Interview: Nortfalke of Tarnkappe

I reached out to Nortfalke from Tarnkappe to see if he would answer some of our staff’s questions. Here we go:

Hi Nortfalke. Thank you for making Winterwaker, which was some of The Best Underground Metal of 2016. What were your influences and goals for Tarnkappe?

Hello Daniel,

Well the goal is simple and will be always the same for us: ‘creating Black Metal like it used to be in the 90’s’. I’m 34 years old now and really felt the atmosphere back then. Nowadays just a few bands create that feeling and I just wanted to be like one of them with Tarnkappe (and also with my other bands / projects). I’m not a big fan of the modern stuff. Lots of, in my opinion, death metal influences are heard within the genre. A few exceptions are there like Bolzer, which I really like. And my influences for Winterwaker? I wrote and recorded this album 4 years ago, so I don’t actually know anymore. But probably old Helheim, Isvind, Burzum (new and old), Nordvrede, Kaevum, old Enslaved, old Satyricon, old Gorgoroth. I listen to them still frequently.

How did you originally discover and get into black metal? What were your gateway records? Mine were old Sodom and Bathory.
My gateway experience was the “Dunkelheit” video clip on MTV Headbangers Ball. I was totally Type O Negative back then (and still am by the way). Then at the end, the Burzum video came up. I was instantly mesmerized. I bought the Burzum debut after that and second I bought the M.D.S. from Mayhem. Then I was sold. Bathory also came around back then, especially the Blood Fire Death album. Still a masterpiece.

I noticed that you play in many other bands in addition to Tarnkappe: Asregen, Gheestenland, Standvast, Kjeld. How do your various projects differ?

Well, I’m active in lots of bands, but most of them are studio bands. Tarnkappe and Asregen are studio bands. I play all instruments myself and I record them in my home studio. So I’m totally independent by creating those albums, which makes it easy to be creative and productive. The same goes for Standvast, but we also do some live shows with Standvast. For Gheestenland I only play drums nowadays, for the recordings (I did wrote a bunch of songs for the debut album). I’m not playing live anymore, because I’ve got other priorities.

One of them is playing with Kjeld obviously and also Lugubre is back in business. There are even plans to play live with Salacious Gods again. We are still working on a new full length. For short, I’m only rehearsing with Kjeld 2 times a month, Standvast so now and then and Lugubre once a month. The rest is more focused on creating, recording and releasing new material. And to finish this subject, I’m also active in Kaeck and working on my solo project Afvallige (black metal) and Nortfalke (dungeon synth). Actually I’m not that fond of being active in many projects and stuff, I just have lots of inspiration and ideas.

Did you drum on Kaeck’s Stormkult? I noticed the drumming on Winterwaker was very similarly nicely minimalist.

Indeed, I did the drums, bass guitar and synths on that one. I felt it would be cool to create something together with Jan (Sammath) because he is totally dedicated to the scene and a great guy in person.

Do you think common styles and influences unites the current wave of Dutch black metal bands? What do you think is in the immediate future for Dutch black metal? Could it ever become popular like the noisy black ‘n’ roll or war metal crossover beloved by certain websites?

To be honest, I think the Dutch scene is kind over overrated. I can’t judge about my own input in this one of course, so that’s up to others to decide. There are some good bands, but almost none within the style I really like (see first and second question). There are some more modern or trendy bands who are gaining popularity, but I’m not interested in those once obviously. And certain websites? I don’t follow websites in general, I only check out Youtube for new releases and stay updated by visiting sites of my favorite labels. By the way, check out Israthoum, Orewoet, Ode and Cultus for good Dutch black metal.

What do you think of the proposed link between intelligence and profound music beyond entertainment or technicality?

If I do understand the question correctly, I think it’s all about the atmosphere in black metal. It can be technical, like Emperor did with Anthems…. But most bands are being technical just to impress others or something. It has nothing to do with black metal. It has no soul and spirit, so it’s not Black Metal in my opinion.

Does ideology, not just political ideology but mentality and focus on material or spiritual matters, affect the making of art greatly?

Black Metal in my opinion will always be a spiritual matter, otherwise it has noting to do with black metal. The spiritual or ideological elements are creating the atmosphere together with the songwriting. This combination, when executed correctly, makes Black Metal superior above all other genres. I’m against modern society and their politics. Our priority must be restoring contact with nature. This would be my spiritual matter and is of great influence on my creations.

