Archive for the death metal Category

Hagalaz’ Valentine’s Playlist

Posted in black metal, death metal, grindcore, marduk, mayhem, NWOBHM, retro occult rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2015 by blackmetallurgy

Well, it’s that time of year again, when everyone starts pairing off in preparation for the annual spring mating season, which may or may not come to Minnesota this year considering that within the past couple of days we have plummeted into a second ice age. I will be spending MY Valentine’s day with some Schell’s Chimney Sweep and some retro sci-fi flicks, along with mini bundt cakes that my sent me in the mail. Which is really just as well.

Image from fuckyeahmetalecards on tumblr.

Image from fuckyeahmetalecards on tumblr.

But since nothing says “I love you” like a heaping pile of noisy extremity, I decided that I would post a playlist today for all your Valentine’s needs. So without further ado…

#11. Iron Maiden- 22 Acacia Avenue

For all the lonely hearts out there, Charlotte’s gotcha covered.

#10. Bathory- Woman of Dark Desires

Who knows how far Ms. Bathory’s desires went beyond bathing in the blood of virgins?

#9. Ghost- Monstrance Clock

Let’s play the word association game, boys and girls!

#8. Mayhem- Necrolust

Yeah, ok. So that’s pretty self-explanatory.

#7. Cannibal Corpse- Fucked With a Knife

You know. If you’re into that sort of thing.

#6. The Devil’s Blood- Cruel Lover

“I am the sound of the whip, and the pleasure of slaves…”

#5. Anal Cunt- I Respect Your Feelings as a Woman and a Human

Ah, romance.

#4. Gorgoroth- Unchain My Heart

Every time I hear this song or see the title, I’m reminded of the following, which was a big hit back when I was in junior high.

#3. Marduk- Bleached Bones

You know, in case you want some more necrophilia.

#2. Carcass- Microwaved Uterogestation

“Genital Grinder” is the obvious choice here. But you have to admit there’s something romantic about “Microwaved Uterogestation,” too.

#1. Celtic Frost- Tristesses de Lune

Because I love this song. So there.

So yes. Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

-Hagalaz

Concert: Sargeist/Acid Witch/Empyreus/Strix Nebulosa/Jex Thoth (7/6, Beat Kitchen, Chicago)

Posted in black metal, chicago, concerts, death metal, doom, finland, orthodox black metal, psychedelic rock, retro occult rock, satan, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

***NOTE: Alas, there are no vids this time. For some reason, WordPress (or this post in particular, perhaps) is not letting me embed videos. So I don’t have those for you. I do have a few pictures from the shows, but they aren’t all uploaded on my computer so I will have to do a follow up post of those.***

Night two of my and A’s black metal weekend was a significantly longer bill, featuring a wide range of music. I was a bit in shock that I was going to get to see Sargeist- I figured that would never happen, even less of a chance than Behexen. Also, I was looking forward to seeing Acid Witch as A really loves them, as well as Jex Thoth, because I have fallen pretty hard for that weird 60s occult rock stuff. The crowd was also substantially bigger than the previous night; I think a lot of people were there for Acid Witch, as they don’t seem to play live often. Also, as I mentioned before, I think Sargeist live is an even rarer event than Behexen.

The show started off with Jex Thoth, who danced up on stage wearing a Red Riding Hood-like cape (I have a similar one, actually!) and carrying burning sage. As much as I love my black metal, I’d say that she was seriously in danger of stealing the show- the crowd adored her, and she would often jump down into the crowd to give people sage to hold and to whisper in certain people’s ears. For me, the performance was really cool because it was such a huge contrast to The Devil’s Blood- Jex Thoth is constantly in movement when she’s performing in direct contrast with The Mouth of Satan- even though the music evokes the same era. It was very cool to see the Satanic 60s depicted in a different way.

Next up was Strix Nebulosa. Their approach to black metal was an interesting one considering the crowd- these guys seem to use a more pagan, nature-y commentary on the genre as opposed to a Satanic one. When the vocalist announced that “there is no God, no Satan, only Nature,” A and I exchanged looks; them’s strong words in that crowd. I missed the very first part of Strix Nebulosa’s set, but ended up catching most of it, and I have to say that I enjoyed what I saw. It’s not easy to pull off two-man black metal, and they managed to do it well.

The next band was a local Chicago band called Empyreus, whom I really enjoyed. Empyreus’ style of black metal was more bombastic than Strix Nubulosa’s, and you could tell that this group had been playing together for quite a while. I saw a number of people in the crowd sporting their shirts, so they clearly are well known locally. Their original stuff was excellent, and as an added surprise they played a very well received cover of Celtic Frost’s “Morbid Tales.”

After Empyreus, we switched gears entirely, moving on to the deathy doom of Acid Witch. As I mentioned above, I never really listened to Acid Witch, but considering that horror movies are my other big geekery, I am officially a fan now. Their use of synth is really cool, and I love the cackles that the vocalist throws in. Unfortunately, there seemed to be some miscommunication between the band and the venue in terms of how much time they had- Acid Witch had two more songs to play when they were told they had to stop. The crowd was upset, as seeing Acid Witch play is seemingly a rarer occurrence than I had realized, but in the interest of not pissing off the Finns (they don’t seem like the type you’d want to piss off), it was probably for the best. The guys from Acid Witch were also super cool and very professional about the whole thing, and I enjoyed getting to talk horror movie soundtracks briefly with them.

Finally, Sargeist took the stage, plunging us once again into Satan sans the Sam Rami-esque camp. By this point my neck was starting to get understandably sore (I haven’t done two nights in a row in quite a while), but I couldn’t help but bang my head anyway. My heart jumped up in my throat when they played songs that I knew from listening sessions with J, and it was cool to see several of the same guys in a slightly different element than the previous night. I assumed that they would just use the same members for each night, but turns out they brought the whole crew- while Shatraug (guitar), Horns (drums), and Hoath Torog (vocals) were back for round two, another guitarist and bassist joined them on stage.

Sargeist started out with “Satanic Black Devotion,” and also played “Black Fucking Murder” from the same album. After the show, a couple of friends of mine suggested that hearing “Let the Devil In” would have made the night just that much better, but damn if it wasn’t a hell of a show anyway. Sargeist played a little bit longer than Behexen did the night before, but the night was still entirely too short. On the way out, I thanked Shatraug for the wonderful weekend and wished him and the bands safe travels on their tour before heading back to the hotel for a much needed shower and to split a bottle of Surly Pentagram with A.

As I mentioned last time, Sargeist was completely out of merch, so I didn’t end up getting anything from them but the patch from the night before (which is good, honestly- it meant I had gas money to get back to the Cities). I ended up with a Jex Thoth shirt. The merch guy asked if it was ok if it had European tour dates from 2012 on the back, and I said sure, that I thought the little demon dude on the front was cute. He reminds me of Clive Barker’s artwork, or of the little wolf dude from the new Arckanum record.

20140717_164651

A little blurry. But you get the picture (no pun intended)

Europe dates I didn't go to

Europe dates I didn’t go to

Overall, it was a killer weekend, and I’m very happy that I finally mustered up the courage to get down to Chicago to see someone. The trip down, I learned, is actually not all that bad, although the construction outside of Chicago (which I’m told has been there for a couple of years) was a real pain. I’ve never been to a city the size of Chicago, and I still haven’t really considering that A and I acted like stereotypical black metal fans and didn’t really leave our hotel, but considering the shootings that went on that weekend that’s probably for the best. Despite that, I know now that it’s not the worst drive to get down there, especially if we leave early, and that Chicago is a perfectly reasonable destination to travel to for concerts.

Also, I saw two bands that I never thought I’d get to see live, and they were incredible. This weekend helped remind me of why I love black metal so much, and I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to see Sargeist and Behexen.

Infernal hails!

-Hagalaz

 

 

Review: House of Atreus- Into the Brazen Bull

Posted in death metal, local, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, Reviews, underground, united states with tags , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

I have to say, I’m totally stoked by how much attention House of Atreus has been getting lately. They are one of my favorite local bands comprised of some of my favorite people, and it’s great to see their hard work paying off. The band’s new EP, Into the Brazen Bull, is an especially cool artifact for me because of just how many people I know involved with it; along with the band, I’m friends with the graphic designer and the owner of Antitheist Disseminations, the label on which it was released.

That being said, I am still going to try to be as objective as possible without letting the fact that I’m friends with these dudes cloud my judgment. But THAT being said, I really do love this EP, as I’m super picky about my death metal and ItBB is exactly the sort of thing I really dig.
The opening track, “Bastards on the Hillside,” is a fantastic way to start a death metal album. It’s a fun track, fast-paced and with a great fist-pumping moment about 33 seconds in. In particular, the layering of the guitars lends the track a grandiose feel, as well as setting the precedent for the rest of the album in terms of riffs that absolutely kill. (Hint- this is probably one of my favorite live songs of theirs.)

The riff onslaught and warlike themes continue with “Seed of Discord,” which opens with a sample of a battle. “Pitiless Chains” sees a shift in approach, beginning with a mid-tempo section followed by some really heavy guitar work- the layering that appears in so much of House of Atreus’ work is here supplanted by unison guitars. I’m not crazy about this track, I’ll admit- I prefer the band’s faster pieces. However, I think the inclusion of “Pitiless Chains” gives the album an added dimension as it shows the band is capable of more than just lightning fast riffing.

[The Youtube user mislabeled this; this song is actually “Pitiless Chains”]

Into the Brazen Bull, the title of the EP, is a reference to a particularly nasty form of execution in ancient Greece in which the condemned was locked inside a large bronze bull, a fire set underneath in order to slowly roast him to death. When the unlucky criminal screamed, his cries would filter through the mouth of the beast in such a way as to sound like the lowing of the animal. Of course, then, the title track must open with the eerie sound of a bull lowing, the crackle of flames audible underneath. This track is another favorite of mine, as the meter shifts quite a bit, showing off the drumming skills of session drummer George Tzitifas. Tremolo picking near the song’s mid-point gives it an unexpected black metal feel as well.

In a fitting frame to “Bastards on the Hillside,” the EP ends with “In the Shadow of Foreign Horses,” another blistering track perfect for banging your fucking head to. The descending riffs are quite awesome, and I like how they seem to decrescendo in the mix. Like in the previous track, there are some black metal-like moments in this one as well- I’m reminded of American black metal in the realm of Panopticon at about 3:32. The classical riffing towards the end of the track is also fun, and makes me smile as someone who grew up on classical music, and Anxietous Nero’s scream right after it makes me want to scream along.

The graphic design also complements the album really well. The lyrics and artwork are rendered in a bold bronze shade, evoking the image of the torture device from which the album takes its name. Likewise, I really like the contrast between the black and the bronze; while the riffs are extremely heavy, the guitar solos are like flashes of light. Using such sharply contrasting colors mimics these techniques in a visual sense.

Front cover

Front cover

The flames to accompany the bull

The flames to accompany the bull

Liner notes. I really love how the rust color pops on the black.

Liner notes. I really love how the rust color pops on the black

And the CD itself

And the CD itself

The jury is still out for me when it comes to the production on ItBB. It’s a little fuzzy, which is nice because it gives the sound an old school feel, but it’s still bright enough to allow for the guitar solos to come through and the lyrics to be heard. Certainly the sound has a density to it, but the brightness of the guitars makes them stick out of the mix ever so slightly. As a friend pointed out, though, your ears quickly adjust to the mix, making it difficult to notice any weirdness in the production.

Into the Brazen Bull truly deserves all the accolades that it has received thus far, as well as much more. Catchy from beginning to end, the album incorporates an old school, punky death metal style with an original flair. And don’t just take my word for it, give it a listen for yourself. You can find the album on House of Atreus’ bandcamp page here.

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks:
Bastards on the Hillside
Into the Brazen Bull

Ave,
Hagalaz

 

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

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.

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

Fundraiser for a Friend

Posted in death metal, puerto rico, underground, united states with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Hi guys,

I told my friend I would spread the word and share this link. He is an amazing bassist and has been working on some really cool and original music for years that he is trying to record. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite have the funds currently, which is why he is fundraising hoping to get some help. Feel free to check Voice of the Vortex out on ReverbNation and Facebook, and if you like what you hear, please consider throwing a couple of bucks their way.

Thanks!

-H