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Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Norwegian Metal Scene

Photo of Chain Collector

Band Photo: Chain Collector (?)

Every week we dig deep into the metal scene and unearth three acts that are unsigned or simply less well known than many other bands. Today we look at a mecca for metal in general and black metal in particular: Norway.

The country has taken on a sort of mythical level of significance for underground enthusiasts, where one imagines a tribunal of grim metal masters passing judgment on what is and is not trve black metal, but despite that impression the country houses a variety of musicians that cover the musical spectrum and frequently cross genre lines. While anyone familiar with the scene will likely be well acquainted with the likes of Emperor or Mayhem, there are still plenty of unknown hard rock and metal bands hidden there to discover.

Beyond the Morninglight

Breaking ranks with the sound that has put Norway onto the extreme metal map, Beyond the Morninglight is a gloomy and atmospheric rock and roll act that drops the harsh vocals and many of the heavier elements. What it lacks in brutality it makes up for in an infectious version of metal-influenced rock that gets stuck in the head.

The band has two full-length releases now, a self-titled debut and the newly released “Liberation” album, which takes an even darker turn. You can stream both of the full Beyond the Morninglight releases through Misantrof ANTI-Records, or you can check out two songs, one from each album, in the clips below.

“By Midnight We Rock”
Beyond The Morninglight - By Midnight We Rock by HeavyHardMetalmania

“Open Your Eyes”

Stagnant Waters

This trio is actually an international act, with two members hailing from France, but vocalist Svein Egil Hatlevik is a Norwegian musician known for his work with Fleurety. There’s avant-garde metal, and then there’s Stagnant Waters, which is insane musical chaos on an extreme level.

Simply put, this is a black metal apotheosis and the sort of stuff that will crush souls and give nightmares audible form. Enjoy the devastating first track off the band’s self-titled album in the SoundCloud player below or check out our review of the album right here.

STAGNANT WATERS - Algae (2012) by HVNrecordings

Chain Collector

This Kristiansand based melodic death metal act features members who have been involved with Carpathian Forest, Neongod, Trail of Tears, Apostasy, and Green Carnation. Despite that pedigree, Chain Collector has never seemed to hit critical mass and become an underground hit overseas like many other Norwegian acts.

Chain Collector has an EP and two full-length albums under its belt, and has been fairly quiet since releasing “Unrestrained” back in 2008. The group had a minor resurgence on Facebook earlier this year but has since faded into silence again. While new material may or may not be coming down the line, you can find plenty of previous music online, or listen to “Tapping the Vein” of debut album “The Masquerade” below.

These are but three of many bands that call Norway home, and certainly there are more underground acts there worth hearing. Let us know what you thought of these picks, and feel free to offer up your Norwegian recommendations in the comments below. Check back again next Monday as we unearth more underground metal acts.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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2 Comments on "Unearthing The Norwegian Metal Underground"

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Anonymous Reader
1. chet the bringer writes:

3 pretty good bands, id probably lean a bit towards CC but all decent.
XF, would you label the blackmetal scene today in norway dead or just down.
As a blackmetal fan, i see the quanity of bands still relativly sufficent, but the quality lacking.
Good work here btw.

# Nov 19, 2012 @ 9:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Former Contributor

2. xFiruath writes:

I'd say maybe "changing" rather than either dead or down. There are still bands doing the same '95 era sound (complete with awful production), but plenty of the guys who used to do that sound are now trying new and different things, or blending new styles into black metal, which I like. I'm glad Ihsahn and Leprous and so on are taking the metal from that area into a different direction actually. "True Norwegian" style black metal had it's heyday, and I think it's time to head into new directions instead of staying stuck in the past.

# Nov 20, 2012 @ 2:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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