A few years back, when I began MPH noise it aired Friday Nights. It moved a couple of times and eventually landed Sundays, and with that some old themes are inevitably going to repeat, like Union Dissolution Day. This year marks the 110th Anniversary of the end of the nearly 100 year political union between Norway and Sweden. The ending probably had as much to do with Norwegians wanting their own heritage and ethnic identities back as it did with differences politically between the two nations, particularly in the early tensions for World War I. Regardless of the reason it was an amicable split that resulted in the last century both nations continuing to succeed and thrive as like-minded neighbors.
For this years Union Dissolution Day show I decided to give airtime to both Norwegian and Swedish bands from across the metallic spectrum of both nations. Honestly, two hours for either heritage wouldn’t be nearly enough but opportunities to do this versus that type of shows don’t come up often and for an anniversary year is a good way to compare and contrast the neighbor nations amazing output of stunning extreme music.
When I originally pitched the idea of UDD I got a great range of requests across both nations. The usual suspects, particularly out of the Gothenburg melodic death metal scene were the heaviest hitters and I had to bounce a few like In Flames, Nihilist, Entombed, Edge of Sanity and the Haunted unfortunately, as well as a couple of Norwegian black metal requests like Immortal, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth and Satyracon. Especially for a show like this, there’s a balance of the requests and the flow of the show, the songs or artists I already had in mind to tell the sonic story and how requests will supplement it, and what the requests contribute in terms of variety compared to previous episodes of the show to produce interesting variety. As much as I wanted to include them all it’ll have to wait to another year when UDD aligns with the broadcast or a similar theme takes place.
The show also included new songs which after a few weeks of a rather weak representation in the new music department allowed for a really solid representation recent release, of which, as well, I wasn’t able to work in everything I’d originally thought might be nice (couldn’t get my hands on a few in enough time for the show, and that, you cannot fault me for).
The rest of the show balanced the requests, the new songs and the theme idea overall in a way that I really enjoyed as a programmer, with some good peaks and valleys; smooth solos and chuggah riffage; visceral screams and soaring vocal melodies; and the rest of the complexity and sonic beauty that you’d expect out of both countries. I won’t declare a winner as it was a friendly versus …
There wasn’t a resounding idea for this week’s not-for-profit but the idea of doing something around the atrocities that did occur from the wars between both nations and during the World War that supposedly helped expedite the dissolution (which surprisingly didn’t result in a civil way, how very modern Scandinavian of them to be so peaceful about it), all top of mind while re-researching both nation’s histories for the show, I ended up settling on Amnesty International which in and of itself isn’t a bad cause to support. Check them out and see if it’s the right one for you.
Here’s this week’s show with some show notes:
the Refused “Elektra” Freedom (2015) (on tour now just did nyc date, back again with fnm)
Enslaved “Thurisaz Dreaming” In Times (2015) (cue 0:07) (touring)
Opeth “Karma” My Arms Your Hearse
Hypocrisy “Tales of thy Spineless” End of Disclosure
Emperor “Sworn” IX Equilibrium
Dimmu Borgir “Progenies” Death Cult (end 3:25)
Spiral Architect “Adaptability” a Sceptic’s Universe
Vicinity “the Time for Change” Awakening
Borknagar “Coalition of Elements” Universal (fade after 4:52)
Candlemass “Crystal Ball” Epicus Doomicus
Octavia Sperati “Lifelines of Depths” Winter Enclosure
Nightrage “the Puritan” Puritan (2015) (fade after 3:45) (touring, first balkans tour announced)
Dark Tranquility “Undo Control” Projektor
Trail of Tears “In the Valley of Ashes” Bloodstained Endurance
Maddar Mortem “Omnivore” Deadlands
Misth “I Call Your Name” Rise of a New Day (cue 0″:04)
the Crown “Headhunter” Death is not Dead (2015)
Extol “Thrash Synergy” Synergy (fades about 4:55)
At the Gates “Under a Serpent Sun” Slaughter of the Soul
Soilwork “Razor Lives” Steelbath Suicide
Amon Amarth “We Shall Destroy” Deciever of the Gods
Manifest “the Cadaver on Your Mental Doorstep” And For This (2015) (cue 0:25 fade anytime after 6:18)