The Norwegian sextet Kaizers Orchestra build cathartic rock songs that borrow heavily from the dirges of Tin Pan Alley and Eastern European folk music.
Formed in the late '90s in the city of Bergen, the band consists of Jan Ove Ottesen and Geir Zahl on vocals/guitar/oil barrel, Helge Risa on pump organ, Øyvind Storesund on accordion and bass, guitarist/percussionist Terge Vinterstøen, and Rune Solheim on drums. Their signature sound eventually led to a record deal with Scandinavian label Broiler Farm, and the band released Ompa Til du Dør in 2001, an album that won the Norwegian Grammy and went on to become the highest-selling rock debut ever issued in the Norwegian language. Evig Pint followed in 2003, resulting in numerous awards and even more impressive record sales than its predecessor. The band signed an international deal with Universal Germany for 2005’s Maestro, a typically diverse outing that boasted higher production values than their previous two releases. The similarly themed Maskineri arrived in 2008, followed by a collection of re-recorded versions of previously unreleased material called Våre Demoner (Our Demons) in 2009. The following year the band announced plans to release the first installment in a planned trilogy called Violeta Violeta. Vol. 1 of the conceptual project arrived on January 31, 2011, followed by Volumes 2 and 3 in 2012. The following year the group announced that they would retire at the end of their 2013 tour. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi