Among the first Dutch black metal bands in the early nineties, Countess have always set themselves apart from other bands by a fierce loyalty to their old school influences. For two and a half decades, while fashions came and went, Countess stayed true to their vision and thus earned a worldwide cult status in the metal underground.
In spite of their sworn allegiance to metal orthodoxy, Countess have never shied from innovation. In 1994 they created the first black metal song with Dutch lyrics (Bloed In De Sneeuw) and in 1997 were among the first bands to take a rocking approach to the genre (Hell's Rock & Roll).
Over the course of 25 years and 15 full-length albums, Countess' sound has evolved from the raw black metal of the early releases towards a more traditional heavy metal-influenced style. The band's most recent offering, Fires Of Destiny in 2016, being a powerful example of a seamless integration of heavy and black metal elements.
In 2014 the band returned to the stage after a long period of not having played live. Since then, Countess have performed impressive shows at numerous prestigious metal festivals in their own country, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Finland.
The core of Countess consists of long-time members Orlok (vocals, bass) and Zagan (guitars) who both have been involved with the project since the nineties. They were recently joined by Mortüüm (drums, 2015) and Häxa (keyboards, 2016) to complete what is probably the band's strongest formation to date.
December 15, 2016
November 02, 2016
"Back in the mid-nineties, when we played live people were always telling us that our songs sounded much better live than they did on the albums. So we got the idea to do a live album. We arranged a gig at the place where we usually rehearsed in Schiedam, which was also sort of a club and there was a studio there as well, which would make recording the gig relatively cheap and easy.
We picked a bunch of songs for inclusion on the album and rehearsed these pretty well. Most were from the first four albums, but we included a few new ones as well. On the day of the gig we rehearsed in the afternoon, then set up the recording equipment together with the engineer. Then we just played the gig, which went really well. We didn’t feel any real pressure because of the fact the gig was being recorded.
September 14, 2016
"In the summer of 1994, the line-up that had been in place for a while and recorded the demo 'The Wolves Awake' more or less ceased to exist. We never split up officially, but just kind of stopped rehearsing. I had still been writing new material throughout the year, though, so in September I decided to record a new album anyway.
July 30, 2016
"Fires of Destiny truly is a legacy worth talking about and Countess have earned all the bragging rights with this album with it being the culmination of over two decades of hard work and devotion coming to the excellent fruition that this piece is."
- Metal Addicts
"They always deliver and they will always be Countess, firm, loyal and strong-willed. So yes, I will recommend this album. It's different, it's vintage, it's varied and it rocks. What else could you possibly want?"
- Merchants of Air
"Fires Of Destiny is een lekker gevarieerd album geworden, bruut bij tijd en wijlen en ongekend melodieus."
June 30, 2016
June 03, 2016
'Fires Of Destiny' is our fifteenth full-length and features ten tracks of uncompromising metal music, blending first wave Black Metal and traditional Heavy Metal in a way only Countess can.
The title 'Fires Of Destiny' references the bonfires lit on the Kahlenberg by the troops who came to the relief of Vienna when the city was under siege in 1683; the subject of the title track.