The former Pagan vocalist is the perfect fit for the explosive, catchy power-pop-punk of Norway’s Blood Command.
Blood Command’s 2017 LP, ‘Cult Drugs,’ was one of my favourite records of the 2010s. If you haven’t heard it, I implore you to at your earliest convenience; an explosive power-pop experience that takes the best parts of Refused, Paramore and The Blood Brothers into one incredibly hooky whole. Just try to deny songs like ‘(The World Covered In) Purple Shrouds,‘ ‘White Skin / Tanned Teeth,’ and ‘Initiation Tape #9.’ That death-pop record marked the Norweigan group’s first release with vocalist Karina Ljone, who brought so much to the band’s sound and energy levels. She’d later front their decent 2019 EP, ‘Return Of The Arsonist‘ and their bombastic 2020 single, ‘Saturday City.’
However, Karina is now out of the band, with the band’s new song today revealing that former vocalist of Australian black’n’roll group, Pagan, Nikki Brumen, is now fronting the group. The press releases and media coverage doesn’t hint as to why this split occurred, and while I will miss Karina’s vocals, I also couldn’t think of a better fit for the sound of Blood Command than Nikki. That high-octane energy and those blood-curdling screams that she both wielded with pure fire in Pagan are heard in all their glory on Blood Command’s latest single, ‘A Villain’s Monologue.’ It’s very much them; a loud and heavy rock track sprinting with pop mannerisms and punk hooks, written about the bullshit, hypocrisy and gaslighting used by pathetic people. All of it a solid display of Nikki’s vocal talents for those who weren’t familiar with Pagan and for those who’ve missed her voice since 2018’s ‘Black Wash.’
Nikki’s comment on her joining the band:
“A decade ago, I travelled from my home country of Australia to Norway. I chose to fly all the way to the other side of the world because of my obsession at the time with the Norwegian Black Metal scene. I left, however, with a new obsession – Bergen. The moment I arrived in this city, I knew there was something special about it. To this day, it is my favourite place I have been.
I used this trip and the Norwegian Black Metal scene as creative inspiration for my band Pagan, who played our last show in February 2020. Not long after we had split up, I got the offer to join Blood Command. I had actually been introduced to Blood Command’s Cult Drugs a couple of years earlier and fell in love with them instantly. In a weird way, they reminded me of a more pop version on Pagan. The strangest thing about this situation though was that I was being asked to join a band from Bergen. The stars had aligned.
I feel so privileged to have been given the opportunity to front a band that I love and that I feel such connection with. I will sing every note from my heart, I will scream every word from my gut. I will write every lyric from my soul together with the band and I will never let you down. We are all in this together now.”
This news was a great surprise to wake up to today. Expect more from Blood Command in 2021, stream ‘A Villain’s Monologue‘ below. I know I’ve been flogging it all morning!