Archive for December, 2013

2013: A Black Metal Year in Review

Posted in black metal, black metal history, concerts, DSBM, festivals, france, funeral mist, mayhem, memorial, musings, norway, sweden, true norwegian black metal, underground, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

2013 was a year full of ups and downs for me, personally; this blog actually seems to be getting some attention, and I am getting to use it to help get the word out on some of my friends’ projects, which is cool. I have also been investigating the Twin Cities metal and punk scenes, which has made me lots of new friends and has ensured that I have seen a staggering amount of live music this year, particularly this summer. Burning Fist is publishing some of my reviews, which is totally amazing, and I still have other reviews on the table for other people, not to mention the ones I have yet to finish for this (Inquisition?). I have also finally melted down in pretty much the most awful anxiety-ridden puddle of despair that I’ve been in, which is impressive, considering the past couple of years, and I’m finally starting to claw my way out of that. That, mixed with taking on entirely too much this past semester because I might be an idiot, has ensured that I am way behind on updating, and that I have neglected this blog far more than I would have liked in the past year. But no more. I’m going to fix that. Next semester shall be less crazy, and I still have a pile of new albums I’d like to blather about.

Anyway, things have also been broiling in the black metal world lately. Between more run ins with the law, attention being paid to great underground bands, and the past rearing it’s head, a lot has happened in 2013. So without further ado, enough about me. Let’s talk about…

20 Year Album Anniversaries

This year contained the anniversary years of a lot of amazing albums. Some of the heaviest hitters, of course, being Immortal’s Pure Holocaust and Darkthrone’s A Blaze In the Northern Sky (the latter has been spinning in my car lately, it being Minnesota and winter and all). Next year, of course, will see the 20th anniversary of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. May have to get myself a vinyl of that to celebrate (and by may, I mean, will, of course).

Obscure, Fantastic Black Metal is Seeping Into the States

Maryland Deathfest has just been an absolute hotbed for great black metal lately, and obscure stuff, too. This past year saw Aosoth and Antaeus playing sets on the same day (poor guys must have been exhausted. I was exhausted, and I was just watching them), along with fellow countrymen Glorior Belli and the incredible Ascension, whom I had never before heard of and stand very much corrected. Upcoming in 2014, MDF has plans to host Mgla, Enthroned, and Taake, just to name a few. Hopefully Hoest can stay out of trouble for long enough to play a set in Baltimore, and hopefully he will have pants (dear god, let him have pants. I’ve already seen more of that guy than I want to).

Black Metal Pop Culture Is At Its Height

Black metal is gaining popularity outside the underground, for better or worse (hipsters are the new core kids, I ‘spose). However, this is not always a bad thing. Vegan Black Metal Chef, for instance, is working on a cookbook, and metal cookbooks are the best. Likewise, we got a multi-part web documentary on one man black metal projects that was quite illuminating. While the fascination of those whom Nathan Explosion would refer to as “regular jackoffs” has resulted in such happenings as the short film on black metal that aired early this year that I ultimately decided I couldn’t be okay with, this interest in black metal has also resulted in such awesomeness as the brand spanking new book, Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult. My copy just arrived in my hot little hands today, and my, if it doesn’t seem like a treasure trove. Have already heard great reviews from a trusted source on the Mayhem bits, and anyone who actually sees fit to provide Funeral Mist with their deserved place in the canon has my full attention. Looking forward to devouring this thing in the time left before school starts. And speaking of Funeral Mist…

Funeral Mist is Alive

It lives! Arioch has seen fit to bless his followers with a box set that is pretty much of epic proportions. I am going to do an actual in depth review of the thing soon, but for the time being, suffice it to say that it is an extremely nice edition, and the sound is much improved, at least from the CDs that I have. Trisagion is a beautiful thing, not least of all because it is proof that Funeral Mist is still alive and kicking, at least for a while longer.

Varg Gets, Predictably, and Actually Seemingly Unfairly, Arrested. Again.

Back in July of this year, infamous murdering racist creepy DnD-picture-staging weirdo Varg Vikernes was arrested, again, along with his wife. Vikernes was stockpiling guns, apparently, and was, predictably, taken into custody because when you’re a famous, high profile criminal, and you’re stockpiling weapons, that’s what happens. From the reports that I’ve read, however, it seems to me that Vargy Varg is actually innocent of doing anything wrong this time. Nevertheless, Varg now has one more arrest on his record. Wonder what the French black metal guys think of him?

Varg Quits Black Metal. Again.

Apparently everyone’s favorite church arsonist is also throwing in the towel in terms of composing black metal, again. As anyone who’s followed Burzum for longer than twenty minutes can tell you, this is not an uncommon occurrence. He’ll probably be back. But just in case he’s not, Varg’s played himself out with this little ditty, which is, once again, quite lovely.

The Lid Finally Blows Off on Blake Judd’s Shenanigans

Blake Judd, notorious frontman of Nachtmystium, found himself having a very bad year indeed despite an apparently successful comeback last year that I actually blogged about. Silencing Machine made it onto my list of best albums for 2012, utilizing an original approach that blended black metal and industrial music, Mr. Judd got married, and everyone was so happy to hear that he was finally recovering from his legendary drug addiction. This year, Nachtmystium has been put on indefinite hiatus, rumors are circulating that Judd stole the name and project behind Hate Meditation (whose new release, Scars, is not bad at all), apparently his wife divorced him, and last I heard, he was behind bars in Cook County jail for ripping off countless people who never got the merch and stuff that he’d promised them, having tied up all of their money in… something. Projects. Drugs. Who knows. I don’t. All I know is that I met the guy last year, and he was really cheerful and nice to me and J, and I am sad to hear about all this, because it always sucks to find that people are not as nice as you thought they were.

Kim Carlsson Dyes Hypothermia Shirts With His Own Blood

Yeah. So that happened early in the year. Fascinating stuff; I decided, however, that Kim and I are just not close enough yet for me to feel comfortable owning a shirt that’s been mixed in his blood. And by that I mean that I don’t know him at all. They are one of a kind anyway. (And there aren’t any more available. Kim has, obviously, a limited amount of materials to work with).

Watain Writes A Ballad

And it’s pretty damned good, I think.

Rest in Peace, Euronymous

I didn’t do a special post in his honor like I do normally, probably because August 10th was about the epicenter of my depressive meltdown that had been oncoming for about a year and a half. Nevertheless, we should always strive to remember our fallen brothers. Hail, Euronymous. Rest in peace.

***

And yes, actually, I’m listening through the new Horna right now, trying to scramble to hear as much new black metal as I can to draft your best of list. (Why does this track sound like Watain?)

-Hagalaz

The Semester from Hell is OVER.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Ladies and Gentlekvltists, my semester from hell (PhD edition) is OVER. That means I FINALLY have time to start working on the blog again, and there is a LOT to get done.

Some of the things in the works:

– Two more reviews for Burning Fist, plus a top ten list NOT limited to black metal
– A few more reviews for Ars Magna artists (which will appear on here)

And for Blackmetallurgy itself:

– A black metal year in review
– Hagalaz’ top 10 (or perhaps 11) black metal albums of 2013
– 2013 releases to review: Deafheaven, Inquisition, Rotting Christ, and Arckanum for sure, and my friends’ band House of Atreus.
– A post on best covers in metal
– A post about how incredibly awesome the Funeral Mist box set is

…And then I will figure out where to go from there. But those are the pertinent things- end of year housekeeping. I plan on starting to hammer this stuff out tomorrow. Still have a stack of papers to grade, but next semester already is looking much quieter. Blackmetallurgy is back in business!

In the meantime, check out my latest review over at Burning Fist!

-Hagalaz

EDIT: I also have the new Woe, and will try to get that reviewed as well. Also, enjoy the snow, and go listen to some Immortal, since every state I’ve been in today (three of them) is grim and frostbitten.