Archive for April, 2016

Concert: Absu/False/Christworm/Treasons (4/19, Triple Rock, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, black metal, blackened doom, blackened thrash, concerts, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, triple rock, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

This week’s adventures in metal shows featured Texas-based black-thrashers, Absu. Since the show fell on a Tuesday, I was running a little late (I work Tuesday nights), and I missed the first band (Treasons, I think it was). This was a much more comfortably attended show; I didn’t have to hide in a corner by the bathrooms to avoid getting smushed like at Pig Destroyer. At the same time, it’d be nice for Absu to get a bigger turnout- it was a smallish crowd last time as well.

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Christworm

The second band, Christworm, went on shortly after I arrived. I was really impressed by them; they played a kind of sludgy, doomy death metal. I texted a friend and said that it was cool to hear a band like this amongst all the death metal around here, and that friend then informed me that Christworm is actually from Baton Rouge, LA, which… explains why they sound so different from all the bands around here. Ha. Christworm is the sort of band that makes feedback between songs on their sets, though, and I’m pretty much always down with bands that do that. I was really impressed with them, and I’ll be keeping an eye on them in the future.

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False

Next up was False, who always put on a good show. They opened with “Heavy As A Church Tower,” which never fails to give me chills, and followed up with a song I’m not familiar with (I… need to get their full-length album. I know people in that band and it’s just embarrassing that I don’t have it yet). Rachel paced in front of the stage for the bulk of the first song, and once again I was reminded of how much she looks like some kind of big cat when she does that. A very solid, strong set.

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Proscriptor hasn’t got a lot of hair, but the other two guys got it covered.

Finally, Absu! I like Absu; I don’t listen to them as much as I should (I was hoping to pick up Abzu at the show, but alas, they had no CDs for sale. Will have to do that with the spring shopping binge I’m plotting), but when I do, I am very aware of the sheer musicianship of these guys. Seeing it live, however, is always insane. They are so tight and so spot-on and the drumming is always so phenomenal, it’s crazy how those three guys make that much monumental racket.

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Ezezu handling some vox

Absu played a variety of songs from their extensive catalog, including a song off a new album we were told would be out later this year, and Ezezu handled the majority of the vocals for the bulk of the set, since Proscriptor McGovern was busy destroying his drumkit. Like last time, the band took a short break and had another guy come fill in on drums (anyone know who this was? Hit me up if you do) while Proscriptor came out to do several songs just on vocals.

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A closer pic with everyone in it

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Proscriptor on vox

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Absu!

(I’m… actually pretty happy with that last pic. Huh.)

As I said earlier, I had planned on buying some music but Absu only had vinyl with them, and while I dig vinyl I generally only buy it in special cases (see doom; rare black metal). I have added “more Absu” to my mental list of things, though (and it occurs to me that that should probably become a physical list if I am to actually remember anything on the list. Hmm).

Anyway, every band I had the good fortune to see on this night played a solid set. False tore it up as usual (nice to see them again since I missed them before Abbath), Absu was absolutely dumbfoundingly good, and I was introduced to Christworm, whose set I greatly enjoyed.

Next up, Behemoth! Playing The Satanist in its entirety on Walpurgisnacht. Should be a good one…

-Hagalaz

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Concert: Pig Destroyer/Call of the Void/Invidiosis/Ambassador Gun/Aetheric (4/9, Triple Rock, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, concerts, grindcore, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, punk, triple rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Two days after getting to see Abbath, I headed down to the Triple Rock to witness Pig Destroyer play their first ever Minnesota show. I was lucky enough to see them before at Maryland Deathfest, and was fortunate to get my ticket early as the show here sold out. For such a huge turnout I only knew about three other people there, but I made some friends in line at the door. They were from Des Moines, ironically, and we traded Vaudeville Mews memories.

There were quite a few openers for the show, the first of whom was Aetheric, a local band that I have not heard of before (but I recognized their guitarist from around places). They were very good; I was really impressed with the guitarist and vocalist both. Lots of melodic, squiggly bits, which is not something I encounter much in a city with so much death metal. I will have to keep an eye on them in the future.

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Go, squiggly!

Ambassador Gun was next (they switched places with Invidiosis and I spent a few minutes really confused), and they played as solid as set as they did the last time I saw them. I’m not very familiar with their catalog, but AG’s brand of punkish death metal was really apropos. (Also, they were and are always a really tight and solid band and it hopefully will not be two more years before I see them again.)

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Ambassador Gun is never not good

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The pit off to a good start early in the evening

Invidiosis was the last local band to play. I have heard a lot about Invidiosis, and some of its members are friends of friends, but I have never seen them before this show. I felt like this set was the odd one out of the night, being more death metal and thrashy than the punk-infusion that characterized all the other bands, but it was a fun and well-executed set nonetheless. Also, Invidiosis is also apparently touring in South America soon, so that’s cool. (And I’m pretty sure that one of their band members works at the liquor store where I buy my beer.)

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Invidiosis

While I enjoy watching local acts, especially when it’s stuff that’s new to me and Ambassador Gun, I was ready when Call of the Void took the stage. I like their stuff and am very familiar with album covers from the record store, but seeing them live really made it click for me. (This is not that strange, I think- for me, grindcore always makes more sense live). Call of the Void was absolutely tremendous- loud, heavy, fast, and fun. I expected a lot from them, and they did not disappoint.

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Call of the Void

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And a shot from further back

Pig Destroyer took the stage at last, and… played a pretty long set, actually. I was very impressed. As I mentioned above, it was their first ever show in Minnesota, and Pig Destroyer live is a rare event anyway. The result was an extremely receptive crowd that made me glad that I had chosen to stand behind the rail- it generated one of the craziest mosh pits I’ve seen (certainly the craziest I’ve seen at the Triple Rock), with people stage diving and pretty much constant churning. I tried to get a panoramic shot of the crowd at one point and that failed miserably. Oh well.

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The guests of honor- Pig Destroyer

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Unfortunately, my pictures don’t do the pit much justice

Pig Destroyer killed it musically as well in what I can only assume is the grindcore equivalent of running a marathon. There was a lot of build up for this one, and understandably so, and they absolutely delivered.

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This show was part two of the insane metal show month that is April 2016, and it served to remind me why I love watching live grindcore. I own grindcore albums, and they’re great, but there’s something about the energy that translates perfectly into a live setting. I need to try to see more grind; I saw a lot in Des Moines but not as much since I’ve come up here.

Just saw Absu, so that’ll be up soon as well. And then, Behemoth. (I missed Apocalyptica last night. I just couldn’t do it. It’s crunch time in the school semester, and I just can’t do everything.)

-Hagalaz

Concert: Abbath/High on Fire/Skeletonwitch/Tribulation/False (4/7, Mill City Nights, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, black metal, blackened thrash, concerts, doom, doom metal, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, norway, tours, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Decibel’s lineups for their annual tour never disappoint, and when I saw that Abbath was headlining this year’s edition there was no way I was going to miss. (I also never got to see Immortal, so there is that.) I was also really excited for the chance to see High On Fire, whom I have never seen despite the fact that it feels like they play here every other month, and Tribulation, whom I have also never seen.

My overall excitement was flagged a little by the fact that it was on a night I had class, so I GUESS I WILL JUST MISS TRIBULATION AGAIN. Someday. Someday I will see them. (Seriously. Every. Freaking. Time. Which deity did I piss off for this to happen? The one that governs graduate students? Because after seven years of grad school I believe that there is a malevolent deity in charge of it.)

Ahem. Anyway. I had class, so I had to arrive late and I got there about midway through Skeletonwitch’s set. Admittedly, I didn’t pay very good attention; I like Skeletonwitch fine, but I’m always a little distracted when I have to walk in on something halfway through. I wasn’t aware that their lineup had changed so much, as I’m only the most casual of fans, but I was impressed with their new vocalist. I saw enough of their set to hear a range of songs, including “Beyond the Permafrost” and a brand new track.

I didn’t get any pictures though, because I forgot that I am now snapping terrible pictures until later on in the evening. Whoops.

Next up was High On Fire, which was long overdue for me. They play here a lot, but I always have something else going on and never get to actually go. I have seen Sleep, but I hadn’t seen High On Fire, which is silly. They played “Speedwolf” and “Rumors of War,” and I noted that Matt Pike still hasn’t found his shirt, which means that God is still in his heaven and all is still right with the world.

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I was back sorta far, which was ok, because there was much moshing. 

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Doom.

Then was Abbath, who came out to a crazy, weird-sounding thing that was not unlike a movie soundtrack, which made me giggle. They opened with “To War,” which makes logical sense as the opening track on the new album, and then I got to deal with the crushing reality of the fact that Abbath and King ov Hell were less than twenty yards away from me. From that point on my brain kind of went into a weird euphoria and I spent the rest of the night alternating between singing along and screaming like a little girl in sheer excitement.

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King ov Hell and his glorious hair

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Dudes

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You can see Creature if you squint hard. This is about the best my little phone camera can do

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ABBATH!

Because I knew that they were going to play Immortal songs going in, but I didn’t expect damn near half the set to be Immortal songs. It was nuts. They pretty much alternated between the two all night. Most of the Abbath album got covered (“Fenrir Hunts” is fantastic live, by the way), and even though, with the exception of “Nebular Ravens Winter,” they didn’t play anything older than At the Heart of Winter, any Immortal is better than the alternative, which for me was never seeing anyone in Immortal play Immortal songs ever, and thus it was that I left that show a much happier person than I was when I went in. Also because they played “Solarfall,” and that’s about the point where my brain melted out my ears.

I admit, I had had a long and trying day and was very tired when I went to this show, and that paired with the knowledge that I’d be missing Tribulation again kind of put a damper on the start of my night. But I left there happier than I have been post-concert since that time I saw Mayhem and Watain on the same night. Holy crap. And if you think I’ve been doing anything but listening to black metal for a solid week now you’re kidding yourself.

Also, I missed our local False, who opened the show, and I just have to say- props to Decibel for letting those guys open. I don’t think that local bands get to open very many of the shows on the Decibel tour (and I understand why; there are always a lot of bands already playing), and it’s super cool that False was able to open for this. It’s also super lame that I missed it, but… well.

And let it be known, that the next day, in early April in Mpls/St. Paul, MN, we got heavy snow dumped on us all day. It didn’t stick, because the ground was too warm, but it’s worth noting that Abbath came to our cities in April and gifted us with a mini-blizzard.

-Hagalaz

 

 

Black Metal Problems.

Posted in black metal, musings, Uncategorized with tags , on April 12, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

If I had four more sets of ears, I could listen to Watain, Immortal, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, AND Marduk simultaneously.

…Abbath, what did you do to me? (Seriously. Something… is askew in my brain after that show. I- I can’t stop.)

-H

If there is an afterlife…

Posted in black metal, black metal history, dead, mayhem, memorial, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 10, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

…I can’t wait to spin old Venom records and have a beer with Dead. Twenty-five years is a long fucking time, and I never knew you, but I still think about you a lot.

Rest in peace.

dead

I got this image from Blogspot, and props to whoever cleaned it up enough that you can see that beginnings of that gigantic smile. 

-H

Review: Abbath – S/T

Posted in 2016, black metal, Reviews, true norwegian black metal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 8, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

As a longtime Immortal geek, I was, of course, saddened to hear that the band broke up. However, I was also just as excited to hear that Abbath was moving forward with his own work, and that means, of course, more of as-close-to-Immortal-as-we’re-gonna-get-anymore. I ordered my copy of the self-titled album through Amazon (since my beloved local metal shop is no more), and bitched extensively about the fact that I had to pay $20 for it. Of course, that was before it showed up in the post and I realized that it was the Super Special Awesome Edition with a whole lot of added swag, which left me deeply pleased and decidedly less bitchy.

Of course, with Abbath such a huge part of Immortal, the album sounds a lot like Immortal. “Ocean of Winds” in particular reminds me of Sons of Northern Darkness era Immortal. Likewise, “Endless” begins indicative of the blistering blast-beats and shredding that encapsulated the band’s early catalog, but also incorporates soaring sections that act as a logical extension of the sounds on All Shall Fall. Alternatively, I find hints of I’s more rock-driven catalog in Abbath as well.

This is not to say, however, that Abbath is not taking this solo project in its own direction. Abbath absolutely features completely new elements, both fun and refreshing. “Winterbane,” for instance, uses a syncopated beat that is new for this brand of traditional black metal and brings out the bass some in the mix. Likewise, “Ashes of the Damned” makes use of horns, adding an unexpected pop to chorus sections.

Of course there are bonuses as well— the album features a cover of Judas Priest’s “Riding on the Wind,” which gives you the super fun experience of hearing Abbath do Judas Priest vocals (no, he doesn’t sing them, you sillies, but it’s still amusing in the way that only Abbath is). We also get a re-recording of “Nebular Ravens Winter,” which you know is the reason that half of you bought this album in the first place. It, predictably, leaves nothing to be desired.

I was also really impressed with Creature’s drumming on this album- in times (particularly on “Ashes of the Damned”), it almost reminds me of Proscriptor McGovern’s drumming for Absu. We also get King resurfacing, who worked with Abbath on the I project. I’ve always really liked his bass playing, as well as his songwriting (though it looks as though Abbath was responsible for all of the songwriting on this particular album).

The special edition package that I accidentally (though happily) purchased came with a lot of cool features, including a wristband, a pin, a patch, and a nice collector’s box.

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The box is also huge. The Martian is there for comparison.

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\m/

Overall, call me super impressed. You get Immortal-esque stuff that is nevertheless interesting and forward-thinking, and if you get the box set you get lots of really cool stuff, too.

H’s favorite tracks: 
Winterbane
Ocean of Wounds
Fenrir Hunts
Nebular Ravens Winter (duh)

***

Next update will be earlier rather than later, because I just saw Abbath live last night and HOLY CRAP. Also, that’s why this update is not coming to you on a Thursday.

-Hagalaz