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Metal In Northern Sweden Part 2

Written by: Bad English
Published: August 22, 2021

This is the second part of the "Metal In Northern Sweden" article. Click here for the first part.


An unknown place to me, a place away from the sea and the E4 highway, somewhere near the Norwegian border.


A one-demo black metal. I don't see anything special there; we have millions like that, and the only difference is that this one is from northern Sweden (and even that doesn't make much of a difference).


Lycksele is a small town. I remembered there being some rock festival there in 2006 with Nocturnal Rites as the headliner, so I decided to Google it and it seems they had some metal-related events happening there. Lycksele Rock Festival had two editions, one in 2006 and one in 2007. Why am I talking about it? Because I remembered that I wanted to go there, but with the prospect of changing a bunch of buses and the financial factor, I decided not to. But it's long gone and dead, relegated to the Metal Storm ShoutBox and forum memories.


This is a one-demo power metal band. I listened to that one demo with friends once, but I don't remember much because I was too wasted.


Just a town between the middle of Sweden and the extreme north, a small town of approximately 30,000 known for its hockey team, Skellefteå AIK, which was a leader in Swedish hockey between 2010 and 2016. They won four titles in a row from the 2012-2013 season to the 2015-2016 season; they just drove right over all of their opponents. Now that time is past and they are a mid-level team again. To me, this town is, well, far south; it has weird summer darkness at night and it's small. I have driven through it and the only cool place is the Skellefte River. This might be the town that I dislike the most for no particular reason.


Khaospath was born in Malta as a one-man band, but then Mark Azzopardi decided to be a true blasphemer and move to the north to explore the winterlands and the true meaning of black metal. He lost himself far above and became a blasphemer, found a few guys, and made it a full band like Marduk, Gorgoroth, or Taake. It's raw, it's primitive, it's evil. It's not my type of band; no intellect, no artistic creations, no poetic lyrics. It's chaos and destruction, incomparable to his other band, Draugûl, which is about nature.


I insulted Khaospath just above, but this is totally different, a one-man band that's an epic mix between black metal and folk metal inspired by Bathory and Windir. It has fast songs with a blackened background, folky melodies, and a lot of feeling. It's like if you're in the forest season with forest porter; it has a balance between harmony and black metal aggression, both clean and harsh singing, and guest vocalist Katia Azzopardi makes it more amazing (go figure out whether she is his wife or his sister). The artwork is amazing and based on Viking themes.

If you remember Promonex and his music taste, this band is for you.

And at the sound of the Gjallhorn
The Gods awaken..and so the Norn
In hands held high the hammer of war
Ragnarok Forevermore!


Pulsing black metal with a mental disorder - it's as you would expect from a Swedish band that sings in Swedish and isn't Shining. This band is a lone wolf. The rest are in a pack. If we could say something about all four albums at once, it's like folk-inspired black metal where the folk stays out and the black metal gives way to shoegaze.

Mors Osculi

This is when you like Vikings, listen to Vintersorg, and come from the same town and are connected with that band, but then decide to go wild and create your own thing.

If this band were to come out today, they would have potential. I had the chance to listen to their one album in 2008, I think - I don't remember exactly what year, but I remember that the album had no cover and it was rare to find. It's more like a demo to me in principle. It's decent melodic black metal with harsh Children Of Bodom-style singing; it sounds like Eucharist with Kalmah's vocalist.


When chaotic hordes arise, they ride to create black metal. When pagans rise and worship, no matter what it is and what form it takes, you can tell - you can hear some folk tunes in this black metal brilliance. At the same time, I think these guys have listened to Burzum or Mayhem; like I said earlier, all black metal bands that sing in Swedish are one pack. You talk about one of them, you're talking about all of them.


Do we need an introduction? I will talk about the band, because Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund is involved in other bands and some are Norwegian. This band's career can be broken into two parts. The first encompasses the first two albums, when Hedlund did everything by himself; Vintersorg was a one-man band and he played a sort of nature-inspired black metal with Swedish lyrics. It was more progressive black metal, nothing like the old Norwegian hordes from the early '90s; maybe more like middle-period Borknagar and Enslaved. In 1999, Mattias Marklund joined as a guitarist and the band decided to switch to English lyrics and change its sound to progressive metal. The lyrical content changed from nature, winter, and the mountains to the stars, the cosmos, and philosophy. Bassist Simon Lundström joined in 2015. In 2017, they went back to the mountains and recorded the progressive black metal album Till Fjälls Del II.

These myriads of stars (oh...) enchants me with their oddity
At cosmos entrance hall (oh...) where time and space units in a charade
Under crimson flares I watch (oh...) the tempest of the universe
In dark artistry (oh...) I lionize the splendorous glare

Seasons Of Storms

A one-demo power metal band. That's all.


