Archive for doom

Concert: Baroness/Pallbearer (kind of, 9/1, The Cabooze, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, concerts, doom, doom metal, georgia, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, sludge metal, united states with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

The other night, I decided to go see Baroness with Pallbearer, because I actually do like Baroness (a friend said he was surprised to see me there). I used to not like them at all, but a switch flipped somewhere in my brain a couple of years ago and now I really like them a lot, despite the fact that they aren’t really metal anymore.

This was my first show at the Cabooze, and I have to say that the layout of that place is a puzzle to me. The stage is located in a very awkward place in relation to the main bar, which sort of sits right in the middle of the room, and the room is very long, making it to where you pretty much have to go outside and walk around the building to get into the bathrooms, which are up near the front. I’m not crazy about it, and one guy (he was a customer, I think, not someone who worked there, he was just talking to a person who worked there), was really kind of snippy and rude with me when I was trying to figure out how to get to the bathrooms (I had never been there before! I was alone, and confused!). Parking was also not easy to come by; of course, I did end up getting there late. Fortunately, there is street parking available in the neighborhood, so it’s manageable, you just have to be willing to park and walk a bit.

All this occurred after I got off work for the night, and since that coincided with the start of the show, by the time I got to the venue and found parking I’d all but completely missed Pallbearer. All I saw of their set was the last half of the last song, which happened to be “The Foreigner” and therefore my favorite part of my favorite Pallbearer song. So that worked out ok.

A little bit later, Baroness took the stage. I had never seen them before, and after their horrible accident back in 2012 I thought I’d never get the chance to. It was shortly after that, actually, that I really started listening to Baroness. The band was in seemingly great spirits and sounded great, and the crowd was very responsive. It was a little weird because I only knew a couple of people there, but the energy all around was great.

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Baroness

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A better shot

As seems to be the case with most of the shows I’ve been to as of late, Baroness didn’t play a lot of their older material, sticking with Yellow/Green and Purple mostly. Which makes sense and is fine, but is sort of a letdown when the Red album is your favorite. They did play “Isak,” however, which is my favorite song from their whole catalog, so I can’t really complain. Some of the highlights of the setlist were “Shock Me,” “March to the Sea,” and the opening theme from the Green album, which was cool (I didn’t know they were going to do instrumental songs).

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Mr. Baizley. Also, props to whoever was on the lights- they were coordinating well with the album colors

I didn’t pick up any merch this time, primarily because I was going to see Shining with Belphegor the next night and figured I’d be spending money at that merch booth (spoiler alert: I did), but also because I wasn’t about to try to fight my way over to the merch table in that venue. Which is kind of lame, because at some point I would like to acquire a print of some of John Baizley’s artwork. Alas, this night was not the night.

Baroness played a wonderful set, and it’s too bad I had to pretty much miss Pallbearer (I have seen them before, but not for a couple of years. They seem to come here fairly often though, so maybe I’ll get to catch an updated Pallbearer set soon). I’m glad that Baroness’ first foray back up to my neck of the woods since their revival went as well as it did, and I look forward to seeing them again.

-H

Hagalaz’ Favorite Albums of 2015

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

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

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

11. Ghost – Meliora

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

Favorite Tracks: He Is, Absolution

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

 

10. Sunn O))) – Kannon

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

H’s Favorite Track: Kannon, Pt. 3

 

9. Baroness – Purple

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

Favorite Tracks: Shock Me, Kerosene

 

8. Melechesh – Enki

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

Favorite Tracks: Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged, Doorways to Irkala

[And this is just track one.]

 

8. Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields

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

Favorite Tracks: The Distant Dreams of Life, In Longing

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

 

6. Saturnalia Temple – To The Other

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

Favorite Tracks: ZazelSorath, To the Other

[Enjoy your nightmares.]

 

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

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

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

 

4. Mgła – Exercises in Futility

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

Favorite Tracks: IV, VI

 

3. Marduk – Frontschwein

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

Favorite Tracks: Nebelwerfer, 503

[Yes. That’s a tambourine.]

 

2. Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud

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

Favorite Tracks: Death of a King, Tree of Ages

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

 

1. Clandestine Blaze – New Golgotha Rising

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

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

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

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

Until next time…

-H

 

 

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

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

 

 

Review: Vollmond- Rituals of Conquest

Posted in black metal, blackened doom, concerts, doom, italy, underground with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Although I’m fairly new to the concept, space and black metal go brilliantly together. Someone posted this link on reddit the other day, which kind of made my day, and then I got my hands on the new Vollmond release, and it’s as spectacular as the cosmos in black metal form gets.

