Norwegian folk music revitalised

Folk metal band Gåte has managed to revitalised Norwegian folk music. Their way of mixing rock, prog and loud metal guitars with traditional Norwegian folk music has given new life to a genre many young people shun.

Gåte, 2002

Gåte (enigma) consists of five young people from Trondheim, with various musical backgrounds and on common denominator: A keen interest in Norwegian folk music. While the random Norwegian teen would have little knowlede and interest in this piece of musical heritage, this group have taken it upun themselves to revitalise this tradition, served up in a rock-music wrapping all of their own. They want to show the sceptical young audiences that traditional folk music contains something exciting and beautiful - and if approached in the right manner - a lot of ancient style rock 'n roll. So far, they have succeeded beyond anyones expectations.

By word of mouth and some breathtaking live-shows throughout their career, they were suddenly one of hottest acts at By:Larm (the Norwegian equivalent to In The City).

By:Larm is an annual event in Norway, where unsigned bands get to perform for the entire national (and and a good deal of international) press, record companies and several other professionals who pride themselves on being on the happening side of new music.

Gåtes By:Larm-performance earned them fantastic reviews: This was something different, something no other Norwegian band had done before them, and they did it so well, seemed to be the going tone among all who had seen them on stage. Despite their young ages (the female lead singer is only 17) they had an uniqueness about them and an intensity in their performance to be envied by most. They had grasped the essence of the old songs, and while staying true their lyrics and spirit, still made them attractive and exciting to an audience unaccustomed to such music. Gåte would very soon prove to have hit a nerve, in providing the Norwegian audience with something they didn't know they had been longing for.

When Gåte released their first EP in February this year, it went straight to the top 3 on the Norwegian official singles chart. The album ”Jygri” followed in September, and sold a staggering 10 000 copies the first week, sending it and went straight to the number one spot on the album charts. Both the album and the EP are produced by Alex Møklebust, the vocalist and front figure in Norwegian industrial-metal band Zeromancer, who proved to be a perfect match for Gåtes dark and dramatic sound.

Gåte is currently touring all over Norway to promote their album. The young musicians say they are extatic about the way their album has been received, but still a bit shell-shocked that so many people took to their eclectic sound so fast.

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