Archive for the 2014 Category

Mayhem at Burning Fist!

Posted in 2014, burning fist, mayhem, Reviews on July 10, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Since I’m sure you all have been anxiously awaiting my endless gushing about how awesome the new Mayhem is, you can read my review over at Burning Fist!

Ave.

-H

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Gratuitous Birthday Playlist 2014

Posted in 2014, black metal, blackened death metal, death metal, doom, local, mayhem, musings, stoner metal, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Well. This is late, and it’s late because I was busy being the birthday girl, something I don’t get to do very often because for some reason I’m always out of town on my birthday. But this year I wasn’t, and I spent a glorious evening with A at the HammerHeart Brewery followed by more hangs the next day with coworkers. And then I’ve been in Chicago, seeing Behexen (!) and Sargeist (!), which I will rave about soon enough.
However, here it is. My gratuitous birthday playlist for 2014!

***

1. Behemoth- O Father, O Satan, O Sun

I really love Behemoth’s new album, and I’m going to be working up a review for it soon. Suffice it to say for now that this song hits me right in the feels.

2. Iron Maiden- The Evil That Men Do

I kind of skipped Iron Maiden, having plummeted face first into symphonic black metal (I grew up on classical music. It was a natural progression). However, countless hours of listening to Maiden at DJ night over the past year has shown me the error of my ways, and I’m devouring this stuff like candy lately.

3. Behexen- Death’s Black Light

Behexen is on here because holy crap I got to see them the other night. That’s nuts. I never thought that would happen. They played this song too…

4. Sargeist- Let the Devil In

Also Sargeist. In terms of things I never thought I’d see live, they rank slightly higher than Behexen.

5. Arckanum- Þjóbaugvittr

I’ve been listening to a lot of Arckanum lately too. I love how meditative it is- the music is atmospheric and repetitive, but the subtleties in the melodies ensure that it never gets boring. Plus, Shamaatae is one of the most interesting figures in black metal to me, and I feel like Arckanum often gets overlooked.

6. Mayhem- Watchers

Y’all know already about me and Mayhem. Just like any long-time fan, I held my breath until I heard their new album, and was pleased to find that I loved it. Especially this song. Those riffs.

7. King Diamond- A Mansion in Darkness

Having secured my King Diamond ticket for St. Louis (!!!), I have also been listening to a lot of his solo work recently. I know Mercyful Fate much better, and I decided that it was nigh time I made myself more familiar with the King himself. This is probably my favorite track on Abigail– I love haunted houses.

8. Sleep- Dragonaut

My all-time favorite Sleep song. Dat bass. Dat doom.

9. Teitanblood- Silence of the Great Martyrs

We’re only halfway through, so I have yet to know for sure, but Teitanblood’s new one, Death, just might be my favorite album this year.

10. House of Atreus- Bastards on the Hillside

I’ve also been jamming out a lot to local legends (and good friends of mine) House of Atreus. Their new EP is brilliant stuff, and I have a review lying around here somewhere that I need to get edited…

11. Dissection- Dark Mother Divine

Shut up. I like this album.

***
So that’s it. My birfday playlist for THIS year. Watch this space- like I said, I’m in the editing stages of my House of Atreus review, and about to start on one for the new Behemoth. I got bit by the black metal bug BAD this past weekend, so I’m probably going to be churning out stuff more frequently again (also I will try to get up a review for the shows I saw in Chi-Town last week).
Ave!
-Hagalaz

Update: Canadian Venues

Posted in 2013, 2014, canada, tour dates, underground with tags , , , on June 27, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Last year I posted this about how small venues in Canada were going to charge an exorbitant tour tax for international bands and musicians, putting a real dent in the ability of low and mid-tier bands (and even top-tier metal bands a lot of times) to tour there. Well, I just got an email regarding that particular petition, and the tour tax is not going to go into effect. So score for underground music, and score for live music in general!

-Hagalaz

Happy Belated 20th Birthday, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas!

