Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Experimental/Post Metal • Norway

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Virus picture
Virus biography
Obscure Norwegian Avant-Garde Metal band VIRUS was formed in 2000 by Carl-Michael Eide (also known as "Czral", "Aggressor") on guitars and vocals, Petter "Plenum" Berntsen (AUDIOPAIN) on bass guitar and Einar "Esso" Sjurso (INFERNÖ) on drums. VIRUS was meant to be a musical continuation of Eide's previous group VED BUENS ENDE, which had released only one full-length album at the time, however, VIRUS's approach to songwriting also changed with the new adherents hired by "Czral". The self-taught minds of VIRUS were influenced by a diverse variety of groups, from VOIVOD to TALKING HEADS, from MILES DAVIS to SODOM, from TORTOISE to UNIVERS ZERO... This explains how the group's only album to date, titled "Carheart", which was released in 2003 on Ulver's label Jester Records, managed to incorporate elements of rock, jazz, pop, electronic and metal music into their sound. However, as complex and genre transcending VIRUS's sound is, the songwriting is also in top shape, being harmonic in its unique way and also borrowing the eerie atmosphere that was first present in VED BUENS ENDE's music.

The group hasn't yet released any more albums, however, the last known VIRUS line-up has reformed as VED BUENS ENDE in 2006 together with Yusaf "Vicotnik" Parvez (a previous VBE member), and are expected to play VIRUS material live in addition to VBE catalog.

VIRUS's only album "Carheart" is highly recommended to the followers of the Norwegian Post-Black scene, as well as all fans of technical and avantgarde, yet eerie and atmospheric music. Recommended but not limited to fans of ULVER, VOIVOD, CYNIC and others!

Why this artist must be listed in :
Approved by the prog-metal experts team.

Carheart, studio album (2003)

Virus official website

VIRUS MP3, Free Download (music stream)

Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with, learn how to submit new MP3s.

VIRUS forum topics / tours, shows & news

VIRUS forum topics Create a topic now
VIRUS tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "virus"
Post an entries now

