Danish Metal Bands

Danish metal bands: The best Danish metal bands

How much do you know about Danish metal bands? If you’re curious about metal bands from Denmark, you’re in the right place. Today, we’re going to bring you the very best in Danish metal, so let’s begin…

These days, it’s almost common knowledge Scandinavia produces more metal music than any other country — anywhere in the world. While Denmark might not be as well-known for its metal culture as locations like Finland and Sweden, it still has a lot to offer in the hard rock landscape.

Denmark is well-renowned for its contributions to the metal world. While the country might not have invented the first wave of heavy metal like Britain or created a black metal hub like Norway, it’s still had a huge impact on the musical landscape. 

Copenhagen is home to countless rock-and-roll events, and you can find a range of festivals throughout Denmark dedicated to darker music too. 

Plus, Denmark is known for some of the most influential metal of all time. Some musical enthusiasts have even questioned whether Denmark might be the hidden gem of the metal world. 

Here’s your guide to the best Danish metal bands.

An introduction to Danish metal bands

Danish metal isn’t quite as popular as some other forms of Scandinavian metal, but the demand for heavy music from this region is still significant. 

Metal bands from Denmark, much like the heavy metal bands elsewhere in the Scandi region, are popular for their diverse approach to the musical genre. 

Scandinavian countries created various new forms of metal (including Viking metal), and the location continues to attract music fans from around the world today. 

So, why are Scandinavian metal bands so popular? 

Plenty of people have tried to answer this question in the past. Some believe metal music is more likely to emerge in countries with a unique approach to religion

Although the Scandinavian landscape has a lot of Christianity within it, there’s still a great deal of culture and history devoted to other kinds of religion — including the Old Norse legends. 

Other experts say metal in Scandinavia has something to do with the extreme cold and temperatures of the Nordic region. The idea is darker days and nights may lead to equally dark music. 

There are also specialists who believe the opposite to this, saying heavy metal bands are common in “happier” countries. As one of the happiest places on earth, it only makes sense Denmark would be a big place for metal. 

Danish Metal Bands

The best Danish metal bands

Scandinavian metal was first established as “extreme” metal, and it first became popular during the 1980s, largely thanks to bands appearing in Norway and Sweden. 

Death, black, and Viking metal are some of the most popular genres, though there are bands experimenting in almost every aspect of metal. 

Denmark has a variety of popular metal bands to explore. Your favorite metal band from Denmark will depend on your musical preferences. 

Here are some excellent options to start your musical education…

The best Danish metal bands: Danish death metal

Danish death metal bands are identified by their morbid lyrics, often focusing on death and destruction. 

Though death metal is more popular in Norway than Denmark, there are many well-known groups, from Panzerchrist to Illdisposed, who have generated attention for the genre over the years. 

Here are some of the top groups for Danish death metal: 

Illdisposed

A Danish death metal band from Aarhus, Illdisposed formed during the early years of the metal revival in Denmark, in 1991. The band is still running today, as one of the top choices in the Nordic death metal scene, with 13 albums and two Eps. 

Illdisposed features a lot of unique melodic rhythms in its music, mixed with hard-hitting riffs and a huge amount of subwoofer in the vocals. The members of the band today include Bo Summer, Jakob Batten, Rasmus Henriksen, Rasmus Schmidt, and Onkel K. Jensen. 

Iniquity

Another great example of a Danish death metal group, Iniquity launched in 1989 and introduced three full-length albums to the scene before they disappeared. Better known for “technical death metal”, this group had a lot of changes to its lineup over the years. 

The most recent members include Thomas Christensen, Jesper Frost Jensen, Martin Rosendahl, and Brian Eriksen. 

Mercenary

An often-mentioned group in the Danish death metal landscape, Mercenary formed in 1991. The group, which first rose to fame in Aalborg, incorporate both progressive and power metal into their songwriting. 

The name for the band, chosen by Henrik Andersen came from a Slayer song named “Ghosts of War”. This is one of the few groups in Denmark which continues to be active to this day. 

Panzerchrist

Widely regarded as one of the most influential death metal bands of all time, Panzerchrist is a Danish death metal brand from Aarhus. The band formed in 1992 and has released several albums over the years, including Soul Collector, Battalion Beast, 7th Offensive, and Regiment Ragnarök. 

Current members include Simon Schilling, Nils Peterssen, and Michael Enevoldson on bass. 

Corpus Mortale

Formed in Copenhagen during 1993, Corpus Mortale featured Nicholas Mascholn, Martin Rosendahl, and Soren Jensen. The band focused heavily on death metal from day one and earned critical acclaim for its first demo. 

