Denmark is a small Scandinavian country with a population of roughly 5 million, bordering Sweden and Germany. We may be talking about the land of “free” education, extremely high taxes, Lars Ulrich and Lego, but the bicycle helmet clad land that birthed The Little Mermaid also hides a great secret under its vehemently patriotic exterior: a brilliant, close knit metal scene. As someone who speaks Danish, a lot of things are available to me that would not otherwise be easy to find, and so I feel it’s somewhat my duty as a Danish Canadian to help shed some light on this vastly under-appreciated country. Get ready for another of my crash courses, lads.
Without further ado, here are some great underground acts from the land that gave us Carlsberg and Copenhell.
Bersærk are a four piece band from Aarhus, who play something referred to in Denmark as vest-metal (west metal)- a mix of stoner, sludge and traditional doom with a bluesy overtone. If you are a follower of mine, you may or may not be aware that I’ve written about Bersærk previously. In fact, they are one of my favourite Danish bands. A unique feature about Bersærk is that all of their lyrics are in Danish. While this is a breath of fresh air to yours truly, it may be quite off-putting to the non-Danish speaking population. Bersærk’s Bandcamp can be found here.
Velociter are a female fronted Thrash/old school heavy metal band from Silkeborg. They have released two EPs so far, most recently 2015’s Heir of Solitude. Their Bandcamp can be found here.
Møl is a strongly shoegaze-influenced black metal band from Aarhus, formed in 2012. They are a five piece group that is not afraid to toy with the subgenre’s limitations. Though bands such as Liturgy and Deafhaven come to mind as similar artists, Møl is a band that is clearly doing their own thing- be sure to check out their Bandcamp!
Red Warszawa has existed since 1987 and is from Denmark’s capital- Copenhagen. They originally called themselves a Polish Punk band- whatever that means. They are another band with lyrics entirely in Danish, but those that can actually understand said lyrics should be forewarned that they are hysterical. Check this band out if you want to laugh, because they have a legendary sense of humour. You can check out their entire website right here, though unless you speak Danish it may be useless to you.
Formed in 1991, if you have heard of any band on this list, it would be these death metal veterans. Illdisposed is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. They are a five member group from Aarhus, and their official website can be found right here (in English).
Taking their name from the Old Norse word for “giant”, Iotunn are one of those groups who are difficult to put into a subgenre category. According to Blastbeast.DK, the Copenhagen based group are a mix of heavy, thrash, prog, death, black and power metal- a very strange combination indeed. You can check out this four-member band’s website here.
Thanks to Emil for suggesting some of the bands on this list! I could talk about Danish bands for hours, so definitely expect a second instalment sometime in the future.