Archive for the sludge metal Category

Concert: Baroness/Pallbearer (kind of, 9/1, The Cabooze, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, concerts, doom, doom metal, georgia, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, sludge metal, united states with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

The other night, I decided to go see Baroness with Pallbearer, because I actually do like Baroness (a friend said he was surprised to see me there). I used to not like them at all, but a switch flipped somewhere in my brain a couple of years ago and now I really like them a lot, despite the fact that they aren’t really metal anymore.

This was my first show at the Cabooze, and I have to say that the layout of that place is a puzzle to me. The stage is located in a very awkward place in relation to the main bar, which sort of sits right in the middle of the room, and the room is very long, making it to where you pretty much have to go outside and walk around the building to get into the bathrooms, which are up near the front. I’m not crazy about it, and one guy (he was a customer, I think, not someone who worked there, he was just talking to a person who worked there), was really kind of snippy and rude with me when I was trying to figure out how to get to the bathrooms (I had never been there before! I was alone, and confused!). Parking was also not easy to come by; of course, I did end up getting there late. Fortunately, there is street parking available in the neighborhood, so it’s manageable, you just have to be willing to park and walk a bit.

All this occurred after I got off work for the night, and since that coincided with the start of the show, by the time I got to the venue and found parking I’d all but completely missed Pallbearer. All I saw of their set was the last half of the last song, which happened to be “The Foreigner” and therefore my favorite part of my favorite Pallbearer song. So that worked out ok.

A little bit later, Baroness took the stage. I had never seen them before, and after their horrible accident back in 2012 I thought I’d never get the chance to. It was shortly after that, actually, that I really started listening to Baroness. The band was in seemingly great spirits and sounded great, and the crowd was very responsive. It was a little weird because I only knew a couple of people there, but the energy all around was great.

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Baroness

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A better shot

As seems to be the case with most of the shows I’ve been to as of late, Baroness didn’t play a lot of their older material, sticking with Yellow/Green and Purple mostly. Which makes sense and is fine, but is sort of a letdown when the Red album is your favorite. They did play “Isak,” however, which is my favorite song from their whole catalog, so I can’t really complain. Some of the highlights of the setlist were “Shock Me,” “March to the Sea,” and the opening theme from the Green album, which was cool (I didn’t know they were going to do instrumental songs).

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Mr. Baizley. Also, props to whoever was on the lights- they were coordinating well with the album colors

I didn’t pick up any merch this time, primarily because I was going to see Shining with Belphegor the next night and figured I’d be spending money at that merch booth (spoiler alert: I did), but also because I wasn’t about to try to fight my way over to the merch table in that venue. Which is kind of lame, because at some point I would like to acquire a print of some of John Baizley’s artwork. Alas, this night was not the night.

Baroness played a wonderful set, and it’s too bad I had to pretty much miss Pallbearer (I have seen them before, but not for a couple of years. They seem to come here fairly often though, so maybe I’ll get to catch an updated Pallbearer set soon). I’m glad that Baroness’ first foray back up to my neck of the woods since their revival went as well as it did, and I look forward to seeing them again.

-H

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

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: Ambassador Gun/Sadgiqacea/Hivelords/Poney (7/19, Nomad’s World Pub, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in black metal, blackened doom, concerts, doom, grindcore, hardcore, local, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, psychedelic rock, punk, sludge metal, stoner metal, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

(I am going to start linking to bandcamp in here when I can, so that you can listen to more music and buy more music and support more of these guys. OK? You’re welcome.)

Last Friday I was hanging out at Into the Void when my friend M called me to see if I wanted to go with him, his girlfriend, and a mutual friend to see Sadgiqacea, his friend’s black metal band, play with local legends Ambassador Gun. So of course I said yes, because I love me some live music. The show was at Nomad’s World Pub, a small venue that seemed mostly populated, at least this time, by hipsters and crustpunks. Though small, it was a nice place, and they had a huge tap list as well if that is your thing. The patios, I thought, were particularly nice, especially on a balmy summer night. The sound was good as far as I could tell, but it was insanely loud as well, so

Poney from Madison, WI started off the night with a set of psychedelic/stoner inspired hardcore. They played all the material from their new record as well as several other songs. I really enjoyed their set, and thought that the interchanging vocals were really a cool effect, if not always in tune. Probably my favorite aspect of the music was the percussion; along with a drummer, Poney has another percussionist who uses mallets and other techniques with his drumkit. Looking forward to hopefully seeing these guys again soon.

[Two drummers. Rad.]

Hivelords was up next, and they completely destroyed. After their set, I went to fetch extra earplugs for my friends from the car because the noise levels were pretty much devastating. Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, Hivelords plays crushing, doom-saturated black metal, with the vocalist using the old grindcore two-mic technique and echo sound effects. The result is deafening and incredible. I was completely blown away by these guys, and have been pushing them on my friends since.

[Hivelords is devastating in the best way possible.]

Unfortunately I missed most of Sadgiqacea’s set. I was absolutely famished, and skipped over to grab a burrito at Hard Times. I did manage to catch most of the last song, however, and what I heard I really liked. Sadgiqacea also plays a mix of sludge, doom, and psychedelic black metal (and are also, incidentally from Philly). I am going to have to spend some more time with their catalog as I really like what I did hear, and I’m bummed that I missed out on their set.

[I will never stop being impressed by how well you can make incredible black metal with just two dedicated dudes.]

After getting my face obliterated by some of the most crushing live black metal I’ve ever witnessed, Ambassador Gun was unfortunately kind of a letdown. M has seen them before and says that he felt like they were definitely having an off night; one of the vocalists was not in his normal register, he said, so he could tell something was wrong. Even the crowd seemed to have a little trouble getting into the music. Nevertheless, Ambassador Gun’s blend of grind, punk, and metal was enjoyable enough to me. I had come to hear some noise and screaming, and they made sure I did not go home disappointed. I know these guys are a Minneapolis staple and I’d like to see them again sometime when they are having a better night. I also remembered that they played at Maryland Deathfest this year; another indication that I really ought to pick up tickets for the punk stage next time as well.

[Noisy noise.]

I like to support touring bands, and when they are friends or friends of friends I like it even more, so I gave Sadgiqacea and Hivelords the rest of the money in my pocket for gas and took home a sweet Hivelords patch for the old battle jacket. I also picked up a flier and sticker for FTG Illustrations, the work of Sadgiqacea’s drummer (he did their album artwork), in case anyone is looking for album art. After the show, I spent some time hanging out with M and company as well as Hivelords and Sadgiqacea, who were crashing at his place. I am now even more convinced that I need a house so I can put people up, because I love cooking for people and because, as I have bemoaned before, metal bands don’t typically have the support in the underground that the punks do.

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I had a really good time for a show I decided to go to on a sudden invite, and I’m really, really glad I went. Poney was excellent, and Hivelords completely destroyed, as did Sadgiqacea, the small part I saw of their set. I’m looking forward to seeing Ambassador Gun on a better night, as I know they are a big deal, and unfortunately theirs was the weakest set of the night. More reviews coming soon, as I can’t not go to things, including the not-Castle show that took place on Tuesday and the Maledicere show tomorrow  (it’s going to be awesome. Stoked).

-H

Review: Kylesa- Ultraviolet

Posted in Reviews, sludge metal, united states with tags , , , on July 17, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Up until a couple of months ago, I had never listened to Kylesa. I knew of their existence, but not who they were or what they did, really. So when I learned that they were going to play here with Blood Ceremony (who I did know and like), I decided that I should probably get to know who Kylesa was since they were the headliner. About that time, Pitchfork started streaming their new album Ultraviolet, so I spent some time listening to it there before deciding that I pretty much had to get it when it came out.

I don’t know how well Ultraviolet serves as an introduction to Kylesa, as that’s sort of what it was for me, but I do know that I enjoy it pretty much start to finish. I recently read a review of Ultraviolet that suggested that the album took a while to warm up, but I disagree. Having seen Kylesa recently, the opening track, “Exhale,” feels to me like a perfect audial representation of what seeing a Kylesa show is like. It’s sludgy, churning, and a little bit trippy. I also really dig “Grounded,” as it’s got a really gravelly, Southern rock-inspired riff that pulls the track together.

[Yeah, the tracks don’t match. The whole album isn’t up on YouTube yet. Sorry.]

Guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants also does a lot more clean vocals on this record than on previous albums. It’s certainly a new direction, but it’s one that I like a lot- the riffs are incredibly heavy and dark, and combined with the clean singing makes for a lot of really eerie moments. “Long Gone” presents a pretty good example of what I’m talking about. It’s also got an awesome drum break; I don’t know much of the band’s history and I’ve been quite shit at finding out, but my understanding is that they were down a drummer for a bit. The percussion is very heavy on this album, however, and God is in his heaven and all is right with the world.

Probably my favorite track on the album is “Low Tide,” and probably because I didn’t expect it at all. To me it sounds like summer, which is weird because it’s about the winter time.  But it’s calm and mellow, and makes me want to lie down in damp shade and just chill. This in the midst of Kylesa’s signature sludge makes for a really enjoyable deviation, and makes the tracks on either side of it sound even more brutal.

