Archive for June, 2013

Gratuitous Birthday Post 2013

Posted in black metal, doom, france, grindcore, local, musings, sludge metal, thrash with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

This post is from yesterday, which was my birthday, for real. But because the internet at the hotel only wanted me to use Chrome, and Chrome likes to eat my links, I saved it until now. Here it is!

***

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, my gratuitous birthday post of “things I am currently listening to” on June 28, 2013. Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to Jon Nödtveidt (R.I.C.), and happy birthday to Frost. Because June 28 is a great day for birthdays and black metal.

Again, the list goes to 11, because Chaos and Spinal Tap and all that jazz. Without further ado, your black metal blog-ess has been listening to:

1. Aosoth- Under Nails and Fingertips

I’ve already ranted and raved about how much I love Aosoth’s new album, as well as the devastating effect they had on me at Deathfest this year. Because I can’t get enough of IV: An Arrow in Heart, this one has pretty much stayed on circulation for me this year.

2. Blut Aus Nord- …The Meditant (Dialogue with the Stars)

I recently purchased my very first Blut Aus Nord album (ludicrous, I know, especially considering how much I love French black metal), Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars. This has quickly become one of my favorite albums; it is glorious, and I want to drive out to the middle of nowhere and listen to it under the stars.

3. Kylesa- We’re Taking This

I had never heard Kylesa before a couple of months ago, and I wasn’t sure what to make of them at first. Since then, however, they have really grown on me, and now I can’t get enough of this sludgy stuff. I really love their new album Ultraviolet (which I am going to review, I promise. I am at a conference right now); this is from that.

4. Cough- Crooked Spine

Speaking of the South and slow things, Southern doom has also been on my radar a lot lately. Cough is pretty indicative of the stuff I’m talking about; Pallbearer as well.

5. Kreator- Command of the Blade

I am ashamed to admit that Kreator has been one of those gaping holes in my collection. Recently, however, I bought a used copy of Pleasure To Kill off my friend, and I have been digging the hell out of it. Thrash is a genre I skipped (except for Metallica, but that’s not special. Growing up in Oklahoma everyone is into Metallica), and I’m really enjoying navigating it.

6. Katharsis- The Last Wound

As far as black metal I should know but never really listened to goes, Katharsis is high on the list. I have been making it a point to listen to bands that I have seen everyone post but me, and so I’ve been spinning these guys lately.

7. Ptahil- The Black Fire

Although I still listen to A LOT of black metal, make no mistake, I have been listening to a lot more black metal genre-melding stuff lately, including blackened doom. Ptahil is from Indiana, and I saw them open for Black Witchery recently.

8. Candlemass- Samarithan

Really? When am I not listening to Candlemass? Now I own the Nightfall reissue on vinyl (it is BEAUTIFUL) as well as their 2005 s/t release, so I listen to them more than ever.

9. Sacramentum- When Night Surrounds Me

When school was ending for the semester, I went into Into the Void to buy myself a copy of Pilgrim’s Misery Wizard (Really. Serious doom kick), and my friend told me that if I didn’t buy this Sacramentum record we weren’t friends. So I did, and I love it. I am not willing to say it is better than Storm of the Light’s Bane; it is different than Storm of the Light’s Bane. But I don’t know that I could rank this album below it, either.

10. Holy Grail- Call of Valhalla

Holy Grail is one of those bands that I checked out because they are playing here soon, and I want to go to the show (the same thing happened with Kylesa). The result was the same as what usually happens when I listen to traditional heavy metal, which is that I think I should listen to more traditional heavy metal. Looking forward to seeing these guys live.

11. Black Market Fetus- Blinded By the Cross

Because every good playlist needs grindcore. Alas, I only got to see Black Market Fetus play once before they disbanded, but they were one of my favorite local bands when I lived in Iowa, and are one of my favorite grind bands ever.

…And that’s all folks. As you can see, DOOM.

‘Til next time.

