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Concert: Ghost/Macabre (7/28, Myth, St. Paul, MN)

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Ghost, whom I’ve not seen since they were here in 2013, and also Macabre, whom I’ve never seen despite having been a fan pretty much since I learned that they wrote a whole album about Jeffrey Dahmer. The show was at the Myth, this gigantic night club north of St. Paul, which is where I saw King Diamond back in the fall. It was predictably packed, but I could see fairly well from my spot on the floor as long as I maneuvered myself between the tall people.

One of the most fun parts of the evening was seeing the reactions to Macabre from people who are not familiar with Macabre. If you aren’t familiar with them you should be- Macabre is a Chicago band that’s been the same three guys playing together since 1984. Their catalog is chock-full of silly songs about serial killers – and a whole album about Jeffrey Dahmer in particular – and their last album, Grim Scary Tales, was about killers of the more legendary variety like Dracula, Lizzie Borden, and the Roman emperor Nero. Death metal and grindcore is of course full of gore and guts and all that stuff, so that should be no surprise, but it would seem that the exploits of real life killers is still somewhat of a taboo subject to be singing about, at least if you are the guys who were standing directly in front of me.

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Macabre

Macabre played a variety of songs from their catalog. From what I remember, they played Trial and Scrub a Dub Dub from the Dahmer album, Nero’s Inferno, Night Stalker, Vampire of Düsseldorf, Albert Was Worse Than Any Fish In The Sea, and The Iceman (he wasn’t a very nice man), and ended with Ed Gein, accompanied by a dude in a flannel shirt and burlap sack on his head. Despite the fact that they are from Chicago and relatively near me, I’d never gotten a chance to see Macabre live, and I was just as excited to see them as I was Ghost. The set was fun as hell and was pretty much everything I had hoped it’d be.

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The vocalist sings into a headpiece microphone.

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A blurry pic of the guy with the burlap mask.

The last time I saw Ghost it was at Mill City Nights, and The Myth is quite a bit bigger. I moved up a little closer, about halfway up to the stage on the floor, and I could see pretty well as long as I didn’t get stuck behind a tall person. The Nameless Ghouls had their Carnival masks on (and a friend of mine said they were down one? The show went well either way), and Papa E had on black robes this time. He changed into a cool, 18th century-looking jacket about halfway through the set, understandable because it was unbelievably freaking hot in there. They also did what I think was a little communion with two girls dressed as nuns (like I say, it was hard for me to see what was happening. Short and all). Papa E then “condemned them to the pit,” but first told the crowd that “if you want to grab something… don’t,” which I thought was a nice touch. 🙂

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That drumkit was cool.

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Hi Papa!

Ghost played for what seemed like a long time, and the only thing I could find to complain about is that they didn’t play more from Opus Eponymous (they played Ritual, of course, but that was it). What I recall of the setlist included Spirit (which they opened with), From the Pinnacle to the Pit, Cirice, Spöksonat, He Is, Mummy Dust, Absolution, If You Have Ghost(s), Ghuleh/Zombie Queen (I was super excited for this as they didn’t play it last time and it’s one of my favorite Ghost songs), Year Zero, and Body and Blood. They ended, as usual, with Monstrance Clock, complete with a great little commentary on the female orgasm. It was different from the last time I saw them, but I think between the two shows I have managed now to see all my favorite Ghost songs live.

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The nuns.

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Papa E rocking the vampire look. 

I still haven’t acquired any Ghost merch, but that is okay because my goal for tonight was to get a Macabre shirt that is so offensive I can’t wear it but like two places. I think I succeeded; the shirt is pretty tame, except for the fact that Richard Ramirez himself is pretty offensive. It’s also purple! I also picked up a Macabre button for my jacket.

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Front.

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Back. “Swear to Satan” is what Ramirez made his victims do before he killed them. (Fun facts to know and share!)

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Macabre button. I think I got the last one like this.

Overall, this was a really fun night. I got to see Macabre, FINALLY, and I saw Ghost again after entirely too long. Onward to the next: Baroness and Pallbearer on Tuesday, Belphegor (and SHINING! AHH!) on Wednesday. Don’t be too shocked if you see a wild Shining post appear in here somewhere, it is their 20th anniversary…

Until then.

