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Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg (born August 2, 1969) is a Norwegian heavy metal drummer.[1] He is best known as the drummer of Mayhem, which he joined in 1988. In 1987 Blomberg formed the avant-garde black metal band Arcturus (under the name Mortem) with Steinar Sverd Johnsen, which broke up in April 2007 and reunited in 2011.[2] He named himself after the Swiss extreme metal band Hellhammer.[3] Praised as a talented musician,[4] Blomberg is a three-time winner of the Spellemannprisen award.[5]

Jan Axel Blomberg
Mayhem - Jalometalli 2008 - Hellhammer 01 crop.JPG
Hellhammer live at Jalometalli 2008
Background information
Birth nameJan Axel Blomberg
Also known asHellhammer
Born (1969-08-02) August 2, 1969 (age 50)
Trysil, Norway
GenresBlack metal, death metal, symphonic black metal, power metal, heavy metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active1987–present
Associated actsAge of Silence, Antestor, Arcturus, Dimmu Borgir, Dynasty of Darkness, Emperor, The Kovenant, Jørn Lande, Mayhem, Mezzerschmitt, Mortem, Shining, Den Saakaldte, Thorns, Troll, Winds, Immortal, Fleurety



Early lifeEdit

Hellhammer, 2008

As a child Blomberg's main interests were football (soccer) and wrestling. At first he had no interest in drums or drumming, but as music became more appealing to him he started to find the different instruments interesting, which eventually led to an interest in drums.[citation needed] His grandparents purchased him his first three drum kits; the first one was a four-piece jazz kit. With these he began learning how to play drums by playing along with albums he listened to. He was into heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Metallica and Slayer, but also bands like Depeche Mode and Duran Duran. He then found out about Venom and Celtic Frost and eventually jazz, due to influences from a past drum teacher.

Music careerEdit

Before joining Mayhem, Jan Axel Blomberg played in various local bands, including the progressive metal band Tritonus,[citation needed] where he met Carl August Tidemann, the man who became the Arcturus and Winds guitarist. He did some live performances as well, and then was hired by Mayhem, who needed to replace Kjetil Manheim; Blomberg got the job and took the pseudonym Hellhammer.[4]

The first recordings he did with Mayhem were two songs for a compilation album around 1989, with the songs Carnage and The Freezing Moon. The first proper recording he did with Mayhem was Live in Leipzig in 1990. After that album, Mayhem had some trouble with the line up due to the suicide of the singer Dead and Necrobutcher's departure from the band. During this time he founded the band Arcturus together with Sverd in 1991, out of the remains of the band Mortem. They released the 7" My Angel in 1991 and later the mini album Constellation. In 1995 he joined Immortal as a session drummer during their tour that year,[6] he also agreed to play drums on their first official Video, Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms. He also briefly played for Emperor during this period. The recording and release of the Arcturus debut album Aspera Hiems Symfonia also happened this year.

In 1997 Jan Axel began working with Covenant, now known as The Kovenant, for the recording of their second album, Nexus Polaris. That album was released in 1998 with a following European tour. During 1997 Arcturus also released another album, La Masquerade Infernale.

The next year another album from The Kovenant was released, Animatronic.

During the year 2000 he recorded a mini album with his new band Winds, Of Entity And Mind, which was released in May 2001. Winds also recorded a full-length album during spring 2001, Reflections of the I.

Jan Axel is now a two-time Norwegian Grammy Awards winner, in 1998 for The Kovenant with Nexus Polaris and in 1999 for The Kovenant with Animatronic. They claimed the prize for best hard rock album both years. In addition to these mentioned involvements, Jan Axel has also done numerous appearances as a guest or session musician on other releases.

In 2005, he was interviewed for the black metal mini-documentary that was included with the 2-disc DVD edition of Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, in addition to other Mayhem members Necrobutcher (Jørn Stubberud) and Blasphemer (Rune Eriksen).

In 2009, Hellhammer appeared on Eyes of Noctum's album Inceptum, where he played drums on six tracks. Eyes of Noctum are a black metal band from America featuring Weston Cage, son of Nicolas Cage as their lead singer.

Hellhammer played with keyboardist Andy Winter on one of his albums.[7]

Also in 2010, Hellhammer played on Nidingr's album Wolf-Father. In 2011 Arcturus reunited, Hellhammer included, and released Arcturian in 2015.


He has courted controversy in the past by making numerous racist comments and advocating violence against homosexuals. The black metal biography Lords of Chaos quotes him as saying, "I'll put it this way, we don't like black people here. Black metal is for white people.... I'm pretty convinced that there are differences between races as well as everything else. I think that like animals, some races are more ... you know, like a cat is much more intelligent than a bird or a cow, or even a dog, and I think that's also the case with different races."[8] Blomberg said in a 2004 interview, "I don't give a crap if the fans are white, black, green, yellow, or blue. For me music and politics don't go hand in hand."[9] In the 2008 documentary film Until the Light Takes Us he says that he "honor[s]" Bård G. "Faust" Eithun for killing a "fucking faggot".[10]


Equipment (2012)Edit

  • Sonor Drums: Black Nickel Hardware – White Marine Pearl (Outer), Blue Stratawood (Inner)
  • Bass Drums: 20x20 – Evans EQ4 – Medium Maple
  • Snare Drum: 13x4,25 – Evans Genera Dry – Heavy Beech – Pearl Masterworks Snare, Pearl CZX Snare
  • Toms: 8x10, 10x12, 12x13, 13x14, 16x18 – Thin Maple
  • Cymbals: Paiste Rude (some custom made)
  • Pedals: Axis A Short-boards – Variable Drive: Lowest – Springs: Highest
  • Sticks: B-Stick 3AN



As a memberEdit



Covenant/The KovenantEdit





Age of SilenceEdit

Dimmu BorgirEdit


  • Judas – (2004)


  • 7" Umoral EP – (2007)


  • Wolf-Father – (2010)

As a session musicianEdit



  • Live drummer – (1992)[citation needed]
  • Moon over Kara-Shehr – on the compilation Nordic Metal: A Tribute to Euronymous – (1995)


  • Live drummer, Sons of Northern Darkness Tour Part II – (1995)[6]
  • Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms music video – on the Masters of Nebulah Frost video cassette – (1995)




  • On Frostbitten Path Beneath demo – (2004)
  • On Frostbitten Path Beneath – (2004)



  • Alone (EP) – (2007)


  • The Dark Side and the Bright Side – (2011)[11]

Andy WinterEdit

  • Incomprehensible – (2013)

Dynasty of DarknessEdit

  • Empire of Pain – (2014)

Circle of ChaosEdit

  • Crossing The Line – (2014)

As a guestEdit




Eyes of NoctumEdit

  • Inceptum (tracks 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11) – (2009)

Lord ImpalerEdit


  1. ^ Grow, Kory; Grow, Kory (9 February 2017). "Mayhem's Long, Dark Road to Reviving a Black-Metal Classic".
  2. ^ "Announcing two Arcturus gigs". September 16, 2011. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-02. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Christe, Ian (February 17, 2004). Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal. HarperCollins. p. 281. ISBN 978-0-380-81127-4. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Kaplan, Jeffrey (2000). Encyclopedia of White Power:A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7425-0340-3. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Spellemannprisen award winners for 2008". Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  6. ^ a b MEMBERS.
  7. ^ Mayhem's Hellhammer Completes Drum Recordings For New Andy Winter Project November 6, 2007. Retrieved on January 10, 2012.
  8. ^ Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind, Lords of Chaos: the bloody rise of the Satanic metal underground (Feral House, 1998), page 305.
  9. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2011-10-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Aites, Aaron; Ewell, Audrey (Directors) (October 31, 2008). Until the Light Takes Us (Motion picture).
  11. ^ Sculptor Spacebrain Launches Debut Album from His Suchthaus Project December 13, 2011. Retrieved on August 26, 2012.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Drummer for Mayhem
since 1988
New title Drummer for Arcturus
1987–2007, 2011–present
Preceded by
Drummer for Emperor

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Drummer for Immortal

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Drummer for Thorns

Succeeded by
Kenneth Kapstad
New title Drummer for Winds
since 1998
Preceded by
Drummer for The Kovenant
Succeeded by
Drummer for Troll
Succeeded by
New title Drummer for Mezzerschmitt
since 2000
Preceded by
John Macaluso
Drummer for Jørn

Succeeded by
Stian Kristoffersen
Preceded by
Drummer for Shining
Succeeded by
Ludvig Witt
Preceded by
Drummer for Antestor

New title Drummer for Age of Silence
since 2004
Preceded by
Tony Laureano
Drummer for Dimmu Borgir
Succeeded by
Tony Laureano
New title Dynasty of Darkness
since 2009–present