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Review: Aosoth- IV: An Arrow In Heart

Posted in black metal, france, Reviews with tags , , , , , , on June 23, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

I haven’t been doing very many reviews this year (other than the live reports), and this one is way overdue. Aosoths’ newest release IV: An Arrow In Heart, dropped on April 16, and I have little doubt that this one’s going to find itself on my top albums of 2013 list. A review of the album that I read earlier this year described it as “cold,” which I find to be pretty accurate.

The other word that I would use to describe IV is tense. Aosoths’ fourth release is an album that thrums with tension from one end to the other. Right out the gate, the title track begins with a churning guitar riff that forecasts the relentless turmoil that you are about to subject yourself to for the next hour and some. A bit of reprieve occurs in the drum feature, but very little. It’s more of a pause than any kind of relief; the eye of the storm, as it were. This is the first track I heard from the album, as the band posted a shortened version to their Facebook, and I was making bold statements about the thing from that moment forward.

If you were hoping for the tension to slacken a bit, too bad. The next three tracks continue the assault, applying Aosoth’s spin on the taut dissonance indicative of the nation that brought you Deathspell Omega. Chords clash, the melodies churn seemingly haphazardly, and there is no moment to get your bearings before they have shifted again. “Temple of Knowledge” features another crypt-like bass and drum break, followed by an unexpected and enjoyable drum pattern as the song eases back into its blistering pace.

 “Broken Dialogue, Part I and Part II” bring a new atmosphere to the onslaught, featuring samples and minimalist melodic lines. In many ways, it’s pretty, but none less unsettling than the rest of the album. Like the drum break in the title track, with every note you sense that there is more lurking in the darkness.

The album bookends itself with the title track and “Ritual Marks of Penitence,” a nearly 15-minute-long epic that encompasses the same drawn out sense of foreboding as its sister track. Also, this is the track that Aosoth chose to make a video of, which is awesome, as it’s probably the least likely candidate for such a venture. While the tension that comprises the album as a whole absolutely never slackens, this final track has a triumphant feel to it as well. As the video depicts, there is peace in succumbing to the dark.

I really enjoyed the production on this album, and the mixing of the bass especially. For a black metal album, IV is extremely bass heavy. The use of the low end on the drum/bass breaks is also very enjoyable, as you can hear enough of the vibration of the strings to give these passages that cold, hollow feel. Also, the drum patterns throughout are always interesting; there are a lot of blast beats, of course, but the patterns are always shifting, even varying the placement of the high hat in some of the blast beats on “Under Nails and Fingertips.” Aosoth has pulled out all the stops on this one to ensure that the listener can never quite get a handle on where the songs are going next, and it is masterfully done.

I was a little worried about my ability to get a copy of this album when it came out; Agonia Records is a little expensive to get things from when you live in Minnesota. Fortunately for me, I scored big: Shane at Into the Void got in a few copies on CD, and I stumbled upon a special edition double LP at Maryland Deathfest. The packaging is quite simple with no liner notes, but encompasses nicely the more minimalistic moments of the album. Once again, I would agree with whoever said “cold” to describe the feel of the artwork; all in blacks and blues and whites, the artwork certainly compliments the shifting nature of the music with its emphasis on shadow and light. The cover of the thing is also astoundingly beautiful. Both versions are lovely- I am impressed by the bass tone on the vinyl as well.

The CD

The CD

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LP

LP

I didn't include pics of the vinyl, because I didn't get the colored ones.

I didn’t include pics of the vinyl, because I didn’t get the colored ones. I believe they came in blue and white. (Feel free to ignore the cat toys, or not.)

Beautiful artwork.

Beautiful artwork.

When I first heard this album, I declared it my favorite of the year. Of course, that was in April, and we still have much more to go (including new stuff from Watain and Inquisition), but I know this one will still rank high, even in December. IV: An Arrow In Heart is the most unsettling album I have heard since Leviathan’s True Traitor, True Whore. I mean that in the best way possible, too. It is a veritable masterpiece of merciless tension.

