Fans of Norway’s SLEGEST have been waiting a while for a new dose of the band’s Black Metal-tinged Heavy Rock, four years to be precise, but they need wait no more, because on the 20th of January 2023 Dark Essence Records will release the band’s fourth full-length album “Avstand”.
Formed back in 2010 by Ese, SLEGEST started out as a solo project, with a debut release in the form of a self-titled EP. But all that changed in 2013 when Ese signed with Dark Essence Records and put together a live lineup, which, with Ese on guitar and vocals, Sør on guitars, -Hövard on bass and Fjøsne on drums, cemented SLEGEST’s reputation as a no-nonsense heavy rock band.
There followed three full-length albums of hard-hitting heavy metal whose Black Metal and classic 70’s and 80’s heavy rock roots couldn’t be denied. And now they’re back, with “Avstand” an album inspired by Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy. With a title that means “Distance” the songs explore the eternal and infinite. A view of life from within, you could say, with the self-conscious, the rational and the dream state, weighed against the instinctive, euphoric and the natural aspects of your life, and begging the question “which side exactly do you come down on?”
As Ese explains:
Musically, we are staying the course. We operate well within the framework we have created for ourselves on our past albums, whilst, at the same time, we’ve upped the tempo a bit this time around. By doing this, our sound clearly has quite a traditional streak, but I´m confident that our take on metal offers something different. Our goal, of course, is, that in the final reckoning, our material proves to be truly awesome and sinister sounding!
With artwork by Tom Korsvold, “Avstand” was recorded at the Polyfon Studio with Leif Herland behind the desk, and was mixed by Herbrand Larsen at the Conclave & Earshot Studio and mastered by Iver Sandøy at the Duper/Solslottet Studio, all in Bergen. Tracklisting is as follows:
2. Evigheit På Evigheit
3. Forløysning Og Rus
6. Er Det Deg Livet?
7. Til Det Største Som Finst
8. Oh Baby (Status Quo cover)
So, what else can fans expect from SLEGEST going forward? Well, live dates for sure, and a tour, details of which will be announced shortly. And also, a change to the lineup that has remained constant since the band’s early days, with drummer Chris taking over from Fjøsne, a change which, according to the band, has also meant a different approach to the recording of “Avstand”:
With Fjøsne having been our live drummer, Ese has always played the drums on our recordings, so “Avstand” is the first album on which he does not play the drums himself. Chris has been around the band for some time and has played live for us on one European tour, so he knows all about the SLEGEST ethos. He did a really good job with the drums for the album, and it was natural that he should also handle the live part in the future. So, we would like to welcome him to the band, and at the same time thank Fjøsne for all the good times and all the work he put into SLEGEST.
A video for the track “I Fortida Sitt Lys” from SLEGEST’s 2016 album “Vidsyn” can be seen here: