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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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Black Metal sales campaign

Black Metal Sales Campaign - Dark Essence Records

We’re continuing our summer sale campaign and this week we’ll focus on our Black Metal bands.

Back in the early 90’s, some characters in the Black Metal scene managed to put Bergen and the genre on the musical map, and there was a lot of focus, both from the national and international press, around the Black Metal genre, Bergen and Norway. You know what we talk about, so let’s not dwell on that stuff. What’s interesting here is the music, and there were some really great bands that came out of both Bergen and of course Norway in general (too many names to mention). The people behind the bands and the people behind Dark Essence Records, were friends before the label started and we used to hang out at the gigs, the Hole in the Sky festival (now Beyond the Gates) and of course at the Garage music pub. It’s quite fitting that the Dark Essence office is in the same building as the now closed down Garage, and now we usually meet at the Apollon record bar across the street.

Taake is the biggest band on Dark Essence Records, and undoubtedly the most known band too.

TAAKE’s 7 Fjell Box is on the Black metal summer sales campaign

Taake was one of the first bands we signed to Dark Essence Records, together with Hades Almighty and Nidigr, and they helped us kick start the label. So, we’re pleased to have many of the Taake cds, vinyl, box set and merchandise in this campaign. Another early signing to the label was the then young Bergen band Malsain, featuring among others Phobos (Aeternus, Gravdal, Gorgoroth live ++) on drums. We did two albums with Malsain, and their 2nd album is available here. A later signing was The 3rd Attempt, a band consisting of both the original Carpathian Forest guitarists.

Other newer Norwegian bands in the genre we’ve worked with was Sarkom where we did their 3rd and 4th album, and then we recently signed the Oslo band Acârash. We just released their 2nd album, so only their debut is available in this campaign. Greece has had a similar Black Metal tradition to Norway, and we’ve worked with a couple of Greek bands, like the debut from Ravencult (that album is sold out) and the the debut from band Lucifer’s Child, a band consisting of ex-Rotting Christ and Nightfall members. Other non-Norwegian bands was the first album from the British band Skaldic Curse (a band introduced to us by Hoest of Taake), featuring Fen members, and recently we released the 4th album by Italian band Darkend.

Let’s backtrack a bit to Taake, since we’ve done the two latest albums with the band Orkan. This band is the brainchild of Gjermund Fredheim (live guitarist and banjo hero for Taake) and Rune Nesse (live drummer for Taake). So there’re quite a strong connection between musicians in various band constellations and Dark Essence Records.

And last but not least, even though they’re strictly not Black Metal, we look at first Helheim album, “Jormundgand”, as a Black Metal classic and includes this one here.

From Wednesday the 3rd of June till Tuesday 9th of June (at 23.59 CET), you will get the following items with a 33,3 % discount.

Taake – …Doedskvad (cd)
Taake – Taake (cd)
Taake – Taake (black vinyl)
Taake – Noregs Vaapen (cd)
Taake – Stridens Hus (cd)
Taake – Kong Vinter (cd)
Taake – Kong Vinter (vinyl)
Taake – misc. merchandise
Taake – 7 Fjell (vinyl box)
Helheim – Jormundgand (cd)
Malsain – The Disease (cd)
Hades Almighty/Drudkh – Pyre, Era Black! (split-vinyl)
The 3rd Attempt – Born in Thorns (cd)
The 3rd Attempt – Egocidal Path (cd)
The 3rd Attempt – Egocidal Path (vinyl)
Skaldic Curse – World Suicide Machine (cd)
Lucifer’s Child – The Wiccan (cd)
Lucifer’s Child – The Wiccan (vinyl, slightly cover damage 66,6 % discount)
Darkend – Spiritual Resonance (cd)
Darkend – Spiritual Resonance (vinyl)
Orkan – Livlaus (cd)
Orkan – Element (cd)
Sarkom – Doomsday Elite (cd)
Sarkom – Anti-Cosmic Art (cd)
Sarkom – Anti-Cosmic Art (t-shirt)
Acârash – In Chaos Becrowned (cd)
Acârash – In Chaos Becrowned (vinyl)