Archive for the canada Category

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

 

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Concert: Mayhem/Watain/Revenge (1/17, Mill City Nights, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in . watain, canada, mayhem, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, revenge, sweden, tours, true norwegian black metal, watain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2015 by blackmetallurgy

Well, over a month after it happened and almost two weeks after I wrote this thing, I am finally putting up my live report from the front row of the Mayhem show. I blame my not-nearly-as-quick-as-I-had-anticipated recovery from oral surgery (turns out, getting your wisdom teeth out when you’re 27 kind of sucks), as well as preoccupation with school (one month left til I start my prelims, y’all).

But anyway, here it is. I treated this review as of a co-headlining tour, as I picked up from The Internet that that’s what it was, with Mayhem and Watain alternating the closing spot each night.

***

A couple of weeks ago, I got the rare, rare chance to see two of my favorite bands on the same stage in the same night. I don’t think I need to tell you all exactly how I feel about Mayhem, and Watain likewise holds a special place in my heart. Currently, I am in the midst of cultivating a love of Revenge, who I have clearly not paid enough attention to, although I know that they are a favorite amongst some friends of mine. Considering that they were one of the bands I missed at Maryland Deathfest a couple of years ago, too, I was looking forward to the opportunity to see them live and make that up (although I absolutely do not regret trading my potential time with them at MDF for meeting fucking Ihsahn).

A and I tried to get there early this time, figuring that there would be a ton of people going. Earlier in the day, A told me that she had seen several dudes in black battlejackets roaming the streets in downtown Minneapolis, so you know something was brewing. It’s not every day that black metal fans roam downtown in packs in broad daylight. However, we really didn’t have to wait in line long at all, the ticket handling seeming to run rather smoothly.

When we got inside the venue, A and I made our way to the front to stake our claim on the rail. Revenge started us off, obliterating everything with sheer, military-grade force. A friend of mine said that the sound was really bad during their set, but I admit I didn’t notice; I don’t know Revenge’s catalog that well (I KNOW. I’M WORKING ON CHANGING THAT. JEEZ.), and anyway, everything is exceptionally noisy when you are that close to the speakers. Revenge played several songs from the breadth of their career, including “Altar of Triumph,” “Traitor Crucifixion,” and “Banner Degradation- Exile or Death.” Despite any potential issues with the sound, Revenge’s set was pure brutality, and their straightforward approach to war-inspired black metal made for a devastating clarity.


[Also, it was fun to see all the dude-friends freaking out like little schoolgirls. Masculine ones, of course.]

If you ever wondered if Watain pulls out ALL of their stage set for an co-headlining slot, I can now tell you: the answer is yes, indeed. The Dark Gods are not going to settle for anything less, not when they know what they can expect from Watain. Even though their set was shorter than a standard headlining one, Watain completely destroyed it, both theatrically and musically. All the ritual was there too, with E praying at the altar at the end of the set and everything. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would be if the crowd had not seized the opportunity to yell a lot.

Watain also played songs ranging throughout their albums; “The Wild Hunt” was of course the mystical ballad song this time around (I am finally ready to admit that I may have missed my chance to see “The Waters of Ain” live), but they also played “Underneath the Cenotaph” (which I don’t think they played last time), “I Am the Earth,” and “On Horns Impaled,” ending with “Malfeitor.” It was nice to see a setlist so varied from the last one I saw Watain play, and they even altered the stage set this time around too, with skeletons and cages replacing the fence-like structures they brought with them last time.


[I am pretty sure I caught a glimpse of black wings somewhere during Watain’s set.]

Last but certainly not least was my beloved Mayhem. Attila did not disappoint in his unusual fashion choices; this night he was wearing military trappings on an unbelievably ugly sports jacket, and what I believe were rain boots. Throw in the bottle of wine that Necrobutcher was plowing through and you’re ready for a Mayhem party. Teloch was right in front of A and I, fully decked out in shrouded hood and cloak, which is cool, because I really dug his riffwork on Esoteric Warfare and it was fun to see that reproduced live.

