It has been an abnormal year for a lot of us. As the world is struggling to establish a new (old) post-pandemic foundation after a couple of years who challenged and changed us all, 2022 era vulgaris hands us near global inflation, lack of electricity and trade disputes. Once again we see extremist politics on rise on both sides, the participation in democratic elections is decreasing in Europe and freedom of speech seem to be a constant battlefield of toxic rhetoric and cancel culture.
Not to mention the ongoing war in Europe where I know Minneriket has followers from both Ukraine and Russia. Make no mistake, Minneriket condems the Russian aggression as no country, ideology or tribe should put their own ideas above other peoples right to life and freedom. But the beautiful thing with music and art is how it transcends borders, brings people together and creates a safe space for contemplation. In 2022 Minneriket has collaborated with journalists, musicians and others from both countries, and will continue to do so whenever fitting. We are all individuals, and none should be judged for what their leaders do.
I also know Minneriket has fans and listeners in Iran, and would like to give special praise to the brave women and youth of Iran as they are on the frontlines fighting against religious oppression every day for the last 100 days. I know it’s impossible for you to support Minneriket by buying music or merch, and some places even speak in public about listening to Black Metal, but you are the true soldiers of this spiritual war. I know the Internet is blocked there now, but if any of you are on VPN and reading this – and wish to hear the latest Minneriket album – message me and I will give you a dedicated DropBox-link with the album for free. All the things we take for granted are what you are fighting for – and Minneriket supports you!
In February this year Minneriket released “Gjennom meg går ingen til hvile”, a monolith of creativity, melodic experimentation and gothic Black Metal with an organic touch. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Once again I would like to thank all of those who made it possible with their contribution and help along the way – you know who you are! During the six years it took to create the album, Minneriket already suffered a lot of setbacks. The line-up changed a lot. There was the pandemic of course, but the album also had guests from all over the world who were dealing with power outages, wildfires, curfews, personal issues and physical and mental health, severe storms, legal matters and just about everything else you could think of. The album was dedicated to all those we have lost along the path.
Alas, creating an album like GMGITH with more than 20 session musicians was a huge endeavour. I envisioned all the compositions in my mind and tried to bring it forth together with people from different countries and with various musical backgrounds. Now, almost a year later, I still think I succeeded. But it wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, the album was also met with heavy censorship due to the artwork, reviewers got shadowbanned for posting it on social media, and some algorithms even took it down for belonging to a “violent subculture”. Even Spotify had to censor the artwork. Thus, by todays standards of free speech, online algorithms and cancel culture, the album I had worked on for more than 6 years was almost impossible to promote as it was met with censorship both for art and ideology. I fought against both fronts, but in retrospect I see how the release suffered from this.
As the year comes to an end, I will leave you with this: Minneriket have begun writing and recording a new album. Less extravagant and more riff-based than GMGITH, but still with the same atmosphere and identity. If you wish to follow any updates regarding the album, please follow Minneriket on any relevant social medias. Links are here.
All the best in 2023,
Stein Akslen / Minneriket