Archive for the atmospheric black metal Category

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

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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

 

Concert: Behemoth/Myrkur (4/30, Mill City Nights, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, atmospheric black metal, blackened death metal, denmark, doom metal, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, poland, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

When I heard that Behemoth was planning a tour in which they were going to play The Satanist top to bottom, I knew I had to go. I absolutely love that album, and Behemoth has yet to disappoint at a live gig. (Seriously. They have one of the best stage shows ever.) The fact that this was happening on Walpurgisnacht was, well, an added bonus. Who would pass that up?

Anyhow, I had somehow managed to forget that Myrkur was opening until a couple of days before the show. I reviewed her EP over at Burning Fist when it first came out and was really impressed with it, and just as equally dismayed by the sheer amount of hate that she got. The full-length album, M, was far less interesting to me (I never ended up getting it and I don’t really feel an aching need to), and I kind of lost track of her beyond vaguely jumping into conversations on the internet on occasion to slap people on wrist for being douchy. (Seriously. There are legitimate reasons why people are upset over Myrkur, and I understand those. But there are a lot of meatheads out there who think girls have no place in metal, and those people… can fuck off and die. But this is a concert review and that is a post for another day.)

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Myrkur

Myrkur’s live performance went, for me, much like the records did. I really liked the stuff she did from the EP, and the rest I thought was a little repetitive. However, I was really impressed to see her play keyboards and guitar both, and I was glad that she got such a positive reception from the crowd. A friend of mine mentioned that parts of her set sounded a lot like doom, and I found myself agreeing with that assessment. She ended the set with a cover of Bathory’s “Song to Hall Up High,” though, and I, uh, may have gotten something in my eye…

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I was happy that she played some instruments herself

Then, after a fairly lengthy pause, Behemoth took the stage. Behemoth is consistently good as a live act, but tonight they pulled out ALL the stops. In terms of just the stage show, Behemoth hauled out video screens for this one and showed video clips throughout the set, including the super creepy video for “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel.” (If they have done this in previous times that I have seen them, I don’t recall it.) Nergal also carried out one of those swingy-ball-o-incense-thingies that they use at Mass at one point (shut up; I’m not Catholic, I don’t know what it’s called). There was also a mock Communion, and the fans in the front of the stage got to eat up a bunch of Communion crackers. Also, Orion spit blood all over a crucifix he was holding upside down at the end of “Amen.” It was more live blasphemy than you could shake a stick at, along with a mosh pit that was positively churning the entire time.

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Fire: Never not a great idea

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Swingy-ball-‘o’-incense-thingy

Of course, Behemoth played The Satanist all the way through, ending with “O Father, O Satan, O Sun” and coming out for the last part with the horns on like they do. (So cool.) They played a handful of other songs afterwards, however, including “At the Left Hand ov God,” “Slaves Shall Serve,” “Antichristian Phenomenon,” and “Conquer All.” It was a fantastically fun show, and my doom metal buddy was even impressed despite Behemoth not being his typical thing.

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Inferno destroying everything. Seriously. He is one of my favorite drummers

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Happy Walpurgisnacht from Behemoth \m/

I actually did come away with some merch for this one. It had been a long time since I had a Behemoth shirt, and I couldn’t turn down this one with the Virgin Mary on it. It also occurred to me that I didn’t have a Behemoth patch for the jacket, which seemed wrong for someone who has now seen them four times, so I got one of those as well. I also picked up Myrkur’s EP; I had had a digital copy of it before from when I reviewed the album, but when my iPod corrupted in the fall and ate all my files I lost it.

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“Put me on the blog, mom!” Demanding Cat is demanding. (I know you are jealous of my kvlt Hello Kitty blanket) 

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The text on the patch that you can’t read very well says “The Satanist”

April has been absolutely nuts with shows just about twice a week, and now I feel like we’re about to hit a massive dry spell (there’s some really cool stuff coming up this summer, like Swans (!) and The Body, but it’s more spread out). However, Behemoth on Walpurgisnacht is a pretty good way to end a busy April, and very fortifying for the end of the semester that I’ll be fighting through the next couple of weeks.

I’ll be back next week; I’m almost done with Nergal’s biography, so I’m planning on writing on that, as well as the new Rotting Christ (I’m still on my first listen, but my rash impulse is to say this is even better than the last, which I loved), and I still need to write that post about why you all are so wrong about Reinkaos. (I’d put a winky emoji but I feel like that’s inappropriate.)

Until then…

-Hagalaz

Concert: Taake/Young And In The Way/Vattnet Viskar (2/27, Triple Rock, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, atmospheric black metal, black metal, concerts, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, post-black metal, punk, tours, triple rock, true norwegian black metal, Uncategorized, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

A while back, A and I went to see Taake play for the first time ever in Minnesota! The show was at the Triple Rock, and I was a bit nervous going in as I expected it to be super crowded and the Triple Rock is… well, it’s not the worst venue to be packed into, but it isn’t the best either. There were a lot of people there, but it wasn’t so insanely packed that you couldn’t move around comfortably.

Vattnet Viskar was the opening band- no local bands opening for this one. VV hails from Plaistow, NH. From what I can tell, their music is kind of blackish-psychedelicish metal in the vein of The Atlas Moth but a little more spacey. Their guitarist was a very excitable young man, and spit a lot (nothing against him. Everyone was spitting a lot. There was spit everywhere. Seriously. So much bodily fluids. Wth). This style of USBM is really cool and interesting, and I will have to keep an eye on Vattnet Viskar in upcoming years. I feel like if they keep promoting themselves and can definitively set themselves apart from other psychedelic-sounding post-black bands they will do really well.

