Candlelight Records / Soulfood
Susperia may have their roots in Norway’s black metal scene, but it is merely a starting point for a band that describes their music as “extreme metal with melodic twists”. A simple philosophy of “no boundaries” demonstrates that the band have no hesitation in embracing and exploring a variety of musical avenues with ease.
The origins of the Oslo based band can be traced back to 1998 when Tjodalv, then occupying the drum seat with Dimmu Borgir, and long time friend Cyrus (Satyricon, Old Man´s Child) got together to share ideas and write songs. This developed rapidly into the foundations of what eventually became the band Susperia. By March 1999 Tjodalv had left Dimmu Borgir to concentrate fully on building a band that was capable of sharing one vision and performing a challenging style of music. A chance meeting between Athera and Tjodalv at 1999’s Wacken Festival in Germany would lead to the completion of the Susperia line up. Having been handed a CD of ideas, Athera was suitably impressed by what he heard and wasted no time in agreeing to join the fledgling band, bringing with him from his own band, bass guitarist Memnock and guitarist Elvorn.
With the line up complete, Susperia recorded the five-song ‘Illusion of Evil’ demo, which immediately caused a buzz with various record labels. A bidding war ensued with ten labels chasing the bands signature. They eventually opted for Nuclear Blast who would go on to release the bands debut album ‘Predominance’, in March 2001 and the follow up ‘Vindication’ in 2002. Both recorded at the legendary Abyss Studio in Sweden. However cracks were beginning to appear in the bands’ relationship with Nuclear Blast. As a result, they took their destiny into their own hands and asked to be released from their contract. Band and label parted on amicable terms with vocalist Athera commenting at the time that “we couldn’t sit on our arses waiting for something to happen”.
By 2003 the band were fielding offers from various labels and eventually found a new home with upcoming Norwegian label TABU – a division of TUBA Records. The first release for the label was the album ‘Unlimited’ which saw Susperia come of age, as they produced their best selling album to date. Recorded at Subsonic studios, Norway and Studio Fredman, Sweden, it showed a new maturity in song writing and performance as Susperia delivered one of the metal genres outstanding albums of 2004. Entering Norway’s ‘Official Album Chart’ at Number 43, the album quickly became a favourite with both fans and media around the world. Further recognition came with a nomination in the 'Metal' category for Norway's respected ‘Alarm’ awards. In the USA, ‘Unlimited’ was the Third most added album at influential CMJ Loud Rock Radio and achieved the Number 3 position on the ‘Crucial Spin Charts”. The video for the song ‘Chemistry’ received regular TV airplay on MTV Headbangers Ball and Havoc TV amongst others.
September 2005 saw the release of the ‘Devil May Care EP’. Originally intended as a low-key release between albums, it became a surprise hit reaching Number 19 on Norway’s official ‘Hit List’. The band created a little piece of music history by becoming the first home grown act in the metal genre to achieve a Top 20 hit in the country.
Susperia’s fourth full-length studio album was recorded amongst a myriad of internal conflicts, but the band pulled through to release ‘Cut From Stone’ in 2007. Mixed by Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Soilwork) at Dug Out Studios, Sweden, with production handled by Susperia and Marius Strand. It charted at Number 39 on Norway’s ‘Official Album Chart’ and Number 18 on the National Artist Charts. Impact in the USA was immediate, exceeding the performance of previous album ‘Unlimited’, as it became the Number 1 most added album at both CMJ Loud Rock and FMQB Metal Spins radio charts.
With the trials and tribulations of the ‘Cut From Stone’ release firmly behind them Susperia spent the best part of 2008 putting together their next release.
By the start of 2009 the band had switched labels, signing to Candlelight Records in an exclusive world wide deal, marking the occasion with the release of their fifth studio album ‘Attitude’ in early 2009. Recorded at Strand Studio and Cyrus Studio, Norway, it was mixed by Henrik Udd and Fredrik Nordstrom (Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Opeth) at Studio Fredman, Sweden The recording kicks and hurts in the way a good metal album should - mean, nasty, full of aggression and with the right amount of melody. It goes back to the bands early days with its melancholic riffing and dark emotional vocals, then moves all the way through to present day, with a perfect blend of everything that Susperia has been and become.
A powerful live act, the band has consistently remained focused on the live arena. With numerous high profile supports to bands including W.A.S.P., In Flames and Dimmu Borgir as well as headline and festival appearances, one of the band’s most cherished experiences thus far remains the invitation to be the main support to the newly reformed Testament in late 2005.
There is new found confidence and determination running through the Susperia camp these days and you only have to listen to ‘Attitude’ for confirmation. Ten years and still the same line up, shows a strong bond and the bands long term commitment to their music. Despite their ups and downs SUSPERIA have always managed to pull through whatever has been thrown at them. Never more so has the bands inner strength been tested than following the recent heart attack suffered by vocalist Athera, which resulted in a successful quadruple by pass operation. If ever the phrase band of brothers was apt then SUSPERIA fit the bill.
ATTITUDE - Kicks hard in the right places and soothes in equal measures
1. The Urge
2. Live My Dreams
4. Elegy and Suffering
5. Sick Bastard
6. Another Turn
7. Mr Stranger
8. Character Flaw
9. The One After All
Predominance - Nuclear Blast - 2001
Vindication - Nuclear Blast - 2002
Unlimited – TABU Recordings / Europe – Candlelight Records / USA - 2004
Devil May Care EP - TABU Recordings – 2005
Cut From Stone – TABU Recordings / Europe – Candlelight Records / USA - 2007
Attitude – Candlelight Records – 2009