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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

 

 

Happy First of Summer, Everyone

Posted in musings, neo-folk, united states, USBM with tags , , , , on June 21, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Or Solstice, Midsommar, Litha, whatever you call it. It’s hot, and perfect clothes-taking-off weather, so make like a pagan and get to it.

 

Songs for the End Times

Posted in black metal, musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Apparently the world is going to end on Friday, as Dec. 21, 2012 is the end of the Mayan calendar. I have my doubts, as the end of the calendar was always on Dec. 21st in pre-Christian religions, seeing as that’s the Solstice and the 22nd marks the start of longer days and the end of winter. However, there’s no way to really know until Friday, I suppose, so I figured I’d throw together a soundtrack for the end. I tried to pick songs that addressed the end times in a number of ways, whether that be through human means or cosmic, and from a multitude of mythologies.

1. Rebirth of the Nemesis- Melechesh

So if you’re a fan of Babylonian myth, you’re probably familiar with Tiamat. Tiamat is a sea serpent goddess who created the world but then decided she had rather eat it. The god Marduk tore her to bits, but legend has it that she’s really only sleeping, and will rise from the depths with Chaos on her wings. However, Melechesh advises not to fear the dragon; after all, she’s mother too (even if she likes to eat her young).

2. Pure Fucking Armageddon- Mayhem

Ok. So this one is pretty straightforward.

3. Stellarvore- Watain

“No star shall shine tonight; no star, no matter how bright.” The Black Dragon also makes an appearance in anti-cosmic Satanism “Stellarvore,” or “star-eater,” is a reference to what will happen to time and space after the Lady Dragon wakes up from her nap.

4. Anathema Maranatha- Funeral Mist

A quick Google search tells me that “anathema” means accursed, and “maranatha” means the Lord is coming. These words appear only in one of Saint Paul’s letters, and may be intended as separate sentiments even though they appear next to each other. However, it can also be understood as that those accursed are to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. Anyone who is anathema, or cursed, will suffer the wrath of the Lord on the Day of Judgement.

5. …And the Great Cold Death of the Earth- Agalloch

I thought I would include something environmental on here as well, since the end of the world could very well come around as a result of human destruction of the natural world. Although this song has a myriad of meanings, the line “we are the wounds and the great cold death of the earth” leaves little to be parced.

6. World Funeral- Marduk

Another way in which humans could be responsible for our own destruction is, of course, by blowing ourselves up. Although this song is more along the lines of the personification of war (Four Horsemen, anyone?), it fits in well with the theme of complete annihilation.

7. Maha Kali- Dissection

In Hindu myth, Kali is the consort of Shiva, the destroyer. She has embodied just about everything from loving mother goddess to bloodthirsty destroyer. In the context in which Dissection references her she is the latter, but not in a completely negative way. Dissection associates her with Mahapralaya, or the destruction of the untrue “reality” of our everyday lives that keeps us from achieving our true nature.

8. Hetoïmasia- Deathspell Omega

Another Biblical reference, hetoïmasia is a reference to the prepared throne. In Christian mythology, the throne is intended for Christ, who will sit upon it at the second coming. Clearly this is not how Deathspell Omega intends it, but the sentiment is the same- a throne to be prepared for a diety hitherto absent.

9. Blood Fire Death- Bathory

Of all the end of the world scenarios, charging into battle alongside Odin and Thor is probably one of the more fun ones. Like in the second coming, all false souls shall be slaughtered. Interestingly, Quorthon also presents this scenario as a sort of deliverance for the oppressed. It’s almost like the prophecies in Revelations that promised freedom from oppression for Christians; maybe since Christians certainly aren’t the ones being oppressed anymore, Quorthon is offering some of the same solace for those who still revere the old gods.

10. Astral Path to the Supreme Majesties- Inquisition

The Void. It’s what’s left when the Black Dragon devours everything else, the “abrasive swirling murk,” Chaos. But Chaos on a cosmic scale, the destruction of the entire universe. What will happen, then, a few trillion years from now, when the known universe collapses in on itself and ceases to be. Allowing then, of course, for new universes to form. And that’s about as hopeful as it’s gonna get.

***

So what do you think? Is the world going to end Friday? Will Hagalaz have to narrow down her favorite black metal albums of the year after all when the day dawns bright and sunny on December 22? Or will we all be devoured by the Dark Mother and the cosmos descend into Chaos? And what song/s do you find fitting for the end of the world?

(And don’t forget that keyboard cat is the last thing any of us will see before we die).

Until next time?

-Hagalaz

Concert: Agalloch/Taurus/Velnias/Ezra (7/18, Omaha, NE, The Waiting Room)

Posted in black metal, concerts, neo-folk, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Sorry about the delay- moving is quite an ordeal. I had forgotten how time consuming it can be. Nevertheless, everything is moved from one place to the next and is *mostly* arranged, so now I can get back to what I was doing before, namely blogging and learning Latin.

Going to shows is also high on my itinerary, and last week I was lucky enough to get to catch Agalloch in Omaha. This was my first ever trip to Omaha, which was exciting, as the venue was in a nice little hip neighborhood and was very well-kept. There was air conditioning and everything! Ha! The bar also had televisions above it that showed the bands playing onstage, which is cool because you can go stock up on drinks and you still can see what’s going on instead of being subjected to something irrelevant like baseball.

Agalloch brought all of their stuff, of which I took several pictures so that I could show my professor from Environmental Lit what I was talking about when I said that Cascadian black metal bands are inspired by the landscape and the culture of the Pacific Northwest. They were touring also in support of the new Faustian Echoes EP, of course, so their pagany nature stuff had a sprinkling of the Satanic this time around.

That’s Faustian Echoes propped up there.

The first band up was a local band from Lincoln, Nebraska called Ezra. I’ve seen them before- they’re a really good band to see live. It’s straight up death metal, but the musicians have been playing together for a long time and Ezra is a very established band, so they have it together. I always enjoy watching them perform, and if I am feeling adventurous tonight I may go see them in St. Paul (there is a chance, however, that I could be more tired than adventurous. This moving stuff sucks).

[The death metal]

The next band up was called Velnias, and you know they are going to be good when their logo looks like this.

From their Facebook.

I really, really dug this band. They played a kind of sludgy black metal that was really slow and drug out. Also, there were no lights during their set- the stage was lit only with a few candles that they scattered about, and they burned incense as well. This was my great surprise of the evening, and I’m really glad that I now know of their existence.

[Velnias is your new favorite band]

Next up was a band called Taurus. Now, when you get up to the stage and you see that the band’s cabinets are Sunn O))) cabinets, you know to expect something a little odd. Taurus is comprised of two girls, one that plays the drums (with all manner of mallets and sticks, I might add) and the other who plays guitar/ambient fuzz and screams. They had a video of surrealist images that played in the background to accompany their set, which was full of long, winding, terrific noise. For me personally, like with most noise music I don’t know that I need an album of that, but watching it live was great.

[I can’t find them on YouTube, which sucks because I was hoping to show you the way they had the videos set up, but Taurus can be found on bandcamp, where you can buy their album for a very reasonable price: http://taurusisdust.bandcamp.com/]

Last was Agalloch, who came on when it was already starting to get late and played a really long set. The stage was decorated with tree stumps on which rested cauldrons bearing smoking incense of the band’s namesake, agollocum. The mood, then, was already set when they opened with “Limbs.” The sound was absolutely amazing- those of you familiar with Agalloch will know of all of the intricacies in the guitar. Well, it sounds just like that live. They’ve got a crap-ton of pedals up there, but everything they played themselves- no recordings, in other words. It was phenomenal.

Agalloch played a huge range of songs from all their albums, including “You Were But A Ghost In My Arms” from The Mantle, which they have never played live before this tour. That one was a special treat for me, because when I was writing about them this spring I focused on that album, and that song was the one that always got stuck in my head. As well as ALL of Faustian Echoes. I figured they would play at least part of it, but I never expected to hear all twenty-two minutes of it. Yet that is what they did. They also ended with Sol Invictus’ “Kneel To The Cross” (I swear there’s a poem “Summer is Icumen In” that’s in my medieval lit collection of lyric poems), which was very fitting both for the band and for the time of year (sweet, because when they played “Falling Snow” I admit to being a little depressed that it was 80 some-odd degrees outside).

[Not from this tour, but relevant nonetheless. You can hear how good they sound, and that’s what’s really important]

After the crowd went wild they did come out and do an encore, so keep that in mind. Agalloch responds to crowd pressure. After the show I got to chat some with Anderson, their guitarist, about English and PhD programs, which was cool. He was really nice, and I’m sure the other guys were too, although I didn’t get a chance to say hi to them. The merch this tour is sweet too- it’s centered around the new EP, and therefore has references to Faust on it.

The front of the Faustian Echoes shirt. You can see the Lucifer sigil on the left sleeve.

The back. I love that the spheres are on here, as one of my favorite parts of the story is when Mephistophiles shows Faust the heavens.

I also grabbed a copy of Faustian Echoes, and I suggest you do too if you haven’t already. I gave it another spin just today, and it’s as perfect as everything else Agalloch has done.

Front cover.

Inside. The CD is see through on the lettering. Way cool.

Fans of Agalloch, I don’t have to tell you that you need to try and catch this tour. I mean, these guys NEVER tour. And they are awesome. One of the best bands I’ve ever seen live, they incorporate all of the technical stuff in their music without recording equipment onstage, and you will definitely get your money’s worth- they played a very long set with something for everyone. I know it’s a short tour, so try to get to see them before they decide to be hermits again, and be sure and watch the openers too. In the meantime, I shall hammer out a review of Nachtmystium (who is also doing a very short tour, so a review will be quickly irrelevant if it’s not up soon), and blackmetallurgy will be back up and running (woo!).