Vollmond, which is German for “full moon,” is an Italian band whose doomy black metal music centers largely on occultism and the cosmos. And that is the feel that I get from their newest album, Rituals of Conquest. This beautiful sophomore release truly is perfect stargazing music.

The album begins with Dawn of the Limitless Fire, a melodic and soaring piece that reminds me a lot of Blut Aus Nord’s Memoria Vetusta: A Dialogue With The Stars only with good drums (it’s a lovely album. One of my favorites. And the electronic drums on it are abysmal). After this track, the album takes a noticeably dark turn with Mournful Ascension. This track is a 10:44 long epic with an amazing guitar solo beginning at 4:41. Although it’s the longest track on the album it never gets stale, shifting through its various components in a fluid manner.

[Perfect for summer nights under the stars]

The album also features a couple of instrumentals, which is awesome, especially considering Vollmond’s obvious knack for soundscapes. Perhaps the oddest track on the album is the title track, which utilizes spoken vocals for most of the song. This track also feels to me like it has a DSBM feel to it, and the mixture of slow/fast with clean/death vocals really makes for a good balance.

[LOVE this one]

Rituals of Conquest, like a lot of third-wave black metal albums, utilizes lots of broken chords to get a starry, twinkling feel. Bell-toned guitars also lend the music a chime-like affect. However, Vollmond also throws in some traditional black metal elements as well, like tremolo picking and the occasional dissonant tri-tone. The affect is an innovative mix of old and new that still manages to sound pretty while remaining very dark and powerful.

The album artwork for Rituals of Conquest it fitting for the music itself; stars and constellations adorn the CD and liner notes.

Front cover.

Front cover.

Stars! Pretty sure I've seen some of these guys at night in Oklahoma.

Stars! Pretty sure I’ve seen some of these guys at night in Oklahoma.

The CD itself also showcases several constellations.

 Rituals of Conquest is a great little album, eerie and at times downright lovely. Try to find a copy of it if you can; you won’t regret it.

5/5

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks
Dawn of the Limitless Fire
Engravings
Death Manifestation

**Very special thanks to Ars Magna Recordings for your support and for giving me the opportunity to review some things for you.

Concert: Saint Vitus/Pallbearer/The Hookers (10/7, 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in 7th street entry, concerts, doom, doom metal, hardcore, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Shirking my responsibilities in the way of homework and being a loyal devotee of Into the Void Records’ metal DJ night, I headed down to downtown Minneapolis to see the mighty Saint Vitus destroy the 7th Street Entry. It was a long show, an exhausting show, but it was also awesome and totally worth the next-day exhaustion.

This was my first time at 7th Street Entry, which is a tiny place that’s part of the famous 1st Ave. It was a small space, but very easy to move around in- there were exits from the standing room on both sides, so it was easy to get back up to the bar or outside if you needed to. Likewise, the stage was small but intimate.

The Hookers, from Louisville, KY, were the first band of the night. They are a hardcore band, and have a very Southern feel to their music. I enjoyed their set; it was exciting and full of energy. Although I am not very familiar with The Hookers, they have been around since the mid-90s and have put out a lot of records (a lot of 7”s too). Watching them was a treat, and I’m going to have to pay more attention to The Hookers from now on.

[Southern punk]

Next up was the mighty Pallbearer! I absolutely love these guys, and I bought their LP a couple of days before the show (it’s a double LP and each side has like, one song. Gotta love Southern doom). I saw Pallbearer open for Enslaved back in January, but the sound was really shitty and you couldn’t hear the vocals at all. This time, however, the problem was fixed- vocals were on and really good. They played a mix of material (including The Foreigner, which I get stuck in my head something awful), one of which was a new track that didn’t even yet have vocals. A great set from a great band.

[Probably my favorite Pallbearer song. Gah. So beautiful. Even my mom likes it.]

Finally, Saint Vitus took the stage, about approximately the same time that a huge dude who was like 6’6” shoved past me to the front (Seriously?). I don’t have a whole lot of familiarity with Saint Vitus, I’m afraid. Doom is something that I’ve just started really getting into in the past year or so, and the American doom that I usually end up listening to is the Southern doom like Pallbearer and Cough.

[Doom.]

Saint Vitus was absolutely amazing, though. My friend S told me that I would be fascinated with Wino, and that he was the coolest person to ever grace a stage, and he’s about right. Saint Vitus is getting up there in years, and yet they dominated completely. It was a flawless set, and the crowd was eating it up. Wino shook my hand at one point towards the end of the set and almost broke it; that man has a very strong grip. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and I even went home with a drumstick. The best part for me was probably seeing the tiny girl who couldn’t have been older than 16 there, staring in wide-eyed fascination at the band.

