Archive for the prog metal Category

Ihsahn Review at Burning Fist!

Posted in black metal, burning fist, musings, norway, prog metal, Reviews, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

As of right now, I am finishing up my review of the new Vollmond album, and in the works is reviews of Watain, Woe, Inquisition, Arckanum, Klor, and Deafheaven. I am also going to be submitting some reviews for Burning Fist blog/podcast too, and my review of the new Ihsahn album, Das Seelenbrechen, was just posted there today! Check it out if you get a chance, and, as always, feel free to leave feedback!

-H

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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: Intronaut/Scale the Summit/Mouth of the Architect/The Astraea Complex/Prophets of Aether (6/11, The Garage, Burnsville, MN)

Posted in concerts, death metal, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, prog metal, sludge metal, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

I will be the first to admit that prog metal does not tickle my fancy. I get bored with it. The stylings are over-technical to me, and the length of the songs makes them drag on in my head. Alternatively, I could get behind Devin Townsend’s Ziltoid the Omniscient, but that’s because there was more in it for me than simple prog metal- it made me laugh, and so I was forgiving. Likewise, I like Enslaved’s later output when there is enough black metal in it to balance out the prog. I dug RIITIIR; Vertebrae, not so much.

So when my friend messaged me and said that his band was opening for Intronaut and would I like to buy a ticket, I said of course, because I like to support local bands when I can, and especially when they are friends. I honestly did not expect to stay for Intronaut, but I did, so I get to review the thing.

The show was held at The Garage in Bloomington, having rescheduled after Station 4’s summer closure (unfortunate because of the shuffling about of shows, fortunate because it is way too freaking hot in there and they need to fix their A/C). The Garage is a youth center, and is as wholesome as that implies. No bar, street signs on the walls, signs pleading patrons to mosh responsibly, and a lot of, well, youths. When the touring acts got onstage, there were people from all walks of life there, but I’m pretty sure I was the oldest person there for a while. That is fine, but it was weird to be at a metal show with no bar. I rarely make use of the thing when it’s there, nevertheless the vibe is definitely different. The Garage is certainly not my favorite venue (plus it’s kind of a drive), but the sound was good.

The first band was Prophets of Aether, who I am not familiar with (I increasingly know a lot of locals. Not these kids). During their set someone told me that their drummer is only 17, and despite being a very small kid, he did a very good job. They were a very solid opener; even though the music wasn’t always my cup of tea (I am slowly warming up to more death metal. But it’s slow), I was very impressed with the set that they played.

My friend S’s band The Astraea Complex was up next. Apparently they had some issues with their samples at the beginning of the set, but I wouldn’t have known that at all if I hadn’t been told. Their set was also very solid, and I liked the bass feature. Despite the vocalist’s attempts to get the crowd riled up, there wasn’t any moshing, with the exception of one enthusiastic young man who was a party all on his own. Overall a little breakdown-heavy for me, but a very strong set from a young band.

I didn’t know anything about Mouth of the Architect, but a friend I ran into at the show assured me that I would probably like them best of the night’s touring acts. Sure enough, he was right; while I’m not grabbed much by prog, I love me some sludge, and Mouth of the Architect’s set was certainly on that side of things. I’m going to have to pay a little closer attention to these guys. They were the highlight of the night for me, music-wise.

Scale the Summit was next, who I forgot were an instrumental band until they had been playing for a while. I really enjoyed their set, even though it is not something I would ordinarily listen to. In honor of their new album, which dropped the day of the show, they played several new songs, one of which I knew from the Internet (I think Metal Sucks debuted it or something).

Finally, Intronaut took the stage. I decided that I did not need to be up front for Intronaut, so I hung out in the back and sat with my friend A. Like Kylesa, Intronaut had a backdrop with accompanying video, which I enjoyed because it helped me to focus a little better (I am a visual person). To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed, especially because I enjoyed the previous two bands so much, but I don’t really know how good a judge I am of Intronaut’s performance. After all, I explained my tendency to get really tired during prog performances.

It was a perfectly enjoyable performance, though, and I am very glad that I stayed for the whole thing.  I admit that I probably wouldn’t have gone at all if S hadn’t told me his band was opening, but it worked out really well. I learned about a band that I wouldn’t have investigated if I hadn’t gone (most likely), and I had an enjoyable evening of people watching (this was just about the furthest thing from the battle jacket crowd that I’ve seen since Ghost) and listening to music that I ordinarily wouldn’t expose myself to. It was a nice change of pace, and I’m really glad I went. I just wish I hadn’t been so hungry/sleepy (yes it was early but I’m a grad student) for Intronaut so I could have been a better audience member.

No merch this time; sorry kids.

Next up, reviews. Aosoth’s IV: An Arrow in Heart and Kylesa’s Ultraviolet.

Maryland Deathfest XI Recap (Part II)

Posted in black metal, concerts, doom, festivals, france, musings, norway, prog metal, sweden, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Part I is here, if you are interested.

