When you think of Norway, you probably think of fjords, the Northern Lights, its proud Viking heritage, and if you’re a football fan, probably Ole Gunnar Solskjær. It’s also one of the happiest countries in the world but you probably wouldn’t think as its music scene has a tendency to produce a host of angsty rock, punk and hardcore bands. Amongst them is Bergen “deathpop” mob Blood Command.
With a rising reputation that has taken the band across Europe and the UK, the quartet recently returned with ‘Return Of The Arsonist’, a fleeting-yet-effective EP that showcases their radiant mix of punk, hardcore, pop and metal. Even though they’re carrying the Norwegian flag wherever they go, they’re not the first band from the Nordic country to do so. They’re part of a burgeoning music scene.
To find out more it, Blood Command guitarist/keyboardist Yngve Andersen guides us through Norway’s essential bands.
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A heavy influence on many of the ‘Return Of The Arsonist’ songs, as well as many of our older songs. We have our own Alice Cooper in Norway with that band, they even have the same makeup and have stolen ‘And I like it, love it’ from Cooper. They don’t pretend not to though. That is their thing. Steal from old classics and get away with it. Great orchestra. Best people in the business. Lots of dad-humour. The bass player (Thomas Seltzer) has a TV- show in Norway and were nice enough to invite us to come play live. Blood Command have supported Turbonegro several times.
Of Grace And Hatred
Led by Bjarte Haugland, a long-time friend and bandmate (who has done numerous stand-ins on guitar in BC over the years). They call themselves “samuraicore”. No wonder, because it’s all over the place. Their latest record is out on my label Loyal Blood Records and produced by Tommy Akerholdt, who is the now drummer of Turbonegro and guitar player of Silver. Norway’s most underrated band by far and a pleasure to listen to in a sea of copycats.
Bergen’s new hope for heavy music. These kids have got it. Produced by me (Yngve Andersen) and released on Loyal Blood Records.
Norway’s own Drive Like Jehu. This is one of the coolest Norwegian bands ever and they made a big mark on the way I write riffs and songs. They also taught me it’s OK to suck live. Their shows were kickass 50% of the time, and “WTF was this shit?” the other 50% of the time. A punk band should have that effect on you, I think: “hey I could do that”. Mission accomplished JR Ewing. Well done.
The best punk band in the world. Hands down I have never seen or heard anything this cool ever since. The members went on to bands like Turbonegro, Gluecifer and Kvelertak, so that should say enough of the quality. You can say “this band is really good live”, but it will always in all eternity suck compared to Silver.
I produced this band’s 7” and upcoming album. The 7” is out on my label, Loyal Blood Records and they´re currently on tour with Metallica and Ghost in Europe, and that’s their first tour ever. Listen to the brass in the background. My signature.
I don’t know how to label this. Some goth-thing here, but its so well made. I would say Norway’s most thought through band. This song was the soundtrack for an amazing Danish movie called ‘Mørkets Øy’ (Island of Darkness).
This band’s self-titled album is the shit. Whatever you thought screamo was, it’s not it. This is it.
A power duo consisting of only drums and guitars. Their last record is a masterpiece and they are proud members of the Loyal Blood house.
We’re not really into this band, but if there is any justice left the whole world should know this song.
Bergen’s best and only good rock band ever, before we came along. The singer is probably one of Norway’s best producers.
Tragically hip in its time, but boy they can write tunes. We tried to copy this lead line for ‘Quitters Don’t Smoke’, but we never managed it.
La Casa Fantom
I don’t know much about this band besides that they rule! They only consist of bass and drums. ‘Stillheten Skriker’ is one of the most beautiful songs I´ve ever heard.
‘Return Of The Arsonist’ EP by Blood Command is out now on Fysisk Format.