I’m not picking favorite tracks for this one, as the album is too cohesive for me to feel like butchering it in order to make a decision. The title track, I will admit, does have a certain effect on me.

I know that you are thinking that this album is expensive and difficult to get a hold of, but I highly encourage you to track it down and buy the thing. If you have a local record store, see if they can get it in. The packaging, while simple, is lovely, and also there are rumors of an Aosoth US tour, so let’s help them foot the bill and get over here sooner rather than later. You want to see Aosoth live, don’t you? (I saw them at Deathfest– trust me, you do.) As someone who owns this thing on two mediums, I can attest that it is well worth the cost and effort to track down.

5/5 horns, pentagrams, ONA sigils, what have you.

Happy First of Summer, Everyone

Posted in musings, neo-folk, united states, USBM with tags , , , , on June 21, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Or Solstice, Midsommar, Litha, whatever you call it. It’s hot, and perfect clothes-taking-off weather, so make like a pagan and get to it.

 

Concert: Intronaut/Scale the Summit/Mouth of the Architect/The Astraea Complex/Prophets of Aether (6/11, The Garage, Burnsville, MN)

Posted in concerts, death metal, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, prog metal, sludge metal, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

I will be the first to admit that prog metal does not tickle my fancy. I get bored with it. The stylings are over-technical to me, and the length of the songs makes them drag on in my head. Alternatively, I could get behind Devin Townsend’s Ziltoid the Omniscient, but that’s because there was more in it for me than simple prog metal- it made me laugh, and so I was forgiving. Likewise, I like Enslaved’s later output when there is enough black metal in it to balance out the prog. I dug RIITIIR; Vertebrae, not so much.

So when my friend messaged me and said that his band was opening for Intronaut and would I like to buy a ticket, I said of course, because I like to support local bands when I can, and especially when they are friends. I honestly did not expect to stay for Intronaut, but I did, so I get to review the thing.

The show was held at The Garage in Bloomington, having rescheduled after Station 4’s summer closure (unfortunate because of the shuffling about of shows, fortunate because it is way too freaking hot in there and they need to fix their A/C). The Garage is a youth center, and is as wholesome as that implies. No bar, street signs on the walls, signs pleading patrons to mosh responsibly, and a lot of, well, youths. When the touring acts got onstage, there were people from all walks of life there, but I’m pretty sure I was the oldest person there for a while. That is fine, but it was weird to be at a metal show with no bar. I rarely make use of the thing when it’s there, nevertheless the vibe is definitely different. The Garage is certainly not my favorite venue (plus it’s kind of a drive), but the sound was good.

The first band was Prophets of Aether, who I am not familiar with (I increasingly know a lot of locals. Not these kids). During their set someone told me that their drummer is only 17, and despite being a very small kid, he did a very good job. They were a very solid opener; even though the music wasn’t always my cup of tea (I am slowly warming up to more death metal. But it’s slow), I was very impressed with the set that they played.

My friend S’s band The Astraea Complex was up next. Apparently they had some issues with their samples at the beginning of the set, but I wouldn’t have known that at all if I hadn’t been told. Their set was also very solid, and I liked the bass feature. Despite the vocalist’s attempts to get the crowd riled up, there wasn’t any moshing, with the exception of one enthusiastic young man who was a party all on his own. Overall a little breakdown-heavy for me, but a very strong set from a young band.

I didn’t know anything about Mouth of the Architect, but a friend I ran into at the show assured me that I would probably like them best of the night’s touring acts. Sure enough, he was right; while I’m not grabbed much by prog, I love me some sludge, and Mouth of the Architect’s set was certainly on that side of things. I’m going to have to pay a little closer attention to these guys. They were the highlight of the night for me, music-wise.

Scale the Summit was next, who I forgot were an instrumental band until they had been playing for a while. I really enjoyed their set, even though it is not something I would ordinarily listen to. In honor of their new album, which dropped the day of the show, they played several new songs, one of which I knew from the Internet (I think Metal Sucks debuted it or something).