[They are getting way up there, but they still have it.]

Lately, I have been on a merch mission for shirts that aren’t black, as I have a whole closet full of black. I figured at a doom show there might be some alternative colors, and I wasn’t disappointed. I ended up with this Pallbearer shirt, because I figured Saint Vitus is probably doing okay on money and I want to support my neighbors over in Arkansas.

Front

Front

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Back. (It IS red, not pink. Bad lighting.)

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My first drumstick.

All and all, this was a great show. Although The Hookers felt like the odd man out on the bill, they still played a very strong set and the crowd clearly enjoyed it. Pallbearer was fantastic again, but better with the good sound, and Saint Vitus was absolutely incredible. I count myself lucky that I got to see such legends perform in such an intimate setting. I highly encourage seeing any and all of these bands if you ever have the chance.

Concert: Anathema/Alcest/Mamiffer (9/22, Mill City Nights, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in blackgaze, concerts, doom, doom metal, england, france, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, post-black metal, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

As I mentioned last time, Alcest had to hurry out of the store so they could make it to the venue in time to do sound checks, etc. I got to Mill City nights a little bit before the show started and browsed merch for a while- Mamiffer had an amazing tank top with a cat on it. Also, Anathema and Alcest had some pretty cool shirts and merch. The crowd for this show was varied; I saw people I had never seen before, and lots of people brought their significant other (metal is not usually romantic. But if it was, it’d sound like Alcest).

Mamiffer was a really excellent opening act. Eerie and atmospheric, they provided the perfect intro to a band like Alcest. They consistent of a female vocalist/keyboardist and a guy guitarist, and it reminded me somewhat of a post-rock set in that they would use feedback between songs to give the illusion of no downtime. I really enjoyed their set, and I look forward to hearing more from them.

Alcest was the next band on this shortened bill, and they were absolutely incredible. The highlight of the night for me, Alcest played a lot of songs off their latest album, Les Voyages de L’Âme (incidentally, that was the first ever review to appear on Blackmetallurgy). They also briefly touched on the older albums, and debuted some new material for the upcoming record. I will admit, I was in tears; it’s been a rough year for me, and Alcest has gotten me through a lot of it as Alcest plays the happiest songs I know. It was incredible to see them live, and an absolute honor to meet Neige.

Anathema finished up the night as co-headliners. Their set was very impressive- I can tell that the members of Anathema are all very talented and natural musicians. However, the music was really not my style at all. Anathema used to be big into doom, but their newer material has moved to a poppier sound, barely even metal at all. At one point they said they’d play an old song, but alas, it wasn’t old enough. Those of us who hoped that Anathema would cater to fans of the older material left feeling dissatisfied with the Englishmen’s set.

I didn’t buy a t-shirt this time. The only shirt that Alcest had that I was somewhat interested in was only available in L and XL by the time I got up to the booth to buy something. I ended up getting a record, as I absolutely love Écailles de Lune and didn’t own a physical copy of it, and I knew how hard it would be to track down an Alcest record (Into the Void, for instance, doesn’t have any). I am really, really glad I got the record. I saw Neige standing by the merch tables after I bought my record and borrowed a pen from a security guard so I could see if he’d sign it too. He did, of course, and I got to thank him for the music and tell him that it helps my mental state a lot when times are bad.

:D

😀

The vinyl itself is beautiful too. Like pale blue marble.

The vinyl itself is beautiful too. Like pale blue marble.

Although Anathema was a bit disappointing (for me, anyway), I thoroughly enjoyed Mamiffer, and Alcest made an absolute mess of me. I had wondered how well they’d do on Mill City Nights’ big stage, but the turnout was really excellent. Great night, great show, great company, great band/guys. Three weeks later I’m still trying to shake the daze.

**

Upcoming things- I saw Saint Vitus last week, so I’ll talk about that soon, and also I am going to be reviewing a couple of albums that my buddy over at Ars Magna Recordings sent me. Then, of course, there are reviews of the new Watain and Woe, and I am planning on snagging the new Inquisition as soon as it drops and work on tracking myself down a copy of Gris’ new one. I might be doing a review of the new Ensiferum as well. I’ve also got some other things in the works, and Watain on Wednesday (!!!). Still incredibly busy, but I’m going to make it my goal to work on the blog at least 30 minutes every day so I can hopefully stay on top of things.

 -Hagalaz