Norway’s SUCHTHAUS, the band that defies genre type casting and for whom visuals play as big a role as the music itself, has released a tribute to the iconic Black Metal band MAYHEM, in the form of a video cover of the track “Life Eternal” from what is probably MAYHEM’s most famous album, 1994’s “De Misteriis Dom Sathanas”.   The cover features SUCHTHAUS members Spacebrain on vocals, Ingvar the Last Viking on guitars, Fruen on the organ, and Hellhammer, who is of course himself one of the original members of MAYHEM, on drums.  The video can be seen below and at

Whilst it may not come as a surprise that a band has recorded a MAYHEM cover, it is, in this case, more appropriate than the usual run of the mill tribute, given that SUCHTHAUS founder SPACEBRAIN, is the man behind many of MAYHEM’s most recognisable stage sets.   A renowned sculptor, as well as a musician, SPACEBRAIN had this to say about the tribute:

“Mayhem has survived hell for 30 years, and I was fortunate to play  a part during a few of those years, touring through Europe with the art of SPACEBRAIN from 2000-2006. This is a period of my life I will never forget, neither the good nor the bad experiences,  and  therefore SUCHTHAUS decided to put in some hard work to try to recreate the soundtrack that got stuck in my head: “Life Eternal”.   It´s far from a straight cover, but our vision was a way of thanking the men who let me be a part of their life (in alphabetical order) Atilla, Blasphemer, Hellhammer, Maniac, Necrobutcher”.

SUCHTHAUS is currently working putting the finishing touches on the band’s sophomore album “Motorbrain”, which, once finished, will be released on SUCHTHAUS’ own label Rollabigone.   Guests on the album incude SHINING founder and frontman Niklas Kvarforth.

“Motorbrain” will be the follow up to SUCHTHAUS’ debut  album “The Dark Side and the Bright Side”, which included collaborations from musicians such as Maniac  (SKITLIV, ex-MAYHEM),   CURRENT 93’s David Tibet, Fredrik A. Juell  (BURNING RUBBER,  BERSERK BASTARDS) and singer Sibob Jawara, and showed clearly how difficult it is to squeeze the band into any particular genre.   Whilst “Motorbrain” promises to be a much more “metal” album, it will definitely not be a “straight up” metal album, and the band is at pains to point out that it does not reflect  any direction that they have any  intention of following in the future.

More information about SUCHTHAUS can be found on the band’s Facebook page at  or on the band’s website at

Five  tracks from SUCHTHAUS can be heard below and at



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DARK ESSENCE RECORDS will once again be showcasing some of its bands at Inferno Festival this year, with a lineup that includes TAAKE, GALAR, KRAKOW and MOMENTUM –  all bands who have recently released new albums on what is one of Norway’s most respected and growing labels.  The event will take place on Wednesday the 1st of April at Blå in Oslo, Norway.

For fans of  Norwegian Black Metal TAAKE needs no introduction.  After more than two decades of writing and performing his Helnorsk Svartmetall, frontman and founder Hoest still produces music which, whilst staying true to its roots,  manages to remain fresh, original and relevant in a genre that  is sadly lacking in all three attributes these days.    The band released its sixth full-length album  “Stridens hus” in December of last year, and proved once again that Hoest has lost none of his intensity and unpredictability, either in the studio or on the stage.

More information about TAAKE can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

With their third full-length album “De gjenlevende” barely over a week old, GALAR is a Black-Folk Metal  band that is not scared to use non-traditional metal instruments including both a string quintet and a horn quartet.  These unusual elements are ideally suited to the epic nature of the six-track concept album and to the band’s music in general. GALAR’s  founders M. Kristiansen (screams, guitars and bass) and A. B. Lauritzen (clean vocals, bassoon and grand piano) recently announced that they had expanded the band’s lineup to include drummer Tomas Myklebust (ex-EMANCER, live session drums with VULTURE INDUSTRIES and VRIED), and have also added live session member Pól Nolsøe Jespersen on lead guitars.  Inferno Festival will be the first time fans will get a chance to see the new lineup on stage.

