Norwegian black metal done right is a "NunFuckRitual." Once you get a taste of it, you will never want to go back to vanilla mainstream music again. Most of us metalheads are guilty of spending hours on end discussing Norway's most famous black metal bands like Darkthrone, Burzum, and Mayhem while neglecting the movement's other key players. Sadly, not even the mighty Snorre Ruch of Thorns receives enough credit nowadays. Yet, Snorre's lasting impact on BM is beyond measure. Along with Euronymous, Snorre created the black metal riffing style. Dødheimsgard's founder Vicotnik stated on The Thomas Eriksen Podcast: "… I think everybody… in this genre today is inspired by Snorre in some way or another…" Vicotnik, a genius in his own right, confirmed that everybody wanted to sound like Thorns.
Thomas Eriksen, by the way, is the mastermind behind the fan-favorite band Mork. Although there is much division within the black metal scene, everyone seems to be united in their love for Mork. Mork is a one-man project; nevertheless, Thomas performs with a touring lineup. Mork, which was founded in 2004, has been keeping the spirit of black metal alive in the 21st century. If this band is not on your playlist, please correct this massive error immediately.
True Norwegian Black Metal is distinguished by the creativity of its original players. Norway's first generation of black metallers, who were members of BM's second wave, borrowed from foreign first-wave influences. All the same, each group did so in a way that was wholly original. None of Norway's BM pioneering bands sounded remotely the same. Their lyrics were usually outrageously inventive as well. This is because black metal is a subgenre of freethinkers. Unfortunately, however, posers are often drawn to the scene for the wrong reasons. They are sometimes attracted by the fact that certain black metal musicians have engaged in criminal acts. A lesser-known example is the fact that the late Svartahrid bassist, Illvastar, served jail time after he broke into a crematory, desecrated corpses, and carried a head away with him as a trophy. That said, the vast majority of BMers happen to be upstanding citizens.
The ever-expanding inventory of Norwegian black metal bands worth hearing is never-ending: Mysticum, Gehenna, Arcturus, In the Woods…, Forgotten Woods, Isvind, Obtained Enslavement, Celestial Bloodshed; Hades Almighty; Urgehal; Krypt; One Tail, One Head; Faustcoven; Dødsengel; Stormfront; Kampfar; Tsjuder; Ljå; Koldbrann; Old Man's Child; Wallachia; etc. We must give a special shout-out to the black/death band Devoid of Life, who released their debut album Embracing Emptiness last month. It rocks! On that topic, be forewarned: Not all of our picks today represent pure black metal, but they are all the products of fierce individualists. Please enjoy our list of incredible yet underappreciated Norwegian black metal bands.
This wild and brutal band will arouse your fantasies of "sadistic bloody violence" — "perversion undivine, so raw, so mean." If you are a "Homicidal Sociopath," a filthy "Necrowhore," or a "Psychopathic Dominator," Sarcoma Inc. will be your new favorite group. Sarcoma Inc. was founded in 2000. The outfit functioned as a duo in the studio. Limbonic Art's "Daemon," or Vidar Jensen, handled vocals, guitar, and bass. Meanwhile, "Arghamon," or Cato Jensen, played drums and provided additional vocals. Cato has participated in an array of killer projects, such as Svikt.
In total, Sarcoma Inc. released three albums: Torment Rides Forever (2004), The Dark Prophecy (2005), and Psychopathology (2008). Sarcoma Inc.'s sophomore effort is more about the horror of warring powers and "apocalyptic machinery" than the others. Because Sarcoma Inc. has not released new content since Psychopathology, we can assume that the Jensens have moved on.
"Metal is best served old." Vesen is one of those incredibly nostalgic bands that simply seems too good to still exist. Yet, Vesen was actually founded later than one might expect — in 1999. Vesen has completed 5 studio albums, the most recent of which, Rorschach, came out in 2016. The group's debut record, Ugly (2005), was self-financed. Vesen currently consists of drummer Dag Olav Husås, guitarists and vocalists Ronny Østli and Thomas Ljosåk, and bassist Stein Sund. Østli and Ljosåk perform drums and bass respectively in a doom metal band called Devil. That's what we call keeping it real. Meanwhile, drummer Dag Olav Husås, whom you can sometimes hear singing on Vesen's material, and bassist Stein Sund, who joined in 2016, have participated in other groups as well.
The majority of Vesen's work can be categorized as black-thrash. Listeners are often tempted to liken Vesen to Aura Noir. Nevertheless, Vesen is beyond comparison. Vesen's "S.A.D.O." music is truly "From the Sickest Minds." Vesen will "rape your apathy." The main thing about Vesen is you feel their awareness of their own artistic freedom: They are not chained to any rigid ideas about how they ought to sound. You will hear a variety of influences in Vesen's work like Motörhead. Drummer Dag Olav explained to Nocturnal Cult: "I like to say that we always have one foot planted firmly in thrash, while we move the other around in other genres, like black, death and heavy metal. We’re not afraid to incorporate different styles or try new things as long as it feels good…"
We love the song "Famous Last Words" from Goat Carcass Rising (2011), which is a cento composed of the dying utterances of some of history's greatest players like Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and even Karl Marx: "Last words are for fools who haven't said enough." On that note, we'll wrap this section up — "See You in Hell."
Order was formed in 2013 when Cadaver's Anders Odden decided to put together a supergroup. He had the far-out yet brilliant idea to contact Mayhem's co-founder and original drummer, Kjetil Manheim. Manheim has taken part in other musical collaborations since parting ways with Mayhem. Yet, he confirmed that he had not created new metal material in over 20 years at the time of Order's inception. Anders also reached out to Billy Messiah, who is known as Mayhem's original vocalist and also has an interesting background in punk. (Technically, Nils Brekke Svensson and Ståle Redalen helped out with Mayhem before Billy. However, Billy performed at Mayhem's first gig, for example. You can hear Billy and vocalist Maniac on Deathcrush . We would have loved to see him cover "Deathcrush" at the Inferno Festival with the last band on our list, by the way. Yes, that really happened. Billy sometimes jumps onstage with Mayhem and was invited to sing on their most recent EP, Atavistic Black Disorder / Kommando .)
Initially, the ensemble that became Order played some Cadaver and Mayhem songs and realized that they had enough chemistry to justify creating original content. Unfortunately, Order has been plagued by devastating events. In 2014, Order's original bassist, Cadaver's René Jansen, tragically passed away of leukemia at 45 years old. In accordance with René's wishes, his bandmates performed at his funeral. Stu Manx, formerly of Gluecifer, has since stepped in as the group's bassist. Our hearts broke upon learning that Anders Odden was diagnosed with cancer in 2019. Fortunately, he has overcome it. The kickass musician appears as strong as ever and has been slaying at gigs!
Order plays what can be described as True Nordic Black-Death Metal. The group is raw where it counts; yet, what they have to offer feels so flawless that it is infuriating. Order epitomizes metal in its ideal state. Paradoxically, this is partially the result of the band's philosophy that it is okay to allow mistakes. In relation to Cadaver, Anders Odden explained during a YouTube conversation with "Horror Patch" that he prioritizes "inspiration and the moment" — "the true energy of the music." Anders continued: "If it's all calculated into this framework of being this and that, or it's perfect tempo and everything's perfect, that's not really brutal music or even music to me. It should live and breathe…"
Ego Brygghus helped Order celebrate the release of their first album, Lex Amentiae (2017), with their very own black porter. Order's sophomore album, The Gospel (2021), is a 10/10. The stellar album was written in two months. Manheim has described the remarkably intense record as "a gospel of life." Manheim created the piano intro, "Pneuma," back in the Mayhem days. Order's four battle-hardened "Bringer[s] of Salt," will make you come alive with songs like "My Pain." In conversation with the "Lo-Fi Horror Guy," Manheim explained: "If you don't have this pain… that goes with being human… we lose ourselves." Billy's blood-curdling performance is so spot-on that it is hard to process. For the most part, Anders and Manheim wrote Gospel's music while Manheim composed the lyrics with some help from Anders and Billy. The title track comes from Billy. Manheim designed The Gospel's cover, which is a photograph of him. It's great to see how after all these years the names of the best musicians in metal remain the same.
