Archive for true norwegian black metal

I found a thing.

Posted in black metal, bootlegs, mayhem, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , on August 2, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

So I am on a cleaning mission. I’m tearing apart my apartment, because I only three bookshelves and they are all overflowing, and I have a closet and chest of drawers chock full of stuff I don’t wear and don’t need and don’t want, so I need to get rid of some of this crap. And my landlord is gonna be disappointed in me because the city people are supposed to come by and inspect tomorrow and it looks like a minor scale hurricane came through here but I don’t even care because when I’m done it will be awesome.

The important point to all this is that I have found things I didn’t realize I still had. Like burned CD copies of all the old Mayhem bootlegs.

Guess who’s gonna spend her afternoon listening to 47 different versions of Freezing Moon?

…Me. It’s me. I am.

-H

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Gratuitous Birthday Playlist 2016

Posted in 2016, atmospheric black metal, black metal, DSBM, NWOBHM, swedish death metal, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Heeeeyyy everyone. It’s my birthday again! And that means you all get a post of what I’m listening to at the moment, about which you may or may not care at all! (I realized that I missed out doing this the past couple of years. I may need to do a couple of other random gratuitous N/P posts to make up for it.)

Anyhow, without further ado, here is what I’ve been jamming lately.

Shining

SHINING IS COMING TO NORTH AMERICA YOU GUYS. I have been stupidly excited ever since this was announced, so it’s probably no surprise that Shining has been on near-constant rotation for me lately. (Niklas Kvarforth is also apparently not a June-baby. Ah well. Can’t have ’em all, I suppose.)

Taake

All of these articles lately with the back and forth about SJWs in metal using Taake as an example has done literally nothing but make me want to listen to more Taake. So that is what I does. Also I just got my own copy of this album after loving it for years. (Also, a bonus. I picked Myr for the list because it has a sample from Rosemary’s Baby. Whose birthday is ALSO June 28th.

Venom

Another thing I recently acquired was Venom’s Black Metal on vinyl. Unsurprisingly, it’s been in the rotation too.

Dissection

Dissection gets a spot on the birfday playlist because they are Satan’s favorite band. Also, today is Jon Nötdveidt’s birthday too, RIC.

1349

It’s also Frost’s birthday, and while something from Nemesis Divina probably makes more sense (since it’s that album’s 20th anniversary), I just got the massive and awesome 1349 Candlelight Years box set- 4 albums and the official unofficial bootleg DVD. So cheers to Frost, who was also born on the best day ever.

Psychonaut 4


I have always been vaguely aware of Psychonaut4, but until my buddy actively pushed them on me a couple of months ago I’d never really listened to them. I love my DSBM, especially in the summertime (summer is the worst!), and Psychonaut4 is some of the best.

Abbath

Because the new album is still fantastic, even 6 months after its release. And because yesterday was Abbath’s birthday (I swear, all the kvltest kids are born in June.)

Dark Funeral


Also, Dark Funeral makes the list this year, because their new album is awesome.

Black Metal Surf Rock


I’ve also been listening to surf rock covers of black metal tunes because it’s summer, and I made myself a mix cd of some of the greatest hits from YouTube the other day.

Ravencult


I also picked up Ravencult’s Morbid Blood the other day, an album that’s been on my list for a long time but I never got around to getting. If you don’t know Ravencult, but you like good, thrash-tinged black metal, you should give them a listen.

So there you have it, kids. Hopefully I’ve managed to channel some frostbitten grimness into your summer.

-H

Review: Abbath – S/T

Posted in 2016, black metal, Reviews, true norwegian black metal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 8, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

As a longtime Immortal geek, I was, of course, saddened to hear that the band broke up. However, I was also just as excited to hear that Abbath was moving forward with his own work, and that means, of course, more of as-close-to-Immortal-as-we’re-gonna-get-anymore. I ordered my copy of the self-titled album through Amazon (since my beloved local metal shop is no more), and bitched extensively about the fact that I had to pay $20 for it. Of course, that was before it showed up in the post and I realized that it was the Super Special Awesome Edition with a whole lot of added swag, which left me deeply pleased and decidedly less bitchy.

Of course, with Abbath such a huge part of Immortal, the album sounds a lot like Immortal. “Ocean of Winds” in particular reminds me of Sons of Northern Darkness era Immortal. Likewise, “Endless” begins indicative of the blistering blast-beats and shredding that encapsulated the band’s early catalog, but also incorporates soaring sections that act as a logical extension of the sounds on All Shall Fall. Alternatively, I find hints of I’s more rock-driven catalog in Abbath as well.

