The hype around them has been huge, but who the hell actually are Volsung?
Words & Interview: Phil Weller
Mancunian band Volsung, who describe themselves their music as “uncompromising black metal”, make their live debut at Grand Central this Sunday (14:30) and the show comes with a hype building around them at a rate of knots.
“I've always wanted to be in a band, but never learned an instrument,” vocalist Nahkriin explains. “So one day I thought ‘fuck it’ and started to practice vocals.”
It wasn’t long before he found himself jamming Satyricon covers with some other local musicians, which would provide the foundation of the band. “Skogen (bass) came along and gelled immediately with myself and we started co-writing. We had so many setbacks in the early days but worked hard and stuck with it. Then we heard Enecate’s (guitar) solo stuff, and so we decided to invite him for a jam and he also gelled perfectly with us. We advertised for a drummer on Facebook, and Sylvester from Völniir tagged this seventeen year old lad on it. We decided to give him a chance, and he brought everything else together with his phenomenal dedication and hard work, and finally things started to fall into place.”
Of their sound the vocalist says: “We have all agreed this would be a band with the sound of the second wave of black metal, so like the big bands of that era such as Mayhem, Dark Funeral and Gorgoroth. But unlike many contemporary black metal bands we have tried to drop many of the death metal influences that often appear, and to keep it as a throwback to the second wave as much as we can.
“Further in our imagery and lyric writing we don’t compromise on what we want to say. For example, in one of the songs we have coming up we’re not afraid to attack Islam and Judaism in our lyrics. We all share very low opinions of said religions and we no have qualms in saying what we feel about them.”
With only a couple of demos on Youtube, the band has given very little away as to what to expect from them once they take to the stage on Sunday. Yet, despite this there is a real buzz and anticipation about the show and they’re already starting to sell t-shirts which is testament to their hard promotion work online.
“We aim to bring a hostile and dark atmosphere, heavy riffs, tremolo picking and plenty of blast beats,” Nahkriin warns us. “The hype and enthusiasm people have shown is incredible, but it is does set the bar very high for us in terms of delivering the show and music people expect. That said we’ve worked very hard to get Volsung off the ground and we are certain that we can debut with a devastating performance.”
And what better place for a debut gig than Grand Central, where many great Manchester bands have began and cut their teeth before them:
“Grand Central is the spiritual home of metal in Manchester, without any doubt. While you have awesome venues such as Rebellion, GC is what people talk about and go to when visiting the city for gigs. I’ve worked there for two years and am a regular there too so it was the one place I wanted to play first. To play GC is an honour and an absolute privilege.
“For Skogen, he has been helping out with setting up and breaking down the venue for shows for Thursday nights, and it will be a welcome change to finally be performing there after watching so many other bands dominate the stage.”
Now it’s Volsung’s turn to dominate a stage which has proved to be a breeding ground for burgeoning local talent.