Archive for chicago

Concert: Metal Threat Fest Warm-Up Show – Barbatos, Angelcorpse, Destroyer 666, Ares Kingdom, Nuke, Peucharist (7/14, Reggie’s, Chicago)

Posted in 2016, blackened thrash, concerts, war metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Guess who didn’t get tickets to Metal Threat Fest in time to take off the whole weekend and go? THIS LADY. With class at 8AM Saturday, however, I wouldn’t have been able to stay the whole weekend even if I had wanted to. And so it was that I got tickets for the “Warm Up Show” on Thursday eve, inasmuch as fucking Destroyer 666 plays the “Warm Up Show.” The saddest part was that since everyone else stayed, I drove down and back by myself. At the same time, school has been stressing me out bad lately, and driving long distances while listening to Electric Wizard is kind of my zen place.

Me and the pals missed the first couple of bands, due to our getting stuck in traffic on the way to the Metal Haven Grill. I was starving by the time we got there, but fortunately they had 10 inch Polish sausages wrapped in bacon so that situation very quickly rectified itself. I don’t think that it has been a restaurant for very long as they still seem to be establishing a full menu, but my meal at least was delicious. They also had records and CDs to buy, and some books (like the Slayer Mag Diaries, which is the best book ever).

I snagged Forgotten Woods, an Arckanum album that somehow slipped beneath my radar, and some Kommandant, whose patch is on my jacket and whom I like, but for some reason didn’t own any of their stuff.

Well, we got stuck in Chicago afternoon traffic, so we missed Peucharist and Nuke, but we did get to the venue in enough time to see about half of Ares Kingdom’s set. Ares Kingdom is a band that a lot of my friends love that I don’t know much about because… I’m an idiot and also I need about four more hours in each day to be able to get everything done and listen to everything that I would like. I did greatly enjoy their set though, and I had pretty high expectations having had it built up for me so much.


Ares Kingdom


I’m not sure what led to the decision to have Destroyer 666 play next instead of in the headlining slot, and it’s kind of a bummer because a friend suggested that they might have played a slightly longer set (?). But make no mistake, this is what I drove down for and it was totally worth it. They played a variety of stuff, the ones off the top of my head that I remember being Lone Wolf Winter, I Am the War God, Wildfire, Live and Burn, The Calling, Hounds At Ya Back, and Trialed By Fire, which they dedicated to Selim Lemouchi of The Devil’s Blood (may he Reign in Chaos). Also, they did a cover of Motorhead’s Iron Fist, which was about as fun as you would expect. It was a fantastic set, the band was spot on, everyone was happy, no one was rousing rabble, and Mr. Warslut seemed practically cheerful (he only called a couple of people “fucking cunts,” and considering that they were filming the set, they probably deserved it).


Destroyer 666



Please forgive me for snapping photos, Mr. Warslut. It’s just for the blog.

Next up was Angelcorpse, who I was also excited to see. I love me some war metal, and having listened to pretty much nothing but Revenge leading up to this shindig, I was ready for some. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar enough with their catalog to give a run-down of the setlist, but it was much akin to being punched in the face repeatedly, which is kinda what you want when Angelcorpse plays.




The night ended with Barbatos, who I had never heard of, but is a project of Abigail vocalist, guitarist, and bassist Yasuyuki Suzuki. They play a kind of mix of punky, blackish thrash, and are fun as shit. While it would have been cool to get a full set from Destroyer 666, I was totally fine with Barbatos finishing up the night as they were fun, exciting, and a great ending to the first night of a metal festival and a warm up for a four day party (which I unfortunately could not attend the rest of).




I ended up with a lot of stuff; there was no merch for Angelcorpse or Destroyer 666 that I saw, but I cleaned up with the music. Along with the albums I bought at Metal Haven Grill, I acquired Destroyer 666’s Pheonix Rising and Cold Steel…For an Iron Age, Funeral Mist’s Devilry (I never owned it on CD, though I do have it on vinyl). I also got a Mgła patch, and from my friend Carlos, I got a Sacrocurse patch and a Transilvanian Hunger shirt that SPARKLES.




No, I’m not kidding. The logo has glitter on it. GLITTER.


**A note on Destroyer 666 because I feel like in the midst of all the hubbub I should probably say something: their set was absolutely fantastic, and if anything was done to offend anyone, I certainly didn’t catch it. Going in I was a little worried because I thought that someone might use it as a chance to cause trouble, but contrary to my fears the crowd was absolutely wonderful. KK Warslut briefly alluded to the recent blog posts about him a couple of times so it was clearly on his mind, but they played a hell of a set and were extremely gracious, and the crowd was supportive as well. So, by chance anyone from Destroyer 666 happens to come across my little blog—Thank you guys for coming here, and I hope the rest of the tour was a brilliant as the Chicago show.**

I apologize that this review is not as good as it should have been- I know Destroyer 666 well enough, but the other bands are still pretty new to me (I know Angelcorpse in that I know that they are like other stuff that I like, and I enjoyed the shit out of it, but I don’t know specifics). While I only got to go for one night, what I saw of Metal Threat was fantastic, and as this summer has been very stressful for me with school it was nice to have a day off to enjoy myself and get out of the Twin Cities.

I’ll be working up a review of Macabre (!) and Ghost soon, both of whom I know a lot better than the bands that played this night.



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.


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!




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!


**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.

Nachtmystium Is Going Back on Tour!

Posted in black metal, tour dates, USBM with tags , , , , on September 18, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Good news, everyone! Nachtmystium is going back on tour! They did a little tour earlier this year, which I reviewed here. I know that a lot of people were concerned as to whether they would actually play the shows, and one or two shows were cancelled. However, if you missed Nachtmystium then, you have another shot at seeing them! They are going back out on tour with a slightly longer list of dates this time.

I have been intrigued by Jarboe ever since I read an interview with her in Slayer Mag, and Weapon is absolutely fantastic (I saw them with Marduk in June, which I also reviewed. I hope I will be able to make it to see Nachtmystium again this year (I am going to try, but I’m going to have to re-evaluate which concerts I will go to this fall. Maryland Death Fest is going to cost me a pretty penny).

Tour dates are below, courtesy of The Gauntlet.

4 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
6 – Tempe, AZ – Rocky Point
8 – Fullerton, CA – Slidebar (Free Show)
9 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge
10 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
11 – Seattle, WA – Highline
12 – Boise, ID – Venue
14 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater
16 – St Paul, MN – Station-4
18 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
19 – New York, NY – Saint Vitus
21 – Chicago, IL – Ultra Lounge


Review: Nachtmystium’s Silencing Machine- A Different Shade of Dark

Posted in black metal, Reviews, USBM with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Last Tuesday (July 28) saw the release of the new Nachtmystium album Silencing Machine. The band has really been pushing this album and crawling back into the spotlight more, which is nice considering that they often lie pretty low in terms of promotion. Having lost a lot of people with the highly experimental Black Meddle albums, Nachtmystium has claimed that Silencing Machine will be a return to their black metal roots. This is true and untrue at the same time; the album certainly has a darker feel than Nachtmystium’s past couple of releases but remains experimental. The album title is taken from a Nine Inch Nails lyric (from “Mr. Self Destruct”), who just happen to be my favorite non-metal band. And the album itself is just like that: it has a dark and introspective feel punctuated by a groovy rock beat.

[“I am the silencing machine (and I control you)/ I am the end of all your dreams (and I control you)”]

Of course, Silencing Machine has much more depth than just that. The first track opens with a synth vibe, which makes you wonder if Nachtmystium really are going as old school as they claim they will be on this album (hint: they’re not, but what they are doing is really cool). As the track progresses, as well as throughout the rest of the album, it seems as though Nachtmystium has created the fuzzy, low-fi feel of old school black metal by using synthesizers. The record itself has good production, but the atmosphere of dingy, raw black metal is still present. This example is indicative of the album as a whole- an old school feel, but achieved in a new way.

The title track has somewhat of a rock feel to it, but remains much more in the vein of black metal than the Black Meddle records. From about 4:35 to the end it really does sound like a track largely influenced by old Mayhem, with a powerful, distorted bassline and a nice groove. “Give Me the Grave” is also a straight up rock track, with a strong groove, a conventional song structure, and a guitar solo.

The bass on Silencing Machine is also always present, which is nice. It’s a very loud and gravelly bass, and it is the primary driving force of more than one of the middle tracks. The keyboards and synth also feature prominently, with music box-like chimes on “These Rooms In Which We Weep” and a dark ambient feel on “And I Control You.”

[If NIN was black metal…]

Silencing Machine contains many unexpected surprises, like the ambient “The Lepers of Destitution,” probably the closest thing to a pretty slow song that you’re going to get from black metal. Moments of this track, which layers blast beats and pretty guitar/synth sounds, actually sound like Alcest to me- melodies that soar. Nevertheless, Nachtmystium even in this pretty track maintains the traditional darkness. It may be pretty, but it’s far from hopeful. Nachtmystium also seems to have picked up a trick from their countrymen Agalloch, as my favorite track on the album, “Borrowed Hopes and Broken Dreams” features the clean guitar over heavy distortion that our Portlandish boys favor (well, plus like, a ton more distortion).

The album itself features cool artwork and is refreshing in its straightforwardness. Truly traditional in its no-frills approach, it features no extended liner notes. The greens and grays of the artwork reflect well the album’s contents- although every bit as dark as black metal should be, the music is colored differently than the traditional second-wave feel. And of course, you can never go wrong with skeletons and vultures.

A very strong offering indeed, Silencing Machine will completely shatter whatever your expectations were when you heard that Nachtmystium was going back to the old school. Certainly dark, the clean production and crafty use of synth (there is absolutely no symphonic black metal here) make this record far from traditional. In fact, I would suggest that it’s one of the most original black metal releases I’ve heard in a while. I expect that some people will love it and others will hate it, but I ask you to keep an open mind while giving it a listen. Silencing Machine is one that will probably require some time to grow on you, not least of all because the intricacies in the music require several listens to pick up. I even worry as I write this that I have not yet listened to it enough to do the thing justice in a review, but that is why this is my blog and I can always go back and do another review of it if I feel like it (like I will do with the new Marduk, because every time I hear it it is a different album to me). Do take a chance on it, though. Breaking new ground while remaining very, very dark, Silencing Machine takes Nachtmystium’s music back to their bleak beginnings while maintaining the experimentalism for which they have become so famous, a reminder that black comes in many shades.

