Archive for psychedelic rock

More Pics from Behexen/Sargeist

Posted in battle jacket, black metal, chicago, concerts, finland, orthodox black metal, psychedelic rock, retro occult rock, satan, underground, united states, USBM, war metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

As promised, some pics from black metal weekend. It occurs to me that I must not have gotten any pics of Behexen- was too busy headbanging I guess. Enjoy!

My farewell party. He was displeased that I was gone all weekend.

My farewell party. He was displeased that I was gone all weekend.

The lovely A at the Beat Kitchen, rocking the Emperor shirt

The lovely A at the Beat Kitchen, rocking the Emperor shirt

Kommandant's vocalist. His new get-up is terrifying

Kommandant’s vocalist. His new get-up is terrifying

Kommandant

Kommandant

Just one of the many curiosities from the awesome sushi place/Japanese grocery store

Just one of the many curiosities from the awesome sushi place/Japanese grocery store

Mugging for the camera with my bow to match my battle jacket

Mugging for the camera with my bow to match my battle jacket

Kvties

Kvties

Jex Thoth

Jex Thoth

I liked her dancing

I liked her dancing

Sargeist

Sargeist

Ave.

-H

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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.

20140717_164651

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

 

 

Concert: Ambassador Gun/Sadgiqacea/Hivelords/Poney (7/19, Nomad’s World Pub, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in black metal, blackened doom, concerts, doom, grindcore, hardcore, local, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, psychedelic rock, punk, sludge metal, stoner metal, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

(I am going to start linking to bandcamp in here when I can, so that you can listen to more music and buy more music and support more of these guys. OK? You’re welcome.)

Last Friday I was hanging out at Into the Void when my friend M called me to see if I wanted to go with him, his girlfriend, and a mutual friend to see Sadgiqacea, his friend’s black metal band, play with local legends Ambassador Gun. So of course I said yes, because I love me some live music. The show was at Nomad’s World Pub, a small venue that seemed mostly populated, at least this time, by hipsters and crustpunks. Though small, it was a nice place, and they had a huge tap list as well if that is your thing. The patios, I thought, were particularly nice, especially on a balmy summer night. The sound was good as far as I could tell, but it was insanely loud as well, so

Poney from Madison, WI started off the night with a set of psychedelic/stoner inspired hardcore. They played all the material from their new record as well as several other songs. I really enjoyed their set, and thought that the interchanging vocals were really a cool effect, if not always in tune. Probably my favorite aspect of the music was the percussion; along with a drummer, Poney has another percussionist who uses mallets and other techniques with his drumkit. Looking forward to hopefully seeing these guys again soon.

[Two drummers. Rad.]

Hivelords was up next, and they completely destroyed. After their set, I went to fetch extra earplugs for my friends from the car because the noise levels were pretty much devastating. Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, Hivelords plays crushing, doom-saturated black metal, with the vocalist using the old grindcore two-mic technique and echo sound effects. The result is deafening and incredible. I was completely blown away by these guys, and have been pushing them on my friends since.

[Hivelords is devastating in the best way possible.]

Unfortunately I missed most of Sadgiqacea’s set. I was absolutely famished, and skipped over to grab a burrito at Hard Times. I did manage to catch most of the last song, however, and what I heard I really liked. Sadgiqacea also plays a mix of sludge, doom, and psychedelic black metal (and are also, incidentally from Philly). I am going to have to spend some more time with their catalog as I really like what I did hear, and I’m bummed that I missed out on their set.

[I will never stop being impressed by how well you can make incredible black metal with just two dedicated dudes.]

After getting my face obliterated by some of the most crushing live black metal I’ve ever witnessed, Ambassador Gun was unfortunately kind of a letdown. M has seen them before and says that he felt like they were definitely having an off night; one of the vocalists was not in his normal register, he said, so he could tell something was wrong. Even the crowd seemed to have a little trouble getting into the music. Nevertheless, Ambassador Gun’s blend of grind, punk, and metal was enjoyable enough to me. I had come to hear some noise and screaming, and they made sure I did not go home disappointed. I know these guys are a Minneapolis staple and I’d like to see them again sometime when they are having a better night. I also remembered that they played at Maryland Deathfest this year; another indication that I really ought to pick up tickets for the punk stage next time as well.

[Noisy noise.]

I like to support touring bands, and when they are friends or friends of friends I like it even more, so I gave Sadgiqacea and Hivelords the rest of the money in my pocket for gas and took home a sweet Hivelords patch for the old battle jacket. I also picked up a flier and sticker for FTG Illustrations, the work of Sadgiqacea’s drummer (he did their album artwork), in case anyone is looking for album art. After the show, I spent some time hanging out with M and company as well as Hivelords and Sadgiqacea, who were crashing at his place. I am now even more convinced that I need a house so I can put people up, because I love cooking for people and because, as I have bemoaned before, metal bands don’t typically have the support in the underground that the punks do.