Saturday afternoon we headed over early to catch Kommandant’s set. On the way there, we were intercepted by some angry metal dudes who told me and A that we needed to take our jackets back to the hotel, as they weren’t letting in anyone with studs or spikes on their jackets. My battle jacket has studs, but no spikes, but the guy said that they were turning people away even for the tiny little circular studs that A had on her jacket. So, lamenting that no one would know how kvlt we were, we made the sad trek back to the hotel to put our jackets up. We tried to warn people along the way, but only some of them believed us.

The jacket fiasco did allow for a short re-entry line, however, and we got in just in time to catch all of Kommandant. Complete with podium and gasmasks, their stage presence was daunting. A commented that she was really impressed with the visual aspect of the performance. Kommandant’s drummer was flanked by two snare drummers, and the band stood at attention between songs. Despite technical difficulties all throughout the set (they actually ended up shorting out 2 minutes before their allotted time was up), they were incredible, and I can’t wait to see them in St. Paul in a couple of months.

Kommandant

Kommandant

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July 27th at Station 4, Minneapolis/St. Paul. Be there.

After spending a little more time wandering/shopping, we went back into the tent for Loss, a death/doom band from Nashville. They were fantastic- I love me some Southern doom- and I was amused when I realized that they asked me for directions to the fest at one point a couple of days earlier. I wish I could have focused a little more on their performance, but my left hip is a little twisted and was starting to feel wretched at that point from standing around on concrete so much. We ran back to the hotel for some ibuprofen after their set was over, and I was ready to go again having medicated. We were also able to get our battle jackets again, as they had started allowing people in with them on (something to do with Phil Anselmo having on his tour rider that he hates fun didn’t want people to have spikes on their clothing and wanted no moshing? I don’t really know what happened with that, but it made me completely apathetic about Down’s presence there).

Loss. So good.

Loss. So good. (Also, they are playing Stella Natura this year, so you lucky kids who can afford it can see them IN THE WOODS.)

We made it just in time to see Vinterland, who then got pushed back until 10p, so we took the opportunity to eat Vegan hotdogs (freaking yum) before I dragged everyone to Aosoth stupidly early so I could get a good spot. They. Were. Incredible. I got what I believe may be the best pictures I got all weekend during their set, and they played material from their new album as well as 1 & 5 from III. It was a very emotional experience to see that sort of orthodox black metal live, with Mkm kneeling onstage, hands tangled in the mic cord- chilling. Awesome.

Aosoth.

Aosoth.

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An arrow in heart…

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Incredible.

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After Aosoth completely destroyed me, J and I milled around and watched a little bit of Melvins before meeting up with A at Ihsahn’s set. I got to see King Buzzo’s hair live and I have seen enough of The Melvins now to say I have seen The Melvins, and they play here enough that I don’t despair of seeing them anytime soon. Unfortunately, they scheduled Ihsahn at the same time as Revenge; I don’t regret skipping Revenge for the former at all, but they are a band I would really like to see, and everything I have seen reports that they were great. That one will have to go back on the bucket list, I suppose.

Seeing Ihsahn was nuts. When he did the sound check, he did the exact same scream as in the beginning of I Am the Black Wizards, and I about lost my shit. I was really impressed with his band as well; the keyboardist had the most charisma of any keyboard player I have ever seen on stage. It was only the second time he had ever played in the U.S. as a solo artist, too, so it was a bit of a historical performance. The set was great and included The Grave, which may be my favorite track from Eremita. After the set, Ihsahn went over to the fence and signed autographs, met people, took pictures, etc. He signed my MDF ticket as well as a business card for A, and he shook my fingers through the fence. I’m still just a little stunned by it all, and pleased to say that Ihsahn is incredibly sweet and very gracious. It was awesome meeting him.

Ihsahn.

Ihsahn.

His keyboardist, who deserves a pic.

His keyboardist, who deserves a pic.

His glasses! :D

His glasses! 😀

Sweetest man ever.

Sweetest man ever.

Ahhhhhh!

Ahhhhhh! (Ignore my grubby nail polish)

I saw a little bit of Vinterland’s set in the post-meeting-fucking-Ihsahn haze, and it was nice to get a little melodic Swedish stuff into the weekend (still needs more thrash, though). Despite the crowd, I managed to push up to close to the front for Antaeus. If Aosoth was spiritual, Antaeus was purely visceral. Uhm.  I’m afraid my reaction to that live was not very ladylike. I watched the first 2/3 from the front, then moved to the back for the very end, where I kept myself together a little better. They dedicated Blood Libels to us (!) which was awesome. I still cannot believe I saw Antaeus and Aosoth on the same day, and with Ihsahn between them, this makes for pretty much one of the most emotional nights ever for me.

Antaeus.

Antaeus.

Seeing these two sides of Mkm was kind of amazing.

Seeing these two sides of Mkm was kind of amazing.

Further back.

Further back.

More later… (And I’d better get on it, too. Still have two more posts of this, Aosoth review, review of last eve’s Kylesa show, argh).

(Go to Part III.)

-Hagalaz