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks:

Silencing Machine

Borrowed Hopes and Broken Dreams

Decimation, Annihilation

Concert: Nachtmystium/Murmur/Krieg/Deplorable Immaculacy (7/26, Des Moines, IA, Vaudeville Mews)

Posted in black metal, concerts, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

So, Thursday night, Trisha and Jamie (who recently made a post about Nachtmystium- you should check out his blog here: and I went down to Des Moines to potentially see Nachtmystium. They had to cancel their set last year because everyone had the flu… or something, and since they tend to kind of be unreliable about actually showing up to things it was definitely a risk (but only a thirty minutes away one, so it was worth taking). Also, because of the recent cancellation in Dubuque, I have seen online that people are worried as to whether or not the tour is actually happening. Well, I am here to tell you that Nachtmystium IS on tour, they ARE playing shows, and you SHOULD go. Even all you trve kvlt people will like it. I promise.

The night started off with Deplorable Immaculacy, a local band from Des Moines who played Metal Up Your Tap a while back. They have a bassist now, and they’re still playing their brand of old school death metal (with some black metal moments and gauntlets thrown in). And their drummer has a Sailor Moon tattoo (which is AWESOME).

[This is still my favorite of theirs]

Right after Deplorable Immaculacy finished their set, we went outside for the obligatory smoke break/meet up with other people, and Nachtmystium pulled up. Within about eight minutes Blake Judd was up onstage playing guitar for Krieg, who was the second band to play. This is straight up USBM, and the vocalist is also the vocalist for USBM supergroup Twilight (also with Blake Judd).

[Silly name, awesome band]

Well, Krieg is phenomenal, and I bought one of their albums. I had planned on getting the new Nachtmystium, Silencing Machine, but they didn’t have it available for sale yet, so Jamie asked Krieg’s vocalist which album he recommended and I went for that one. It’s called The Isolationist, and I love that it’s white. It’s a fantastic album.

Krieg’s The Isolationist.

[Why don’t we add Krieg to the list of bands that are hard to YouTube search? They played this one the other night]

Murmur was the next band up, and they are also from Chicago. It was like a big party of the Chicago scene, which was kind of cool seeing as how members from all three of the bands played on each other’s sets (which may also be why this is a short tour. That must be tiring). Murmur is a kind of weird, experimental sort of metal. It was definitely a break in the black metal between Krieg and Nachtmystium, and it was cool to occupy that headspace for a while.

Last but certainly not least was Nachtmystium, who seemed determined to make up for last year’s cancellation. Wow! They were fantastic. And listen up, all you trve kvlt folks- I know you hated Assassins and Addicts, and whatever (I think Assassins is a really good album. The jury is still out for me on Addicts, which I haven’t decided that I like very much yet). Do NOT let that keep you from seeing Nachtmystium on this tour! They have been claiming that they are going back to their black metal roots, and they mean it. Not only is Silencing Machine coming out soon, accompanied by a hilarious throwback t-shirt whose design you might recognize, True Norwegian Black Metal fans, but the set list for this show was probably 87% old material. I think they only played “Addicts” off of the Black Meddle albums. Seriously.

The new shirt. From CM Distro.

[They played this new track, as well as another that hasn’t been leaked yet. Really excited for this album]

Jamie talked with the guy from Krieg for a bit and said that he told him Nachtmystium was deliberately trying to play mostly black metal again. I was surprised that there was no “Ghosts of Grace,” honestly- I expected them to at least play a couple of the songs that you can easily chant along to. There was, however, absolutely no disappointment. The set was amazing, the guys were having fun (Blake was grinning the entire time. It was adorable. He also looks in very good health, yay), and the vibe was a great one. More people should have showed up, but that has been my experience lately (Marduk and 1349? Hello? Twin Cities people, where the hell were you?). Perhaps all the black metal people are wintering for the summer.

[Try to not enjoy this. I dare you.]

The bands all hung out by their merch table after the show, too. I think I shook everyone’s hand but Nachtmystium’s drummer, who hadn’t made it over to the table by then. Blake Judd in particular was really friendly, thanking us profusely for coming out to see them, which is baffling considering how long I’ve wanted to see Nachtmystium. No, sir. Thank YOU. Really. What a wonderful evening of good friends and good metal.

So for all of you who are worried, yes, Nachtmystium is actually touring. Yes, they cancelled the Dubuque show, but they played Des Moines, so don’t assume they won’t show up to your local venue if they’re scheduled to play there. It is well worth it to look into it in case they do. You won’t be disappointed. Nachtmystium is truly returning to their roots, and they put on a wonderful show that was well worth the wait.

I’ll be back soon (because I don’t actually have a lot to do right now) with directions on how to make a back patch out of a t-shirt, which I just did. In the meantime, you go see Nachtmystium.