Posts Tagged ‘Costin Chioreanu’


HELHEIM, whose recently released album “Rignir” has been receiving plaudits from fans and reviewers alike, have just released a video for the title track.  The video, by Romanian multi-media artist Costin Chioreanu can be seen below and at

The album itself, whose title “Rignir” means rain, draws its inspiration from the weather in HELHEIM’s home town of Bergen, notorious for its high rainfall, and, once again the band  has turned to their Norse heritage when writing the poems that form the lyrics for  the album,  using the ljóðaháttr, an Old Norse alliterative verse form used largely in the Eddas.

Regarding the video for “Rignir” and the band’s cooperation with Chioreanu, HELHEIM’s V’gandr had this to say:

Collaborating with Costin has been an absolute honour and pleasure. The way he interpreted the song is nothing short of perfection and we tip our hats to the gentleman. He used our audio and lyrical canvas to paint the emotions we were trying to create. The circle is complete.

Chioreanu, who has a long history of working with Dark Essence Records, and their sister-label Karisma Records, spoke about what it was like to work with HELHEIM, a band he had long-admired:

I first discovered Helheim in the late 90’s after I found a bootleg cassette copy of their “Av norrøn ætt” album on the black market  in post-communist Romania. Their music has been around me since then and I’ve always been an admirer of how they have evolved.  After more than 20 years we finally met in Bucharest (coincidentally the same city where I first came across their music) to film a video, and we had such an amazing time doing it.  

I would also like to say that my best videos and artworks are, strangely or not, those which I make for musicians who are true to themselves and enmesh perfectly with their work. Then, the vibe brought by our collaboration is warm and friendly. It’s as if the Universe wants to salute their dedication through my work, and such is the case with this music video, when everything in the making process was so magic al that I felt the work was creating itself. 

Having just completed a European tour, upcoming live appearances for HELHEIM are as follows:

01 Jun:  John Dee, Oslo, Norway (with VULTURE INDUSTRIES & MADDER MORTEM)
16 Aug: Flytten, Haugesund, Norway (with SLEGEST & ACÂRASH)
09 Nov: Unholy Congregation Pt II, De Qubus, Oudenaarde, Belgium

“Rignir” is available in CD, Blue Vinyl (limited to 500 copies), and Digital formats, from all the usual retailers and streaming services as well as directly from Dark Essence Records at the following:

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Afterlife Romance PR

Fans of Dark Essence Records will be familiar with the name of Romanian artist COSTIN CHIOREANU whose artwork has frequently been used by both the label and its artists, but it may come as news  to some that Chioreanu is himself a musician, and that he has joined forces with the Greek singer SOFIA SARRI to release their debut album “Afterlife Romance”.  An album which, needless to say, Dark Essence Records was quick to snap up.

Through his art, Chioreanu has explored various corners of the musical underground, ranging  from melodic crust punk to black metal to avant-garde. Whilst sometimes using his vocals to convey strange torments, his main tool has always been the guitar, making use of a wide range of effects to create never-before heard  sounds. He has collaborated with the likes of Rune Eriksen of MAYHEM, AURA NOIR and EARTH ELECTRIC, who he cites as a huge inspiration, and his solo projects have shown a marked  leaning towards the magical, atmospheric side,  interwoven with waves of light and darkness, which have led to collaborations with the likes of  DAVID TIBET and ATTILA CSIHAR.

The unearthly way in which SOFIA SARRI builds her vocals owe a lot to the Island of Crete, from whence she hails.  Its  vivid blue seas, rough mountains and cedar forests have played a crucial

role in creating her unearthly vocal style.  Like Choireanu, Sarri  has also shown a penchant for metal and avant-garde, but the breadth her artistic vision and talent means that she has never had to remain wedded to any one particular style.  She has ranged far and wide, recording with artists  associated with free jazz, improvisation and polyphonic choirs before beginning a solo career with her 2017 album “Euphoria” which revealed urban ambient thrills and a remarkable fragility from which she would escape with wild abandon when least expected.

So what exactly are we to expect from a collaboration between a singer whose vocals sound as if she could have come from another dimension, and a multi media artist who is a devotee of avant-garde and whose work has been used by bands such as AT THE GATES, GHOST, SIGH and VULTURE INDUSTRIES to name but a few?  Well, “unusual” is the first word that springs to mind, and, without giving too much away, “Afterlife Romance” has been cleverly  crafted to mimic a Lo-fi production that makes use of the tension and the eeriness of horror movie soundtracks of the ’70s or ’80s and which, carried by the listener’s nostalgia-based imagination, takes us to a place somewhere between a  cult peculiarity and a romantic enchanted experiment.

Chioreanu and Sarri had this to say about their work together on “Afterlife Romance”:


“Afterlife Romance” is the album in which all the musical and conceptual experiences I have so far built came together, and I am beyond excited with the result.  However, without Sofia’s gorgeous vocals and her fabulous talent in arranging lyrics and metrics,  the result would have been just half of what you will hear. Since I started working with her, and with engineer and producer George Bokos, a new, amazing dimension of magic opened in my life. The final result of our collaboration is very consistent and coherent on all levels, yet extremely complex in terms of musical approach.

The musical fluidity and the overall metamorphosis which describe “Afterlife Romance” bring up a couple of issues when it comes to the genre inclusion of this piece, and so I thought finding a pretty open-minded label for this record would be pretty difficult nowadays. But thanks to the almighty Universe, Dark Essence Records exists and keeps the flame alive in terms of believing in, and doing what it takes to produce music that doesn’t necessarily fit in with any pre-conceived genre definition. I am extremely happy that we found the best home for us, and I know we all aim for the same goal, which is solid music made to stand the test of time.


