Archive for the traditional heavy metal Category

On the 7th Day of July, 1777…

Posted in traditional heavy metal, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 7, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Abigail LaFey was born dead, and was nailed to her coffin with seven silver spikes, one through each arm, hand and knee, and the last of the seven drawn through her mouth so that she may never rise and cause evil again.

(Emotionally exhausted right now and have ideas but no motivation or time to write them. So listen to King Diamond. Because it’s always a good day for that.)

-Hagalaz

Hagalaz’ Favorite Albums of 2015

Posted in 2015, best of, black metal, doom, doom metal, drone metal, finland, funeral doom, marduk, melechesh, orthodox black metal, sweden, traditional heavy metal, war metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

The other day, I was thinking of catch-up posts I needed to do and I thought, “Oh! I’ll do a post about my favorite albums of 2015!” I didn’t plan on it needing to be ten or eleven like I normally do because… it’s almost six months late, so why do you care? But then, lo, there were that many, so the list is eleven after all.

So without further ado, in mostly random order, my favorites of 2015.

11. Ghost – Meliora

After the huge fanfare for Infestissumam (and there was a lot of it. Remember when Ghost released those sex toys?), there was practically none for its follow-up. Really. I didn’t even know this album was out until about a week after it dropped, and I worked at a metal record store. Meliora feels like a throwback in a way; it’s more stripped down in the way that Opus Eponymous was, and I dare say a little heavier than its predecessors, “Cirice” feels almost doomy.

Favorite Tracks: He Is, Absolution

[Here’s Ghost playing “He Is” with the grandpas guitars.]

 

10. Sunn O))) – Kannon

Sunn O))) near the end of the year released their first full-length album (not with Ulver) since 2009’s Monoliths and Dimensions (which is absolutely, stupidly, dumbfoundingly awesome). Clocking in at barely over a half hour, Kannon is over a whole lot faster than you would hope (if you’re me), but that’s literally my only complaint about it. Here’s to Attila doing more crazy things with his throat!

H’s Favorite Track: Kannon, Pt. 3

 

9. Baroness – Purple

I was stupidly happy to hear that Baroness would have a new album out; after their terrible bus crash in 2012, I would not have been surprised if they never put out another album. Purple is a return to a heavier sound, and it simultaneously incorporates a lot of new sounds and styles, like in “Shock Me” and “If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain).” J thinks that 2012’s Yellow & Green may prove to be a transitional album if the band continues in this vein, and it will be interesting to see where Baroness goes from here.

Favorite Tracks: Shock Me, Kerosene

 

8. Melechesh – Enki

Melechesh is one of those bands that I think is really cool and innovative and doesn’t get nearly enough attention. 2010’s The Epigenesis was when they got the production budget to really hit their peak, and I wasn’t sure that they would be able to top it, but Enki definitely does. It’s tight, fast, full of fun shifting drum patterns and Eastern-influenced riffing and instrumentation. Now if we can just get them to tour here again… or headline…

Favorite Tracks: Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged, Doorways to Irkala

[And this is just track one.]

 

8. Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields

I was also very excited to hear that Shape of Despair had a new album coming out. Angels of Distress is one of the most upsetting albums I know- it’s beautiful, but it really is distressing. Monotony Fields (there’s one that came out between them that I didn’t know about! I will have to get on that) is another treatise in funeral doom the way it should be done- it’s bleak and slow-moving with some awesome keyboard parts. It’s also got some surprising turns- “Descending Inner Light” is almost joyful. For funeral doom. Which is really kind of the opposite of joyful. Huh.

Favorite Tracks: The Distant Dreams of Life, In Longing

[Here’s another track, because there are entirely too many high points on this album]

 

6. Saturnalia Temple – To The Other

Speaking of doom- Saturnalia Temple’s To The Other really is like gazing into the Void. Creepy, heavy, and just plain downright daunting (smothering?), this album reminds me of all of the ugliness and sonic twistedness of something like Teitanblood, but slower. Much. Much. Slower. It’s sort of like being slapped with a sledgehammer. But in a good way.

Favorite Tracks: ZazelSorath, To the Other

[Enjoy your nightmares.]

 

5. Shining – IX: Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends

Shining released their ninth full-length album last year, called Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends. This new album features an introductory track that is entirely fugue-like classical riffing, and later employs the use of a sitar. Say what you will about their stage antics and the general notoriety of vocalist Niklas Kvarforth, Shining remains, in my opinion, one of the most innovative black metal bands currently out there.

Favorite Tracks: Den påtvingade tvåsamheten, Besök från i(ho)nom

 

4. Mgła – Exercises in Futility

Mgła also returned with an offering every bit as good as everyone expected it to be. While I am still very partial to With Hearts Towards None, Exercises in Futility proves that Mgła is not slacking and is easily one of the best black metal releases of last year, even if it doesn’t really break any new ground. Blending old school style with third-wave melody, Mgła’s albums are consistently solid and enjoyable.

Favorite Tracks: IV, VI

 

3. Marduk – Frontschwein

2015 also saw the return of Marduk, and specifically the return of Marduk playing war music. Not to say that their past several albums haven’t been absolutely fantastic in their focus on Biblical/apocalyptic imagery, but let’s face it, war is kind of what they’re known for. Frontschwein does not disappoint, bringing in some of the best reviews that Marduk has seen in years and proving that black metal’s war machine hasn’t sacrificed any of their brutality.

Favorite Tracks: Nebelwerfer, 503

[Yes. That’s a tambourine.]

 

2. Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud

This is the weird one on the list. I have never listened to Amorphis before last year. At all. Basically, Shane just played it a lot at the record store and it really grew on me. While not typically the sort of thing that I listen to with any amount of frequency, Amorphis’ Under the Red Cloud is, I think, easily one of my favorite albums of 2015.

Favorite Tracks: Death of a King, Tree of Ages

[Again. There isn’t a bad song on this one either.]

 

1. Clandestine Blaze – New Golgotha Rising

My number one album of 2015 is actually a black metal album this year. If you’re not familiar with Clandestine Blaze, you should be, and if those vocals sound familiar… well, that would probably be because Deathspell Omega also channels their works through Mikko Aspa’s vocal chords. Only here he does everything. New Golgotha Rising is, on the surface, a relatively straightforward raw black metal album, but the more I listen to it, the more I find that it shifts around beneath the surface, like some kind of parasite in a sci-fi horror film. All of Clandestine Blaze’s catalog is seriously good stuff, but this new one is one of my favorites.

Favorite Tracks: (All of it, ya goofs, but if I have to pick,) Evocation Under Starlit Sky, Passage to New Creed

[I wanted to post this track because it does a good job of showing off that slippery riffage that Clandestine Blaze does so well.]

So there is a list of stuff I liked last year. Because dudes, I already had eleven. Which is why Enforcer isn’t on there along with other notable exceptions, and there’s still stuff I need to catch up on (Arcturus). The back catalog on the stuff I need to catch up on is huge. But, here is the stuff I was jamming a bunch last year for you to peruse while I try to stay on top of this year (new Rotting Christ is incredible, and Behexen and Inquisition’s new stuff is sounding really, really good).

Until next time…

-H

 

 

Gratuitous Birthday Playlist 2014

Posted in 2014, black metal, blackened death metal, death metal, doom, local, mayhem, musings, stoner metal, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Well. This is late, and it’s late because I was busy being the birthday girl, something I don’t get to do very often because for some reason I’m always out of town on my birthday. But this year I wasn’t, and I spent a glorious evening with A at the HammerHeart Brewery followed by more hangs the next day with coworkers. And then I’ve been in Chicago, seeing Behexen (!) and Sargeist (!), which I will rave about soon enough.
However, here it is. My gratuitous birthday playlist for 2014!

***

1. Behemoth- O Father, O Satan, O Sun

I really love Behemoth’s new album, and I’m going to be working up a review for it soon. Suffice it to say for now that this song hits me right in the feels.

2. Iron Maiden- The Evil That Men Do

I kind of skipped Iron Maiden, having plummeted face first into symphonic black metal (I grew up on classical music. It was a natural progression). However, countless hours of listening to Maiden at DJ night over the past year has shown me the error of my ways, and I’m devouring this stuff like candy lately.

3. Behexen- Death’s Black Light

Behexen is on here because holy crap I got to see them the other night. That’s nuts. I never thought that would happen. They played this song too…

4. Sargeist- Let the Devil In

Also Sargeist. In terms of things I never thought I’d see live, they rank slightly higher than Behexen.

5. Arckanum- Þjóbaugvittr

I’ve been listening to a lot of Arckanum lately too. I love how meditative it is- the music is atmospheric and repetitive, but the subtleties in the melodies ensure that it never gets boring. Plus, Shamaatae is one of the most interesting figures in black metal to me, and I feel like Arckanum often gets overlooked.

6. Mayhem- Watchers

Y’all know already about me and Mayhem. Just like any long-time fan, I held my breath until I heard their new album, and was pleased to find that I loved it. Especially this song. Those riffs.

7. King Diamond- A Mansion in Darkness

Having secured my King Diamond ticket for St. Louis (!!!), I have also been listening to a lot of his solo work recently. I know Mercyful Fate much better, and I decided that it was nigh time I made myself more familiar with the King himself. This is probably my favorite track on Abigail– I love haunted houses.

8. Sleep- Dragonaut

My all-time favorite Sleep song. Dat bass. Dat doom.

9. Teitanblood- Silence of the Great Martyrs

We’re only halfway through, so I have yet to know for sure, but Teitanblood’s new one, Death, just might be my favorite album this year.

10. House of Atreus- Bastards on the Hillside

I’ve also been jamming out a lot to local legends (and good friends of mine) House of Atreus. Their new EP is brilliant stuff, and I have a review lying around here somewhere that I need to get edited…

11. Dissection- Dark Mother Divine

Shut up. I like this album.

***
So that’s it. My birfday playlist for THIS year. Watch this space- like I said, I’m in the editing stages of my House of Atreus review, and about to start on one for the new Behemoth. I got bit by the black metal bug BAD this past weekend, so I’m probably going to be churning out stuff more frequently again (also I will try to get up a review for the shows I saw in Chi-Town last week).
Ave!
-Hagalaz

KING DIAMOND IS TOURING!

Posted in denmark, tour dates, traditional heavy metal, united states with tags , , , on June 23, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

You guys! King Diamond is going on tour! Like, really! And J gets to see him on the first date, lucky bastard.

You can check to see how close King will be getting to you on his website. And anywhere is close enough, honestly- I’m going to Chi-Town for it. I don’t really know how, yet, but dammit, I’m going to see this.

Ave.

-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

Concert: Danzig (With Doyle!)/Scar the Martyr/Huntress/In Defence (8/17, Myth, St. Paul, MN)

Posted in concerts, crossover thrash, minneapolis/st. paul, punk, traditional heavy metal, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

As all graduate students know, life gets hard at the end of summer, and especially when you are low man on the totem pole in your program and don’t have a chance of landing yourself a teaching job. Not having any source of income until about a month and a half ago, this summer was particularly rough on me in terms of finances. Thus, I was not able to afford my summer trip home, which really sucks. However, it does mean that I was here to see Danzig, which is awesome as he was performing a special part-Misfits set with Doyle (!!!).

The show was at The Myth, a big nightclub north of St. Paul. Apparently Danzig refused to play last time he was here because the show was at the Cabooze, a little venue on the light rail’s Blue Line. This time the space was much bigger, and there were quite a lot of people there. Lots of girls, and a lot of younger kids too, teenagers mostly there to see Danzig and Scar the Martyr, Joey Jordison of Slipknot’s new band. The sound was pretty good as long as you stood in front of the stage; I sat in the benches on the side for part of Huntress and Scar the Martyr’s sets, and the bass was incredibly overwhelming from there. I was feeling a little sick from it even.

