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Norway Rocks

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Next week my two-part Road Trip feature about Norway tells you all about the fun I had on my recent visit there but in the meantime you can "warm up" for my "wintry tales" by checking out these new releases from Norwegian artists.

Aura Noir
Out to Die

Indie Recordings

These guys have proclaimed themselves "the ugliest trio in the world." Their music is not what you would call pretty either; Aura Noir plays a darkly intense kind of thrash metal that occasionally sounds like one of the genre's legacy acts, like on the Megadeth-influenced "Fed to the Flames."

The Megaphonic Thrift
(Self titled)

Sonic Unyon

There's something psychedelic going on in Bergen and the lads of the Megaphonic Thrift are the responsible parties. "Spaced Out" is sublime accompaniment for an afternoon daydream (maybe at 4:20?) while songs like "Tune Your Mind" and "Raising Flags" are hopped-up with flurries of probing electric guitar and more geared to getting you going.

Borknagar
Urd

Century Media

Urd has just been released and already it's been named album of the month in Germany and in the band's homeland. And why not? Screamo lead vocals give Borknagar an expected tough sound but the band is a very polished outfit with lots of melodic elements to their prog/metal and that make them very appealing to the masses.

Torgny
Trilogy EP

(Self released)

Six cuts here but only three songs; each tune is featured in its original version and then a remix. And boy will that leave you wanting more! Torgny (Torgny K. Amdam) makes smooth electro-pop; stir in lighter-than-air vocals from fellow Norwegian performer Maria Due and songs like "Big Day" turn into irresistible confection.

Formloff
Spyhorelandet

Eisenwald

Formloff is Bernt Karsten Sannerud and Marius Sjoli and they describe their music as "avant garde black metal." Vocals are growled (in Norwegian) but not screamed and the music is a little sludgy; roots here lie just as much with classic rock bands like Black Sabbath as they do with other Scandinavian black metal bands.

Elin Furubotn
Heilt Nye Vei

Ozella

This is Furubotn's first international release so you can listen up and be among the first folks outside of Norway to dig her airy brand of acoustic-based pop music. Elin sings some of Heilt Nye Vei's in English but there's an exotica about the songs sung in Norwegian that make them the most appealing of the lot.

That should keep you warm until Monday when Part 1 of my Norway Road Trip feature comes your way. You won't want to miss it---there are gnomes involved!

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