Archive for June, 2016

Gratuitous Birthday Playlist 2016

Posted in 2016, atmospheric black metal, black metal, DSBM, NWOBHM, swedish death metal, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Heeeeyyy everyone. It’s my birthday again! And that means you all get a post of what I’m listening to at the moment, about which you may or may not care at all! (I realized that I missed out doing this the past couple of years. I may need to do a couple of other random gratuitous N/P posts to make up for it.)

Anyhow, without further ado, here is what I’ve been jamming lately.

Shining

SHINING IS COMING TO NORTH AMERICA YOU GUYS. I have been stupidly excited ever since this was announced, so it’s probably no surprise that Shining has been on near-constant rotation for me lately. (Niklas Kvarforth is also apparently not a June-baby. Ah well. Can’t have ’em all, I suppose.)

Taake

All of these articles lately with the back and forth about SJWs in metal using Taake as an example has done literally nothing but make me want to listen to more Taake. So that is what I does. Also I just got my own copy of this album after loving it for years. (Also, a bonus. I picked Myr for the list because it has a sample from Rosemary’s Baby. Whose birthday is ALSO June 28th.

Venom

Another thing I recently acquired was Venom’s Black Metal on vinyl. Unsurprisingly, it’s been in the rotation too.

Dissection

Dissection gets a spot on the birfday playlist because they are Satan’s favorite band. Also, today is Jon Nötdveidt’s birthday too, RIC.

1349

It’s also Frost’s birthday, and while something from Nemesis Divina probably makes more sense (since it’s that album’s 20th anniversary), I just got the massive and awesome 1349 Candlelight Years box set- 4 albums and the official unofficial bootleg DVD. So cheers to Frost, who was also born on the best day ever.

Psychonaut 4


I have always been vaguely aware of Psychonaut4, but until my buddy actively pushed them on me a couple of months ago I’d never really listened to them. I love my DSBM, especially in the summertime (summer is the worst!), and Psychonaut4 is some of the best.

Abbath

Because the new album is still fantastic, even 6 months after its release. And because yesterday was Abbath’s birthday (I swear, all the kvltest kids are born in June.)

Dark Funeral


Also, Dark Funeral makes the list this year, because their new album is awesome.

Black Metal Surf Rock


I’ve also been listening to surf rock covers of black metal tunes because it’s summer, and I made myself a mix cd of some of the greatest hits from YouTube the other day.

Ravencult


I also picked up Ravencult’s Morbid Blood the other day, an album that’s been on my list for a long time but I never got around to getting. If you don’t know Ravencult, but you like good, thrash-tinged black metal, you should give them a listen.

So there you have it, kids. Hopefully I’ve managed to channel some frostbitten grimness into your summer.

-H

Advertisements

Upcoming Release: Unreqvited – Disquiet

Posted in atmospheric black metal, black metal, canada, DSBM, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 23, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

So while I have two huge assignments and one little one due this week and am spending time listening to music so that I can review things, I’m going to take this time to plug something I’m excited about.

Unreqvited is an atmospheric/DSBM/post-black metal band from Canada (a country that seems to do this sort of thing well. Gris, anyone?). I was first made aware of Unreqvited while doing this thing that I do every once in a while where I just go through and listen to the front page of whatever is posted in the DSBM subreddit, and the first released track, “Disquiet” (which is also the title track of the upcoming album) was one of the things posted. It says something, I think, when you are listening to a whole bunch of really fine DSBM all at once and then you hear something that gets you as pumped as this track did for me. I immediately went and posted it on Facebook and yelled about it a little bit because I get excited about these things.

From what I can tell from Bandcamp and Facebook, which isn’t a whole lot, Unreqvited appears to be a one-man project. So far there are only two tracks released, the aforementioned one and another called “Maydena” (which was shared on YouTube by Lightfox177, who is very on top of things and whose opinions are way more respected than mine, so you should pay attention). There’s a really lovely blend of distortion and clean-sounding keyboards here, and I am seriously digging the screams. The two tracks currently available are fantastic, and I cannot wait to hear the rest of this thing come October 1.

