Archive for the folk metal Category

Hagalaz’ Top 10 Not-Just-Black-Metal Albums of 2013

Posted in best of, black metal, burning fist, death metal, doom, doom metal, folk metal, grindcore, retro occult rock, sludge metal, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

… Is posted over at Burning Fist. Go read it! And then listen to In Solitude and Satan’s Host! And listen to the new Carcass again (as though you needed any persuading to do that).

-Hagalaz

Hey Guys!

Posted in black metal, blogs, concerts, folk metal, minneapolis/st. paul, united states with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Hey! I’m working on things! My review of Watain’s The Wild Hunt should be up tomorrow! And I saw Finntroll and Morbid Angel this week, so I’m hopefully going to talk about those! And maybe manage to somehow get all the reviews I want to write written!

…Anyway. In the meantime, you should check out my friend A’s new blog, Folkin’ Kvlt! She is just getting started, but she is brilliant and lovely, and I’m really looking forward to reading her stuff. Check it out here.

-H.

For the Love of Live Music, Consider Signing This Petition

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, blackened doom, concerts, crossover thrash, crust, death metal, doom, DSBM, folk metal, grindcore, hardcore, local, musings, post-black metal, prog metal, psychedelic rock, punk, retro occult rock, sludge metal, stoner metal, thrash, traditional heavy metal, true norwegian black metal, underground, USBM, viking metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

This petition came to my attention the other day via a friend on Facebook, and I wanted to post it here so that you could sign it if you haven’t. The Canadian government apparently wants to drastically increase the amount of money that musicians have to pay to tour there, which will not only cut down on the amount of live music that Canadians will get to see, but will also be very harmful to small venues and businesses. I don’t think I need to go far towards explaining that for metal bands other than, say, Metallica and their ilk, this legislation is very bad news- any smaller metal bands will be right out of the running for getting to tour Canada. As I am now living in a routine stop on the way to Winnipeg, I can assure you, Canadian metal fans, you don’t want this thing to pass. Marduk and Inquisition are just a couple of bands in the past year that have come up your way. And of course, that is not to mention the smaller bands trying to get off the ground; False just played in Canada, for instance. This cost increase passes and they won’t be able to again.

So please consider adding your signature to the petition if you haven’t already. I did, and I hate signing up for things on the internet. And tell your friends, too, because this is an issue that affects ALL music genres.

Concert: Paganfest IV, US/Canada Leg (Ensiferum/Tyr/Heidevolk/Trollfest/Helsott, 4/12, St. Paul, MN, Station 4)

Posted in concerts, finland, folk metal, norway, the netherlands, united states, viking metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Friday night I headed out to Paganfest IV, where I FINALLY got to see Ensiferum, something I have been looking forward to for a long time. Once again, the crowd was a mixed one replete with costumes; a group of guys came in with fur costumes on, which must have sucked for them because it was really hot in there. It was also a huge crowd, probably the second biggest one I’ve seen at Station 4 after the Decibel Tour last year. There was moshing, and presumably a figure-8 pit at one point, although it was hard for me to see from the rail where I was standing.

Jamie and I got drinks up in the bar area for the first part of the opening band’s set. Helsott is from California, which is sweet, because the U.S. doesn’t have a lot of pagan metal bands. They were so excellent, in fact, that we finished our beers quickly so we could get in there and watch the rest of their set. The crowd showed up for Helsott too, which was awesome, since usually the early openers don’t draw much of one. A couple of the guys from Trollfest came out during their last song with a bottle of champagne and sang and danced onstage with them. A really fun set, and a great way to start the night.

[America, you have a pagan metal band!]

