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

Newsletter midwinter 2016

As the year draws to a close, we can conclude that 2016 has been another memorable year for Countess. We released a new album and our second album was released on vinyl 22 years after its original release . . . in this newsletter we’ll take a look at some key events from the past year and we’re announcing a special midwinter sale.

Midwinter sale: 20% off everything

If you place an order at our webstore between now and December 31st, simply use midwinter as your discount code and you’ll get 20% off your entire order!

New album 'Fires Of Destiny'

In June, we released our new album 'Fires Of Destiny'. Our fifteenth full-length, the record features ten tracks of uncompromising metal, blending first wave Black Metal and traditional Heavy Metal in a way only Countess can. The album is available everywhere, including BandcampiTunesSpotify and YouTube.

November 02, 2016

Live album recorded twenty years ago

On November 2, 1996 we recorded a live album that was never released. In honour of the twentieth anniversary of this occasion, Orlok recalls the album's history.
"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.

The intended cover for the live album

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

'The Return Of The Horned One' released on vinyl

Almost twenty-two years after its original release on CD by Nazgul's Eyrie Productions, our sophomore album 'The Return Of The Horned One' has now been released on vinyl in a joint effort by New Era Productions and Heidens Hart. In commemoration of this occasion, Orlok wrote down some memories from the creation of this legendary record.

"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.

The vinyl version of the album

July 30, 2016

'Fires Of Destiny' review round-up

It's been one month since the release of our new album and so far the response has been great; both from fans and critics. We therefore decided to publish a collection of some cool quotes from several reviews (with links to the full reviews).

"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."
- Rockmuzine

June 30, 2016

'Fires Of Destiny' out now!

Our new album 'Fires Of Destiny' is out now and available from our official Bandcamp store. The album is also available digitally on iTunes and available for streaming on Spotify and YouTube.
 

June 03, 2016

New album 'Fires Of Destiny' out June 30

On June 30 we will release our long-awaited new full-length album, entitled ‘Fires Of Destiny'.
'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.

June 01, 2016

'The Book Of The Heretic' released twenty years ago

Two decades ago today, 'The Book Of The Heretic' was released, an album that is perhaps our most controversial record: our only concept album to date, marred by a bad sound and mix yet hailed by some as the best Countess album. Time for Orlok to take another trip down memory lane and recall how this record was created.

The full album on YouTube

"After the recording of 'Ad Maiorem' I went back to writing and throughout 1995 I wrote quite a lot of songs and recorded them as demos. Then one day I got the idea for the story of the heretic in my head, so I got behind my computer and wrote the story down. I figured I could fit all the songs I had for the next album into this story, so I did. Because the story to connect the songs was written after the songs were written (which is a rather unusual way of writing a concept album, I realize that) the lyrics don’t really ‘tell’ the story very explicitly. The story of the heretic is actually quite a long one, which I wrote down in a very condensed way in only a handful of pages. If the story were written down more elaborately, like a novel, it might well comprise several books. The songs on the album all tell small parts of this long tale.