Archive for the england Category

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

Concert: Anathema/Alcest/Mamiffer (9/22, Mill City Nights, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in blackgaze, concerts, doom, doom metal, england, france, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, post-black metal, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

As I mentioned last time, Alcest had to hurry out of the store so they could make it to the venue in time to do sound checks, etc. I got to Mill City nights a little bit before the show started and browsed merch for a while- Mamiffer had an amazing tank top with a cat on it. Also, Anathema and Alcest had some pretty cool shirts and merch. The crowd for this show was varied; I saw people I had never seen before, and lots of people brought their significant other (metal is not usually romantic. But if it was, it’d sound like Alcest).

Mamiffer was a really excellent opening act. Eerie and atmospheric, they provided the perfect intro to a band like Alcest. They consistent of a female vocalist/keyboardist and a guy guitarist, and it reminded me somewhat of a post-rock set in that they would use feedback between songs to give the illusion of no downtime. I really enjoyed their set, and I look forward to hearing more from them.

Alcest was the next band on this shortened bill, and they were absolutely incredible. The highlight of the night for me, Alcest played a lot of songs off their latest album, Les Voyages de L’Âme (incidentally, that was the first ever review to appear on Blackmetallurgy). They also briefly touched on the older albums, and debuted some new material for the upcoming record. I will admit, I was in tears; it’s been a rough year for me, and Alcest has gotten me through a lot of it as Alcest plays the happiest songs I know. It was incredible to see them live, and an absolute honor to meet Neige.

Anathema finished up the night as co-headliners. Their set was very impressive- I can tell that the members of Anathema are all very talented and natural musicians. However, the music was really not my style at all. Anathema used to be big into doom, but their newer material has moved to a poppier sound, barely even metal at all. At one point they said they’d play an old song, but alas, it wasn’t old enough. Those of us who hoped that Anathema would cater to fans of the older material left feeling dissatisfied with the Englishmen’s set.

I didn’t buy a t-shirt this time. The only shirt that Alcest had that I was somewhat interested in was only available in L and XL by the time I got up to the booth to buy something. I ended up getting a record, as I absolutely love Écailles de Lune and didn’t own a physical copy of it, and I knew how hard it would be to track down an Alcest record (Into the Void, for instance, doesn’t have any). I am really, really glad I got the record. I saw Neige standing by the merch tables after I bought my record and borrowed a pen from a security guard so I could see if he’d sign it too. He did, of course, and I got to thank him for the music and tell him that it helps my mental state a lot when times are bad.

:D

😀

The vinyl itself is beautiful too. Like pale blue marble.

The vinyl itself is beautiful too. Like pale blue marble.

Although Anathema was a bit disappointing (for me, anyway), I thoroughly enjoyed Mamiffer, and Alcest made an absolute mess of me. I had wondered how well they’d do on Mill City Nights’ big stage, but the turnout was really excellent. Great night, great show, great company, great band/guys. Three weeks later I’m still trying to shake the daze.

**

Upcoming things- I saw Saint Vitus last week, so I’ll talk about that soon, and also I am going to be reviewing a couple of albums that my buddy over at Ars Magna Recordings sent me. Then, of course, there are reviews of the new Watain and Woe, and I am planning on snagging the new Inquisition as soon as it drops and work on tracking myself down a copy of Gris’ new one. I might be doing a review of the new Ensiferum as well. I’ve also got some other things in the works, and Watain on Wednesday (!!!). Still incredibly busy, but I’m going to make it my goal to work on the blog at least 30 minutes every day so I can hopefully stay on top of things.

 -Hagalaz

Maryland Deathfest XI Recap (Part III)

Posted in black metal, concerts, doom, england, festivals, france, germany, musings, stoner metal, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Part I (Friday) and Part II (Saturday) are both available for your perusal.

The lines outside of the festival Sunday provided another instance of the poor organization that seemed to plague the festival all weekend, or at least concerning entering and exiting the venue. We left the hotel a little after 2p because we wanted to see Glorior Belli at 3:30, and were hoping to mill around and buy merch beforehand. We waited over an hour in a huge line, all full of people there for re-entry. It was really frustrating. After about 45 minutes they opened a second line, and then things moved a little more swiftly. It actually worked out fine for us- we got there just in time to catch all of Glorior Belli’s set- but there were a lot of people really excited to see Speedwolf and Cruciamentum who missed them because of the line.

Glorior Belli’s set was really good; their later, more experimental bluesy black metal is sometimes hit or miss for me, although I do find it interesting. It was very good live, however, and even though I still got hints of their vocalist’s smugness during the set (which rubs me the wrong way a bit), he more than made up for it by climbing down in front of the stage and shaking people’s hands, giving hugs, etc. during the last song. They played a fine set, despite the fact that teatime is really not ideal for black metal.

