Archive for the USBM Category

Concert: Behemoth/Myrkur (4/30, Mill City Nights, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, atmospheric black metal, blackened death metal, denmark, doom metal, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, poland, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

When I heard that Behemoth was planning a tour in which they were going to play The Satanist top to bottom, I knew I had to go. I absolutely love that album, and Behemoth has yet to disappoint at a live gig. (Seriously. They have one of the best stage shows ever.) The fact that this was happening on Walpurgisnacht was, well, an added bonus. Who would pass that up?

Anyhow, I had somehow managed to forget that Myrkur was opening until a couple of days before the show. I reviewed her EP over at Burning Fist when it first came out and was really impressed with it, and just as equally dismayed by the sheer amount of hate that she got. The full-length album, M, was far less interesting to me (I never ended up getting it and I don’t really feel an aching need to), and I kind of lost track of her beyond vaguely jumping into conversations on the internet on occasion to slap people on wrist for being douchy. (Seriously. There are legitimate reasons why people are upset over Myrkur, and I understand those. But there are a lot of meatheads out there who think girls have no place in metal, and those people… can fuck off and die. But this is a concert review and that is a post for another day.)

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Myrkur

Myrkur’s live performance went, for me, much like the records did. I really liked the stuff she did from the EP, and the rest I thought was a little repetitive. However, I was really impressed to see her play keyboards and guitar both, and I was glad that she got such a positive reception from the crowd. A friend of mine mentioned that parts of her set sounded a lot like doom, and I found myself agreeing with that assessment. She ended the set with a cover of Bathory’s “Song to Hall Up High,” though, and I, uh, may have gotten something in my eye…

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I was happy that she played some instruments herself

Then, after a fairly lengthy pause, Behemoth took the stage. Behemoth is consistently good as a live act, but tonight they pulled out ALL the stops. In terms of just the stage show, Behemoth hauled out video screens for this one and showed video clips throughout the set, including the super creepy video for “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel.” (If they have done this in previous times that I have seen them, I don’t recall it.) Nergal also carried out one of those swingy-ball-o-incense-thingies that they use at Mass at one point (shut up; I’m not Catholic, I don’t know what it’s called). There was also a mock Communion, and the fans in the front of the stage got to eat up a bunch of Communion crackers. Also, Orion spit blood all over a crucifix he was holding upside down at the end of “Amen.” It was more live blasphemy than you could shake a stick at, along with a mosh pit that was positively churning the entire time.

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Fire: Never not a great idea

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Swingy-ball-‘o’-incense-thingy

Of course, Behemoth played The Satanist all the way through, ending with “O Father, O Satan, O Sun” and coming out for the last part with the horns on like they do. (So cool.) They played a handful of other songs afterwards, however, including “At the Left Hand ov God,” “Slaves Shall Serve,” “Antichristian Phenomenon,” and “Conquer All.” It was a fantastically fun show, and my doom metal buddy was even impressed despite Behemoth not being his typical thing.

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Inferno destroying everything. Seriously. He is one of my favorite drummers

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Happy Walpurgisnacht from Behemoth \m/

I actually did come away with some merch for this one. It had been a long time since I had a Behemoth shirt, and I couldn’t turn down this one with the Virgin Mary on it. It also occurred to me that I didn’t have a Behemoth patch for the jacket, which seemed wrong for someone who has now seen them four times, so I got one of those as well. I also picked up Myrkur’s EP; I had had a digital copy of it before from when I reviewed the album, but when my iPod corrupted in the fall and ate all my files I lost it.

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“Put me on the blog, mom!” Demanding Cat is demanding. (I know you are jealous of my kvlt Hello Kitty blanket) 

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The text on the patch that you can’t read very well says “The Satanist”

April has been absolutely nuts with shows just about twice a week, and now I feel like we’re about to hit a massive dry spell (there’s some really cool stuff coming up this summer, like Swans (!) and The Body, but it’s more spread out). However, Behemoth on Walpurgisnacht is a pretty good way to end a busy April, and very fortifying for the end of the semester that I’ll be fighting through the next couple of weeks.

