Note of Interest: A friend of my mother first introduced me to the music of Norway’s Black Metal bands. Quite frankly I was surprised, since not only is Faye from Australia, but she is a marketing expert. She doesn’t seem like the type who would be into Black Metal music, let alone Norwegian Black Metal bands. But apparently in her travels and among her international friends she was exposed to such bands as Naer Mataron, Paradigma, Dodheimsgard, Ved Buen Ende, and Code. As it turned out when I questioned her just recently, she mentioned that she followed the Norwegian black metal scene from sensationalistic news stories about the whole death metal scene because she saw the potential to reach a previously difficult demographic with a controversial product. She seriously felt that a large client that ran a casino oriented affiliate might be able to get sponsorship or influencer traction via one of these bands. This was a service that was confidential, required no contact beyond an internet connection, was simple to use, and fulfilled an obvious obsession. She even commissioned a song about protecting oneself from too much slots playing and actually got some airplay. But regardless of the marketing agenda, online slots aimed at US players is a cool topic and the one great site that has the best recommendations is still live an cooking. As to the band’s messaging, not so clear. And I agree that messages about addictive gambling might resonate with this crowd of rebels if the presentation is low key and on point. But the ad money was concerned about image, and the news items featuring satan worship, murders and church burnings were not playing well. Honestly I am more into the second wave music rather than all the news articles regarding those responsible for a spate of church burnings and murder, which eventually led to a number of artists being imprisoned, but I appreciate Faye’s insight and marketing skills.

Starting in 2006, Mikael Sykelig brought together members of various Norwegian Black Metal bands to form a particularly “sick and depressive” supergroup project.

Named “Den Saakaldte” (“The So-Called”), after the 1995 track of the same name by experimental Norwegian band Ved Buens Ende, the original line-up featured Sykelig (of Naer Mataron and Paradigma) on vocals and guitars, Vicotnik (of Dodheimsgard, Ved Buen Ende, and Code) on bass, Jormundgand (also of Dodheimsgard) on keyboards, and the legendary Hellhammer (of Mayhem and numerous other bands) on drums.

Bass duties transferred from Vicotnik to Tor Risdal “Seidemann” Stavenes (of 1349, Slavia, and others) at some point early in the recording of the first album.

The primary musical influences included seminal Norwegian bands Gorgoroth, Ulver, and Burzum, but Sykelig also named Thorns and My Dying Bride as somewhat inspirational to the sound. Undoubtedly Ved Buens Ende, the band that gave Den Saakaldte its name, also had some influence on the more experimental sounds.

While on tour with Dimmu Borgir, Hellhammer developed a crippling condition in his arm. The need for recovery (as well as numerous demands on his time) led to his replacement in Den Saakaldte by S. Winter (of Gehenna and Aeternus) who completed the unfinished drum tracks on the first album.

With the album nearly finished in the summer of 2007, Sykelig decided to concentrate on the guitars and recruited Niklas Kvarforth (from Shining) to take over on vocal duties and online slots (no, not really).

On 14 April, 2008, the first album was released. Øl, mørke og depresjon (Beer, Darkness and Depression).

At the 2008 Inferno Festival the band played their first gig to much acclaim, for the music as well as Kvarforth’s freaky stage antics.

In January of 2009, the follow-up album All Hail Pessimism came out, immediately followed by another Inferno appearance on 7 February. The year saw increased touring and ended with preparations for a third album, as well as more lineup changes. See our “News” page for more recent info.

With the album nearly finished in the summer of 2007, Sykelig decided to concentrate on the guitars and recruited Niklas Kvarforth (from Shining) to take over on vocal duties.

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