More information about GALAR can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

Formed in Bergen, Norway in the fall of of 2005, and their third full-length album “amaran” released in February of this year, KRAKOW’s lineup of highly skilled and experienced musicians consists of Kjartan Grønhaug on guitars, René Misje on guitars and vocals, Frode Kilvik (AETERNUS, VITHR) on vocals and bass,  and Ask Ty Arctander (KAMPFAR) on drums.   The Experimental Post Rockers will be back on the Blå stage with their dark, melodic and mysterious music, perfectly performed with the band’s usual intensity and dynamism.

More information about KRAKOW can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

Making their DARK ESSENCE RECORDS debut at Inferno this year will be one of the label’s more recent signings, Icelandic Progressive Doom Metallers MOMENTUM, whose sophomore full length album “The Freak is Alive” was also released in February.  MOMENTUM’s blend of atmospheric Post-Rock is reminiscent of Isis and Cult of Luna, with a Neurosis-esque level of bone-crushing heaviness interspersed with soft vocals and relaxed clean passages.  The band’s lineup consists of frontman Holaf, the man responsible for both MOMENTUM’s  lyrics and artwork, on vocals, bass and sitar, Ingvar Sæmundsson on guitar and vocals, Kristján Einar Guðmundsson on drums, and Sigurður Árni Jónsson on guitar and vocals.

More information about MOMENTUM can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

Tracks from TAAKE, GALAR, KRAKOW and MOMENTUM can be heard below and at 



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Karisma Records have inked a deal with Norwegian Prog Rockers MAGIC PIE, and are set to release the band’s fourth full-length album on the 25th May.  As well as the new album, information about which will be released shortly, Karisma will also be re-issuing the band’s three previous albums – 2005’s “Motions of Desire”, 2007’s “Circus of Life” and 2011’s “The Suffering Joy” –  later this year in both CD format, and, for the first time, in vinyl format as well.

Formed in 2001 in Moss, Norway, MAGIC PIE has become a household name to Prog fans around the world with their blend of Classic Prog and Hard Rock inspired by bands such as SPOCKS BEARD, DREAM THEATER, GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, THE FLOWER KINGS, TRANSATLANTIC, KANSAS, DEEP PURPLE, YES etc.

MAGIC PIE’s lineup consists of songwriter and producer Kim Stenberg on guitars and vocals,  lyricist and melody co-writer Eirikur Hauksson on lead vocals and guitar, Eirik Hanssen on vocals and guitar, Jan Torkild Johannessen on drums,  Erling Henanger on keyboards and backing vocals and Lars Petter Holstad on bass and backing vocals.  It’s a lineup where experience and superb musicianship combine to create epic prog rock with top notch vocal harmonies.

More information about MAGIC PIE can be found on the band’s website at  or on their Facebook page at

Fan-filmed footage of MAGIC PIE performing at ROSfest can be seen below and at


Tracks from all of Karisma Records releases can be heard below and at


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Sweden’s VANHELGA, one of the more extreme and uncompromising exponents of DSBM, and a band that seems to exist at the centre a maelstrom of creative output, is set to release a digital mini album on the 12th March. With the band’s sense of irony fully intact, the 5-track album is titled “Happiness” and is available directly from the band at where it will be available at a special price, including wallpaper,  for the first few days, as well as from the usual digital distribution and streaming outlets.

Track listing for “Happiness” as follows:

1. Dekonstruktion
2. Lyrica
3. Tvingad att leva
4. Jag hatar dig
5. Mjau

Commenting on the new release, VANHELGA founder J. Ottosson, aka 145188 (ex-LIFELOVER (live session musician), ex-SKOGSTRON) had this to say: ” My constant need to write and record is a by-product of my mental state, and I am the first one to admit that whilst recording this I was under the strong influence of drugs. This resulted in a piece of work that is an expression of the effect of the use of self-destructive tools like drugs and self-mutilation in order to feel “happy”. Although we have a new VANHELGA album coming out on Art of Propaganda later in the year, I had a lot of material ready that I wanted to get out before then, and so we thought we’d do a digital self-release. Particularly since some of the material on “Happiness” might not necessarily fit in with the more “traditional” VANHELGA sound, and fans might find themselves a bit surprised by some of it”.

VANHELGA is also set to appear on an upcoming four-way split with OFDRYKKJA, PSYCHONAUT 4 and IN LUNA which will be released jointly on Art of Propaganda and Talheim Records on the 6th April. Titled “Urban Negativism”, VANHELGA will contribute two new tracks and a LIFELOVER cover to the ten-track album, which will first be released in a digipack format, with a vinyl version likely to appear later.