This is not to say, however, that Abbath is not taking this solo project in its own direction. Abbath absolutely features completely new elements, both fun and refreshing. “Winterbane,” for instance, uses a syncopated beat that is new for this brand of traditional black metal and brings out the bass some in the mix. Likewise, “Ashes of the Damned” makes use of horns, adding an unexpected pop to chorus sections.

Of course there are bonuses as well— the album features a cover of Judas Priest’s “Riding on the Wind,” which gives you the super fun experience of hearing Abbath do Judas Priest vocals (no, he doesn’t sing them, you sillies, but it’s still amusing in the way that only Abbath is). We also get a re-recording of “Nebular Ravens Winter,” which you know is the reason that half of you bought this album in the first place. It, predictably, leaves nothing to be desired.

I was also really impressed with Creature’s drumming on this album- in times (particularly on “Ashes of the Damned”), it almost reminds me of Proscriptor McGovern’s drumming for Absu. We also get King resurfacing, who worked with Abbath on the I project. I’ve always really liked his bass playing, as well as his songwriting (though it looks as though Abbath was responsible for all of the songwriting on this particular album).

The special edition package that I accidentally (though happily) purchased came with a lot of cool features, including a wristband, a pin, a patch, and a nice collector’s box.

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The box is also huge. The Martian is there for comparison.

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\m/

Overall, call me super impressed. You get Immortal-esque stuff that is nevertheless interesting and forward-thinking, and if you get the box set you get lots of really cool stuff, too.

H’s favorite tracks: 
Winterbane
Ocean of Wounds
Fenrir Hunts
Nebular Ravens Winter (duh)

***

Next update will be earlier rather than later, because I just saw Abbath live last night and HOLY CRAP. Also, that’s why this update is not coming to you on a Thursday.

-Hagalaz

Concert: Taake/Young And In The Way/Vattnet Viskar (2/27, Triple Rock, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, atmospheric black metal, black metal, concerts, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, post-black metal, punk, tours, triple rock, true norwegian black metal, Uncategorized, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

A while back, A and I went to see Taake play for the first time ever in Minnesota! The show was at the Triple Rock, and I was a bit nervous going in as I expected it to be super crowded and the Triple Rock is… well, it’s not the worst venue to be packed into, but it isn’t the best either. There were a lot of people there, but it wasn’t so insanely packed that you couldn’t move around comfortably.

Vattnet Viskar was the opening band- no local bands opening for this one. VV hails from Plaistow, NH. From what I can tell, their music is kind of blackish-psychedelicish metal in the vein of The Atlas Moth but a little more spacey. Their guitarist was a very excitable young man, and spit a lot (nothing against him. Everyone was spitting a lot. There was spit everywhere. Seriously. So much bodily fluids. Wth). This style of USBM is really cool and interesting, and I will have to keep an eye on Vattnet Viskar in upcoming years. I feel like if they keep promoting themselves and can definitively set themselves apart from other psychedelic-sounding post-black bands they will do really well.

20160227_214657[1]

Vattnet Viskar

 It’s not Vattnet Viskar’s fault that I wasn’t in the mood for that kind of black metal, though. Young And In The Way more hit the spot, considering that my mood was and has not been the best in the past month, and I really wanted to smash something about then. Of course, I didn’t, but the crowd sure did- and here is where I was glad that there was plenty of room to maneuver in the venue, because the crowd on the floor was moshing pretty hard. Being a bit of a purist, I am usually really bitchy about people moshing at black metal shows, but if you are going to mosh at a black metal set, YAITW is pretty much where you should do that. The band was great, the crowd was great, the energy between the two was intense, and I came off YAITW’s set much happier than when I’d gone in.

20160227_221956[1]

Young And In The Way

At last, Taake took the stage! It was unreal, really, getting to see them, as they are one band I had pretty much resigned myself to never getting to see (what with them picking the wrong year to attend Deathfest and then cancelling the Chicago show last summer). A and I were practically quivering with anticipation when we saw the banjo sitting on the side of the stage, which meant that they were going to, and did, play Mir. They also played Fra Vatested til Vaandesmed, my personal favorite, which kind of made the night for me. They also did a cover of G.G. Alin’s “Die When You Die,” with a guest vocalist (I am not sure who it was. If any of you reading this can help me out, please do!). Also, we got to watch Hoest kill a whole bottle and a half of what I’m pretty sure was wine right onstage. Overall, it was incredible; I’m still a little shocked that it actually happened. Mgła and Taake in the same year? I’m both grateful and amazed that this caliber of black metal is touring the States right now.

