Archive for musings

An open post to the internet, because I ought to do this.

Posted in 2016, musings, state of the blog, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 12, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

I had other, fun stuff planned for today, but I should get this out of the way, because I should. I will be back with the fun stuff next week, because I decided I should talk about my favorite albums that came out last year, and the stuff I’ve done (because I have done stuff), and have not recorded here because I fail.

So this is the post about why I failed.

***

I went for a long time neglecting this blog. This is not good, because I love metal and this blog is one thing that has generally never failed to make me happy over the past few years. It’s also not good because it’s not like I haven’t been doing stuff, albeit more sporadically than in the past, and I should have been blogging about Hell’s Headbash last year, or how I went to see Mgła and Mortuary Drape in Chicago in November, of the brief time in which I was fascinated by crust punks and very quickly got so burned out on that business it is not even funny (your rebellion is pointless, keep your politics away from my black metal, and take a fucking shower).

However, a lot happened to drain me and make even the things I love not as much fun anymore. Primarily, depression. Depression is romanticized a lot in music and movies, and we tend to focus on how it can help to channel artists’ creative processes. Everyone knows Nine Inch Nails was at its best when Trent Reznor hated himself. But the worst part of depression, the unromantic part that never gets elaborated upon, is the ennui, the apathy, the absolute destruction of everything that you love. Nothing is fun anymore. The things that used to make you happy turn to ash in your mouth, and it’s hard to do anything that isn’t just going back to sleep because when you’re asleep things don’t hurt and also it’s a good way to just kill off the time because you can’t bring yourself to care. About anything. Couple this with anxiety and you end up with me, sitting at home, not doing anything and making excuses to not see my friends and not leave the house. I managed to keep going to Into the Void, our little local metal shop, may it rest in peace, once a week or so, but I was emotionally withdrawn from the scene in general.

Last spring, I decided to jump ship on my PhD and go to library school. This helped immensely, and last fall I actually was declared in partial remission from my major depressive disorder and went off my anti-depressants in October. So that is good. Things were looking up in general but there were still significant changes that I needed to make to my life and… to be short, I think I started filling up all those vacuous spaces with the wrong things, which resulted in about six months of me feeling afloat, anxious, unsure of who I was and what I wanted, and with no clue about what I needed. I was not in a good place, but I was operating under the assumption that I was. (I mean, I was off the pills, so that was good, yeah?) Which, of course, kept me from fixing it.

I went through a shift recently. March was a rough month for me this year, but I was slowly starting to pull myself back together. And then I went to see Abbath in early April, and about the time they started playing “Tyrants,” something clicked in my skull. While listening to some of my favorite songs, surrounded by some of my favorite people, it occurred to me that… I think I’m going to be okay. And I knew when I got home that I was going to make some changes.

First of all, this blog was getting restarted. Because, crazily enough, in my travels over the past couple of years, I have met people who recognized my Funeral Mist back patch and who talk to me about my blog. There are people out there who read this thing on occasion who aren’t just my friends or long-suffering family members. I owe it to those people who read my stuff (fist-bump, you guys are great), as well as to myself, to keep writing. This is what I do. I write and I analyze. Also, without the record store, I have no place to blather endlessly on about black metal to people.

Next, I need to take better care of myself. I have been trying to meditate, which is not easy because I live at a busy intersection and have a helpful cat who worries about me and bites at my elbows when I sit still too long because he thinks I am dead. But already I am able to get into a deeply relaxed state pretty quickly, even after just about four weeks of halting, often-frustrated meditation. I’m also reading a bunch of esoteric stuff and absorbing it like a sponge; I’ve always been interested in occult stuff because I am a (paraprofessional, not yet certified) librarian and an INTJ and a Ravenclaw and I LIKE TO KNOW THINGS, and while I don’t know how spiritual I’ll end up getting with it, I’m inspired by the individualism implicit in LHP and it seems like a good way to lend me strength and not make me feel like so broken and beaten of a person.

Last but certainly not least, I’ve gotta start being a better cat mom, and a better friend, and get my arse out of the house and remember that I LOVE GOING TO SHOWS and LIVE MUSIC IS MY JAM (I went to a pop concert last month. I didn’t know the band at all. I still had fun. What the hey.) and MY FRIENDS, ONLINE AND IN REAL LIFE, ARE AWESOME. I should be more present so that people stop asking me where I’ve been because I haven’t seen them in several months, and I need to make an effort to get out more and meet more people (I’ve met some super cool folks in the past month that I’ve been going to shows all the time).

So I guess what I came here to say is that it’s been a rough year and half, and this blog has suffered because of it, and I’m sorry about that. It’s going to get better, I promise. It already has, I think. And I fully intend to update at least every Thursday. I’m still in school, because I’m… a glutton for punishment, I guess, and so it’s hard for me to promise more than that, but every Thursday, at least, I’ll be here. I’m going to try to post up a list of albums that came out last year that I liked a lot, as well as a brief overview of the cool stuff I’ve done that didn’t make it up here because I have been busy hating myself. Once again, music has been the thing that has lit a fire under my ass, has pulled me out of the dreadful funk I have been in, has inspired me to keep going and realize that I am stronger than all of this. Like Watain says, WE ARE WOLVES. And wolves fight back.