Like, seriously, I’ve not been this excited for a debut in a long time.

In the meantime, if you want to follow Unreqvited like I am doing, you can find the band on Facebook or Bandcamp (and also on occasion in various black metal related subreddits). Disquiet is set for release through Pest Productions on October 1.

-Hagalaz

 

Black Metal Videos, Take 2 (2016 Edition)

Posted in 2016, black metal, france, greece, music video, norway, sweden, videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

DUDES. I’m sorry this is late. I got bogged down in work and homework and then I went to see Jaws in a theater and I forgot to post. Anyway, here’s this spacefiller post that I’m totally not happy with. Hopefully someone gets something out of it.

***

The other day, I read back over the post that I did on black metal music videos a few years ago, and decided it was probably time for another. This coincided with the release of the new Dark Funeral video for “Unchain My Soul,” which is astoundingly goofy and worthy of sharing (although the song is very decent, says the girl who doesn’t like Dark Funeral all that much). There’s not much of a point to this post beyond “look at this cool stuff that has happened” and some observations about the changing nature of black metal cinematography, but it’s always good to have more music video fodder, yes?

So let’s just start Dark Funeral, shall we? Dark Funeral has a new album coming out this year, and I actually like “Unchain My Soul,” despite my typical stance that they haven’t done anything good since the 90s (it’s horribly overproduced, in my opinion, but it’s catchy). The video, however, J described as looking “like a video game from 2004.” I’m not sure what the message is here, unless it is that dark hooded figures associated with black metal and Satan like to walk in the woods, which is kind of a given. Although the pig’s head is a nice touch in a throwback-to-the-early-nineties-Mayhem sort of way. (Aaand I’ll be reviewing this album soon over at Burning Fist, so yay!)

My personal favorite part of this video is the flaming pentagram and inverted crosses. It’s got a certain “Satan’s first Geocities website” flair to it.

Fortunately for all of us, it seems that we may get more silly black metal videos as Dark Funeral’s competition over in Norway, Dimmu Borgir, have promised us a new album for 2016. You know you’re excited for more stuff like this. I share this one because it’s obviously the best Dimmu lineup.

I also share it because I don’t know what’s going on here. At all. But it’s going on in glorious, high definition.

Rotting Christ has also been busy with the video-releasing in support of their (awesome, excellent, you need to check it out if you haven’t) new album Rituals. First of all, there’s this little gem that I yelled a bit about last week, which is a hymn to Shiva, and then No Clean Singing brought this to my attention a couple of days ago, making me glad I held off on this post. Watching this video brings out even more really cool aspects of the record, and now I’m looking forward more than I was before to doing a review of this for y’all.

Additionally, Abbath’s new video for Winterbane is also really cool. You get traditional Immortal synchronized headbanging, but that’s… about it really. There’s no crabwalk, and this video actual features a shaman-ish troll-ish forest creature thing… I have no way to accurately describe it. But it crawls into the water all Jenny Greenteeth-like, but since I’m pretty sure the imagery isn’t Celtic that doesn’t fit. Either way, it’s super cool, and where the stars go all sparkly at 3:07 makes me super happy. King ov Hell’s bass lines also get emphasis in the video, which is cool (hooray for bass in black metal!) and Abbath’s look at the end is fantastic.

Bonus- there’s an un-corpse-painted Abbath face in this video.

At the risk of inundating you with lyric videos, because that is the hip thing to do if you are black metal band putting out music in 2016, I will leave you here with an older video. I like to imagine that Aosoth made this video at the behest of a long-suffering agent, and chose the longest song on the album out of which to make a terrifying visual. It’s gloriously creepy and obnoxious because of it’s sheer length, and you get to listen to Aosoth while it plays (you luckies).

Enjoy, kids. And I’ll be back soon where I will assuredly scream about fun things like the fact that I get to see SHINING and PANOPTICON in the fall and DESTROYER 666 and GHOST next month and that MARDUK ❤ is coming back to play in ma ville. Also the brand spanking new book that Necrobutcher wrote that appeared on my doorstep yesterday, and all sorts of fun things.

