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Jan Axel Blomberg (Trysil, Norway, August 2, 1969), known as Hellhammer , is a Norwegian musician who won four Spellemann awards. He is known for being the drummer of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, he joined the band in 1988 after the departure of the drummer and founding member Kjetil Manheim.In addition to Mayhem, another band in which he has remained a long time is Arcturus; that formed with Sverd Steinar Johnsen in 1987 (originally with the name of Mortem) and that separated in April of 2007.
Jan Axel Blomberg was born in Trysil. When he was still a child his hobbies were football, wrestling and percussion. He learned to play the drums listening to heavy metal bands like Scorpions, AC / DC, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Helloween. He later discovered jazz and extreme metal with bands like Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Venom, Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate and Bathory.
At age 18, after playing in some local bands, he founded the death metal band Mortem with bassist and vocalist Marius Vold and guitarist Steinar Sverd Johnsen. That same year he saw an ad in the newspaper in which the band Mayhem said they were looking for a new drummer. So he went to Oslo to meet the group and gave them a demo. The next day they called to confirm that he was already a member of the band. Because the remaining members of Mayhem had pseudonyms such as Euronymous or Dead, it was renamed Hellhammer, in tribute to the Swiss band, because it thought it was a good name for a drummer.
The first recordings he made with Mayhem were two songs for a compilation album in 1989, with the songs «Carnage» and «Freezing Moon». Despite being part of Mayhem, he continued to work with Mortem, with whom he recorded the Slow Death demo in 1989, and founded the progressive metal band Tritonus.
After performing some concerts with Mayhem, on November 26, 1990 the band performed at the Eiskeller club in Leipzig (Germany), which was published in 1993. The following year the members of Mortem founded the band Arcturus. In April the vocalist of Mayhem, Dead committed suicide and the bassist Necrobutcher left the band. In spite of these incidents, Blomberg and the guitarist Euronymous decided to continue with the band and recruited the bassist and vocalist Occultus. In 1995 he joined Immortal as a drummer during his tour that year, and also to appear in his first official video, “Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms.” He also played briefly for Emperor during this period. The publication of Arcturus’s debut album, “Aspera Hiems Symfonia” also happened that year.
Hellhammer during the Jalometalli festival (2008).
In January 1997 he started working with The Kovenant, on the recording of his second album titled Nexus Polaris. This album was released in 1998 with the subsequent European tour. Arcturus also published another album, La Masquerade Infernale, which became a historical album in the history of avant-garde metal.
The following year another album by The Kovenant was published, Animatronic. The year 2000 was a very hectic year for Jan Axel due to the recording and publication of Mayhem’s second studio album, Grand Declaration of War.
During the spring of that year, Jan Axel went on tour in the US. UU with The Kovenant and during the summer of tour with Mayhem for Europe.
During the year 2000 he recorded a mini album with his new band Winds, entitled “Of Entity And Mind”, which was published in May 2001. Winds also recorded a full-length album during the spring of 2001, entitled “Reflections of the I “.
Jan Axel has twice won the Spellemann Prize with The Kovenant; in 1998 by Nexus Polaris and in 1999 by Animatronic. They won the award for best Hard rock album both years. In addition to these mentions, Jan Axel has also made numerous appearances as a guest or session musician in other bands. Before working as a professional drummer, Jan Axel worked as a night guard in a psychiatric hospital. Do not smoke and practice with your battery for 3 hours a day.
In 2005, he was interviewed for the documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, with other Mayhem members such as Necrobutcher (Jørn Stubberud) and Blasphemer (Rune Eriksen).
In the past he created controversy for making numerous racist comments. In the satanic metal biography, Lords of Chaos, which has been criticized for incorrect information and statements, as quoted as saying: “We do not like black people … Black metal is for white people … I’m almost convinced that there are differences between races, as well as everything else, I think that like animals, some breeds are more … you know, like a cat is much smarter than a bird or a cow, or even a dog , and I think that is also the case of different races. ” In 2004 Blomberg contradicted these statements, in an interview, “I do not care if the fans are white, black, green, yellow or blue, for me, music and politics do not go hand in hand.”
In 2007 he suffered a serious neck injury when he was part of Dimmu Borgir. The band issued the following statement: “Due to Hellhammer’s injury he will not be able to play Dimmu Borgir’s percussion at the other festivals this summer and the next European tour, Hellhammer will enter into a possible treatment, his place will be occupied by Tony Laureano (Nile, Angelcorpse, Aurora Borealis, Belphegor), who also played with Dimmu Borgir during the 2004 Ozzfest and at the 2005 festivals. “
Mayhem’s last album, Ordo Ad Chao, won the Spellemann prize in the Metal category.
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