Countess is a Dutch band that has been unleashing metal music upon the world since 1992, releasing fourteen full-length albums along the way.
Countess’ unique style of metal is characterized by an uncompromising loyalty to the old Heavy Metal and Black Metal traditions. The most important influences of Countess are the old Black Metal legends like Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer and traditional Heavy Metal bands like Manowar and Manilla Road.
In 2014 the band returned to the stage after a long absence, delivering impressive performances at a selection of prestigious metal festivals in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Finland.
Countess currently consists of Orlok (vocals and bass), Zagan (guitars), Mortüüm (drums) and Herjann (keyboards). The band is working on the recording of a new album that is scheduled for release in 2016.

May 01, 2016

Classic tracks: Aleidis

In this post in our 'classic tracks' series, Orlok shares his recollections of the history of 'Aleidis':
"The creation of 'Aleidis' goes back to September 1993. At the time, I used to hang out with Hammerheart a lot and one time when I was at his place he showed me a book and said there was a cool short story in there that I should read. It was a story about a man who encounters a female vampire named Aleidis and it was indeed a cool story. The story got stuck in my head for a while and I decided to write a song about it.

The version released in 1994 on 'The Return Of The Horned One'

We had just gotten a new line-up together at the time and with this line-up, we started playing 'Aleidis'. We played the song at at our first gig and in January 1994 it was released on the demo 'The Wolves Awake'.

April 24, 2016

Classic tracks: Son Of The Dragon

'Son Of The Dragon' is a song that quickly became a classic after it was released in 1997. In this post, Orlok looks at the history of the song.
"This song goes back to 1996. In March of that year, I had written a song called 'Son Of The Dragon' and recorded it as a demo. It was a mid-paced song very much in the vein of the early Countess albums. It had a good chorus but otherwise I didn't think it was all that great so I discarded it and more or less forgot about it.

The original version from 1997

April 17, 2016

Classic tracks: Fire & Blood a.k.a. Feuer Und Blut

'Fire & Blood' is a song that is rather unique in Countess' repertoire since it is the only song that has been played live in two different languages. In this post, Orlok looks back on the creation of this track.
"The song 'Fire & Blood' was written in May 1994. It was initially to be used for a project to be called The Ninth Wave (after the Manilla Road song) and originally it had lyrics by Opyros entitled 'Furor'. However, nothing came of said project so new lyrics were written for the song and it became a Countess song. We never rehearsed it back then, but decided to include it on 'The Return Of The Horned One' anyway since we really liked the song.

The original version released on 'The Return Of The Horned One' in 1994

April 10, 2016

Classic tracks: The Wrath Of Satan's Whore

'The Wrath Of Satan's Whore' was an instant classic and still is a favourite among many Countess fans. In this post, Orlok looks back on the song's history and the woman who inspired it.
"The creation of this song goes back to October 1994, when we had just wrapped up the recording of the second album and I took a trip to Regensburg to deliver the master tape to Opyros, who would release it on NEP. Opyros had the idea to shoot pictures for the album at one of Elizabeth Bathory's castles, Burg Lockenhaus. Of course, I liked the idea so we drove to Lockenhaus, currently located in Austria on the Hungarian border.

The original version released in 1995 on 'Ad Maiorem Sathanae Gloriam' 

When we were there, we spoke to people in the village below who still believe Elizabeth haunts the castle at night . . . this castle itself is somewhat of a museum nowadays and was easily accessible. It was a pretty weird feeling walking around the place wearing paint, though. We took a ton of pictures, several of which would end up in the booklet of the second album.

December 31, 2015

Looking back on 2015

On the last day of the year, we take a look back at 2015. It may seem to the outside world that the past year was somewhat less memorable for us than 2014: there were no new releases or re-releases and we only played a few select shows. Plenty of things were happening to keep us busy though, so let's take a look at some key events from the past year.

NEW ALBUM PROGRESS
We spent most of our time in 2015 working on songs for the next album and we can say that the writing process has been completed. We have ten new songs finished and we have just started rehearsing these. We don't have a timeframe in place for the recording and the release yet, but our intention is to definitely release the album in 2016. Stay tuned for updates!

LINE-UP CHANGE
In November, our drummer Wolfram decided to leave the band because he felt he could no longer give the band the time and attention it deserves. Thankfully, we quickly found a new drummer in Mortüüm, who played his first show with the band in Oberhausen in November.

'AD MAIOREM' TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY
In October, our legendary third album 'Ad Maiorem Sathanae Gloriam' was released two decades ago. In honour of this occasion, we published this blog post and posted brand new versions of two of the album's classic tunes on our YouTube channel.


OLD SCHOOL SET AT 'VENERATION OF THE DEAD'
In April, we played at the 'Veneration Of The Dead' festival for the second year in a row. To make this show something really special, we played a set comprised exclusively of songs from the 1993-1997 era.


It turned out to be a memorable show: the sound was great, the place was packed and the audience was very much into the music. And for the final encore, we were joined on stage by a very special guest. The complete show has since been uploaded to our YouTube channel.

NEW VIDEOS
We posted a lot of new HD videos on our YouTube channel and have also begun the process of uploading all our albums to YouTube. Because we have quite a back catalogue, this will take some time, but several albums such as 'Heilig Vuur' and 'The Return Of The Horned One' are already there in their entirety. If you want to be notified of new uploads, simply subscribe to our channel.

So much for 2015. Looking ahead to next year, we hope to release a killer new record and to play more shows again. Anyone interested in booking us is welcome contact us.

November 16, 2015

Wolfram leaves Countess; Mortüüm joins

With regret we have to announce that our drummer Wolfram has decided to leave the band. He made this decision because he feels he can no longer give the band the time and attention it deserves. We understand and respect his decision as we know it was not made lightly.

Wolfram
Wolfram joined Countess early in 2014 and played an important part in the band's return to the stage. His invaluable contribution to the band will be missed by all of us. We wish him all the best in the future and trust he will remain part of the Countess family.

At the same time, we are pleased to announce Mortüüm as our new drummer. He is a skilful and versatile drummer with a lot of experience in many different bands. We have been rehearsing with him for a while and he played his first show with the band in Oberhausen last week. Following Wolfram's decision to leave the band, Mortüüm has agreed to join Countess on a permanent basis. We welcome him to our ranks and look forward to presenting him to our fans at future shows.

Mortüüm

October 01, 2015

'Ad Maiorem Sathanae Gloriam' released twenty years ago

Two decades ago today, Countess' third full-length 'Ad Maiorem Sathanae Gloriam' was released. Time for Orlok to take a trip down memory lane and write down some recollections from the creation of this classic record . . .



"In September 1994 I took a trip to Regensburg to deliver the master tape of 'The Return' to Opyros, who would release it on Nazgul's Eyrie Productions. The trip included a visit to one of Elisabeth Bathory's castles, Lockenhaus, where the pictures for the booklet of 'The Return' were taken. Upon our return to Regensburg, we wrote the lyrics to 'The Wrath Of Satan's Whore' together on a napkin in a Spanish restaurant and altogether this journey proved rather inspirational. So when I got home again, I immediately began working on new material.

Before long, I had enough songs written for a new album. I recorded these as demo's and sent them to Opyros (this was before 'The Return' was even released, mind you). He was quite enthusiastic about the new stuff and suggested it might be interesting to record the new record in a real studio this time. Hammerheart recommended 'The Nick' in Mheer for these recordings, where he had just been to record the first Bifrost album 'Pagan Reality', so we booked the studio for late January 1995 and prepared for the recording sessions.