20130726_221517

I had a really good time for a show I decided to go to on a sudden invite, and I’m really, really glad I went. Poney was excellent, and Hivelords completely destroyed, as did Sadgiqacea, the small part I saw of their set. I’m looking forward to seeing Ambassador Gun on a better night, as I know they are a big deal, and unfortunately theirs was the weakest set of the night. More reviews coming soon, as I can’t not go to things, including the not-Castle show that took place on Tuesday and the Maledicere show tomorrow  (it’s going to be awesome. Stoked).

-H

Concert: Kylesa/Blood Ceremony/White Hills/Lazer/Wülf (6/3, Triple Rock, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in concerts, retro occult rock, sludge metal, thrash, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

After living in the Twin Cities for almost a year, I finally attended my first show at the Triple Rock. I like the venue a lot- I got harassed on the street just walking two blocks from my car, which was creepy, but that’s not the venue’s fault. I don’t know whether or not I’m ashamed to admit that I sat down for the whole show, but there were seats at the back of the standing room and I am so short I could see a lot better while sitting down. The bar also looked very big, if that is your thing. Room for the merch tables and still plenty left over for people to maneuver around. The crowd was diverse; I knew a couple of people there, mostly, I think people who were there for Blood Ceremony. It was nice to see a whole bunch of new people, however, and they are people I kept seeing cropping up at the local shows I went to this past week, so that is good too.

I had never heard of Lazer/Wülf, and unfortunately I got there late into their set. I thought the show started at 8, but apparently it was a little earlier. The band is from Athens, GA, and plays what Encyclopedia Metallum refers to as “experimental death metal/groove/thrash.” I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, but I do know that I really enjoyed the little bit of Lazer/Wülf that I got to see. I think they are mostly an instrumental band, or at least the parts I saw didn’t seem to have a lot of vocals. Also, their drummer is fucking amazing. He was easily one of my favorite parts of the night.

Next up was White Hills, a psychedelic band from New York. They have a female bassist (hooray more girls in metal) who is very good, and an excellent guitarist as well. My memory of their set is a little fuzzy (that’s what happens when I write these things a week and a half later), but I do remember that I liked it a lot. I’m really enjoying this psychedelic throwback thing that seems to be getting really popular.

Speaking of that, Blood Ceremony was really on top of things. Their vocalist was extremely charismatic onstage, which is refreshing since most people seem to freeze when there’s a keyboard in front of them. The flute interludes were also really nice, adding another retro element to the mix that isn’t always present in retro-occult rock. I really like this 60s-inspired music about the Devil, as it hearkens to the time when Satanism broke from the underground. It’s a fun sort of thing, and Blood Ceremony is one of the better bands that does it.

Finally, Kylesa took the stage, complete with awesome video-backdrop. I confess I hadn’t listened to much of Kylesa before this show (I had been streaming their new album, which is awesome, on Pitchfork), but I have also been listening to A LOT of Kylesa and anything sludgy I can get my hands on since. They were absolutely awesome live, and it was fun to be back and up where I could see the crowd colliding to the music. I heard rumors that they were down to one drummer, but there were two on this night, and I was glad I got to see that as my friend says it is one of the things that always made Kylesa special.

They played a mix of songs from the albums of theirs I have heard, including the new one. Long Gone is one of my favorites from the new album, and it was incredible live. We also got an encore, and lots of promises that Minneapolis is one of their favorite places to play (of course it is. MPLS digs Kylesa). A friend of mine said that someone told him they were boring live, but personally, I think live is the best way to watch this kind of music (also, post-rock is best live, methinks).

I ended up with a t-shirt with an owl on it, and that’s rad. I wanted to buy the new album but they were all sold out of them. Sadly they were also sold out of the blue version of this shirt in small/medium- I am trying to buy more not-black shirts, since I have like a million.

Put a bird on it.

Put a bird on it.

I really enjoyed this show, even though I had the thought that it was weird to pair these bands together (Kylesa and Blood Ceremony sounds like a really weird tour, and once you throw the other two in it’s even weirder). That being said, it was fun in a lot of ways because I know for a fact that some of my friends who were stoked for Blood Ceremony would never ordinarily be into Kylesa, and I know that at least a few of them stuck around. Me, I like psychedelic stuff and I like sludge, so I was pretty happy all around. Lazer/Wulf’s drummer was the surprise of the evening for me; I will have to check out more of their material. I have also been listening a lot lately to Kylesa (just bought their new one; will report back) and bands that sound like Kylesa, so that worked as well. All and all a great night.

-Hagalaz