Live: Skaur & Sjukdom

Goddamnit, people. I kept my new year's resolution. I promised (here) to go to at least one live show this year and now I've done it. Hooray! Now that I've finally done this and been reminded of how wonderful live music is, I really hope this won't be the last gig this year. There isn't that many metal concerts in Tromsø in general, but this autumn I know that for example ICS Vortex and Blood Red Throne will be playing here. Not to mention Ulver's concert with the local chamber orchestra, which might be interesting. We'll see.

The show in question yesterday was Skaur and Sjukdom at Bastard Bar in Tromsø. A very rare opportunity to experience two northern Norwegian black metal bands on the same night - and in general, a rare opportunity (at least for me) to see bands like this live. I think Skaur has played only one live show this year, before this one, and for Sjukdom this was their second live show ever. I am so underground right now.

Watching two black metal bands play live in a very small venue (max 100 people can fit in there) from just a few meters distance was a new experience for me, to say the least. I've seen a few more or less extreme metal shows before but this was the most intimate one so far. And it was fun. Nevermind the small place, not knowing the songs (I think I recognized two), not seeing everything, definitely not hearing everything because it was so loud, nevermind my ears are still ringing. Seeing devoted musicians play and enthusiastic fans enjoying the show was awesome.

Skaur was my favorite of the two bands. They are a Bodø based band founded in 2003, who've released several demos over the years, but their first full length album came out last year. I think it was limited to 300 copies, so, by now it's unfortunately sold out. However, in July they signed a record deal with Asasol Productions and they will be releasing the debut album anew, in a month or two. In the meanwhile, some songs are available on YouTube and Myspace.
I'd describe Skaur's style as very... northern Norwegian. They draw on Norse mythologies, northern nature and darkness. The riffs to me sound folk-influenced, and the songs often have acoustic, melodic, guitar-led interludes, but the style is still strictly black metal. Nevertheless Skaur has a softer, possibly a more spiritual type of brutality, whereas for instance Sjukdom is more extreme and straightforward.
Here are a few clips from the show:

Sjukdom, on the other hand, is a relatively young band, founded just about a year ago, I think, in Tromsø. Their black metal is more aggressive, "in your face", and traditional, in the sense that they seem to be openly.. uh.. satanic anti-religious? Evil? Corpse paint and upside down crosses, you know, the essential. I suppose they are also more direct in their lyrical message. From what I could decipher. But thumbs up for an energetic show. And for a cover of Mayhem's Freezing Moon.
Sjukdom on film, not a very extensive clip though:

Yeah. True Norwegian black metal, bitches.


  1. Vocalist of Sjukdom here, Just wanted to say that We're not a satanic band, just Anti-religious! Thanks for the review :)