I’ll be back next week; I’m almost done with Nergal’s biography, so I’m planning on writing on that, as well as the new Rotting Christ (I’m still on my first listen, but my rash impulse is to say this is even better than the last, which I loved), and I still need to write that post about why you all are so wrong about Reinkaos. (I’d put a winky emoji but I feel like that’s inappropriate.)

Until then…

-Hagalaz

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Concert: Absu/False/Christworm/Treasons (4/19, Triple Rock, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, black metal, blackened doom, blackened thrash, concerts, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, triple rock, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

This week’s adventures in metal shows featured Texas-based black-thrashers, Absu. Since the show fell on a Tuesday, I was running a little late (I work Tuesday nights), and I missed the first band (Treasons, I think it was). This was a much more comfortably attended show; I didn’t have to hide in a corner by the bathrooms to avoid getting smushed like at Pig Destroyer. At the same time, it’d be nice for Absu to get a bigger turnout- it was a smallish crowd last time as well.

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Christworm

The second band, Christworm, went on shortly after I arrived. I was really impressed by them; they played a kind of sludgy, doomy death metal. I texted a friend and said that it was cool to hear a band like this amongst all the death metal around here, and that friend then informed me that Christworm is actually from Baton Rouge, LA, which… explains why they sound so different from all the bands around here. Ha. Christworm is the sort of band that makes feedback between songs on their sets, though, and I’m pretty much always down with bands that do that. I was really impressed with them, and I’ll be keeping an eye on them in the future.

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False

Next up was False, who always put on a good show. They opened with “Heavy As A Church Tower,” which never fails to give me chills, and followed up with a song I’m not familiar with (I… need to get their full-length album. I know people in that band and it’s just embarrassing that I don’t have it yet). Rachel paced in front of the stage for the bulk of the first song, and once again I was reminded of how much she looks like some kind of big cat when she does that. A very solid, strong set.

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Proscriptor hasn’t got a lot of hair, but the other two guys got it covered.

Finally, Absu! I like Absu; I don’t listen to them as much as I should (I was hoping to pick up Abzu at the show, but alas, they had no CDs for sale. Will have to do that with the spring shopping binge I’m plotting), but when I do, I am very aware of the sheer musicianship of these guys. Seeing it live, however, is always insane. They are so tight and so spot-on and the drumming is always so phenomenal, it’s crazy how those three guys make that much monumental racket.

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Ezezu handling some vox

Absu played a variety of songs from their extensive catalog, including a song off a new album we were told would be out later this year, and Ezezu handled the majority of the vocals for the bulk of the set, since Proscriptor McGovern was busy destroying his drumkit. Like last time, the band took a short break and had another guy come fill in on drums (anyone know who this was? Hit me up if you do) while Proscriptor came out to do several songs just on vocals.

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A closer pic with everyone in it

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Proscriptor on vox

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Absu!

(I’m… actually pretty happy with that last pic. Huh.)

As I said earlier, I had planned on buying some music but Absu only had vinyl with them, and while I dig vinyl I generally only buy it in special cases (see doom; rare black metal). I have added “more Absu” to my mental list of things, though (and it occurs to me that that should probably become a physical list if I am to actually remember anything on the list. Hmm).

Anyway, every band I had the good fortune to see on this night played a solid set. False tore it up as usual (nice to see them again since I missed them before Abbath), Absu was absolutely dumbfoundingly good, and I was introduced to Christworm, whose set I greatly enjoyed.

Next up, Behemoth! Playing The Satanist in its entirety on Walpurgisnacht. Should be a good one…

-Hagalaz

Concert: Taake/Young And In The Way/Vattnet Viskar (2/27, Triple Rock, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, atmospheric black metal, black metal, concerts, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, post-black metal, punk, tours, triple rock, true norwegian black metal, Uncategorized, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

A while back, A and I went to see Taake play for the first time ever in Minnesota! The show was at the Triple Rock, and I was a bit nervous going in as I expected it to be super crowded and the Triple Rock is… well, it’s not the worst venue to be packed into, but it isn’t the best either. There were a lot of people there, but it wasn’t so insanely packed that you couldn’t move around comfortably.

