Bergen, Norway)

Posteado en Inicio el 21 d-03:00 September d-03:00 2019 por RISE!

BEYOND THE GATES 2019 (Bergen, Norway)

August 21-24, 2019

by Jorge Patacas

 

Beyond The Gates (formerly Hole in the Sky) is one of those festivals that always offer an interesting lineup, especially for those who are into the extreme metal subgenres. It’s held in the usually rainy city of Bergen, located in western Norway, which has breathtaking landscapes, in addition to Bryggen, an area next to the harbor with colorful houses that in some cases date from the 18th century, which is on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites.
The festival began on Wednesday, August 21 in a small place with very limited capacity called Hulen (The Cave, in Norwegian), which opened in 1969 and has its premises in an old bomb shelter. Imha Tarikat, Ritual Death and the swedes Watain performed there, in front of an audience who sold out the venue and got thrilled by a show that those who were there described with mostly positive comments.
Rise! has been invited to the next three days of the festival, where the venue was USF, which stands for United Sardines Factories, and yes, it is a sardine factory that turned into a concert venue, which has two floors. The first includes the stage, merchandising stands and bars, while on the second floor there’s a VIP area with a perfect view of the stage and another bar.
In addition to the live bands, the festival offers extra activities such as listening sessions of new releases both at the Apollon Records record store/bar and at the Galleri Fjalar, Gaahl’s art gallery, who welcomed us when we attended the session of the “Seafarer” album by Lindy-Fay Hella, who is known for her work with Wardruna. The album that comes out on September 20 via Ván Records, was produced by herself with Herbrand Larsen and contains nine highly recommended tracks.

Other listening sessions were the new albums by Solstorm, Asagraum, 1349, Darkend and Costin Chioreanu, and there was also a panel comprised of record label owners, managers, festival promoters, among others, where they discussed the future of The music industry.
The activity in terms of concerts on Thursday began at 7 p.m. with Obliteration, who released their fourth studio album, “Cenotaph Obscure”, last year via Indie Recordings. They deliver some good Old School Death Metal, a lot of speed and aggression to start the day.
Svartidauði (Black Death in Icelandic) with their particular Black Metal style was next. They were formed in 2002, but only have two full-length albums released, both with very positive reviews by fans and media. Songs from both albums were performed that night, with raw vocals by Sturla Viðar, killer riffs by Þórir and G.E. and heavy drumming by Magnús, alternating the most aggressive sections with the quieter almost Doomy parts.
Behexen, for their part, delivered a six-song set of pure Black Metal proving that there are quality exponents of this genre in Finland too. They started with “Cave of the Dark Dreams” from their most recent effort “The Poisonous Path” (2016) followed by a journey through their discography playing songs like “Wrathful Dragon Hau-Hra”, “By the Blessing of Satan”, “Mouth of Leviathan”, “My Soul For His Glory” and “Death’s Black Light”.
A high dose of the most visceral Black Metal came from Marduk, who mercilessly fired bombs like “Panzer Division Marduk”, “Baptism By Fire”, “Werwolf” and “Throne of Rats” devastating everything in their path. Without major surprises, but fulfilling expectations, the Swedes had a solid performance that makes it clear why they achieved the status they have today on the scene.
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