Norwegian black metallers SLAGMAUR have signed with Osmose Productions for the release of their new album, "Von Rov Shelter". This follows on from an earlier announcement that the band had signed with Osmose for the re-release of two of their previous albums "Svin" and "Skrekk Lich Kunstler".
"Von Rov Shelter", which means "Lair of the Beast" in Norwegian, was composed in much the same way as the 18th century classical pieces, and has been over a year in the making, due to the painstaking work that goes into the approach that the band takes with its music in order to create a sinister, multi-layered sound. Standard rock instruments have been combined with classical instrument such as cellos and double basses, which SLAGMAUR's mastermind, General Gribbsphiiser, learned to play especially for the album.
The album's artwork was conceived by Gribbsphiiser to illustrate the lyrics of each song, working together with photographer and graphic artist Tine Marie Lund Kristensen, artist Robert Hoyem and seven actors, including the band themselves and Snorre W Ruch from the band THORNS, to produce the images he had envisaged. The front cover itself was shot following three weeks of preparation to build and light a set replicating Leonardo Da Vinci's painting "The Last Supper", but, as is usual with this band, there is a sinister twist to the whole thing that will be revealed when the artwork is finished.
Contributing to the lyrics on "Von Rov Shelter" is Thomas B Whitaker, an inmate on death row at the Polunsky unit in Livingstone, Texas. The band's manager had this to say about Whitaker's participation in the project: "Gribbsphiiser had been working out the concept for the lyrics, and was researching some material on the net, when he came across Whitaker's website. He was struck by Whitaker's ability to write prose, and express how it feels to be experiencing life from the perspective of someone who has to confront the enormity of what they have done, and face the consequences. Whitaker had never written any lyrics before, but he was willing to try, and when the band read them, they found them to be what they were looking for. They are used exactly as he wrote them, with no editing. As is inevitable when you are dealing with a prison system though, letters go 'astray' in both directions, and unfortunately not as many lyrics as the band were intending to use actually arrived, so the whole concept had to be adjusted slightly."
"Von Rov Shelter" is tentatively scheduled for release in April.