"You better watch out… [Malignant Eternal] will tear your soul apart." This band was founded in 1991 as Apoplexy. They changed their name to Malignant Eternal in 1994. Since then, they have released three albums: the dramatic and keyboard-heavy Tårnet (1995), the more progressive Far Beneath the Sun (1997), and Alarm (1999). Tårnet is exactly what the BM of our musicial forebearers should sound like. Yet, Malignant Eternal is far from a band that remained static. They evolved to incorporate an industrial vibe. Malignant Eternal regrouped for some shows after realizing how much fun it was to play together again at a private gathering in 2017. They have performed with musicians like Arve Isdal, a.k.a. "Ice Dale," of Enslaved, and bassist Frode Kilvik, or "Eld," of Gaahls Wyrd and Aeternus.
Ex-Mayhem's Maniac is one of metal's most charismatic, entertaining, and creative men. Whether he is exploring his passion for zine-editing or embarking on new musical adventures, Maniac never fails to delight us. (Check out Maniac – Liles – Czral's Det Skjedde Noe Når Du Var I Belgia  and Maniac's brilliant one-man project Voluspå, for example.) Maniac's work with Wurdulak, which was founded in 2000, is truly astounding. Wurdulak also featured Necrophagia's late American frontman, Killjoy; Ragnarok's guitarist Ihizahg, who formerly played live with Mayhem; ex-Necrophagia and ex-Immortal's bassist Iscariah; ex-Bloodthorn's drummer Jehmod; ex-Necrophagia's guitarist Frediablo; and ex-Necrophagia's guitarist Fug. The last two musicians are actually brothers. Frediablo was the one who came up with the idea to form Wurdulak. He is responsible for the group's stellar lineup. Together, Wurdulak and Frediablo's one-man "Norwegian Chainsaw Massacre" band Gorelord released two split CDs and a split video. (The now-defunct Gorelord blessed the world with lovely songs like "Alive When Fucking the Dead" and "Cumfucked Face of Death.")
Wurdulak's art is beautiful in every way. The band borrowed from influences like Kreator, early Slayer, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Venom, and Darkthrone. Their first of two full-length albums, Ceremony in Flames (2001), is dedicated to the memory of Euronymous. Interestingly, Euronymous is the reason why Maniac and Killjoy first connected in the '80s. Regarding the heartbreaking passing of Killjoy, Maniac posted the following message on Facebook: "… Euronymous played me one of his demos and I was hooked, hooked on his insane voice of impossible zombie world. I wrote him and after that we stayed friends. Friends in music, films and books. For more than 30 fukking years…" Maniac continued: "He [Killjoy] was the sole reason I recorded Septic Cunts  and hence the sole reason I became a member of Mayhem. I owe him so much." Septic Cunts is the highly entertaining gem of a demo tape that earned Maniac the position of Mayhem's frontman and convinced his mother that he had gone fully bonkers.