Next up was Trollfest, whom I have heard of, but hadn’t ever listened to. Jamie remarked that they looked like they had just woken up on the floor of Ensiferum’s tour bus, which is pretty accurate, as they looked a little unkempt. The set was fantastic, however- it was during Trollfest’s performance that the pit was talked into trying a figure-8, and they also got a wall of death going. In like fashion, during Trollfest’s last song, members of the other bands came out onstage and drank and sang along. They also have a saxophone player, which is awesome! Also, bees. I can honestly say that I am a Trollfest fan now, and not just because they kept making funny faces at me (which they did. It was both bizarre and hilarious.) They are A LOT of fun, and put on a funny (and yet, musically, very tight) set.

[I’m still not quite sure what the deal is with the bee thing. It sure is fun, though]

After Trollfest was Heidevolk. I was unfamiliar with Heidevolk as well, thus reminding myself of the fact that I don’t listen to folk metal all that much (except Ensiferum and Finntroll, which I listen to a lot, and when I do listen to it, I binge on it). The band hails from the Netherlands, and plays songs about Viking history and Germanic lore. I thought the long-haired vocalist in particular had a really good voice, and my friend and I agreed that they were also a very aesthetically pleasing bunch of guys. They played a great set, and were a great transition between Trollfest and Tyr.

Tyr took the stage next, and unlike last time, I was up by the stage and actually got to see them. They played a solid set as they usually do, and the crowd went crazy- I had forgotten just how much St. Paul LOVES Tyr. I’m less of a fan than most, although I do enjoy watching them live. Their guitarist also had his hair cut all Robin Finck-style, which I appreciated. They played several songs that I recognized, so several of their hits, as I don’t know them all that well. A very solid performance; those wanting to see Tyr on this tour shall not be disappointed.

[This song. This song is the most ear-wormy thing ever. The clip is from 70,000 Tons of Metal earlier this year]

Last, but certainly not least, was Ensiferum, who is pretty much my all-time favorite cheesy pagan folkish metal band. Ensiferum’s set was everything I ever hoped it would be; they played songs from a range of albums, including Burning Leaves and In My Sword I Trust from the new one. They also played Guardians of Fate, which pretty much made my night. While watching their set, I also learned that apparently Petri doesn’t do any of the clean vocals, something I did not know previously. I also thought there were members than there are; their sound is incredibly full live. For me, the only thing that would have made the night even more perfect would be if they had played Token of Time, but I am completely satisfied with the set I saw. Ensiferum was a perfect end to a fantastically successful Paganfest IV.

[Such a fun, silly song]

[Oh. Yes.]

I ended up buying the Ensiferum edition of the Paganfest shirt, which I thought was really cool looking. I like the knotted background- reminds me of a Celtic knot. I also bought Unsung Heroes finally; I had been wanting it for a while and just hadn’t gotten around to buying it yet. Both were pretty steep at $25 and $20 respectively (the CD I bought does come with a DVD), however, I know that the money is going right back to the band so it’s worth it. Also, some of my friends got Tyr shirts- their designs this time around look pretty awesome as well.

As usual, ignore the cat hair.

As usual, ignore the cat hair.

Dates. 4/12- that's me!

Dates. 4/12- that’s me!

I've been after this one for a while now. A really solid album.

I’ve been after this one for a while now. A really solid album.

Overall, Paganfest IV was fantastic. All the bands were at the top of their game, and they all seemed to get along well too (as demonstrated by the stage sharing and festivities), which is always good. Although Heidevolk and Tyr are not quite my cup of tea, I really enjoyed their sets as well as everyone else’s. If you should attend the US/Canada leg of Paganfest, you should make sure you aren’t on a smoke or bathroom break when Trollfest is on- you do not want to miss them, trust me. Also, American fans, take pride in the fact that Helsott is a freaking fantastic pagan metal band from the States. And, for me, Ensiferum was pretty much everything I wanted. Apparently they tour here pretty frequently, but this was my first time actually seeing them live, and it was well worth the wait. A really fun night, and a highly recommended tour.