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Vattnet Viskar

 It’s not Vattnet Viskar’s fault that I wasn’t in the mood for that kind of black metal, though. Young And In The Way more hit the spot, considering that my mood was and has not been the best in the past month, and I really wanted to smash something about then. Of course, I didn’t, but the crowd sure did- and here is where I was glad that there was plenty of room to maneuver in the venue, because the crowd on the floor was moshing pretty hard. Being a bit of a purist, I am usually really bitchy about people moshing at black metal shows, but if you are going to mosh at a black metal set, YAITW is pretty much where you should do that. The band was great, the crowd was great, the energy between the two was intense, and I came off YAITW’s set much happier than when I’d gone in.

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Young And In The Way

At last, Taake took the stage! It was unreal, really, getting to see them, as they are one band I had pretty much resigned myself to never getting to see (what with them picking the wrong year to attend Deathfest and then cancelling the Chicago show last summer). A and I were practically quivering with anticipation when we saw the banjo sitting on the side of the stage, which meant that they were going to, and did, play Mir. They also played Fra Vatested til Vaandesmed, my personal favorite, which kind of made the night for me. They also did a cover of G.G. Alin’s “Die When You Die,” with a guest vocalist (I am not sure who it was. If any of you reading this can help me out, please do!). Also, we got to watch Hoest kill a whole bottle and a half of what I’m pretty sure was wine right onstage. Overall, it was incredible; I’m still a little shocked that it actually happened. Mgła and Taake in the same year? I’m both grateful and amazed that this caliber of black metal is touring the States right now.

A special shout-out to the security dude who was standing next to me during Taake’s set, as he wiped up spit and spilled wine and kept Hoest from falling to his untimely death over the dismembered mic stands all night. Triple Rock, that guy deserves a raise. Seriously.

***

I’m going to try to keep this thing updated a bit better now that the record store is closed and I can’t bitch about metal there (I need SOME venue to bitch about it in). I’m thinking Thursdays may be the lucky day, but I need a bit to see if it’s going to be every week or bi-weekly. I’m also going to switch over to just uploading images instead of linking out to videos, so as not to bog down people’s computers (mine included). In the interest of this, please ignore their shoddy quality.

-H

Review: Klor- Klor

Posted in ars magna recordings, atmospheric black metal, black metal, denmark, Reviews with tags , , , , , on January 30, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

**Edited 1/30/14, because the Danes are from Denmark, not the Dutch. My bad. In my defense, I’ve had a toothache and have been on a LOT of painkillers this week.**

Klor’s self-titled debut packs a huge punch in an unassuming package. This Danish band reminds me in many ways of bands like Taake and Mgla- bands that take traditional black metal sounds and combine them in new and original ways, resulting in a fresh and alluring sound.

Although Klor utilizes a lot of distortion on this album, the chord progressions are often melodic, shifting to unexpected resolutions. The opening track, “Ancient Timer,” provides an excellent example of this technique. The result is something that sounds forest-like to me; although it’s a dark sound, it also reverberates with a feel of wonder.

Klor would probably be happy to know my opinion of that sound, considering that the album as a whole draws on a lot of woodland imagery. Songs like “Criminal Youth of the Woods,” “Helmet Overgrown With Weeds,” and the beautifully named “Ghostlip,” all evoke images of a natural setting.

Even some of the heavier pieces on the album, like “Criminal Youth of the Woods,” have some lovely parts (around 2:16 in particular). “Sunroom” uses harmonies that I normally associate with post-black metal or blackgaze, but the tempo is much faster than that particular subgenre normally is. The guitar harmonies are incredible on this track, and the eerie keyboard opening is a welcome shift in pace before the track blasts off, ending abruptly.

As mesmerizing as the pretty parts of the album are the churning, dissonant passages. “Helmet Overgrown With Weeds” makes use of this technique, wedged in between a post-black metal feeling opening and woodsy bell-tones at the end.

As I mentioned above, the wilderness feel of Klor extends beyond just the feel of the music and the song titles. The album artwork is also inundated with forest imagery, which is what drew me immediately to the album. The back cover lists the names of the songs with plants, feathers, and other nature imagery corresponding with the titles. However, the simple black and white background does little to prepare you for the inside artwork. Seafoam green and bright orange, the inside of the case is highly unexpected, as with so much of this album.

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I’m told this says “Klor.”

This color scheme was rather unexpected.

This color scheme was rather unexpected. I really like the contrast with the black and white disc, though.

This makes my little foresty heart happy.

This makes my little foresty heart happy.

The production on Klor’s debut is very good; the instruments and vocals are accommodated nicely in the mix. I only could make out the words clearly at a couple of points, which means that the vocals were blending into the mix in the way that I really love when it comes to black metal. Especially since Klor is such an atmospheric album, I feel like the blending of vocals with instruments and the meticulous highlighting of the more unconventional and post-black metal parts serve the band well.

Quite frankly, I love this debut album from this little Danish band I had never heard of until recently. It’s astoundingly original and fresh- although the album draws on post-black metal/blackgaze, which is really popular right now, Klor approaches these subgenres in a new way. It’s always exciting to hear new things in black metal, especially with how popular the genre has become. Please give Klor a listen; trust me, you won’t regret it.

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks:

Ancient Timer

Sunroom

Ghostlip

ALSO, A special thanks to Ars Magna Recordings for sending me this album and allowing me to review it! I really appreciate your support!

-Hagalaz