What if a gang of serial killers was admitted into a highly prestigious art school and usurped the faculty?! Skitliv, or "Shit-Life," teaches us the meaning of self-expression. Skitliv is 100% true, 100% orgasmic, and 100% awesome. This band is beyond magnificent. Maniac thought that Skitliv would be a one-man project. Yet, Skitliv miraculously gave birth to one of the most glorious partnerships of all time: Manic–Kvarforth. Niklas Kvarforth, the Swedish genius who founded Shining when he was 12 years old, is definitely one of metal's greatest superheroes. The two larger-than-life personalities worked with an impressive, though changing, lineup. Their roster formerly showcased the likes of Shining's former drummer Ted "Impaler" Wedebrand and the German sculptor René M. "Spacebrain" Hamel. This doomy band, which sometimes feels industrial, takes "Skandinavisk Misantropi" to a whole new level. Maniac's lyrics are simply outrageous: "Like Rimbaud, I licked the venom from the mother's cunt…" Skitliv may just be the most amusing band in the world. They are spontaneous and unpredictable. One moment, the vocals are performed in beatnik style. The next instant, Skitliv will murder you with their gruesomeness. Skitliv has welcomed guest musicians like Gaahl and Attila Csihar. Poet David Tibet's creepy contributions to the first half of "Towards the Shores of Loss" make for a must-hear.
Maniac commented in an interview with PureGrainAudio: "Human life is so often just a waste of time and a waste of space." Nevertheless, life is less shitty with Maniac and Niklas in it. One can only hope that Skitliv will produce new content one day. If Skitliv's excellence does not make you cry tears of joy, you should consider seeing a psychiatrist. Nevertheless, Niklas is known for saying that his mission is not to make people happy. The former child model and cat-lover enjoys proclaiming that he wants people to hurt themselves. All the same, he has acknowledged that it is a good thing to be appreciated for one's art — whether his fans show it by hugging him or kissing their wrists with razor blades. Unfortunately, the controversial artist was obliged to appear in court recently. The full story will be revealed at a later time.
Aside from Skitliv, Niklas Kvarfoth has also worked with great Norwegian musicians as a member of Den Saakaldte. Similarly, he collaborated with Koldbrann's Vidar Ermesjø on his project Hjarnidaudi. Niklas has provided vocals for other Norwegian bands like Urgehal, Gravdal, and Manes. Niklas' performance on So Much for Nothing's "Suffer in Silence" is so incredible that we are including it after the Skitliv video below. Although the song is about suicide, it will make you feel more alive than Céline Dion. "Suffer in Silence" is from the album Livsgnist (2012), which features guests like Shining's Peter Huss and Vulture Lord's Trondr Nefas, who passed away four months after its release. So Much for Nothing actually released a split with Nefas' Angst Skvadron in 2011. So Much for Nothing began in 2007 as the solo project of Sarkom's Erik Unsgaard. Since 2009, Unsgaard has been joined by Vulture Lord's Uruz, whose past bands include Urgehal, Endezzma, Shining, etc. So Much for Nothing has performed live with ex-Angst Skvadron members and Vulture Lord's Malphas.
The greatest song known to humanity:
Slavia ist Krieg. If I was trying to explain black metal to an alien, I would play Slavia. This band was too spectacular for words. Slavia offered the kind of raw "Norwegian Black Terror Assault" that will make you get on your knees and beg for more. Some fans may be confused by Slavia's use of iron crosses, which have been worn by the likes of Lemmy Kilmister and The Stooges' Ron Asheton. Nevertheless, Slavia was not an NSBM band, as Invisible Oranges clarified. Slavia began in 1994 as Dreygjarnir and became known as Slavia in 1997. The band was founded by Jonas Raskolnikov Christiansen, or "Jonas aus Slavia." Dødheimsgard's Vicotnik and ex-Mare's Ghash appeared on Strength and Vision (2007). Although Slavia hardly performed, Raskolnikov recruited a number of top-notch musicians for a few live shows. You can listen to Live in Bergen (2007), for example. Slavia's last show was at Norway's Inferno Festival in 2011, even though the project was terminated in 2010.
Jonas tragically passed away on November 17, 2011. The following day, a concert was held that was originally intended to raise money to help the genius fight colon cancer. All-stars such as Darkthrone's Nocturno Culto, Niklas Kvarforth, and Satyricon's Satyr took the stage. During his life, Jonas worked with other bands like Koldbrann and Disiplin.
