‘Der harte Norden’: Heavy Metal in the Nordic Embassies in Berlin

In the darkest depths of the Nordic Embassies in Berlin, a new exhibition on Nordic metal music has opened its gates. ‘Der harte Norden – Heavy Metal aus den Nordischen Ländern’ explores the cultural roots of metal in the Nordic countries and discusses its current status.

From underground phenomenon to world success. Extreme metal – a purpose in life for some, a frown on the faces of others. Metal polarises. But this music genre cannot be ignored, especially not in the Nordic countries, where the biggest subgenres, death metal and black metal, have originated. This branch of music is now a gigantic industry and has long since reached the mainstream and so-called high culture in offshoots.

The exhibition ‘Der harte Norden – Heavy Metal aus den Nordischen Ländern’ dives into the Nordic metal scene – and promises to excite regardless of (or especially if ) this extreme music is your taste or not. It is an influential, ever-evolving cultural phenomenon with a cultural history that now goes back some 40 years.

Check out opening hours and more here

June 30th: On-stage interview and panel: ‘Heavy Diversity’

On June 30th, an on-stage interview and panel with Norwegian black metal icon Gaahl (lead singer of Gorgoroth), Danish drummer Sara Gacic (Ivy Crown), and Swedish metal all-rounder Linnea Olsson (Maggot Heart) will explore the subject: Metal – that’s men in black clothes who don’t have much to do with equality, LGBTQ+ and diversity. Or what?

The panel is moderated by TV journalist Andreas Krieger, well known for his documentary »Heavy Metal Saved My Life« (ARD).

Check out info on ‘Heavy Diversity’ on Friday June 30th here

Podcast: ‘Der harte Norden – Heavy Metal aus den Nordischen Ländern’

The exhibition is furthermore accompanied by a podcast that asks: Why did death metal originate in Sweden? Why black metal in Norway? What is it anyway? What role does the Finnish Kalevala or Icelandic nature play? Will metal soon be bigger than rock in Denmark, too? Why do you see mostly men in extreme metal? And why do they like to paint themselves in a corpse look? Why were churches set on fire in Norway? What do up-and-coming bands do when all extremes have already been played through? And why are fans of these emphatically dark genres often so conspicuously relaxed and friendly?

These and many other questions are answered by Thomas Alkärr, journalist, author and chronicler of Norwegian metal; the Icelandic festival organiser Árni Thorlákur Gudnason; Anders Bøtter, radio presenter and podcaster from Denmark; Ika Johannesson, journalist and author of a book about the Swedish metal scene, and the scholar Toni-Matti Karjalainen, who has done a lot of research on Finnish metal. With contributions by Wolfram Hanke, Anja Höfer and Raphael Smarzoch.

Listen to the podcast here

‘Der harte Norden – Heavy Metal aus den Nordischen Ländern’ is curated by Ika Johannesson and co-curators Silje Wergeland and Torgrim Øyre and supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Danish NEUSTART-initiative.