Grimposium’s Norwegian Invasion Hits Montreal


If you’re going to be in Montreal during the first week of July and you’re a heavy metal and you’re a fan of documentary films, then you’re in for a treat.

First, on July 2nd, is Ivar Bjørnson’s Bardspec project, which is a “noise” soundscape accompanied by live visuals. Next, on July 3rd, is the screening of Blekkmetal, a documentary about the one and only 2015 Norwegian black metal festival and features a host of band interviews.

See below for additional details contained in the press release.

Press Release:


Vivek Venkatesh and David Hall proudly present a unique celebration of film and music featuring key members of the Norwegian extreme metal music scene. The Norwegian Invasion will feature the Canadian premiere screening of the concert film Blekkmetal, and the Canadian premiere soundscape performance of Norwegian composer Ivar Bjørnson’s Bardspec project. The Blekkmetal screening is free to the public and will take place at 19h00 on July 3 at the VA114 cinema at Concordia University (1395 René-Lévesque Ouest) (Facebook event page). The Bardspec performance will take place at 20h00 on July 2 at Co-op Katacombes; tickets are $15 at the door or online at lepointdevente (Facebook event page).


Following on the heels of the highly successful world premiere in April 2016 in New York City, The Norwegian Invasion will see the Canadian premiere screening of Blekkmetal – a documentary about the one-off 2015 festival celebrating the origins of Norwegian black metal. Featuring exclusive interviews and footage of Enslaved, Taake, Aeternus, Gehenna, Helheim, Old Funeral, Kampfar, Hades Almighty and Gaahls Wyrd performing classic and rare songs from their catalog, Blekkmetal features an all-Canadian production team including director David Hall (alumnus of Concordia University), metal studies scholars Vivek Venkatesh (Concordia University) and Jason Wallin (University of Alberta), and mobile media scholar Owen Chapman (Concordia University).

Producer Vivek Venkatesh sees the Blekkmetal film as “a stellar exemplar of how key members of the extreme metal scenes from Canada and Norway have worked collaboratively, provided a stark reimagination of a cultural artform, and revealed an acute focus on the music and visual arts associated with the Norwegian black metal scene in the early 1990s”. Director David Hall says, “I am really proud and eager to present the Blekkmetal documentary to our friends in Montreal – I truly believe we have managed to capture the essence of the Bergen Black Metal scene via interviews, concert footage and fly-on-the-wall guerrilla filmmaking. The fact that our friend and collaborator Ivar Bjørnson has agreed to perform his mythical ambient psych project Bardspec as a prelude to the screening is a dream come true for us!”


Blekkmetal is co-produced by the festival’s organizers Ivar Bjørnson, Jannicke Wiese-Hansen and Kirsti Rosseland. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and festival organizers. The original trailer for the film can be viewed here, an extended trailer is now available here, while exclusive performance footage from select bands who performed at Blekkmetal can be found here: Enslaved, Taake.

Ivar Bjørnson (songwriter, founder and guitarist of Norway’s black metal pioneers Enslaved) describes his BardSpec, project as “Electronic Dark Ambient-Psych wherein the listener is invited into weird and wonderful soundscapes, and where deep minimalism meets cascades of psychedelic harmony and esoteric noise”. The music will be complemented by live manipulations of film co-created by David Hall and Bjørnson, with additional visuals by Vivek Venkatesh and Jason Wallin. Watch a video clip of the Bardspec demo here.

Canadian soundscape artist and media studies graduate scholar at Concordia University, Leticia Trandafir, who goes by the stage moniker of Softcoresoft, will perform a live set of ambient and drone music to open the Bardspec performance on July 2 at Katacombes.

Rock Hard \m/

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