Typically when Norway is being discussed among fans of aggressive music, it isn’t for the sake of planning a vacation. Thanks to the actions of people like the infamous Varg Vikernes, fans of metal, punk, and hardcore seem to only equate Norway with burning churches and terrible black metal recordings. While I, too, also like to think of Norway as being the most brutal place on planet earth, it most certainly is not. The country utilizes a market economy and a Nordic welfare model accompanied by a functioning social security system and universal health care. Norway also houses massive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower….FUCKING HYDROPOWER!! In fact, the petroleum industry is responsible for about 25% of the country’s GDP. On a per-capita basis, Norway is the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East. Along with that, Norway has the fourth highest per capita income in the world on the World Bank and IMF lists. From 2001 to 2006, and then again from 2009 to 2015, Norway had the highest human development index ranking in the world. Lastly, Norway has regularly topped the Legatum Prosperity Index and as of 2015 and ranks first on the OECD Better life index, the Index of public integrity, and the Democracy Index. For inquiries regarding methodologies for obtaining these stats, visit the websites for the organizations I’ve listed off, most are current, however it’s possible some numbers have changed a bit.
Have you learned enough about Norway yet?
Essentially, Norway has some fairly progressive polices, and contrary to American metal folklore, is not the most brutal place on earth. However, where there is paradise, there are dissidents. NAG channel the spirit of all things metal in their newest spawn of recordings to bring musicianship back into the forefront of heavy music. The trio combine elements of metal, crust, hardcore, and of course, black metal to create a sound that is equivalent to being hit in face by Thor’s hammer. NAG is melodic, yet harsh, and their music reflects a perfect balance compassion and discontent for the world that so many artists fail to achieve. In a time when bands strive for the “blackend crust” label, NAG doesn’t try to be something they’re not and force an inauthentic sound out of their amps. If you’re looking for a carbon copy of metal/punk band you already like, don’t bother even listening to NAG. They may not have reinvented the wheel, however they’ve found some new ways to use it and run your ass over. Lurk their tunes below!