How important is reclusivity/isolation to the making of black metal?
Very important! To convert emotions, atmosphere and inspiration into sound, you really need to isolate from society. You can’t make this connection while being distracted all day long by everyday activities. Most modern black metal fans are making fun of ‘ being in the woods’ and ‘playing black metal in the dark’ etc., but I don’t think it’s a joke at all, it’s a must!

Does black metal present a special opportunity for an individual to transmit a superior and more independent vision, or is it just another form of trendy fashion that expresses aggression?

Both, depends on the bands you listen to. Most trendy fashion bands are only pretending to be aggressive. When I’m listening to Zyklon-B, Niden Div. 178 and Nordvrede for example, it gives me a lot of strength. That’s aggression in music.

Being that the term underground has lost its significance in the face of the changes brought about by the rise of the Internet, what separates the authentic, superior and sinister black metal artist from the mass of those who are simply musicians developing a career in entertainment?

I think ideology, quality riffs and physical releases in the first place. But the production of a release and the atmosphere within the sound itself says enough about what is true and what is not.

Does communication over the Internet and mass production both trivialize and rest perceived value from dark works of art that touch and go deeper than mere music?

Depends of the use of internet. I think mass production does.

Is there a greater burden on the audience today to discern what is good from what is bad beyond advertisement, hype and restricted availability?

I don’t think so. It’s very easy to check out new bands on the internet. I’ve discovered several new bands via Youtube myself. Actually you don’t need advertisements and reviews anymore, because of this. If people think something is good or is bad, it’s very personal. And hypes and hipster will always be part of this unfortunately. Just discovered “Sanningsbringare” for example, a great song in a compilation record.

Does black metal have a future, and what does it resemble? Will we be a niche?

Depends on how you will define ‘having a future’. If there are only a few persons playing cold riffs in a rehearsal room in 2050, it still has a future right? Lots of people are still playing folk music, which are ancient songs mostly. There are so many good albums that have been made in the past 30 years. When the music is good enough, it will stand the test of time. And if it dies, it dies, like everything ends. No problem with that either.

Did black metal influence the cultural changes we see in the current decade?

No way, it’s too small to be of great influence on cultural changes. Maybe if you combine it with other extreme underground music styles. But some sort of researcher has to check this out. There are far more bigger issues within society like overpopulation, integration, epidemics and nature disasters. Black Metal and its effect on cultural changes is vanishingly small. The subjects I’ve mentioned before though are changing cultures.

What emotion or insight is the essence of black metal?

Hatred, strength, ideology, spiritual depth, autonomy and Nature.

Thanks Nortfalke! Good luck with Tarnkappe and your other projects!

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48 thoughts on “Interview: Nortfalke of Tarnkappe”

  1. Donald T. says:

    wHAT do you guys think of NWOBHM band LEGEND ?

    Some people claim they were one of the best bands of that movement, yet no one talks about them.

    1. Necronomeconomist says:

      Well, “Donald T.”: what I think about LEGEND is >> sounds like Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.

      Currently Listening to:
      Diamond Head “The Prince” Lightning 2 the Nations

  2. foreverN00b says:

    Great interview, and that’s a really good song, I wonder how he managed to discover it.

    Like do you guys skip tracks when you first hear a shitty riff or atmosphere or do you actually listen/resist/suffer to the whole album/compilation in order to find the good ones ?

  3. Belano says:

    Nice interview. It would be interesting to see interviews with the bands that were part of The Best Underground Metal of 2016.

  4. Death Strike’s The Truth, Blood’s Bought Beauty, and Mayhem’s Deathcrush(with a little change in rhythm) all share a very similar riff. Anyone know who did it first?

    1. Probably Discharge.

  5. Kvädare says:

    I am surprised that he likes Bölzer.

    1. Robert says:

      Me too. Especially as much hate they get here on DMU.

  6. Nigh8R says:

    In your face Maarat, this dude like Bolzer! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  7. Gen O'Cide says:

    I loved this interview..thank you.

  8. Necronomeconomist says:

    “I’m 34 years old now and really felt the atmosphere back then.”

    Hahaa, I love picturing this nigga, age 11, “feeling the atmosphere” of Hvis Lyset Tar Oss right when it dropped in ’94.

    1. Marc Defranco says:

      Hmm he probably did. A youth finding something mysterious most likely without having become cynical yet.

      1. Rainer Weikusat says:

        without having become cynical yet.

        ‘Become cynical’ is usually a euphemism for “not being interested in anything but drugs and sex and incapable of imagning others could be different except for want of ‘maturity'” (as if “16 forever” would be a particular sign of that). I prefer calling these people dead: They’ve reached the end of their lifetime development and are artificially kept alive for another 50 odd years after the time when they should have died of a natural cause (25 – 30) by increasingly sophisticated, technical means.

