Norway has a history of producing metal bands in abundance. As the home to bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Enslaved, Darkthrone, Satyricon, and Mortiis, it’s no surprise the Scandinavian country is famous for being a leader in the black metal community.
Although they’re considered not as visceral as their fellow countrymen, Oslo five-piece Attan look to make an impression with their debut album – ‘End of’. Its nine songs is an expansive take on blackened hardcore with vicious blasts, such as opening track ‘The Burning Bush Will Not Be Televised’ and ‘In Our Image (This Is Love)’, being complemented by broader offerings like ‘Ghostwriters’ and the concluding title track. It makes for a thoroughly intense listening experience, one that thrives on the impulse and rage.
In the lead up to the release of ‘End of.’, we asked Attan about their favourite Norwegian bands, along with songs from each band to give you a taste of what Norway has to offer.
Årabrot – ‘Pygmalion’
Årabrot (aka Arabrot) have been around in different shapes and sounds since 2005, and their 8th full-length album ‘Who Do You Love?’ is being released later this week. Normally the vocals are done by the main man and only remaining original member, Kjetil Nernes, but on this track, it’s all about synth player Karin Park and her amazing emotional delivery – which left me absolutely flabbergasted.
Heave Blood & Die – ‘Plague’
Tromsø natives Heave Blood & Die blew us away with their latest album ‘Vol. II’, and album opener ‘Plague’ fully encapsulates the band’s essence with its cold, dark and bitter, yet playful sound. The fact that they’re still in their early twenties leaves us feeling old and bitter.
Kollwitz – ‘Impending’
Kollwitz are the second best band from Bodø, only beaten by Halvdan Sivertsen. Definitely one of the best live bands in Norway; if you leave one of their live shows unaffected, you are emotionally dead. This band will drag you down in the mud, and have you hum their riffs in the shower afterwards as you scrub off.
Sibiir – ‘These Rats We Deny’
Our best buds Sibiir bring the perfect combo of heavy, catchy and groovy riffs that will leave you in a neck brace the next day.
We absolutely love these guys, both musically and personally, and have done plenty of shows together. We also share rehearsal space, and sometimes take their girlfriends to concerts while they’re at home watching the kids.
The Good The Bad and The Zugly – ‘I Need A Place To Drink’
Self-proclaimed saviours of “Scandirock”, The Good The Bad & The Zugly (aka GBZ, aka Zugly) ask the ultimate quiz-question: What’s the fucking point? We don’t know. But one thing we do know: these guys don’t mix beer and IQ.
Barren Womb – ‘Crook Look’
Another band that’s not particularly known for mixing, well… anything with IQ. Double trouble noise punkers Barren Womb have been overflowing with fast riff-n-roll ditties since their debut in 2012, but on their latest album they’ve also taken it down a notch, which has made room for even more groove. ‘Crook Look’ is the opener from their latest album, ‘Old Money New Lows’ which came out earlier this year.
Die X Legend – ‘Haters Gonna Hate’
There is absolutely nothing to hate about Die X Legend (aka Die A Legend) from Tromsø; besides the sad fact that they don’t play live very often, that is.
Beaten To Death – ‘Don’t You Dare To Call Us Heavy Metal’
Call them the band with the best worst guitar sound in the world. Call them the band with the world’s nicest guy on bass. But don’t you dare call them Heavy Metal!
Motorpsycho – ‘Vortex Surfer’
Motorpsycho are Norwegian legends who released their debut album back in 1991, and have been spitting out monumental records ever since. They are in the studio right now, recording what I believe will be their 25th album(!).
‘Vortex Surfer’ is an old classic and one of my personal favourites, and this live recording from 1998 is a great example of their ability to combine vulnerability and melody with raw energy and desperation. In December 1999, Norwegian Radio’s youth channel (NRK P3) had their listeners nominate and vote for “the song of the millennium”, where the song with the most votes would be played non-stop for 24 hours from noon New Years Eve. To this day we still don’t know if Motorpsycho hacked the vote, or if it was their hordes of German fans, but for 24 hours the only song on NRK P3 was ‘Vortex Surfer’, beating “The Final Countdown” by a mile. What a way to kick-off a new millennium! Danke schön!
Ulver – ‘So Falls the World’
Ulver started as a black metal band in the 90’s, and have slowly evolved and morphed their sound into this delightful, dark electronic Roman emperor of an album, that draws as much inspiration from the 80’s as from the present. I absolutely love how this song progresses from an “end credits”-vibe to a full-on “car chase in the year 2525”.
‘End of.’ by Attan is released on 7th September on Fysisk Format. You can stream the album here.