Tulus was formed in the early '90s, yet their members have been jamming since 1987. Their drummer, "Sarke," or Thomas Bergli, filled in for Fenriz, who had become preoccupied with Darkthrone, in an awesome doom metal group called Valhall from 1989 to 1992. Sarke attended Darkthrone rehearsals before the legends released their first black metal album, A Blaze in the Northern Sky (1992). This inspired Sarke to persuade his bandmates to change Tulus' style to BM. Although Tulus is a classic band, they have not received due recognition. Their first album, Pure Black Energy, premiered in 1996. In 2000, Tulus went on hiatus. This same year, members of Tulus formed Khold, which is a heavier, less experimental version of Tulus that started out sounding almost the same. In 2006, Tulus regrouped. Like Pure Black Energy, Tulus' most recent full-length effort, Old Old Death (2020), was recorded live in the studio. Khold will unleash a new album, Svartsyn, this summer.
Everything about Tulus is top-notch. There is nothing cheap about their art. Tulus' highly unique poetic lyrics have always been written by the wife of vocalist and guitarist "Blodstrup"/ "Gard," or Sverre Stokland — "Hildr," or Hilde Nymoen. Blodstrup and Sarke are presently joined by bassist "Crowbel," or Stian M. Kråbøl. He came aboard the band in 2008 to replace now ex-TNT's Sir Graanug, whose place in Tulus had been previously occupied by ex-Old Man's Child's Gottskalk. Tulus' influences include Motörhead, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. Tulus places special emphasis on groove.
Nidingr was founded by the fantastic Mr. "Teloch," or Morten Bergeton Iversen, in 1992 as a solo project called Audr. In 1996, Teloch decided to work with other musicians and rechristened the effort "Nidingr." Teloch got the name and logo from a friend. All metalheads should know that Teloch has been Mayhem's guitarist since 2011. This is funny because Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (1994) is the album that converted Teloch to black metal. All the same, Teloch, who is something of a lone "Wolf-Father," has unsurprisingly stated that he is not a big fan of the term "black metal." You can call Nidingr's style black or death metal. The important thing is that Nidingr is extreme.
In Nidingr, Teloch is joined by vocalist Cpt. Estrella Grasa of the hardcore punk group Kort Prosess; drummer Øyvind Myrvoll of the best avant-garde BM groups — Dødheimsgard, Dold Vorde Ens Navne, and Ved Buens Ende (live); and bassist Sir — a former member of Gaahl's projects God Seed, Gaahls Wyrd, and Trelldom. Three of Nidingr's players have been associated with Myrkur. Former Nidingr members include Mayhem's Hellhammer and 1349's Seidemann, whose black-thrash album with the supergroup Tyrann, Shadows of Leng (2009), we emphatically recommend.
Teloch has explained that he can do whatever he likes in Nidingr, whereas Mayhem must sound like Mayhem. As a general rule, Teloch must consider Mayhem's history. After all: "The past is alive!" Nidingr has made Aleister Crowley-themed music and explored Norse mythology. Teloch has clarified that Nidingr is not a Satanic band. He has mocked the idea that anyone could be thoroughly Satanic at heart. Teloch began writing new material for Nidingr prior to the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the guitarist is not sure that the band will ever release another record.
The brilliant Teloch always seems to be working on new projects. Teloch even scored a play that hit the stage of Det Norske Teatret in Oslo in 2015 — "Mother Courage and Her Children" by the late German intellectual Bertolt Brecht. After the Nidingr video below, we have included Teloch's synthwave album, which was released under the moniker Bergeton, Miami Murder (2020). Who needs cocaine when you can get high on this masterpiece?!