VANHELGA’s next live appearance will be at Kings of Black Metal in Alsfeld, Germany on the 24th April.

More information about VANHELGA can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

“Dekonstruction”, a track from “Happiness” can be heard below and on VANHELGA’s YouTube channel at


The official video for the track ” Där Evigheten Inväntar Mig “, from VANHELGA’s 2014 full-length album  ” Längtan “,  can be seen below and at


Tracks from VANHELGA’s releases can be heard below and at


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In a statement issued today Black Folk Metallers SELVANS, whose debut EP was released earlier this month on Avantgarde Music, announced that the band’s  lineup would be reduced to a core of two members following an amicable split with bassist Stolas:   “Stolas is no longer part of SELVANS.  The unavoidable split happened in a friendly manner, as indeed  it should as we have shared many experiences together, both with DRAUGR  and SELVANS  over the years.   We wish him all the best – he is a brother to us and always will be! 

“Going forward the SELVANS line-up will consist of two members,  Selvans Haruspex on keyboards, traditional instruments, vocals, programming and  Sethlans Fulguriator on guitars and bass.  We have a number of shows lined up, starting on the 6 March at the Brixia Obscura Fest, and these will be unaffected as we will be joined by three session members for any live appearances.  We’ll have more important news for you soon.”

SELVANS draws on Italian folklore which, over the centuries, has been enriched by the different ethnic cultures that populated the country, and  which the band recreates through its music, lyrics and stunning visuals.  In fact, the release date of the five-track EP “Clangores Plenilunio” was timed to coincide with the start of the ancient Lupercalia Festival on the 13th February.  The EP is also a tribute to the band’s co-founder and drummer, the late Jonny Morelli,  who died shortly after finishing laying down the drums and part of the vocals.

SELVANS is set embark on a series of live dates in Italy in March in support of the release of “Clangores Plenilunio”:

06 March, Brixia Obscura I Festival, Circolo Colony, Brescia, Italy
07 March, RomaObscura III Festival, Traffic Live Club, Rome, Italy
27 March, Ride ‘n’ Roll, Chieti, Italy
28 March, La Masquerade, Work in Progress, Albignasego, Italy

More information about SELVANS can be found on the band’s website at   and on their Facebook page at

“Lupercale” from SELVANS’ “Clangores Plenilunio” EP can be heard  below and at

A video teaser for the title track from SELVANS’ “Clangores Plenilunio” can be seen below and at


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With  their third full-length album “Doomsday Elite” having been released on Dark Essence Records at the end 2013, and with a current lineup that  includes Unsgaard (SO MUCH FOR NOTHING) on vocals, Sgt V (ex Svarttjern)  on  bass,  Thrawn (ex DØDHEIMSGARD) on guitar,  Nihil (ENDEZZMA) on guitar and  Defest (SVARTHAUEG) on drums, SARKOM founder Erik Unsgaard  recently spoke about the band’s next album, and why it has been a little longer in coming than originally planned:

“The new album was supposed to be released last year, as a special Anniversary release to mark ten years since we released our demo.  Unfortunately, personal matters got in the way and we only got as far as tracking the drums and some of the guitars.  Added to which, we’ve recently had some technical problems, which everyone who has ever worked in a band will know about, so it’s just one of those things you get used to and eventually work around.  Although we can’t actually make any definitive promises at this stage, we hope to get it finished within the next few months and hopefully get it released this year.

“What can you expect from the album?  Well, as this was meant to be an Anniversary release, there will not be any particular theme or concept to it, neither will the sound or lyrics necessarily reflect each other at all.  Without wanting to give away too many details at this stage we can reveal that aside from six SARKOM songs, it is likely that a handful of cover songs will also find their way onto the final product.  If anyone wants a sneak peek at the new material and you are coming to Blastfest, then make sure you’re at the Garage on Friday 20th February.  SARKOM will be hitting the stage at 13:30 and you can be amongst the first to hear the new track ‘Mind-abscess'”.

