Norwegian Black Metallers RAGNAROK have announced an amicable parting of the ways with their frontman Hans Fyrste.  Fyrste, who has been with the band since 2005 and performed vocals on two of their seven full length albums – 2010′s “Collectors of the King” and the latest release “Malediction” – is cutting back on his musical activities due to other personal and job-related commitments, which had already affected his ability to tour with RAGNAROK at the end of last year.  His last live appearance with the band was at this year’s Blastfest festival in February.

In a statement the frontman explained his decision: “The decision to leave RAGNAROK, has been an extremely hard one to make.  Jontho and Brigge brought me in to the horde in 2005, and this still stands as my biggest achievement as a musician.  Personal circumstances have made it so that I will not be able to dedicate myself to RAGNAROK, as much as it requires.  It is with a heavy heart  that we have come  to an agreement, and I am pulling out of the band.

“All words fall short compared to how grateful I am for have taken part in this journey.Over the years we have experienced so many great achievements, and I would never have been without any of them. Being able to tour around the world, from Siberia to Rio de Janeiro, with supporting, passionate and faithful friends and fans in every city, has been a humbling experience. Every step of the way has also brought with it impressions, educating me to be a stronger person. Also learning so many new things, evolving to be the vocalist and human being I am today.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has  made this journey possible. Without all my great friends and fans out there, nothing of this could have ever happened. Thank you!  And finally, of course, thank you Jontho, DezeptiCunt and Bolverk. Thank you for all the great times on and off the stage. Thank you for everything we have gone through together. Thank you for the brotherhood and support!  I leave RAGNAROK as a humble man, and wish my brothers all the best in the future.

Hans Fyrste…. “

Founder and drummer Jontho had this to say about Fyrste’s departure  “After 20 years you come to expect these things as an inevitable part of being in a band.  Sooner  or later there comes a time when all musicians must take a hard look at their lives and take decisions based on family and work commitments.   Hans Fyrste felt that he could not give the amount of dedication that RAGNAROK asks of its members, and that it would be fairer all round to call it a day, and that is very much to his credit.  He has been a real asset to the band. We have watched him grow over the years to become a great frontman and we wish him all the best for the future”.

Formed in 1994, and celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year, RAGNAROK are unfazed by the departure of their frontman and  have begun work on what will be their eighth full-length album.  The band played their first North American show in November last year, and are scheduled to headline at the Sick Midsummer Festival in Austria in July.   They  have not yet disclosed who will replace Hans Fyrste in the lineup, which, aside from Jontho on drums, includes DezeptiCunt on Bass and Bolverk on guitars.  “Let’s just say that we are looking at various options, some of which might come as a bit of a surprise to RAGNAROK fans, but we’re not prepared to say more at this time”, commented Jontho.

More information about RAGNAROK can be found on the band’s website at http://www.ragnarokhorde.com/

The official video for the title track from “Collectors of the King” can be seen below and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdRPw1tPl5E

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ragnarokofficial
Website: http://www.ragnarokhorde.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/RagnarokNorway
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/ragnarokofficial
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ragnarok
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/ragnarokhorde
 Booking: info@theflamingarts.eu
Management: http://patriciathomasmanagement.com/
Management Contact: patriciathomas@btinternet.com
Label: http://www.agoniarecords.com
For promo copies: info@agoniarecords.com

 

DARK ESSENCE RECORDS plans to make their annual Inferno Festival event a little different this yea when they join forces with sister label KARISMA RECORDS to showcase two of their bands each at Blå on Wednesday 16th April.  “We are always conscious of the fact that while many of Dark Essence’s artists such as TAAKE tour frequently, and fans in Europe have a good chance of seeing them live, the Karisma artists tend to tour much less, so we thought that this year we would open up the event to give their fans a chance to see some of them, and introduce them to Dark Essence’s fans at the same time”, commented the label’s Martin Kvam.

Representing Dark Essence will be two bands whose recent releases have been getting rave reviews from press and fans alike.  First up will be SLEGEST, the new project from former VREID guitarist Ese, who has skilfully blended classic heavy rock and old-school black metal to produce a sound that is both dark and sinister, and with an unmistakably  down and dirty catchy groove  that weaves its way through the music.  Originally started as a one-man project, once the debut full-length album “Løyndom” was released at the end of 2013,  it quickly became clear that the demand from fans to see SLEGEST perform live was such that Ese was persuaded to form a fully functioning band.  More information about SLEGEST can be found at https://www.facebook.com/slegest

The official video for the track “Ho Som Haustar Aleine” from SLEGEST’s “Løyndom” can be seen below and at http://youtu.be/ti8XokQakEw

 

Joining them will be Sweden’s ALFAHANNE, whose lineup includes members of bands such as VINTERLAND and early MAZE OF TORMENT, and who have come together to play what they themselves have called ”Alfapocalyptic Rock”, a fascinating and hard-hitting mix of Black Metal, Classic Rock and Punk with some Goth influences .  Their high-energy live performances have garnered them much praise.   Making a guest appearance on stage with ALFAHANNE, will be HELHEIM’s V’gandr who performed vocals on one of the tracks from the band’s new album “Alfapokalyps” .  It is a tribute to ALFAHANNE that they were able to attract not only V’gandr to make a guest appearance on the album, but also Dark Essence label-mates Hoest from TAAKE and Niklas Kvarforth from SHINING.  More information about ALFAHANNE can be found at https://www.facebook.com/alfahanneofficial

The track “Såld På Mörkret” from ALFAHANNE’s album ”Alfapocalyptic Rock” and  which features TAAKE’s Hoest on guest vocals can be heard below and at http://soundcloud.com/dark-essence-records/alfahanne-s-ld-p-m-rkret

 

Making an appearance for Karisma will be two bands, representing the new and the established.  Lovers of Prog Rock cannot fail to recognise the name of AIRBAG, a band known the world-over for an exquisite musical craftsmanship that enables its musicians to create a sonic experience ranging from massive walls of sound, to ambient textures and soulful soundscapes, both in the studio and on stage.  The release of AIRBAG’s third full-length album “The Greatest Show on Earth” at the end of last year confirmed the band’s status in the world of prog, earning them many accolades.   Inferno will be one of the very few chancesthat to catch this incredible band live this year so it is an opportunity that should not be missed.  One for fans of ANATHEMA. More information about AIRBAG can be found at http://www.airbagsound.com/

The title track from AIRBAG’s album “The Greatest Show on Earth” can be heard below and at:  http://soundcloud.com/karisma-records/airbag-the-greatest-show-on

 

The second of the Karisma bands is one of their latest signings, SEVEN IMPALE.  The release of the digital EP “Beginning/Relieve” last year gave an indication of the multi-faceted nature of these young musicians.  With its member drawn from a range of disciplines including classical orchestra, big band, metal, jazz, rock and electronic music, their sound ranges from progressive and jazzy to the softer and more melodic  to the harder and edgier.  They bring a freshness and enthusiasm to their live performances, and it is anticipated that their debut full-length album later this year  will more than meet expectations, setting them apart from many other new arrivals on the scene.  If you are a fan of Norway’s SHINING, SEVEN IMPALE is definitely a band you will want to check out.  More information about SEVEN IMPALE can be found at https://www.facebook.com/sevenimpale

The title track from SEVEN IMPALE’s  “Beginning/Relieve”  EP can be heard below and at http://soundcloud.com/karisma-records/seven-impale-begining-relieve

 

Scheduled performances for the Dark Essence Records / Karisma Records artists at Inferno Festival, which will take place at Blå, Brennereiven 9C, Oslo, Norway, on Wednesday 16th April as follows:

Seven Impale: 20:20
Slegest: 21:25
Alfahanne:  22:30
Airbag: 23:45

SLEGEST

ALFAHANNE

 

AIRBAG

SEVEN IMPALE

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Dark Essence Records: http://www.darkessencerecords.no/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darkessencerecords
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/dark-essence-records
Karisma Records: http://karismarecords.no/www.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sevenimpale
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/sevenimpale
Contact and Promo Requests: post@karismarecords.no

 

Having recently released all three of their previous albums digitally, Dark Metallers FOSCOR have now released some rare tracks including previously unreleased material, and material that has long since sold out, as well as the entire soundtrack of their 10th Anniversary live DVD “Deu Anys Vers la Foscor”. Included in the new releases are the XERIÓN cover “Na Noite Dos Tempos” which was originally included in the 2002 split Cd/Tape “XERIÓN vs. FOSCOR”; the 2008 track “The Ghost Sonata” which was exclusively composed for the never released “Toteninsel: A Tribute to Arnold Böcklin” album (which is available for free download); and the song “The Other’s Voice” which was originally included in the long-since sold out 2010 split 7” EP with NECROSADIST “Onslaught of Black Putrefaction”. The new material, together with the three full-length albums, 2004′s “Entrance to the Shadows’ Village”, 2007′s “The Smile of the Sad Ones” and 2009′s “Groans to the Guilty”, all three of which come with their individual booklets, can be found at https://foscor.bandcamp.com/music

Commenting on the decision to release previous material digitally, frontman Fiar said: “FOSCOR is entering a whole new phase of its existence, and many new fans have started following the band, fans that perhaps don’t really know our history, and it seemed like the ideal way to let them find out about us. When we released the three albums we offered them for free download for a month as a thank you to old and new fans, and we received an extraordinary response, with many people actually paying for the albums, rather than downloading them free, and that certainly gives us a lot of confidence for the future”.
As well as on BandCamp, the back catalogue, including the new material is also available to stream on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/FOSCORbcn

FOSCOR recently completed work on their fourth full-length album “Those Horrors Wither” and are currently looking for a label. Starting out with a sound that was traditional 90′s Black Metal, FOSCOR have, over the years, refined their style to include Doom and Dark Rock, majestic interludes and a healthy flirtation with Prog. Unafraid to experiment, FOSCOR have taken the unusual step of asking the guests set to appear on “Those Horrors Wither”, to write and perform connecting passages between the tracks, rather than a straightforward guest appearance on an individual track, something which the band feels has worked extremely well, and gives the album a sense of individuatly.

More information about FOSCOR can be found at http://www.foscor.com

The official video for the track “”I Tornà de les Cendres” from FOSCOR’S 2009 album “The Smile of the Sad Ones” can be seen below and at http://youtu.be/Z32MwaFvEio

 

 

Additional Information
BandCamp: https://foscor.bandcamp.com/music
Web: http://www.foscor.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foscor.official
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/foscor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FOSCOR_Official
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/FOSCORbcn
Store: http://foscor.bigcartel.com
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/foscor
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/foscor
Management & Booking: http://www.thirdeyesociety.com
email: unai@thirdeyesociety.com
PR: http://patriciathomasmanagement.com/
email: patriciathomas@btinternet.com

 

 

Sweden’s VANHELGA  have today unveiled a video for a track from their upcoming third full-length release “Längtan”.  The track chosen to feature in the video is “Där Evigheten Inväntar Mig”, and the video itself tells the disturbing story of a man who wakes up in a confused state and with the dawning realization that he probably tortured and killed his best friend the day before.  The video for “Där Evigheten Inväntar Mig” can be seen below and on VANHELGA’s YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/N1fiCNTUi3I

 

With artwork by the Spanish artist Juanjo Castellano, “Längtan” is set to hit the streets through Germany’s  Art of Propaganda label on the 28th April, and later in vinyl format through Sweden’s Carnal Records.  The twelve-track album, whose title means “Longing”, explores the concept that death is not to be feared, but rather longed for, because it is the beginning of true freedom,  where man is no longer shackled by what society finds acceptable.   Track listing for “Längtan”, which is available to pre-order at http://www.art-of-propaganda.de/shop/index.php as follows:

1. Svartsint ömhet
2. Där evigheten inväntar mig
3. Evig förändring
4. Med mina andetag
5. Joyless
6. Låt snön falla
7. Kärleksförklaring
8. Vansinnesvardag
9. Narkotisk uppgivenhet
10. Eternal night
11. Förbarma
12. Exploderande känslostorm

VANHELGA was formed in Linköping, Sweden, in 2001, as a vehicle for its musicians to express their innermost thoughts and feelings outside the strictures of their other projects.  Today’s lineup consists of founder J. Ottosson, aka 145188 (ex-LIFELOVER (live session musician), ex-SKOGSTRON) on Bass, Guitars and Vocals, J. Gabrielson (ESKAPI, ex-LIVELOVER) on Vocals, J. Ejnarsson (TAKETH) and Wadström (ex-SKOGSTRON) on guitars and D. Franzén on drums.  The band’s music sits comfortably within both the Black Metal and the Depressive Black Metal genres, but with a distinctive sound that sets it apart from both, and which has brought praise from both press and fans alike.

The track “Där Evigheten Inväntar Mig”, which  means “Where Eternity Awaits Me”, was released last month as a digital single and can be heard below and on VANHELGA’s BandCamp page at http://vanhelga.bandcamp.com/album/d-r-evigheten-inv-ntar-mig

 

VANHELGA are set to play a series of dates in their native Sweden in May along with HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY and KALL.  Routing as follows:

21 May:   Club Medusa, Stockholm
22 May:   L’Orient,  Linköping
23 May:  Göta Hof, Gothenburg
24 May:  Bryggeriet, Motala

In October they will once again team up with HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY for some shows in Germany alongside AGRYPNIE.  Routing as follows:

22 Oct:  Steinbruch Theater, Darmstadt
24 Oct:  From Hell, Erfurt
25 Oct:  K17, Berlin
26 Oct:  Bambi Galore, Hamburg

More information about VANHELGA can be found at http://www.vanhelga.com

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Website: http://www.vanhelga.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/officialvanhelga
Bandcamp:   http://www.vanhelga.bandcamp.com
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/channel/ucsk8dy_sxnodilbohh9xmng
Store:  http://vanhelga.bigcartel.com/
Reverbnation:  http://www.reverbnation.com/vanhelga
Myspace:  https://myspace.com/vanhelga218
Band Contact & Booking:  patriciathomas@btinternet.com or 145188@gmail.com
Management & PR:  patriciathomas@btinternet.com
Art  of Propaganda: http://www.art-of-propaganda.de/
Info and Promo:  info@art-of-propaganda.de

 

 

 

 

 

With their new  album “Längtan” due for release on the 28th of April, Sweden’s VANHELGA have today revealed more information on what will be their third full-length release.  Taking longing and death as its theme, “Längtan” explores the idea that death is not an ending, but the beginning of a life free from all the strictures imposed on us by society, and that death should be something to be longed for, rather than feared.  The album will be released in CD format on the Art of Propaganda label on the 28th April, and in vinyl format on Carnal Records on a date as yet to be confirmed.  Artwork for “Längtan” is by the Spanish artist Juanjo Castellano.

Tracklisting as follows:

1. Svartsint ömhet
2. Där evigheten inväntar mig
3. Evig förändring
4. Med mina andetag
5. Joyless
6. Låt snön falla
7. Kärleksförklaring
8. Vansinnesvardag
9. Narkotisk uppgivenhet
10. Eternal night
11. Förbarma
12. Exploderande känslostorm

The track “Där Evigheten Inväntar Mig”, which  means “Where Eternity Awaits Me”, was released last month as a digital single and can be heard below and on VANHELGA’s BandCamp page at http://vanhelga.bandcamp.com/album/d-r-evigheten-inv-ntar-mig

 

Formed in Linköping, Sweden, in 2001, VANHELGA’s lineup consists of founder J. Ottosson, aka 145188 (ex-LIFELOVER (live session musician), ex-SKOGSTRON) on Bass, Guitars and Vocals, J. Gabrielson (ESKAPI, ex-LIVELOVER) on Vocals, J. Ejnarsson (TAKETH) and Wadström (ex-SKOGSTRON) on guitars and D. Franzén on drums.   The word “vanhelga” means “profane” and is a clear indication of the type of music the band plays.  To define their style as “Black Metal” would be too simplistic because VANHELGA is a band that can be cold and sinister and at the same time produce distinctive melodies and moments of melancholia, all melded together in the perfect musical expression of the dark thoughts that inhabit the minds and souls of its creators.