Vattnet Viskar was the opening band- no local bands opening for this one. VV hails from Plaistow, NH. From what I can tell, their music is kind of blackish-psychedelicish metal in the vein of The Atlas Moth but a little more spacey. Their guitarist was a very excitable young man, and spit a lot (nothing against him. Everyone was spitting a lot. There was spit everywhere. Seriously. So much bodily fluids. Wth). This style of USBM is really cool and interesting, and I will have to keep an eye on Vattnet Viskar in upcoming years. I feel like if they keep promoting themselves and can definitively set themselves apart from other psychedelic-sounding post-black bands they will do really well.

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Vattnet Viskar

 It’s not Vattnet Viskar’s fault that I wasn’t in the mood for that kind of black metal, though. Young And In The Way more hit the spot, considering that my mood was and has not been the best in the past month, and I really wanted to smash something about then. Of course, I didn’t, but the crowd sure did- and here is where I was glad that there was plenty of room to maneuver in the venue, because the crowd on the floor was moshing pretty hard. Being a bit of a purist, I am usually really bitchy about people moshing at black metal shows, but if you are going to mosh at a black metal set, YAITW is pretty much where you should do that. The band was great, the crowd was great, the energy between the two was intense, and I came off YAITW’s set much happier than when I’d gone in.

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Young And In The Way

At last, Taake took the stage! It was unreal, really, getting to see them, as they are one band I had pretty much resigned myself to never getting to see (what with them picking the wrong year to attend Deathfest and then cancelling the Chicago show last summer). A and I were practically quivering with anticipation when we saw the banjo sitting on the side of the stage, which meant that they were going to, and did, play Mir. They also played Fra Vatested til Vaandesmed, my personal favorite, which kind of made the night for me. They also did a cover of G.G. Alin’s “Die When You Die,” with a guest vocalist (I am not sure who it was. If any of you reading this can help me out, please do!). Also, we got to watch Hoest kill a whole bottle and a half of what I’m pretty sure was wine right onstage. Overall, it was incredible; I’m still a little shocked that it actually happened. Mgła and Taake in the same year? I’m both grateful and amazed that this caliber of black metal is touring the States right now.

A special shout-out to the security dude who was standing next to me during Taake’s set, as he wiped up spit and spilled wine and kept Hoest from falling to his untimely death over the dismembered mic stands all night. Triple Rock, that guy deserves a raise. Seriously.

***

I’m going to try to keep this thing updated a bit better now that the record store is closed and I can’t bitch about metal there (I need SOME venue to bitch about it in). I’m thinking Thursdays may be the lucky day, but I need a bit to see if it’s going to be every week or bi-weekly. I’m also going to switch over to just uploading images instead of linking out to videos, so as not to bog down people’s computers (mine included). In the interest of this, please ignore their shoddy quality.

-H

More Pics from Behexen/Sargeist

Posted in battle jacket, black metal, chicago, concerts, finland, orthodox black metal, psychedelic rock, retro occult rock, satan, underground, united states, USBM, war metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

As promised, some pics from black metal weekend. It occurs to me that I must not have gotten any pics of Behexen- was too busy headbanging I guess. Enjoy!

My farewell party. He was displeased that I was gone all weekend.

My farewell party. He was displeased that I was gone all weekend.

The lovely A at the Beat Kitchen, rocking the Emperor shirt

The lovely A at the Beat Kitchen, rocking the Emperor shirt

Kommandant's vocalist. His new get-up is terrifying

Kommandant’s vocalist. His new get-up is terrifying

Kommandant

Kommandant

Just one of the many curiosities from the awesome sushi place/Japanese grocery store

Just one of the many curiosities from the awesome sushi place/Japanese grocery store

Mugging for the camera with my bow to match my battle jacket

Mugging for the camera with my bow to match my battle jacket

Kvties

Kvties

Jex Thoth

Jex Thoth

I liked her dancing

I liked her dancing

Sargeist

Sargeist

Ave.

-H

Concert: Sargeist/Acid Witch/Empyreus/Strix Nebulosa/Jex Thoth (7/6, Beat Kitchen, Chicago)

Posted in black metal, chicago, concerts, death metal, doom, finland, orthodox black metal, psychedelic rock, retro occult rock, satan, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

***NOTE: Alas, there are no vids this time. For some reason, WordPress (or this post in particular, perhaps) is not letting me embed videos. So I don’t have those for you. I do have a few pictures from the shows, but they aren’t all uploaded on my computer so I will have to do a follow up post of those.***

Night two of my and A’s black metal weekend was a significantly longer bill, featuring a wide range of music. I was a bit in shock that I was going to get to see Sargeist- I figured that would never happen, even less of a chance than Behexen. Also, I was looking forward to seeing Acid Witch as A really loves them, as well as Jex Thoth, because I have fallen pretty hard for that weird 60s occult rock stuff. The crowd was also substantially bigger than the previous night; I think a lot of people were there for Acid Witch, as they don’t seem to play live often. Also, as I mentioned before, I think Sargeist live is an even rarer event than Behexen.

The show started off with Jex Thoth, who danced up on stage wearing a Red Riding Hood-like cape (I have a similar one, actually!) and carrying burning sage. As much as I love my black metal, I’d say that she was seriously in danger of stealing the show- the crowd adored her, and she would often jump down into the crowd to give people sage to hold and to whisper in certain people’s ears. For me, the performance was really cool because it was such a huge contrast to The Devil’s Blood- Jex Thoth is constantly in movement when she’s performing in direct contrast with The Mouth of Satan- even though the music evokes the same era. It was very cool to see the Satanic 60s depicted in a different way.

Next up was Strix Nebulosa. Their approach to black metal was an interesting one considering the crowd- these guys seem to use a more pagan, nature-y commentary on the genre as opposed to a Satanic one. When the vocalist announced that “there is no God, no Satan, only Nature,” A and I exchanged looks; them’s strong words in that crowd. I missed the very first part of Strix Nebulosa’s set, but ended up catching most of it, and I have to say that I enjoyed what I saw. It’s not easy to pull off two-man black metal, and they managed to do it well.

The next band was a local Chicago band called Empyreus, whom I really enjoyed. Empyreus’ style of black metal was more bombastic than Strix Nubulosa’s, and you could tell that this group had been playing together for quite a while. I saw a number of people in the crowd sporting their shirts, so they clearly are well known locally. Their original stuff was excellent, and as an added surprise they played a very well received cover of Celtic Frost’s “Morbid Tales.”

After Empyreus, we switched gears entirely, moving on to the deathy doom of Acid Witch. As I mentioned above, I never really listened to Acid Witch, but considering that horror movies are my other big geekery, I am officially a fan now. Their use of synth is really cool, and I love the cackles that the vocalist throws in. Unfortunately, there seemed to be some miscommunication between the band and the venue in terms of how much time they had- Acid Witch had two more songs to play when they were told they had to stop. The crowd was upset, as seeing Acid Witch play is seemingly a rarer occurrence than I had realized, but in the interest of not pissing off the Finns (they don’t seem like the type you’d want to piss off), it was probably for the best. The guys from Acid Witch were also super cool and very professional about the whole thing, and I enjoyed getting to talk horror movie soundtracks briefly with them.

Finally, Sargeist took the stage, plunging us once again into Satan sans the Sam Rami-esque camp. By this point my neck was starting to get understandably sore (I haven’t done two nights in a row in quite a while), but I couldn’t help but bang my head anyway. My heart jumped up in my throat when they played songs that I knew from listening sessions with J, and it was cool to see several of the same guys in a slightly different element than the previous night. I assumed that they would just use the same members for each night, but turns out they brought the whole crew- while Shatraug (guitar), Horns (drums), and Hoath Torog (vocals) were back for round two, another guitarist and bassist joined them on stage.

