Archive for live reports

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

 

 

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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.)

20131101_220858

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: 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.

IMAG0705

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.

IMAG0704

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

Concert: Korpiklaani/Moonsorrow/Tyr/Metsatoll (9/2, St. Paul, MN, Station 4)

Posted in concerts, finland, folk metal, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2012 by blackmetallurgy

Sunday night I went to see Korpiklaani and Co., which my friend and I affectionately nicknamed the Great Pagan Beerfest of 2012. Upon entering the venue, the first thing we noticed is that the crowd was not the typical crowd that you see at Station 4. The metal people were there, of course, but there were also a number of people dressed up in costume. We saw a guy in a kilt, and a girl in a Renaissance looking dress, and then there was one dude wearing chainmail. It was cool to see so many people get into it. And oh my goodness so many rune tattoos and Mjölnirs everywhere (I’m okay with that).

The first band to play was Metsatöll from Estonia. I think I had heard the name before somewhere, but I had no previous knowledge of them whatsoever and actually had to look up where Estonia was (feel free to take your potshots at how stupid Americans are here. I have it coming). Anyway, Metsatöll put on an amazing show. They have a multi-instrumentalist who played the flute, bagpipes, mouth harp… everything really, and they can all sing very well. I really loved their bassist; he looked like he was so excited to be there. Their crowd interaction was great, and the audience was very supportive of them, which is awesome.

[Oh. Also, that guy can throat sing. Which is amazing]

Next up was pagan metal superstars Týr. From the Faroe Islands off the Norwegian shore, Týr is often too power-metally for me. The clean vocals are a little cheesy to my ears, nevertheless it is really great in a live environment. Because the vocals are clean, it is easy to understand what is being sung and the audience can therefore sing along. Although I don’t know much of Týr’s catalogue, even I was able to keep up. Týr, with the exception perhaps of Korpiklaani, were the crowd favorites of the night. A big ol’ mosh pit got started up, and the entire crowd was singing along (I noticed this from my vantage point in about the middle left of the crowd- I got pushed back a little as the beer was calling and I was late getting to a spot).

[I have had this song in my head since Sunday. Good stuff]

Sadly, it seemed that quite a few people left after Týr’s set. That is just insane, considering freaking Moonsorrow was up next. Seeing Moonsorrow live is a rare treat. The most black metal of folk metal bands (they survived on Kvltit once), Moonsorrow plays quite long epics of pieces. And they are awesome. Musically they remind me a lot of Finntroll; their melodies are very much based in the folk tradition, and then they bring in the metal instruments to play them. This is, in my (obviously somewhat elitist) opinion, the way that folk metal should be done, not just an At the Gates rip-off with a hurdy-gurdy thrown in.

[Lovely, lovely stuff]

Last but of course not least was Korpiklaani. Even though Jonne Järvelä broke his finger a couple of weeks ago, he was not deterred in amping up the crowd. Guy was all over the place! Crawling on the amps, dancing with the other musicians, running through the crowd and climbing in the mosh pit- it was excellent. And it wasn’t just him- all of the members of Korpiklaani seemed to be having a great time, making it a really fun show for all of us in the crowd.

[The new one. Everyone was chanting along; probably none of us know Finnish]

Besides several songs off their newest album Manala, Korpiklaani also played a number of older standards, including Happy Little Boozer (this was the one that Jonne ran out in the crowd for), Beer Beer, and Vodka. There was joiking, there was drinking, and there was friendly, happy camaraderie between both band and fans.

[The crowd favorite]

In what seemed like an effort to make my night in particular, they ended with Wooden Pints and Pellonpekko from Spirit of the Forest, the band’s first album as Korpiklaani. All in all it was a great show with great company. Really a lot of fun.

Jamie and I also discussed how it could be that some people actually don’t like a band like Korpiklaani, or Moonsorrow, and we decided that really they need to do live albums. Although folk metal is perfectly fine when recorded, there is something about that gritty bar feel, and it’s better suited as music to be played when eating, drinking, and being merry with friends. Folk metal on record is nice; folk metal live is awesome. Like the folk songs of old, this is music intended for an actively participating audience. It was one of the most fun shows I have been to (and I mean fun in the traditional sense. I also find basement black metal fun, but not everyone does), and I highly encourage you to catch this tour if and when you can.

-Hagalaz