Archive for the mill city nights Category

Concert: Abbath/High on Fire/Skeletonwitch/Tribulation/False (4/7, Mill City Nights, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, black metal, blackened thrash, concerts, doom, doom metal, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, norway, tours, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Decibel’s lineups for their annual tour never disappoint, and when I saw that Abbath was headlining this year’s edition there was no way I was going to miss. (I also never got to see Immortal, so there is that.) I was also really excited for the chance to see High On Fire, whom I have never seen despite the fact that it feels like they play here every other month, and Tribulation, whom I have also never seen.

My overall excitement was flagged a little by the fact that it was on a night I had class, so I GUESS I WILL JUST MISS TRIBULATION AGAIN. Someday. Someday I will see them. (Seriously. Every. Freaking. Time. Which deity did I piss off for this to happen? The one that governs graduate students? Because after seven years of grad school I believe that there is a malevolent deity in charge of it.)

Ahem. Anyway. I had class, so I had to arrive late and I got there about midway through Skeletonwitch’s set. Admittedly, I didn’t pay very good attention; I like Skeletonwitch fine, but I’m always a little distracted when I have to walk in on something halfway through. I wasn’t aware that their lineup had changed so much, as I’m only the most casual of fans, but I was impressed with their new vocalist. I saw enough of their set to hear a range of songs, including “Beyond the Permafrost” and a brand new track.

I didn’t get any pictures though, because I forgot that I am now snapping terrible pictures until later on in the evening. Whoops.

Next up was High On Fire, which was long overdue for me. They play here a lot, but I always have something else going on and never get to actually go. I have seen Sleep, but I hadn’t seen High On Fire, which is silly. They played “Speedwolf” and “Rumors of War,” and I noted that Matt Pike still hasn’t found his shirt, which means that God is still in his heaven and all is still right with the world.

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I was back sorta far, which was ok, because there was much moshing. 

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Doom.

Then was Abbath, who came out to a crazy, weird-sounding thing that was not unlike a movie soundtrack, which made me giggle. They opened with “To War,” which makes logical sense as the opening track on the new album, and then I got to deal with the crushing reality of the fact that Abbath and King ov Hell were less than twenty yards away from me. From that point on my brain kind of went into a weird euphoria and I spent the rest of the night alternating between singing along and screaming like a little girl in sheer excitement.

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King ov Hell and his glorious hair

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Dudes

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You can see Creature if you squint hard. This is about the best my little phone camera can do

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ABBATH!

Because I knew that they were going to play Immortal songs going in, but I didn’t expect damn near half the set to be Immortal songs. It was nuts. They pretty much alternated between the two all night. Most of the Abbath album got covered (“Fenrir Hunts” is fantastic live, by the way), and even though, with the exception of “Nebular Ravens Winter,” they didn’t play anything older than At the Heart of Winter, any Immortal is better than the alternative, which for me was never seeing anyone in Immortal play Immortal songs ever, and thus it was that I left that show a much happier person than I was when I went in. Also because they played “Solarfall,” and that’s about the point where my brain melted out my ears.

I admit, I had had a long and trying day and was very tired when I went to this show, and that paired with the knowledge that I’d be missing Tribulation again kind of put a damper on the start of my night. But I left there happier than I have been post-concert since that time I saw Mayhem and Watain on the same night. Holy crap. And if you think I’ve been doing anything but listening to black metal for a solid week now you’re kidding yourself.

Also, I missed our local False, who opened the show, and I just have to say- props to Decibel for letting those guys open. I don’t think that local bands get to open very many of the shows on the Decibel tour (and I understand why; there are always a lot of bands already playing), and it’s super cool that False was able to open for this. It’s also super lame that I missed it, but… well.

And let it be known, that the next day, in early April in Mpls/St. Paul, MN, we got heavy snow dumped on us all day. It didn’t stick, because the ground was too warm, but it’s worth noting that Abbath came to our cities in April and gifted us with a mini-blizzard.

-Hagalaz

 

 

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

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