Finally, Intronaut took the stage. I decided that I did not need to be up front for Intronaut, so I hung out in the back and sat with my friend A. Like Kylesa, Intronaut had a backdrop with accompanying video, which I enjoyed because it helped me to focus a little better (I am a visual person). To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed, especially because I enjoyed the previous two bands so much, but I don’t really know how good a judge I am of Intronaut’s performance. After all, I explained my tendency to get really tired during prog performances.

It was a perfectly enjoyable performance, though, and I am very glad that I stayed for the whole thing.  I admit that I probably wouldn’t have gone at all if S hadn’t told me his band was opening, but it worked out really well. I learned about a band that I wouldn’t have investigated if I hadn’t gone (most likely), and I had an enjoyable evening of people watching (this was just about the furthest thing from the battle jacket crowd that I’ve seen since Ghost) and listening to music that I ordinarily wouldn’t expose myself to. It was a nice change of pace, and I’m really glad I went. I just wish I hadn’t been so hungry/sleepy (yes it was early but I’m a grad student) for Intronaut so I could have been a better audience member.

No merch this time; sorry kids.

Next up, reviews. Aosoth’s IV: An Arrow in Heart and Kylesa’s Ultraviolet.

Concert: Kylesa/Blood Ceremony/White Hills/Lazer/Wülf (6/3, Triple Rock, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in concerts, retro occult rock, sludge metal, thrash, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

After living in the Twin Cities for almost a year, I finally attended my first show at the Triple Rock. I like the venue a lot- I got harassed on the street just walking two blocks from my car, which was creepy, but that’s not the venue’s fault. I don’t know whether or not I’m ashamed to admit that I sat down for the whole show, but there were seats at the back of the standing room and I am so short I could see a lot better while sitting down. The bar also looked very big, if that is your thing. Room for the merch tables and still plenty left over for people to maneuver around. The crowd was diverse; I knew a couple of people there, mostly, I think people who were there for Blood Ceremony. It was nice to see a whole bunch of new people, however, and they are people I kept seeing cropping up at the local shows I went to this past week, so that is good too.

I had never heard of Lazer/Wülf, and unfortunately I got there late into their set. I thought the show started at 8, but apparently it was a little earlier. The band is from Athens, GA, and plays what Encyclopedia Metallum refers to as “experimental death metal/groove/thrash.” I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, but I do know that I really enjoyed the little bit of Lazer/Wülf that I got to see. I think they are mostly an instrumental band, or at least the parts I saw didn’t seem to have a lot of vocals. Also, their drummer is fucking amazing. He was easily one of my favorite parts of the night.

Next up was White Hills, a psychedelic band from New York. They have a female bassist (hooray more girls in metal) who is very good, and an excellent guitarist as well. My memory of their set is a little fuzzy (that’s what happens when I write these things a week and a half later), but I do remember that I liked it a lot. I’m really enjoying this psychedelic throwback thing that seems to be getting really popular.

Speaking of that, Blood Ceremony was really on top of things. Their vocalist was extremely charismatic onstage, which is refreshing since most people seem to freeze when there’s a keyboard in front of them. The flute interludes were also really nice, adding another retro element to the mix that isn’t always present in retro-occult rock. I really like this 60s-inspired music about the Devil, as it hearkens to the time when Satanism broke from the underground. It’s a fun sort of thing, and Blood Ceremony is one of the better bands that does it.

Finally, Kylesa took the stage, complete with awesome video-backdrop. I confess I hadn’t listened to much of Kylesa before this show (I had been streaming their new album, which is awesome, on Pitchfork), but I have also been listening to A LOT of Kylesa and anything sludgy I can get my hands on since. They were absolutely awesome live, and it was fun to be back and up where I could see the crowd colliding to the music. I heard rumors that they were down to one drummer, but there were two on this night, and I was glad I got to see that as my friend says it is one of the things that always made Kylesa special.