Early in the night I made my way down to the rail for In Defence, since they are one of my favorite local bands.  It was really interesting to see them play on such a huge stage; on the one hand, it was fun to see them in that capacity, but I think I prefer seeing In Defence in a more intimate space. Either way, they played a strong set, and there was even a small yet enthusiastic circle pit going for a bit, despite the fact that not that many people had shown up yet. The people who did show up were the people I see all the time, which is great, but I’m glad that there were a few new faces in the crowd as well.

[In Defence, playing at Taco John’s quite a while ago. I live in the same town as these dudes]

Huntress was… strange, to me at least. I enjoyed the vocals to an extent; their leading lady has a very powerful voice. However, her costume was really weird. She was wearing a spandex body suit thing as well as a cape, which would have been far less impressive had she not had a fan in the front of the stage to blow it around. Despite the strong vocals, Huntress wasn’t all that impressive to me. The guitar riffs were not very memorable, and the entire thing just felt okay. Not good, not bad, just okay. I like traditional heavy metal, but if I want to listen to throwback of that stuff I’ll go put on In Solitude or Holy Grail.

I met Scar the Martyr with hesitation, and my fears were confirmed. The music was perfectly fine, although not really my cup of black tea. Every once in a while a riff would catch my attention, but overall they were a bit radio-rock for me (not to mention that it was during their set that I was starting to feel sick from the bass). A few youths tried to mosh and failed utterly. It was adorable. One thing I will give them- the drums were awesome. I’ve seen Slipknot three times (Shut up. They put on a great show), and Joey Jordison never fails to deliver live. He played from behind a gigantic drumkit, and was by far the best part of the set.

Next up was Danzig, who seemed positively cheerful for Danzig. He opened his set with Twist of Cain, which made me happy. I’m afraid I don’t know Danzig’s solo stuff as well as I should, but he did play Mother towards the very end of the set, and he played for quite a while. It was fun to see all the people in the audience losing it to Danzig, everyone from kids to dudes in their forties (and by this point, the place was packed). I have heard that he had a few off nights on this tour, but the St. Paul show was spectacular.

Interspersed throughout Danzig’s set was Misfits material played alongside Doyle. Doyle is a mammoth of a man. He is gigantic, and his biceps looked about the size of my head. It was no surprise, then, when he kept breaking strings off his guitar. The Misfits portion of the set was the main reason I wanted to see this show so badly, and I was not let down. They played Skulls, Halloween, Astro Zombies, and my personal favorite, I Turned Into A Martian, during which I completely lost my shit. It was a great time, with pretty much everyone in the crowd singing along.

[Doyle is a fucking beast]

I didn’t pick up a Danzig shirt because they were super expensive, but I did snag myself another In Defence shirt. It’s one I’ve had my eye on for a while, too, as I love Star Wars.

From Profane Existence's WordPress. I took a picture of my shirt but my phone is being stupid.

From Profane Existence’s WordPress. I took a picture of my shirt but my phone is being stupid.

All and all, this show was fantastic. The middle bands were kind of a letdown, but the company was excellent, and watching Joey Jordison play drums is always a treat (though in my opinion, he should have just done a half hour drum solo). Danzig was great; he’s getting up there in years, and he’s not in the best shape anymore, but he managed to keep up throughout the set. And seeing Doyle play with him was incredible. I’m a young’un and a punk newbie, so this is probably the closest I will ever come to a live Misfits set. It was worth every bit of the gas money to drive all the way to the Myth.

**

I’m going to try to update every week, but I don’t know that I can promise that. I picked up another class, and I’m swamped. I have a lot of ideas that I’m sketching out in whatever free time I can score, and I will shoot for once a week; bar that, once every two weeks.

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.