Black Metal in His Majesty’s Service

Order © Per Ole HagenBlack metal has always existed outside of the established culture, both by choice and also from lack of acceptance. So also in Norway, until four years ago, when our Department of Foreign Affairs started educating their aspirants in black metal history, acknowledging the international reputation of Norwegian black metal. Since then the aspirants have got a yearly lecture one black metal, and this year it happened as a road trip with a twist. (Picture above: Order in the cowshed)

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1349 – The Year of the Black Death

1349 30102015-061349 is one of Norway’s leading black metal bands. They were formed in 1997, and they are named after the year the Black death came to Norway, killing more than half of the Norwegian population and somewhere between 50 and 80 million people in Europe. This year it is 666 years since the Black death, and last night 1349 presented their album Hellfire from 2005 at the Vulkan Arena in Oslo, celebrating, or maybe rather commemorating those 666 years.

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Behemoth At Inferno 2015

Behemoth © Per Ole HagenThe definitive headliner at Inferno 2015 were Behemot. The Polish band is among the most respected in the world among all black/death metal bands, and their performance at the Inferno Festival was top class. I showed some of the photos I took of them on the report from Thursday at the festival. Here are more photos.

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Mayhem – 30 Years Celebration at Oya

Mayhem © Per Ole HagenMayhem are Norway’s longest existing black metal band. It is also the band with the most controversy surrounding it. On Friday they celebrated their 30 year anniversary at the Oya festival with the stage full of carcasses and pigs’ heads and some good new and old school black metal. Here are pictures from the concert.

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Norwegian Metal in Warsaw

Order © Per Ole HagenTwo years ago I held an exhibition at the Galleri MAP in Oslo called Norwegian Metal in Concert. Last year the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs bought the rights to offer the exhibition to Norwegian embassies, and yesterday the embassy in Warsaw, Poland hosted the first exhibition together with a concert with the Norwegian black metal band Order. (Picture above: Billy Messiah from Order)

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Watain – The Closing Headliner at Inferno

Watain © Per Ole HagenThe last night at Inferno 2014 was closed by the Swedish band Watain. Together with Dimmu Borgir, Hatebreed and Blasphemy, they were the headliners at the festival. With their satanistic philosophy and extremely competent playing, they were a worthy closing act of this year’s Inferno. Continue reading

The Inferno Festival Kick Off 2013

Nidingr © Per Ole HagenEvery Easter almost 2000 black metal fans gather in Oslo for their annual Inferno festival and family gathering. They come from Australia, China, India, USA, Europe and South America, and Norway. While many of the native Norwegians go to their cabins or hotels in the mountains to ski, the metal fans come together at Rockefeller and John Dee, two clubs in the same house in Oslo. (Picture above: Nidingr)

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Mayhem – veterans of Norwegian black metal

Mayhem at the by:Larm festival in Oslo. © All Rights Reserved, Per Ole HagenMayhem was formed in 1984 and is the longest living Norwegian black metal band. They have had their problems during the years but are considered to be the pioneers of Norwegian black metal. In February this year they were the closing act of the Norwegian showcase festival by:Larm.

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