Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Metal Falls into the Shadow of Darkness

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | HPR Abroad | July 1st, 2016

by Angie Perez

Black Metal in Norway as we know it is strongly associated with Satanism, occult, violence, burning down of Christian churches and men wearing all black attire looking like they just stepped out of hell. In today’s metal scene some will argue that the genre has fallen into the shadows of pop and alternative music.

The five member Norwegian Metal band, Shot At Dawn, has decided to break up after 11 years of making music. The band performed their last gig at Aye Aye Club for Oslo’s annual Musikkfest, “It’s just time, we worked our asses off last year and couldn’t really get anywhere,” guitarist Alexander Klæboe said. “I think our name is getting a little worn out … so we’ve had a hard time getting response anywhere. Right now it's just not worth the effort.”

As an unsigned band, Shot At Dawn has been in charge of booking their own shows. Despite the decline of interest in the genre they successfully played in 21 concerts in 2015.

This was the band's third time playing at Oslo’s Musikkfest, drummer Aki Viitala said. The bass player, Espen Hagas, and guitarist, Christopher Marchand, are original band members since. Viitala joined in 2010, both Klaeboe and lead vocalist Martin Bråthen joined in 2014.

“It’s so great that they have this stage just for Metal music because it is a genre that for the last five years it's been in the shadows,” Bråthen said.

Overall music sales and radio airplay have decreased, as music genres like pop and alternative rock have increased and are dominating the charts.

Metal’s revenue and concert attendance has shrunk in Scandinavia, and that could be in part because the genre is veering away from its origins - transforming into a modern and less angry beast. Or the transformation could be a side effect of waning interest in metal.

“We want to make people smile we don’t want to make people angry and hurt each other,” Bråthen said.

Shot At Dawn’s objective is to empower their listeners and make music that people can listen to when they’re going through a hard time, feeling sad, happy or just want to party. “We want to make a song for every emotion. Even if it’s metal we want to cover all shades it's not just black or white,” Bråthen said.

In March, the City of Oslo hosted a big music event where not a single Metal act was booked. “That's pretty crazy because they had like a 150 bands and not one was metal,” Bråthen said.

Viitala said that it was depressing to see because the genre has been around since the late 70’s, and during the mid 2000’s they noticed a decrease in interest.

A few legendary Metal artists have already expressed the disinterest in metal: Brent Hinds told GuitarPlayer that he doesn’t like to play heavy metal; and in an interview with the Observer, Dani Filth said that there is a noticeable difference between being a Metal artist then to now because it is getting harder and harder to make a living.

Despite the gradual loss of interest, Bråthen said that recently people are starting to implement guitars again because concert goers enjoy a show where the music is created on stage. “There’s no backing tracks, we create the music on stage with our guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals, that’s it. It's just us making a bunch of noise. There is something organic about it, something real that comes from the heart.”

Shot At Dawn does not categorize themselves as Black Metal but “white-trash metal,” which they described as full of good party vibes with simple lyrics made for the common man. Instead of giving a dark and aggressive show they want to bring joy to the crowd.

“It's about being yourself,” said Bråthen. “F*** everybody, I don’t like your s***, living life to the fullest, and party hard.”

Getting off the stage Saturday night the band members felt a mix of emotion. Marchand solemnly said he felt sad, Klæboe said he felt the band's state of oblivion. “During the last song I had tears in my eyes,” said Viitala. “Now we have to put our energy in new projects we’re all going to play in some new band.”

The bands differentiates their style from Black metal because they don’t go on stage trying to look angry but instead like to smile and show happiness, Viitala said.

Last year the band performed at a Finnish festival. On the first night all the other bands were dressed hardcore, black metal style. Bråthen said the second night they played they saw those same bands were wearing Shot at Dawn’s merch (hats and t-shirts) and smiling on stage. “They told us you guys taught us that we don’t have to be angry on stage, even if the music is aggressive, we don’t have to be….I feel like we are pioneers of some sort,” he said.

The main concern for the newer bands is the lack of revenue coming in for metal artist. It’s not that Metal is dead but it has a broader spectrum of subgenres that have steered away from the black metal traditions.

“I think people remember having fun more than a watching a bunch of guys worship satan. When you go to a show and you see a metal concert the music is brutal and it hits you right in the face, but still we are having a good time,” Bråthen said. 

Recently in:

FARGO – On Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 5:33 a.m., Fargo Police officers responded to medical assist at the McDonalds located at 905 Main Avenue. Once on scene, officers located a male, in his twenties, laying in the parking…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comPhoto by Anne BradleyValkyries of the Valley will invade the North Dakota Apartment Wrestling Federation (NDAWF) for Brawl-esque, a variety show that will be held at Prairie Brothers Brewing Company…

Best Bets

Spirit Talk

by HPR Staff

Thursday, September 27, 7-9 p.m.Homewood Suites by Hilton Fargo, 2021 16th St N., FargoGet in touch with the other side! Sunny Dawn Johnston will help you reach the spirit world in this two-hour, eye-opening event. This is a group…

It’s bad enough when his word versus her word regarding sexual assault gets out in a high school hallway, but can you imagine it spreading throughout the national news media? Imagine reliving those events every time you turn on…

We failed to educate the players of “flag” footballI passed all of the American history courses in Morrison County District 54, Little Falls High School, and Moorhead State Teachers College, but I’m often appalled about what…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comAs I sat across from my wife at Himalayan Yak Tuesday evening, it dawned on me that time had slowed down. So often when we go out to eat, we are in a hurry. We get anxious when we aren’t greeted…

Music

Back in the saddle

by Sabrina Hornung

After a long hiatus members of Teenage Lobotomy reunited for the first time in 22 years at Center Fest in Robinson North Dakota this summer. With influences such as Husker Du and the Circle Jerks their high energy immediately had…

Director Craig William Macneill speculates on the infamous legend surrounding Massachusetts murder suspect Lizzie Borden in “Lizzie,” a long-germinating labor of love for star Chloe Sevigny. Working from a screenplay by Bryce…

It may be cliche to say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, but when wet plate artist Shane Balkowitsch found out that his 15-year-old daughter Abby Balkowitsch was following in his photography footsteps, he was…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

In the approximately three years I’ve been writing for the High Plains Reader it seems I’ve always circled back to comedian Adam Quesnell. First, I wrote about his farewell show before he set out from Fargo and the comedy…

When walking into the new space on 1st Ave N that now houses Drekker brewing, one can only say, “Wow.” The majesty of the interior is unprecedented for a brewery in the region and provides a feeling of awe and astonishment.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

by Andrew Alexis Varvelmr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.com“If a piece of equipment purchased in the 1920s is kept up and can guarantee, at present, an operable rate close to 100 percent and if it can bear the production burden placed on…