This is a folk metal band created by two Vintersorg members, Mattias Marklund and Vintersorg himself. It is not folk metal like Korpiklaani or Finntroll - there's no party, no mead, no beer, and no pussy here. It's folk music based on folklore, old folk tunes with metal melodies introduced to them similar to FEJD, Lumsk, Skald, Yggrdasil, and Myrkgrav. It can also be music for neofolk fans even though it isn't a neofolk band. It's an interesting band - only two albums so far, but it's sleeping, with no activities since the members lost interest and got busy with other metal projects.


A heavy metal band with one EP; imagine Europe's music pre-"The Final Countdown."


A one-man band of the highest level; atmosphere, melodies, and all the elements that make the genre great are there, with keyboards and aggressive outbursts of howling vocals mixed with deep, melancholic passages. It's a decent band, if you ask me.


It's 2021 now, but this band still lives in 1991 when Entombed and Unleashed raged violently and many a demo band was born and died. This band comes too late, but plays old-school death metal that can teach other old bands to rage. While most death metal bands come from Stockholm, this one from the north is a rare survivor in the Nordic grave (or should we say Grave?). This is a band for all death metal lovers, as they are all the same - just blasting double-bass with hounding vocals and aggressive behavior.

Casket Casey

A one-EP gothic metal band. That's all.

Aska (SWE)

Mixes heavy metal and doom metal. Plays solid live gigs for a small band; we'd need to wait for a full-length to judge them (which they will soon deliver as Wytch).

Totalt Jävla Mörker

A typical Johan band, one that jumps higher, screams louder, and plays noise with musical instruments. It's a chaotic concept, a band that you wouldn't like if you weren't into that genre.

Enemy Within

Progressive death metal. From my concert review:

"Now, I'm confused, because the singer said that Enemy Within played in Luleå three years ago. I sort of recognized the name. I don't remember how; maybe I saw them live, I can't recall, but visually I didn't recognize them. The band had a banner near the stage with their name on it, and they were they only band to have a keyboardist. The singer said that their original drummer, Andreas Mollwing Wikberg, could not play that night, so they asked Roger Markström from Feral to step in. Now I want to zoom in on this drummer's chest, because I saw a tattoo there, and from a distance it looked to me like "AIK" (kanske han är gnagare, who knows) or maybe "SAIK." Anyway, the band sounded like melodeath mixed with Evergrey. The keyboards sounded a bit out-of-place in the second song."


The Swedish special forces, known as Arméns Jägarbataljon, are located here, and that's about it; unless you like to fish or really want to live in despair under witness protection, it's not a place for big-city punks.


A three-demo power metal band; the only reason why they are here is not to leave that lonely place alone without any bands.


Johan Marklund's name is known in the underground bm scene, and this is his new foundation. Imagine old raw, drum-programming, garage kvlt bands that understand that real music is born with real instruments and are a bit melodic with some atmosphere. Imagine if Windir were to mix with Vintersorg and it came out something like Finntroll. If you can imagine that, this is for you.


This town is known for its paper factory, which makes the town smell funny, and for the women's football team winning the Swedish title in 2018. Otherwise, it's just a town.

Tower of Stone

Remember my Thanius review above? The same words apply to this band - it has decent heavy/power metal demoes, but can Egon Lundberg make a full album? The same goes for his other band, Tundra[/band], which later changed its name to Alloy. All are demo bands, but have the potential to bang. It's sad that they never recorded a full-length, because those bands had some potential.


This was a short-lived hair metal/hard rock/heavy metal band, a radio band from Piteå with one EP. You know the '80s drill. None of the band members were active after Phoenix broke up, aside from singer Lars Hjelm, who went onto the demo bands Warchild and then Autumn Lords, which counts as a Stockholm band and then changed its name to Meduza and continued without him. Another band that he was involved with was Nagazaki, which released only one single. I have heard all of these bands, since some friends' parents still have (or had) those records; it was a while ago.


When I listened to this for the first time at a friend's place, I thought, "WTF is this?" We had some beers and, well, in those days I was a poser; I liked true metal, men with leather jackets, long hair - that kind of metal. Now I am grown up, as you know. I saw the band live I think in 2008. The band liked to incorporate guitar improvisations, a bit like [band]Yngwie Malmsteen[band] mixed with Blackie Lawless. They have two albums and they are still running after starting in the '80s. I doubt they will produce any more studio albums, but they play live on a regular basis in the north. It's more of a live band, popular in Piteå.


Infanticide was a short-lived thrash band that had one demo and one EP. A lot of booze does not make for the best experience listening to music on the original vinyl, but I did so at a party with friends, because somebody's old man had the record. So, seriously, thrash goes together with booze and a mosh pit, right?


This is a typical Euro-power metal band below the threshold of popularity, known only by those who are in the know. It's a mix between HammerFall and Nocturnal Rites. The band was active for a bit more than a decade, but in 2017, after two albums, they changed their name to Mike Machine and started another story.