VIRUS Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to VIRUS

Buy VIRUS Music

Memento ColliderMemento Collider
Karisma 2016
Audio CD$10.36
$11.75 (used)
Sony Import 2011
Audio CD$8.13
$8.12 (used)
The Black FluxThe Black Flux
Season of Mist 2012
Audio CD$6.98
$6.97 (used)
Thoughts plus 2 bonus tracksThoughts plus 2 bonus tracks
Garden Of Delights
Audio CD$18.00
Superficies De PlacerSuperficies De Placer
Sony Import 2011
Audio CD$7.99
$8.00 (used)
Agent That Shapes the DesertAgent That Shapes the Desert
Duplicate Records 2011
Audio CD$12.55
$25.10 (used)
Singles and RaritiesSingles and Rarities
Sound Pollution 2001
Audio CD$3.47 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Funeral Dress Totally Dressed 1985-1998 CD Belgian Street Punk Oi! Unseen Virus USD $7.64 Buy It Now
Starkill - Virus of the Mind CD USD $6.99 Buy It Now
VENOM - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik DOUBLE LP RR 9639 AT WAR VIRUS BLACK METAL USD $0.99 [1 bids]
Shrapnel The Virus Conspires Back On Black 180 Gram Vinyl LP (2) New Thrash USD $12.00 Buy It Now
sound virus CD : SPUNK-spunk (new) hard rock USD $3.84 [0 bids]
HUSKER DU - Land Speed Record LP VIRUS 25 Bob Mould Hüsker Dü USD $32.14 Buy It Now
Alice Donut Donut Comes Alive Alternative Tentacles VIRUS 61 Vinyl LP w/ SHRINK USD $34.99 Buy It Now
Heavenly - Virus (2007) PROMO ALBUM USD $1.27 [0 bids]
Greatest Hits USD $5.97 Buy It Now
Mic Virus & Konfadent We Got Next CD Milwaukee WI Midwest Rap Hip Hop USD $14.99 Buy It Now
OST VIRUS YX7272AX OBI LP Gv4221 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
Zeni Geva Disgraceland USA 7" vinyl single record VIRUS127 USD $14.08 Buy It Now
Heather Nova CD single (CD5 / 5") Virus Of The Mind UK VVR5018893 V2 2002 USD $16.06 Buy It Now
Dance Floor Virus Message In A Bottle UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) USD $15.99 Buy It Now
Virus Lunacy Cassette Tape 70z USD $29.00 Buy It Now
butthole surfers vinyl lp record punk rock virus 32 alternative tentacles USD $35.00 Buy It Now 26m 10s
Butthole Surfers - Brown Reason To Live LP Virus 32 USD $12.50 [0 bids]
USD $25.00 Buy It Now
SATOSHI TOMIIE Virus GRAYHOUND US 12-inch NM * USD $2.99 [1 bids]
SKRAPYARD Sex Is Sex 1991 Lady Marmalade Virus 103 East Bay Ray Dea USD $8.99 Buy It Now 4h
Green Apple Quick Step: Wonderful Virus (Cassette, 1993, Giant (USA)) NEW USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4h 6m
Ed Rush & Optical Bacteria-Pendulum Rmx/Gasmask Rmx Drum&bass/jungle/12" Virus USD $15.42 Buy It Now 6h 2m
Virus, Mutiny UK, Very Good Import, Single USD $5.45 Buy It Now 6h 15m
AND ALSO THE TREES virus meadow LP Vinyl GERMANY NORMAL 90 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8h 59m
Sugar Virus - SV-1 [New CD] USD $8.11 Buy It Now 10h 19m
VIRUS-THE BLACK FLUX-DIGI-ved buens ende-dodheimsgard USD $12.74 Buy It Now 10h 21m
IRON MAIDEN - VIRUS - EMI UK - 1Track Promo CD - CDEMDJ 443 - MEGA RARE! USD $175.00 [0 bids]
10h 28m
IRON MAIDEN - VIRUS - CD in CARDBOARD SLEEVE - EMI 7243 8 83171 2 2 - MEGA RARE! USD $299.00 [0 bids]
10h 30m
Beatnigs Television 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK VIRUS71T USD $14.07 Buy It Now 12h 42m
VIRUS Revelation LP/1971 Germany/Krautrock/Heavy Psych/Hard Rock/Gila/Pink Floyd USD $34.98 Buy It Now 12h 48m
GAA Alraunes Alptraum LP/1975 Germany/Krautrock/Psych/Mythos/Virus/Pink Floyd USD $34.98 Buy It Now 12h 50m
Positively D.O.A. D.O.A. UK 7" vinyl single record VIRUS7 USD $16.65 Buy It Now 13h 2m
Green Apple Quick Step : Wonderful Virus CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 13h 16m
Message In A Bottle Dance Floor Virus UK CD single (CD5 / 5") DAN661491 SONY USD $12.20 Buy It Now 13h 19m
VIRUS SYNDICATE - The Swarm - CD USD $16.95 Buy It Now 13h 54m
HALF JAPANESE "Bone Head" 1997 Alternative Tentacles ? VIRUS 197 12" w/Insert USD $14.95 Buy It Now 13h 59m
VIRUS Stepping Stone / Afghan Rebels 5TH COLUMN 7" RARE 1982 ORIGINAL PUNK Oi USD $19.27 Buy It Now 14h 2m
Butthole Surfers Live PCPP EP 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) USA VIRUS39 USD $26.94 Buy It Now 14h 12m
Virus ( 8 Tracks by Robert Armani ) - CD MWVG USD $5.60 Buy It Now 14h 19m
Virus With Shoes Little Hell CD single (CD5 / 5") UK DD2004CD DOUBLE DRAGON USD $12.20 Buy It Now 14h 24m
Skatenigs CD album (CDLP) Stupid People Shouldn't Breed UK VIRUS105CD USD $22.49 Buy It Now 14h 29m
Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay - Virus Syndicate CD 2CLN USD $3.78 Buy It Now 14h 35m