Sargeist started out with “Satanic Black Devotion,” and also played “Black Fucking Murder” from the same album. After the show, a couple of friends of mine suggested that hearing “Let the Devil In” would have made the night just that much better, but damn if it wasn’t a hell of a show anyway. Sargeist played a little bit longer than Behexen did the night before, but the night was still entirely too short. On the way out, I thanked Shatraug for the wonderful weekend and wished him and the bands safe travels on their tour before heading back to the hotel for a much needed shower and to split a bottle of Surly Pentagram with A.

As I mentioned last time, Sargeist was completely out of merch, so I didn’t end up getting anything from them but the patch from the night before (which is good, honestly- it meant I had gas money to get back to the Cities). I ended up with a Jex Thoth shirt. The merch guy asked if it was ok if it had European tour dates from 2012 on the back, and I said sure, that I thought the little demon dude on the front was cute. He reminds me of Clive Barker’s artwork, or of the little wolf dude from the new Arckanum record.

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A little blurry. But you get the picture (no pun intended)

Europe dates I didn't go to

Europe dates I didn’t go to

Overall, it was a killer weekend, and I’m very happy that I finally mustered up the courage to get down to Chicago to see someone. The trip down, I learned, is actually not all that bad, although the construction outside of Chicago (which I’m told has been there for a couple of years) was a real pain. I’ve never been to a city the size of Chicago, and I still haven’t really considering that A and I acted like stereotypical black metal fans and didn’t really leave our hotel, but considering the shootings that went on that weekend that’s probably for the best. Despite that, I know now that it’s not the worst drive to get down there, especially if we leave early, and that Chicago is a perfectly reasonable destination to travel to for concerts.

Also, I saw two bands that I never thought I’d get to see live, and they were incredible. This weekend helped remind me of why I love black metal so much, and I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to see Sargeist and Behexen.

Infernal hails!

-Hagalaz

 

 

Concert: Behexen/Kommandant/Akashah (7/5, Beat Kitchen, Chicago)

Posted in black metal, black metal ist krieg, chicago, concerts, finland, orthodox black metal, underground, united states, USBM, war metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

When I heard Behexen and Sargeist were playing back to back shows in Chicago, I knew that I had to go regardless of how many hippies I had to fight or goats I had to sacrifice to get there. I’ve loved Behexen ever since I went on a quest a couple of years ago to find out just who these dudes were that I kept seeing everywhere, and J’s love of Sargeist is quite infectious. The fact that the shows coincided perfectly with A’s birthday just added to the multitudinous list of reasons that we absolutely had to go.

The first night was Behexen, and the first opener was a band called Akashah from Illinois. Their name made me think of Queen of the Damned, which I think was one of Anne Rice’s better works, so that made me happy from a nerdy perspective. I enjoyed their set- although it appears on Encyclopedia Metallum that Akashah is a one man project, the live set of course featured a full band. Formerly a member of the N.S.B.M. group the Pagan Front, there was no hint of Akashah’s political leanings anywhere in their set. While I really loved the drums, my only complaint was that the guitars were often not in tune with each other. As a musician, I know that this could be accounted for by any number of variables (the weather, for example, which alternated all weekend between eerily pleasant for July and torrential downpour), but it was simply a minor hiccup in an otherwise excellent performance.