They played a mix of songs from the albums of theirs I have heard, including the new one. Long Gone is one of my favorites from the new album, and it was incredible live. We also got an encore, and lots of promises that Minneapolis is one of their favorite places to play (of course it is. MPLS digs Kylesa). A friend of mine said that someone told him they were boring live, but personally, I think live is the best way to watch this kind of music (also, post-rock is best live, methinks).

I ended up with a t-shirt with an owl on it, and that’s rad. I wanted to buy the new album but they were all sold out of them. Sadly they were also sold out of the blue version of this shirt in small/medium- I am trying to buy more not-black shirts, since I have like a million.

Put a bird on it.

Put a bird on it.

I really enjoyed this show, even though I had the thought that it was weird to pair these bands together (Kylesa and Blood Ceremony sounds like a really weird tour, and once you throw the other two in it’s even weirder). That being said, it was fun in a lot of ways because I know for a fact that some of my friends who were stoked for Blood Ceremony would never ordinarily be into Kylesa, and I know that at least a few of them stuck around. Me, I like psychedelic stuff and I like sludge, so I was pretty happy all around. Lazer/Wulf’s drummer was the surprise of the evening for me; I will have to check out more of their material. I have also been listening a lot lately to Kylesa (just bought their new one; will report back) and bands that sound like Kylesa, so that worked as well. All and all a great night.

-Hagalaz

Maryland Deathfest XI: Merch Haul, Musings, and More Pics

Posted in battle jacket, black metal, death metal, doom, festivals, musings, stoner metal, tips, united states with tags , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

This was my first year going to Maryland Deathfest, and I learned that it is a metal WONDERLAND. Literally just about any merch you could possibly want you can find, including stuff from Deathspell Omega (if you were looking for Lifelover you were out of luck, however. I didn’t see any of their stuff- I was looking for a patch). And for a girl working on her battle jacket, it was a veritable treasure trove. I bought a ton of patches, many of them from my friend, who I tried to buy from as much as I could.

Yeah, that's a Dimmu Borgir patch. They were my first black metal band, and their old stuff is awesome, don't pretend like it's not.

Yeah, that’s a Dimmu Borgir patch. They were my first black metal band, and their old stuff is awesome, don’t pretend like it’s not.

I also got several shirts, but not as many as I probably would have gotten if I had bought all my stuff early (lesson learned. I would have a Candlemass patch too if I’d done that). Nevertheless, I found stuff I couldn’t find easily, like a rad Teitanblood shirt, a TDB shirt (orders from the Netherlands are not cheap), and special edition MDF Antaeus and Aosoth shirts. And Morbid. Always more Morbid.

Teitanblood

Teitanblood

I love the back of this thing.

I love the back of this thing.

Antaeus special print for MDF.

Antaeus special print for MDF.

Noevdia. <3

Noevdia. ❤

More Dead.

More Dead.

Aosoth special MDF shirt. This thing is gorgeous. Also I am trying to buy more not-black shirts.

Aosoth special MDF shirt. This thing is gorgeous. Also I am trying to buy more not-black shirts.

The back has the Order of the Nine Angles sigil. Subtlety FTW.

The back has the Order of the Nine Angles sigil.

The Devil's Blood. I love their artwork.

The Devil’s Blood. I love their artwork.

I promised musings too, so I will give that. I think the weekend overall went really well, minus the drive back (coffee+convenience store fare+no sleep= H feeling like she is strung out on something). I did have a few observations though. First of all, the festival really needs to be organized a little better. Vinterland had to be pushed back, and Pentagram and Venom getting cut off- I understand that there was nothing that could have been done about these things, but I think some kind of announcement might have mitigated the frustration a bit, especially in the case of the latter, in which people rioted. The lines going into and out of the festival could have been handled a little better, and considering that I heard/saw lots of complaints about gate security inappropriately frisking some of the girls (never happened to me or A, by the way), and harassing people, I would suggest screening the people they have working the gates a little better. (The guys in the festival were awesome, on the contrary. Especially the dude playing air-bass and helping people crowdsurf. That guy deserves an award for best security dude ever.)

I also heard rumors that this might be the last year at that venue, and that might be okay. I liked the smallness of the festival, especially considering that I get freaked out in really huge crowds sometimes, but it really might have outgrown itself this time. Especially with having to wait in line for over an hour for re-entry on Sunday. Also, I didn’t have tickets to the punk stage this year (I need to do that next time), but my understanding was that it was about .5 miles away. That’s a little far, especially if you are trying to run back and forth a lot, so making the venues closer would be really beneficial.

The music was awesome. Needs more thrash; needs more grindcore. That is all. Of course, with all the doom and black metal it was theoretically my year.

Here are some more miscellaneous pics of me and my pals showing off our MPLS/St. Paul related digs and general tomfoolery.

The poster from this year was pretty freaking sweet.

The poster from this year was pretty freaking sweet.

IMAG0876

I don’t know if you can tell from the pin, but we are big Devil’s Blood fans around here.

\m/

\m/

Me looking like a big ol' dweeby fangirl in my False shirt. MPLS metal is my fave.

Me looking like a big ol’ dweeby fangirl in my False shirt. MPLS metal is my fave.

IMAG0909

 

Chicks dig Into the Void.

Chicks dig Into the Void.

Me and Carlos.

Next, Kylesa, before I forget my commentary on that. Then Aosoth, I promise. I have been running around watching friends’ bands all weekend, but I am home with some spare time for a while.

-Hagalaz

Maryland Deathfest XI Recap (Part III)

Posted in black metal, concerts, doom, england, festivals, france, germany, musings, stoner metal, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Part I (Friday) and Part II (Saturday) are both available for your perusal.

The lines outside of the festival Sunday provided another instance of the poor organization that seemed to plague the festival all weekend, or at least concerning entering and exiting the venue. We left the hotel a little after 2p because we wanted to see Glorior Belli at 3:30, and were hoping to mill around and buy merch beforehand. We waited over an hour in a huge line, all full of people there for re-entry. It was really frustrating. After about 45 minutes they opened a second line, and then things moved a little more swiftly. It actually worked out fine for us- we got there just in time to catch all of Glorior Belli’s set- but there were a lot of people really excited to see Speedwolf and Cruciamentum who missed them because of the line.

Glorior Belli’s set was really good; their later, more experimental bluesy black metal is sometimes hit or miss for me, although I do find it interesting. It was very good live, however, and even though I still got hints of their vocalist’s smugness during the set (which rubs me the wrong way a bit), he more than made up for it by climbing down in front of the stage and shaking people’s hands, giving hugs, etc. during the last song. They played a fine set, despite the fact that teatime is really not ideal for black metal.

Glorior Belli

Glorior Belli

IMAG0910

Next we caught a little bit of Midnight’s set while mingling and shopping. I have seen their shirts everywhere recently, but I haven’t ever really paid that much attention to them. They were a lot of fun, however (I LOVE the blackened thrash thing), and I found their executioner’s hoods endearing. Pagan Altar was our next big set, and I sat for part of it to rest my legs (that concrete is a bitch). They were fantastic and a fun throwback. It was really great to see that they are still doing so well; J said that Sabbath should fire Ozzy and hire Terry Jones instead.

[I didn’t get pics of them. Too short. Sorry.]

We shopped and ate during the next set, and then went to get in line for Sleep, who J was really excited about seeing. I was excited too, as I know what a big deal it is to see Sleep right now, but I would not have needed to be up front for it. There was, as expected, a LOT of smoke, which, by this point, was starting to wear on me a little (I don’t smoke, and although a lot of my friends do, three days of inhaling other people’s weed and cigarettes was beginning to make me a little crazy). Also, for some bizarre reason, people started shoving and actually getting kind of violent when the band started playing. Someone really ought to explain stoner metal to those kids. I had just bought a special edition double LP and had thought that during Sleep’s set I wouldn’t be hard pressed to protect it, but people in the crowd where we were standing were being really douchy and shoving, and I was just about at the end of my rope. Couple that with my frustrations over something that is neither here nor there (Internets, you don’t need to know about my personal life), and A dragged me to the back of the crowd before I fucking killed someone. Which is good. That would have been a real buzzkill.

So I saw Sleep, and I was so angry I barely digested any of it. I tried, once I was out of the crush, to focus really hard on enjoying it, however, and I really loved the parts of the set for which I was able to relax a little. I’m really grateful I got to see Sleep perform, and I wish it had been under a little better circumstances.

Sleep. Downtown Baltimore gets a contact high.

Sleep. Downtown Baltimore gets a contact high.

[Part of Dragonaut. But you can see, I think, why I was upset with the crowd.]

Matt Pike, incidentally, stayed in our hotel and glowered at me in the coffee shop.

Pentagram was up next, and their set was going fine. J and I didn’t stay for the whole thing, but A did and said that it was really good; Bobby Liebling was… standing and singing okay, and is in better shape, I would say, than Ozzy, but the heroin years have not been kind. J said he thought it was depressing, and I said that I was still a little pissy and wanted to watch a dude drenched in blood screaming to me about Satan, so we went to catch Ascension’s set across the way.

Pentagram.

Pentagram.

Am I glad we did. Ascension is from Germany, and I didn’t know that, nor did I know who they were at all, really. They were my diamond in the rough. Ascension is relatively new, and only has one album out, but they play really good black metal and are extremely charismatic onstage. We wandered over there in hopes for something that was going to be a little more lively than Pentagram (who I am still glad I watched a couple of songs of), and they were easily my best whim of the weekend. Maybe I should do a post for them?

Ascension

Ascension

IMAG0915

I liked their stage decor.

I liked their stage decor.

[Surprise! awesome black metal.]

As the night started to wind down, we went to hunt down a good place to watch Venom. Basically there was none; EVERYONE was there to see Venom (obviously). I did manage to get a spot on a curb though, where I could see Cronos well, and since he is the founding member who is left, that was the important part to me. I am amazed by how bulky he is; I always thought he was little but his biceps are tremendous! They played a mix of old and new stuff, but we got to hear Warhead and Black Metal and Live Like an Angel, which I guess is the best bit (although I had desperately hoped for Rip Ride. Sigh). Things were going fine and dandy right up until 11p sharp, when all of a sudden there was no sound.

Venom!

Venom!

Alright. So I couldn't see much other than Cronos, but he's the important part, right?

Alright. So I couldn’t see much other than Cronos, but he’s the important part, right?

Apparently there was a new city ordinance or something that said that the music had to stop at 11p, as in AT 11 seriously we aren’t kidding, and so they stopped it. (A told me later that Pentagram’s set was cut a little short too; I saw somewhere else that Sleep went over 20 minutes and that was what backed things up. I have no idea what happened. I was just watching Venom, minding my own business.) Either way, the crowd was incredibly upset, because Venom, and then there was a bottle neck in the gate on the way out (the fest is over. Open more gates), and then when we got to the front of the gate there was a scuffle, and some security dudes throwing some crust punk kid against the pavement, and screaming and yelling. I was running to the side to get away from… whatever was happening, and I kid you not, a beer bottle shattered about three feet from my head. So A, J, and I took off to get to the other side of the wall (so we could gawk at what was happening, of course), but a security guard told us to go away. And on the way back to the hotel, like 8 or 10 cop cars passed us, so it must have turned into quite the kerfluffle.

We made it back to the hotel safely, however, and drove back the next day. 24 hours. With me going 30 hours without sleep which, I learned, is something I should never, ever, do again (sleep deprivation makes me paranoid and weepy).

One more post of this, with more pictures and people and merch, and then I promise I’ll talk about Kylesa.

-Hagalaz