        1. Mainstream counter-culture/anti-hero behavior is the same death as a cube McJob and a box in the suburbs.

          1. Rainer Weikusat says:

            I don’t think I understand that. If something like ‘the counter-culture’ ever existed, it would have ended in 1966/ 67, when the drugs fuelling it were outlawed and production thus handed over the organized crime as another lucrative enterprise, and whatever the culture part happened to be streamlined and commercialized for mass market consumption. I was referring to everyday ‘fabric of society’ office (mostly) jobbers whose cultural activities, insofar one wants to regard this as such, are collective consumption of alcohol, speed, meth and cocaine while chasing whatever interestingly gendered person might be within reach and willing to tolerate or encourage that, this being regarded as the be-all and end-all of human existence.

            Insofar this manifests itself musically, it becomes,

            I didn’t play ball
            so I couldn’t get the chicks
            until I picked up the guitar
            and I learned a couple of licks


            and that’s rather a better example.

            based on the very simplified philosophy that panem and circenses divides people into three hierarchical castes: 1. The haves. 2. The would-like-to-have-but-cannot-get-its. 3. The can’t-even-make-it-to-2s. People can raise to one. Most of them eventually fall back to two. And they die. And that’s all of it.

        2. Marc Defranco says:

          Maybe I should expand on what I meant. The world maybe has yet to make him mean spirited and what he found in Burzum at that age was pure. Not overanalyzed which is fine later on but when young things can have a special meaning.

          1. Rainer Weikusat says:

            I understood that. But this “mean spirited” is not something which naturally happens to people, only to some of them, and I’m not sure if they weren’t “mean spirited” to begin with. AFAIK, this disposition used to be associated with uneducated, lower-class people leading ‘mean’, that is, pretty animal-like lifes, because circumstances forced them to, especially after (Christian) religion started to use its effectiveness as spritual barbiturate. It certainly didn’t become socially acceptible and even admired until fairly recently, within the last 25 years or so, at least in Europe.

            “I come too early,” he then said, “I am not yet at the right time. This prodigious event is still on its way, and is travelling, – it has not yet reached men’s ears. Lightning and thunder need time, the light of the stars needs time, deeds need time, even after they are done, to be seen and heard. This deed is as yet further from them than the furthest star, – and yet they have done it!”

            suggests itself here.

            There’s also some kind of positive feedback loop here: Mean-spirited people lead mean lifes because they’re mean-spritied and this makes them mean-spirited.

            1. Marc Defranco says:

              Hmm I think most intelligent people develop not exactly a mean spirit but a distrust, or uneasiness of many in the world as one ages due to experiences. An example could be a distrust in the government after sending many to die in an nonnoble war. I also think most intelligent people can recognize those to trust though and do look for good intentions of others at least at first.

                1. Rainer Weikusat says:

                  This is not only a comment on “trusting people” but also specially dedicated to the smelly, (very likely) overpowdered male (and probably) gay[*] “kick your feet in the air and waive your arms like a windmill” person who ruined my evening yesterday because it wasn’t possible to convince him to keep his hands off me by means one can employ while ‘security’ is present.

                  [*] He seemed to be equally happy to go after any kind of person.

                  1. There are quite a few defectives out there. Eugenics now!

        3. Vigilance says:

          Uh yeah it’s not 16, it’s Forever 21

          1. Rainer Weikusat says:

            Depends on the jurisdiction.

            Eg, sex with 14-year olds is legal in Germany unless the other party is over 21 and a complaint was made. With 16, anything goes with regards to that and consume of wine and beer. It used to be legal to smoke with 16 but since ardent non-smokers typically drink, this was raised to 18, despite alcohol kills more people than all other legal an illegal drugs combined.

            1. Marc Defranco says:

              Yeah I believe he was talking about the clothing store Forever 21, not ages of consent

          2. gorewhore says:

            Thanks Captain Vigilance, let me fact-check that with my kid sister and I’ll get back to you.

    2. Rainer Weikusat says:

      Hahaa, I love picturing this nigga, age 11, “feeling the atmosphere” of Hvis Lyset Tar Oss right when it dropped in ’94.

      He actually mentioned the Dunkelheit video clip he presumably saw in 1996, ie, when he was 13. However, making fun of this guy just because not all of his “early teenage” experiences were horrible is pretty silly.

      1. Necronomeconomist says:


        Fine, Rainier; “Hahaa, I love picturing this nigga, age 13, ‘feeling the atmosphere’ of Filosofem right when it dropped in ’96.”