VANHELGA are set to play a series of dates in their native Sweden in May along with HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY and KALL.  Routing as follows:

21 May:   Club Medusa, Stockholm
22 May:   L’Orient,  Linköping
23 May:  Göta Hof, Gothenburg
24 May:  Bryggeriet, Motala

Whilst in October they will once again team up with HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY for some shows in Germany alongside AGRYPNIE.  Routing as follows:

22 Oct:  Steinbruch Theater, Darmstadt
24 Oct:  From Hell, Erfurt
25 Oct:  K17, Berlin
26 Oct:  Bambi Galore, Hamburg

More information about VANHELGA can be found at http://www.vanhelga.com

The official video for the track “Välkommen In”, from VANHELGA’s 2003 EP “Sommar”,  can be seen below and at http://youtu.be/aApFa7wVpvk

 

Tracks from all of VANHELGA’s releases can be heard below and at http://soundcloud.com/vanhelga-official/sets/vanhelga

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Website: http://www.vanhelga.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/officialvanhelga
Bandcamp:   http://www.vanhelga.bandcamp.com
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/channel/ucsk8dy_sxnodilbohh9xmng
Store:  http://vanhelga.bigcartel.com/
Reverbnation:  http://www.reverbnation.com/vanhelga
Myspace:  https://myspace.com/vanhelga218
Band Contact & Booking:  patriciathomas@btinternet.com or 145188@gmail.com
Management & PR:  patriciathomas@btinternet.com
Art  of Propaganda: http://www.art-of-propaganda.de/
Info and Promo:  info@art-of-propaganda.de

 

With  only a few days to go before  the release of their sixth full-length album, the unstoppable Norwegians that form TROLLFEST have debuted a video for “Kaptein Kaos”, the title track from the album which is due to hit the streets on NoiseArt records on the 28th March in Europe and the 8th April in North America.  The track was chosen because, according to the band, it represents the overall feel of the new album – fun, chaos and utter madness, and shows the band’s Troll personas being employed to formulate a special brew by the Kaos Corp, the company owned by the time-travelling hero Kaptein Kaos himself.  Helped along by their friend Bok’n’Brusetruse (aka Jon Erik Bokn of DEAD TROOPER and METAL MILITIA), the resourceful Trolls go through various failed attempts before coming up with a new super drink that will change the history of mankind.  The Kaptein Kaos video can be seen below and at http://youtu.be/faV-_t_f_V0

 

Whilst not abandoning the influence of Scandinavian Folk Music and Eastern European influence that has coloured the band’s music, which TROLLFEST define as True Norwegian Balkan Metal, the musicians have undoubtedly grown in skill over more than a decade, and have rounded out their sound with Tango and Asian rhythms and richer melody lines and an even larger plethora of traditional and modern instruments. Recorded at the dUb Studio in Oslo and at the “Trollskogen Recording Facilities”, the album has been mixed by Endre Kirkesola.  Once again the fantastic artwork that depicts the crazy characters that inhabit TROLLFEST’s imagination is by Swedish Cartoonist Jonas Darnell and the design is by Terje Johnsen, both long-time collaborators of the band.

