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) and Mortüüm (drums). The band is working on the recording of a new album that is scheduled for release in 2016.

May 15, 2016

Classic tracks: Bloed In De Sneeuw

'Bloed In De Sneeuw' is generally acknowledged as the first Black Metal song with lyrics in Dutch. In this post, Orlok recalls the song's history.
"The song 'Bloed In De Sneeuw" was written in early 1994. At the time, we listened a lot to bands like Master's Hammer and Masacre, who sang in their own languages, which inspired us to also try that.

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

May 08, 2016

Classic tracks: Hell's Rock & Roll

'Hell's Rock & Roll' has been a popular song among Countess fans ever since it was written - especially live. In this post, Orlok takes a look at the creation of this anthemic track.

The studio version from 1997

"We were rehearsing some time in June 1996 and Zagan showed us a couple of riffs he had. We all liked them so we set about to make a song out of them. While playing the parts, we quickly came up with a song structure. The next step was, of course, writing lyrics. I thought about that for a while until the rather rocking nature of the song inspired me to name the track 'Hell's Rock & Roll'. The lyrics quickly followed: a rather cartoonish tale about the devil inspiring men to create metal. It was meant as a sarcastic response to those people who always claim that heavy metal is the devil's music: yes, of course it is! The devil made us do it!

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.