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10 things we learned at Norway’s by:Larm Festival

A live shot of Nyrst
(Image credit: Eirik Horgen)

Taking place across three days in Oslo, Norway, by:Larm is a music conference and festival with delegates from all over the world. It even has a dedicated rock and metal section – by:Larm Black. We went along to find out what’s going on in the home of black metal, and might just have found your new favourite band. Here’s what we learned.

The saviours of Scandi rock are here

Hailing from Tromsø, LÜT are a raucous punk’n’roll band with a touch of Turbonegro about them. Wild-eyed frontman Markus Danielsen Danjord channels the vocal style of Blood Command, and as their music barrels along he dives into the crowd and yells, “We will save Scandi rock!” We wouldn’t put it past them.

Konvents aren’t just for Catholics

Danish death-doom foursome Konvent are heavy and slow like a river of treacle, and look like they’re having the time of their lives. As they lock into satisfying grooves, singer Rikke Emilie List gets lost in headbanging, miming throat-slitting and throwing her invisible grapefruit to the sky. Consider us Konverted.

A live shot of Konvent

(Image credit: Kristian Jøndal)

There’s a Sub Pop movie in the works

In a session during the conference, founder Bruce Pavitt says: “I think there’s a reasonable chance that there is going to be a movie about Sub Pop, and it was a script put together by the foundational writer for Straight Outta Compton. So I planted that seed a few years ago and Leigh Savidge started working on a script and I think it’s very close to getting funded.”

There’s a new death cult

Called The New Death Cult. Except they’re not really a cult (that we know of). Despite wearing skull-print face masks across their mouths, and having luminous paint streaked across their foreheads, this Oslo quartet are more alt.rock than King 810, and they’re weirdly poetic. ‘You run away from the eyes of the moon...’ Alpha sings at one point.

The New Death Cult play live

(Image credit: Kjersti Espe)

Trombones are metal

Post-metal sextet Spurv have a secret weapon: trombonist Simen Eifring. The band stand in darkness, their melancholy instrumental waves ebbing and flowing, building up to huge, brass-enhanced crescendos. In the quieter moments, he trades the trombone for a xylophone. In the words of Netflix’s Sex Education, we have a tromboner.

Russia loves Rammstein

In the 1980s, Rammstein’s agent Scumeck Sabottka took a trip to Moscow and played the band’s tape to a Russian promoter: “He went, ‘What is it?’ Well, I said, it’s this band. And he said, ‘Yeah, but they sing in German, and you know the history between the Germans and the Russians.’ And I said, ‘It’s different. They’re not Nazis and they don’t sing about war’, and now Russia is probably the second biggest market in the world, and the Russians love it… it was different back then as what is is now. I couldn’t show them any video, there wasn’t any fire, it was just a band singing in German.”

Nervosa aren’t fucking around

This Brazilian trio revel in their savage, take-no prisoners attack. Heads down, they bang through a bunch of heavy songs, influenced by Kreator and early Sepultura, all rattling bass and fierce determination. There isn’t much variation in their songs, but it feels genuinely raw and powerful.

Nervosa play live

(Image credit: Sture Nordhagen)

The Kvelertak effect is real

Like Kvelertak? You’ll love Dangerface. Channelling their countrymen, plus a bit of The Bronx, Cancer Bats and Gallows, it’s dirty, energetic, hardcore punk. When vocalist Michael Myklebust talks to the crowd, they yell back ‘Dangerface!’. It’s a small venue, but one guy still gets surfed from front to back. It’s a party, and you’re invited.

Black metal is in safe hands

Oslo might be in the home of black metal, but it’s Iceland’s Nyrst who are representing the genre this weekend. Arriving in torn sackcloth and corpse-paint, they’re the perfect soundtrack to the icy blizzards outside. Frontman Snæbjörn emits guttural noises, rolling his eyes to the sky and curling skeletal, black-painted fingers around his mic, never once breaking character.

Nyrst play live

(Image credit: Eirik Horgen)

Viking Trap Metal is a thing

And it’s disappointing. We hoped Viking_Death_Trap.exe would be Vikings influenced by the likes of Ghostemane and Scarlxrd, but instead it’s a dude in a hoodie and another in a yellow demon mask, with back projections of a DOS start-up screen and Britney Spears. The whole thing smacks of style over substance, but they’ll probably be massive.

Eleanor Goodman
Eleanor Goodman

Eleanor was promoted to the role of Editor at Metal Hammer magazine after over seven years with the company, having previously served as Deputy Editor and Features Editor. Prior to joining Metal Hammer, El spent three years as Production Editor at Kerrang! and four years as Production Editor and Deputy Editor at Bizarre. She has also written for the likes of Classic Rock, Prog, Rock Sound and Visit London amongst others, and was a regular presenter on the Metal Hammer Podcast.