08/07/2004: "Burzum, Shining, Slayer, King Diamond..."
~ Norwegian Church Draws Black Metal Fans ~
Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten is reporting that the restored stave church in Fantoft in Bergen, Norway has become a pilgrimage site for European black metal music fans who want to visit the site of the church-burning that Varg Vikernes (aka Count Grishnack) of the one-man band BURZUM was suspected of carrying out.
On the cover of the BURZUM EP album "Aske" (Ashes) one can see a 1992 picture of the charred ruins of Fantoft stave church. Varg Vikernes is serving a sentence for murder and church burnings.
Guide Arne Dyroy is not terribly thrilled about some of the new tourists to Fantoft.
"The church has received unwelcome attention because of the 1992 fire and we have had visitors wearing T-shirts with pictures of the burnt ruins. This is very disrespectful," Dyroy said.
Dyroy told NRK that many of the black metal tourists ask about Vikernes, and want to visit him in Bergen Prison. The church as also been visited by a Canadian film team making a documentary about heavy metal music.
Torgrim Oyre, music reviewer and assistant organizer of the annual Bergen metal festival Hole in the Sky, agrees that the Fantoft burning was a "classic event in Norwegian black metal history" but believes the pilgrimage is a phenomenon limited to "slightly nerdy" foreigners.
Dyroy told NRK that he kept a watchful eye on the black metal tourist crowd.
"As a rule they are very polite and easy-going but I am a bit on guard in case they try some kind of stunt," Dyroy said.
Several hundred people attended the consecration of Fantoft stave church after its reconstruction in 1997
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~ Swedish Black Metal'ers SHINING Call It A Day ~
Swedish black metallers SHINING have officially called it a day. The group's final album, "IV: The Eerie Cold", will be issued this winter through Avantgarde Music.
"I have achieved what very few others have with this ill child of mine and I sincerely hope that you will hate the new album," said SHINING mainman Kvarforth in a statement. "It's a legacy over eight years of complete disgust towards every single one of you fuckers out there and will for sure make you realize you can't do better, the chill along your back, this is where we will remain from now on, SHINING are no more."
In addition to ceasing all SHINING-related activities, Kvarforth has also decided to end his work with one of today's most respected underground record labels, Selbstmord Services.
Commented Kvarforth: "The firm has been hanging in fragile threads the past two years. I tried to do something about it but failed gigantically, most of our artists are now signed to other labels though, so expect no fucking mercy from these harmful units the coming months! I want to send my deepest gratitude to all of you who supportred Selbstmord Services 'till the end, no fucking matter what. I owe you all... You know who you are."
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~ NECROPHAGIA's KILLJOY Joins Denmark's FORLIS ~
NECROPHAGIA mainman Killjoy has joined the Danish ambient band FORLIS as the group's new vocalist. "You can expect nothing but haunting and mellow music from this new and improved lineup!" reads a message on the band's official web site.
FORLIS will release their first full-length album on Baphomet Records sometime during 2005. The disc will feature the "Hellseeker" promo CD along with 5-6 new songs with Killjoy on vocals.
The "Hellseeker" promo CD was recorded and mixed at Hellpig Studio between September 2003 and March 2004 and features the following lineup: Svest (guitars, keyboards and whispers) and Vuml (bass and drums).
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~ Guitarist JEFF HANNEMAN Talks About His Favorite SLAYER Album "Reign in Blood" ~
In a recent interview with KNAC.com, SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman was asked to name his favorite SLAYER album. "I hate to say it, but probably 'Reign In Blood'," Jeff replied. "Not just because of what other people think of it - it's more like at that time that album was stamped into my memory because things were really starting to change for us and things were starting to get professional and serious, and that's the first time we had a tour bus and a real record label. And we put that album down… I don't know how long it took us, but everything was done, everything was fast, everything was good. In fact, you've probably heard this, but our biggest scare on that record is that once we got finished with it we checked the time and it was like 28 minutes. We were like, 'Holy shit. Too short!' [Laughs] So we sat there with [producer Rick] Rubin and thought, 'Does it sound great? Yes. Do we all like it? Yes. Fuck it!' [Laughs]"
With regards to the songwriting process in SLAYER, Hanneman said, "We just basically - we always start with music. So I'll come up with something at home, or Kerry [King] will come up with something. And eventually - you know, because I can do my stuff at home because I have a new 24-track and a drum machine, so if I get an idea, I can run with it as far as I can get it. Then I'll bring it to these guys and play it, see what they think, and Kerry will add a riff or Dave [Lombardo] will say something about 'Change it here' or 'Change it there' and Kerry does the same thing. And then when we get together we try to get the basic structure of the song done, and then we kinda know where the lyrics go and where the leads go. That's when the lyrics start falling into place, and the song will change here and there; but it's all done spontaneously, it's not like - we don't sit down around a table before the album comes out and have a meeting on what the album is going to sound like. It's whatever we're into."
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~ KING DIAMOND Shoots Down 'Poor Health' Rumors ~
KING DIAMOND singer and namesake has issued a statement via the group's official web site refuting rumors that his "poor health" was the reason the band's European tour has been postponed until next year.
Commented King: "The ONLY reason for postponement of the Euro tour is that my immigration/naturalization process with the U.S. government is taking longer than expected, and this procedure prevents me from leaving the country. I already missed the first test, and had to reschedule it due to being on tour last November. This rescheduled test has still not taken place, and if I, for some reason, miss it, I will have to start the whole procedure all over again.
"The reason for this taking so long, is probably because of all the extra precautions and checks the U.S. government has to take in these times of TERRORISM. So.... in order to not waste any time, songwriting for the next KING album will start in a couple of weeks, and if everything goes without any problems, we might have the music recorded right before X-mass. Vocals would then be put down in January, and then who knows what???? Mix the album??? Tour??? Where??? That I can't see in my crystal ball. BUT, one thing is for sure, a European tour should happen next year. Until then, I hope the fans will enjoy the double LIVE-album.
"By the way, my health is excellent !!!!!!!!!"
KING DIAMOND's live album, "Deadly Lullabies Live", will be released as a 2-CD, double digipak and 3-LP edition on September 20 (September 21 in the U.S.) through Metal Blade Records. The album was recorded during the band's last U.S. tour and was mixed at guitarist Andy LaRocque's Los Angered studio outside Gothenburg, Sweden.
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~ Norwegian Black Metallers GRIMNORTH Sign Record Deal ~
Norwegian viking black metal band GRIMNORTH, featuring ex-TAAKE bassist Sindre Hillesdal, have signed a three-album deal with Mester Productions (TSJUDER, DIABOLICUM, DUST, CHAOS FEEDS LIFE). The group's first release through the label, "I Nivlhelvs Djup", is tentatively due in November. GRIMNORTH released two demos prior to signing with Mester: 2001's "...From The Calls" and 2002's "Vi Seiler Hjem Igjen".
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~ THYRANE Announce New Drummer ~
Finland's THYRANE have announced the addition of session drummer Kristonic (a.k.a. T. Kristian, YEARNING, SAATTUE, CARCASE INC.) to the group's ranks. "We've also considered him as a permanent drummer from now on, so maybe you'll hear him on our next studio album," the group write on their web site. "Studio has not been reserved yet but eight songs are waiting for [the upcoming CD]."
THYRANE released their third full-length effort, "Hypnotic", last year through Century Media Records. The album, which was released in Finland through Spikefarm Records, was mixed at SundiCoop Studios and mastered at Finnvox Studios.