At John Dee, Oslo, Norway, December 16, 2004

Black Debbath is one of Norway’s absolute best Heavy Metal bands, but for the rest of the world, there is one hitch to their music; (most of) their lyrics are in Norwegian.

Their latest album is called Den Femte Statsmakt (The Fifth Estate) and for all you English speaking guys out there, they have added one song in English, which pretty much explains their lyrics and their position as a Heavy Metal band in general.

From the song “What the Previous Song Was About”: “Hail all you English speaking guys! Let me tell you what the last song was all about: Since you don’t speak our language or bureaucracy, I will translate now and explain to you thoroughly. I just mentioned that Black Debbath (“debbath” = “debate”) is the fifth estate, the self-appointed spokesmen of the people. Just like Stalin back in the good old Soviet Union. We are the guardians of the public opinion. Yeah, we put the words right into your big mouth, baby, yeah!”

This may sound very political and serious, but these guys have a great sense of humour and it’s actually hard to grasp if they, in fact, are serious musicians or if this is just another bogus band. All the guys from Black Debbath are also famous in Norway from bands like Gartnerlogen, The Cumshots, Thulsa Doom, and Bare Egil Band, and even if these bands may have a serious plan and also have great musicians, some of them do come out as pure entertainment and tend not to be taken seriously (especially because of songs named “Huh?” and “Lucky Pigs,” and having environmental activists have sex on stage like The Cumshots did this summer at The Quart Festival).

Seeing Black Debbath live at a packed John Dee in Oslo was a thrill. In the beginning of their show, they came on stage wearing huge judge’s wigs and black robes. Singer Lars Loenning was also wearing big Elvis sunglasses, standing behind his specially made mike stand, which looked like the front part of a Harley Davidson.

On their second song, they came on stage wearing black hoods, looking like the Grim Reaper himself. Then they continued with a “multimedia show,” as they called it, but in fact it was just a plain overhead where they showed bits and pieces of their music videos, and mostly funny stuff like taboo words and the band dressed up like women and fishermen.

On “King of Norway,” they put a guy playing the tuba on stage and to the audience amuse, all they did was talk about the tuba being a uterus.

Even if they like to joke and do silly stuff on stage, both Egil Hegerberg on bass, Aslag Guttormsgaard on guitars, and Ole-Petter “Ollis” Andreassen on drums are great musicians. They have all been in the music business for many, many years, they are famous for their variety in the music scene and they seem to be involved in just about everything containing rock ’n’ roll and Heavy Metal in Norway.

Singer Lars Loenning is the one that really stands out from this crew, a great musician as well, but with his long hair blowing in the wind (he has a fan under his mike stand) and his Ozzy-like voice, he’s truly the centre of attention! As well, ending the evening with three extras, they included a cover “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” by Black Sabbath, one of their main musical inspirational sources.

There’s never a dull moment with Black Debbath, so if you have a chance to catch them live, go for it!

Setlist: (first in Norwegian, then in English)
1: “Problemer innad i Hoyre” (Problems With The Conservatives)
2: “Dodsstraff uansett forbytelse” (Death Penalty No Matter What The Crime)
3: “Den femte statsmakt” (The Fifth Estate)
4: “Om bruken av tabuord i det norske sprak” (The Use Of Taboo Words In The Norwegian Language)
5: “Vi ma redde Geirfuglen” (We Must Save The Geir-Bird)
5: “Ja og Nei til Ef!”(Yes And No To The EC!)
6: “Min kone forlot meg mens jeg stod og fisket (just mens jeg dro en skrei)”(My Wife Left Me While I Was Fishing (Just As I Caught A Cod!)
7: “Mongo Norway”
8: “Voggesang til tronderen”(Nursery Rhyme For The Tronder) ( ”Tronder” = someone from the mid-region of Norway )
9: “King of Norway”

10: “Debbath” (Cover of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”)
11: “Herlig blytung Blues” (Lovely Heavy Blues)
12: “Reorganiser Helsevesnet” (Re-organize The Health Department)


  • Anne-Lene Rodahl

    Anne-Lene was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Oslo, Norway, and she was the first ”gal” on board!

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