EP review: Nordjevel “Fenriir”

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Norwegian black metal band Nordjevel returns with a five-track EP, “Fenriir”. It is dark, cold, damp, stenchy, evil, sinister and wonderfully splendid. Evil will no doubt prevail in Norway.

Norwegian black metal is a tough subgenre to be in, not least if you’re from Norway, home to the infamous and chaotic second wave of black metal of the early 1990s. But that doesn’t scare Nordjevel. The Nordjevel members just walk onto the stage and deliver like there’s no tomorrow. While Nordjevel is a relatively new band, formed in 2015, the members (Doedsadmiral – vocals, Destructhor – guitar, Dominator – drums, Valla – guitar and DzeptiCunt – bass) have pedigree from playing with bands such as Morbid Angel, Cadaver, 1349, Myrkskog, Ragnarok, Dark Funeral, Netherbird and many more. It is a seasoned group of gentlemen of darkness with plenty of experience of extreme metal gigs and tours. It shows in Nordjevel’s exquisite and intense music. It is dark, cold, damp, stenchy, evil, sinister and wonderfully splendid. Evil will prevail in Norway. What we get on “Fenriir” is three magnificent new studio tracks plus a death metal cover and a live recording of “Det Ror og Ror”, recorded at the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic in 2019. The five tracks are a nice mix of tracks in Norwegian and English. The ultra-fast “Gnawing the Bones” is my favourite track. While this is only a five-track EP, it is a great demonstration of the different sides to this band. They pretty much stay within the loosely defined parameters of black metal, although we do get a terrific over-the-top cover of American death metal band Possessed’s “Fallen Angel”. But within the black metal subgenre, Nordjevel shows us quite a bit of variety, including influences from the members’ previous bands. On the title track “Fenriir” we get some Nordic blackened folk metal touches while “Rovdyr” is more pure black metal. Most importantly, the band shows us that they stand shoulder to shoulder with Norway’s best black metal bands. A new full-length album is in the works and will hopefully be released before the end of the year.

Nordjevel’s EP “Fenriir” is out now via Indie Recordings.



Video premiere: Electric Guitars “Dopamine”

Riff-happy Danish rock band Electric Guitars premieres a video for the new single “Dopamine”. Søren Andersen (on guitar and vocals) we know from his work with Glenn Hughes, Marco Mendoza and Mike Tramp. In Electric Guitars he is joined by Mika Vandborg (guitar and vocals), Peter Kjøbsted (bass) and Morten Hellborn (drums). “Dopamine” is the first single from Electric Guitar’s upcoming album “Freewheeler”, due in September via Mighty Music.



Album review: Inhuman Architects “Paradoxus”

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Portuguese deathcore band Inhuman Architects demonstrates some serious potential on its debut album.

Inhuman Architects is a hard-hitting deathcore band from Portugal. Formed in 2020, they were quickly signed by Australian label Vicious Instinct Records. Now the band’s debut album, “Paradoxus”, is ready for release. “Paradoxus” does not sound like a debut album. It sounds like a record by seasoned professionals. At times, the brutal, high-energy music of Inhuman Architects reminds me somewhat of one of my favourite bands, Aborted. Call it deathcore, brutal death metal or whatever you prefer. It is hard-hitting extreme metal and it is aggressively good. The band has seen several line-up changes in its early stages. Now the band consists of Fábio Infante (vocals), Fábio Azevedo (guitar), Susana Gamito (bass) and Marcus Reis (drums). Following the recording of the debut album, the band has added guitarist João Martins to the line-up. The terrific track “Nephilim” has already been released as a single and the album is full of equally good songs. “Nibiru’s Wrath” is a total mayhem of a song and I love it. Listening to it feels like being hit by a heavy-load truck! Boys and girls, I am confident that “Paradoxus” is the start of something great. The talent and commitment of this band will lead to even greater things in the coming years. But first things first. Do yourself a favour and buy the band’s debut album. Hopefully someone will spot the opportunity and do a tour package featuring Aborted and Inhuman Architects.

Inhuman Architects’ debut album “Paradoxus” will be released on 16th July via Vicious Instinct Records.


Album review: Sterbhaus “Necrostabbing at Göta Källare – Live in Stockholm”

Sterbhaus. Photo: Emily Vollertzen

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Timeless and unpolished thrashy heavy metal from Sweden’s Sterbhaus on new live album.

Formed in Stockholm in 2007, Swedish band Sterbhaus calls its music “metal deluxe – Swedish timeless blackened thrash/death”. Fair enough. The deluxe part of the description, I guess, is part of the band’s self-deprecating dark humour. This style of heavy metal is somewhat hard to define. It is heavy, gritty and raw. Uncompromising but less stenchy and sinister than some of the purer black or death metal bands. This is different in an interesting way. It comes across as a bunch of metalheads just wanting to play metal and not worrying about fitting into a subgenre or taking themselves too seriously. “Necrostabbing at Göta Källare – Live in Stockholm” is a recording of the album release show for “New Level of Malevolence” which took place on 17th October 2015. The Sterbhaus line-up that performed that show consisted of Marcus Hammarström (Elvira Madigan, Shining) on vocals and bass, Jimmy Ahovalli (Skitarg) on lead guitar, Simon Olovsson (Avslut) on guitar and Erik Röjås (Ondskapt, Netherbird) on drums. Seven of the live album’s nine tracks are from the “New Level of Malevolence” album. In addition, we get treated to the songs “Absolutely Do Not Die!” and “Ministry”, both from the 2012 album “Angels for Breakfast…and God for Lunch”. “Grudgeholder + Hatemonger” is a great song that is a tad bit more straightforward thrash metal than many of the other songs. It is also the best song on this live album. As is often the case with this band, they can’t just play this song in a straightforward manner. In the final part of the song, we get an amusing section with nonsense lyrics sung in Swedish. It’s all part of Sterbhaus being Sterbhaus. The album’s closing number, “Ministry”, is an obvious highlight with its ferociousness and speed. Similar to the album’s opening number, “Necrostabbing the Corpsefinder”, this song too is best described as a violent, pissed off and drooling dog attacking the listener. It is a perfect way to close this show and a great, unpolished live album.