Nordjevel, which was formed in 2015, is one of the very few exciting "new" BM bands. We are so glad that Doedsvangr's Doedsadmiral, Nordjevel's co-founder, remains on vocals. From the start, he has been accompanied by Nebular Mystic's bassist DezeptiCunt, who was a member of the next band on our list. In 2018, Nordjevel acquired the ex-Morbid Angel guitarist Destructor and the Swedish-born drummer Dominator, who has played with groups like The Wretched End. Past members include Varde's Nord, who was Nordjevel's co-founder, and the Swedish-born ex-Marduk drummer Fredrik Widigs. Nordjevel has released two full-length albums: Nordjevel (2016) and Necrogenesis (2019). Their latest EP, Fenriir (2021), dropped last year. This year, Nordjevel has already presented two singles — "Within the Eyes" and "Gnavhòl."
Nord explained his mission to PureGrainAudio. In Nordjevel, he aimed to combat the "urban flavor" that has invaded modern black metal: "… I want to bring the nature and the woods into black metal again. Of course, with the aggression and everything that comes with it." Nordjevel has certainly succeeded in restoring atmosphere to BM. (Unfortunately, too many "atmospheric" bands lose atmosphere partially because their music lacks backbone.) Luckily, this fast-playing ensemble is far from a copycat band. You can hear some folk-inspired and melodic components. If you have been craving something refreshing and nostalgic, Nordjevel is the answer to your wayward prayers. Be sure to check out the similarly named band Djevelkult as well.
Like Jon "Metalion" Kristiansen of Slayer Mag, Ragnarok hails from Sarpsborg. Back in the day, a couple of Ragnarok's warriors made a surprising appearance on the Norwegian reality TV show Far Out. Ragnarok will shock you with tales of "inhuman torture" and "orgasmic abuse." These practitioners of "Dominance and Submission" won't let you out if their grip until you have been "Stabbed by the Horns." Ragnarok will lead you where "Dreams Go to Die." Nevertheless, this band is as compelling, funny, and charming as Richard Simmons. It is insane to think that such an exhilarating band has existed since 1994.
Although Ragnarok's music seems as though it could only be the work of "Norse Winter Demon[s]," the outfit currently boasts an international lineup. One of their members was born in Malta and another comes from Sweden. Ragnarok's present and past musicians have played with bands that we've mentioned like Nordjevel, Wurdulak, Endezzma, Tsjuder, and the next group on our list. From 2002 to 2007, Ragnarok was fronted by the renown Hoest. Sadly, Ragnarok's original bassist, Tom "Jerv" Richardsen, passed away in a car accident in 2017.
Svarttjern's creators — lead guitarist HaaN of Carpathian Forest and vocalist HansFyrste, who previously fronted Ragnarok — are brothers. They are currently joined by the venerated Malphas on bass. The great musicians is currently a member of Carpathian Forest, Endezzma, Vulture Lord, etc. Grimmdun of Carpathian Forest and Magister Templi handles drums while Fjellnord of Magister Templi plays rhythm guitar.
Since Svarttjern was founded in 2003, they have dropped 5 albums: Misanthropic Path of Madness (2009), Towards the Ultimate (2011), Ultimatum Necrophilia (2014), Dødsskrik (2016), and Shame Is Just a Word (2020). Svarttjern's most recent record is the first one that they had total control over in terms of production. The result is completely shameless (of course), trend-bucking black metal: "I crave to be the holy one, so get on your knees… Get your cum-face on and swallow this disease." Svarttjern is "Satanic Perfection."
Whoever said that black metal cannot be sexy clearly has not listened to Svarttjern. These "Prince[s] of Disgust" create the most intoxicating "Melodies of Lust." HansFyrste told No Clean Singing: "We sing about rape and necrophilia. The lust for death and the stench of death. I mean, I miss my old freezer with dead animals…"
This duo was founded in 1991. It consists of multi-instrumentalists Alexander Nordgaren and Svein Egil Hatlevik, a.k.a. "Zweizz," who switched to vocals in 1994. What can we say?! Fluerety ist Kunst. This progressive, avant-garde band blows pretenders out of the water. Fleurety is experimental in the most authentic sense of the word. Fleurety can morph into anything they want to be — jazzy or industrial. Do not be surprised to hear female vocals and instruments like the triangle, saxophone, and ukulele pop up in Fleurety's compositions. Although Fleurety has not played many concerts, the outfit has performed live with the likes of Dødheimsgard's Vicotnik. In the studio, Fluerety has worked with guests such as Mayhem's Hellhammer, ex-Mayhem's Maniac, and Arcturus' Sverd.