As well as releasing “Doomsday Elite” in 2013 in both CD and Digital formats,  Dark Essence Records also released the band’s two earlier albums – 2006’s “Aggravation of Mind” and 2008’s “Bestial Supremacy” in Digital format.  Originally released on the now defunct Twilight Vertrieb label, both albums are now almost impossible to get hold of.  Tracks from all three releases can be heard on the player at the top of the page, or at

“Doomsday Elite” has also just been released in 12″ vinyl format on the Witching Hour Productions label, under license from Dark Essence Records.

More information about SARKOM can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

The official video for “Inferior Bleeding” from SARKOM’s “Bestial Supremacy” can be seen below and at


The DARK ESSENCE RECORDS SoundCloud player contains tracks from all the label’s releases and can be heard below and at


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When CARPATHIAN FOREST guitarists Tchort and BloodPervertor announced last year that they were leaving to set up a new band, THE 3rd ATTEMPT, they knew that they were leaving behind them the security of  one of the most iconic Norwegian Black Metal bands of all time, and one with a huge following, to start something completely new and unproven,  at a time when labels are reluctant to dip their toes into uncharted territories and new bands emerge  in their hundreds every week, only to disappear into nothingness.   But when you have two musicians with the skill and experience of Tchort (GREEN CARNATION, ex-CARPATHIAN FOREST, ex EMPEROR, ex BLOOD RED THRONE) and BloodPervertor (APOSTASY, ex-CARPATHIAN FOREST, ex NEONGOD) who have the desire to work in an environment that could re-ignite the enthusiasm and creativity they felt they had lost, then a move was inevitable.  Interest from various labels was certainly not slow in materialising and today the band are pleased to be able to announce that they have inked a deal with one of Norway’s foremost labels, Dark Essence Records.

Commenting on their decision to sign with Dark Essence, the band had this to say: “Dark Essence signalled their interest in the possibility of working together as soon as we announced THE 3rd ATTEMPT, even before they had heard anything,  and they have kept in close touch, actually making the effort to attend rehearsals and get to know our new members.  In the end, it came down to a decision as to whether we wanted to sign with a large label and,  as a new band,  risk disappearing in the depth of their rosters, or whether we wanted to work with a label who was genuinely interested in us as a band, and who would be with us every step of the way, in all aspects.  We also heard many good things about Dark Essence from the musicians already signed to them, so, Dark Essence it is!  We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us with preparing and rehearsing the new material ready to enter the studio,  and we are excited to see what the future will bring”.

Dark Essence Records commented on the signing: “It takes a substantial label to be able to afford to sign a band like CARPATHIAN FOREST,  so when it was announced that Tchort and BloodPervertor were leaving and starting again from scratch with THE 3rd ATTEMPT, we were immediately interested in seeing what direction they would take, and opened a dialogue with them . We already knew what formidable musicians they were and what they were capable of, so Dark  Essence’s Kristine Knapskog went along to rehearsals to check out their new material.  She very much liked their enthusiasm and attitude, and their desire to work closely with a label and  we are very happy to welcome them to the Dark Essence family “.

The 3rd Attempt celebrating with Dark Essence Records’ Kristine Knapskog

Aside from Tchort and BloodPervertor, THE 3rd ATTEMPT’s lineup includes frontman Kaahrl Ødemark (ex- MIDNATTSVREDE, ex-NECROCAVE) who was selected following online auditions that drew in submissions from all over the world, and drummer Tybalt (FORTID, DEN SAAKALDTE, ETHEREAL FOREST, ex- HEATHEN DEITY, ex-PANTHEON I) who was originally slated to join the band as session live drummer for an upcoming appearance, but after taking part in rehearsals, it was decided that he would become a full-time member.

The 3rd ATTEMPT’s debut live  appearance will be at Blastfest, in Bergen,  Norway, on  the 18th February on  board the boat “Showline”, which will take fans on a 5 hour cruise of Bergen’s spectacular fjord,  and which kicks off the 4 day festival.

THE 3rd ATTEMPT recently debuted a demo track “The Beast Within”, which also features CARPATHIAN FOREST’s Daniel Vrangsinn on bass and Anders Kobro on drums, and which was  used in a shortened form for the  vocalist auditions.  It is not a “finished”  track.  “The Beast Within” can be heard below and on THE 3rd ATTEMPT’s SoundCloud page at


More information about THE 3rd ATTEMPT can be found on the official Facebook page at

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