Norwegian guitarist Silenoz of symphonic metal institution Dimmu Borgir is currently enjoying massive attention based on bands’ new release after eight years called Eonian. We spoke about the new album, as well as DVD Forces of the Northern Night not so long ago and during our talk I was gladly surprised by his love for blues & country. I was very interested to find out more about his most favorite albums and in this list you will find out whole spectrum of Silenoz music taste.
Photo credit: Stefan Heilemann
Judas Priest – Defenders of The Faith
Of all the great Priest albums this is the one I’ve played the most. Still not sure if it’s my favorite Priest album as every record they’ve done contain extraordinary heavy metal music and it comes down to what mood I’m in when I put on vinyls. But this in particular speaks to me on all levels. Aggression, melody, leads, fast and slow and with vocals that are just over the top. Priest is my all time favorite band.
Dissection – Reinkaos
Jon Nödtveidt is most likely one of metal’s most underrated guitar players. His style is unmatched. The soaring, tasty leads giving the image of an eagle on a flight of eternal self-discovery. The atmosphere and feeling. The ethereal, haunting, melancholic melodies combined with superb musicianship and execution can hardly be paralleled. Probably one of my most played albums – ever, any genre. Some albums are timeless classics and just too difficult to describe with words. This is one of them.
AC/DC – Powerage
Ohh…This album sure is a huge reason for the many hangovers over the years…! I know you all understand. Bon Scott is one of the biggest icons of rock’n’roll, if not the biggest! As a frontman and performer there are hardly any competitors. He had an authority and truthfulness to his being that just gave you instant permission to be free and liberated from everything. This can be said about most of AC/DC’s catalog, though. But this one stands out for me as the ultimate rock worship. The authenticity is just not of this world of music, it comes from beyond. Transcendent – from the gods.
Death – Scream Bloody Gore
I first heard Death’s Leprosy. It was the most brutal thing I had ever heard. As a 11 year old this was a revelation. Slayer, Testament and Exodus etc.. was up until then the hardest stuff I had experienced and I was still trying to come to grips with the brutality. Once I got Leprosy under my skin I got hold of Scream Bloody Gore. And to me, it sounded even more brutal and raw. Something happened to me there and then. I was sold. I surrendered and handed over all the assets of my being to the dark side. Death has since been a major influence.
Fields of The Nephilim – Elizium
This is the ultimate “shamanic” album of all times. It includes the microcosm to the macrocosm and everything in between. I always play this when I’m in the woods, alone – In darkness with just one single candlelight flickering, encompassing ALL.
I’ve become a huge fan of country the last two decades or so
Iron Maiden – Powerslave
As with Priest, to pick a fav album out of Maiden’s catalog is quite an impossible task. But I usually land on Powerslave or 7th Son and today it’s Powerslave. The songs with the production, which is probably Birch’s best, has such a convincing force. The cover art is also probably my favorite above the others. Some fans argue that “there are a couple of weak songs on this album”. Well, they need to get their damn ears checked. Each track on this album is pure heavy metal class, and it really shows how broad Maiden is in their songwriting.
Waylon Jennings – The Essential
As I’ve become a huge fan of country the last two decades or so, I’ve come to appreciate Waylon the most, at least thus far. You’ve got Twitty, Paycheck, Jones and all the other badasses, too. Although my introduction to this genre was, like for many others, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams etc..and by all means they’re greats – but for me Waylon is the man that carries the flag. He managed to stay outlaw while at the same time, perhaps unwillingly, merge into the ‘mainstream’ country. But he gave zero fucks and continued to still wreak havoc. He’s the ultimate badass of them all in my eyes! And I believe this collection is the best introduction to his works, I always come back to this one.
Exodus – Bonded By Blood
There are two ‘blood’ classics and we all know which the other one is. But again, I’m gonna go against the grain and pick this one. I sure have played this one more than the other one, without taking anything whatsoever from that “other” record. I just feel really close to this type of riffing and attitude, it has influenced me a lot and still do. The songs truly stand the test of time and I absolutely love the production, it’s an all time thrash classic! Nothing more to say really apart from the proper “one” does not simply love thrash metal without loving Bonded By Blood!”
Black Sabbath – Headless Cross
Let’s get one thing straight first, if anyone is still in doubt; Tony Iommi is Black Sabbath. Of all the great vocalists Sabbath have had over the years, he’s always been there. He is heavy metal law. The riff king, the main songwriter and the pulse of the ultimate heavy metal entity ever to grace planet earth. I can easily, blindfolded, pick a Sabbath album out of my vinyl rack and listen to it there and then without hesitation and great pleasure – whichever it might be. But this record inhabits a very special feeling to me and I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is but it just is. As a Sabbath album it’s probably one of the most underrated ones and unjustifiably so. Check the line up, goddamnit! Check the performances and get back to me with your arguments why this album shouldn’t be hailed as a classic!
Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
The epitome of Black Metal. Nothing more to add.