-Hagalaz

A Playlist for the Blood Countess

Posted in birthdays, black metal, elizabeth bathory, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Erzebet, or Elizabeth, Bathory was born August 7th, 1560 (HAPPY BIRTHDAY). While there’s no proof that she actually bathed in the blood of virgins, as those rumors weren’t circulated until after her death, she definitely murdered a whole crapton of young women. There are disagreements as to how many, however; though the official body count seems to be 80, one serving girl claimed that Bathory murdered up to 650. The Countess managed to escape trial due to the shame it would bring to her very influential family, but she was nevertheless imprisoned and sealed up in a castle in Hungary. (I took most of this from Wikipedia.)

Elizabeth Bathory is also one of the patron saints of heavy metal, as her story is beset with imagery of bathing in blood, eternal youth, vampirism, possible links to the Devil, you know, pretty much everything you could want in a gothic sensational tale. So here’s a playlist I threw together of a bunch of songs relating to Countess Bathory, either directly or through blood-bathing references, name-dropping, or other indirect means.

Tormentor – Elizabeth Bathory

[Let’s start this off with a band from the Countess’ native Hungary, shall we?]

Sunn O))) – Bathory Erzebet

 

Ghost – Elizabeth

 

Electric Wizard – Torquemada 71

[This one is more about Torquemada, of course, but the Countess does get name-dropped.]
Venom – Countess Bathory

 

Evile – Bathe in Blood

[Some more general blood-bathing and murder.]

Candlemass – The Bleeding Baroness

 

X-Japan – Rose of Pain

[I swear one of these days I’m going to do a post entirely about X-Japan and how amazing they are. I had forgotten all about this song, and it’s great, just like everything else this band ever did.]

Bathory – Woman of Dark Desires

[No playlist for Elizabeth Bathory is complete without Bathory, of course.]

Cradle of Filth – Cruelty and the Beast

[…And then there was that time when Cradle of Filth made an entire album about her.]

***

I’ll be back soon with a review of Ghost and Macabre, and a big ol’ post about how much I love Shining, since they’ve been around for 20 years now and I get to see them in a couple of weeks.

Until then.

-H 

Hagalaz’ Favorite Black Metal Covers

Posted in black metal, covers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

So I’ve been planning on doing a thing on black metal cover songs for a long time but never got around to it, and by this point I’m sure there are some on my original mental list that have slipped my mind. But here is at least part one (there’s no Bathory on here, for starters. Mainly because I’d have done Emperor’s cover of A Fine Day To Die but I wanted to do the Mercyful Fate cover).

My personal favorite covers tend to be those in which a band puts their own spin on the original, incorporating new sounds into an old song, so that’s what I’ve tried to stick with here. And so without further ado, some personal favorite black metal covers of mine in random order!

Emperor – Gypsy (Mercyful Fate cover)

I remember reading in The Slayer Mag Diaries that Metalion didn’t like this cover, I think because of what Emperor did with the keyboards. But the added keyboards give the song that symphonic and majestic feel that is distinctly Emperor, laid over the straightforward, traditional metal of Mercyful Fate, and personally, I think that’s what makes it fantastic. Well, that and Ihsahn singing falsetto.

 

Watain – Watain (VON cover)

HERE IS. WHERE HE KILLS. Watain’s cover of the song from which they took their name is great fun, not least of all because Von sounds absolutely nothing like Watain has ever sounded a day in their lives. It’s always a good time to hear a band play something completely out of their ordinary style, and I’m less likely to get all whimsical and teary-eyed like I do when Watain covers Dissection.

 

Shining – I Nattens Timma (Landberk cover)

By all means, if you do not know Landberk’s original of I nattens timma, you ought to get out there and listen to it. It is, I think, actually creepier than Shining’s cover, with a more music-box feel to it and creepy flutes. However much I really like the original, though, I absolutely adore Shining’s version, which is how I fell in love with Niklas Kvarforth’s clean singing voice.

 

Dissection – Elisabeth Bathory (Tormentor cover)

There is literally nothing about Dissection covering Tormentor that isn’t cool. Of course, Jon Nödtveidt will never sound like Attila in the opening voice over, and Dissection’s approach to the song is, unsurprisingly, not as atmospheric or low-fi as the original. But rest assured, they’ve certainly Swedish-ized it, and only in the best possible way.

 

Thorns – Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times (Emperor cover)

Thorns’ cover of Emperor’s Cosmic Keys is totally weird, and completely wonderful. It’s all the Emperor riffs you love, but slowed down to doom speeds and with a spoken-word voice over rather than the shrieks of the original. Slow-building and immensely heavy with a steady, almost tribal-sounding drum beat in the background, Thorns’ creepy, apocalyptic-feeling approach to the track is proof of how lucky we are that Samoth and Snorre were kicking around in the same prison for a bit.

