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Old School Metal. Sales Campaign + a lesson in metal history = win-win situation!

Dark Essence Records_Old School Metal Sales Campaign

We hope you’ve had a nice Summer and maybe even a bit of vacation. September is upon us now, and we continue our sale campaign. This week, we will focus on our old-school orientated metal bands.

At Dark Essence Records we’re old metalheads, so we do enjoy the classic metal bands a lot. Hence, it’s only natural that we’ve released some albums with bands that has the good old metal feeling.

The first of these bands we worked with was the Bergen-based band The Batallion, featuring Tore Bratseth from Old Funeral and the Motorhead cover band Bömbers on guitar and vocals. You could also find members from bands like Gaahl’s Wyrd, Grimfist, Taake and Borknagar in this classic band. The two albums we released with The Batallion are filled with testosterone fueled, classic thrash metal, and it’s hard not to bang your head to these records. Unfortunately, the band has been put on ice since 2012, but we hope they might re-emerge again.

Not long after we released the first The Batallion album, we did the first album of Dead To This World, which at the time was a duo consisting of Iscariah (ex-Immortal, ex-Necrophagia) and Kvitrafn Einar Selvik (ex-Gorgoroth, now main composer in Wardruna). The debut “First Strike for Spiritual Renewance” came out in 2007, and was a punch in the face of blackened thrash metal. The band changed a lot of members in that period, before they moved on to our friends at Soulseller Records.

In the summer of 2014 we went to Sweden and found the band Alfahanne, via Hoest in Taake. He had befriended the Swedes, and he introduced us to a band that had a great blackened mix of old-school metal, punk, hard rock and new wave, and they got a lot of recognition for the debut “Alfapokalyps”. We did the 2nd album as well, before they found a new home at our friends at Indie Recordings.

One of the greatest old-school bands from Norway in the recent years is Black Magic, and we were pleased to get the chance to re-release their classic debut, “Wizard’s Spell” in 2019. Originally released in 2014, this one has been hailed as one of the instant classics within the thrash, speed, classic metal world. Now, we’re just waiting for their follow up album to be finished.

To backtrack a bit, and maybe go to a more classic hard rock direction, we have to include the band Bourbon Flame in this campaign. Their only self-titled album was released in 2007, and the band consisted of Janto (ex-Hades Almighty), Ice Dale (Enslaved) and Erik Johnston (ex-Aeternus). Bourbon Flame was a homage of sorts to the bands the members loved when they grew up, but the band was a bit short lived due to the busy schedule of those involved.

We feel that our more death metal orientated bands are sort of in the old school thinking as well –  and since we just mentioned Aeternus, we’d like to offer two of the albums we’ve done with this legendary Bergen band. “…and the Seventh His Soul Detesteth” and “Heathen” were all very well received and stand well within the Aeternus catalogue.

After former Aeternus drummer Erik Johnston quit the band, he joined Sulphur, a band consisting of Øyvind Madsen from Vulture Industries among others. Technical, fast and brutal, both the albums “Thorns in Existence” and “Omens of Doom” got good feedback. It’s been a bit quiet around the band the past few years, but hopefully, something new will come up soon.

Another one-off project, this time started by Vgandr (Helheim, ex-Aeternus, Taake live), was Deathcon (originally called Cult of Catharsis). After a lot of line-up changes, the album “Monotremata” (2006) was a brutal, old-school death metal album, done by members who plays in/has played in bands like Helheim, Aeternus, Taake, Gaahl’s Wyrd, Grimfist and The Batallion among others.

Most of our old-school bands have been from the Bergen area, but there’s one really old school death metal gem which hails from Ukraine. Consisting of members from Drudkh, Blood of Kingu, Precambrian and others, Rattenfänger is a full-blooded old-school death metal band. Their two albums sound like they were written and released in the early 90s, and are as brutal, dark and heavy as you can imagine. All death metal fans should have their albums, “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” and “Geisslerlieder” in their collection.

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Hades Almighty Albumart

Head on over to Metal Hammer Official to hear the upcoming HADES ALMIGHTY EP ‘Pyre Era, Black’ in its entirety before release. Pretty good way to start the weekend we think!

Head on over to check out what Metal Hammer thinks about the EP and to listen to the EP in full.


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Dark Essence Records_3rd Attempt_Logo

When CARPATHIAN FOREST guitarists Tchort and BloodPervertor announced last year that they were leaving to set up a new band, THE 3rd ATTEMPT, they knew that they were leaving behind them the security of one of the most iconic Norwegian Black Metal bands of all time, and one with a huge following, to start something completely new and unproven, at a time when labels are reluctant to dip their toes into uncharted territories and new bands emerge in their hundreds every week, only to disappear into nothingness. But when you have two musicians with the skill and experience of Tchort (GREEN CARNATION, ex-CARPATHIAN FOREST, ex EMPEROR, ex BLOOD RED THRONE) and BloodPervertor (APOSTASY, ex-CARPATHIAN FOREST, ex NEONGOD) who have the desire to work in an environment that could re-ignite the enthusiasm and creativity they felt they had lost, then a move was inevitable. Interest from various labels was certainly not slow in materialising and today the band are pleased to be able to announce that they have inked a deal with one of Norway’s foremost labels, Dark Essence Records.


Commenting on their decision to sign with Dark Essence, the band had this to say: “Dark Essence signalled their interest in the possibility of working together as soon as we announced THE 3rd ATTEMPT, even before they had heard anything, and they have kept in close touch, actually making the effort to attend rehearsals and get to know our new members. In the end, it came down to a decision as to whether we wanted to sign with a large label and, as a new band, risk disappearing in the depth of their rosters, or whether we wanted to work with a label who was genuinely interested in us as a band, and who would be with us every step of the way, in all aspects. We also heard many good things about Dark Essence from the musicians already signed to them, so, Dark Essence it is! We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us with preparing and rehearsing the new material ready to enter the studio, and we are excited to see what the future will bring”.

Dark Essence Records commented on the signing: “It takes a substantial label to be able to afford to sign a band like CARPATHIAN FOREST, so when it was announced that Tchort and BloodPervertor were leaving and starting again from scratch with THE 3rd ATTEMPT, we were immediately interested in seeing what direction they would take, and opened a dialogue with them . We already knew what formidable musicians they were and what they were capable of, so Dark Essence’s Kristine Knapskog went along to rehearsals to check out their new material. She very much liked their enthusiasm and attitude, and their desire to work closely with a label and we are very happy to welcome them to the Dark Essence family “.
Aside from Tchort and BloodPervertor, THE 3rd ATTEMPT’s lineup includes frontman Kaahrl Ødemark (ex- MIDNATTSVREDE, ex-NECROCAVE) who was selected following online auditions that drew in submissions from all over the world, and drummer Tybalt (FORTID, DEN SAAKALDTE, ETHEREAL FOREST, ex- HEATHEN DEITY, ex-PANTHEON I) who was originally slated to join the band as session live drummer for an upcoming appearance, but after taking part in rehearsals, it was decided that he would become a full-time member.

The 3rd ATTEMPT’s debut live appearance will be at Blastfest, in Bergen, Norway, on the 18th February on board the boat “Showline”, which will take fans on a 5 hour cruise of Bergen’s spectacular fjord, and which kicks off the 4 day festival.

THE 3rd ATTEMPT recently debuted a demo track “The Beast Within”, which also features CARPATHIAN FOREST’s Daniel Vrangsinn on bass and Anders Kobro on drums, and which was used in a shortened form for the vocalist auditions. It is not a “finished” track. “The Beast Within” can be heard below and on THE 3rd ATTEMPT’s SoundCloud page at

More information about THE 3rd ATTEMPT can be found on the official Facebook page at

Dark Essence Records_3rd Attempt

Band contact:
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Dark Essence Records:
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DARK ESSENCE RECORDS proudly presents TAAKE’s sixth full-lenght studioalbum ‘Stridens Hus’

“Stridens hus” takes the unique Taake sound and develops it further. Still true to the spirit of the old Norwegian Black Metal, Hoest breathes new life into the genre by introducing different elements that ensure the sound remains fresh and relevant. Some parts are more groove and rock orientated, whilst some have a distinctly punk attitude. However, this is still unmistakably Taake and, as always, we’re treated to a varied album with intense, unique and unpredictable dynamics.

Once again, Hoest plays all the instruments himself, but this time the Taake live band has contributed to the recording, alongside producer and DARK ESSENCE’s own Bjørnar E. Nilsen.


To purchase this album as physical product from webshop (creditcard/ Paypal): Click here

Listen to or stream the album in your preferred digital music service by clicking here:

Dark Essence Records releases Taake's Stridens Hus
Dark Essence Records releases Taake’s Stridens Hus

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


As a warm-up to the upcoming Taake fullenght studioalbum “Stridens Hus” – DARK ESSENCE RECORDS is happy to release a new TAAKE EP. The EP is called “KULDE” (English: Cold). It contains exclusive new material from Taake and a cover of The Cure.

You can listen to Kulde in the digital music service of your choice via this link:

The EP is also released physically in a limited edition (700 copies only!). You can order a copy autographed by Hoest

New EP 'Kulde' released in digital format by Dark Essence Records Photo by Nekrographie
New EP ‘Kulde’ released in digital format by Dark Essence Records Photo by Nekrographie
New EP from TAAKE 'Kulde' released  on DARK ESSENCE RECORDS Photo by Stig Pallesen - StiPa Photography
New EP from TAAKE ‘Kulde’ released on DARK ESSENCE RECORDS
Photo by Stig Pallesen – StiPa Photography

KULDE – Track list:

(From the upcoming full length album)
(New track exclusive for this release)
(The Cure cover, featuring Vrangsinn on vocals)
(Re-recorded track from the 1995 demo tape)

The EP is also released physically in a limited edition (700 copies only!). You can order a copy autographed by Hoest here:

TAAKE  'STRIDENS HUS' Cover. Upcoming release by Dark Essence Records
TAAKE ‘STRIDENS HUS’ Cover. Upcoming release by Dark Essence Records
Dark Essence Records
Dark Essence Records

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TaakeTourPosterPR Norwegian Black Metallers TAAKE are set to embark on a headlining tour in October of this year. The eleven date tour will span four countries – the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. Supporting TAAKE on all the dates will be VALKYRJA and NOCTEM.

Routing, for what will be called the Kulde Tour, as follows:

16 Oct: Luka, Lodz, PL
17 Oct: Pod Minoga, Poznan, PL
18 Oct: Baroeg, Rotterdam, NL
19 Oct: Iduna, Drachten, NL
20 Oct: Helvete, Oberhausen, DE
21 Oct: Firlej, Wroclaw, PL
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

Additionally, on the 4th of October TAAKE will headline at Norwegian Hellcamp, a first of its kind festival whose lineup features some of the top Norwegian bands at the extreme end of the spectrum. Norwegian Hellcamp will take place at the Stadthalle in Schweinfurt, Germany, and also appearing alongside TAAKE will be VULTURE INDUSTRIES, RAGNAROK, SARKOM, ENDEZZMA, SLAGMAUR, AURA NOIR and DEN SAAKALDTE.

Dark Essence Records recently announced that TAAKE would be releasing a new album later this year, and further information will be available shortly. From feedback received from the recent listening session the label held at the Beyond the Gates Festival in Bergen, where a few tracks from the album were played, it is clear that even after over twenty years TAAKE’s iconic frontman and founder Hoest continues to bring freshness and originality to the scene with his unique brand of Helnorsk Svartmetall.

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

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 “Noregs Vaapen” can be seen below and at or embedded using the following code:

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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:


Dark Essence SoundCloud:
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With a release date for SLEGEST’s debut full-length album “Løyndom” set for the 7th October, Dark Essence Records has today previewed a track from what will be the debut album from former VREID guitarist Ese. “Ho Som Haustar Aleine” is the opening track from “Løyndom” and can be heard at

Recorded partly in Ese’s own Systrond Studio and partly at the Conclave and Earshot Studio with producer Bjørnar E. Nilsen, and mastered by ENSLAVED’s Herbrand Larsen, “Løyndom” (Secret), is a mix of classic heavy rock and old school black metal that has an distinctly down and dirty, and addictively catchy, groove running through it. Track listing for “Løyndom” as follows:

1. Ho Som Haustar Aleine
2. Rooted In Knowledge
3. I Slike Stunder
4. Løgna Sin Fiende
5. The Path Of No Return
6. Faceless Queen
7. Dirt Life Death
8. Past Burden Strength

When Ese formed SLEGEST in 2010 following his departure from VREID, where he played on four albums, his original intention was that it should be a solo project, and, indeed, apart from a guest solo by former VREID band-mate Sture, Ese plays all the instruments himself on “Løyndom”. However, it soon became clear to everyone who heard the album that SLEGEST was a live band waiting to happen, and a live line-up has now been put together, which, apart from Ese on Vocals and Rhythm Guitars, consists of Sør (BÄÄÄV, VONBRÅTEN) on Lead Guitars, Hövard (BOMBEKLÜCHTER) on Bass and Fjøsne on Drums.

SLEGEST is also busy putting the finishing touches to a music video for “Ho Som Haustar Aleine”. Produced by Håvard Nesbø and Ørjan Talle, the video will premiere before the release of “Løyndom”.

More information about SLEGEST can be found at

Ho Som Haustar Aleine” from “Løyndom” and can be heard at or here:


Five tracks from SLEGEST can be heard on the band’s SoundCloud page at or here:

Slegest – Slegest (EP) by Slegest

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


Dark Essence SoundCloud:
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Slegest Contact:
Slegest Website:
Slegest Facebook:
Slegest SoundCloud:

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Rattenfänger album “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” is out now!

Earlier this autumn, Dark Essence Records, announced proudly the signing of Ukrainian band Rattenfänger! Now, the debut album “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” is finally out.

The band is a new project from the musicians behind cult acts like Drudkh, Old Silver Key, Blood of Kingu, Dark Ages and more, but Rattenfänger is a different beast entirely.

The debut album, entitled “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum”, is a masterpiece of old-school death metal. Rattenfänger’s sound is pitch black and bone crushingly brutal. It is Death Metal in its original form – and it is devastating. Inevitably there will be nuances from the members other projects, and comparisons can also be made with bands such as Celtic Frost, early Darkthrone, Asphyx, Winter, Bolt Thrower and Nihilist amongst others, but Rattenfänger, is the epitome of old-school death metal and the album has its own, very distinctive, sound.

The name Rattenfänger is taken from the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (Rattenfänger von Hameln), who was hired by the townsfolk of Hameln, Germany, to rid the town of the rats that had overrun it. Unfortunately he is deceived and cheated of his payment, and he exacts a dreadful revenge on the citizens. The lyrics are in Latin, written in style of medieval poets, thinkers and troubadours/minstrels.

So far, the reviews has been very good:
Rock Hard:
Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum
Dark Essence/Soulfood (42:00)
Keine Angst! RATTENFÄNGER ist kein neues Mittelalterprojekt sondern steht für infernalischen Old School (Doom) Death Metal à la Winter oder den langsamen Stücken von Asphyx mit durchgehend lateinischen (!) Texten. Zwar nerven die eintönigen Growls und die zu simplen Schlagzeugarrangements mit der Zeit ein wenig, aber grundsätzlich ist das Debüt des ukrainische Allstarprojekts (aus u. a. Musikern von Drudkh) ein blutiges Leckerli für alle Death Metal Zombies, die den Blast Beat-Holocaust der letzten beiden Jahrzehnte überlebt haben. Alle, die ihren Death Metal primitiv, roh und vor allem auch atmosphärisch wollen, können hier nichts falsch machen. Und auch so mancher Funeral Doom-Fans wird an RATTENFÄNGER Gefallen finden. Reinhören!
8 Punkte, Bruder Cle

83/100 – Zware Metalen
12/15 – Twilight Magazin
8/10 – Metal Glory
8/10 –
8/10 – Xtreem Music
4/5 –

Get your copy here!