Later,

Hagalaz

Gratuitous Birthday Playlist Post

Posted in black metal, blackened death metal, dead, funeral mist, marduk, mayhem, musings, poland, sweden, the netherlands, true norwegian black metal, underground with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Weeeeelll, ladies and gentlemen, it’s my birthday. Which means that instead of an actual post, you shall get a gratuitous, “hey everyone this is what I like” post. So shortly following will be a playlist I strung together for my birthday.

First of all, though, I wanted to express my excitement over my birthday present. I was actually at WalMart (I normally avoid WalMart like the plague; I forgot that they sometimes have stuff) getting some universal remote controls when I stumbled upon this little gem. I had a gift card from forever ago which I’ve never used, because I don’t ever go to WalMart, and my mom paid for part of it for my birthday gift.

It’s a 5 in 1 music player, which is pretty much exactly what I needed. I wanted something I could play my CDs on that had bigger sound than a boom box (this has stereo sound), a tape player, and a turntable. And this has all of that! And a line in for an mp3 player. Awesome. It makes just enough noise for my small apartment, and it’s got good sound for the price. I’m really excited about it, because now I can start buying records. I have often longed to hear Emperor on vinyl; now maybe I can.

I also managed to track down a Funeral Mist shirt. It’s much too big for me to wear, but I plan on making art of it anyhow (although I am keeping an eye out for one in my size as well for the reason of actually being able to wear a Funeral Mist shirt).

So now, for the playlist! (It goes to 11, as all things metal should, and also because 11 is the biblical number for chaos and  “symbolizes the potential to push the limitations of the human experience into the stratosphere of the highest spiritual perception; the link between the mortal and the immortal; between man and spirit; between darkness and light; ignorance and enlightenment.” (Numerology.com)

1. The Devil’s Blood- Voodoo Dust

The Devil’s Blood is one of my favorite bands right now. I recently saw them on the Decibel Tour and ye gods were they amazing. The Mouth of Satan (as she goes by) has an amazing voice.

2. Deathspell Omega- The Shrine of Mad Laughter

I just recently acquired my first DSO album, and it’s not this one. They are part of the same trilogy of albums, however, based on god, Satan, and man’s relationship to both. DSO is black metal taken to its (il?)logical conclusion, kind of like Abruptum. A structured cacophany. Fraaance.

3. Mayhem- Freezing Moon

This one is always on rotation, always. Mayhem knocked me off my feet the first time I heard them, and they, along with Funeral Mist, are probably by favorite metal band ever. This particular version my friend claims is the “best seven minutes in recorded black metal history.”

4. Agalloch- Faustian Echoes

Brand spanking new from Agalloch! Hot off the press! I get to see these guys in a couple of weeks and I’m stoked about it. I’m really digging this song right now, too, because I actually study Renaissance drama, and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is my favorite play.

“Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed
In one self place, for where we are is hell,
And where hell is must we ever be.
And, to conclude, when all the world dissolves,
And every creature shall be purified,
All places shall be hell that is not heaven.”

5. Marduk- World of Blades

I think everyone who reads this knows how I feel about Marduk, and if you want, you can read how I feel about their new album, too (in previous posts).  My favorite album of the year so far. This track is one of my favorites (dat bass). (Also, stupid YouTube commentors are stupid.)

6. In Solitude- To Her Darkness

The first time I heard In Solitude I appreciated it because I appreciate metal, but I thought it really wasn’t my style. Since seeing them live I’ve become quite a fan. They are fantastic musicians for their age, and they are very nice as well. This is my favorite off their latest, and it is also their new video!

7. Morbid- From the Dark

Back in February I said something about how it was a good day for Morbid’s “Disgusting Semla,” and got the remark “when do you ever think it’s NOT a good day for Dead?” Which is a good point. I like his voice with Morbid even better than with Mayhem.

8. Immortal- Where Dark and Light Don’t Differ

Immortal is great. They were the first band I really got into in terms of heavy black metal, probably because they are so thrashy. I have always loved them and their approach to black metal, and this album is my favorite.

9. Azarath- Throne of Skulls

Azarath is one that I have just recently learned of. They do that blackened death metal thing that Poland is so good at, and Inferno from Behemoth is also their drummer. He is one of my favorite drummers, and I am very fortunate to have seen him live.

10. Funeral Mist- Anti-Flesh Nimbus

I have lost track of how many times I have heard this song, and it never, ever, ever gets old to me. It’s hideous and beautiful, terrifying and inspiring. In other words, everything I love about Funeral Mist in one nice little package.

11. Watain- The Waters of Ain

This song is for endings. I’d say it’s in my top three of favorite songs ever. It is Watain’s magnum opus, and it even features Selim from The Devil’s Blood. Even when they start touring for a new album cycle, I hope they still end with this one. I can’t believe I *almost* saw Watain two nights in a row! (Damned visa problems).

Well, that’s it. That’s the gratuitous birthday playlist of things I am currently obsessed with (or eleven of them, at any rate). Hopefully you will get some enjoyment out of some of my personal favorites.

I shall be back with reviews soon. Next up, the new Naglfar.

Until then,

-Hagalaz