Whilst Dark Essence Records’ impressive band roster has never been short of Black and Extreme Metal, the slow, heavy tones of Doom have, until now, been noticeable by their absence. But that is all about to change as the Bergen-based label announced today that they had signed Norwegian Doomsters DWAAL.
Formed during 2014 in Norway’s capital city Oslo, DWAAL is a five-headed behemoth, assaulting the listener with a dense wall of sound that lies somewhere at the intersection of Doom and Post Metal. The atmosphere they create is one of slow motion, laden with heavy, sludgy, gloomy riffs, punctuated alternately by despairing vocals one minute, and minimalistic, melancholic melodies the next. Or, as the band like to put it: “A punch in the throat followed by a soothing caress, followed by another punch in the throat”.
DWAAL’s lineup is comprised of Christian Natusch on Vocals & Synth, Eigil Dragvik on Guitar & Backing vocals, Rikke Karlsen on Guitar, Stian Hammer on Bass and Anders Johnsen on Drums. The band’s studio debut was self-released in April of this year to a warm reception from the Norwegian underground. The EP, titled “Darben”, is a 31 minute, two-track opus which can be heard below and at https://dwaaldoom.bandcamp.com
Work has now begun on DWAAL’s first full-length album, with tracking expected to start in the spring of 2018 for release later in the year.
With a lineup consisting of Kjartan Grønhaug on guitars, René Misje on guitars and vocals, Frode Kilvik (AETERNUS, VITHR, GRAVDAL) on vocals and bass, and Ask Ty Arctander (KAMPFAR, HADES ALMIGHTY) on drums, Norwegian Post Metallers KRAKOW are widely regarded as one of Norway’s best live acts. Now, with their appearance at Bergen’s Blastfest on the horizon, the band have announced that their show, which is part of the Dark Essence Records label night at the festival, will be something special.
Explaining what sets this show apart from their others, the band had this to say: “What is a KRAKOW show? It changes constantly, the fluctuations of the music dictating the here and now, each performance with its own set of sounds, patterns and emotions. So let’s add some new elements to the mix, see what comes out.
“At Blastfest we will be a bigger band, more bodies and more sound. Our album producer, and some-time session drummer, Iver Sandøy will join on keys and drums. Cato Olaisen, who did such an amazing job drumming on ‘diin’ will join on drums, while Ask will move between drums and vocals.
“The set will consist of only 4 songs, selected from our three full-length albums “Monolith”, “diin” and “Amaran”. One of the tracks has never been performed live before, while the remaining three will take on a shape never heard or felt before. They will be close to their true expression, but with new nuances and added shading, bending and distorting in ways that we ourselves will not know in advance.
“Join us at Sardinen on Blastfest, 19. February 2016, at 19:10. Maybe it will be a testament etched onto a physical vessel for those who cannot be a part of the night”.
Also appearing at the Dark Essence Records Label Night at Blastfest, which kicks off at 16:00 at Sardinen, are KRAKOW label-mates SULPHUR, SLEGEST, COR SCORPII and THE 3RD ATTEMPT.
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Dark Essence Records have today debuted “luminauts”, the opening track from “amaran”, the third full-length album from Norwegian Experimental Post Metallers KRAKOW, which is due to hit the streets on both CD, 12″ vinyl and digital formats on the 9th of February. “luminauts”, together with the recently debuted track “atom” from “amaran”, can be heard below and at https://soundcloud.com/dark-essence-records/sets/krakow-two-tracks-from-the-new
With Thomas Hooper, one of America’s foremost tattoo artist, well known also for his paintings and designs, once again creating the artwork, “amaran” is an album that sees KRAKOW exploring both the calmer side of their sound, as well as the more experimental, drone side. Working with producer Iver Sandøy at Solslottet at the Duper Studio, KRAKOW have produced an album that is at times filled with dream-like soundscapes and at times with a harsh, sinister atmosphere. Both Hooper and Sandøy also worked with KRAKOW on their 2012 sophomore full-length album, the critically acclaimed “diin”.
Track listing for the seven-track “amaran” is as follows.
6. of earth
7. ten silent circles
KRAKOW was formed in Bergen, Norway in the fall of of 2005, and today’s lineup consists of highly skilled and experienced musicians with Kjartan Grønhaug on guitars, René Misje on guitars and vocals, Frode Kilvik (AETERNUS, VITHR) on vocals and bass, and Ask Ty Arctander (KAMPFAR) on drums. In comment made during the recording of “amaran” KRAKOW had this to say: ” 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”.
Six tracks from KRAKOW can be heard on the band’s SoundCloud page at https://soundcloud.com/krakow_band
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 http://youtu.be/Ku9B1bWCWjc or embedded using the following code:
Having connected with the band during 2014’s Roadburn Festival, Dark Essence Records were quick to snap up the Icelandic Progressive Doomsters MOMENTUM, and on the 9th February 2015 the label is set to release MOMENTUM’s sophomore full length album “The Freak is Alive”. As a taster of what to expect Dark Essence Records have debuted “Gauntlet” , a track from the album and it can be heard below and at https://soundcloud.com/dark-essence-records/momentum-gauntlet
“The Freak is Alive”, which was Recorded at Studio ReFlex with Axel “Flex” Árnason, with a lineup that includes Holaf on Vocals, Bass and Sitar, Ingvar Sæmundsson on Guitar and Vocals, Kristján Einar Guðmundsson on Drums, and Sigurður Árni Jónsson on Guitar and Vocals, features nine tracks that blend atmospheric Post-Rock, reminiscent of Isis and Cult of Luna, with a Neurosis-esque level of bone-crushing heaviness interspersed with soft vocals and relaxed clean passages. The album is very much the concept of frontman Holaf, whose lyrics and artwork combine with the music to carry the listeners on a surreal journey through the subconscious mind, guiding them, but at the same time allowing them the freedom to interpret what they find at their journey’s end.
Track listing for “The Freak is Alive” as follows:
1. Bury the Eyes Once Gold
2. Between Two Worlds
3. Familiar Unknown
5. The Freak is Alive
6. A Beast is Near
7. Creator of Malignant Metaphors
8. Undercover Imagination
9. Depth of the Whole
Dark Essence Records have inked a deal with Iceland’s MOMENTUM and are preparing to release the band’s sophomore full-length album, “The Freak Is Alive”, on a date as yet to be announced. Formed in 2003, MOMENTUM started life as a Black/Death metal project, with their first release, “The Requiem” EP appearing in 2006, followed two years later by another EP – “Your Side of the Triangle”.
By the time MOMENTUM’s debut full-lenth album “Fixation, at Rest” appeared in 2010, the band had left its roots behind and developed an identity all of its own, which, with the upcoming “The Freak Is Alive” album, frontman Holaf has taken even further, using his artwork, lyrics and concept to carry listeners on a surreal journey through the subconscious mind, leading them along paths that allow them to interpret for themselves what they are seeing and hearing.
With a lineup that includes Holaf on Vocals, Bass and Sitar, Ingvar Sæmundsson on Guitar and Vocals, Kristján Einar Guðmundsson on Drums, and Sigurður Árni Jónsson on Guitar and Vocals, MOMENTUM is a band that excels at merging atmospheric post-rock, reminiscent of ISIS and CULT OF LUNA, together with a level of bone-crushing heaviness broken up by soft singing and relaxed clean passages, intense vocals layered over discordant, staccato bursts, and mingling with eerie sound textures that explode into high-impact power chords, which bring to mind the work of NEUROSIS.