Despite the fact that Mayhem is undoubtedly touring in support of Esoteric Warfare, their set was not concentrated on the new album (and when you have such an extensive backlog and history as Mayhem, that’s not surprising). “Psywar” they played, of course, but the set also featured songs such as “My Death,” “Chainsaw Gutsfuck,” “Freezing Moon,” and “Carnage” (for which I completely lost my shit. I LOVE that song). Of course they opened with “Deathcrush,” as usual, and they also played a track from Grand Declaration of War- hearing Attila’s version of Maniac’s voiceover live is its own kind of awesome. “Funeral Fog” was conspicuously missing, but that’s alright; there was more than enough old school Mayhem to keep the crowd satisfied.


[Follow the Freezing Moon…]

And speaking of the crowd, the one at this show was not the best, or so I am told. A and I were right up front, as I said, so we were out of the press for the most part, but I do recall some moshing going on, something I’ve never really understood at black metal shows. Watain got on and off stage without P having to crush anyone’s hands this time, though, thanks to Mill City’s stage setup, and as I mentioned, the only thing that I would have liked is if the crowd had quieted at the end of Watain’s set. But I guess we’re not all there for the same thing, and that’s okay too.

I had a Mayhem night at the merch booth. I had planned on getting a Revenge hoodie because I love their hoodies, but they didn’t have any, and Watain had very little merch as well. However, I was able to nab myself a standard issue Mayhem shirt (good because as least one of my Mayhem shirts is falling apart), as well as a Mayhem hoodie. Combined with a high five from Necrobutcher after the show, and that makes for a pretty awesome Mayhem experience.

Pretty standard, but awesome nonetheless.

Pretty standard, but awesome nonetheless.

Hoodie front

Hoodie front

Hoodie back

Hoodie back

Surprisingly, I didn’t experience any issues with security this time, although they apparently made life a little hard for a friend of mine delivering a stage prop to Hellhammer (it was not, nor had it ever been, alive, if that’s what you’re wondering). The security guys in front of me and A seemed cool enough, and they kept a good handle on some of the rowdier crowd participants without using the opportunity to be jerks.

Overall, I had a great time. I got to watch two of my favorite bands share a stage, and I got to grow a little more familiar with Revenge, whose music I clearly need to spend more time with. For a show that fell right after Dead’s birthday, it couldn’t get much better.
-H

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

Concert: 3rd Annual Decibel Tour- Carcass/The Black Dahlia Murder/Gorguts/Noisem (4/4, Mill City Nights, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in canada, concerts, death metal, england, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Note: My apologies for the formatting weirdness. I don’t know what’s going on.

***

Friday night I headed down to downtown Minneapolis to see the mighty Carcass! I saw them last year at Maryland Deathfest, but as a short person I had some trouble seeing everything (and I had to leave a little early), so I was looking forward to seeing them in a smaller venue. Plus I geeked out pretty hard over Surgical Steel– it was easily one of my favorite albums of last year.
When we got to the venue, Noisem was already playing, and we took the opportunity then to visit the merch booth. All of the bands had some pretty awesome stuff; my favorite thing was probably the Reek of Putrefaction coffee mug that Carcass had (I talked myself out of it because I decided that I probably don’t actually want to drink coffee out of an autopsy mug). I actually ended up with the girly shirt for once- they were out of mediums, which ended up being fine because the large fits me pretty perfectly. I liked how the shirt references both Reek of Putrefaction and Surgical Steel simultaneously, somewhat representative of the band’s career.

Also, pink blood-splatter!

Also, pink blood-splatter!

CarcassShirt1

Despite going shopping and saying hello to friends during part of it, I heard enough of Noisem to appreciate them (once again, I didn’t see a whole lot as I was stuck at the back at this point). Noisem plays old school, mid-90s era death metal; a friend said that he almost expected them to be wearing skater shoes and surf shorts. I need to spend some more time checking them out, because I really liked what I heard.

[Yet another brilliant band I missed at MDF last year. And that guy’s wearing a Minor Threat shirt! Win!]

Next up was Gorguts, who were spectacular. I don’t know much about Gorguts at all, to be honest, besides their last album Colored Sands, which I really loved. I am incredibly picky about my death metal, as I’ve said a million times before, and the band’s more recent output has been really enjoyable for me despite it being more technical than I generally like and more proggy. I thoroughly enjoyed their set, all the way down to their weird percussion on the drum kit.

[Drums.]

I wasn’t all that thrilled to see The Black Dahlia Murder- to be fair, I’ve never really listened to them, but they have one of those names that makes me skeptical. It wasn’t bad; they do what they do really well, even if it is a little bit too breakdownish for me at times. At least there weren’t any clean vocal choruses. Their bassist did really impress me, as he was finger-picking everything and playing some really fast stuff. Also, the kids really dug TBDM’s set and responded with tons of crowd surfing and moshing.

[His stomach-tattoo wasn’t doing it for me. Especially with the hashtag that it now has in front of it. o_O]

Last but certainly not least was the mighty Carcass, who made a comment about how everyone had gotten tired during The Black Dahlia Murder’s set and didn’t want to party with them (I heard from J, who is in Georgia now, that this is apparently a trend on this tour). Of course, the juxtaposition of the two bands makes you realize how much Carcass has slowed down since their gore-grind days, but I was thrilled to see them, considering that I missed the end of their set at Maryland Deathfest last year. And Carcass is exactly the kind of death metal I love- punky, with gratuitous, senseless violence.


They showed film clips during the set of really disturbing images, like surgeons cutting open body parts, etc. Of course, the music made a perfect soundtrack to these clips. Carcass played some songs from every album; unsurprisingly, most of the focus was on Surgical Steel, but they played some old grindy tunes and even a couple of tracks from Swansong, about which Jeff Walker made a joke about clearing the room. They also played “Captive Bolt Pistol,” which they claimed was their “ballad.” While I tend to get really tired during death metal sets and can’t really abide much more than an hour of a death metal band, Carcass has enough variation in their catalog that it never got tiring.


[Why did no one ever tell me that Bill Steer is HOT?!]
All and all, it was a great round three for the Decibel Tour. I’m interested to see the package they’ll put together next year- I’m still crossing my fingers for a Viking tour of some sort. Or maybe an obscure black metal tour, and they can help a band like Mgla get over here and stay awhile. Carcass was as completely fulfilling as I had hoped they would be, and I’m happy I had the opportunity to see Gorguts in a smaller venue as opposed to the monstrous crowd at MDF. The other bands pleasantly surprised me; a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Keep an eye out over here. I’m going to be getting more active again. Promise.
-Hagalaz

Hagalaz’ Favorite Black Metal Releases of 2013

Posted in black metal, blackgaze, canada, colombia, DSBM, france, musings, norway, sweden, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

In 2012, I felt like the overwhelming theme among the best black metal releases were the ones that took big risks- bands like Marduk and Deathspell Omega doing really interesting experimental stuff. This year, for me at least, the heavy hitters were bands that have traditionally been heavy hitters; the only difference is, in many cases, these are comeback albums. Satyricon, Arckanum, and Rotting Christ all put out albums that are, in my opinion, superior the their other recent releases. I decided to keep it to  ten this year- Horna and Woe were among those I cut, and I haven’t gotten to spend enough time with the new Sadgiqacea album, otherwise I’d probably have to revise again.

So without further ado:

Gehenna- Unravel

Gehenna’s mid-tempo dissonance has really peaked in this new album. Unravel is a dirge-like, doomy album, perfect for a funeral or a rainy day. I really like the influences I hear in this one- namely, French black metal and funeral doom- and the way that Gehenna has made them their own.

