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:

VALLEY CITY – The White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are targeting North Dakota university newspapers in a cry for help: a book banning.So far, Valley City State University’s ‘Viking News,’ and NDSU’s ‘The Spectrum,’…

This is some of the basic computer technical information you have to know to be comfortable around Windows computers.Long ago and far away, someone thought up some very basic definitions of computer files -- you know, the things…

Thursday, October 19, 5:30-7:30Revland Gallery, 6 Broadway FargoIn celebration of her 80th birthday and 35 years of public service in the ND House and Senate, as well as on the Fargo School Board. Wine, beers, hors d’oeuvres, and…


That’s all folk

by Sabrina Hornung

Our opinion: Folk art as a connector and a hard goodbyeLast week my friend Molly Mclain and I started a rosemaling apprenticeship through the Folkart and traditional Art Apprenticeship program, through the NDCA under master painter…

I’m a white son-of-a-bitch who will always take a knee for M/Sgt McNairIn 1938 I entered First Grade in District 54 in Morrison County, Minnesota, a little white country school with a total of 23 students in eight grades and two…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

The Fergus Falls State Hospital (FFSH) ran a glorified commune. They were committed to sustainability long before the hippies of yore and the farm-to-table free-range folks of today. The hospital was self-sustaining, as both…


​Maximum Carnage

by Jacinta Macheel Zens

Carnage the Executioner on beatboxing, sampling and loopingHPR: How long have you been beatboxing?Carnage: I studied boxing when I was somewhere between eight and ten years old. There was this one group back in the days called the…

Over the last several weeks, the Concordia Orchestra has been preparing for the challengeSince Mary Shelley first published her Gothic horror novel in 1818, “Frankenstein” has been read by millions. The classic tale of an…

The Plains Art Museum, the Rourke Art Museum, NDSU, the Red Door Art Gallery (Wahpeton, ND) and the Fargo Theatre have teamed up to bring Fritz Fest, a three-day event, celebrating the life and work of influential 2oth century…

The F-M Community Theatre summarized the story: “Tony Wendice has married his wife, Margot, for her money and now plans to murder her for the same reason. He arranges the perfect murder. He blackmails a scoundrel he used to know…


​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Dipping into your cellar to pull out a special bottle is something that used to be fairly exclusive, wine connoisseurs only. These days, cellaring is gaining more and more traction among hardcore craft beer consumers, who continue…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

Last Word

Aunt Deloris

by Jim Fuglie

Deloris Boehmer is my last living aunt. She’s the only remaining member of my parents’ generation in our family. She’s 88, and lives in Edmore, North Dakota, about 40 miles northeast of Devils Lake. She’s got a pretty nice…