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If fans of KRAKOW thought they knew exactly what to expect from the upcoming album from the Norwegian Experimental Post Metallers, they are going to be very surprised, because, with “amaran”, the band has chosen to explore not only the calmer side of their sound, but also the more experimental, drone side, creating a work that is filled both with dream-like soundscapes and sinister and harsh atmospheres. As a taster of what to expect, Dark Essence Records have debuted “atom”, a track from “amaran”, and it can be heard below and at

Formed in the fall of 2005, KRAKOW ‘s lineup consists of very skilled and experienced musicians with Kjartan Grønhaug on guitars, René Misje on guitars and vocals, bassist Frode Kilvik (AETERNUS, VITHR) and Ask Ty Ulvhedin Arctander (KAMPFAR) on drums. According to KRAKOW, the making of “amaran”, which is a follow up up to 2012’s much praised sophomore album “diin”, has been “a journey, never easy, but always thrilling”. Once again the band has worked with producer Iver Sandøy at Solslottet and Duper Studio. The seven-track album is set to appear on Dark Essence Records on the 9th February 2015 in CD, Vinyl and Digital formats.

Artwork for the “amaran” is by Thomas Hooper and the track listing is as follows:

1. luminauts
2. atom
3. genesis
4. vitriol
5. pendulum
6. of earth
7. ten silent circles


Earlier this year KRAKOW issued a studio update, in which they talked about the different approach they took to recording “amaran” as opposed to their previous albums: “Towards the end of last year we recorded 10 demos which we brought with us to the amazing Duper Studio with Iver Sandøy, once again positioned behind the desk. The approach this time was in some ways different than during the “diin” sessions. We still record everything live as a band, but we wanted a bit more definition, less distortion, cleaner drums, more focus on the songs and melodies that lived within the compositions. The music is still dark, melodic and mysterious, but this time with a different angle.

“During the sessions we almost killed Kjartan’s Mesa Mark III with a steel reverb and Space Echo, used the smallest acoustic guitar on this side of Equator, and recorded accordion, broken chair, surf guitar, cassette player guitar, singing though a piano and open windows during a storm, just to name a few. The whole recording session ended with a lot of red wine and 18 minutes of pure dark drone”.

More information about KRAKOW can be found on the band’s website at


Six tracks from KRAKOW can be heard on the band’s SoundCloud page at

Fan-filmed footage of KRAKOW performing the track “Termination of Origin” from the “diin” album can be seen below and on the band’s YouTube channel at

Band photo credit: Paul Bernhard

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The DARK ESSENCE RECORDS release section is now up to date with all album releases – right up to the new Taake EP ‘Kulde’. In about ten day’s time we will update this section again with the new fullength TAAKE album ‘Stridens hus’.

The release section gives you a quick overview of album name, artist, release date, cover, album formats, link to our webshop to check out the album in physical formats, and link to the album in the digital music service of your own choice. All-in-all it’s a great overview and easy access to our catalogue so head on over and check it out!

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DARK ESSENCE RECORDS releases new EP from TAAKE called 'Kulde'.


With the traditional three year wait between TAAKE albums now over, Dark Essence Records has today announced the first details of what will be the iconic Norwegian band’s sixth full-length album. Titled “Stridens hus”, the seven-track album is set for release on the 8th December world-wide, with the exception of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where the album will appear on the 12th of the month . The label has also debuted the track “Det fins en Prins” from “Stridens hus” and it can be heard below and at

“Stridens hus” is recorded and produced by Bjornar Nilsen (VULTURE INDUSTRIES) at his Conclave and Earshot Studios in Bergen. As with all TAAKE albums, frontman and founder Hoest plays all the instruments himself, but this time members of the TAAKE live band have also contributed to the recording. Album artwork from a photo by Nekrographie. Track Listing as follows:

1. Gamle Norig
2. Orm
3. Det fins en Prins
4. Stank
5. En Sang til Sand om Ildebrann
6. Kongsgaard bestaar
7. Vinger

With a career spanning over two decades, Hoest has always remained faithful to his trademark Helnorsk Svartmetall sound, but he has never allowed the grass to grow under his feet, and, with each release, he has breathed new life into an often stale and derivative genre; his unique and innovative twists ensuring that Black Metal still remains fresh and relevant today. And “Stridens hus” is no exception. Parts of the album demonstrate a groove and rock sound, whilst others dsiplay a distinctly punk attitude. But the whole is without a doubt unmistakably Hoest’s TAAKE: varied, intense, unique and unpredictable.

TAAKE is currently in the middle of the Kulde Tour which will end on the 26th October. Other confirmed upcoming shows as follows:

22 Oct: Barrak Music Club, Ostrava, CZ
23 Oct: F-Haus, Jena, DE
24 Oct: Phantoms of Pilsen Festival, Pilsen, CZ
25 Oct: Mega Club, Katowice, PL
26 Oct: Progresja, Warsaw, PL
14 Nov: Black Flames of Blasphemy Festival, Helsinki, FI
05 Dec: John Dee, Oslo, NO
14 -18 Jan, Mexico, details TBA
23 Jan: Hulen, Bergen , NO
01 May: Karmøygeddon Festival, Koppervik, NO
25 Jul, Stonehenge Festival, Steenwijk, NL
14 Aug, Rockstadt Extreme Fest, Rasnov RO

More information about TAAKE can be found on the band’s website at or on Facebook at

Photo by Stig Pallesen - StiPa Photography
Photo by Stig Pallesen – StiPa Photography

Eight tracks from TAAKE can be heard below and on the band’s SoundCloud page at


The official video for the track “Nordbundet” from the TAAKE album “Noreg’s Vaapen” can be seen below.

Photo by Nekrographie
Photo by Nekrographie
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bilde_litenDark Essence Records have today revealed details, including the artwork and track-listing, for “De gjenlevende”, the upcoming album from Norwegian Black-Folk Metallers GALAR. Mixed and recorded at Bergen’s Conclave and Earshot Studio by producer and VULTURE INDUSTRIES frontman Bjørnar E. Nilsen, “De gjenlevende” (The Bereaved) is a follow up to 2010’s “Til Alle Heimsens Endar”, and will be GALAR’s third-full length album. Artwork for the album is by Robert Høyem of graphic designers Overhaus.

“De gjenlevende” sees GALAR’s founders M. Kristiansen (screams, guitars and bass) and A. B. Lauritzen (clean vocals, bassoon and grand piano) and drummer Phobos (AETERNUS, GRAVDAL, MALSAIN), joined by several session musicians that include both a string quintet and a horn quartet which fit in with the epic nature of the material, both musical and lyrical, that has been created for the six-track, concept album. Entirely written in Norwegian, the track entitled “Ljós” will be an instrumental, whilst the other tracks are longer, and more epic than previous work by the band.

Jorge Blutaar, the band’s lyricist, recently briefly explained the concept behind the album, which draws its inspiration from Pan-European folklore, ontology, and elegies. “Its five contemplative texts tell of the utter dreadfulness that haunts both the human mind and body when the season of winter holds every living thing in its grasp. Winter is the time of utter gloom, enfeeblement and inescapable death, which challenges mankind, beasts and plants equally. Yet, as long as there is life, there is hope, and eventually a new era of the Sun will bring to an end the seemingly eternal darkness of winter. With the arrival of spring hope and life will flourish once more. It is a portrayal of this cyclical process of transformation that is as old as the history of mankind itself”. Fans worried about not understanding the Norwegian lyrics need have no concerns, as the album comes with an explanatory booklet.

Track listing for “De gjenlevende”, whose estimated date of release is the 20th October, is as follows:

1. De gjenlevende
2. Natt … og taust et forglemt liv
3. Bøkens hymne
4. Ljós
5. Gjeternes tunge steg
6. Tusen kall til solsang ny

GALAR recently recruited drummer Tomas Myklebust (ex-EMANCER, live session drums with VULTURE INDUSTRIES and VRIED), and he joins Kristiansen and Lauritzen as a full-time member of the band.

More information about GALAR can be found on the band’s website at or on Facebook.

Four tracks from GALAR can be heard here:


Fan-filmed footage of GALAR performing the track “Ingen Siger Vart Vunnin” at the Phantoms of Pilsen Festival in 2011 can be seen here:

The DARK ESSENCE RECORDS SoundCloud player contains tracks from all the label’s releases and can be found at or here:


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DARK ESSENCE RECORDS has announced details of “Alfapokalyps”, the upcoming album from Swedish rockers ALFAHANNE. The ten-track album will be the debut full-length release from ALFAHANNE, a name that is relatively new on the scene compared to some of the label’s more venerable artists, yet it is a band that has managed to tempt the likes of TAAKE’s Hoest, SHINING’s Niklas Kvarforth, and HELHEIM’s V’gandr to make guest appearances on “Alfapokalyps”.
Set to hit the streets on the 10th of February, “Alfapokalyps” was mixed by Tore Stjerna at the Necromorbus Studio. Artwork is by Mikael Skoog.

Track listing as follows:

1. Bättre Dar – guest vocals from Niklas Kvarforth (SHINING)
2. Ormar Af Satan
3. Såld På Mörkret – guest vocals from Hoest (TAAKE)
4. Dödskult
5. Rocken Dör
6. Syndarnas Flod
7. Alfa Hordes
8. Indiehora – guest vocals from V’gandr (HELHEIM, TAAKE)
9. Där Drömmarna Dör
10. Alla Ska Mé

Formed in 2010, ALFAHANNE’s debut release came in 2013 with the release of the “Grym” split 7” with Sweden’s SHINING. ALFAHANNE plays what its members describe as ”Alfapocalyptic Rock”, which mixes Black Metal with Classic Rock and Punk, all topped off with some Goth influences. It is music that is both powerful and beautiful whilst at the same time is ugly, and about which the band says: “When you are into it you don´t feel pleasure and you don´t feel pain but you definitely FEEL”. Whilst ALFAHANNE might be a fairly new name to a lot of people, the band’s members, which include Pehr Skioldhammer on Vocals and Guitar, Fredrik Sööberg on Guitars, Niklas Åström on Drums and Jimmy Wiberg on Bass, have been around the Black Metal scene since the early ‘90’s, playing in bands like VINTERLAND and early MAZE OF TORMENT.

ALFAHANNE’s next live appearance will be on the 16th of April at the DARK ESSENCE RECORDS Club Night at the Inferno Festival in Oslo. They are also set to appear at the Tons of Rock Festival alongside SABATON, SEPULTURA and SOILWORK in June.

More information about ALFAHANNE can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

”Dödsmaskinen” an original demo track from ALFAHANNE and featuring Niklas Kvarforth can be heard here:

Alfahanne – Dödsmaskinen(feat. Niklas Kvarforth)(demo) by alfahanne

Tracks from all of DARK ESSENCE RECORDS releases can be heard here:


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Karisma Records have revealed more details of the upcoming album from Norwegian Prog Rockers AIRBAG. Titled “The Greatest Show on Earth”, the six-track album comes in at just over 50 minutes and will be available as a standard jewel case CD and a limited edition vinyl replica style CD, as well as a double vinyl gatefold in both black and limited edition white version. The album will also be available digitally. Full track listing for “The Greatest Show on Earth” which will be released on the 4th of November, as follows:

1. Surveillance (part 1)
2. Redemption
3. Silence Grows
4. Call Me Back
5. The Greatest Show on Eart
6. Surveillance (part 2-3)

“The Greatest Show on Earth” sees AIRBAG continue to pull the listener into their world and bring out in them a range of emotions by creating cinematic pictures with their use of atmospheric sounds. AIRBAG’s lyrics explore the growing sense of alienation and distrust that the individual feels when confronted by society and authority, whilst at the same time being manipulated and misled into believing that everyone is in control of their self-absorbed lives. This is an exploration that is accompanied by a sonic experience that ranges from massive walls of sound, to ambient textures and soulful soundscapes.

A follow up to 2009’s ‘Identity’ and 2011’s ‘All Rights Removed’, both also released on Karisma Records, it has taken 18 months of painstaking work on the part of Bjørn Riis (guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, bass, co-producer), Asle Tostrup (vocals, keyboards, programming, producer, graphic design), Henrik Fossum (drums), Jørgen Hagen (programming, keyboards) and Anders Hovdan (bass), together with engineer and co-producer Vegard Sleipnes, to perfect the sound on the band’s third full-length album. There is a rougher edge to “The Greatest Show on Earth” and some heavier parts than their previous releases would suggest, but the classic AIRBAG sound is still present, and the quality and musical craftsmanship that marks the band’s work are very much in evidence, bringing this new release to a whole new level.

More information about AIRBAG can be found on the band’s website

A video teaser for “The Greatest Show on Earth” can be seen here:

Two tracks from AIRBAG’s first two releases can be heard here:


A video of AIRBAG playing “All Rights Removed” live in Oslo when the band supported Marillion on the Scandinavian leg of their world tour last year can be seen here:

Tracks from all of Karisma Records releases can be heard at or here:

KARISMA RECORDS by Karisma Records

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Airbag Management: Jørn Terje Larsen,

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DARK ESSENCE RECORDS is to release a new full-length album with Sweden’s SHINING to be titled “8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd”. Today, we are proud to reveal the fantastic cover art for Feberdömmar by MICHAEL PAWLOWSKI (

Febardrömmar is set to appear on September 23rd. The album will be released in both CD and limited edition black or white 12” vinyl versions, with liner notes by Niklas Kvarforth. All three versions are now available to pre-order from Dark Essence Records at

Whilst the use of the number 8 ½ may seem a little strange to denote what would effectively be a 9th full-length album from the band, its use is deliberate because “8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd” is a rather special beast from SHINING, consisting as it does of six songs from the “Livets Ändhållplats” and “Angst” era in their original pre-production versions but with the addition of newly recorded bass and guitars, as well as Lars Fredrik Fröslie’s keyboards (ANGST SKVADRON, WOBBLER, ASMEGIN) which the band didn’t start using until their sixth album.

Additionally, the vocals on each of the tracks will be performed by six different vocalists, including Kvarforth, who have added their own interpretation and given a totally different dimension to all the songs. It’s a project that the SHINING founder and frontman has now wanted to do for many years.



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Aeternus - ...and the seventh his soul detesteth CD

Details of “…And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth”, the new album from Dark Metallers AETERNUS, have just been revealed. The ten-track album, which will be the band’s seventh full-length release, will first appear as a limited edition which will include AETERNUS’ classic 1995 debut EP “Dark Sorcery” as a bonus, and is set for release on Dark Essence Records on the 18th March world-wide (except for Norway, Germany, Austria and Sweden where the album will appear on the 22nd March).

Formed in Bergen, Norway in 1993 by guitarist and frontman Ares, AETERNUS has re-emerged seven years after the release of their last album “Hexaeon” with a new line up that comprises Ares on guitars and vocals, Phobos (GRAVDAL, MALSAIN) on drums and Specter on guitars. One of the pioneers of what the band calls “Dark Metal”, AETERNUS’ sound combines features from both Black Metal and Death Metal with superlative guitar playing and occasional haunting, melodic interludes.

“…And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth” was produced by Bjornar E. Nilsen (VULTURE INDUSTRIES, BLACK HOLE GENERATOR) at the Conclave and Earshot studios in Bergen. All music is by AETERNUS, concept and lyrics by HELHEIM’s V’gandr. Artwork is by Timo Ketola, known for his work with bands such as for DEATHSPELL OMEGA, ASPHYX, DISSECTION MARDUK, WATAIN and OPETH amongst others, band photos by Christine Ristesund. The bonus EP, “Dark Sorcery”, was recorded, mixed and mastered by Cato Langnes at Hindu Lyd in 1995 and produced by Aeternus. Lineup on “Dark Sorcery” is Ares on guitars and vocals, Erik (Vrolok) on drums and Ørjan on bass. All music and lyrics by Ares.

Track listing for “…And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth” as follows:

1: There Will Be None
2: …And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth
3: Spurcitias
4: Ruin And Resurrect
5: The Confusion Of Tongues
6: Hubris
7: Reap What You Saw
8: Saligia
9: The Hand That Severs The Bonds Of Creation
10: The Spirit Of Illumination

“Dark Sorcery” (Bonus)
1. Black Dust
2. Victory
3. Raven and Blood
4. Nordlys (Instrumental)

More information about AETERNUS can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

Twelve tracks from AETERNUS and can be heard on the band’s SoundCloud page at or embedded using the following code:

AETERNUS by AeternusNorway

Fan-filmed footage of AETERNUS at the Hub & Huey Festival in May 2012 can be seen at or embedded using the following code: