Concert: Baroness/Pallbearer (kind of, 9/1, The Cabooze, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, concerts, doom, doom metal, georgia, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, sludge metal, united states with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

The other night, I decided to go see Baroness with Pallbearer, because I actually do like Baroness (a friend said he was surprised to see me there). I used to not like them at all, but a switch flipped somewhere in my brain a couple of years ago and now I really like them a lot, despite the fact that they aren’t really metal anymore.

This was my first show at the Cabooze, and I have to say that the layout of that place is a puzzle to me. The stage is located in a very awkward place in relation to the main bar, which sort of sits right in the middle of the room, and the room is very long, making it to where you pretty much have to go outside and walk around the building to get into the bathrooms, which are up near the front. I’m not crazy about it, and one guy (he was a customer, I think, not someone who worked there, he was just talking to a person who worked there), was really kind of snippy and rude with me when I was trying to figure out how to get to the bathrooms (I had never been there before! I was alone, and confused!). Parking was also not easy to come by; of course, I did end up getting there late. Fortunately, there is street parking available in the neighborhood, so it’s manageable, you just have to be willing to park and walk a bit.

All this occurred after I got off work for the night, and since that coincided with the start of the show, by the time I got to the venue and found parking I’d all but completely missed Pallbearer. All I saw of their set was the last half of the last song, which happened to be “The Foreigner” and therefore my favorite part of my favorite Pallbearer song. So that worked out ok.

A little bit later, Baroness took the stage. I had never seen them before, and after their horrible accident back in 2012 I thought I’d never get the chance to. It was shortly after that, actually, that I really started listening to Baroness. The band was in seemingly great spirits and sounded great, and the crowd was very responsive. It was a little weird because I only knew a couple of people there, but the energy all around was great.

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Baroness

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A better shot

As seems to be the case with most of the shows I’ve been to as of late, Baroness didn’t play a lot of their older material, sticking with Yellow/Green and Purple mostly. Which makes sense and is fine, but is sort of a letdown when the Red album is your favorite. They did play “Isak,” however, which is my favorite song from their whole catalog, so I can’t really complain. Some of the highlights of the setlist were “Shock Me,” “March to the Sea,” and the opening theme from the Green album, which was cool (I didn’t know they were going to do instrumental songs).

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Mr. Baizley. Also, props to whoever was on the lights- they were coordinating well with the album colors

I didn’t pick up any merch this time, primarily because I was going to see Shining with Belphegor the next night and figured I’d be spending money at that merch booth (spoiler alert: I did), but also because I wasn’t about to try to fight my way over to the merch table in that venue. Which is kind of lame, because at some point I would like to acquire a print of some of John Baizley’s artwork. Alas, this night was not the night.

Baroness played a wonderful set, and it’s too bad I had to pretty much miss Pallbearer (I have seen them before, but not for a couple of years. They seem to come here fairly often though, so maybe I’ll get to catch an updated Pallbearer set soon). I’m glad that Baroness’ first foray back up to my neck of the woods since their revival went as well as it did, and I look forward to seeing them again.

-H

Concert: Ghost/Macabre (7/28, Myth, St. Paul, MN)

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Ghost, whom I’ve not seen since they were here in 2013, and also Macabre, whom I’ve never seen despite having been a fan pretty much since I learned that they wrote a whole album about Jeffrey Dahmer. The show was at the Myth, this gigantic night club north of St. Paul, which is where I saw King Diamond back in the fall. It was predictably packed, but I could see fairly well from my spot on the floor as long as I maneuvered myself between the tall people.

One of the most fun parts of the evening was seeing the reactions to Macabre from people who are not familiar with Macabre. If you aren’t familiar with them you should be- Macabre is a Chicago band that’s been the same three guys playing together since 1984. Their catalog is chock-full of silly songs about serial killers – and a whole album about Jeffrey Dahmer in particular – and their last album, Grim Scary Tales, was about killers of the more legendary variety like Dracula, Lizzie Borden, and the Roman emperor Nero. Death metal and grindcore is of course full of gore and guts and all that stuff, so that should be no surprise, but it would seem that the exploits of real life killers is still somewhat of a taboo subject to be singing about, at least if you are the guys who were standing directly in front of me.

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Macabre

Macabre played a variety of songs from their catalog. From what I remember, they played Trial and Scrub a Dub Dub from the Dahmer album, Nero’s Inferno, Night Stalker, Vampire of Düsseldorf, Albert Was Worse Than Any Fish In The Sea, and The Iceman (he wasn’t a very nice man), and ended with Ed Gein, accompanied by a dude in a flannel shirt and burlap sack on his head. Despite the fact that they are from Chicago and relatively near me, I’d never gotten a chance to see Macabre live, and I was just as excited to see them as I was Ghost. The set was fun as hell and was pretty much everything I had hoped it’d be.

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The vocalist sings into a headpiece microphone.

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A blurry pic of the guy with the burlap mask.

The last time I saw Ghost it was at Mill City Nights, and The Myth is quite a bit bigger. I moved up a little closer, about halfway up to the stage on the floor, and I could see pretty well as long as I didn’t get stuck behind a tall person. The Nameless Ghouls had their Carnival masks on (and a friend of mine said they were down one? The show went well either way), and Papa E had on black robes this time. He changed into a cool, 18th century-looking jacket about halfway through the set, understandable because it was unbelievably freaking hot in there. They also did what I think was a little communion with two girls dressed as nuns (like I say, it was hard for me to see what was happening. Short and all). Papa E then “condemned them to the pit,” but first told the crowd that “if you want to grab something… don’t,” which I thought was a nice touch. 🙂

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That drumkit was cool.

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Hi Papa!

Ghost played for what seemed like a long time, and the only thing I could find to complain about is that they didn’t play more from Opus Eponymous (they played Ritual, of course, but that was it). What I recall of the setlist included Spirit (which they opened with), From the Pinnacle to the Pit, Cirice, Spöksonat, He Is, Mummy Dust, Absolution, If You Have Ghost(s), Ghuleh/Zombie Queen (I was super excited for this as they didn’t play it last time and it’s one of my favorite Ghost songs), Year Zero, and Body and Blood. They ended, as usual, with Monstrance Clock, complete with a great little commentary on the female orgasm. It was different from the last time I saw them, but I think between the two shows I have managed now to see all my favorite Ghost songs live.

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The nuns.

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Papa E rocking the vampire look. 

I still haven’t acquired any Ghost merch, but that is okay because my goal for tonight was to get a Macabre shirt that is so offensive I can’t wear it but like two places. I think I succeeded; the shirt is pretty tame, except for the fact that Richard Ramirez himself is pretty offensive. It’s also purple! I also picked up a Macabre button for my jacket.

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Front.

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Back. “Swear to Satan” is what Ramirez made his victims do before he killed them. (Fun facts to know and share!)

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Macabre button. I think I got the last one like this.

Overall, this was a really fun night. I got to see Macabre, FINALLY, and I saw Ghost again after entirely too long. Onward to the next: Baroness and Pallbearer on Tuesday, Belphegor (and SHINING! AHH!) on Wednesday. Don’t be too shocked if you see a wild Shining post appear in here somewhere, it is their 20th anniversary…

Until then.

-Hagalaz

A Playlist for the Blood Countess

Posted in birthdays, black metal, elizabeth bathory, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Erzebet, or Elizabeth, Bathory was born August 7th, 1560 (HAPPY BIRTHDAY). While there’s no proof that she actually bathed in the blood of virgins, as those rumors weren’t circulated until after her death, she definitely murdered a whole crapton of young women. There are disagreements as to how many, however; though the official body count seems to be 80, one serving girl claimed that Bathory murdered up to 650. The Countess managed to escape trial due to the shame it would bring to her very influential family, but she was nevertheless imprisoned and sealed up in a castle in Hungary. (I took most of this from Wikipedia.)

Elizabeth Bathory is also one of the patron saints of heavy metal, as her story is beset with imagery of bathing in blood, eternal youth, vampirism, possible links to the Devil, you know, pretty much everything you could want in a gothic sensational tale. So here’s a playlist I threw together of a bunch of songs relating to Countess Bathory, either directly or through blood-bathing references, name-dropping, or other indirect means.

Tormentor – Elizabeth Bathory

[Let’s start this off with a band from the Countess’ native Hungary, shall we?]

Sunn O))) – Bathory Erzebet

 

Ghost – Elizabeth

 

Electric Wizard – Torquemada 71

[This one is more about Torquemada, of course, but the Countess does get name-dropped.]
Venom – Countess Bathory

 

Evile – Bathe in Blood

[Some more general blood-bathing and murder.]

Candlemass – The Bleeding Baroness

 

X-Japan – Rose of Pain

[I swear one of these days I’m going to do a post entirely about X-Japan and how amazing they are. I had forgotten all about this song, and it’s great, just like everything else this band ever did.]

Bathory – Woman of Dark Desires

[No playlist for Elizabeth Bathory is complete without Bathory, of course.]

Cradle of Filth – Cruelty and the Beast

[…And then there was that time when Cradle of Filth made an entire album about her.]

***

I’ll be back soon with a review of Ghost and Macabre, and a big ol’ post about how much I love Shining, since they’ve been around for 20 years now and I get to see them in a couple of weeks.

Until then.

-H 

I found a thing.

Posted in black metal, bootlegs, mayhem, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , on August 2, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

So I am on a cleaning mission. I’m tearing apart my apartment, because I only three bookshelves and they are all overflowing, and I have a closet and chest of drawers chock full of stuff I don’t wear and don’t need and don’t want, so I need to get rid of some of this crap. And my landlord is gonna be disappointed in me because the city people are supposed to come by and inspect tomorrow and it looks like a minor scale hurricane came through here but I don’t even care because when I’m done it will be awesome.

The important point to all this is that I have found things I didn’t realize I still had. Like burned CD copies of all the old Mayhem bootlegs.

Guess who’s gonna spend her afternoon listening to 47 different versions of Freezing Moon?

…Me. It’s me. I am.

-H

Concert: Metal Threat Fest Warm-Up Show – Barbatos, Angelcorpse, Destroyer 666, Ares Kingdom, Nuke, Peucharist (7/14, Reggie’s, Chicago)

Posted in 2016, blackened thrash, concerts, war metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Guess who didn’t get tickets to Metal Threat Fest in time to take off the whole weekend and go? THIS LADY. With class at 8AM Saturday, however, I wouldn’t have been able to stay the whole weekend even if I had wanted to. And so it was that I got tickets for the “Warm Up Show” on Thursday eve, inasmuch as fucking Destroyer 666 plays the “Warm Up Show.” The saddest part was that since everyone else stayed, I drove down and back by myself. At the same time, school has been stressing me out bad lately, and driving long distances while listening to Electric Wizard is kind of my zen place.

Me and the pals missed the first couple of bands, due to our getting stuck in traffic on the way to the Metal Haven Grill. I was starving by the time we got there, but fortunately they had 10 inch Polish sausages wrapped in bacon so that situation very quickly rectified itself. I don’t think that it has been a restaurant for very long as they still seem to be establishing a full menu, but my meal at least was delicious. They also had records and CDs to buy, and some books (like the Slayer Mag Diaries, which is the best book ever).

I snagged Forgotten Woods, an Arckanum album that somehow slipped beneath my radar, and some Kommandant, whose patch is on my jacket and whom I like, but for some reason didn’t own any of their stuff.

Well, we got stuck in Chicago afternoon traffic, so we missed Peucharist and Nuke, but we did get to the venue in enough time to see about half of Ares Kingdom’s set. Ares Kingdom is a band that a lot of my friends love that I don’t know much about because… I’m an idiot and also I need about four more hours in each day to be able to get everything done and listen to everything that I would like. I did greatly enjoy their set though, and I had pretty high expectations having had it built up for me so much.

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Ares Kingdom

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I’m not sure what led to the decision to have Destroyer 666 play next instead of in the headlining slot, and it’s kind of a bummer because a friend suggested that they might have played a slightly longer set (?). But make no mistake, this is what I drove down for and it was totally worth it. They played a variety of stuff, the ones off the top of my head that I remember being Lone Wolf Winter, I Am the War God, Wildfire, Live and Burn, The Calling, Hounds At Ya Back, and Trialed By Fire, which they dedicated to Selim Lemouchi of The Devil’s Blood (may he Reign in Chaos). Also, they did a cover of Motorhead’s Iron Fist, which was about as fun as you would expect. It was a fantastic set, the band was spot on, everyone was happy, no one was rousing rabble, and Mr. Warslut seemed practically cheerful (he only called a couple of people “fucking cunts,” and considering that they were filming the set, they probably deserved it).

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Destroyer 666

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Please forgive me for snapping photos, Mr. Warslut. It’s just for the blog.

Next up was Angelcorpse, who I was also excited to see. I love me some war metal, and having listened to pretty much nothing but Revenge leading up to this shindig, I was ready for some. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar enough with their catalog to give a run-down of the setlist, but it was much akin to being punched in the face repeatedly, which is kinda what you want when Angelcorpse plays.

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Angelcorpse

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The night ended with Barbatos, who I had never heard of, but is a project of Abigail vocalist, guitarist, and bassist Yasuyuki Suzuki. They play a kind of mix of punky, blackish thrash, and are fun as shit. While it would have been cool to get a full set from Destroyer 666, I was totally fine with Barbatos finishing up the night as they were fun, exciting, and a great ending to the first night of a metal festival and a warm up for a four day party (which I unfortunately could not attend the rest of).

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Barbatos

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I ended up with a lot of stuff; there was no merch for Angelcorpse or Destroyer 666 that I saw, but I cleaned up with the music. Along with the albums I bought at Metal Haven Grill, I acquired Destroyer 666’s Pheonix Rising and Cold Steel…For an Iron Age, Funeral Mist’s Devilry (I never owned it on CD, though I do have it on vinyl). I also got a Mgła patch, and from my friend Carlos, I got a Sacrocurse patch and a Transilvanian Hunger shirt that SPARKLES.

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No, I’m not kidding. The logo has glitter on it. GLITTER.

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**A note on Destroyer 666 because I feel like in the midst of all the hubbub I should probably say something: their set was absolutely fantastic, and if anything was done to offend anyone, I certainly didn’t catch it. Going in I was a little worried because I thought that someone might use it as a chance to cause trouble, but contrary to my fears the crowd was absolutely wonderful. KK Warslut briefly alluded to the recent blog posts about him a couple of times so it was clearly on his mind, but they played a hell of a set and were extremely gracious, and the crowd was supportive as well. So, by chance anyone from Destroyer 666 happens to come across my little blog—Thank you guys for coming here, and I hope the rest of the tour was a brilliant as the Chicago show.**

I apologize that this review is not as good as it should have been- I know Destroyer 666 well enough, but the other bands are still pretty new to me (I know Angelcorpse in that I know that they are like other stuff that I like, and I enjoyed the shit out of it, but I don’t know specifics). While I only got to go for one night, what I saw of Metal Threat was fantastic, and as this summer has been very stressful for me with school it was nice to have a day off to enjoy myself and get out of the Twin Cities.

I’ll be working up a review of Macabre (!) and Ghost soon, both of whom I know a lot better than the bands that played this night.

-Hagalaz

Hagalaz’ Favorite Black Metal Covers

Posted in black metal, covers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

So I’ve been planning on doing a thing on black metal cover songs for a long time but never got around to it, and by this point I’m sure there are some on my original mental list that have slipped my mind. But here is at least part one (there’s no Bathory on here, for starters. Mainly because I’d have done Emperor’s cover of A Fine Day To Die but I wanted to do the Mercyful Fate cover).

My personal favorite covers tend to be those in which a band puts their own spin on the original, incorporating new sounds into an old song, so that’s what I’ve tried to stick with here. And so without further ado, some personal favorite black metal covers of mine in random order!

Emperor – Gypsy (Mercyful Fate cover)

I remember reading in The Slayer Mag Diaries that Metalion didn’t like this cover, I think because of what Emperor did with the keyboards. But the added keyboards give the song that symphonic and majestic feel that is distinctly Emperor, laid over the straightforward, traditional metal of Mercyful Fate, and personally, I think that’s what makes it fantastic. Well, that and Ihsahn singing falsetto.

 

Watain – Watain (VON cover)

HERE IS. WHERE HE KILLS. Watain’s cover of the song from which they took their name is great fun, not least of all because Von sounds absolutely nothing like Watain has ever sounded a day in their lives. It’s always a good time to hear a band play something completely out of their ordinary style, and I’m less likely to get all whimsical and teary-eyed like I do when Watain covers Dissection.

 

Shining – I Nattens Timma (Landberk cover)

By all means, if you do not know Landberk’s original of I nattens timma, you ought to get out there and listen to it. It is, I think, actually creepier than Shining’s cover, with a more music-box feel to it and creepy flutes. However much I really like the original, though, I absolutely adore Shining’s version, which is how I fell in love with Niklas Kvarforth’s clean singing voice.

 

Dissection – Elisabeth Bathory (Tormentor cover)

There is literally nothing about Dissection covering Tormentor that isn’t cool. Of course, Jon Nödtveidt will never sound like Attila in the opening voice over, and Dissection’s approach to the song is, unsurprisingly, not as atmospheric or low-fi as the original. But rest assured, they’ve certainly Swedish-ized it, and only in the best possible way.

 

Thorns – Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times (Emperor cover)

Thorns’ cover of Emperor’s Cosmic Keys is totally weird, and completely wonderful. It’s all the Emperor riffs you love, but slowed down to doom speeds and with a spoken-word voice over rather than the shrieks of the original. Slow-building and immensely heavy with a steady, almost tribal-sounding drum beat in the background, Thorns’ creepy, apocalyptic-feeling approach to the track is proof of how lucky we are that Samoth and Snorre were kicking around in the same prison for a bit.

 

Agalloch – Kneel to the Cross (Sol Invictus cover)

I remember seeing Agalloch play this live and being shell-shocked, because at the time I hadn’t heard the original, but I had studied medieval lyric poetry, and all I could think of was this. Anyway. That’s weird. Both versions are fantastic, of course, but it’s interesting how Agalloch’s blackened version seeps the hopefulness out of the original.

 

Melechesh – Babylon Fell (Celtic Frost cover)

Melechesh’s cover of Babylon Fell adds a Mediterranean flair to Celtic Frost’s blistering original. The drums in particular are really cool on this track, with the syncopated drumbeat shifting slightly away from the original. Likewise, they use several different vocal techniques, making for some interesting layering (I am, unsurprisingly partial to the shrieks). And of course, there’s some sitar in there as well, lending this cover an Eastern feel that complements the title and lyrics.

 

Dimmu Borgir – Burn in Hell (Twisted Sister cover)

Okay, so this is once again me posting Dimmu post-them being acceptable to a lot of black metal people, but once again, I don’t care. They covered Twisted Sister, and Burn in Hell at that, and it’s fun as shit, and ICS Vortex is as on par here as he ever is.

 

Limbonic Art – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (Mayhem cover)

Limbonic Art’s symphonic take on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is super cool- the vocals are inspired by Attila’s while still having an original flair to them, and the added keyboards give the song an eerie, almost gothic effect, complementing the original beautifully while still maintaining its own sound.

 

Celtic Frost – In the Chapel, In the Moonlight (Dean Martin cover)

I didn’t realize that this song was a cover until just recently. Now that I realize that it’s not only a cover, but a Dean Martin song, I find that not only awesome but also hilarious. This can also go into the list of Totally Metal Songs to Play at Your Wedding, which is now also going to be a list because I just thought of it. Celtic Frost also definitely put their own spin on this one, considering that it, uh, does not sound like Dean Martin.

 

So there you go! That’s a start of a list, at least, and probably needs more added to it, so don’t be surprised if there’s a part two lurking in the future. I’m working up a review of the Metal Threat Fest Warm-Up Show with Destroyer 666 (!) as well as some other things, but the posts might be more sporadic over the next couple of weeks while I finish up the summer session of school.

Until then,

H

 

 

A Preview for Tomorrow’s Post

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Which was supposed to be today’s, but I have been reading academic articles all day and my brain is FRIED. Seriously. I can’t think.

But here’s a hint of what you have to look forward to:

Off to rest my brain.

-H