Today, Metalhead Community Team is putting a spotlight on the Norwegian black metal music scene. We asked Stein Akslen, from the Norwegian black metal band Minneriket, to share with us his top 10 list and we put them together for our readers to find out more about these influential bands.
Norwegian Romantic Black Metal band Minneriket is the work of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Stein Akslen, who created the project for as much a philosophical and spiritual channeling as a musical outlet. Drawing on influences as various as punk, goth, and classical yet steeped in the intensity of the early Norwegian black metal scene, Minneriket returns in 2021 to present 50 Shades of Blackness.
Click here to read Minneriket – Sorg og Savn (2021) Song Review
Click here to read Metalhead Community Exclusive Interview with Stein Akslen
Minneriket - Sorg og savn
Credits:Minneriket is Stein AkslenAll field recordings recorded in NorwayAll music produced and mixed by MinneriketMastered by Niklas Kveldulfsson
Compositions, lyrics, lead vocals, guitars and additional instruments: Stein Akslen
10 - Darkthrone
Darkthrone was born in the province of Akershus in 1986. At the time of its foundation, it only had a couple of members: Gylve Fenriz Nagell, drummer and vocalist, and Anders Risberget who would be the guitarist of the band, later replaced by Ted Skjellum (also known as "Nocturno Culto"). After their debut, they changed their sound, and now it was full of gutturals and a lot of speed in the execution, this managed to establish them as legends of Norwegian black metal. Since 1996, the band has not performed live, mainly due to Fenriz's refusal, however, Nocturno Culto has performed with other bands. Darkthrone is still active and is considered a pioneer of the genre along with other quite influential bands. Their latest release is Eternal Hails...... (2021)
Darkthrone - Rust
9 - Satyricon
Like many other Norwegian black metal bands, Satyricon has 2 members, Satyr (Sigurd Wongraven) the vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, and bassist, and Frost (Kjetil-Vidar Haraldstad) drummer. This band was founded in Oslo during the year 1990 but its first members did not continue in the project, but thanks to Satyr and Frost it is still active today. They are the pioneers of the second wave of black metal in Norway. The fame of this band became international, and many people became interested in the black metal movement coming from Norway. The band had a couple of successful tours in North America. November 2017 saw the release of their latest album which took years to form due to Satyr battling a brain tumor. Their latest release is Deep Calleth Upon Deep (2017)
Satyricon - Hvite Krists Død
8 - Emperor
Emperor was formed in 1991 in the city of Notodden, and has been active irregularly. Their first period goes from 1991 to 2001, then from 2005 to 2007, they resumed one year from 2013 to 2014, and finally from 2016 to the present. They are considered a great influence in the genre due to the musical abilities of its members. Emperor's lineup goes like this: Ihsahn (Vegard Sverre Tveitan) guitarist and vocalist, Samoth (Tomas Thormodsæter Haugen) guitarist, and Trym (Kai Johnny Mosaker) drummer. The band had their last album release in 2001 when they released Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise. The band has been at the center of several controversies, from inciting a fire at a church with great historical (and monetary) value, to performing with a convicted murderer.
Emperor - I Am the Black Wizards
7 - Dimmu Borgir
Dimmu Borgir is a symphonic black metal band that was founded in 1993 in Jessheim. This band has undergone several lineup changes throughout its history, with the exception of 2 members who are Shagrath (Stian Tomt Thoresen) their vocalist, and Silenoz (Sven Atle Kopperud) their guitarist, currently also part of the official members of the band since 2000 Galder (Tom Rune Andersen) who is the lead guitarist. The discography of this band is impressive, and this has made them a referent of black metal in their country. The last album was released in 2018 with the title, Eonian.
Dimmu Borgir - Stormblåst 1996
6 - Mayhem
Surely you already know Mayhem, and is that since its inception in Oslo in 1984 has managed to be a pioneer of the genre, and has achieved countless awards, although it has also been involved in scandals and tragedy, and that one of its members (Euronymous, Øystein Aarseth) was brutally murdered by another musician of the genre and former member of his band, Varg Vikernes (Kristian Vikernes, Louis Cachet) which led to the separation of the band. After a break, the oldest members of the band decided to resume and created true black metal gems that influenced many other bands. Their performances are known for being dark and very visual, and their sound is rough and energetic. Currently, the band members are Attila Csihar, Necrobutcher (Jørn Stubberud), Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg), Teloch (Morten Bergeton Iversen), and Ghul (Charles Hedger). Daemon was their most recent album which was released during 2019.
Mayhem - Illuminate Eliminate
5 - Taake
The black metal band Taake was formed in Bergen during the year 1993 under the name Thule, but soon after it would take its current name. It is still active with only one member, Ulvhedin Hoest (Ørjan Stedjeberg) (vocals, guitars). From the beginning and up to the present, Hoest has been the only constant member of the band. Since their beginnings they have been strongly influenced to become the national pride of their country, respecting the essence of true Norwegian black metal, and they have succeeded in doing so. Many of their performances have caused controversy, but they stay true to what they want to create for their audience. Their most recent recording work came during 2021, a compilation album with the title, Avvik.
Taake - Nattestid Ser Porten Vid 1
4 - Skitliv
Skitliv was founded by Maniac, former vocalist of Mayhem and former Shining vocalist Niklas Kvarforth during 2005. Although they describe their genre as black metal, they have also said that their music is much darker and melancholic than any other work they have been involved in. The band consists of Maniac (Sven Erik Kristiansen) as vocalist and guitarist, Niklas Kvarforth (Niklas Olsson) as guitarist, Dag Otto on drums and Ingvar Magnusson on guitars. They have very few albums, and the most recent was released in 2009 under the name Skandinavisk Misantropi.
Skitliv - Skandinavisk Misantropi (Official Video)
3 - Gorgoroth
Gorgoroth was formed in Bergen in 1992 and its name refers to a fictional place that exists in Mordor, a fictional city located in the books of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. The official members currently in the band are Infernus (Roger Tiegs) (guitar), Tomas Asklund (drums), and Atterigner (Stefan Todorović) (vocals). The most recent title in their discography is Instinctus Bestialis and was released during 2015.
Gorgoroth - Katharinas Bortgang
2 - Burzum
Burzum is a musical project that was created in 1991 by Varg Vikernes. The name is inspired by The Lord of the Rings, specifically in the black language spoken in Mordor created by J. R. R. Tolkien. This project had a huge impact in Norway and has been considered as the driving force of black metal in the country. Burzum has only one member who created true anthems and iconic black metal discographies. Varg Vikernes (Kristian Vikernes, Louis Cachet, Sometimes credited as "Count Grishnackh") served a long prison sentence, for murdering a member of the band Mayhem (Euronymous). The latest release in their discography is Thulêan Mysteries, released in 2020.
Burzum - Det Som En Gang Var
1 - Trelldom
Trelldom is a band that was formed during 1992 in Sunnfjord, Vestland. The members of this band are Gaahl (Kristian Eivind Espedal) (vocalist), Sir (bassist), and Valgard (guitarist). Although in the beginning the band was founded with only one member (Gaahl), this line-up has been maintained for many years. Their albums have always been well received by the public and black metal fans. Til Minne... is their most recent album which was released in 2007.
Trelldom - Steg
Please feel free to comment below your favorites, share opinions, give feedback and also provide more detailed information about the bands! Thanks for reading!
Top 10 Norwegian Black Metal bands by Stein Akslen Spotify Playlist
Listen to Metalhead Community's Monsters of Metal Underground playlist on Spotify