I don’t really remember when exactly I got that passion for black arts but it all started in Bulgaria. Long story short, I dedicated a brief series to the Bulgarian black metal underground a while ago because I could not be more thankful for this amazing gift I’ve been granted with. At a later stage in my life, I lived for many years in Scandinavia where my interest for the Nordic culture & art evolved to such a high degree that my inspiration led me to creating this website. All hail Scandinavian black metal, right?
To make up for the great moments in Denmark, I decided to start a new sequence. The sole purpose of it is to collect some of the best releases falling under the common category “Scandinavian black metal” serving as an eye opener for both newcomers and experienced listeners.
Denmark has a lot to offer to an individual who creates, breathes or in other words lives through art. My journey of exploring the Danish underground scene began as soon as I landed at Copenhagen airport and is continuing to this date, despite it is outside the country. I guess, that has turned into an emotional attachment over the years. It will hardly ever break apart…
Anyway, it was an immense pleasure to pull a list with Danish bands, which will, by the way keep growing over time. Once again, I kept things narrowed down to high quality and underground only. So if you can’t see a particular band, it could be either for it is already mainstream, unapproved or.. I’ve forgotten to put it up in here.
[Updated November 2016] Woebegone Obscured – Deathscape MMXIV
Meanwhile, I was scavenging the underground, I bumped into this absolutely terrific band named Woebegone Obscured. Having been born in 2003, they released their debut album “Deathstination” around 4 years later. Overall, their discography is not rich in quantity but in quality. They have a bunch but truly astounding releases like “Deathscape MMXIV” below.
If you are on the look for traditional bm, look away! This is more of a blackened funeral doom nature. Rather slow, mournful and every once in a while clean in terms of singing. Nevertheless, “Deathscape MMXIV” is a profound piece of art that has been executed by musicians who successfully channel music, death and sorrow in one mind-obscuring treasure. It can be both unsettling and relaxing, even unpredictable to a certain degree.
Solbrud – Jærtegn
Beneath the surface of Copenhagen where only those who dare to step in, will bump into Solbrud. Their existence can be traced to 2009 when the band emerged and a year later brought their first demo. Somehow, Solbrud managed to slip unnoticed through my radars for a relatively long time.
My first encounter with their work was when their sophomore full-length “Jærtegn” crossed my way while scavenging for fresh blood on Bandcamp. I was taken by surprise due to the enormously potent music these guys are capable to produce. Considering their status of an underground band, Solbrud can easily outgo many of their colleagues for a couple of reasons. First, they demonstrate a keen eye (and ear) on building consisting material of the highest quality. Secondly, they pay a great attention to setting an overwhelming wave of emotions. While listening to “Jærtegn“, you will feel the cold breath of the very Death whispering poems of an impending demise.
Gespenst – Forfald
Hailing from Aarhus, Gespenst embodies the dark presence of two individuals. Although, the band itself is probably newborn, it was conceived by musicians whose experience is far more than its supposedly short lifespan. Don’t get me wrong, though! Gespenst is still around and I believe their debut album “Forfald” is just the beginning.
“Forfald” captured my attention with its exceptionally crisp sound quality, evocative atmosphere and spellbinding melodic riffs. The band’s name derives from the Danish word for phantom; that on its own outlines perfectly what their craft is all about. All tracks cast a deep shadow and a ghost-like shroud cloaks everything while listening. It is both enjoyable and to a certain degree makes you feel lost in the pitch-black dark where you know hideous beings dwell. Furthermore, you will gradually get aware that you are not welcome in their realm of shadows.
Eldjudnir – S/T
Eldjudnir are no strangers to SBM thanks to guest-author Astraeus of Cwealm who recommended their self-titled album recently. Unlike the above artists, this band forges their style in a non-traditional manner with an inclination towards avant-garde metal. The origins of the band can lead you all the way to 2004, although their very first EP sees the light of day much later. Anyway, these guys happen to have released a new album last month, so I decided to point the spotlight at it.
To get a good feel of this record, you’ve got to leave your prejudice behind and open your mind wide enough. Eldjudnir’s atypical approach mixing post-rock, progressive and experimental ingredients round up an album full of motion and unsettling atmosphere. If you are feeling bold to step outside your comfort zone, then go ahead and listen to the album below.
As it appears, you’ve just reached the end of the first Scandinavian black metal episode dedicated to Denmark. Don’t be disappointed, though cause there will be more coming. The list will grow slowly but surely because this musical genre is still alive and keeping the flame burning!