Svein is a member of Strid, the Norwegian French avant-garde project Stagnant Waters, and Teloch's Umoral. (Svein and Teloch previously lived together.) Additionally, Svein has collaborated with Dødheimsgard as a keyboardist. Svein is known for his eponymous project Zweizz — a one-man band that will make you salivate with songs like "Big Black Dick" and "Thank You in the Face." Svein has clarified that a couple of tracks that he had wrote for Fleurety ended up on Zweizz's Black Necrotic Obfuscation (2004) EP. Nordgaren, who briefly performed live with Mayhem, no longer resides in Norway. This has put a strain on Fleurety. Luckily, the outfit released their third studio album, The White Death, in 2017.
Fleurety's fantastically quirky, poetic lyrics feature endless clever wordplays. Svein and Alexander are masters of "the art of contradiction, of contraction, of contortion, of contusion, of confusion, of conclusion." Nevertheless, Fleurety rocks even when scorning verbal communication. Fleurety is highly amusing in the best of ways. This band won't attempt to proselytize you in any way and does not adhere to dogma: "You can't destroy the brains of those who have none. Strangled by the umbilical cord of morality." Even though Fleurety limited the releases of certain EPs to 666 copies, they have clarified that they are not a Satanic band.
This 20-year-old group will slay you with their unmatched "Passion for Suicide." Sarkom excels at "Anti-Cosmic Art" and "Bestial Supremacy." Sarkom brings you irresistibly sick little numbers like "Black-Bondage Suicide" and "Black Metal Necrophilia." In many respects, it would be difficult to find a band that comes across as more wrong. This chaotic yet completely amazing band delivers old-school black metal that is rock n' roll at heart. Sarkom dishes up feel-good music for sadists.
Sarkom's guitarist, Tom Kvålsvoll, has been involved with bands like Dødheimsgard. Former members John Espen Sagstad and ex-Urgehal's Eirik Renton have played with Trollfest. In fact, Sagstad is still with Trollfest, who made headlines this year with their attempt to qualify to compete at Eurovision — "Dance Like a Pink a Flamingo." Sarkom has released four full-length albums and five EPs. Interestingly, they shared a two-song split with the mighty Urgehal. The vinyl was published two months after the tragic death of Urgehal's Trondr Nefas in 2012. Thus, it seems fitting that Sarkom covered Urgehal's "Goatcraft Torment" in 2016.
Djevel, which currently functions as a trio, was created by ex-Ljå's Trånn Ciekals in 2009. His original intention was to form a one-man band. Djevel's name comes from "Gjort til djevel," which is the final song on Til avsky for livet (2006) — the last Ljå album on which Ciekals played. (He is credited under the amusing alias "Darktrond.") Ciekals handles Djevel's guitars and clean vocals. In 2017, he asked his friend ex-Emperor's Faust to become Djevel's new drummer. Mare's ridiculously creative Kvitrim, a.k.a. Azazil, is responsible for Djevel's harsh vocals and bass. He has been with Djevel since 2020. Djevel's former members include Enslaved and ex-Gehenna's Dirge Rep, ex-Kvelertak's Erlend Hjelvik, and Koldbrann's Mannevond.
So far, Djevel has released seven full-length albums, the latest of which, Tanker som rir natten, made 2021 a year to remember. In fact, this Friday, Djevel received a Spellemann Award, a.k.a. a "Norwegian Grammy," in the "Metal" category for this masterpiece. Ciekals has stated that he is solely influenced by black metal. He incorporates a melodic touch. Thankfully, Ciekals is an elitist in the truest and the best sense of the word. Ciekals told This Is Black Metal: "Djevel is art, not something to sell and push so to speak…"