Next up was Kommandant, who I have been anxiously awaiting seeing live again since I saw them play a set plagued by technical difficulties at Maryland Death Fest last year. Just as last time, the music was fantastic; I love the sheer amount of percussion Kommandant uses, and the snare drums are a nice touch to the military-esque presentation. Props to the snare drummer stage left who lost a drumstick in the last song and still managed to make it work without drawing unwanted attention to himself. Also, Kommandant’s vocalist has added a new piece to his stage costume- a crown of thorns that sits right at his eye level. Let me tell you, I have seen many, many black metal shows at this point in my life, and his stage get-up was the creepiest thing I have ever seen. Someone has been watching Hellraiser…

Last but certainly not least was Behexen. I was thrilled to death to note that the young lady who sold me my shirt at the merch table was playing with the band- she absolutely killed on the bass, and finger- picked everything. I ended up right in front of Hoath Torog during this set, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t blink the entire time. It was an intense performance, and I’m really grateful that I got to see it.

Behexen played a number of songs from throughout their career, with a little added focus on the new album, Nightside Emanations, as will happen with tours in support of new albums. Some of the setlist included “Death’s Black Light” and “In the Temple of the Silent Curses,” from the new album, as well as older favorites like “By the Blessing of Satan” and “My Soul for His Glory.” An enthusiastic fan in the crowd demanded to no avail to hear “Circle Me,” a song that I think a lot of us were hoping for as I think it’d be super cool live. I’m not complaining, however; I saw Behexen, and I never thought that would happen. The set clocked in at about 45 minutes of raging hell.

[Some helpful person uploaded the whole set from Martyrdoom to YouTube. Enjoy!]

In terms of souvenirs from the show, I got to take away a t-shirt from the merch table (the last one! In a girlie large, nonetheless) and some more autographs. As I mentioned earlier, the band’s touring bassist was working merch, and she was kind enough to let me try on the shirt over my clothes to make sure it fit before I bought it (never can tell with those girlie sizes). Naturally, then, when it came time for me to try to get my record signed, I went to her to ask if they would sign it.

I have a real knack for grabbing "the last one"

I have a real knack for grabbing “the last one.” Please ignore the cat hair

Hoath Torog signed my record and was really nice- it was a bit awkward that I didn’t have a pen. In the craziness that surrounded the morning that A and I left the Cities, I forgot to grab one of my silver Sharpies. Fortunately, the bartender had a pen I could borrow. Wraath also signed my record, although he seemed much less thrilled about it (two years in Minnesota, and I still haven’t figured out how to read Scandinavians).

Hoath Torog's autograph. Photo taken with help from The Cat

Hoath Torog’s autograph. Photo taken with help from The Cat

Wraath's autograph

Wraath’s autograph

A and I also grabbed some Kommandant merch. A ended up snagging a different shirt than mine (the new one, I believe, with the guns on the back), and even though that had an awesome red shirt, I opted for the old school one. I just love the gas masks. I was a rivet head back in highschool, and old habits die hard.

For the record, gas masks are uncomfortably tight. But I suppose you'd want them to be

For the record, gas masks are uncomfortably tight. But I suppose you’d want them to be

The bullets sold me

The bullets sold me (well. That’s not blurry at all.)

We also picked up Kommandant patches, and I grabbed a Sargeist patch as well. I’m really glad I did, too, as Sargeist didn’t have any merch available the next night.

More patches!

More patches!

It was an incredible evening full of a wide variety of terror. I got to see Kommandant, a Midwestern black metal band that I love, learned of Akashah’s work, and watched Behexen belch forth some brimstone. We retired to the hotel exhausted, and then I promptly started to not sleep well at all. Even more was in store, however, for the next night!

Ave,
Hagalaz

**I plan on making a post with some pics from the shows, but I need to edit them some. I left my flash off so as to not be That Guy, and they’re a little dark.

Review: Inquisition- Obscure Verses for the Multiverse

Posted in black metal, colombia, Reviews, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Hello again, ladies and gentlemen. Now that I have survived the semester from hell round three (there’s been one in every program I’ve been in), I have time to think again and can start on some of the tons of reviews that have piled up on me. I’m going to start this round off with Inquisition, because their new one is a great album and it’s been earworming me lately.