When Costin invited me to sing on the album I tried to plunge deep into the eerie and complex world he had created.  I attempted to embody the storyline’s characters with my voice and tried to narrate it with my lyrics as close to what Costin had imagined all this as possible. Instead of just doing some guest vocals I ended up co-composing and contributing my personal input in order to make an album that adequately represents both of our perspectives in music and art. Writing music is always a mind blowing experience for me, especially when two souls manage to vibrate in synch in different parts of our little planet while floating in this vast universe.

We had an amazing time during the entire process, while exchanging ideas and working on the material, and of course during the actual recordings at Grindhouse Studios in Athens,  and it is with great excitement that we are finally ready to present this album to the world thanks to Dark Essence Records. Being a fan of the Norwegian avant-garde/metal/dark music scene since a very tender age, I am more than thrilled to be part of the roster of a label that nourishes and represents this kind of sound. Till October then!

To complement the music itself, Chioreanu will create different illustrations for each song on “Afterlife Romance”,  and these will form part of the accompanying booklet. The original artwork itself will appear at exhibitions in various historical locations, art galleries and music festivals during 2019 and 2020.

Full details of the album and exhibitions will be available in the run-up to the release of “Afterlife Romance”, which is expected to be in October of this year.

More information about Costin Chioreanu can be found at and about Sofia Sarri at or on Facebook at

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Madder Mortem VideoPR

With their seventh full-length album “Marrow” set for release on Dark Essence Records on the 21 September, Norwegian Alternative Metallers MADDER MORTEM have released a new video for a track from the album.

Titled “Far From Home” the symbol-laden video is by the noted Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu  and can be seen below and at

About “Far From Home”, the band commented  that the track “grew out of an early morning’s vocals idea, and into a very Madder song. Everything we love is here: contrasts and melody, fragility and heaviness, anguish and hope. The lyrics are about a long night’s uneasy journey into day, about the gut-wrenching worry that rides on the back of truly caring for someone”.

Regarding the video itself, and the collaboration with Chioreanu, who has a long-standing history with Dark Essence Records and the Norwegian music scene, Madder Mortem went on to say:

“When we approached artist Costin Chioreanu about creating the video for “Far From Home”, we gave him the music, the lyrics, and otherwise an absolutely free rein. The result is his unique interpretation of the song and the feeling, and when we first saw it, we were all tearing up. Costin gave the song another dimension, and we are so grateful to him for expanding our music into the visual realm”.

Madder Mortem New PR

As an album, the eleven-track “Marrow” is complex, covering a wide variety of genres and sounds that range from moments of folk/prog to avant-garde.  From delicate ballads to harsh metal, it  is more doomy  than its predecessor “Red in Tooth and Claw”, as well as being at times both heavier, and catchier.  It is, according to the band “about sticking to the essence of yourself.  Your ideas, your thoughts, your values”.

“Marrow” comes in CD Digipak, Digital and Limited Edition transparent green vinyl and is available from all the usual sellers, or can be ordered from the following:

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Virus PR4

When renowned Romanian multi-media artist Costin Chioreanu says of his new video for  pioneering experimental rockers VIRUS “I went beyond all my boundaries and I have a feeling I touched a bit of insanity” you know that it’s going to be something unique.  Having made his mark not only as a graphic artist, but also as a stage artist, musician, animator and movie maker at a relatively young age, Chioreanu’s new animated video, for the track “Rogue Fossil” from VIRUS’ upcoming album “Memento Collider”, is the latest in a series of collaborations with artists from Karisma Records, and its sister label Dark Essence Records.  The video is making its exclusive debut on the following:

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Set for release on Karisma Records on the 3rd of June, “Memento Collider” was recorded at the Amper Tone Studios in Oslo and includes a guest performance from VOIVOD’s  Dan Mongrain.  It is, without a doubt, an album that demonstrates the true essence of progressive rock.

Artwork for “Memento Collider” is by the Trine + Kim Design Studio (  Tracklisting on the six-track album as follows:

  1. Afield
  2. Rogue Fossil
  3. Dripping Into Orbit
  4. Steamer
  5. Gravity Seeker
  6. Phantom Oil Slick

Virus Album Artwork PR

For over a decade now VIRUS have maintained their status as one of the most unique bands to have emerged from Norway’s burgeoning progressive music scene, and “Memento Collider” sees the band returning to their original three-piece lineup of Carl-Michael “Czral” Eide on guitars and vocals, Petter “Plenum” Berntsen on bass and Einar “Einz” Sjursø on drums.  Their otherworldly sound,  replete with flowing bass lines, experimental riffs and groovy rhythms, is still the epitome of all that is contained in the definition of “progressive” and “experimental”, and with this, their  fourth full-length release, VIRUS have come storming back with an album that is also catchy and melodic.

A pre-listening session for  VIRUS’ “Memento Collider” will be held at Kniven  in Oslo on the 26th May, whilst the release concert will take place at Pokalen in Oslo on the 24th June.  Tickets available from

Karisma Records recently debuted the track “Steamer” from VIRUS’ “Memento Collider” and it can be heard at

More information about VIRUS can be found on their website at or on Facebook at

“Memento Collider” is available to pre-order in both CD and 12″ vinyl format from  as well as in both formats or digital download from

Fan-filmed footage of VIRUS performing the track “Rogue Fossil” from “Memento Collider” live  in New York can be seen below and at


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