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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

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Concert: Abbath/High on Fire/Skeletonwitch/Tribulation/False (4/7, Mill City Nights, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, black metal, blackened thrash, concerts, doom, doom metal, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, norway, tours, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Decibel’s lineups for their annual tour never disappoint, and when I saw that Abbath was headlining this year’s edition there was no way I was going to miss. (I also never got to see Immortal, so there is that.) I was also really excited for the chance to see High On Fire, whom I have never seen despite the fact that it feels like they play here every other month, and Tribulation, whom I have also never seen.

My overall excitement was flagged a little by the fact that it was on a night I had class, so I GUESS I WILL JUST MISS TRIBULATION AGAIN. Someday. Someday I will see them. (Seriously. Every. Freaking. Time. Which deity did I piss off for this to happen? The one that governs graduate students? Because after seven years of grad school I believe that there is a malevolent deity in charge of it.)

Ahem. Anyway. I had class, so I had to arrive late and I got there about midway through Skeletonwitch’s set. Admittedly, I didn’t pay very good attention; I like Skeletonwitch fine, but I’m always a little distracted when I have to walk in on something halfway through. I wasn’t aware that their lineup had changed so much, as I’m only the most casual of fans, but I was impressed with their new vocalist. I saw enough of their set to hear a range of songs, including “Beyond the Permafrost” and a brand new track.

I didn’t get any pictures though, because I forgot that I am now snapping terrible pictures until later on in the evening. Whoops.

Next up was High On Fire, which was long overdue for me. They play here a lot, but I always have something else going on and never get to actually go. I have seen Sleep, but I hadn’t seen High On Fire, which is silly. They played “Speedwolf” and “Rumors of War,” and I noted that Matt Pike still hasn’t found his shirt, which means that God is still in his heaven and all is still right with the world.

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I was back sorta far, which was ok, because there was much moshing. 

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Doom.

Then was Abbath, who came out to a crazy, weird-sounding thing that was not unlike a movie soundtrack, which made me giggle. They opened with “To War,” which makes logical sense as the opening track on the new album, and then I got to deal with the crushing reality of the fact that Abbath and King ov Hell were less than twenty yards away from me. From that point on my brain kind of went into a weird euphoria and I spent the rest of the night alternating between singing along and screaming like a little girl in sheer excitement.

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King ov Hell and his glorious hair

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Dudes

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You can see Creature if you squint hard. This is about the best my little phone camera can do

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ABBATH!

Because I knew that they were going to play Immortal songs going in, but I didn’t expect damn near half the set to be Immortal songs. It was nuts. They pretty much alternated between the two all night. Most of the Abbath album got covered (“Fenrir Hunts” is fantastic live, by the way), and even though, with the exception of “Nebular Ravens Winter,” they didn’t play anything older than At the Heart of Winter, any Immortal is better than the alternative, which for me was never seeing anyone in Immortal play Immortal songs ever, and thus it was that I left that show a much happier person than I was when I went in. Also because they played “Solarfall,” and that’s about the point where my brain melted out my ears.

I admit, I had had a long and trying day and was very tired when I went to this show, and that paired with the knowledge that I’d be missing Tribulation again kind of put a damper on the start of my night. But I left there happier than I have been post-concert since that time I saw Mayhem and Watain on the same night. Holy crap. And if you think I’ve been doing anything but listening to black metal for a solid week now you’re kidding yourself.

Also, I missed our local False, who opened the show, and I just have to say- props to Decibel for letting those guys open. I don’t think that local bands get to open very many of the shows on the Decibel tour (and I understand why; there are always a lot of bands already playing), and it’s super cool that False was able to open for this. It’s also super lame that I missed it, but… well.

And let it be known, that the next day, in early April in Mpls/St. Paul, MN, we got heavy snow dumped on us all day. It didn’t stick, because the ground was too warm, but it’s worth noting that Abbath came to our cities in April and gifted us with a mini-blizzard.

-Hagalaz

 

 

Concert: Absu/Maledicere/False/Nuklear Frost (4/19, St. Paul, MN, Station 4)

Posted in black metal, concerts, local, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

**Edited 2/8/14- Because of some erroneous reporting on my part about the number of guitarists in Nuklear Frost. Sorry ’bout that guys.**

Last Friday I went down to Station 4 with a friend of mine to see Absu, as well as a sampling of some of the Twin Cities’ finest black metal. We got to the venue early, about the time the doors opened, although the show didn’t start for another hour (Station 4 should start posting that. I mean, it was fine. We hung out and talked. But still). The crowd was a weird size; big enough to call it a good turnout, but certainly not as good as it could have been. About ¾ of the crowd was up in the bar all night, too, so it was hard to judge how many people were there. It was a good natured crowd for the most part, though, and they seemed to enjoy the show.

First up was Nuklear Frost, about whom I know very little. Their set was good; the vocals, however, were a little hit or miss for me. Sometimes I really liked them and at other times I was less impressed. I did find it cool that all of the members (minus the drummer) did vocals at some point. In moments, they reminded me of Inquisition with the layering of the guitar sound, despite there being only one guitar player. It was a perfectly fine black metal set, and I am looking forward to seeing more from this band and getting to know their music a little better.