Mike Machine

Mike Machine is a nice band; their outfits were a bit of a mix of black metal and '80s glam. I liked them and they kicked ass, just like seeing some '80s glam icons having changed one member of the lineup and then coming back after a long silence. The first thing I noticed about them, which was true of all the bands that night when I saw them, was that they had real cables plugged into the guitar one one end and the amp on the other; no wireless units at all. It's so old-school and I like when bands do that. If I recall, all the bands had the same. I give my respect to them; an old-school fucker like me can see the difference!


Another band from Piteå. It's hard to label their genre because I hate giving names to genres that go outside traditional death, thrash, heavy, speed, doom, black, gothic, and so on. Modern-day alternative bands are hard to label. It was a mix of aggressive riffs and a softer guitar sound, growls and calmer female vocal parts.


This is a new thrash band formed in 2019. Their only EP, Unsafe At Any Speed, was released on January 24, 2020. It's a pure old-school thrash onslaught. Let me go back in time 10-15 years: I have seen such thrash bands rise from nowhere all over the world, some of them even mentioned in this article, and then an album comes out and the band vanishes from the radar. No official split-up, but their social media goes inactive for years. Will this be one of those bands? Time will tell, but the band has potential. They could have played lots of festivals in the summer of 2020, but we know how that turned out. We live in a time when Facebook and Bandcamp can help new bands; those other thrash bands just had MySpace, and in those days people were not online so much, but today you can do everything on mobile. Will this band survive? I hope so. The North needs metal. I think the band could do an album this year; later we will see. It depends on whether the members stay in metal!


Luleå in the mid-'90s was not like Luleå now. In the '90s, it was known for SSAB, and its hockey team won a title in 1996. Now, it's trying to reach the level of Umeå, and in their minds they are cooler than Stockholm, if we use the literal meaning of "cool." It's a student town, a university town, with more cultural events, good bars and restaurants, and icy roads in the winter; there are many things to do and see nowadays, like a little Stockholm... ehhhhh... Lord Ahriman, real name Mikael Svanberg, a.k.a. Dark Funeral's blasphemer, was born here.

Star Queen

This is the project of Bulgarian singer Stella Tormanoff. Soon after starting the band, she moved to Luleå and was in a relationship with future Sabaton guitarist Thorbjörn Englund. She also sang in his progressive rock project from Kalix, Pavlovian Dogs. This band has two albums and the lineup was mostly from Gällivare. As another interesting fact, Bob Katsionis recorded keyboards on the first album, Faithbringer.

For the band's music - well, imagine Nightwish on their first album and Endless Forms Most Beautiful (because both are their best). I always thought that this band could be the new Nightwish. The keyboards were not very progressive; they simply flowed along with the vibes of the music. Many female-fronted operatic and symphonic metal bands have no rhythm, just nonsense guitars and keyboards, but here it's like a stream in which all elements work together; it's pure old-school.

The band died in 2010, which is sad because they had potential for a few more good albums. Stella left the music scene after that, seemingly for real.

The Old Wind

Where dark cold owns the road in the north, post-metal involves a darker sludge sound - a bit heavier, a bit closer to metal I like, but still not something I would ever listen to on a daily basis. It's between listenable and rubbish. This is a one-man band, so Tomas Liljedahl runs the show. The Old Wind is a darker, heavier Cult Of Luna; like with medicine, too much is bad and too little doesn't help, but here you can find a balance between chaos and creation. It was in 2013 that I listened to the debut album, Feast On Your Gone, which I liked then because it was a local product, but the two subsequent splits I simply ignored. There has been no update from the band since 2016.

The Moaning, Gates Of Ishtar, and The Everdawn

All three of these bands came in at a time when death metal was a bit dead and all were searching for a new sound in old wounds; in Göteborg, melodic death metal born from this, and these three bands followed the old, dark pathway as other bands from southern Sweden, keeping the sound original before it was an export. Maybe in Luleå in those days there was some issue that caused the bands to die.

They had insane and fast drumming, and howls like the north wind; these bands created super fast atmospheres and guitar riffs with cracking ice for vocals. The vocals were growls - not death metal growls, a bit softer and you could understand a bit of what they were singing, but still growls. All of these things combined create great music. Many good bands from Sweden melted like ice in the spring; Eucharist, Sateriel, Centinex, Ceremonial Oath, Ebony Tears, and a few others all had that early-to-mid-'90s sound and touch and atmosphere that's pure fucking metal. All these bands have another thing in common: dark, poetical, philosophical lyrics! Cold winter-inspired poetry.

The Moaning

The Moaning died in 1997 after one awesome album, Blood From Stone, which is still essential for old farts who know about true metal. Modern punks who attend modern festivals will never appreciate those old, dead bands.

Indeed my wisdom is ancient
(Therefore) One kingdom to be
Ruled by one king
Upon this throne of black hate
I'm forever ruling this land
Of sin

The Everdawn

The Everdawn also died in 1997, with one EP, Opera Of The Damned, and one album, Poems - Burn The Past, on their list. That album is bigger now than it was back in the day, when the bands themselves were even bigger. Amazing blast. You never know the place where the sunset will forever fade.

The sunset burns, cast forever in shades,
Experimental truth, mankind lost in all ways.
Loving death, set to forever be free
Caress the pale, open up the seven seas.

Gates Of Ishtar

Gates Of Ishtar is the biggest of them all, with three albums; they came back in 2015 with big plans, but that was lost forever because drummer Oskar Karlsson died in 2016. The band decided to fade forever, keeping the old sound as a memory of their drummer and keeping old-school melodic death metal alive in their grief.

Gates Of Ishtar - Live 1995, Galaxen Umeå

When daylight's gone, the beauty's still left
Preserved for eternity, by the love of the night/i]


Pierre and Patrik Törnkvist are metal brothers from Luleå who have been involved in many bands, the same as drummer Oskar Karlsson. To me, only the album [i]Travelling In Ancient Times
is worth listening to; it can have the same description as the previous three bands: melodic, fast, aggressive, and beautiful, with female vocals from Lotta Högberg on some songs. It's an epic journey through frozen landscapes. The two later albums, Berzerk 2000 and Nemesis, are more of a mix between death and black metal, a bit death'n'roll. It's more modern, more evil, more post-apocalyptic; the beauty of ancient times is gone, with dark modern forces having taken over. This is a band with just one essential album.

I kept travelling forth as the season changed
Queen December brought crystals of ice
I was soon to reach crist domains
And commanded my shadows to rise

The Duskfall

This is a modern melodic death metal band with modern album covers, song lyrics, and so on, made for younger fans. When Gates Of Ishtar broke up, Mikael Sandorf launched this band in 1999 (first as Soulash) and continued the old way of music, with modern touches in all respects. It's not old-school. I have seen the band live and it can deliver. They had a lot of lineup changes; after Finnish singer Aki Häkkinen left, Mikael decided to go back to his roots and took over vocal duties, hanging up his guitar. The band is driven live by young musicians; they tour every year, putting albums out often, and I don't think they will stop.

Ninja Magic

I have a friend who actually likes this band, lol. Should I laugh or cry? This band plays heavier, thrashier-sounding power metal, a bit like US power, you might say, but power metal is definitely the key factor here.


It's another band in the same genre as Gates Of Ishtar and others, but this band runs alone: different musicians, though it's the same music and the same story of a good melodic black metal band that later vanishes after splitting up.

Machinae Supremacy

Modern power metal. I don't like this band, but it's too big to leave out, as it might hurt somebody's feelings.

Raised Fist

Metalcore, some kind of jumping core band. I tried to listen to them on YouTube and watched some live videos; I saw that their singer likes to jump around a lot and the other guys create noisy chaos. It's not a band for me, but, again, too big to ignore.


A modern band, some death'n'roll something-or-other. My friends like them a lot, so I'm forced to listen to them at parties, but I would never pick them myself; I prefer good metal to feelings of local patriotism.


If I remember correctly, it's an epic-Viking-era Bathory band. I have heard the demo with friends once. It's sad they stopped; so sad that such bands don't continue.

Domini Magica

Memories from the days when parties with friends were wild 'n' crazy.


Some doomy sound - psychedelic, if I remember correctly. I hope that geezer I knew still has this demo.


When brutal death metal howls spit out and you think the singer's guts will come out of his mouth, such singing means a mixture of melodic death and black metal and some calm keyboard parts. One of those old bands from that time that did not survive, even though their album is a treasure nowadays.

With the blackstorms I came, as a thousand
black clouds stormed against the pale sky
upon the mountainside I stand, as a black
sunset rises over a funeral sky
at the top of the black mountain I stand
with the wind whipping my face
beholding my unholy black kingdom

Baruk Khazad

From my concert review:

"The band says they play dwarf metal. In my eyes, that makes them the winner!

Charge your horses across the fields
Together we ride into destiny
Have no fear of death, when it's our time
Oden will bring us home when we die!

This band could fit in Amon Amarth's tour ship to warm up for them. Musically, it's Amon Amarth mixed (lyrically) with Korpiklaani. The band was awesome as live performers, basically the same as Amon Amarth! The singer had the type of Roman clothing that senators would wear, mixed with pagan ornaments and colors. Nice axe microphone, too. Three songs, all more or less about trolls and dwarves who live in the Swedish forests (yes, they do, they are real). Nice blood-and-paint outfits, and better than the first band that performed. Simply a blast."


From my concert review:

"Vertution is a heavy metal band from Luleå; I saw them once before and they played mainly Iron Maiden and Iced Earth covers. I don't remember song titles now, but musically it was damn awesome. Back to today, they have been writing their own songs and they played four of those live. One title was "No Man's Lands," a long song that was a mixture of a ballad and HM elements, and it was simply kickass, old-school sounding. Maybe we should use new terminology? Like ''new wave of Swedish old-school heavy metal''?

Four original songs plus one Iron Maiden cover; I think it was "Revelations." The performance was awesome; I thought it sounded like a studio recording because of the damn great-quality guitars, bass, and drums. The only thing that I can complain about is the vocals, but it was the same as all live gigs; show me a singer who can do the same singing live as they can in the studio (maybe some opera singer with a weird mustache and weird-looking suit that modern men even don't know how to put on). Also the X factor about unknown songs is if you don't know the lyrics, at live gigs it can be harder to understand and hear what the bands are saying. In the Iced Earth and W.A.S.P. gigs I went to some time ago, I could sing along, but here I could not, except maybe on the Maiden cover. Anyway, I wish there could be more gigs and demoes online ASAP."

Sex On Legs

Hard rock. From my concert review:

"When I was sitting backstage and enjoying some Jack Daniels courtesy of the singer, I told him I would be writing a concert review. He asked why, since Sex On Legs is just a cover band, but I have to add that it's a damn good cover band. Many people have their own stories of why and how they first began to bang their heads, but we all grow up with classic songs, those songs that are so often covered, and each cover band gives some new, unique energy to an old, overplayed song. This band must play. I don't know how many covers they know, but every weekend, somewhere in the open air in Luleå, why not? Plenty of people like classic metal, so if we have a chilly midnight sun evening in the summer time with good rock'n'roll, I'd go. Cheap beer and music; what more do we need? Really, this band ought to play more.

It seems that Sex On Legs has been together a while. They performed very well. Sometimes cover bands can make some errors, especially live, but this band was all professional. "Doctor Doctor" (by UFO) was their best, and served as the intro. The vocals were good; sometimes it's hard to hear the lyrics, but here, everything was at the top level. I'm still amazed. This band should be second, not the opening act! One other good thing I saw was that their sound transmitter was an old-school cable plugged into an amp, as in the old days! It means a lot today that some bands still do it that way."

Beneath My Feet

Metalcore, nu metal. From my concert review:

"I'd never heard of them, and they are not my cup of tea. I'd never listen to this music unless someone paid me. Onstage, the band was active, moving so much, putting on a show. It was like a hip-hop show in some way; as performers, the band was great. Young, energetic, jumping around, they all seemed to be in good shape. They had two singers, like 3 Inches Of Blood, but here, both singers were able to perform clean vocals."

I still hate this band for the injustice of three years ago!


In a cold place in the north where eternal darkness stays forever and blizzard beasts come out from the sea, Jakob Björnfot decided to leave The Duskfall in late 2019 and launched his own band, Kvaen, where he masters vocals, guitars, bass, and keyboards. With guest drummers, he recorded his debut, The Funeral Pyre; it's like a journey back in time. Once I drank beer with Jakob and we spoke about music, and he told me that Scheitan was pretty good (or "cool"; I don't remember the exact word he used). Now imagine that band's debut mixed with three other Luleå bands from the late '90s: The Everdawn, Gates Of Ishtar, and [band]The Moaning[band]. While The Duskfall plays a modern style of melodic death metal, made for young people who will never know what life was like in the north in the pre-dial-up era, this band goes back to the days when people lived such a life, when winters were longer and colder and summers were shorter and warmer. It's basically melodic death metal with a bit of a progressive touch. If all winter gods are properly worshiped and there are no fuck-ups, this band could have a future; I can see them jumping a bit higher if they were to play live. It definitely can nail the metal underground.

Raven Heretic

Raven Heretic might be a bit of an old band, but they only just released their debut album, Under The Sign, in January 2020. I can say that they're a mix between Wolf and other such heavy metal bands; you know the story.

First Revival

This was a promising band that mixed heavy metal and a modern touch of melodeath with charismatic frontman Sam Varg Lundström. He really made an impression, because the vocals were what made this band run forward. The band had some potential, but some time in 2018 half of the members left, including Lundström - because he had other visions of music, according to the band. Only two original members remained: bassist Hasse Johansson, who took over vocal duties, and guitarist Simone Stålnacke. They recruited two new faces and the band became a four-piece. After Lundström left, I lost interest in this band totally.


A military town, home to a military base and lots of soldiers. The Nordic Rage Festival also took place there. It was long ago, but I remember the days when the festival was hosted there. Additionally, this is the birthplace of Sabaton's Tommy Johansson!


Majestica, formerly ReinXeed, is sorta shreddy power metal where Tommy likes to use his guitar like a virtuoso. It's a neoclassical band in the wrong place and time; maybe in the '80s it would work, but there are now few people who listen to that genre, and I am not one of them.

Ethereal Dawn

What happens when you listen to power metal every day for 10 hours, live in the forest, see elves singing, and dream about big-city life? You start to mix neoclassical power metal with folk metal and somehow you know of Amon Amarth. No, let's start over from the beginning: all you hear is neoclassical power metal and a bit of folk influences. If you are not into black metal and don't play and live that genre, being a one-man band is hard; it has a lot of downfalls and you need to be super talented. Music can be born behind a computer, but it doesn't work that way if you are living in the forest.


When homeboys who can play instruments join forces to play music similar to Finntroll, Ensiferum, Eluveitie, and Wintersun - and now we go back to the previous paragraph. What happens when you are living in the forest and listening to power metal? You play folk metal, and it's good if you have a full band.

An Abstract Illusion

I remember I saw this band live once and they gave demo CDs to everyone who was at the show. I wrote a concert review, but Susan rejected it and I can't find it anywhere. I was blown by how good progressive death metal can be from a new band.

Maninnya Blade

When you like Venom and NWOBHM but you wanna be faster, louder, and heavier, what do you do? Play music that is some blend of speed, thrash, and NWOBHM influences. This band never died, but has only one album, Merchants In Metal from 1986, and other demoes. That album is good, but needs some rerecording and better production. This is a long-running band, but with no major moves to take it to a higher stage than where it is now. You need new albums and live shows in a wider area, and then internet magic can do the rest.


This band was born in Boden, but has changed locations and main mastermind Mikael Granqvist lives in Umeå now, with other musicians living elsewhere. It plays old-school melodic death metal, melodic black metal, pure old-school madness. So it was in the beginning; later, the band introduced other touches and influences that keep the genre pure but bring some other feelings into the music.


A modern thrash band. If, in your promotional pics, a guy wears a gas mask like a Nazi storm elite from the Medal Of Honor: Airborne PC game, what can I say - that image says a lot about the band. I saw them live once and I disliked it; it was way too modern, too much of a band for teenagers who want to rebel but don't have a clue what they want to do when they grow old and hit 20.


A small town that I visit sometimes when I go fishing to do some sightseeing. Candlemass drummer Jan Lindh is from there.


A one-demo thrash band whose members later moved to Boden and Luleå and were involved in other metal bands there.


A small town in the north. They just have a bandy team and that's all.

Pavlovian Dogs

A progressive rock band, a band that plays a bit of the music that Ivor likes but with more metal values.


This is another Thorbjörn Englund band, a mix between progressive metal and power metal, perhaps with the "Euro-power" prefix. They compose their own songs, but they have so many inspirations that it's overkill; there are a bit too many overrated bands that inspire them, like Yngwie Malmsteen and Kamelot, but they have that Northern melancholy in their music, if you know what that means.


This is an old-school band with an old-school attitude from the time when young men walked the streets like soldiers, playing rock'n'roll and having a big party afterwards. It seems the band lives and thinks what it plays. It's good old-school power metal with a bit of heavy metal as well. They had one album and then they stopped. What happened? Nobody knows.

Thorbjörn Englund

His solo project, started in Kalix and later moved to Falun where Sabaton is; the rest is history. I have never been a huge fan of his solo project (it's not for me), but it's interesting. It seems that though it started as a one-man band it is now a full band with several new albums.


This is a weird town. It's a border town, although in the EU we have no borders; it's Sweden/Finland, Haparanda/Tornio, two countries converging in one city with two names, two political structures and so on. Swedish bands only in this article, though!

Cryptic Death

A union of death and black metal that mixed both genres and later changed its name to Chaossworn. They continued the same way, but had no albums, just demos, and the Finnish members are involved in other bands in Finland.

Sons Of Crom

A two-man band led by drummer Iiro Sarkki from Jyväskylä, Finland, and Haparanda native Janne Posti, who took over vocals and plays the rest of the instruments. He is also involved in many other bands. This is sort of melodic and epic heavy metal like the German Crom, but a heavier, more epic version. If you like epic doom like Atlantean Kodex or Sorcerer mixed with a bit of Manilla Road and the best of what Summoning or Falkenbach can offer, this is the band for you.

Burning horizons for centuries
Immortal, unhallowed, forlorn
Spreading the gospel of Death to the world
Has been our fate since we were born
By darkness we live, by darkness we kill
We sow and we reap the purest grief
Like foretold in timeless and fell prophecies
We harvest the sea of all life


A young and ambitious death metal and with three demos that later changed its name to Deathbound and relocated to Tampere in Finland, but that's another story and they don't belong in this article.


A place where nothing happens. People move away and you need to drive miles to get a better job.


Just an old-school black metal band from far in the north where even the Norwegian pioneers have never been. This band plays black metal at the level of the raw old school, pure, evil, and burning - you know that story, right?


Dundret is a nice place in the summer where you can see the midnight sun; otherwise, this is just a mining community.

Toxic Crypt

When death metal comes from a small town, places that you like and want to move to, it's always interesting to check out the local area and scene, especially since if this band had come from another area it would not even be listened to. Typical death metal band, what more can I say?

Reaper's Mark

From my concert review:

"This was awesome old-school shit. Blue jeans, black t-shirts, tattoos, long hair, and standing in the crowd headbanging when other bands were playing. What have bands come to lately? Luleå bands The Everdawn, The Moaning, and Gates Of Ishtar made it to the top of the underground and even higher in the mid- and late '90s. This band would be able to do the same, if only we didn't have too many bands and the music meant more these days. This was a kickass opening act, four energetic songs with great guitar riffs, intros, atmosphere - basically super awesomeness."


A lone wolf from not-so-distant lands; when it shows up, not so many people actually see it, but it was there. Sofia Jannok is maybe the best-known artist of Sami origin; her music is known to many even abroad. Well, this one-man band claims to play Sámi (Saami) black metal. All the song titles are in the Saami language. The band's sound is a raw, angry, primitive mixture, unpolished like the old garage black metal demo days, when people worshiped cassettes. It has some ambient parts, but nothing like dungeon synth or Midnight Odyssey - it has slower parts, but it's black metal. To me, this band has potential, because we don't really have Saami metal bands; if Saami natives formed a folk metal band and mixed joik and metal, it would be quite a number. This band can make it higher, but its biggest downfall is bad studio work, mixing, and mastering and no real drums. The question is, though, does he want to be bigger and more recognizable?

It comes from a place where midnight sun marries polar night.


A town that will be moved away because of the big mines...

Those Who Bring The Torture

This is a long-running band and Rogga is in it - he moved far north to play there, hehe. The band is originally from Kiruna, but where the activity is now I don't know. It's an extreme band; I don't like it. It has some grindcore elements. You know one of Rogga Johansson's band's, you know them all; all are equal.


This was a power metal band that recorded many demoes and played decent good-quality power metal. A bit heavier, but could we say that the demo sound is good? They later changed their name to 8-Point Rose and changed their location.


I saw this band live once and it was good. They play heavy metal - with a bit of a melodic touch, maybe, but it's not power metal. Even though the band's image and artwork might suggest so, it is not. They're a good band; they play because they like it and they play live locally. Since this was, for a time, the last band in the article, I decided to be lazy and stop writing here.


From my concert review:

"Death metal's biggest problem is that when you listen to a CD it needs to have a good studio mix and master to have a good sound. Many death metal demos have mono sound; a lot of tapes from the '80s sound like shit. Most demo sounds in other genres you can enjoy. It's a dilemma for all bands: to get a good record deal, they need to prove themselves at concerts, but for us to make the most of their shows, they need to have a CD out that we can enjoy before attending gigs. Dilemma, right? Of course, it's like armchair football lovers who just criticize, while the experts, who are but a few, make the real analyses. It's the same in music. Another thing I don't like in extreme metal genres is when the singer of an unknown band screams or growls the next song title. It's hard to understand, and sometimes you want to take the music seriously.

All the instrumentalists displayed a high level of musicianship. The drummer was like a zombie, in a trance or a coma; his eyes were so weird, as if he had just woken up from death, but he was able to do some great, insane drumming. He might have been the best drummer I have ever seen in action so up close. The bass and guitar were at the highest level; the singer had an axe (hahaha). The only song I recognized was Entombed's 'Wolverine Blues,' which they played first. I could see how their vocalist sings; it all comes from the inside, deeper than from the lungs, from where the sun never shines, unless you do an autopsy and open up the corpse's lungs for some death metal medical reasons.


Dagny Susanne was born in Kiruna. You can read my interview with her here.

Location Uncertain

A few bands have no locations on their profiles; they say they're from the north, but Norrland is a huge area that takes up over half the land in Sweden.


LIK is located in Västerbotten (Skellefteå is the largest town). You can imagine a drunk man going home, trying to take a piss on frozen soil, falling, and shitting himself and then in anger trying to play some black metal with depressive touches. LIK is Stefan Sandström's new (old) band, but it's different; it's pagan hordes roaring and gazing at the snowfall in the north. It's a bit like if Faanefjell dropped the folk in their sound and tried to play black metal, or if Finntroll just changed direction and recorded a black metal album.


Lönndom was a folk metal band. You grow up listening to music from the past, then you grow older, things change, clouds change, wi-fi takes over dial-up, WWII-type bag radios are replaced by iPhones - well, change happens, but music is the same. This music is not from that time, but it's real and tells stories; it's bonfire music, music for fishing, beer party music- It fits every situation. Imagine Isengard, Yggdrasil, FEJD, Otyg, and Midvinterblot all in one. It's folk metal or folk music, depending on how you feel.


Armagedda is another one of the many aggressive BM bands that care more about their image than being a proper band; everything is so raw, old garage demo spirit like teenagers without money and courage and knowledge, basically typical cassette demo band stuff to me. All their albums should be rerecorded with a proper lineup and band. I hope I don't insult Nordvis Produktion here.

More Locations in Sweden

These are some places and communities that are cool to drive to or just be in for a while, just for fun if you are not a big-city person and you love traveling through the country, but they do not have any metal bands.

Sollefteå: A small village somewhere a bit away from the seaside, between Sundsvall and Umeå.

Sorsele: A cool village. You should visit it in the middle between Norway and the seaside.

Arjeplog: Known as a testing ground for many car manufacturers from Europe; they test their cars in extreme cold and winter conditions.

Jokkmokk: A cool place; I was surprised that nonmetal bands actually come from there. I will ride my reindeer, ride it fast'n'heavy.

Porjus: My favorite place in the whole universe (next is Star City, Arkansas). If I were a rich man, I would buy a house there, close to the mountains, under the midnight sun.

Överkalix: Well... nothing.

Pajala: When the mines go bankrupt, chaos comes.


Comments: 12   Visited by: 108 users
22.08.2021 - 20:42
Driving through northern Sweden and listening to a playlist with all these bands would be cool.
22.08.2021 - 21:19
I'm guessing Abstract Illusion is intended to be An Abstract Illusion, in which case yes I agree they're very promising based on their debut. The Old Wind are also decent; in general, there's probably more names I recognize here than in part 1
22.08.2021 - 22:01
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by nikarg on 22.08.2021 at 20:42

Driving through northern Sweden and listening to a playlist with all these bands would be cool.

Hehe, you need work extra to get fuel money, new fuel whit etanol will cost more and be out faster... I hate miljö party
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
22.08.2021 - 22:03
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by musclassia on 22.08.2021 at 21:19

I'm guessing Abstract Illusion is intended to be An Abstract Illusion, in which case yes I agree they're very promising based on their debut. The Old Wind are also decent; in general, there's probably more names I recognize here than in part 1

Yes. Long article, hard to do all ubb... I saw them live once hmmm 2015, got free demo from the gig. Free booze too. Old days when I was younger
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
22.08.2021 - 23:49
i c deaf people
Could someone please correct some tags and typos?

Yggrdasil -> Yggdrasil
Tundra[/band] -> Tundra
[band]Yngwie Malmsteen[band] -> Yngwie Malmsteen
Sateriel -> Satariel
Travelling In Ancient Times -> Travelling In Ancient Times
[band]Battlelust[/band[ -> Battlelust
[band]The Moaning[band] -> The Moaning
Abstract Illusion -> An Abstract Illusion

signatures = SPAM
23.08.2021 - 08:59
Totalt Jävla Mörker is probably THE best Crust/Grind band there have ever been. Love them so fucking much, i would put them up there with Skitsystem.
23.08.2021 - 09:56
Again, good list. Nice to see Exilion. Highly recommended.

On the other hand, again there are so many factual errors, Vilhelmina is more than 100 km (70 mi) away from Norway, so it's more in the middle. Lycksele is not a village, it's a small town. Kvaen is located in Kalix, not Luleå. And Skellefteå did definitely not win four years in a row. The played the finals four years in a row but thankfully they lost two of them. Also Älvsbyn has a typo and is spelled wrong. Sorry for being a pain in the ass but northern Sweden is my home too so I want people to get the right picture of it.
23.08.2021 - 11:48
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Well i have drove those roads there in the Vilhelmina, Lycksele, Storuman, vindens älven, Mordsele försen, my fav road is Storuman, Arvidsjaur in whole Sweden to drive a car.
Kvaen is Luleå band, Jakob lives in Luleå, he did live in Kalix, comes from Övertorneå or Överkalix. So it's Luleå band, unless nothing has changed in last years. I Yes I spelled it wrong. Älvsbyn I am there often, fishing, Storförsen, cool place, Like I said I wrote it years ago.
SAIK I mean whit regular season, was it not 5 years in row they won.
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
23.08.2021 - 15:47
Written by Bad English on 23.08.2021 at 11:48

SAIK I mean whit regular season, was it not 5 years in row they won.

They've become Swedish champions three times (too much). 1978, 2013, 2014 Only good thing to come out of Skellefteå is Latitude 64 (disc golf brand).
23.08.2021 - 16:13
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Nejde on 23.08.2021 at 15:47

Written by Bad English on 23.08.2021 at 11:48

SAIK I mean whit regular season, was it not 5 years in row they won.

They've become Swedish champions three times (too much). 1978, 2013, 2014 Only good thing to come out of Skellefteå is Latitude 64 (disc golf brand).

Yes but regular season as well. I agree. Same center is OK to live, but there are better places close to Skellefte river to live
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
27.08.2021 - 22:52
I think Bad English has an eidetic memory. Even if I had heard so many bands I don't think I would have remembered them all.
Leeches everywhere.
27.08.2021 - 23:14
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by tintinb on 27.08.2021 at 22:52

I think Bad English has an eidetic memory. Even if I had heard so many bands I don't think I would have remembered them all.

Those I do. And I have heard them. Other I don't remember what I have heard in whole my life
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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