ONDT BLOD Nor­we­gian punks fight­ing for rep­re­sen­ta­tion in their home­land

Metal Hammer (UK) - - New Noise -

WE CAN’T HELP

but marvel at how Nor­way con­tin­ues to pro­duce such an amaz­ingly eclec­tic, ex­cel­lent group of bands, some 25-plus years since birthing the black metal scene. Th­ese days, rather than a horde of corpse­painted war­riors, we’ve got a seem­ingly end­less sup­ply of bril­liant punk rock, from Fight The Fight to Blood Com­mand to Okkul­tokrati to Bokassa… and now there’s Ondt Blod.

“We owe a lot to the early 00s’ punk rock scene,” singer As­lak tells us. “Bands like JW Ewing were a very im­por­tant post-hard­core thing. That helped cre­ate the un­der­ground men­tal­ity of bands sup­port­ing each other. Also, the gov­ern­ment give grants to mu­sic in schools. So we’re lucky in the re­spect that we can tour from a young age. It means there are scenes ev­ery­where.”

“MY PEO­PLE HAVE

BEEN OP­PRESSED”

NO WON­DER, THEN,

that Ondt Blod are able to flour­ish. They’re about to re­lease their bril­liant Natur al­bum to a world that is prob­a­bly not quite ready for their mix of pum­melling clas­sic hard­core, soar­ing pop hooks and heav­ily politi­cised rhetoric, all de­liv­ered sear­ingly in their na­tive tongue.

“I don’t think we started as a po­lit­i­cal band,” As­lak tells us when asked about Ondt Blod’s provoca­tive lyri­cal nar­ra­tive. “We just wanted to play. My sen­si­bil­ity was al­ways po­lit­i­cal, but you get more con­fi­dent as a song­writer and find a way to de­liver your mes­sage in a way that doesn’t sound stupid or corny. So many punk rock bands do that ‘slo­gan hard­core’, where you just shout ‘STRENGTH THROUGH UNITY!’ and that’s the song.”

You won’t catch Ondt Blod re­ly­ing on such stan­dard tropes, and given As­lak’s per­sonal her­itage, you can guar­an­tee the five-piece will be of­fer­ing some takes you won’t hear any­where else in the metal or hard­core scenes in 2018.

“Our first al­bum was po­lit­i­cally minded,” he ex­plains. “Not so much in the lyrics but in the at­ti­tude. But we are North­ern­ers, and we’ve been ig­nored in this coun­try, so that al­bum was about our in­dus­trial de­cline. This record dips into my Sami roots. I wanted to show­case the op­pres­sion of my peo­ple.”

The Sami, Scan­di­navia’s abo­rig­i­nal pop­u­la­tion, have been fight­ing for fair rep­re­sen­ta­tion and equal rights across North­ern Europe for gen­er­a­tions, and although As­lak feels it’s im­por­tant to him to vent his be­liefs on the sub­ject, he does won­der just how much im­pact it has on the world at large – es­pe­cially given how lit­tle of the main­stream mu­sic world’s fo­cus is cur­rently on im­por­tant is­sues.

“I look at the world of some­thing like hip hop,” he says, “and so much of it is just, like, ‘I take co­caine!’ And what does that add to the world? But then you get an act like Run The Jewels, who en­gage in in­ter­est­ing po­lit­i­cal de­bate. I hope we see some change from that, be­cause I’m start­ing to see in a lot of gen­res that peo­ple are tak­ing a stand.”

Eclec­tic, thought-pro­vok­ing, pas­sion­ate and filled with white-hot, fu­ri­ous heavy mu­sic, they’ve come from one of the world’s most pro­lific scenes, but Ondt Blod are not just an­other Nor­we­gian punk rock band.

NATUR IS OUT NOW

Think you know Nor­we­gian metal? Think again

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