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Norwegian noise-rockers Årabrot delve into dark pop on Norwegian Gothic

Norwegian noise-rock band Årabrot have undergone many personnel changes over their two-decade career, and front man, composer, and sole constant member Kjetil Nernes has brought forth a different phase in the group’s sound with every one. In recent years, his main collaborator has been Swedish-Norwegian electronic producer and singer Karin Park; they’re also a married […]

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Wardruna’s runes ain’t made for Nazis

Wardruna’s fifth full-length was due last June, but due to the pandemic, the Norwegian neo-prog-folk band bumped the release date of Kvitravn to this January. Though Wardruna were born out of Norway’s black-metal scene—two of the band’s three founders, Einar Selvik and Gaahl, are veterans of the influential Gorgoroth—they’re also inspired by Norse folk traditions, […]

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Norwegian shapeshifters Ulver remain as literary, elusive, and dark as ever on Flowers of Evil

Norway’s Ulver debuted in 1993 as a howling black-metal outfit, but since then front man and composer Kristoffer Rygg has steered his ship into such different waters you can hardly say it’s going a-Viking anymore. (If you want to hear Ulver at their heaviest since their early days, I’d recommend their collaborations with Sunn O))), […]

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Okkultokrati alchemize grimy punk and metal into a dark triumph on La Ilden Lyse

Oslo six-piece Okkultokrati cast a net into rock’s grittiest, dankest seas and dredge up an electrifying hybrid sound: they twist influences from heathen black metal and thrash together with hedonistic rock ’n’ roll and furious crust punk. Much of the band’s music seems designed for underground shows, drag races, and various more questionable activities, but […]

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Jakob Ogawa makes bubbly bedroom pop

Twenty-one-year-old Norwegian singer-songwriter Jakob Ogawa titled his 2017 debut EP Bedroom Tapes (Diamond Club), and that’s a pretty good summary of both his methods and his interests. Ogawa’s music is warm, woozy indie pop designed as a soundtrack for cozy loving—think Belle & Sebastian lounging with an extremely chilled-out Pizzicato Five. His first single, 2016’s […]