 

Agalloch – Kneel to the Cross (Sol Invictus cover)

I remember seeing Agalloch play this live and being shell-shocked, because at the time I hadn’t heard the original, but I had studied medieval lyric poetry, and all I could think of was this. Anyway. That’s weird. Both versions are fantastic, of course, but it’s interesting how Agalloch’s blackened version seeps the hopefulness out of the original.

 

Melechesh – Babylon Fell (Celtic Frost cover)

Melechesh’s cover of Babylon Fell adds a Mediterranean flair to Celtic Frost’s blistering original. The drums in particular are really cool on this track, with the syncopated drumbeat shifting slightly away from the original. Likewise, they use several different vocal techniques, making for some interesting layering (I am, unsurprisingly partial to the shrieks). And of course, there’s some sitar in there as well, lending this cover an Eastern feel that complements the title and lyrics.

 

Dimmu Borgir – Burn in Hell (Twisted Sister cover)

Okay, so this is once again me posting Dimmu post-them being acceptable to a lot of black metal people, but once again, I don’t care. They covered Twisted Sister, and Burn in Hell at that, and it’s fun as shit, and ICS Vortex is as on par here as he ever is.

 

Limbonic Art – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (Mayhem cover)

Limbonic Art’s symphonic take on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is super cool- the vocals are inspired by Attila’s while still having an original flair to them, and the added keyboards give the song an eerie, almost gothic effect, complementing the original beautifully while still maintaining its own sound.

 

Celtic Frost – In the Chapel, In the Moonlight (Dean Martin cover)

I didn’t realize that this song was a cover until just recently. Now that I realize that it’s not only a cover, but a Dean Martin song, I find that not only awesome but also hilarious. This can also go into the list of Totally Metal Songs to Play at Your Wedding, which is now also going to be a list because I just thought of it. Celtic Frost also definitely put their own spin on this one, considering that it, uh, does not sound like Dean Martin.

 

So there you go! That’s a start of a list, at least, and probably needs more added to it, so don’t be surprised if there’s a part two lurking in the future. I’m working up a review of the Metal Threat Fest Warm-Up Show with Destroyer 666 (!) as well as some other things, but the posts might be more sporadic over the next couple of weeks while I finish up the summer session of school.

Until then,

H

 

 

A Preview for Tomorrow’s Post

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Which was supposed to be today’s, but I have been reading academic articles all day and my brain is FRIED. Seriously. I can’t think.

But here’s a hint of what you have to look forward to:

Off to rest my brain.

-H

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

Upcoming Release: Unreqvited – Disquiet

Posted in atmospheric black metal, black metal, canada, DSBM, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 23, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

So while I have two huge assignments and one little one due this week and am spending time listening to music so that I can review things, I’m going to take this time to plug something I’m excited about.

Unreqvited is an atmospheric/DSBM/post-black metal band from Canada (a country that seems to do this sort of thing well. Gris, anyone?). I was first made aware of Unreqvited while doing this thing that I do every once in a while where I just go through and listen to the front page of whatever is posted in the DSBM subreddit, and the first released track, “Disquiet” (which is also the title track of the upcoming album) was one of the things posted. It says something, I think, when you are listening to a whole bunch of really fine DSBM all at once and then you hear something that gets you as pumped as this track did for me. I immediately went and posted it on Facebook and yelled about it a little bit because I get excited about these things.

From what I can tell from Bandcamp and Facebook, which isn’t a whole lot, Unreqvited appears to be a one-man project. So far there are only two tracks released, the aforementioned one and another called “Maydena” (which was shared on YouTube by Lightfox177, who is very on top of things and whose opinions are way more respected than mine, so you should pay attention). There’s a really lovely blend of distortion and clean-sounding keyboards here, and I am seriously digging the screams. The two tracks currently available are fantastic, and I cannot wait to hear the rest of this thing come October 1.

Like, seriously, I’ve not been this excited for a debut in a long time.

In the meantime, if you want to follow Unreqvited like I am doing, you can find the band on Facebook or Bandcamp (and also on occasion in various black metal related subreddits). Disquiet is set for release through Pest Productions on October 1.

-Hagalaz

 

Happy Birthday, King Diamond!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 14, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Another metal June-baby! We are legion.

-H