Sterbhaus’ live album “Necrostabbing at Göta Källare – Live in Stockholm” will be released via Black Lodge Records on 9th July.



Album review: Gájanas “Čihkkojuvvon”

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

Sublime Nordic ethno-prog rock from exquisite Finnish band Gájanas.

Gájanas plays Sámi ethno-progressive music. This is progressive folk rock music built around the Sámi culture of the northern parts of the Nordic countries. Gájanas comes from the Inari-Utsjoki area of northern Finland and half of the members of the band are from Sámi families. Gájanas consists of Hildá Länsman on vocals and yoik, Nicholas Francett on guitar, cello and vocals, Kevin Francett on drums and Erkki Feodoroff on bass. Hildá Länsman grew up with the ancient Sámi traditions of reindeer husbandry, handicraft and yoik. She is the real deal and it shines through in her ethereal yet powerful voice. She is a force of nature, a natural and seductive talent. Gájanas is an excellent band which should appeal to those of us that like progressive rock, folk music and even Nordic black metal. To be clear, Gájanas does not play black metal but many of the same melancholic and dark elements as well as the close connection to nature can be found here. The Sámi history is a dark and difficult one. There are many parallels in Sámi history to that of Native Americans and other aboriginal people in the world. The band name Gájanas is Sámi for “echo” and this band’s melting pot of original music certainly has a lot of echoes and influences. The opening track “Almmi dolat” (“Northern Lights”) sets the tone for the album. We are immediately brought into a world where prog rock and even echoes of bands such as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden sit next to the ancient music of the Sámi people. The lyrics – all sung in Sámi – are melancholic and full of nature references, just like the music. The eight tracks on the album are rock solid. I love a killer eight-track album any day rather than a twelve-track album with a few fillers. The title track is an obvious highlight for me, but my favourite track is perhaps “Dollagaccat” (Sámi for “Hooves of Fire”) with its hypnotic music. “Diamántadulvvit” (“Floods of Diamonds”) is another snow-covered peak on this album. There is something very addictive about Gájanas’ music. The combination of ancient Sámi music with modern progressive rock is sublime. There are also terrific and sometimes hidden (the album title is Sámi for “hidden”) touches, twists and turns in the music. The terrific use of cello in the soundscape on the track “Hušša sisa” stands out.

Gájanas’ debut album “Čihkkojuvvon” is out now via Finnish label Bafe’s Factory.



Report: The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions, Episode #4 – Venom’s Demolition Years

Tony Dolan in Tokyo in August 2018. Photo: Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

When the Roppongi Rocks gang – Tony Dolan of Venom Inc, Kana Nagumo, Matt Ketchum of Kaala, Mack Suzuki of UDO Artists and Stefan Nilsson – returned to the Clubhouse audio app for the fourth episode of The Roppongi Rocks Clubhouse Sessions on Thursday 6th May, we got an earful of stories from Venom’s Demolition Years.

It was once again an up close and personal session of sweaty rock talk on your iPhone. Tony Dolan shared great Venom stories. Some people say that the Clubhouse audio app is all about FOMO: Fear of missing out. The live audio format means that either you hear it there and then or you miss out. If you didn’t listen live to Thursday’s session, you did miss out on some great rock’n’roll stories. How Tony’s band Atomkraft toured with Venom and Exodus in 1985. Tony being asked by Abaddon to replace Cronos as Venom’s frontman and how he brought Mantas back into the band. How the focus during The Demolition Years switched from image to music. How the reissues of “Prime Evil”, “Temples of Ice”, “The Waste Lands”, “Tear Your Soul Apart” and “Kissing the Beast” came about. What the guitarists Al Barnes and Steve White brought to the Venom sound and much more. You also missed out on our discussion about Venom Inc. How the core line-up of Venom’s Demolition Years reunited as Venom Inc. How Mantas wanted to avoid trouble by calling the band Iron & Steel. How Tony came up with the Venom Inc name. Why they ended up using a drum machine on the first Venom Inc album. What new drummer Jeramie Kling has brought to the band. Testament’s Chuck Billy’s role in Jeramie Kling replacing Abaddon. Details of the recording of the new album which will be released via Nuclear Blast around September. Why Nervosa got to tour with Venom Inc in Europe and that there is probably more to come from that bond between the bands. We also covered the reasons why major rock shows in Japan rarely have opening acts.

Is that enough FOMO for you? Join us next time for some sweaty rock talk on your iPhone. Live. Unedited. Raw.

#RoppongiRocksClubhouse #fomo #sweatyrocktalkonyouriphone