VIRUS SUPERFICIES DE PLACER Vinyl New And Sealed. Vinil, LP, Soda Stereo USD $29.95 Buy It Now 15h 17m
DEAD KENNEDYS In God We Trust LP Vinyl Alternative Tentacles Virus 5 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 15h 40m
DEAD KENNEDYS - Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death CD VIRUS 57CD USD $6.79 Buy It Now 16h 43m
Technical Itch the virus 12 inch moving shadow mint USD $12.84 [0 bids]
17h 29m
OST(TEO MACERO) VIRUS COLUMBIA YX-5027-AX Japan OBI Vinyl LP USD $0.99 [0 bids]
18h 19m
Cicatrices - El Chivo (Virus Enterprises) USA USD $9.99 Buy It Now 18h 29m
VIRUS Force Recon German vinyl LP with promo photo Metalworld VOV 669 1988 USD $38.56 Buy It Now 18h 48m
The Unkindness of Ravens - Virus - 9 Track USD $5.13 Buy It Now 20h 45m
Alice Donut Mule Vinyl LP Virus 82 USD $1.29 [1 bids]
20h 48m
The Beatnigs - Television - 12" Single - On-U Sound - VIRUS71T USD $1.27 [0 bids]
20h 58m
Ed Rush & Optical - The Creeps (Virus Recordings 2CD 2000) USD $7.06 [0 bids]
ZAO - The Well-Intentioned Virus LP (1ST PRESS, White /1000) OOP! USD $40.00 Buy It Now 1 day
The Sermon Volume 2004 Alternative Tentacles VIRUS318 GARAGE ROCK THEREMIN SS LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Brotha Lynch Hung ?CD The Virus - USA 2001 USD $69.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Front Line Assembly : Virus CD USD $5.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Virus : Obras Cumbres CD USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Virus of the Mind by Starkill (CD, Oct-2014, Century Media (USA)) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
VIRUS-Sick Of Lies-2005 CD USD $4.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Worm - Integral Virus [New CD] USD $21.23 Buy It Now 1 day
Worm - Integral Virus [New CD] USD $9.59 Buy It Now 1 day
Centurias / Salario Minimo / Avenger / Virus SP Metal Br Compilation RARE SEALED USD $15.29 Buy It Now 1 day
Wily Virus-Reborn Ass a Retard CD NEW USD $12.79 Buy It Now 1 day
Doomsday Virus-Mutually Abusive CD NEW USD $11.56 Buy It Now 1 day
CHUGUN - VIRUS USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $11.73 Buy It Now 1 day
VIRUS (ARGENTINA) - LOCURA (NEW CD) USD $8.75 Buy It Now 1 day
CHUGUN - VIRUS NEW CD USD $13.21 Buy It Now 1 day
Deltron 3030-Virus/Things You Can Do - VeryRare CDr Promo Single In Paper Cover USD $6.42 [0 bids]
1 day
Virus Syndicate - The Work Related Illness [3xVinyl,LP,Album] USD $10.39 Buy It Now 1 day
Virus, Vírus, The Virus - Black Flux [New CD] Digipack Packaging USD $10.45 Buy It Now 1 day
Chicano Rap CD PAWZ ONE - Verbal Virus Volume 2.5 As Real as it Gets - Ras Kass USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Comets On Fire - s/t Alternative Tentacles Virus 301 Psych NM disc USD $11.00 Buy It Now 1 day
HUSKER DU LAND SPEED RECORD (1981) VINYL. VIRUS 25 A1/B1 USD $25.70 [0 bids]
1 day
UNSANE Wreck 2012 PROMO CD Chris Spencer Noise VIRUS 436 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
(CR957) Hundreds, Happy Virus - 2012 DJ CD USD $3.28 Buy It Now 2 days
D.O.A. - Don't Turn Your Back On Desperate Times Alternative Tentacles Virus LP USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Virus Syndicate, Virussyndicate - Work Related Illness [New CD] USD $14.78 Buy It Now 2 days
T.S.O.L. Weathered Statues 7" Alternative Tentacles Records VIRUS 10 US Press 82 USD $32.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Zao Well-Intentioned Virus (Blk) (Gate) (Dlcd) vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $46.68 Buy It Now 2 days
Kadhal Virus/ Kadhal Desam/Kadhalar Dhinam - A.R.Rahman - Alai Osai - Tamil CD USD $7.90 Buy It Now 2 days
VIRUS . un amor inhabitado . ARGENTINA ROCK . RARE 45 PROMO . COSTA RICA PRESS USD $49.99 Buy It Now 2 days
VIRUS - Still Fighting for a Future - CD ** Very Good condition ** USD $61.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Various Artists,Industrial Virus, Import, Box set USD $15.39 Buy It Now 2 days
Skarf - Luv Virus [New CD] Asia - Import USD $14.02 Buy It Now 2 days
MEBIUS Jigyakuseikansen Virus MAT-011 CD JAPAN 2001 NEW USD $68.68 Buy It Now 2 days
Technical Itch 3x 12" Singles The Virus/ Watch Out, The Legend/Quad, Altered Bea USD $9.83 Buy It Now 2 days
Atlantis - Virus - Subterrania - 2000 #47598 USD $5.77 Buy It Now 2 days
Virus Memento Collider vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $46.68 Buy It Now 2 days
VIRUS Reveletion Very rare 90's official and numbered SECOND BATTLE reissue prog USD $55.00 Buy It Now 2 days