A special shout-out to the security dude who was standing next to me during Taake’s set, as he wiped up spit and spilled wine and kept Hoest from falling to his untimely death over the dismembered mic stands all night. Triple Rock, that guy deserves a raise. Seriously.

***

I’m going to try to keep this thing updated a bit better now that the record store is closed and I can’t bitch about metal there (I need SOME venue to bitch about it in). I’m thinking Thursdays may be the lucky day, but I need a bit to see if it’s going to be every week or bi-weekly. I’m also going to switch over to just uploading images instead of linking out to videos, so as not to bog down people’s computers (mine included). In the interest of this, please ignore their shoddy quality.

-H

Concert: Mayhem/Watain/Revenge (1/17, Mill City Nights, Minneapolis, MN)

Posted in . watain, canada, mayhem, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, revenge, sweden, tours, true norwegian black metal, watain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2015 by blackmetallurgy

Well, over a month after it happened and almost two weeks after I wrote this thing, I am finally putting up my live report from the front row of the Mayhem show. I blame my not-nearly-as-quick-as-I-had-anticipated recovery from oral surgery (turns out, getting your wisdom teeth out when you’re 27 kind of sucks), as well as preoccupation with school (one month left til I start my prelims, y’all).

But anyway, here it is. I treated this review as of a co-headlining tour, as I picked up from The Internet that that’s what it was, with Mayhem and Watain alternating the closing spot each night.

***

A couple of weeks ago, I got the rare, rare chance to see two of my favorite bands on the same stage in the same night. I don’t think I need to tell you all exactly how I feel about Mayhem, and Watain likewise holds a special place in my heart. Currently, I am in the midst of cultivating a love of Revenge, who I have clearly not paid enough attention to, although I know that they are a favorite amongst some friends of mine. Considering that they were one of the bands I missed at Maryland Deathfest a couple of years ago, too, I was looking forward to the opportunity to see them live and make that up (although I absolutely do not regret trading my potential time with them at MDF for meeting fucking Ihsahn).

A and I tried to get there early this time, figuring that there would be a ton of people going. Earlier in the day, A told me that she had seen several dudes in black battlejackets roaming the streets in downtown Minneapolis, so you know something was brewing. It’s not every day that black metal fans roam downtown in packs in broad daylight. However, we really didn’t have to wait in line long at all, the ticket handling seeming to run rather smoothly.

When we got inside the venue, A and I made our way to the front to stake our claim on the rail. Revenge started us off, obliterating everything with sheer, military-grade force. A friend of mine said that the sound was really bad during their set, but I admit I didn’t notice; I don’t know Revenge’s catalog that well (I KNOW. I’M WORKING ON CHANGING THAT. JEEZ.), and anyway, everything is exceptionally noisy when you are that close to the speakers. Revenge played several songs from the breadth of their career, including “Altar of Triumph,” “Traitor Crucifixion,” and “Banner Degradation- Exile or Death.” Despite any potential issues with the sound, Revenge’s set was pure brutality, and their straightforward approach to war-inspired black metal made for a devastating clarity.


[Also, it was fun to see all the dude-friends freaking out like little schoolgirls. Masculine ones, of course.]

If you ever wondered if Watain pulls out ALL of their stage set for an co-headlining slot, I can now tell you: the answer is yes, indeed. The Dark Gods are not going to settle for anything less, not when they know what they can expect from Watain. Even though their set was shorter than a standard headlining one, Watain completely destroyed it, both theatrically and musically. All the ritual was there too, with E praying at the altar at the end of the set and everything. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would be if the crowd had not seized the opportunity to yell a lot.

Watain also played songs ranging throughout their albums; “The Wild Hunt” was of course the mystical ballad song this time around (I am finally ready to admit that I may have missed my chance to see “The Waters of Ain” live), but they also played “Underneath the Cenotaph” (which I don’t think they played last time), “I Am the Earth,” and “On Horns Impaled,” ending with “Malfeitor.” It was nice to see a setlist so varied from the last one I saw Watain play, and they even altered the stage set this time around too, with skeletons and cages replacing the fence-like structures they brought with them last time.


[I am pretty sure I caught a glimpse of black wings somewhere during Watain’s set.]

Last but certainly not least was my beloved Mayhem. Attila did not disappoint in his unusual fashion choices; this night he was wearing military trappings on an unbelievably ugly sports jacket, and what I believe were rain boots. Throw in the bottle of wine that Necrobutcher was plowing through and you’re ready for a Mayhem party. Teloch was right in front of A and I, fully decked out in shrouded hood and cloak, which is cool, because I really dug his riffwork on Esoteric Warfare and it was fun to see that reproduced live.

Despite the fact that Mayhem is undoubtedly touring in support of Esoteric Warfare, their set was not concentrated on the new album (and when you have such an extensive backlog and history as Mayhem, that’s not surprising). “Psywar” they played, of course, but the set also featured songs such as “My Death,” “Chainsaw Gutsfuck,” “Freezing Moon,” and “Carnage” (for which I completely lost my shit. I LOVE that song). Of course they opened with “Deathcrush,” as usual, and they also played a track from Grand Declaration of War- hearing Attila’s version of Maniac’s voiceover live is its own kind of awesome. “Funeral Fog” was conspicuously missing, but that’s alright; there was more than enough old school Mayhem to keep the crowd satisfied.


[Follow the Freezing Moon…]

And speaking of the crowd, the one at this show was not the best, or so I am told. A and I were right up front, as I said, so we were out of the press for the most part, but I do recall some moshing going on, something I’ve never really understood at black metal shows. Watain got on and off stage without P having to crush anyone’s hands this time, though, thanks to Mill City’s stage setup, and as I mentioned, the only thing that I would have liked is if the crowd had quieted at the end of Watain’s set. But I guess we’re not all there for the same thing, and that’s okay too.

I had a Mayhem night at the merch booth. I had planned on getting a Revenge hoodie because I love their hoodies, but they didn’t have any, and Watain had very little merch as well. However, I was able to nab myself a standard issue Mayhem shirt (good because as least one of my Mayhem shirts is falling apart), as well as a Mayhem hoodie. Combined with a high five from Necrobutcher after the show, and that makes for a pretty awesome Mayhem experience.

Pretty standard, but awesome nonetheless.

Pretty standard, but awesome nonetheless.

Hoodie front

Hoodie front

Hoodie back

Hoodie back

Surprisingly, I didn’t experience any issues with security this time, although they apparently made life a little hard for a friend of mine delivering a stage prop to Hellhammer (it was not, nor had it ever been, alive, if that’s what you’re wondering). The security guys in front of me and A seemed cool enough, and they kept a good handle on some of the rowdier crowd participants without using the opportunity to be jerks.

Overall, I had a great time. I got to watch two of my favorite bands share a stage, and I got to grow a little more familiar with Revenge, whose music I clearly need to spend more time with. For a show that fell right after Dead’s birthday, it couldn’t get much better.
-H

Towards the Pantheon: 20 Years of In the Nightside Eclipse

Posted in anniversary, black metal, norway, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , on December 27, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

I’ve said it once, and I know I’ll say it again, but Emperor really might be the best black metal band ever in my book. Their musicianship is brilliant, and the fact that they were able to compose such masterpieces so young is absolutely astounding. And nothing quite shows off what the young band was capable of like 1994’s In the Nightside Eclipse. Melodic, thunderously heavy, and as off-putting as it is lovely, Emperor’s debut full-length is an album that sits pretty near the top on most fan’s lists of the greatest black metal albums of all time.

While many bands have done the symphonic black metal thing since Emperor’s heyday, none have managed to pull it off quite as well as Emperor themselves. Because the keyboards and symphonic bits are not just embellishment in Emperor’s music in the same way that it is in the music of so many bands- the symphonic bits are integrated deeply into the fabric of the music itself, causing the songs to exhibit a shared genotype. Although In the Nightside Eclipse is not as cohesive as the later Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk in terms of the album sounding really seriously like a freaking symphony, you can definitely hear the start of something approaching that theme-like approach on Nightside.

The cover art is every bit as magnificent as the album itself, featuring goblin-like creatures wielding all manner of nasty-looking medieval weapons and storming towards a castle. The Death figure from the band’s demo, Wrath of the Tyrant, oversees the festivities, and the bright moon casts its shadow over roiling clouds and dark mountains. Fittingly, the setting looks a lot like Norway, with its craggy peaks and spear-like evergreens, and considering that the inside artwork (at least that on my CD version) depicts a Viking battle, I’d say that the culture of the frozen North is pretty much stamped all over the Satanic emanations of this album. For me, the most awe-inspiring aspect of the artwork is the way the landscape is bathed in the moonlight, a mix of frosty blue and purplish hues that I have come to associate with Necrolord’s work.

An HD wallpaper rendition by aerock36 on deviantart.

An HD wallpaper rendition by aerock36 on deviantart.

From fanarttv.com

From fanarttv.com

Nightside also contains some of Emperor’s most instantly recognizable tracks. Of course, “I Am the Black Wizards” is probably the fan favorite, a rad 8-bit cover by Darth Eniak having made waves on YouTube. And when I saw Ihsahn perform at Maryland Deathfest and he soundchecked with the opening riff to that song, I will admit that I sort of had a moment of fangirl madness. My favorite track on Nightside, however, is probably “Inno A Satana;” the classical-inspired riffs in the song emphasize what I love most about Emperor, their majesty and sheer musicianship.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of what is easily one of the greatest black metal masterpieces ever created. Emperor’s debut full-length spawned a slew of imitators, but none have ever quite managed to compare. I was lucky enough to find a mint-condition LP of In the Nightside Eclipse earlier this year (the Back on Black edition), and I was overjoyed, as Emperor was my main reason for purchasing a record player. And now I’m going to go listen to it some more, because it’s never not a good time for Emperor.

-Hagalaz

Happy Belated 20th Birthday, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas!

Posted in 2014, black metal, black metal history, mayhem, norway, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , on June 4, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

I remember the first time I heard Mayhem. It was probably November of 2009, and I was sitting on the floor in my room in my home town, my laptop on the floor beside me, wrapping a Christmas gift for my mom (Yes, it was early. I was living at home that year and I wasn’t home when she wasn’t very often. I had to seize the moment). I had just begun to delve deeper into black metal that wouldn’t get me made fun of, and I’d been marveling at Marduk and jamming out to Immortal on Pandora all day. And I had heard about Mayhem (I’d heard PLENTY; 21 year old me was pretty squeamish, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about the whole thing), but I had a hard time imagining that they could really be all that good. After all, they were famous for dying prematurely, yes?

And then Funeral Fog came on my Pandora station. It was love at first blastbeat. I grabbed my laptop, and by the time the song was over, Amazon.com was processing my order of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.

Mayhem’s first full-length record has awed, inspired, and baffled metal fans the world over in its 20 year life span. While many aspects of the music are inexplicable (a friend of mine told me that he just couldn’t seem to figure out “what Attila was going for with those vocals” no matter how much he listens to it), huge swaths of the thing’s history are just flat out unsettling. For instance, DMDS remains, to this day, the only record on which a murderer plays alongside his victim. Not to mention the fact that the lyrics to Life Eternal are part of Dead’s suicide note (I’m still trying to decide if I find that inclusion sweet or creepy). But despite its struggles the little album that barely could has become an integral part of black metal history, and remains required listening for anyone remotely into extreme metal.

And while yes, I am sure, we would have all loved to hear Dead’s vocals on the album (or at least on a super-secret, previously unreleased version of it), I personally have always liked Attila’s vocal work on DMDS. Yes. It is weird. But who better to get to do vocals on songs written by a man who died in his “I Heart Transylvania” shirt than a brilliant Hungarian musician with an impressive track record (Tormentor was quite a big deal. That pesky Iron Curtain kept getting in the way, though)? The vocals are unconventional, yes, but they are creepy as hell, and considering the legacy that Attila was acting as a part of, creepy far outweighs traditional. Plus, his chanting on the title track is chill-inducing.

But vocals aren’t the only big deal with DMDS. We also must pay homage to the musical stylings of black metal’s godfather himself, Euronymous, whose intentionally-shitty-sounding tri-tone chord spawned an entire subgenre. De Mysteriis was dedicated to Euronymous,- who died before it was released- and rightfully so; while Deathcrush is absolutely fantastic, it doesn’t represent the second-wave that has, for the most part, become synonymous with the entire subgenre in the way that DMDS does.

And of course those drums. The thing that got me. Hellhammer is a god on the kit, and I am a firm believer in the suggestion that the album that became the defining line for black metal in the 90s would not have existed in the same form without Hellhammer’s musicianship. It certainly would have never seen the light of day without his determination to push through and get the damned thing done, despite the horrific hardships that plagued the band.

There are a million reasons why De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas deserves a birthday notice, even if it is a little bit late. That bass riff on Pagan Fears is simply one of them (I figured I’d throw a bass shoutout in there, even though I don’t have a very high opinion of Mr. Vikernes and Necrobutcher didn’t play on the album). However, perhaps it’s greatest accomplishment is its monumental status as a relic representing both the birth of a new era and the demise of an older one.

Well, that, and the fact that, despite two horrendously violent deaths, jail sentences, Iron Curtains, and enough disharmony to fuel the powder keg that was Mayhem in the late 80s and early 90s, we actually have an album like De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas to listen to.

-H