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"Next Life - The Lost Age"

Release: 05.12.2008
Rating: 10/10

After releasing their highly critically acclaimed debut called “Electric Violence” in 2006 the Norwegian Electronica Metal Duo called Next Life worked hard on the road and in their studio, shifting the gears like a crazy racer. You know it’s always hard for an artist when his debut was such a bomb… what comes next? Repeating the first again? Ride on the wave of success and sell the old idea again as new? Next Life learned their lesson well, by file out the concept behind their music and coevally walks new paths with their new album called “The Lost Age”. Their intelligent combination of Electronica with a wide range of Rock and Metal music is been pushed to the limit with these sixteen impressive tracks. The tracks of “The Lost Age” aren’t so… don’t get me wrong when I say, brutal or brachial like the ones of its forerunner. They captivate with their complex structures and their intelligent arrangements. Partly the tracks have a kind of Jazzy – Krautrock attitude. This is music for people how like to sweat and think what they consume! A celebration of high-class musicality and ass-kicking sounds.
A must have album.

"If it ain’t Bach it ain’t Fack"

Next Life
The Lost Age
Fysisk Format

Rating: 9.0

Being only twenty-four odd minutes long and comprised of sixteen short interludes and title-less tracks makes this record a difficult one to pick apart. The press release drops JS Bach somewhat pretentiously, or at least recommends this for “fans of” JS Bach (though I can’t really recall the last time I met a bona fide “fan”)*, but the classical, or classic feeling remains clear. Never has Norway witnessed a band so hellbent on pushing you between two worlds of the extreme, black shadowy roots of metal and the total crack-up of modernization via pure electronic mediation.

In that classical sense it certainly reads as a unified piece with progressive moments/movements rather than an experiment in cut-and-paste sampling. Whether or not the result is something like an epic journey through the castles of Dragon Quest, it is a sound that could be historically situated in Japan’s economic recession of the 90’s, upheavals in art and literature characterized by an influential eerie, apocalyptic, anonymous and apolitical quality– I’m thinking everything from noise-artist Merzbow, to writer Ryu Murakami, to director Takeshi Miike. It’s no wonder then, the record’s similarities to contemporary Japanese bands, the first time I saw Next Life’s Hai Nguyen Dinh perform at Spasibar it reminded me of a more serious version of the gameboy wizard DJ Scotch Egg, and the spastic/chaotic qualities of Melt Banana, as well as that sludgey, epic riffing we all love of Zeni Geva. And maybe that’s why the record sounds somehow current, like it’s something we all relate to- divine detachment in an over-sensory, technology-driven world.

The album kicks-off with a low-pounding plummet into their version of a lost age, which is hardly organic as it is industrial, quickly making its way through fantastical territory, fleeting moments of grandiose organ-like reprises over beats at Aphex Twin-speed and groovey rock moments akin to Amp Rep’s Hammerhead. Halfway through the record, and 3/4 the way again, we hear a krafty melodic keyboard interlude, like some reminder of the humane and naive… but each time follows a build-up of earnest, hard-hitting rock akin to Ministry, with an intense blast beat climax and head-nodding riffs. It almost seems possible to “begin” the record at any point, and loop it through until your original point of entry– so mechanical and crammed-packed the ebb and flow that you definitely feel you’re getting a whole lotta rosie for only twenty-four minutes.

And so rare a status Next Life have as originators of their own sound, that I would highly recommend grabbing this record at Tiger or from Fysisk Format before the next teenage simulacrum decides to repackage it as their own. ’Cos then you could do the whole “been there, done that” routine, and so on and so forth, right?

Release date: 5th January 2009

*And if I wanna get really pedantic about it, I’d say Next Life is more akin to Händel than it is Bach… -

"Next Life: For he’s a jolly good fellow"

Next Life @ Revolver
Oslo, Norway 29th August 2009

Behind what will be standing as one of 2009’s finest albums. Successfully combining sonic as much as visual art since 1999. Responsible for the most ear-shattering concerts you’ll be attending. And you will be attending. This weekend Oslo’s very own Next Life celebrated their ten year anniversary. Considering the young age of their founding members the jubilee came as a surprise to most, but their maturity is plain to see in the perfection that is Next Life’s complete and utter musical destruction.

Hai Nguyen Dinh is the mastermind behind Next Life’s compositions, or as he put it in Dense Magazine upon the release of debut album Electric Violence (2006) «Musically, Next Life is not a collaboration, but more of a fascistic regime to suit my ego and visions». The live concept until recently consisted of the despot himself paired with Tormod Christensen on samples and keyboard. However, this year’s Slottsfjell festival audience saw drummer Anders Hangård included in the line-up for the first time, a success repeated at the ten year anniversary.

Next Life’s concerts are as cruel and harsh as his albums, in fact the live sensation is disturbingly close to the recorded. Add Dinh & co’s adrenalin shock performance, bouncing off the walls of a Revolver filled to the rim, their songs one unexpected slap in the face after the other, perfectly paused just to let you get a whiff of air, take in what train just rammed you front-on, before it hurdles you onwards towards the next station. Along the way you see flickers of lights, followed by explosions of light, then darkness, then cyan, magenta, yellow, blitzkrieg, everything perfectly timed and triggered by the music; another proof of Dinh’s near manic perfection.

In-between the songs, while tuning, sorting out backing tracks and other ring-a-ding-things bands of this sort needs doing, Hai apologizes for his static behaviour. «If you’re wondering why I’m totally off today, it’s because my back is completely wrecked.» A baffled audience shakes their heads. His physical disability has gone complete unnoticed. «We’re going to play a new song. I’ve been saying that all our latest shows, but that song’s a year old. This one is actually new,» he continues, and off they go again.

And suddenly, as quickly as it struck you, it’s over. A twenty-odd minute set from a band who knows just how to time their lights, songs and shows; the exact algorithm to never make this electro-black-metal-overdose boring. A lesson in how to make an audience want more plenty an indie-band could take upon them. -


Red End - 2000
Elecric Violence - 2006
The Lost Age - 2009
Resurrection EP - 2009



Next Life is a Norwegian hardcore/metal/punk band using the C64 & other vintage computers in their music. Born in 1999.

Exploring limits and maximization of effect has been the key to progress since the beginning of mankind. The tribes who hammered their rocks the hardest without breaking them were the most prosperous and the masters who drove their slaves the hardest without exhausting them built the largest wonders. In a time when human culture is characterised by total immediacy and omnipresent information, Next Life is liberatingly different: A distinct and clear vision in an oblivious culture.