More places to buy VIRUS music online Buy VIRUS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
VIRUS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

VIRUS discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

VIRUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.14 | 26 ratings
4.03 | 19 ratings
The Black Flux
3.82 | 29 ratings
The Agent That Shapes The Desert
3.89 | 9 ratings
Memento Collider

VIRUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VIRUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VIRUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 6 ratings
Oblivion Clock

VIRUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Demo 2000

VIRUS Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Memento Collider by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 9 ratings

Memento Collider
Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Memento Collider" is the 4th full-length studio album by Norwegian avant garde rock/metal act Virus. The album was released through Karisma Records in June 2016. There's been one lineup change since the release of "The Agent That Shapes the Desert (2011)", as original bassist Petter "Plenum" Berntsen has returned to the fold, restoring the original three-piece lineup from the band's debut full-length studio album "Carheart (2003)". Berntsen was out of the band from 2010 to 2014. The remaining members of the lineup are Carl-Michael "Czral" Eide (guitars and vocals) and Einar "Einz" Sjurs' (drums). While five years between albums is a pretty long time, Virus did release the "Oblivion Clock" compilation in 2012.

Stylistically the long time between albums haven't affected the band's vision and sound too much. We're still treated to dark and atmospheric, surreal, and twisted avant garde rock/metal. Dissonant open chords, semi-jazzy organic drumming and a heavy bass, and on top the odd and deranged vocals by Carl-Michael "Czral" Eide. While I do write rock/metal above, there are actually very few metal traits in the music, so it's more in spirit that Virus are connected to the metal scene.

"Memento Collider" features a powerful and organic sounding production, which suits the music perfectly. The material on the 6 track, 45:07 minutes long album is well written, adventurous, and intriguing. Virus have a very unique sound, but as always they've made little tweaks here and there, which ensure that "Memento Collider" stands out in their discography. The tracks are generally pretty long ("Afield" and "Phantom Oil Slick" are both around 9 to 10 minutes long), but they never become too drawn out, despite their often hypnotic repetitive nature. There's a dark organic drive to the compositions which provides them with great energy although the tempo is mostly slow- to mid-paced.

The haunted monotone vocals and abstract gloomy lyrical content contribute greatly to the bleak atmosphere, but the instrumental part of the music is not exactly in the light department either. There are other moods in the music than pitch black darkness though. The occasional nod towards some sort of twisted surf music and what I'd characterize as spy movie soundtrack tendencies on "Gravity Seeker" are examples of that. The percussion on "Phantom Oil Slick" is also a nice touch, which provides that track with a deranged tribal element. It's not showed down your throat though, because Virus are clever enough to incorporate those elements in a relatively subtle manner, which go along well with their core style.

So upon conclusion this is another high quality release by Virus and fans of the band can safely spend their hard earned money on this one. It's delightfully familiar without sounding too derivative of past releases, which of course also means that "Memento Collider" probably won't win over listeners who didn't enjoy the band's other releases. I'm sure Virus can live with that though, as they pretty surely don't play this type of music for commercial reasons (although we all need bread on the table). There's no mistaking the fact that this is a band who creates exactly this type of music for pure artistic reasons, and while some may find such an elitist attitude towards creating art ridiculous, I think it's great to experience that there are still artists out there trying to break down the boundaries of convention without the thought of anything else but creating unique sounding music. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

 Memento Collider by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.89 | 9 ratings

Memento Collider
Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian band VIRUS was formed in 2000 by former members of the black metal band Ved Buens Ende. They released their debut album "Carheart" in 2003, and have since released a new album every four to five years. "Memento Collider" is their fourth full-length studio recording, and was released by the Norwegian label Karisma Records in the early summer of 2016.

The fourth studio album by the Norwegian band Virus is a creative and rather original production, a dark, bleak and striking piece of oppressive yet alluring and mesmerizing progressive rock. A firm taste and established fascination for themes and music of a darker nature will most likely be required to be able to get the music explored here, and those who recognize themselves in such a description are advised to give this one a spin.

 Carheart by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.14 | 26 ratings

Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars On Carheart, the blasted remnants of avant-black metal outfit Ved Buens Ende shudder into life again in the new form of Virus. This time, the black metal focus which had kept Ved Buens Ende's sound anchored and coherent is set aside, resulting in freewheeling experimentation even more reminiscent of Mr Bungle. There are points where the band seem to be experimenting for experimentalism's sake and trying to feel out their new sound and songwriting preferences, and sometimes they make decisions which don't really add much aesthetically (the production applied to the vocals on the title track I find to be particularly pointless aesthetically), but on the whole it's an interesting grab-bag of ideas.
 Oblivion Clock by VIRUS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
3.92 | 6 ratings

Oblivion Clock
Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Oblivion Clock" is a compilation album by Norwegian avant garde rock/metal act Virus. The album was released through Virulent Records/Duplicate Records in December 2012. Itīs sometimes refered to as an EP, but itīs actually a compilation of a four track EP featuring new recordings (only available on this release as far as I know), the two tracks from the rare 7" single that came with only 250 copies of the vinyl version of "The Agent That Shapes the Desert (2011)" and one unreleased track from "Carheart (2003)" sessions.

While there are notable differences in sound production between the tracks (all tracks feature a raw yet well sounding production), itīs actually amazing how well "Oblivion Clock" goes down as one consistent product. At least Iīm greatly entertained all the way through the relatively short playing time of 31:30 minutes. The music on the album is in the bandīs trademark dissonant avant garde rock/metal style. Itīs dark and sinister and delivered with a sense of carnival madness that only Virus master. While the music only borders metal, itīs often damn heavy and while itīs not always directly aggressive, thereīs aggression just underneath every note played, but also a deep despair. References to acts like Bauhaus and Joy Division arenīt completely wrong but the dissonance of Voivod is also a big part of Virus sound. Itīs however Carl-Michael Eideīs lunatic singing style thatīs the number one defining element in Virus sound. The man sounds positively deranged...

