Einlass: 19.00 Uhr – Start: 20:00 Uhr
Ticket: 18,00 Euro zzgl. VVK-Gebühr – Abendkasse: 22,- Euro
TAAKE’s seventh full-length album „Kong Vinter“ further cements the reputation of its enigmatic founder and frontman, Hoest, as one of those rare artists who manage to keep alive the old Norwegian spirit of Black Metal, in what has nowadays become a multi faceted, and fractured, genre.
And, not only does he succeed in keeping the original genre alive, he also manages to breathe fresh life into it, with the introduction of new, and sometimes surprising, elements into the band’s music, whilst at the same time ensuring that it never loses that icy, dangerous, edge.
With a live lineup of skilled, and highly experienced, musicians, TAAKE has also become a force to be reckoned with on the live circuit. Hoest’s charismatic persona and powerful presence dominate the stage, and his high octane performances, combined with an extensive back catalogue from which to draw the band’s set, means that TAAKE’s shows are not just unique, but also varied. Regardless of whether they take place in an intimate club setting, or large festival arenas, TAAKE’s shows, like TAAKE’s albums, have, over the years garnered high praise from fans and critics alike.
After over two decades and seven highly acclaimed albums, some of which are regarded as quintessential Black Metal classics, and one of which received a nomination for the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammys (Spellemanns-prisen), TAAKE’s sound still remains fresh and relevant today. It is the quality of Hoest’s studio output, combined with the band’s dynamic live shows, that has ensured that the legions of old fans remain faithful, and that new fans come flocking to the band to get a taste of TAAKE’s Helnorsk Svartmetall.
Indeed, True Norwegian Black Metal is not dead, nor will it be, while its traditions, and its future, are in a safe pair of hands.
Approaching 25 years of existence and having grown to become one of extreme music’s premier live outfits, while releasing albums that would dominate year-end lists and even bagging a Norwegian “Spellemann” Grammy award for their ‘Profan’ album, Kampfar looked ready to go and dominate for years to come. But behind the music, disguised during the intense live shows, underneath it all, was a clarity that the road’s end was nigh.
Founded back in 1994 by Dolk, who recruited Thomas to take care of strings and keys while the former focused on drums and vocals, the band was an underground gem for years. A band whose first records are spoken of with reverence to this day, perhaps helped by the low profile they kept at the time. It was ten years before the first live show was performed, at this point bassist Jon and drummer Ask Ty had joined the ranks and this line-up released another three albums before Thomas departed the band, 2011’s ‘Mare’ the last release with his stamp so solidly placed on it.
This recording marked a shift in the style and expression of the band, becoming the leading star for the records to come, now with the new guitarist and songwriter Ole who quickly developed into a key force of the group. With the albums ‘Djevelmakt’ and ‘Profan’ Kampfar established a new era for Norwegian Black Metal, proving that while some may have lost their passion for the fiercest musical exploits, these men had a hunger that was as ravenous as ever.
Except that life has a knack for surprise. Health issues caused the band to slow down and during the summer of 2017 it was decided that there would be no more Kampfar, unless something radically changed. The guys didn’t see each other for a year, didn’t really speak or keep up any kind of contact, just focusing on their own personal lives. “It was time to just heal, to not cause any more damage, to just see if one could get back to a point of strength again” says Dolk. It was a year that culminated in ‘Ofidians Manifest’.
Though demos were written by Ole during the spring, shaped massively by him losing his father in the same period, the main song writing was done over the course of two months in the fall of 2018, with another month spent recording the album in Bergen, Oslo and Pärlby, Sweden. The band spent intense weeks together in their creative home of Hemsedal, moulding and shaping the songs, surrounded by mountains and forest that turned from summer green, to autumn yellow, to winter white as they worked extensively on what was to become this testament to the band themselves.
As part of the healing process of creating this collection of songs the decision was made to involve Agnete Kjølsrud on the track ‘Dominans’. Her contribution to the song lifted the atmosphere of the whole album, and the duet is one of perfect harmony between two very different yet familiar voices bonding to create an excellent song. Marianne Maria Moen’s contribution on album closer ‘Det Sorte’ similarly brings to light the realisation that all life is fragile and that our voices must be allowed to bellow through the world for as long as there is air left to bellow with.
The madness of Medusa was chosen as a visual clue to the record’s themes, represented by two different paintings to be explored on the physical releases. And again, the band decided to travel to Poland to record a music video, this time with director Dariusz Szermanowicz of Grupa 13. The video, hinting at the many underlying stories of the album, is a chaotic depiction of the road back to equilibrium, a place no one knows yet all walk towards. According to Ask Ty, the choice of song proclaiming the band’s return was made because “it tells you everything you need to know about Kampfar today, distilled down to four and a half minutes of intense breaks and turns, it is the beginning and the end and the new beginnings after that, and it is the sound of a band that is alive and well.”
‘Ofidians Manifest’ represents Kampfar anno 2019. 25 years on from their foundation, only willing to release new music if they felt it would surpass all they had done before, it is a condensation of the immense struggles of the last few years. Everything that has been hidden behind the music and the live performances is laid bare, though told in the only way the band can portray themselves, through songs. It is immensely honest yet wrapped in their own folklore, the snake tongues splitting every truth into two deeper truths, every word sung dominated by the weight of all those sung before.
“Our previous album Satanic Slavery was the culmination of our first ten years as a band, it’s where all our previous tendencies met in perfect sync. Yet this new one is the opening of a new chapter. Still furious and still satanic yet those who will dare to listen to it in its entirety will go at some point like ‘wait, where am I here? Something’s happening….’ It’s the sound of NECROWRETCH treading new musical paths while remaining faithful to our roots.”
When he’s not armed with his guitar and furiously headbanging on stage, NECROWRETCH’s Vlad is a surprisingly thoughtful, articulate yet almost discreet character. But as soon as he talks about the band he singly first put together as a solo project in his bedroom back in 2008, he’s got fire in his eyes and seemingly talks louder and with even more passion. It’s never been truer than now in 2019 when after three intense years of touring and songwriting, right as their fourth album (and second for Season of Mist) is about to ravage the land. “For Satanic Slavery, we played almost fifty gigs over fifteen different countries, including few festivals spots in Finland (Steelfest) and France (Motocultor, Fall of Summer). We did two European tours and we went for the second time in Asia where we played six gigs in such rarely visited places like Taiwan, Thailand or the Philippines. We sometimes had to perform as a three piece or with session members when some of our members couldn’t make it but we always kept our promises, no matter what. It was hard work but it was worth it as we came through stronger and more focused than ever.”
During 2018, Vlad went to Istanbul in order to write the next album in a complete new environment. Even if at first he didn’t touch his guitar for over two months, once he began working on ‘Pure Hellfire’ the opening track of The Ones From Hell (“I always write our albums in the order they’ll be sequenced”), his new surroundings and past experiences push him towards new musical horizons. “If you take Satanic Slavery, it was on purpose one relentless assault on all levels and that’s exactly I envisioned it, mind you. But once we had done that, we had to rethink ourselves.
I’m very proud of our satanic black/death tag and that’s still the case with the new album but we’ve never had so much variety than on this one. It starts off with an acoustic intro, it’s got unusual instruments for us like twelve-strings guitars, Turkish percussions or choirs… We used even more oriental scales on the guitar than before and there’s for instance an almost doomish track. Yet it ends with a song actually titled ‘Necrowretch’ as musically speaking, it’s almost a throwback to our early days! We also put a lot of efforts into the sequencing. As a whole, we really wanted to stick to the classic vinyl-like dynamic, with a well-defined first half and a weirder, more bizarre B-side. We paid attention to detail down to the actual artwork, as we specifically asked Stefan Thanneur from Chaos Echoes, not to come up with a typical black/death cover but instead, something eye-catching yet intriguing at the same time.”
Like its predecessor, The Ones From Hell was recorded as a three-piece in February 2019. The session lasted over ten days at Blackout Studio in Brussels, where 2012’s Putrid Death Sorcery was also put to tape, with Phorgath from EMPTINESS as producer. If former BLOODY SIGN Ilmar is still seated behind the drum stool it is also the first official recording with Wenceslas Carrieu from CADAVERIC FUMES who first came into the fold as a bass player but shared guitar duties with Vlad in the studio. Alan Douches, who worked with everybody from Baroness to Cannibal Corpse or Deicide, then carefully took care of the mastering job. From now on, Wence will be handling second guitar and Pierrick recently became their new live bass player.
“I spent one full year writing and arranging this album. This is probably our most personal work to date. It still sounds very much like NECROWRETCH yet it’s almost a whole new band. And yes, that title The Ones From Hell pretty much sums up the album pretty well I’d say!” Forget what other people say, yes you can judge a book by its cover. What you see is what you get with NECROWRETCH: pure satanic death metal!
Einlass: 19:00 Uhr – Start: 20:00 Uhr
Ticket: 18,00 Euro zzgl. VVK-Gebühr – Abendkasse: 22,- Euro