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The number one question from last night?
"Who is this playing?"
It may be hard to believe that anyone would go to a show without knowing who was on stage, but that was the case last night at Acheron where four bands from the Black Twilight Circle collective played (Dolorvotre, Kallathon, Shataan, Kuxan Suum) in addition to local greats Mutilation Rites.
To clarify, Black Twilight Circle is West Coast collective of bands that all deal in the dark arts, namely the different faces of black metal. The crew rose to prominence with material by Volahn and Ashdautas, whose members spun off other bands in the following years. One of the most fascinating aspects is that the BTC have kept it in the family, with the number of bands in the stable topping the number of members in the collective; individual members rotate from instrument to instrument depending on the band. This was the case on Monday night. Volahn is the single constant.
The most compelling material of the night though was fronted by Volahn, the soft-spoken and omni-present center of BTC. His vocals were the focus of both the opener Kuxan Suum and the closer Dolorvotre, the latter of which yielded a two guitar attack and were the tightest and most impressive band of the crew. The remainder of the touring bill featured Volahn either on drums (Kallathon, who were plagued with technical difficulty) or on bass (as part of Shataan), with the latter kicking off their almost-garage influenced set with a flute and a demand for "utter silence for this ritual".
Sandwiched in between sets by Kuxan Suum/Shataan and Kallathon/Dolorvotre were the great Mutilation Rites, whose thrash-y black metal power was a welcome break from the overwhelmingly-primitive black metal that was the focus of the evening. Not to say that Mutilation Rites are some glossy metal machine; this Brooklyn band shows their crusty roots but makes sure to keep it tight and well-oiled. Mutilation Rites is definitely a band to watch.
Missed it? The Black Twilight Circle will descend on The Charleston on 10/7 with the awesome Raspberry Bulbs in tow. You can also catch them that day on WFMU. More pictures from Acheron last night are below...