Black metal is a serious genre of music. I’ve often thought sometimes it takes itself to seriously, or more accurately, some of the fans and musicians take it too seriously. I’ve held the belief for some time that even some of the more serious acts are still being a bit tongue in cheek about their music and personas. There’s a point where something serious becomes to serious that it becomes humorous. A non musical example would be the new Batman Vs Superman movie. It’s attempts to make the characters darker and more moody has gone over the edge, thus every time I see something about it I can’t help but laugh at how ridiculously serious it’s trying to be. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe that’s dark humor, I dunno, but for all those bands and fans who don’t have a sense of humor about this music, thankfully there are bands like Sportlov to take the starch out of their denim vests.

“Sportlov” is a Swedish word meaning “sport vacation.” It’s a reference to a particular time of year in Sweden where the schools are out on vacation and the time is typically spent at the ski resorts. Therefore all of the band Sportlov’s lyrics are focused on skiing. Well, skiing and Satan and possibly skiing into Oslo to burn it to the ground and have a wienie roast on the flames. So you can see this band isn’t taking themselves to seriously. Unless you consider lyrics like “Father, Satan, guide me through the slalom gate to victory in the one true winter sport!“ Even their tradition looking black metal logo has ski poles subtly placed in it.

The band only existed for a about a year. Between 2002 and 2003 they released the EP Snöbollskrieg which translates to “snowball fight” and the full-length album Offerblod I Vallabod. Jokes aside, the music is pretty good. Some straight forward black metal with a heavy dose of Swedish death metal to sure it up, although the EP is bit more “grim.” The combined time of the two releases is barely an hour worth of material, but it’s well worth the listen, even if the lyrics are in Swedish and you probably won’t get the jokes. The existence of this band brings a smile to my face and much needed levity in the world of black metal.