TROLLFEST recently released the track “Ave Maria” from the album as a digital single, and “Kaptein Kaos”, will be released in both limited edition digipak CD/DVD and 12″ vinyl versions, and is available to pre-order now from http://trollfest.bigcartel.com/ where different versions of special fan packs are also available.  T

Track listing for “Kaptein Kaos”  is as follows:
1.  Trolltramp
2.  Kaptein Kaos
3.  Vulkan
4.  Ave Maria
5.  Filzlaus Verkündiger
6.  Die Grosse Echsen
7.  Seduction suit no.21
8.  Solskinnsmedisin
9.  Troll Gegen Mann
10. Sagn Om Stein
11. Renkespill
12. Kinesisk Alkymi
13. Døden banker på
Bonus DVD (digipack edition)
1.  The making of Kaptein Kaos (37min)
2.  Heidenfest Tour video (39 min)
3.  Paganfest Tour video (35 min)

To mark the release of the album TROLLFEST will be embarking on a 16 date headlining tour of Europe in April, which the band have dubbed the “Kaos Over Europe Tour”,  supported by FINSTERFORST and CRYPTIC FOREST.  Routing as follows:

18.04. Berlin (DE) – Blackland
19.04. Erfurt (DE) – From Hell
20.04. Tilburg (NL) – Little Devil
21.04. London (UK) – Underworld
22.04. Paris (FR) – Glazart
23.04. Tolouse (FR) – Connexion
24.04. Pratteln (CH) – Mini-Z7
25.04. Aalen (DE) – Rock It
26.04. Lichtenfels (DE) – Ragnarök
27.04. Romagnano Sesia (IT) – Rock n Roll Arena
28.04. München (DE) – Backstage Club
29.04. Wien (AT) – Escape Metalcorner
30.04. Darmstadt (DE) – Steinbruch Theater
01.05. Hamburg (DE) – Große Freiheit
02.05. Eernegem (BE) – B 52 Music Club
03.05. Oberhausen (DE) – Helvete

More information about TROLLFEST can be found on the band’s website at http://www.trollfest.com

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Web Site: http://www.trollfest.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/trollfestofficial
WebShop: http://trollfest.bigcartel.com/
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/trollfest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrollfesT_Band
Blog: http://trollfest.blogg.no/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/trollfest
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/trollfest

Photo by Randi S. H. Veland

KARISMA RECORDS, the Norwegian label that specialises in the more Progressive side of the music spectrum, has inked a deal with Jazz Prog Rock duo OSSICLES and is set to release a follow up to the band’s 2012 debut  “Mantlepiece”.  The band will be entering the studio in the summer to begin recording and it is expected that the new, as yet untitled album, will hit the streets towards the end of the year.

Formed in 2011 by cousins Sondre Veland on drums, percussion, vocals and keyboards, and Bastian Veland on guitars, vocals, bass, upright bass and keyboards, OSSICLES is, according to the band, a constantly evolving project that is influenced by genres as varied as jazz, rock, avent-garde,ambient, noise and minimalism.   “Mantlepiece”, which was a double album released on OSSICLES’ own label, No Weather Records,  was largely written when the two cousins were around the ages of 16/17, but also includes later material, as well as tracks written during the recording process.  On the strength of this release OSSICLES was invited by MIKE PORTNOY to appear at the Progressive Nation at Sea Festival in 2014, an opportunity the band sadly had to turn down due to the high cost of travelling to the USA to join the ship in Miami.

More information about OSSICLES can be found on the band’s website at http://ossiclesband.wix.com/ossicles

Photo by Randi S. H. Veland

The official video for the track “Watersoul II” from OSSICLES debut album “Mantlepiece” can be seen below and at http://youtu.be/kqGgVtOQW9k

 

Tracks from Karisma Records releases can be heard below and at http://soundcloud.com/karisma-records/sets/karisma-records

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Ossicles Website:  http://ossiclesband.wix.com/ossicles
Ossicles Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ossicles
Band contact and booking:  ossiclesband@gmail.com
Promo and other information: post@karismarecords.no
Karisma Records: http://www.karismarecords.no/
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/
Karisma Records KlickTrack Store:  http://shop.klicktrack.com/karismadarkessencerecords
Karisma Records on  SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/karisma-records
Karisma Records on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karismarecords
Karisma Records Webshop: http://karismarecords.bigcartel.com/