Satyricon- Satyricon

I didn’t expect much from the new Satyricon. The Age of Nero was okay, and I am one of the few people, I think, who genuinely appreciates Now, Diabolical. Still, Satyricon’s sound has been too polished for me lately, and even though the production is still a little *too* good on this new one, they’ve got their bite back for sure. There are some lovely black metal riffs in there, the ballad is not bad (seriously. What is it with ballads? So far those that have done it have done it well, but I hope this doesn’t become too much of a thing), and holy crap Frost’s drumming. That’s all I have to say about that.

Watain- The Wild Hunt

I was seriously doubting whether Watain would ever be able to surpass The Waters of Ain, and for me, I still don’t think they have. Nevertheless, the Swedes have proven their mettle with The Wild Hunt, experimenting with ballads and clean vocals and sticking it to those people who think they are simply Dissection clones.

Rotting Christ- Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy (Do What Thou Wilt) [No, I would not like to take a stab at it in Greek]

The new Rotting Christ was one of the first albums that I listened to this year, and I really wasn’t crazy about it. But then, a couple of months ago, I threw it on so I could have something good to work out to (Rotting Christ is great, I find, for inspiring one’s sit-ups), and all of a sudden it clicked. I haven’t been able to get enough of it since.

Deafheaven- Sunbather

Yup. I’m putting Deafheaven on my list. Sorry I’m not sorry, Trve Kvltists. Sunbather is a phenomenal album; I mean, Irresistible reminds me of Placebo, even (yes, the pop band. The awesome pop band).  The commentary that this album makes on American materialism is just proof that USBM never ceases to find interesting new ways to address darkness.

Summoning- Old Morning’s Dawn

Old Morning’s Dawn pretty much knocked my socks clean off when I heard it. This album is one of those that you should keep on reserve to put on when your unbeliever friends tell you black metal is just noise. Beautiful.

Arckanum- Fenris Kindir

Arckanum’s new album, Fenris Kindir, serves as a reminder of all the reasons why Arckanum is fantastic. Tungls Tjúgari is a churning, atmospheric nightmare, and Hamrami’s gorgeous soundscape evokes the mountains and forests in the way that only Shamaatae can pull off. (Listening to it right now reminds me that I need to spend more time in the woods. Wish it wasn’t so freaking cold out.)

Gris- À L’Âme Enflammée, L’Äme Constellée

Quebeçois DSBM masters Gris have graced us with a brilliant and lovely new album in the form of a 2 disc set (!!!!). In case you didn’t hear that right, that’s two whole discs of atmospheric, depressive loveliness. My brain doesn’t really know how to comprehend how cool that is, but I’m doing my best.

Inquisition- Obscure Verses For The Multiverse

Although I am still mourning the falling out between Antichrist Kramer and Inquisition that resulted in what I find to be some pretty silly cover art, Obscure Verses is an incredible album. Good old fashioned Inquisition mixed with some really cool effects with the guitar.

And, last but not least, my favorite black metal album of 2013, the album so nice, I bought it twice….

Aosoth- IV: An Arrow In Heart

Anyone who read my review of Aosoth’s newest back in June has the slightest inkling of just how crushingly hard-hitting this album was for me. As I was reflecting on my top ten again today, I spent some time listening to it again, and it’s still just as fraught with tension and cold as the first time I heard it. Brilliant. (And yes, I really did buy it twice. CD and double LP.)

***

Well, fellow kvltists, there you have it. My best of in 2013. I’m coming up with a not-just-black-metal list for Burning Fist, which is… difficult, to say the least, but I am working on it. And I’ll try to get caught up on the reviews, because I’m sure there are some people who haven’t bought the new Woe yet who wonder if it’s worth their buck (but not Inquisition. Everyone’s already got that one. Or they should. If you don’t, you should hand over your spiked gauntlets, because you’re not trve). Have a lovely new year, and I will see you soon, and often.

-Hagalaz