        Is that good enough for you, yet? LAWL

        At any rate, your reading of my motivations is entirely your projection.
        I didn’t make fun of the guy, and certainly didn’t think about his other teenage experiences.

        Were yours pretty bad?

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          At any rate, your reading of my motivations is entirely your projection. I didn’t make fun of the guy,

          What you wrote was “Hahaa, I love picturing this nigga, age 1x”. This counts as “making fun of him” in my understanding of English (where ‘Haha’ signals laughter and ‘nigga’ is a denigrating term). That he comes up with something nice he remembers from that age (which is also one were one would expect people to start down the professional/ serious hobbyists path they’ll be following later on, eg, I started programming computers at 12) shouldn’t be a reason to throw a “Haha, nigga!” at him.

          1. Nah, “nigga” just means “buddy” or “pal”.

            1. Kvädare says:

              That name

              1. Sleeping Muslims on Loft Beds says:

                Yes it’s quite edgy and should be a title of a song methinks.

          2. Necronomeconomist says:

            Yeah, Rainier, that’s your MISunderstanding of English. You’re missing the shades of meaning. “HAHA” can mean delight and bemusement. “nigga”, yes, can mean dude, pal, buddy, guy. And then you spiral off into all sorts of re-triggered unprocessed distress from an awkward adolesence.

            You like that wordplay? Thank NAS, I’m listening to ‘The Illmatic’ right now.

            At any rate, isn’t it amusing to imagine some little 13 year old kid vibing the fuck out to Burzum? RELAXXX

            1. Rainer Weikusat says:

              Considering that you’ve now posted the original statement reworded a third time and reposted your unmotivated insult of me for a 2nd time (I was thinking of Per Ohlin, BTW), assertions of your “good intentions” begin to look about as trustworthy as Ulbricht’s famous “Nobody plans to build a wall” (“Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten”) 2 months before construction of the Berlin wall began.

              1. Embrace the teachings of uncle Adolf says:

                Is this a post-denazified German cuck thing, or just a normal, average cuck thing, Rainer?

                Calm down for once, you do not hold all the answers. Read more Mein Kampf, and take off your cynic rosy eye glasses of self-assured modern fuck everything but my status, you sound like a Joo.

                1. Rainer Weikusat says:

                  Is this […] Calm down for once

                  That’s a phantasy creature you’ve chosen to hang onto me.

              2. Slaughter of the Hole says:

                Dawg, it’s okay that you don’t have native fluency in English (via the written word, no less). Chill out. So hypervigilant for insults!

  9. Thewaters says:

    Good on you for tackling an interview. Keep it uo! Interview conqueror!

  10. bring back the metal into deathmetal orh says:

    emperor where 15 when they started out…

    1. Slaughter of the Hole says:

      Mmmm I think you’re wrong there, my nigga. Ihsahn was 14 when ‘In the Nightside Eclipse” dropped… Hadn’t they been together for about 2 1/2 years leading up to that? If memory serves…

      1. bring back the metal into deathmetal orh says:

        they’re 75/76 borns.. but whatever, fact is that early 90s 2nd wave corpse paint bm was something that only teens and maybe some early twens could actually feel and take for real. couldnt imagine myself with 38 today to get that stuff with such excitement, seriousness and feel of real danger and evil like back then. looking back its more like bad boy crazy kids having a psychodis or drug fueled carneval we all took pretty serious back then, when there wasn’t yet all you would unfortunately get to hear, see, realize after lets say 95… all that wanky stuff that basically de-mystified bm, if it all had stayed shrouded in mystery like the black legions from france without the growed up actors, thd documentaries, hipster revivals, grown up old men still playing (destroying) the old stuff, it just ruined the spirit and smell of danger and evil that was felt back then, even more if you were part of the outsider teen circle with rebel attitude than experienced and settled in adult life contents

    2. Not to mention Enslaved…

      1. bring back the metal into deathmetal orh says:

        or sepultura, theres some 85 footage that gets this talk visualized: young as fuck, evil and black as hell..

        1. Altarboyz 'N the Hood of Madness says:

          That’s so dope… I love it when dudes play black metal on Stratocasters.

  11. Flying Kites says:

    Just posting this because it will make the place look nice.

  12. Flying Kites says:

    I should have added to that last post.

    “I Feel, therefore I Speak” is an all too common mistake of our time. Beyond the maternal, be primordial!

    1. Syphilis says:

      The majority of people are morons that should be done away with as swiftly as possible. Preferably turned into fertilizer.

      Perhaps its time to become a florist.

      1. Mormon Meth Dream says:


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