Posted in 2014, black metal, black metal history, mayhem, norway, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , on June 4, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

I remember the first time I heard Mayhem. It was probably November of 2009, and I was sitting on the floor in my room in my home town, my laptop on the floor beside me, wrapping a Christmas gift for my mom (Yes, it was early. I was living at home that year and I wasn’t home when she wasn’t very often. I had to seize the moment). I had just begun to delve deeper into black metal that wouldn’t get me made fun of, and I’d been marveling at Marduk and jamming out to Immortal on Pandora all day. And I had heard about Mayhem (I’d heard PLENTY; 21 year old me was pretty squeamish, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about the whole thing), but I had a hard time imagining that they could really be all that good. After all, they were famous for dying prematurely, yes?

And then Funeral Fog came on my Pandora station. It was love at first blastbeat. I grabbed my laptop, and by the time the song was over, Amazon.com was processing my order of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.

Mayhem’s first full-length record has awed, inspired, and baffled metal fans the world over in its 20 year life span. While many aspects of the music are inexplicable (a friend of mine told me that he just couldn’t seem to figure out “what Attila was going for with those vocals” no matter how much he listens to it), huge swaths of the thing’s history are just flat out unsettling. For instance, DMDS remains, to this day, the only record on which a murderer plays alongside his victim. Not to mention the fact that the lyrics to Life Eternal are part of Dead’s suicide note (I’m still trying to decide if I find that inclusion sweet or creepy). But despite its struggles the little album that barely could has become an integral part of black metal history, and remains required listening for anyone remotely into extreme metal.

And while yes, I am sure, we would have all loved to hear Dead’s vocals on the album (or at least on a super-secret, previously unreleased version of it), I personally have always liked Attila’s vocal work on DMDS. Yes. It is weird. But who better to get to do vocals on songs written by a man who died in his “I Heart Transylvania” shirt than a brilliant Hungarian musician with an impressive track record (Tormentor was quite a big deal. That pesky Iron Curtain kept getting in the way, though)? The vocals are unconventional, yes, but they are creepy as hell, and considering the legacy that Attila was acting as a part of, creepy far outweighs traditional. Plus, his chanting on the title track is chill-inducing.

But vocals aren’t the only big deal with DMDS. We also must pay homage to the musical stylings of black metal’s godfather himself, Euronymous, whose intentionally-shitty-sounding tri-tone chord spawned an entire subgenre. De Mysteriis was dedicated to Euronymous,- who died before it was released- and rightfully so; while Deathcrush is absolutely fantastic, it doesn’t represent the second-wave that has, for the most part, become synonymous with the entire subgenre in the way that DMDS does.

And of course those drums. The thing that got me. Hellhammer is a god on the kit, and I am a firm believer in the suggestion that the album that became the defining line for black metal in the 90s would not have existed in the same form without Hellhammer’s musicianship. It certainly would have never seen the light of day without his determination to push through and get the damned thing done, despite the horrific hardships that plagued the band.

There are a million reasons why De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas deserves a birthday notice, even if it is a little bit late. That bass riff on Pagan Fears is simply one of them (I figured I’d throw a bass shoutout in there, even though I don’t have a very high opinion of Mr. Vikernes and Necrobutcher didn’t play on the album). However, perhaps it’s greatest accomplishment is its monumental status as a relic representing both the birth of a new era and the demise of an older one.

Well, that, and the fact that, despite two horrendously violent deaths, jail sentences, Iron Curtains, and enough disharmony to fuel the powder keg that was Mayhem in the late 80s and early 90s, we actually have an album like De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas to listen to.

-H

Review: Teitanblood- Death

Posted in 2014, black metal, blackened death metal, death metal, Reviews, satan, spain, underground with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

It’s no surprise, I’m sure, that I was pretty much bouncing off the walls in anticipation of the new Teitanblood album. I have liked them ever since I stumbled across them… somewhere. I think it may have been the fact that they are on Noevdia, a label that has yet to let me down. I was intrigued to see what this one would sound like, since Seven Chalices is quite unlike anything else I’ve ever heard, and I positively loved Woven Black Arteries (I gave it a spot on my best of list in 2012. And it only has two tracks!).
Needless to say, probably, I wasn’t disappointed. I’m not making any official claims yet because there have been some other stunning albums come out this year already (looking at you, Mr. Warrior), but Death truly might be my favorite album of the year so far. Death is an incredible onslaught of gnarly, blackened, churning noise. It reminds me much more of Teitanblood’s later stuff like Woven Black Arteries and Purging Tongues than Seven Chalices, and I actually like that better (note, I like Seven Chalices, it’s just that it’s one of those I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It is still pretty baffling to me, and I do not think that is a bad thing). The first track, “Anteinfierno,” sets the stage for this blistering masterpiece, providing a near five minutes of thundering chaos.