I feel like hanging a sign out like Granny Weatherwax’s from Discworld, the one that she puts up when she’s out of her body borrowing an animal’s mind that says “I ATEN’T DEAD.” Because I aten’t. Not yet.

-H

 

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Black Metal Problems.

Posted in black metal, musings, Uncategorized with tags , on April 12, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

If I had four more sets of ears, I could listen to Watain, Immortal, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, AND Marduk simultaneously.

…Abbath, what did you do to me? (Seriously. Something… is askew in my brain after that show. I- I can’t stop.)

-H

Happy First of Summer, Everyone

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

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

 

Maryland Deathfest XI: Merch Haul, Musings, and More Pics

Posted in battle jacket, black metal, death metal, doom, festivals, musings, stoner metal, tips, united states with tags , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

This was my first year going to Maryland Deathfest, and I learned that it is a metal WONDERLAND. Literally just about any merch you could possibly want you can find, including stuff from Deathspell Omega (if you were looking for Lifelover you were out of luck, however. I didn’t see any of their stuff- I was looking for a patch). And for a girl working on her battle jacket, it was a veritable treasure trove. I bought a ton of patches, many of them from my friend, who I tried to buy from as much as I could.

Yeah, that's a Dimmu Borgir patch. They were my first black metal band, and their old stuff is awesome, don't pretend like it's not.

Yeah, that’s a Dimmu Borgir patch. They were my first black metal band, and their old stuff is awesome, don’t pretend like it’s not.

I also got several shirts, but not as many as I probably would have gotten if I had bought all my stuff early (lesson learned. I would have a Candlemass patch too if I’d done that). Nevertheless, I found stuff I couldn’t find easily, like a rad Teitanblood shirt, a TDB shirt (orders from the Netherlands are not cheap), and special edition MDF Antaeus and Aosoth shirts. And Morbid. Always more Morbid.

Teitanblood

Teitanblood

I love the back of this thing.

I love the back of this thing.

Antaeus special print for MDF.

Antaeus special print for MDF.

Noevdia. <3

Noevdia. ❤

More Dead.

More Dead.

Aosoth special MDF shirt. This thing is gorgeous. Also I am trying to buy more not-black shirts.

Aosoth special MDF shirt. This thing is gorgeous. Also I am trying to buy more not-black shirts.

The back has the Order of the Nine Angles sigil. Subtlety FTW.

The back has the Order of the Nine Angles sigil.

The Devil's Blood. I love their artwork.

The Devil’s Blood. I love their artwork.

I promised musings too, so I will give that. I think the weekend overall went really well, minus the drive back (coffee+convenience store fare+no sleep= H feeling like she is strung out on something). I did have a few observations though. First of all, the festival really needs to be organized a little better. Vinterland had to be pushed back, and Pentagram and Venom getting cut off- I understand that there was nothing that could have been done about these things, but I think some kind of announcement might have mitigated the frustration a bit, especially in the case of the latter, in which people rioted. The lines going into and out of the festival could have been handled a little better, and considering that I heard/saw lots of complaints about gate security inappropriately frisking some of the girls (never happened to me or A, by the way), and harassing people, I would suggest screening the people they have working the gates a little better. (The guys in the festival were awesome, on the contrary. Especially the dude playing air-bass and helping people crowdsurf. That guy deserves an award for best security dude ever.)

I also heard rumors that this might be the last year at that venue, and that might be okay. I liked the smallness of the festival, especially considering that I get freaked out in really huge crowds sometimes, but it really might have outgrown itself this time. Especially with having to wait in line for over an hour for re-entry on Sunday. Also, I didn’t have tickets to the punk stage this year (I need to do that next time), but my understanding was that it was about .5 miles away. That’s a little far, especially if you are trying to run back and forth a lot, so making the venues closer would be really beneficial.

The music was awesome. Needs more thrash; needs more grindcore. That is all. Of course, with all the doom and black metal it was theoretically my year.

Here are some more miscellaneous pics of me and my pals showing off our MPLS/St. Paul related digs and general tomfoolery.

The poster from this year was pretty freaking sweet.

The poster from this year was pretty freaking sweet.

IMAG0876

I don’t know if you can tell from the pin, but we are big Devil’s Blood fans around here.

\m/

\m/

Me looking like a big ol' dweeby fangirl in my False shirt. MPLS metal is my fave.

Me looking like a big ol’ dweeby fangirl in my False shirt. MPLS metal is my fave.

IMAG0909

 

Chicks dig Into the Void.

Chicks dig Into the Void.

Me and Carlos.

Next, Kylesa, before I forget my commentary on that. Then Aosoth, I promise. I have been running around watching friends’ bands all weekend, but I am home with some spare time for a while.

-Hagalaz

New Watain Album This Year!

Posted in black metal, release info, sweden with tags , , , , on May 1, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

So yesterday, Watain announced on their Facebook that there will be a new album this year! The album will be called The Wild Hunt, and dates are August 19 in Europe and August 20 in the U.S.

