Back in 2021, the mysteriously masked black metal duo Angstskríg came on our radars and immediately intrigued us. After releasing a very impressive debut album, 2023 is the year for their self-titled second full-length album. The singles pulled us in even further (including a black metal track that has a guest appearance by a famous Danish rapper, yes you read that right), and we felt it was about time to have a chat with someone to talk about their new release, their music and overall mission. So we jumped on a Zoom call with the masked bowler hat wearing vocalist/guitarist for a very interesting talk…
We talked about the release of their second album and how they felt both excitement and anxiety about it. He called it “their challenging second one”, the fact that every band has that struggle to get their follow-up to a successful album made.
Touching on how their new music has been received at this point, he quickly brought up the single they released that featured a rapper, and how that song wasn’t as positively received by every metal fan. Which brought us to how black metal has these very rigid rules, while originally it was more of a genre that was rebellious and experimental. So in their minds, they are trying to bring that more challenging and unpredictable side of black metal back, where you can do whatever you want. Their motto is that the only taboos are the ones to break.
Another thing that is sort of different compared to the majority of black metal acts, is that anxiety and mental health issues are somewhat of an overarching theme in their music and especially this album. In black metal it’s quite common that you can’t show weakness, but they feel the times are changing, it’s time to show some vulnerability. He feels the genre has become somewhat of a caricature of itself, were he has an issue with how black metal evolved from rebelling against the ideas of the church through Satan to hating people for the sake of it to even a prominent spot for national socialism. Angstskríg wants to bring black metal back to being against ideas, not against people, which was what they did on the first album.
On the second album, they were very heavily influenced by the pressure that society puts on all of us, having written and recorded the album under actually a very similar pressure. Where from one day to the next, society opened again after the pandemic, putting immense pressure on them through the extreme contrast. But without all that stress and anxiety, the album wouldn’t have become what it turned out to be, somewhat giving the situation a positive spin. Going further on the overall theme, the artwork of the new album, with the nasty, fantastical creature on it, represents for them what mental issues and anxiety could look like.
The concept of the project and their albums, is that they invite a lot of musicians to have a guest role on their songs, with the one condition that they’re friends. For a big part, this is because they couldn’t play a guitar solo if their lives would depend on them, but also to bring their musical creations to a new level by infusing their own personality and sound into the songs. When asked who else they’d love to work with, they mentioned for instance Jeff Loomis (from Arch Enemy), or Dirk Verbeuren (from Megadeth).
That took us to talking about playing live with Angstskríg. The debut show last year at Copenhell in front of 8-10 000 people was the best possible debut one could have and really feel like doing this more, also on smaller stages. Where he brings up their 2nd live show at #Horizon23 in Helsinki, Finland (on June 3rd 2023). Which we discuss is a pretty fitting event for them to play at, since the core concept of the event is to widen the musical horizon of the metalfan.
Their live setting will most likely be just the 2 of them, with an additional lead guitarist since they need some help playing the incredible solos on their songs. Though they have different versions of their live shows, depending on how much you are willing or able to pay, so the best way to get to know how their shows are, is simply go.