As far as other aspects of the album go: the production is clean but there is no shortage of distortion. Of course, the low end is extremely powerful, as it will be in sludge and doom recordings. I like the album artwork as well; it would make for good tattoo art, methinks, as it’s all very patterned.

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I like this one.

I like this one.

Overall, I really, really dig Ultraviolet. It has been in my rotation at least a couple of times a week since it came out, and as a result, I have been listening to a lot of Kylesa in general lately (Static Tensions and the s/t I find particularly sick). I’m sure there are detractors out there, as I hear murmurs that this album is darker, etc., and people always complain when bands change things. But I really love it, and for that, I am giving it 5/5.

Favorite Tracks:

Exhale

We’re Taking This

Long Gone

Low Tide

Gratuitous Birthday Post 2013

Posted in black metal, doom, france, grindcore, local, musings, sludge metal, thrash with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

This post is from yesterday, which was my birthday, for real. But because the internet at the hotel only wanted me to use Chrome, and Chrome likes to eat my links, I saved it until now. Here it is!

***

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, my gratuitous birthday post of “things I am currently listening to” on June 28, 2013. Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to Jon Nödtveidt (R.I.C.), and happy birthday to Frost. Because June 28 is a great day for birthdays and black metal.

Again, the list goes to 11, because Chaos and Spinal Tap and all that jazz. Without further ado, your black metal blog-ess has been listening to:

1. Aosoth- Under Nails and Fingertips

I’ve already ranted and raved about how much I love Aosoth’s new album, as well as the devastating effect they had on me at Deathfest this year. Because I can’t get enough of IV: An Arrow in Heart, this one has pretty much stayed on circulation for me this year.

2. Blut Aus Nord- …The Meditant (Dialogue with the Stars)

I recently purchased my very first Blut Aus Nord album (ludicrous, I know, especially considering how much I love French black metal), Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars. This has quickly become one of my favorite albums; it is glorious, and I want to drive out to the middle of nowhere and listen to it under the stars.

3. Kylesa- We’re Taking This

I had never heard Kylesa before a couple of months ago, and I wasn’t sure what to make of them at first. Since then, however, they have really grown on me, and now I can’t get enough of this sludgy stuff. I really love their new album Ultraviolet (which I am going to review, I promise. I am at a conference right now); this is from that.

4. Cough- Crooked Spine

Speaking of the South and slow things, Southern doom has also been on my radar a lot lately. Cough is pretty indicative of the stuff I’m talking about; Pallbearer as well.

5. Kreator- Command of the Blade

I am ashamed to admit that Kreator has been one of those gaping holes in my collection. Recently, however, I bought a used copy of Pleasure To Kill off my friend, and I have been digging the hell out of it. Thrash is a genre I skipped (except for Metallica, but that’s not special. Growing up in Oklahoma everyone is into Metallica), and I’m really enjoying navigating it.

6. Katharsis- The Last Wound

As far as black metal I should know but never really listened to goes, Katharsis is high on the list. I have been making it a point to listen to bands that I have seen everyone post but me, and so I’ve been spinning these guys lately.

7. Ptahil- The Black Fire

Although I still listen to A LOT of black metal, make no mistake, I have been listening to a lot more black metal genre-melding stuff lately, including blackened doom. Ptahil is from Indiana, and I saw them open for Black Witchery recently.

8. Candlemass- Samarithan

Really? When am I not listening to Candlemass? Now I own the Nightfall reissue on vinyl (it is BEAUTIFUL) as well as their 2005 s/t release, so I listen to them more than ever.

9. Sacramentum- When Night Surrounds Me

When school was ending for the semester, I went into Into the Void to buy myself a copy of Pilgrim’s Misery Wizard (Really. Serious doom kick), and my friend told me that if I didn’t buy this Sacramentum record we weren’t friends. So I did, and I love it. I am not willing to say it is better than Storm of the Light’s Bane; it is different than Storm of the Light’s Bane. But I don’t know that I could rank this album below it, either.

10. Holy Grail- Call of Valhalla

Holy Grail is one of those bands that I checked out because they are playing here soon, and I want to go to the show (the same thing happened with Kylesa). The result was the same as what usually happens when I listen to traditional heavy metal, which is that I think I should listen to more traditional heavy metal. Looking forward to seeing these guys live.

11. Black Market Fetus- Blinded By the Cross

Because every good playlist needs grindcore. Alas, I only got to see Black Market Fetus play once before they disbanded, but they were one of my favorite local bands when I lived in Iowa, and are one of my favorite grind bands ever.

…And that’s all folks. As you can see, DOOM.

‘Til next time.

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.