I am very glad that I heard of this while in the privacy of my own home, as I may have embarrassed myself if I’d learned it while out in public somewhere.

I am going to be working up a review of the new Ghost album, as well as going to see Ghost this weekend (and reviewing that), so I will be posting again soon. I am going to have to relinquish my battle jacket for a bit after this weekend, though (my friend and I are flying to Maryland Deathfest, and I don’t want complications on the plane), so I am madly sewing in my spare time trying to get it as done as possible before the end of the week. Pictures will, of course, follow.

Until then, listen to this song because I am obsessed with the main riff, particularly at 5:10, when it shifts a little.

-Hagalaz

Some More Jacket Updates; Recipes; Things I Get To Look Forward To

Posted in battle jacket, concerts, musings with tags , , , , , , , on March 3, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

I have resurfaced again! Unfortunately I have been so busy lately I just haven’t had time to post anything. I have ideas though- I am going to do a review of the new Dethklok one of these months, I’m going to do a rant about why Watain is not just a Dissection knock-off, and I’m going to review the Marduk show (and Inquisition! and Death Wolf! And a bunch of others because there were a lot of bands) that I saw Thursday. And that’s just to name a few. And I plan on doing this just as soon as things slow down a little for me, which should be starting tomorrow. I finished up a project I’ve been dedicating spare time to today, so I should be able to do more here now.

Another thing I plan on doing is a post on the new metal record store in St. Paul, Into the Void. I have been there twice now, and it is my favorite place in the world. It is also where I got the new patch additions to my jacket: Darkthrone and Dissection.

I'd been planning on getting this one for a while. Glad I found it locally!

I’d been planning on getting this one for a while. Glad I found it locally!

True Norwegian Black Metal

True Norwegian Black Metal

The jacket is coming along! I also got a Mayhem Deathcrush patch the other day to fill in that spot between Dissection and Morbid, and a Nifelheim patch that I bought from my friend Carlos. I also plan on getting some pyramid studs, and I have The Devil’s Blood and Horna patches in transit somewhere.

Hooray

Hooray

IMAG0756

I also thought that perhaps people might be interested in some commentary on some of the dishes from the Hellbent for Cooking metal cookbook I reviewed recently. Around the start of February, I decided to make Pagan Altar’s Pagan Pie, which is pretty much shepherd’s pie using corned beef. I admit I was a little wary of it at first- as Annick Giroux points out, it all comes from a can. It was, however, very good for having done so, and really tasty with the corned beef (I usually make mine with stew beef as it’s chunkier than ground beef, but it had never occurred to me to make it with corned beef).

Pagan Pie (Pagan Altar)

Pagan Pie (Pagan Altar)

Yum.

Yum.

IMAG0709

Other than that, March is bereft metal shows for me, but I am going to see Ensiferum in April (yes! Finally! I have wanted to see them for ages, they are my favorite melo-deathy, pagan-y band), and then Ghost, and then I am certainly going to see Black Witchery and Deiphago. I’ll be missing the latter at Deathfest because I have the three day pass, so that one is a must. I may go see Absu too; it’s a cheaper show and I hear False is opening, and I need their split with Barghest.

So much for a post about a whole lot of nothing. I am going to try and be more productive over here. So many ideas, so little time.

Until I return to remind you of how awesome Marduk is live,

Hagalaz

The Heavens Cry Out For The Devil’s Blood

Posted in musings, retro occult rock, the netherlands with tags , , , on February 6, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Two weeks ago, The Devil’s Blood, one of my favorite bands, decided to call it quits, and today they have doubly verified it. There’s very little info as of now as to the causes for the split, although Anso DF over at Metal Sucks thinks it might have something to do with the vocalist’s reputedly nasty temper, and my friend Jamie posited that perhaps it might arise from professional difficulties- SL tours with Watain sometimes, and we recently watched the blood-smeared Swedes sign with a bigger label. That doesn’t strike either of us as the sort of thing that either SL or his buddies in Watain would let the band break up over, so perhaps it was just time. Either way, it’s really none of my business why the band broke up, nor is it anyone else’s (pardon that snip, but people on Facebook are infuriating).

As Anso DF pointed out, though, the statement was signed by both SL and F (The Mouth of Satan), which suggests that the siblings are at least in on the decision together and could potentially move on to work on more projects together or someday maybe restructure the band. And SL posted on Facebook earlier today that a live DVD as well as some music will become available soon in a sort of housekeeping attempt to get the unreleased stuff out there, so we have that to look forward to. Either way, it’s a big loss for those of us who dig the retro occult rock thing since TDB were one of the absolute best bands to do it.

So for now I guess there’s nothing more to do than go back and listen to the awesome music that we’ve got from The Devil’s Blood, because everything they have done is great. That and, for my part at least, be grateful that I got to see them perform live.

RIC, The Devil’s Blood. Thanks for the truly inspiring music and live rituals, guys. You make my soul sing.

“There begins a journey long past the seventh and ever on
The yonder beckons, I can hear its roaring wail
From the starless spheres of nothing
Where the serpent lets loose its tail”

[For those of you who never got the chance to see this band perform live, enjoy this footage from Maryland Deathfest 2012]

-Hagalaz