Glorior Belli

Glorior Belli

IMAG0910

Next we caught a little bit of Midnight’s set while mingling and shopping. I have seen their shirts everywhere recently, but I haven’t ever really paid that much attention to them. They were a lot of fun, however (I LOVE the blackened thrash thing), and I found their executioner’s hoods endearing. Pagan Altar was our next big set, and I sat for part of it to rest my legs (that concrete is a bitch). They were fantastic and a fun throwback. It was really great to see that they are still doing so well; J said that Sabbath should fire Ozzy and hire Terry Jones instead.

[I didn’t get pics of them. Too short. Sorry.]

We shopped and ate during the next set, and then went to get in line for Sleep, who J was really excited about seeing. I was excited too, as I know what a big deal it is to see Sleep right now, but I would not have needed to be up front for it. There was, as expected, a LOT of smoke, which, by this point, was starting to wear on me a little (I don’t smoke, and although a lot of my friends do, three days of inhaling other people’s weed and cigarettes was beginning to make me a little crazy). Also, for some bizarre reason, people started shoving and actually getting kind of violent when the band started playing. Someone really ought to explain stoner metal to those kids. I had just bought a special edition double LP and had thought that during Sleep’s set I wouldn’t be hard pressed to protect it, but people in the crowd where we were standing were being really douchy and shoving, and I was just about at the end of my rope. Couple that with my frustrations over something that is neither here nor there (Internets, you don’t need to know about my personal life), and A dragged me to the back of the crowd before I fucking killed someone. Which is good. That would have been a real buzzkill.

So I saw Sleep, and I was so angry I barely digested any of it. I tried, once I was out of the crush, to focus really hard on enjoying it, however, and I really loved the parts of the set for which I was able to relax a little. I’m really grateful I got to see Sleep perform, and I wish it had been under a little better circumstances.

Sleep. Downtown Baltimore gets a contact high.

Sleep. Downtown Baltimore gets a contact high.

[Part of Dragonaut. But you can see, I think, why I was upset with the crowd.]

Matt Pike, incidentally, stayed in our hotel and glowered at me in the coffee shop.

Pentagram was up next, and their set was going fine. J and I didn’t stay for the whole thing, but A did and said that it was really good; Bobby Liebling was… standing and singing okay, and is in better shape, I would say, than Ozzy, but the heroin years have not been kind. J said he thought it was depressing, and I said that I was still a little pissy and wanted to watch a dude drenched in blood screaming to me about Satan, so we went to catch Ascension’s set across the way.

Pentagram.

Pentagram.

Am I glad we did. Ascension is from Germany, and I didn’t know that, nor did I know who they were at all, really. They were my diamond in the rough. Ascension is relatively new, and only has one album out, but they play really good black metal and are extremely charismatic onstage. We wandered over there in hopes for something that was going to be a little more lively than Pentagram (who I am still glad I watched a couple of songs of), and they were easily my best whim of the weekend. Maybe I should do a post for them?

Ascension

Ascension

IMAG0915

I liked their stage decor.

I liked their stage decor.

[Surprise! awesome black metal.]

As the night started to wind down, we went to hunt down a good place to watch Venom. Basically there was none; EVERYONE was there to see Venom (obviously). I did manage to get a spot on a curb though, where I could see Cronos well, and since he is the founding member who is left, that was the important part to me. I am amazed by how bulky he is; I always thought he was little but his biceps are tremendous! They played a mix of old and new stuff, but we got to hear Warhead and Black Metal and Live Like an Angel, which I guess is the best bit (although I had desperately hoped for Rip Ride. Sigh). Things were going fine and dandy right up until 11p sharp, when all of a sudden there was no sound.

Venom!

Venom!

Alright. So I couldn't see much other than Cronos, but he's the important part, right?

Alright. So I couldn’t see much other than Cronos, but he’s the important part, right?

Apparently there was a new city ordinance or something that said that the music had to stop at 11p, as in AT 11 seriously we aren’t kidding, and so they stopped it. (A told me later that Pentagram’s set was cut a little short too; I saw somewhere else that Sleep went over 20 minutes and that was what backed things up. I have no idea what happened. I was just watching Venom, minding my own business.) Either way, the crowd was incredibly upset, because Venom, and then there was a bottle neck in the gate on the way out (the fest is over. Open more gates), and then when we got to the front of the gate there was a scuffle, and some security dudes throwing some crust punk kid against the pavement, and screaming and yelling. I was running to the side to get away from… whatever was happening, and I kid you not, a beer bottle shattered about three feet from my head. So A, J, and I took off to get to the other side of the wall (so we could gawk at what was happening, of course), but a security guard told us to go away. And on the way back to the hotel, like 8 or 10 cop cars passed us, so it must have turned into quite the kerfluffle.

We made it back to the hotel safely, however, and drove back the next day. 24 hours. With me going 30 hours without sleep which, I learned, is something I should never, ever, do again (sleep deprivation makes me paranoid and weepy).

One more post of this, with more pictures and people and merch, and then I promise I’ll talk about Kylesa.

-Hagalaz