Not only are Virus playing shows -- exceedingly rare events on their own -- they're coming to the USA for the first time. The Norwegian avant-garde brain-busters will be heading to Brooklyn's Saint Vitus on October 24 and October 25, with a special Czral DJ set taking place on October 23. These are the only US dates. The October 24 engagement features support from Krallice, Sannhet, Couch Slut, and songs spun by former IO editor/current Noisey chief Fred Pessaro (tickets). October 25 is similarly stacked with Ocrilim, Dysrhythmia, Geryon, and Trap Them guitar player Brian Izzi on the wheels of steel (tickets). Tickets are available now. Check out the show details below for more information.

We're also happy to announce that we'll be giving away four tickets to the Saint Vitus run, two for each night, right here. Your mission? Tell us your favorite Virus track and why in the comments. (Also, let us know which night you'd like to attend.)

If you're new to the band, what can you expect? Well, a lot. Since forming at the turn of the millennium, Virus have grown into one of metal's more fascinating entities. Maybe that was to be expected from a man who played such an integral part in the creation of Ved Buens Ende's Written in Waters. However, using only that CV entry to define Virus' Czral would be doing the creative dynamo a disservice. He can get bloodthirsty with the best of them, ripping it up in super-thrashers Aura Noir and Infernö and accumulating quite a few other credits (Darkthrone, Dødheimsgard, Ulver, and many more). So know he can do other things than bound over boundaries. That said, when he's pushing prog he puts his all into it.

Don't think of Virus as "difficult" in the prog sense, though. Complex, inventive, different; sure. Difficult? No, that's not really their M.O. From Carheart's punchline-laden Voivodisms to Oblivion Clock's caffeinated dusky dirges, Czral's heightened songcraft allows Virus to be listenable even at their weirdest. That's what separates the outfit from other sonic experimenters: Virus aren't overly indulgent, focusing their energy in service of the songs to ensure they burrow deeply and eventually resonate.

Because you feel like you're unlocking something when the tracks click, Virus' rock ends up meaning a lot to a lot of people. For instance, Stefan Raduta, whose photos of the band you can see below, was moved to describe Virus like this:

It's nearly impossible to find contemporary rock music that is not a copy of something but completely new, original and truly authentic, contracting down to illusion and dilating toward infinity, both growing and dying, delightfully suspended between hope for nothing and despair of everything, brought up among perfumes and poisons, consumed with love and hatred, killed by lights and shadows.

That's no requisite PR prose. And that's why he's bringing the trio over.

Of course, reading about Virus and hearing Virus are totally different things. Thankfully, the band are Bandcamp friendly, giving you a chance to get acquainted with their oeuvre before October. Sink into their albums along with full show details and photos below. Then fill us in on your favorite track. Tickets await.

— Photos by Stefan Raduta



Show notes from the hosts:

- Virus 2014 are Czral (vocals/guitars), Einz (drums), and Plenum (bass), which was the original Carheart lineup. Einz also plays in Infernö, along with Beyond Dawn. Plenum is currently in Audiopain.

- Their first show as a trio took place this year in April in Oslo, opening for Goblin.

- The bands opening each night were carefully selected, all beloved Brooklyn local musicians, house favorite artists and huge fans of the band: Krallice, Sannhet and formidable newcomers Couch Slut on Friday, and Ocrilim (Mick Barr of Krallice), Dysrhythmia and Geryon (Lev and Nicholas also of Krallice fame).

- Czral will be DJing at Saint Vitus on the night before the shows on October 23. Saint Vitus will get thrashy with Onslaught, Artillery, and Striker that day. Tickets for that show will be announced soon.

- The shows will host a DJ each night: Fred Pessaro on Friday and Trap Them guitar player Brian Izzi on Saturday.

- There will be limited-run exclusive merch for these shows alone.

- Both nights will be filmed, so expect an all-out stage show.


Virus at Hole in the Sky (2011) and Roadburn (2012)