I wasn’t able to find a video of Nuklear Frost on YouTube, but here is a link to their Bandcamp page, where you can listen to a song from their demo.

The next band on the bill was False, who I have been dying to see again since I saw them in January. False was absolutely incredible, just as last time. They played two songs again, a new one that hasn’t been recorded yet and Heavy as a Church Tower. It was also interesting to see them in a different performance space; unlike at Cause, Rachel couldn’t jump down into the crowd, so she paced back and forth on the stage instead. She looked like a freaking lioness up there stalking her prey. Amazing.

[From the Gilead Media fest last year that I, unfortunately, had to miss. I might be a False fangirl]

Maledicere was the third band on the bill. I looked them up when I saw they were on the bill, and in that short time they have become another of my favorite local bands. They play more traditional black metal, so it was kind of cool to see them right after False. Their set was as tight as expected, and the ambiance was nice as well. They had some incense burning on the stage, and it was a little strong for my tastes (and by strong I mean it made my eyes water), but it was a cool effect. Reminded me of going to mass at Christmas (the Catholic Church is the only place I’ve seen with as potent incense). Great band, and I’m really happy I got to see them perform live.

[This video is a little old, but this song is one of my favorites on the album]

Absu took the stage next, and they were freaking incredible. Coming into it, I had wondered if Proscriptor McGovern would play drums and do vocals when they played live, and he did- the live set up was much like it is on the albums, with most of the vocals handled by Proscriptor McGovern and some of them by the bassist. After the first couple of songs, they announced that they would be playing for the next 93 minutes, and while I’m not sure if it was exactly that long, it was very close. It was a long set.

Absu’s set was incredible- I would have thrashed around to it more, but my neck was still in recovery from Paganfest the week before. They played songs from all throughout their catalog- Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle, Abraxus Connexus, Vorago (Spell 182), and Swords and Leather, just to name a few. They also played Amy, which was the first Absu song I ever heard long ago while listening to Pandora. For the final song, they had another guy (I didn’t see who he was or where he came from) play drums, and Proscriptor McGovern came up front in a shearling coat and fringed boots to do vocals. His stage presence was incredible both behind the kit and in front of it. It was a long set and a great one, and I’m really glad I got to see it.

I decided to spend my merch money on the local acts tonight, as I just recently acquired an Absu album. I ended up going home with the False/Barghest split (which came with a gigantic poster) and a copy of Maledicere’s full length album Leave Only What Is Fit To Burn. I feel really fortunate to live in a place with such fantastic black metal. We don’t have much of that where I come from (although there are some brilliant Texas bands, too. See Absu).

In true black metal fashion, Maledicere's album refuses to take a good picture. This was the best I could do. Maybe it's the red?

In true black metal fashion, Maledicere’s album refuses to take a good picture. This was the best I could do. Maybe it’s the red?

False/Barghest split.

False/Barghest split.

The monstrously huge poster that came with the record.

The monstrously huge poster that came with the record.

Basically, Absu is incredible. I’m not sure how much longer this tour is going on, but if you get a chance to catch them, you should totally do it. You will definitely get your money’s worth- a little over an hour and a half of Absu makes me happy indeed. Proscriptor McGovern is dumbfoundingly awesome to watch, even when dressed up like some of the sorority girls from campus, and the band on the whole has great stage presence. Get thee hence and see Absu when you can, and if you’re from the Twin Cities, or even if you’re not, be sure and check out False, Maledicere, and Nuklear Frost.

-Hagalaz

P.S. I’m going to hold myself to a post a week, at least until school is out. Then I’ll have more time to write…

Concert: False/Cold Colours/SVOBODA (1/24, Minneapolis, MN, Cause)

Posted in black metal, concerts, local, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2012, a wonderful thing happened. After a year and a half of trying unfruitfully, I FINALLY saw False play a live set! The show was at Cause, a venue in Uptown Minneapolis, a part of town known for its hipster population. Needless to say, a lot of us kind of looked like what the cat dragged in. The venue itself was nice, with bars in the restaurant and in the venue area. My favorite part though was the fun artwork they had all over the place and the vending machine of CDs.

One interesting observation that I had while at the show was that the Minneapolis crowd is very different from the St. Paul crowd. While the Station 4 crowd seems largely like the Des Moines crowd of death metal and grindcore enthusiasts (with some thrashers and folky folks thrown in), the crowd that showed up to the False show was comprised mostly of black metal folks. All the jackets were black, some had long sleeves, and I saw a guy in a Mütiilation shirt, as well as his friend who was wearing, I think, a Ravencult shirt. It’s like falling down the rabbit hole! I did see two members of the St. Paul crowd there, but other than me and Jamie, that was it. Very interesting indeed. I am intrigued to know who will be at the Enslaved show Monday.

The opening act was a band called SVOBODA. They describe themselves as “weighty sludge metal,” and Jamie describes them as “the ghost of Sleep. “ Both I think are pretty accurate. According to their Facebook they want to apply alchemy and shamanism to transform metal into something else. They were very good, and I’m glad that I got to see them play. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for their shows in the future. I’d love to see them again. They also had Sun 0))) cabinets, which I have learned to associate with awesomeness (Portland’s Taurus plays with them too).

[Feedback]

The second band was Cold Colours, and I wasn’t as on board with them (although the guy playing drums for them was nice). It was hard to tell what they were trying to do- at one point they seemed like they were playing thrash, then they sounded like they were playing black metal inspired stuff, at another point they sounded melo-deathish- they weren’t bad, and they seem like good musicians, but their set didn’t feel very cohesive to me. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll see them around again, so I’ll wait to formulate a real opinion.

[From a while back]

False was incredible. They played a relatively short set (only two songs, but False’s songs are rather epic in length), and it felt like it lasted only a couple of minutes. Unfortunately their lead guitarist had broken his wrist and couldn’t play, but he was there in the crowd (next to me for a while) to lend his support. False’s vocalist, for those of you who don’t know, is a petite blonde girl, and she has some powerful lungs on her. Her performance was absolutely captivating, and of course it makes me happy to see strong women in the metal scene. Another cool thing is that actually a lot of girls were there, I’m assuming inspired by her. At moments she seemed like she would cry, at others she’d jump down into the floor with the crowd- it was awesome. The entire set was tight and incredibly powerful, and I cannot wait to see them again.

[Imagine this for 30 minutes. Yup. Kvlt.]

At the merch table I picked up a copy of False’s EP (I bought the digital copy ages ago, but I hadn’t managed a physical copy yet). I plan on picking up a copy of the split with Barghest when I see them next. Another fun part of this experience is that I now have a record to play on my record player, which needs to be persuaded a bit to work and runs a little wonky, but plays the record. And I must say, False really does sound good on vinyl. The sound is a little more blended than on the digital; I imagine this must be what kvlt sounds like.

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As you can see, the vinyl itself is blacker than the blackest black times infinity.

I also picked up a t-shirt from the band. They didn’t have many sizes available (this one was only in small, and the other only in medium), but I imagine they will get more in. I intended to buy something from Cold Colours too, but by the time I’d gotten back over there they had packed up their merch. Oh well. Perhaps next time.

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All in all it was an amazing night. I found a venue that is very nice, learned that I love yet another local band, and FINALLY got to see False in the flesh. Even though their set was short, it was absolutely incredible. I cannot wait to see them again.

**

Definitely going to update this on Mondays, and I’ll shoot for Fridays too. Gotta switch things around this semester, as my schedule has shifted. Enslaved on Monday, and probably another post tomorrow or Monday, mourning the passing of another great band (RIP The Devil’s Blood).

-Hagalaz

Up and Coming/ Local Legends: False (Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in black metal, featured artist, local, new artist, release info, underground, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Great news, everybody! The greatest band you’ve never heard of is going back on tour! False is an excellent little black metal band from Minneapolis, MN, and I have never managed to see them live so this news is great for me. They were supposed to open for the Wolves in the Throne Room show that was cancelled in August last year, so I missed them then, and then I had planned to see them in Oklahoma while I was home for the holidays and never could get the address in time (I had communicated with their drummer online but between them being on tour without internet access and me unable to leave to make it to the venue in time it didn’t happen). Just recently they opened for Negură Bunget in St. Paul, and neither me nor my friend Jamie knew about it (they weren’t listed on the bill). So FINALLY, I will get to see them.

False is straight up, underground black metal. They follow the Wolves in the Throne Room method of really, really long songs, and their self-titled EP, which featured two of them, was no. 14 on Decibel’s 40 Best Albums of 2011.

[This is one]

False is determined to maintain the DIY and underground ethic, too. Their albums are only on vinyl for physical copies, although I downloaded the EP online for $5 (which you might can still do as well. I do plan on getting the vinyl sometime, maybe when I see them, and *hopefully* get it signed. I think it’d be great to have a piece of local lore like that, especially from a band I love). They have been playing primarily DIY venues, so they can be hard to find sometimes. They also don’t publicize well, so I had no idea they were opening for Negură Bunget. I suppose, however, that will just make seeing them in August that much sweeter. I’ve been waiting for this for a year now.

[When they opened for Negură Bunget. Yes, their vocalist is a tiny girl. Which is AWESOME]

False has a new song out on a split with Barghest through Gilead Media that you can listen to at good ol’ Decibel. The split (on vinyl only) will be available in August, but it looks like you can pick up False’s EP from Gilead Media.

Give False a listen (and then get thee hence and to the nearest date to you!). Trust me. You won’t regret it.

Later,

Hagalaz

[Also, if you enjoyed my post on black metal lyrics (or even if you hated it and completely disagree with me), my friend Jamie posted a response on his blog. You can find that here: http://jimmymacworld.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/metal-lyrics-and-authorship/]