Because the tracks are compiled from different sessions, "Oblivion Clock" is a rather varied release. While all tracks are unmistakably the sound of Virus, tracks like the upbeat "Saturday Night Virus" and the Walker Brothers cover "Shutout" are a bit different from what I usually expect from Virus and I think it suits them well to branch out and try new and different things. Other highlights to me are the title track and "Inverted Escape".

Not all compilations featuring rare material and B-sides, which Iīd put "Oblivion Clock" in catagory with, are equally interesting or necessary for that matter, but "Oblivion Clock" is not one of those. Itīs in fact a very great release with material thatīs fully on par with anything the band have released on their preceeding studio albums. I find "Oblivion Clock" highly recommendable both to fans and to newcommers, who could do well by starting their Virus journey here. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

 Carheart by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.14 | 26 ratings

Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by frippism
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

5 stars The full-fledging arid dry daunting intimidating hilarious and beautiful masterpiece of metal.

There are few albums to which I go to more than this one. In many ways- it contradicts any and all stereotypes of Norwegian metal. Where the stereotypical Norwegian metal band will immediately bring you images of sharp and steep cliffs and fjords, daunting and freezing winters, the first thing I usually think about when I listen Virus is the desert. A flat, bare, empty, desert. Bizarre, dissonant, with production where everything just sounds so dry and compact. Czral (who is also well known as the drummer in Ved Buens Ende), the eternal genius he is, has a distortion so dry, crunchy, bare, that it almost makes my mouth dry really. The drum set is jazzy and punchy, with all drums tuned to sound tight and with minimal echo. All cymbals are incredibly crisp. And then that bass. Almost galloping, almost as if at times it's chasing those guitar lines. It all comes to indent in the end Czral's brilliant, arpeggio-picking, drop tuned guitar. The drop-C guitar tuning brings more than heaviness in this album, but darkness, the sort of darkness I get from a hallucinations, insanity. Czral's guitars are never showy, but they are what drive this album forward into new, twisted directions. It's not that this album is that heavy, it is that it is in conclusion so twisted, dark, somewhat insane, that metal seems the only logical choice to identify Virus as.

But the sound is so different! Not quite like anything I've heard. And one of the stronger trademarks of this album, is Kvohst's powerful, epic, sincere, croon. It's almost god like. Almost as if you're walking in a desert and he is speaking over you calling you a fallish mortal and making fun of your hair. Like he doesn't take anything you do with your life seriously. It is impressive and at times really funny. There's also quite an interesting use of ambient passages in between songs. Many of them actually consist of cars whizzing by (Carheart eh?), and a particularly powerful and creepy sampling from what I assume to be dialogue from a French movie.

Every tiniest little detailed was fine tuned, to give the album the correct atmosphere, to give it that Virus vibe. It is a joy to revisit this songs to find this little tweaks, to appreciate the powerful wall of sound which the guitar work display here. It is a sound that is so unforgettable, and in many ways inspiring and thought provoking. It is emotional as it is maniacal as it is beautiful.

I suggest you join the fun!

 The Agent That Shapes The Desert by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.82 | 29 ratings

The Agent That Shapes The Desert
Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'The Agent That Shapes The Desert' - Virus (7/10)

From a country known for its relatively wintery landscapes like Norway, I would not have expected to hear an overtly desert-rock styled album, as I do with avant-garde rockers Virus and their third full length. From the ashes of legendary avant-metal act Ved Buens Ende came Virus, a band that has often been met with conflicting genre labels and categorizations, and all to their credit; they do bear a strikingly unique sound to them. 'The Agent That Shapes The Desert' starts 2011 on quite a good note for these talented musicians, and while I cannot say that the magic of this album is all too suited to my tastes, I have no trouble seeing why fans of metal and avant-garde music alike are swooning over the record.

From a personal perspective, I see the music on Virus' 'The Agent That Shapes The Desert' as being some sort of eccentric cross between fellow Norwegians Arcturus, and the latter- era Americana of drone pioneers Earth. Contrary to the 'metal' label that this band and album has been receiving alot, the sound is instead more rooted in a sort of jazz-inspired desert rock, full with dissonant riffing, strange song structures and odd time signatures to hold up the rear. Instrumentally, I must say that the music is incredible at painting some quirky imagery of a post-apocalyptic desert, complete with tumbleweed and wind-bitten cow skulls.

Where the sound of Virus starts to go wrong with me are primarily to do with the vocals of Czral. Feeling far too highly mixed in terms of volume, Czral's somewhat operatic croon really tends to grind against the sound of the album, feeling cheesy and even campy at times. Although I will admit that the voice does grow with each listen, the mixing issue remains an issue. Also, while melody is obviously not a big concern with alot of avant-garde music, Virus' fairly concise and riff-based music songwriting could have done with some hooks to add a more engaging quality to the music.

An excellent album on an instrumental level, although I still am not yet convinced by the vocal work even after several experiences with it. 'The Agent That Shapes The Desert' will be sure to be an album that sticks around for quite a while on playlists, and while the desert rock style here doesn't much mesh with my personal tastes, I can certainly see this as certainly being one of the more unique albums to come out in 2011.

 The Agent That Shapes The Desert by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.82 | 29 ratings

The Agent That Shapes The Desert
Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "The Agent That Shapes the Desert" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Norwegian avant garde rock/ metal act Virus. The album was co-released in February 2011 by Virulent Music/ Dublicate Records.

During the recording of the album Virus parted ways with Season of Mist and had to resort to alternative funding to complete the album. Therefore Virus announced on the Dublicate Records homepage that they encouraged fans to pre- order "The Agent That Shapes the Desert", in order for the band to be able to finish and release the album. So "The Agent That Shapes the Desert" is one of those albums that was forged with blood, sweat and tears (and with help from the dedicated fans). Not only did the band co-release the album on their own label Virulent Music, they are also responsible for paying for additional studio time, mastering, printing and promoting the album.

The music on the album continues the dark, twisted and bleak rock/ metal style that Virus have become known for. The vocals are bleak, monotone and desperate sounding, the guitar riffs are dissonant, twisted and open strings and chords are often used. The drums are laid back and cool and session bassist Bjeima plays some rather intriguing basslines. Take a listen to the bassline in the opening title track for an example of that.

As usual though there are enough twists and turns and unique sounding ideas to tell the album apart from the bandīs previous releases. First of all the production is very different from the bass heavy and dark production on "The Black Flux (2008)". The sound is lighter and the guitar has a distinct thin sound. Not thin in a negative sense, but the sound is purposely not very distorted or heavy. The compositions themselves also deviate some. So while the band definitely have what I would characterize as a core sound, they are not afraid to try new things. The rather progressive "Dead Cities Of Syria" and "Chromium Sun", the latter which features a semi-disco beat, are examples of songs where Virus incorporate new features into their core sound. The way Czral delivers his vocals in the title track is also a new element. An element I hope the band will explore further on subsequent releases. If the band were to start using more varied vocal styles, their releases could be even greater IMO. Speaking of varied vocal styles the closing track "Call Of The Tuskers" features a guest vocal performance by Garm (Ulver), which is never a bad thing.

As with the two predecessors "The Agent That Shapes the Desert" is an album that takes time to sink in and appreciate. Even though the music is mostly based on simple rock instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums ( there are also a few keyboard parts as far as I can hear), there are lots of details in the music that you probably wonīt catch on your first listen. "The Agent That Shapes the Desert" continues the high quality that Iīve come to expect from Virus and while I still feel the album hasnīt completely clicked with me yet and has the potential of growing even more on me over time, Iīll risk my neck and give out a 4 star rating. Itīs not everyday you come across an act as unique sounding as Virus and succesful innovation and experimentation is always something Iīm prepared to honour.

