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 25, 2012

On Wings Of Defiance

This is the title track from the album that was released in 2011. 'On Wings Of Defiance' is a theme album, revolving around, obviously, defiance: standing for what one believes in, against whatever odds, whatever the cost. The album's first eight tracks all tell tales of defiance and the title track explicitly vocalizes the record's theme.
The album starts off with 'Where Eagles Die', telling the tale of the great victory of Germanic tribes against the mighty Roman Empire in 9 CE. The title of this song has nothing to do with the somewhat similarly-titled Maiden song; the 'eagles' refer to the standards of the three Roman legions that were lost in that legendary battle.
Next is 'I Am The Infidel', treading more familiar BM lyrical ground as it is about standing defiant against organized religion. Third is 'Let The River Run Red', recounting the great victory of the Scots over the English at Stirling Bridge in 1297 CE. The fourth song is 'Invictus', using as its lyric the classic poem by William Ernest Henley. Fifth song is 'At The Hot Gates I Stand', telling the tale of the last stand of the Spartans and Thespians at Thermopylae against the massive Persian army in 480 BCE. Next is 'Foggy Dew', a metal version of the classic Irish song about the Easter Rising in 1916 CE, when a handful of Irishmen defiantly rose up against the British Empire. The following track is 'Sermon Of The Devil Preacher', a metal sermon preaching opposition. The penultimate track is 'An Emperor's Stand', about the defiant stand of the last pagan Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate, against the christian church during his all-too-brief reign (361-363 CE).
The title track concludes the record, though two covers unrelated to the album's theme follow as 'bonus tracks'.