Although Teitanblood is as chaotic and as noisy as always, Death nevertheless incorporates a substantial amount of structure. For all its unrestrained clamor, it nevertheless periodically shifts back to a riff that you can bang your head to for a bit, allowing for you to become a little grounded before being flung back into the madness. “Sleeping Throats of the Antichrist,” one of my favorite tracks on the album, showcases this really well. The riff at 9:15 is a good example of this returning to some kind of sane footing in an otherwise slippery song. It also provides a good example of one of my favorite parts of Death, which is the mixing.

Teitanblood has done… something… with the mix on this album. I don’t know what it is, entirely, but the low end occasionally drops out and sounds like it was recorded in some kind of chasm. The aforementioned riff is a prime example of this, and it’s always a puzzling and welcome addition when those parts drop in. “Cadaver Synod” also utilizes this type of mixing. Another cool aspect of the production on Death is the ambient noise that constantly permeates the album. While the production on Death is certainly not as low fi as that on Seven Chalices, it retains a noisy, white noise background that makes it feel as though there is constant movement. Between the dull roar in the background and the squeals of the guitars, it’s difficult to tell if Death has as many chanted vocals as I think I hear, or if that’s all just a part of the cacophony. Considering that I love my noisy black metal, I think that is awesome.

Perhaps the only time that the roar ceases is in the final track, appropriately titled “Silence of the Great Martyrs.” In typical bewildering fashion, the track has a lengthy pause halfway through, followed by eerie guitar noise, chimes, and chants that take you through to the records end. This makes for an especially fun experience if you are, say, listening to the album in your car, and you end with chimes and begin again with “Anteinfierno,” which is the equivalent of getting your face smashed with a brick in a good way.

Because I’m a dweeb, I bought Death on both CD and vinyl, and it sounds lovely on both. In regards to the vinyl, the aforementioned low-end parts sound reedier and feel like they almost have a buzz to them. Also, the sound on the vinyl is even fuller than on the CD, inasmuch as that is possible (really, the production on this thing is insane. I love it).

I just included pictures of the vinyl because it's so much bigger.

I just included pictures of the vinyl because it’s so much bigger. The CD has exactly the same stuff.

And it's a double LP, because of course it is. Three of the tracks clock in at well over 10 minutes.

And it’s a double LP, because of course it is. Three of the tracks clock in at well over 10 minutes.

One thing that was a letdown for me as far as Death is concerned is the album art. Having been completely spoiled by all the awesome artwork on Seven Chalices, I was expecting a like amount of creepy, Satanic sketches in the new album. There’s very little to the liner notes at all, however, other than the lyrics and some arcane symbols. That, and the picture of the band, which reminds you that, yes, that is two dudes making all that racket, just in case you forgot.

This is all we get.

This is what we get.

The gentlemen responsible.

The gentlemen responsible.

Unfortunately, none of this stuff this time around.

Unfortunately, none of this stuff this time around.

When I get a new album, I usually leave it in my car stereo for about a week until I switch it up again. Death sat in my car for 2.5 weeks when I first got it, and I still am unable to get enough of it. One of the reasons why I love my Noevdia bands so freaking much is that they are so internally complicated. Every single time I listen to Death I hear something new- it’s a noisy treasure trove of chaos, and just like the esoteric texts Teitanblood emulates, Death is going to require some serious study to truly grasp its secrets. 5/5 Lucifer sigils from me.

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks: Oh, I dunno. Pretty much ALL OF IT.

Ave. H.