-H

 

 

Happy Birthday, King Diamond!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 14, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Another metal June-baby! We are legion.

-H

New Rotting Christ Lyric Video for देवदेवं (Devadevam)

Posted in black metal, greece, music video with tags , , , , on June 9, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Hi kids.

I don’t have anything for this week yet (sorry). School started back and I have a new work schedule, and I’ve all but written up a second post on black metal music videos but I hate it right now, so until it looks like something I want to share with people I’m not gonna.

In the meantime, Rotting Christ just released a new lyric video a couple of days ago. It’s a hymn to Shiva, the Hindu Destroyer God, and it’s in Sanskrit, which is kind of super awesome. It has Kathir from Rudra on vocals. A helpful dude in the comments also supplied an unofficial translation.

I plan on reviewing Rotting Christ’s new album Rituals soon, because it’s amazing. If you haven’t heard it yet you should get thee hence and do so, and in the meantime, trance out to this one in particular because it’s great.

I’ll be back with goodies soon.

-H

 

The world could do with a little more…

Posted in black metal, memorial, sweden, viking metal with tags , , , , on June 4, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Peace, love, and the understanding that Blood Fire Death is the best Bathory album.

Nope. That’s not an opinion, just a fact. Sorry. I don’t make the rules.

I am also aware that this is a day late. RIP, Quorthon. You were a genius, and the metal world still misses you.

-H

Band Spotlight: Arckanum (Sweden)

Posted in band spotlight, black metal, sweden, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

A few years ago, I was in the record store and noticed that we had a copy of Arckanum’s Fenris kindir on limited red vinyl. Actually, we had three. And my first thought was, “Why are these here? Why have they not sold?” My nigh-simultaneous next thought was, “Arckanum? Is that that troll-looking guy? Why don’t I know anything about them?” So I went home and listened to me some Arckanum, and then I went back and bought that record because holy crap it’s fantastic. And then I scolded my Facebook friends and said, “You guys, there’s only 150 of these red vinyl copies in the whole world and this is a great album! Go buy it and quit embarrassing me!”

fuckoffarckanum

It also comes with a friendly message.

 

And then I became completely and utterly puzzled, because as I started perusing Arckanum’s back-catalog, I realized that literally all of it is fantastic. So why is this band overlooked in all the black metal books, etc.?! As I normally do when I get frustrated about good bands being overlooked, I’m going to write a post about it so that you know who Arckanum is beyond “that troll-looking guy” and you can tell all your friends that they’re goofballs if they don’t like it.

osmose prod

“Come along, kids, and we’ll learn about Chaos-Gnosticism and wolves together!” (Image from Osmose Productions.)

If you know Arckanum well, well, this article isn’t for you. If you don’t know Arckanum well, this is probably what you know Arckanum from:

This little cinematic gem is Shamaatae doing really serious shit in the woods; unfortunately, it’s damn near incomprehensible if you don’t get what he’s all about and it’s sort of goofy-looking, because black metal wasn’t something you filmed with fancy cameras back in 1995. There’s a lot more to Arckanum than what you see here. Although, yeah, he’s still got that getup. Still.

spirit of metal

Shamaatae in HD. (Image from Spirit of Metal.)

Arckanum grew out of Sweden in a little town of 10,000 people called Mora. Mora is an ancient place; according to Wikipedia, there are signs that humans have inhabited the area since 4000 BC. It was also the site of a famous witch trial in the 18th century, and is the home of a church that is all the rage on Google maps in terms of things to tag. Mora municipality is just south of the Swedish mountain range and the town is bordered by lake Siljan and lake Orsasjön, and it also is situated on the west side of Europe’s largest meteor impact crater. Which basically means that Mora is in the center of a metric crapton of geographical awesomeness. It’s also probably the reason why Arckanum just sort of sounds like the woods. (Info on Mora is from Wikipedia.)

Arckanum sleeve

And then you get lovely images like this one, from the Fenris kindir LP sleeve.

The band was formed in 1992 by Johan “Shamaatae” Lahger, AKA the guy in the mask, and Shamaatae has remained the one constant band member throughout the years (Wikipedia’s page on Arckanum cites Sataros and Loke Svarteld as former members). Shamaatae writes and plays all the music himself, and dedicates his albums to his wife and kids (can this guy be any more wonderful? Oh wait, he can? Keep reading.) Arckanum is also one of those bands that is fortunate to have a consistently strong catalog. Of course, as the years go along, the production gets better and Arckanum has definitely found a formula that works, but the band’s catalog is full of cool chants, trancelike passages, and interludes that are, quite frankly, just flat-out beautiful.

Arckanum’s imagery is more felt than is something you can understand through the lyrics, mostly because, in my research, I learned that the lyrics seem to be in an old Swedish dialect that most Swedes today don’t even understand, and that even Shamaatae isn’t entirely sure 100% of the time though he tries to keep it as true to form as possible (I wouldn’t have known. My Swedish is atrocious. Jag talar inte Svenska). (I did some digging and found info on this both on the Arckanum Wikipedia page and on NWN’s message boards.)

[This is apparently a modern Swedish translation. I trust that about as far as I can throw it, but then, what do I know. I don’t speak Swedish.]

In terms of the band’s sound, I once tried to describe it to a friend as “sort of like Burzum-sounding, but Swedish,” but I still feel that’s only partially right. Many of the songs have a repetitive, atmospheric quality that I associate with Burzum’s early stuff, so that’s probably why I described it that way. However, I wasn’t kidding about the Swedish part. Swedish black metal tends to be much more melodic than Norwegian black metal, no doubt because of Swedish death metal, and Arckanum is no exception. The repetition in Arckanum’s music speaks to the band’s spiritual focus- personally, I find that it feels almost like a meditation. Likewise, Arckanum uses lots of forest sounds in the music, particularly wolves howling (Shamaatae must really like wolves. Wolves and Fenrir all over the place. Which is not surprising). These samples give the music a suitably wild feel.

Which is flat out cool, by the way, and one reason I love Arckanum so much. In another true to form example of Swedish black metal versus Norwegian black metal, Arckanum is all about Satanism in a way that, we’ll use Burzum as a corollary because it seems to work, isn’t. Specifically, Arckanum’s music focuses on anti-cosmic Satanism, and did so way before Dissection and Watain made it cool. However, Shamaatae seems to put a lot of focus on Scandinavian mythology as well; “Svarti,” the first track on Antikosmos, invokes Loki, Fenrir, Hel, and Jörmungandr, for instance. You guys know me- I get super excited about mythologies I know things about, and when you get special blends of stuff like you do with Arckanum, I get even more excited. Not to mention that Shamaatae has also done some workings with Pan, which is pretty much instantaneous I-love-you-forever points in my book.

Oh. That’s right. Maybe I didn’t mention that Shamaatae, who also goes by the names Vexior and Ekortu, is a serious practicing mage and writes books on the occult, namely anti-cosmic Satanic material, Chaos-Gnosis, and Thursatru, which links Chaos-Gnosis with Scandinavian mythos. I’m not going to spend a ton of time talking about this here because this is an article on Arckanum and not Vexior/Ekortu’s occult writings, but even more importantly, I’d like to read them myself before I blather on too much about stuff I haven’t read. Suffice it to say, however, that the man behind Arckanum is a seriously cool and interesting individual, which places him pretty much at the top of my list of people I’d love to sit and have coffee with. Or strange tea. Whichever.

In short, if you’re not familiar with Arckanum, you should be. Arckanum is much more than just that band that made a completely inexplicable video that crops up on everyone’s “silly black metal videos” list. It’s consistently good black metal, alternatively raw and atmospheric, a reminder that the Great God Pan is not dead and of the importance of the woods and the wild places that still remain.

wormgearzine

Image from Worm Gear Zine.

-Hagalaz