This week, from among the hundreds of bands cataloged in the band appendix of Daniel Ekeroth’s SWEDISH DEATH METAL, one tightly packed assault sails from the crowd into our faces like a nuclear snowball: SPORTLOV. This valient Uppsala-born death/crust supergroup dominates all things grim and frostbitten—their name means “winter holidays”—and their weapons are skis, skates, and brutal snobullar as seen above.
Inspired in 2000 to send up self-seriousness and “cold, Nordic” clichés in black metal, this cabal of heavy musical mayhem-makers donned corpse paint, down vests, ski parkas, and wool hats to blast out songs obsessed with ice, snow, freezing temperatures, winter sports, and, naturally, the Dark Lord of Eternal Damnation.
The band consisted of Count Wassbert (Stefan Pettersson) howling up front; Studded Doom Occulta (Kaj Löfven) on guitar; Hell Y. Hansen (Lars Löfven) also on guitar; Scales Hammersmith (Matte Modin) slamming the drums; and Thermoss (Lawrence Mack Rory) pounding the bass. Thermoss! Sportlov’s guest vocalists have included Emperor Magus Caligula (Masse Broberg of Dark Funeral); Ichtapp (Johan Jansson of Centinex); Ice Karlbiirah (Carl Birath of Insision); and Jüngen Mühlegg (Jörgen Sandström of Entombed, Death Breath, and others).
In the essential, louder-than-life history and guidebook Swedish Death Metal, author Daniel Ekeroth deems Sportlov, “the natural end of the black metal movement.” Of the group’s music, he writes, “The succeed beyond all expectations and sound very good! This might come as no surprise since members hail from Defleshed, Dark Funeral, Diskonto, F.K.Ü., and Uncurbed. Highly recommended.”
Happy holidays from the dedicated deathsters at Bazillion Points!
Read SWEDISH DEATH METAL and mighty hails to Jólabókaflóð!