 The Agent That Shapes The Desert by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.82 | 29 ratings

The Agent That Shapes The Desert
Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by madmike

3 stars Some interesting musical ideas going on here that end up getting drowned out by repetitive guitar riffage and sadly mediocre vocal work. The result is a meandering melange of various metal instrumentation that is occasionally entertaining but seldom engaging. The most notable sonic comparisons that come to mind from listening through would be Opeth and Mastodon, although the total package is one that takes on a life of its own, muddled efforts from Czral notwithstanding.

That being said, I would pay very good money to see an extended jam session between this band's drummer and bassist - they steal the show and make the album at least worth listening to (to the point where fans of extremely rhythm-driven avant-garde metal may want to treat this as a four-star review - Einz and Bjeima are that good).

 The Black Flux by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.03 | 19 ratings

The Black Flux
Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "The Black Flux" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian experimental rock/metal act Virus. The album was released through Season of Mist in November 2008. Virus is the brainchild of Czral (Carl-Michael Eide) who handles vocals and guitars. Esso (Einar Sjurso) handles the drums and the bass is played by Plenum (Petter Berntsen). There are a few guest musicians on the album. Bård Ingebrigtsen add baritone guitar, violin, piano and slide to the mix while Benny "B9" Braaten adds ambience (whatever that is).

The tracks for "The Black Flux" were originally meant to be released on the comeback album by Ved Buens Ende who had reformed in April 2006 after they originally split up in 1997. Czral and Vicotnik (Yusaf Parvez) apparently werenīt able to make the ends meet though and split up again in 2007. Vicotnik went on to work on the "Supervillain Outcast (2007)" album by Dødheimsgard and more recently the "Resplendent Grotesque (2009)" album by Code. Czral on the other hand opted to take the tracks that were originally written for the next Ved Buens Ende album and turn them into Virus songs.

The music the three-piece conjure up on "The Black Flux" is dark, twisted and slightly experiental rock/metal. Imagine what would happen if Joy Division and Voivod made a collaborative album. This is indeed a bleak and dissonant sounding album. The vocals by Czral are desperate, monotone and depressive while the instrumental side of the music is built upon twisted, dissonant riffs and a great playing rythm section. The music can seem a bit repetitive and maybe a bit too monotone in nature upon first listen but given time small recognisable hooks start to appear. There are many excellent compositions on this album but the ending track "Strange Calm" and especially the intense "As Virulent as You" really make my blood boil. The latter simply blows me away. Itīs one of those rare songs that literally creates vivid and unpleasant images of vile and dark things in my mind. The opening lines to "As Virulent as You" belong in the twisted and bizarre genious catagory when Czral sings: "Your contaminated majesty, You live in my wounds". He sounds like a cross between a scary lunatic and a delirious alcoholic. Brilliant.

The production is organic and dark. It suits the music perfectly.

"The Black Flux" is an excellent release by Virus and I find it a highly recommendable purchase for fans of dark and twisted experimental rock/metal. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

 The Black Flux by VIRUS album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.03 | 19 ratings

The Black Flux
Virus Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars It's no coincidence I reviewed this album together with Intronaut's Prehostoricisms. They are quite different but expressions of the same musical philosophy: free expression, highly innovating musicianship, dense chord progressions and other jazzy goodies.

The music is decidedly less heavy then Intronaut and replaces the Neurosis and Tool stylings with an equal amount of Voivod complexities and the haunting anguish of Bauhaus, especially in the vocal department, but also in the yearning guitar licks. Again, this music has little to do with metal. It's highly experimental but not heavier then Voivod was around Nothingface. It's highly chromatic, not to say atonal and almost categorically non-melodic.

To draw a last parallel with Intronaut, the vocals might be the aspect that will shy away most listeners. The plaintive declamatory diction gets heavy to take after a few songs. Maybe the album would have benefited from more instrumental parts or from some melodic relief left or right. But I'm quite sure they did it on purpose. Easy-listening this is not, but one of the most unique and innovative bands around? Sure. 3.5 stars

Thanks to Bryan for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives