Jarle and Håkon started the band in 2000, out of the ashes of Jarles previous band. Members then were Jarle, Håkon and Krister (now in Phantom Pain). The powertrio rehearsed for a year or so, but decided that one guitar just wasn't enough. Enter Jarle's life long friend and guitarwizzard Jonny Wolf. This is the point where the songs started to get a more progressive edge. Bassplayer Krister decided to leave 66crusher in the beginning of '02, and then they were a powertrio yet again. the first songs from Truth Unmasked saw the primitive beginning in 2002.
But you cannot have a complete band without a bassplayer. Numerous faces tried, but they didn't make the high criteria of musicianship, until they hooked up with Øystein kummen (from Deathfare), and the line-up was complete.
They wrote more intricate songs, and started to build up a live-set, which were executed at Hole in the Sky and at numerous support jobs in Bergen, like Enslaved and Manifest.
in June '05 they started the recording Truth Unmasked a project, that because of several delays, lasted until December. This was done in Conclave Studios by Bjørnar E. Nilsen. The album was mixed by Herbrand Larsen in Earshot studios in April '06.
They landed a deal with American label Misanthropica Enterprises, and the debut album was released in May 2007.
66crusher has teamed up with the label Misanthropica Enterprises again to release this their second album Blackest Day. Guitarist Jonny Wolf has quit and been replaced by Martin Legreid, also in Hellish Outcast
Management: Patricia Thomas Band Management Label: Misanthropica Enterprises Members: Jarle Olsvoll - Vocals & Guitars Martin Legreid - Guitars Øystein Kummen - Bass Håkon Obdsaija Bergstad - Drums
When received a mail announcement about the new 66Crusher album I was sure that it was about another black metal work. You see, it was the name of the band (add one 6 and you have a very evil name, haha), the title of the album (Blackest Day), the name of the label that releases it (Misanthropica Enterprises) and the person behind their promotional campaign which is no other than Patricia Thomas, one of the most active promoters in the black metal/extreme metal area. So all these elements lead me to the misconception that 66Crusher was an act that would hold very very limited interest for me. Thank God I pressed that link in the mail and had the chance to listen to the samples out of their second full length work. Now, do you know what gorgonized means? It means that you turn to stone, and this was what exactly happened to me since the very beginning of Blackest Day.
Describing the music of 66Crusher is not an easy task. It is quite unique, despite the many references to other bands and artists. I think that - as every other progressive metal act from Norway that I know - they have integrated so well their influences and they have used them as a base to build their own sound. To my view this is the right approach, especially in progressive metal, where everything has become so stereotypical and the new and fresh voices are less and less. 66Crusher play progressive metal, nothing more, nothing less. But not the usual progressive metal that you may know: no large solo parts, no brain-paining themes, no empty melodies, not even catchy extreme elements here. Just plain progressive metal with sincere expression of soul and passion, with intelligence and vision. To give some guidance, imagine a very dark version of Symphony X jamming with Opeth and Control Denied (and consequently Death). Each song has its own story to tell and the band has dressed their songs with the atmosphere it suits. For instance, Warmonger which is my favorite track of the album, has an epic spirit, that somehow reminded me melodies from Basil Polydouris' music for the Conan movie (please don't laugh, it really reminded me that), while Shipwrecked, one of the most emotional songs of the Blackest really transmits the feelings of ruined and devastated souls. These are only two instances and by no means these are the stand out tracks of this magnificent album. Which one to pick and which one to leave outside? The self-titled, Blackest Day is the best song that could open this album, Concept of Elimination and Diminished Mind are two progressive metal anthems, Borderline has this sublime haunting melody that really possesses your mind. I could go on this forever. Possibly the four musicians are not the most technical guys out there, but believe me they have performed like no other could and they have arranged so beautifully their orchestrations that have created an outstanding progressive METAL album.
Boy, I caught myself raving about it. However I would like to end this review a little bit bitter and give a vein aspect to it. I doubt very much if this album will make it through and reach a lot of people. It's not that it doesn't deserve it. It is just that it is so qualitative that people can not handle it. Progressive metal fans with really opened eyes will rejoice with this one, but the so-called progressive metallers will feel very insecure as this unknown Norwegian act will make their world crumble. It gives an alternative to progressiveness that defies standards and archetypes. It has its own voice and it stands on its own feet. No doubts about it. It is a superb progressive metal album. --metalperspective.comIt would be fair to suggest that Opeth have opened doors for other bands to walk through in terms of illustrating how effective it can be to combine the more extreme end of metal with other less obvious genres and also by opening the ears and minds of music fans to that very same fact. Now comes 66Crusher, do they sound like Opeth? Well yes and no. This Norwegian outfit do use similar dynamics in terms of mixing some beautiful almost acoustic moments with far more brutal, yet progressive themes and also in the manner with which they have turned those genres on their heads to make something that really doesn't quite sound like anyone else.
As you take repeated journeys through the band's second album proper (two sets of demos were released in 2001 and 2004 respectively before Truth Unmasked arrived in 2007), so it becomes apparent that 66Crusher are playing what is possibly best described as progressive metal, but with beautiful acoustic passages and black/death metal influences, while never really becoming any of those named genres. Now don't go running for the hills at the mention of black metal, as the stylings of that genre are used more as an aggressive form of punctuation rather than a building block for the 66Crusher sound. Yes this album is called Blackest Day, but if you tied me down and threatened me with a feather duster to feet until I plumped for what genre this band ply, then the answer would have to be prog metal. Actually imagine Opeth's Damnation album was played in the style of prog metal and you won't be a million miles away from the glorious, rich and brutally beautiful songs on this album. Add to that the clear and crisp tones of singer Jarle Olsvoll and you really do have a collection of songs that will appeal to any of the more open minded of you out there who are willing, or in fact delighted to be challenged by their music, but in a manner that pays off handsomely in the end. Choosing highlights is one of those tasks that is easier sidestepped by saying that really each and every one of the nine songs on Blackest Day is an aural wonder full of twists, turns, snarls and kisses that will delight, surprise, scare and seduce in equal measures.
So hats off to Martin Legreid (guitars), Øystein Kummen (Bass) Håkon Obdsaija Bergstad (Drums) and Olsvoll, who also plays guitar as well as singing, for creating music that is completely captivating and never derivate of other bands and genres. This is the sort of album that deserves to be heard by vast swathes of people and I urge you to Listen to the music and experience this wonderful band for yourself. --seaoftranquility.orgThis is one of those albums where my perception changes, the more I listen to it. At the beginning I would have said that Blackest Day is always interesting, a bit oddball and not an easy album to listen to. Now it s if the pieces of a jigsaw are assembling themselves. 66Crusher are from Norway and play Progressive Metal with a difference.
The album starts smoothly and robustly enough. The vocals are pained and distant but not unpleasant. Quiet passages and evocative guitar work create a mood which is not entirely comfortable. Blackest Day is strong track. I sensed the ambience of Audrey Horne without it sounding like them. This is not entirely surprising as the mixing engineer operates for their fellow Norwegians as well as Enslaved. Warmonger combines the technicality of Zero Hour with the irregularity and eccentricity of Atrox. But then who said that Progressive music has to be fluent or regular. Again it s strange and slightly disturbing. Unsaid is another unusual track, but recognisable in that it has a solid guitar rhythm. It s deep and dark, slow and wavering, wistful and reflective. This is an album of moods.
Whilst the first three tracks give us a taster of the band s range, the album gets down to business with Concept of Elimination . Again there is a range of musical statements. It s more upbeat than the previous tracks. It s technical and the unsettling play between distance and familiarity that the singer manages to create is always there. There is a pattern but it s unsteady. It s Progressive in style. There s pain in the air. It slows down and the track moves away from the electric guitar into a slower and wistful classical guitar section. It gets heavier again and out of the blue comes a magnificent Opeth-like passage. The following track Recreated Reality features another exquisite and dreamy guitar solo which Opeth could have created. Before that the form is sufficiently avant-garde that it s not one that s so easily recognised. The singer is on another planet. Technical guitar work intervenes and goes off in its own direction, in almost a jazz style. The track ends as bizarrely as it began.
If ambiance is what you re seeking, Borderline is overflowing with it. The rhythm is funky and sophisticated. It has warmth. Mellowness and calm run though its veins. There s a periodic explosion but it s never out of the context of this sensitive and electrifying track. To the ambiance of Opeth, Riverside can be added. This album specialises in variety and following Borderline is the slow and melancholic Shipwrecked . It does burst into life but it made me think of a modern day version of the Moody Blues classic Nights in White Satin . Not so great. But we don t have to wait too long for the next invention. This time it s Diminished Mind , an avant-garde technical Prog feat. Flamboyant guitar work mixes with an unexpectedly dark canvas and the plaintive singer who sounds faintly like Joe Cocker at this point. Diminished Mind is an appropriate track title. It sounds like we re going darkly down a slippery slope. The closing track Us Beneath the Sea is dark and melancholic but unlike Shipwrecked , it is made special by the sublimely mellow guitar work. The vocalist sings softly and dreamily, and the album is brought to an atmosphere-laden end.
I really liked the fact that the heaviness and technicality on Blackest Day blend in, almost to the point of being unnoticeable, and act as a vehicle for ambiance. An open mind is needed for this limitless album of many moods. It s quirky, yet it s classic. Most of all, it s exotic. Blackest Day is Progressive metal at its best. --metalteamuk.net