In 1996, the group recruited another guitarist, Morten Jensen, and the second demo, Integration, was recorded soon after. Corpus Mortale is still influencing the death metal space in Denmark today.

The best Danish metal bands: Danish black metal

Black metal in Denmark is all about faster tempos, heavily distorted guitars, and a deep, even shrieking vocal style. Denmark’s black metal scene has grown slowly over the years, with new groups appearing all over the country. 

Here are some of the biggest Danish black metal bands you should definitely check out if you love the genre:

Mercyful Fate

Another Danish metal band from Copenhagen, Mercyful fate formed a lot earlier than many of the other metal groups in Denmark. The vocalist, King Diamond, joined forces with Hank Shermann in 1981. 

Influenced by hard and progressive rock, Mercyful Fate earned popularity for its unique lyrics, often focusing on the occult and satanism. The group was part of the first wave of black metal in the mid to late 80s.

Myrkur

Led by singer Amalie Brunn, Mryrkur was an interesting addition to the black metal scene in 2014. The identity behind the project leader was kept a mystery for so long. The group has now released three full albums receiving critical acclaim. 

The band still features Amalie Brunn, known for vocals, guitar, keyboard, piano, bass, organ, violin, and percussion talents. 

Nortt

An extreme metal project formed in 1995 by an individual with an eponymous pseudonym, Nortt is a black metal band shrouded in mystery. The man behind the band describes his music as “black funeral doom metal”, particularly in terms of the dark imagery and lyrics. 

On his website, Nortt has a strong following, and frequently posts his thoughts on solitude, darkness, and misery. 

King Diamond

Formed in 1985 by the vocalist, King Diamond, this band featured guitarists Michael Denner, and Andy LaRocque, bassist Timi Hansen, and the drummer Mickey Dee. 

Denner, Diamond, and Hansen all came from previous connections with the Merycful Fate group, and decided to form a new musical experience, still in the black metal genre. 

The band is still active today, with a new album pending for 2022 named “The Institute”. 

The best Danish metal bands: Danish power metal

Danish metal bands cover a wide variety of genres, from darker death and black metal to brighter hard rock options. Power metal combines the traditional impact of heavy metal with speed and symphonic elements. 

The Danes often experiment with a range of styles when bringing their version of power metal to life. 

Here are some of the best Danish power metal bands to add to your list: 

Iron Fire

Originally known as “Misery,” Iron Fire is a Danish speed and power metal band formed in 1995. The name was changed to “Decades of Darkness” before finally transitioning to “Iron Fire.” 

Currently operating under the “Noise” music label, Iron Fire features Martine Steene on vocals, Gunnar Olsen on drums, and Kirk Backarach on guitars. The most recent album released by the group was “Beyond the Void” in 2019. 

Wuthering Heights

A Danish heavy metal band with a unique electrical style, Wuthering Heights combines progressive rock with power metal, and elements of folk metal. Though a number of Swedish musicians have played in this band, it’s still regarded a Danish power metal band. 

The group has had dozens of different members over the years, with one of the most consistent members being Erik Ravn on vocals, keyboards, bass and guitar.

Seven Thorns

Formed in 1998, Seven Thorns is a Danish power group which has gone through various changes in its lineup, even before releasing the debut album in 2010. Though many regard this group to be a late addition to the scene, Seven Thorns’ has a strongly old-school power metal vibe to it. 

Many fans love the connection to influential bands like Helloween and Gamma Ray.

Pyramaze

A part of the Danish power metal scene since 2001, Payramaze began with guitarist Michael Kammeyer, drummer Morten Gade Sorensen, and bassist Niels Kvist. 

The group also recruited an American keyboardist named Jonah Weingarten after meeting him on the internet, and an American singer, Lance King. 

The band continues to go strong today, with an album released in 2020 named “Epitaph.” 

Manticora

A heavy metal and power metal band from Hvidovre in Denmark, Manticora takes inspiration from both speed and progressive metal. The current label behind the group is Nightmare Records, and the band often references a lot of science fiction, fantasy, and literature in its lyrics. 

Current members include Kristian Larsen and Stefan Johansson on guitar, Kasper Gram on Bass, Lawrence Dinamarca on drums, and Lars F Larsen on vocals.

The best Danish metal bands: Danish heavy metal bands

Many of the metal bands throughout Denmark are simply defined as “heavy metal” groups. This is usually the case when their music touches on a lot of different styles, like industrial metal, alternative, melodic metal and even Viking metal. 

Here are some of the Danish heavy metal bands we haven’t mentioned so far, which also deserve a mention: 

Raunchy

Launched in 1992, Raunchy started with Morten Toft Hansen, Jesper Kvist, and Jesper Tilsted, who generally played covers of bands like Slayer and Metallic. The group recorded their first demo in 1995 in Aarhus. 

Today, the band continues to be popular among metal fans, though the most recent album, Vices, Virtues, Visions came out more than 7 years ago in 2014. 

Anubis Gate 

Often defined in the genres of power metal, heavy metal, and progressive metal, Anubis Gate is a popular group from Denmark which began in 2003. Though the band officially formed in 2003, the members have worked together since 1984. 

The most recent album created by the group was Covered in Colours in 2020. Current members include Henrik Fevre, Kim Olesen, Michael Bodin, and Morten Gade Sorensen. 

Artillery

A thrash metal band from Denmark, Artillery was one of the first groups to experiment with the new genre in Denmark, starting in 1982. Many compare the music of Artillery to other popular bands like Megadeth and Voivod. 

The band broke up in 1991, but reunited in 1998, only to disband again in 2000. In 2007, the group reformed for a final time and remains together to this day. 

Volbeat 

Formed in Copenhagen, Volbeat are a unique Danish metal band known for their blend of rockabilly, heavy metal, and rock and roll. The most recent lineup includes guitarist and vocalist Michael Poulsen, drummer Jon Larsen, bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen, and guitarist Rob Caggiano. 

Up until now, Volbeat has released a total of 7 studio album, with the 2010 release Beyond Hell/Above Heaven getting a double platinum award in Denmark.

Konkhra

A Danish extreme and death metal band formed in 1989, Konkhra are a slightly lesser-known band among the groups we’ve mentioned so far. Often, the band is compared to groups like Pantera, Machine Head and Entombed. 

Currently, Konkhra is represented by Hammerheart records, and features members Anders Lundemark, Johnny Nielsen, Martin R Patterson, and Kim Hakim Mathiesen. 

The best Danish metal bands: Danish hard rock bands

Finally, we come to our collection of Danish hard rock bands. Hard rock and metal often go hand-in-hand, so for this final segment, we decided to create a list of some of the most memorable groups we haven’t explored in other segments. 

Here’s some more inspiration for your Danish metal playlist:

Pretty Maids 

A Danish hard rock and heavy metal band from Horsens, Pretty Maids formed in 1981 with Ken Hammer and Ronnie Atkins. Many fans describe the music as classic heavy rock, with plenty of guitar and a lot of emphasis on keyboards and vocals. 

The group has supported a host of well-known bands over the years, ranging from Metallica and Deep Purple to Alice Cooper, White Snake, and Black Sabbath. 

Rock Hard Power Spray 

Another excellent Danish rock band from Odense, Rock Hard Power Spray is a hard rock and alternative metal group with elements of garage and punk rock. This group is best known for winning the biggest music competition in the world in 2005 — the Emergenza Festival. 

They also earned a fully paid tour in the US with Green Day and have been on tour with the Bloodhound Gang. 

Fate 

A melodic rock and hard rock band formed in 1984, Fate released four studio albums between 1984, and 1990 before they broke up in 1993. After a one-off reunion in 2004, the group reformed and released a new album for 2006. 

In 2010, the group also released a “best of” album, followed by a new album called Ghosts from the Past in 2011. 

Saturnus 

Formed in 1991, Saturnus are a Danish band formed in 1991. The group, from Copenhagen delivers a combination of death, doom and gothic metal. Saturnus released its most recent album in 2012, named Saturn in Ascension, though the band is still technically together and touring. 

HateSphere 

A thrash and death metal band from Aarhus, Hatesphere first formed in 2000 with the guidance of guitarist Peter Hansen. 

The most recent lineup for the group contains vocalist Esben Elnegaard Kjaer Hansen, guitarist Peter Hansen, and Kasper Kirkegaard, as well as drummer Mike Nielsen, and Jimmy Nedergaard on bass. 

Celebrating Danish metal bands

Just because Denmark isn’t as well known as some other parts of Scandinavia for its metal culture, doesn’t mean it’s not there. There are plenty of rock festivals and gigs throughout Denmark where you can find headbanging, mosh pits, and all the other essential elements of metal culture. 

If you’re visiting Denmark and want to get a taste of some of the metal culture, you should definitely look for events like the Metal Magic Zero festival, which often features plenty of amazing bands from throughout the country. 

There’s also the Royal Metal Fest, and Copenhell, which often combines heavy metal and hard rock music. 

Don’t forget to check out some of the local bars and must-see music destinations while you’re exploring Denmark too. You might encounter one of the latest up and coming metal bands making their way into the scene. 

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