When I first heard the teaser trailer clips for Inquisition’s new album, Obscure Verses for the Multiverse, I was positively giddy with excitement. I had heard a song off of the new Satyricon album earlier that day and wasn’t that impressed (you can tell by my year end list, I presume, that I have since rescinded that opinion), and I was overjoyed to hear the otherworldly, largely mid-tempo chants that are so familiar, and often so soothing, to me. “At least some things never change,” I thought.

[This one.]

I thought wrong, I discovered when I actually got a copy of the thing in my hot little hands. There’s plenty of experimentation and lots of surprises on Verses, although Inquisition’s instantly identifiable sound is still there. Songs like “Darkness Flows Towards Unseen Horizons” contain instantly recognizable drum patterns and guitar sounds.  “Arrival of Aeons After” is another track that utilizes traditional Inquisition guitar riffs, and the guitars in the verses oddly remind me a lot of latter-era Immortal (which is, I think, probably the closest you can ever come to comparing the two bands, Season of Mist. Seriously. I need to have words with whoever is coming up with those “For fans of:” labels. They don’t know what they’re on about /end rant).

Although parts of the album are pretty standard, Inquisition is doing some really cool things on Verses, particularly with sound editing and guitar distortion. “Spiritual Plasma Evocation” starts off a mid-tempo dirge with some really cool and innovative riffs that couple nicely with the drums, and then shifts into the song proper, which is faster and fueled with blast beats. Likewise, “Infinite Interstellar Genocide” incorporates one of the weirdest guitar riffs/distortions I have heard on a black metal album, let alone an Inquisition record. This song is also incredibly fast for the Colombian/American band, who seem most comfortable with slower paces. “Inversion of Ethereal White Stars” is another big hit for me, as I adore onomatopoeiaic music. The riffing and the high pitches in the guitars makes this song sound exactly like stars twinkling (like this one, in particular).

The production on Verses is pretty standard for Inquisition. I have a good friend who wanted to hear a little better production this time around, since Inquisition is now signed to a bigger label. I am okay with it though; although it would be cool to hear what Inquisition can do with a better sound quality, I like their rawer production as it feels very true to my idea of the band. The production is good enough to highlight the guitar distortion while blending with the drum sound and without becoming overbearing, and that’s what’s really important.

Perhaps the biggest bummer for me in terms of this album was that Antichrist Kramer didn’t do the artwork. I only know hearsay, so I can’t confirm anything, but I heard that the label heard that Kramer had some somewhat unpopular political leanings and axed him from doing the cover art. And that the band later backed them up. Whatever it was, the cover art, to me, is a little bit silly looking, and not nearly as awesome as Kramer’s artwork has been on past Inquisition albums.

Like this one. This is awesome. Someday I think I'll get it tattooed down my side (CultMetal.com)

Like this one. This is awesome. Someday I think I’ll get it tattooed down my side (CultMetal.com)

I purchased the fangirl edition, which helps. This edition was quite pricey; however, it comes with a real, goat-leather keychain and the packaging is really nice.

Fancy pants.

Fancy pants. The box is textured.

The back is really cool. I like how the song titles fit in with the pentagram.

The back is really cool. I like how the song titles fit in with the pentagram.

And this. This is cool.

And this. This is cool.

Everything that came in the box set. Including that silly album artwork on the liner notes.

Everything that came in the box set. Including that silly album artwork on the liner notes.

Inquisition's use of constellations and stars is really cool. They're even in the liner notes!

Inquisition’s use of constellations and stars is really cool. They’re even in the liner notes!

Skulls n' stuff.

Skulls n’ stuff.

Devil Nebula

Devil Nebula

Inside artwork.

Inside artwork.

The patch that came with the box set.

The patch that came with the box set.

Goat leather keychain. Maaaaaaa.

Goat leather keychain. Maaaaaaa.

Overall… Well, I nominated Obscure Verses to the Multiverse as my second favorite black metal album this year. Because it’s good. It’s really, really good. Easily a 5/5 Baphomets for me.

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks:

Spiritual Plasma Evocation
Inversion of Ethereal White Stars
Infinite Interstellar Genocide
ALL OF IT.

-Hagalaz