-Hagalaz

Into the Void Records is Pretty Much Awesome (St. Paul, MN)

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, death metal, doom, folk metal, grindcore, local, neo-folk, post-black metal, retro occult rock, thrash, true norwegian black metal, underground, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

There is nothing quite like a specialty metal record store. Into the Void opened its doors back in November 2012, although I didn’t know about it until January. Since then, it’s pretty much become my favorite store, and I need to be really careful about how much time (and money) I spend in there.

First of all, it’s in St. Paul, which is awesome because Minneapolis typically gets all the cool stuff. Into the Void’s location is also premier as it’s only a couple of blocks from Station 4. While Station 4 may not be the hippest music venue in the Cities (I have seen a lot of people complain about it on Facebook. Honestly, I thinks it’s a fun little place), they do land most of the big metal gigs that come through town. Three of the four shows I’m going to in the next couple of months are at Station 4. As a result, Into the Void’s location is pretty much perfect; you can go to the metal record store and to the show on the same night, in the same place. (There is also really good food over in that part of downtown St. Paul. Triple win.)

Although a friend of mine complained that the store itself is too sterile and fancy feeling, as someone who loves to organize things I appreciate the orderliness of it. They have a lot of stuff, but it’s very easily navigable and well-organized. Into the Void has CDs, records, and even cassette tapes, and a few metal DVDs. They also carry merch, like flags and patches (they just added several new patches, I saw the other day), hats, coffee mugs (who doesn’t want a Marduk coffee mug with a tank on it? Answer me that), and a ton of t-shirts in all sizes. Including smalls, for those of us on the smaller side!

Perhaps the best part of their selection, though, is the music that they are able to get in. They have some of the more obscure stuff from Europe that isn’t as easily accessible in the U.S., which is pretty much an amazing deal to me (alas, my underground French bands don’t distribute very well). The very first time I was in there I was ecstatic to find that they had Horna and Mütiilation CDs in stock, and several of them at that! And considering the stuff that they are able to get a hold of, the prices are incredibly reasonable, ranging from about $9.99-$15.99 a CD usually. $10 for Mütiilation. I know, right? Plus, the owner really encourages you to let him know if there is something you are looking for that they don’t have, and they will try to order it.

My haul from my first visit to Into the Void. You know you're jealous. My Mayhem Deathcrush patch came from there too.

My haul from my first visit to Into the Void. You know you’re jealous. My Mayhem Deathcrush patch came from there too.

Into the Void is also going to be fantastic for the local scene here, I think. They always have flyers out for local shows, and I have seen a few of our local bands’ albums in there as well. You can also buy your concert tickets here, which is something I need to start doing (internet ticket fees are profoundly irritating). There are also a few ‘zines available for sale, which is cool. I need to look a little closer at these next time I am in there to see where all they are from.

I also got my first and only Darkthrone album. Yes, I know. Shut up.

I also got my first and only Darkthrone album. Yes, I know. Shut up.

All and all, Into the Void is pretty much my favorite place right now. I love their selection, and they have some pretty good titles on vinyl that I can begin my collection with (I bought the special edition of Candlemass’ Nightfall the other day). Looking forward to spending a lot more time and money here. Next time you are in the Twin Cities, stop by and check it out.

Into the Void’s Facebook page is amazing and regularly updates their new arrivals. You can check it out here.

-Hagalaz

Metaldudes Cats Book!

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, books, death metal, doom, DSBM, folk metal, grindcore, neo-folk, post-black metal, release info, thrash, united states, viking metal on March 11, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

It occurred to me the other day that I should totally do a post about the Metaldudes Cats Book. I have been following this project on Facebook since shortly after it started, and the time is nigh for the release of the book! Alexandra Crockett started the Metaldudes Cats Book project in an effort to “’[challenge] stereotypes of masculinity and the metal culture. I think we can all agree that cat photos and videos are an integral part of the Internet. Metaldudes Cats Book combines three loves that have a global reach: Kitties, Metal, and Dudes. A love of kitties binds the entire world together, even tough guys who listen to brutal, harsh music.” [from the official press release on Bloody-Disgusting.com]. Personally, I think this is a great idea. It’s always good to see metal dudes just being dudes; also, cats are awesome.

I'm not a metaldude, but this is my metalcat, Leander.

I’m not a metaldude, but this is my metalcat, Leander.

The book will be a coffee table book and will have pictures of some famous metal musicians with their cats, like Malefic (Xasthur), as well as a slew of pics of the tons of metal fans with their beloved pets. As I post this (and I don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier- I didn’t think of it until recently), the book is in the final stages of its production, and it should be coming out in April. Alex has been holding benefit shows for the book and for no-kill cat shelters, and is always updating the Facebook page with info about how to support local shelters and lost animals, etc. In other words, she is a stand-up lady as well as a genius and artist and you should support her work! If you’d like to make a direct donation, you can do so at her PayPal (aleksan@u.washington.edu) or Indiegogo or you can buy things from her Etsy store. I bought a poster from one of the benefit shows (it is really nice. Printed on cardstock) as well as buttons for my battle jacket and Leander’s battle jacket. It also came with a thank you note signed by Alex.

It's a nice size, too.

It’s a nice size, too.

Buttons!

Buttons!

I’ll be posting more about this project when the book comes out, because I’m totally buying one. If you’ve got some spare cash, consider supporting the Metaldudes Cats Book. Because everyone knows cats are totally metal.

-Hagalaz

[info from Bloody-Disgusting.com and the Metaldudes Cats Book Facebook]

A Modest Proposal: The United States Needs An Underground Circuit for Global (And Local) Metal

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, concerts, death metal, doom, DSBM, folk metal, local, musings, neo-folk, true norwegian black metal, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

[I wasn’t sure what to categorize/tag this with, so I categorized/tagged it with everything]

The other day, I had a conversation with my friend Jamie concerning the nature of the metal underground in the United States. This was prompted by my sadness at reading that the band Hypothermia (I plan on featuring them sometime; they are one of Kim Carlsson’s [Lifelover] many projects) said on their Facebook page that they would more than likely never tour the United States because it is so expensive. And this is true; I wonder that so many European bands continue to tour here because of the expense. It seems to me, with the already very limited audience for this kind of music, that you would barely break even if you decided to tour the States, especially the Scandinavian countries which I know have to pay very high taxes on whatever they make here.

As I was protesting to Jamie that I would be happy to put the guys from Hypothermia up for the night and feed them if they were to come here (there’s only two of them), I thought, well, why not? The punk subculture in the US has an extensive network of people in cities across the country who give free crash space and food to touring bands, so why not for the metal folks?

Now, I admit that my knowledge about such things is scant, and I know that sometimes the punk circuit does facilitate the metal scene, but I have no idea if there is something like this in place already or not (I have for the most part spent my life in rural areas. This is the first time I have ever lived in a big city with a thriving metal scene). Does anyone out there know if there is a US underground circuit for helping out touring metal bands? And if so, is there any way or reason why not to use it to help bands from other countries fund a US tour? Not just Scandinavian bands, of course. Bands from anywhere. I mean, getting here and paying for travel would still be expensive, of course, but I’m sure that there are enough people and fans in the United States to help provide food and crash space for visiting bands.

I also know that the underground is supposed to stay, well, underground. So if you have info and want to let me in on it, leave me a message on here and we’ll find a way to get in touch that is not so public as my blog. I am very curious as to how and if this could work, however. Also, for you folks in other countries, is there some kind of circuit for touring bands to get help with crash space and meals where you live? How does it work, and is it effective? Does anyone have any idea if a plan like this could work in a place as huge as the United States, which I know is often a deterrent for bands considering a tour here?

**slightly edited, to add the point that we need a good support system for bands in general, our own as well as those who visit from elsewhere.

***

In other news, even though it wasn’t much and it didn’t stick, yesterday was the first snow of the season in the Twin Cities! In celebration, I think we should listen to the Kings of Winter.

Have a good one, folks.

-Hagalaz