On a dark and damp, probably cold and windy winter’s day, early 2004, in Reykjavík, Iceland, an avid amateur musician and literature student by the name of Ragnar Ólafsson picked up the phone and dialed the number on the poster which read “Singer wanted”. “Does that ever work?” you might ask, “has there ever been a band successfully established through musicians wanted ads?” Well, yes, Metallica for one. And by now you’re probably under the impression that Ask the Slave was as well. Not quite. That was a different band. But it is the story of how Ragnar met guitarist Elvar Atli Ævarsson, a fellow music enthusiast who, at the time, played with said group. Now picture this scenario, a couple of weeks later; two guys in their early twenties are bonding during a 6-hour long drive to a paying gig with a band that neither of them is very passionate about. The two young men are intrigued to learn that they share an interest in Frank Zappa, an appreciation for eccentric, forward-thinking music, and a deep passion for good ol’ rock & roll. This sounds more like the beginning of a fruitful relationship, doesn’t it? And it was. Although the group in question would be dismantled only the very next day following a rather disastrous gig, Elvar would remember this guy Ragnar a few months down the line when giving up on handling vocal duties in another music project of his. So, this time Elvar picked up the phone. And that’s how Ask the Slave was formed.
Perhaps it’s down to the fact that Ragnar was raised in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Elvar a West fjord native, both of them having recently relocated to the Iceland capital and being poorly connected to any of the tightly-knit local music scenes. Outsiders, the two of them. With no real motivation to “fit in” with a certain crowd. That might be it. Whatever the reason, Ask the Slave has always been on the fringe, indifferent to trends, welcoming of influences and inspiration from all music deemed of quality, regardless of traditions or “cool factors”. This has resulted in their music being described as eclectic and unpredictable.
Within a year from forming, the Ask the Slave ensemble had recruited Valur Árni Guðmundsson from a legendary Icelandic underground metal act. Joining as a drummer prior to the recording of the group’s debut, Kiss Your Chora, Valur would later switch to guitar and effortlessly adapt to the songwriting methods of Ask the Slave. Subsequently surrounding themselves with local metal cannons, Ask the Slave soon became a popular, albeit controversial, live attraction in the open-minded Icelandic metal community. This culminated in the release of 2010s The Order of Things, a bold record that received great praise from reviewers and local music nerds.
Fast-forward to 2012. Ask the Slave begins the writing process for their third record, which almost immediately is named Good Things Bad People. Then what happened? 9 years went by, fast. That’s what. Well, other stuff too. Stuff like babies, families, day jobs, success and touring in other bands, depression, education, members’ withdrawals. But through complicated circumstances, Good Things Bad People gradually took shape. Eventually, the arrival of seasoned rhythm duo Hálfdán Árnason and Skúli Gíslason in 2017 proved to be the ultimate shot of energy that the group so desperately needed to finally get the job done.
Good Things Bad People will be released on June 4th, 2021, by Crime Records in collaboration with We Låve Rock Music. This marks the beginning of Ask the Slave’s overseas adventures, as previous releases have so far only been distributed in Iceland. That’s about to change though, as Crime Records will additionally be re-releasing the first two albums, with bonus material, also offering the option of buying all three albums as a 3CD rigid box collector’s item.
|Box-set||Box||2021||Buy physical edition||Buy digital downloads of the albums (Bonus Tracks not included)|
|Good Things Bad People||Album||2021||Buy physical edition||Buy digital download|
|Chain Gang||Single||2021||Buy digital download|
|The Order of Things [Remastered]||Album||2021||Buy physical edition||Buy digital download (Bonus Tracks not included)|
|Kiss Your Chora [Remixed & Remastered]||Album||2021||Buy physical edition||Buy digital download (Bonus Tracks not included)|
|Elvar Atli Ævarsson||Guitars & Vocals|
|Hálfdán Árnason||Bass & Synthesizer|
|Ragnar Ólafsson||Piano & Lead Vocals|
|Skúli Gíslason||Drums & Percussion|
|Valur Árni Guðmundsson||Guitars & Vocals|
Clive Nolan is a British musician, composer, and producer who has played a prominent role in the recent development of progressive and symphonic rock.
Born in Gloucestershire, he was a pupil at Wycliffe College and King's School, Gloucester. He completed his B. Mus and M. Mus degrees at London University where he studied composition, orchestration, and conducting. He has been the regular keyboard player in Pendragon (1986–present), Shadowland (1992–present), Strangers on a Train (1993–1994), Arena (1995–present), and Caamora (2006–present) as well as writing music and lyrics for Arena, Shadowland, Caamora and numerous other projects.
Nolan is the founder member of The Caamora Theatre Company formed to produce and perform the musicals of Clive Nolan. The premiere of 'She' took place in Katowice Wyspianski Theatre in Poland in October 2007. Subsequently, full theatrical performances of 'She' were performed in January 2010 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, followed by the eight-man 'She in Concert' variation in Holland in September 2011. In February 2012 theatrical version of 'She' debuted in the UK in Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre. Recently, the revived theatre shows were performed at the Cheltenham Playhouse in September 2015 during the anniversary event, "The Fire and the Quest" and again in Cheltenham in 2016. 'She in Concert" was also performed in Germany in 2015 and Holland in 2016.
He was voted Best Keyboard Player by Classic Rock Society in the years: 1995, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2010 the Bolivian government awarded him with the title of Honorary Visitor to Santa Cruz, Bolivia for his theatre work in the city of Santa Cruz. In 2013 he was awarded the Polish MLWZ "Golden Lexicon Award" for Outstanding Achievements in Music for his musical 'Alchemy'.
Nolan released his second musical 'Alchemy', with a libretto based on the composer's original story, early in 2013. In February 2013 the live show was recorded for the DVD at the famous Wyspianski Theatre in Katowice, Poland. The full theatrical shows of 'Alchemy' were performed by the Caamora Theatre Company at the Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre in September 2013. In 2013 and 2014 the concert version of 'Alchemy' headlined musical and theatre events in the UK and Holland. In August 2014 'Alchemy' was performed over a week at the Jermyn Street Theatre in the London Off-West End. In November 2014, 'Alchemy' returned in a concert version to be performed in Reichenbach, Germany. The musical was once more performed at the Cheltenham Playhouse as part of "The Fire and the Quest" festival in 2015, and during "The Fire and the Quest 2" in 2017.
In 2016 the Norwegian branch of Caamora was formed from the initiative of the founder members of 'Hurum Prog', Morten L. Clason, and Ingar Diskerud. Caamora Norway "Alchemy" shows featuring Clive Nolan and the all-Norwegian cast were performed in Norway in 2017. The Show in the Høytorp Fort in Mysen will be released on DVD.
In October 2016 Clive performed a series of concerts in Uruguay and Norway accompanied by the best opera and musical theatre artists. The Norwegian show 'An Evening with Clive Nolan and Friends' was released on DVD in 2017.
Clive's third musical 'King's Ransom' was released on CD and premiered on stage at the Cheltenham Playhouse in September 2017. Live DVD will be released in the near future.
In 2018 Clive signed both ‘Alchemy' and ‘King’s Ransom’ to a film company with a view to bringing these musicals to the silver screen. "The Professor King Chronicles" is planned to be released in cinemas in 2020 and 2021.
Clive is currently working on his new project "Song of the Wildlands".
|Song of the Wildlands||Album||2021||Buy physical editions|
Veil of Secrets is a new band formed by Vibeke Stene and Asgeir Mickelson.
Their debut album Dead Poetry marks Stene’s return to the scene after leaving Tristania in 2007 and Mickelson’s first outlet as the main songwriter.
Vibeke Stene is known as the singer of Tristania, 1997-2007. With Veil of Secrets, Stene has composed the majority of lyrics and vocals.
Asgeir Mickelson is known for having played drums in Borknagar, Sarke, Ihsahn, Spiral Architect, Vintersorg, Testament, and others. With Veil of Secrets, Mickelson has written all music and recorded drums, guitars, and bass. In live situations, he will handle drums.
Growling vocals on the album were done by Erling Malm (Endolith, Articulus) who will also play guitar live. Violin was done by Sareeta (Ram-Zet, Trollfest, etc), who will also join on live shows. The live line-up will be completed with another guitarist and bassist. This constellation is “the band”, but the creative core is Stene & Mickelson who will also represent Veil of Secrets in photos and all promotion.
The fundament of Veil of Secrets is to make music from the heart – and the belief that honest music is the only way to really captivate and move the listener. It is pure doom metal, still with a niche of its own.
|Asgeir Mickelson||Drums, Guitars, Bass|
|Erling Malm||Growling Vocals (Live)|
|Dead Poetry||Album||2020||Buy physical editions||Buy digital download|
|The Last Attempt||Single||2020||Buy digital download (Single)|
Vitam Aeternam is an experimental musical project formed by entities known as Jake Rosenberg (Desperate Machines, In Progress), Râhoola (A Flying Fish, ex-Inferzenal), and André Aaslie (Funeral, Profane Burial, Images At Twilight, Abyssic, Gromth, Woodwindz, and Omnia Moritur). It's through chance and shared musical values that such entities were able to create an original album full of complex, emotional, dramatic, haunting, melodic, intense, and cinematic music. An honest work from the subconscious depths, and a prodigious offspring of our interconnected digital zeitgeist.
|Jake Rosenberg||Keyboards, Piano, Programming, Sampling|
|Râhoola||Vox, Choir, Keyboards, Piano, Orchestration, Programming, and Sound Design|
|André Aaslie||Piano, Orchestration, Moog, Mellotron|
|The Self-Aware Frequency||Album||2020||Buy physical editions.||Buy digital downloads.|
|Human||Single||2020||Buy digital downloads.|
Infringement is a progressive rock band based in Oslo. The band came together on a cold November evening in 2015, when Stig André Clason, Kristoffer Utby, and Hans Andreas Brandal all met for the first time, to drink whiskey and discuss the idea of forming a new band.
In Springtime 2016, Espen Larsen joined the band on bass, and the band had decided to write a concept album, Transition. Released in May of 2017, it follows the development of a local society through the last couple of centuries. Focusing on one family across different generations, seen through the eyes of an anthropomorphic house.
To complete the lineup, Bård Thorstensen joined the band for the live shows and hasn't left since.
Infringement has been described as playing something in between neo-progressive rock and symphonic rock while flirting with various genres throughout their debut album. They touch on big groovy parts with funky rhythms, other times they clearly visit the 70s. A mix of melodious, symphonic rock with unexpected twists and progressive bar changes.
After spending the last two years writing, fine-tuning, and recording their next album, Infringement is now ready for the next chapter. Alienism, a large sounding, intense concept album peeks into the mind of patients at the Gentmire Institute, an institution at the forefront of psychiatrical innovation. We get the insights of the commissioner of Lunacy himself, and through his journals, we enter the world of The Alienist. So let us all escape reality and seek comfort in our minds.
|Hans Andreas Brandal||Vocals|
|Stig André Clason||Guitar and Vocals|
|Kristoffer Utby||Drums and Vocals|
|Alienism||Album||2019||Buy physical edition.||Buy digital download.|
|Transition||Album||2017||Buy physical edition.|
At the end of the year 2017, we decided to gather this crazy collection of good friends and musicians who all share the same passion for powerful music. After years in various bands and projects, we finally had the time and effort to work and create a group together.
We decided to call this band SECRET CHAPTER!
As the year 2018 went by, many hours were spent to rewrite, record, produce and finalize old songs that were mostly written but now has brand new and exciting clothes.
We decided to name our first album, “CHAPTER ONE”!
Working together with Andy LaRocque (King Diamond) at Sonic Train Studios, who did a fantastic job co-producing, mixing and mastering for us, we couldn’t be happier with the result!
At this point, we are stoked, excited, and looking forward to showing you what’s within the secret chapter!
|Ole Aleksander Wagenius||Vocals|
|Stian Stensrud||Bass Guitar|
|Ronny Rocken Arntzen||Drums|
|Chapter One||2019||Buy physical edition.||Buy digital download at Bandcamp or CD Baby.|
|Baptized in Ecstasy||2019||Buy digital download at Bandcamp or CD Baby|
|Blaze||2019||Buy digital download at Bandcamp or CD Baby|
Vanora is a synergy of five talented young musicians springing out of Oslo, Norway. With their debut full-length album Momentum hitting the shelves on September 1st, 2017, Vanora will expose the world to its own inventive take on the metal music style. Blending razor-sharp guitar riffing with big synthesizers, sung vocals, screamed vocals and more, this quintet might just be your thing- and if you anyway are a fan of modern metal (i.e. TesseracT, Meshuggah, The Contortionist etc.), you should definitely check them out!
|Steffen Johansen||Bass Guitar|
|Momentum||2017||Digipack CD||Digital Download|
Photo by: Arve Bjerkåsholmen
Critical Solution is a Norwegian Horror Thrash band ready to release their new concept album Barbara the Witch. This will be Critical Solutions’ 3rd effort since 2013.
The band has toured Europe with bands like W.A.S.P, Marduk, Diamond Head to name a few, and is known for its theatrical themed shows.
Described by some as the child of King Diamond and Testament with influences from Alice Cooper, Arthur Brown etc., the band is also known for having impressive guests on their albums with Michael Denner/Hank Shermann, Andy La Rocque, Arthur Brown, and Whit Crane etc.
|Eimund Grøsfjell||Bass Guitar|
|Barbara the Witch||2017||Digipack CD||Digital Download|
|The Death Lament||2014||EP (CD)|
|Evil Never Dies||2013||CD|
|Evidence of Things Unseen||2011||EP (CD)|
Out from the infamous west coast of Norway, a young and energetic band emerges: Art of Deception.
They started out practicing original material from day one. The band competed in a contest and got to the national finals in 2013. Meanwhile, they played numerous gigs in 2013 which included Rock Mot Rus’ Rockemønstring and Marked for Musikk 2013. The band also supported Oathbreaker for their gig at Grottene in Stavanger, Norway.
In the fall of 2013, they built a home studio and recorded their first EP and released it by their self. Kraken’s Awakening from this EP got chosen as the song of the week by a national radio station (ukas urørt).
In 2014 they supported Kvelertak and Entombed at Folken, Stavanger (Norway) and they won the crowds favorite award in Sandnes Sparebanks music award.
In 2015 they have been playing both domestic and abroad. In August they supported Toxic Holocaust at Garage in Bergen, Norway.
|Sindre Wathne Johnsen||Guitar/Vocals|
|Patrick Ivan Rørheim||Bass|
|Shattered Delusions||2016||CD||Digital Download|
|Killing||2016||Digital Download (Single)|
|Art of Deception||2013||EP (CD)|