Entries tagged with: Velnias
BBG is back in Oslo, this time for Inferno. Here's what he's catching at the Norwegian metal festival...
Autopsy @ Inferno
It's true. Everything in Europe is a little bit different than the states. Case in point, the classic European mosh pit. In the USA, there's always a few knuckleheads walking in circles and trying to assert their pit supremacy with flailing arms, swing kicks, picking-up-change, and skanking. Kudos to an American band, Autopsy for showing me that European moshing is basically a mass of ear-to-ear smiles, pogoing, and kids bouncing off of each other like pinballs.
Agalloch had just started their set at Inferno by the time I got to the venue on the festival's third night, so I missed sets by Merah, Necronomicon and Aeon Throne. I have seen Agalloch a few times and am used to seeing them in a much smaller space; the Portland band on the gigantic Rockefeller stage was nothing less than epic, probably aided by the amazing knob-twiddling skills of the one and only Billy Anderson (who is touring with them as their soundman). Songs from their recent Marrow Of The Spirit and Ashes Against the Grain never sounded so good.
Agalloch's touring partners, the great Velnias, held down the John Dee in the set directly following, and their grand statements of black metal majesty have never sounded so big. The last time I saw the band was at the DIY space Acheron in NYC, so this was decidedly different.
No offense to either Agalloch or Velnias, but after two sets of multi-part epic black metal, catching Tsjuder on the main stage was a welcome change. Tsjuder were everything I wanted at that moment from a "true Norwegian black metal band" (self described, of course); simple in approach, nihilstic, relentless, hooky but without the corny, and with breakdowns straight from the Celtic Frost playbook. The crowd ate it up like it was a coconut curry (one of the only things to eat at the venue), and so did I. Side note: Tsjuder wins the prize for band with the most fans with a tattoo of their logo at Inferno.
Dead Trooper was next on the John Dee stage, and their thrash hybrid contained elements of black metal and many other different influences mixed in. While that in itself isn't a deal breaker, the alternating growls and clean singing in Hetfield style (sorrow becomes sorroooooo-wah) truly put this band over the "not interested" hump for me. Sorry homies.
I washed my hands clean of Dead Trooper with the always amazing Absu. The lightning fast Texas crew played favorites like the new album opener "Earth Ripper", "Four Crossed Wands", "Thirteen Blows" and my personal favorite Absu track, "Pillars of Mercy." The last time I saw Absu (at Europa), I was told that the song was arranged for two guitars so I am happy that the trio figured out a way to take that Tara classic on the road. Such a unique band, one of the few that can get away with campy song introductions and still rip as hard as the best of them.
Clad in cowboy attire, hair braided, and opening with riffs that sounded like more metallic versions of Morricone soundtracks, I thought I had Solstafir pegged as a progressive metal band with a southwestern slant. Though they started a bit shaky, the band tightened up by the end of the first song and played an interesting set of psychedelic metal with black metal parts that had some great moments. The crowd were nuts for the band, and I was surprised and definitely impressed.
Autopsy was the main attraction of the night, and rightfully so. The primitive death metal legends got the crow riled up and brought the first mosh pit of the evening with songs like "Severed Survival", "Gasping for Air", and later fare like "Maggot Holes" and "Hand of Darkness". So animated. So brutal. So amazing. I can't wait for the Bell House show.
Pictures from day three of Inferno are below.
Pittsburgh grind/hardcore crew Complete Failure have offered their latest release, The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault, for stream via bandcamp. No word on what the band intends to do with said release. The band's previous LP, Heal No Evil was originally offered for free download, and eventually came out on Relapse. Stream all of The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault below!
Velnias have launched a kickstarter to help fund their forthcoming LP RuneEater via Peasanta Urfolk. The all analog recording is pricey, and you can check out the accompanying video for the project below.
Kicking Spit will hit Acheron on January 27th with Nuclear Santa Claust (who just played with Night Birds), Artificial Limbs and Aint Rights. Flyer for the show is below.
The Black Dahlia Murder will headline a string of dates with Nile, Skeletonwitch, and Hour of Penance as part of a US campaign that will hit NYC at Irving Plaza on April 19th. Tickets are on sale.
Check out new material from Zoskia, ex-Caina, streaming below.
Download the Birds in Row LP in full and for FREE via their Bandcamp.
Stream the new Unholy Majesty 7" (it rips) below in full. Fans of negative hardcore ala Holy Terror will dig. Order your 7" via A389 Records.
Population Reduction have called it quits.
All tour dates, a bunch of streams, a new Crippled Black Phoenix video, a new Coliseum video and upcoming suggested NYC shows are below.
Aaron with Defeatist at their last show (more by BBG)
I previously posted my highlights of 2011 but my opinion is obviously just one of many. To try and get a better feel for the year, we cornered some of our favorite artists and heavy music industry friends to ask them about 2011 in music, art, and memories. We have so many responses that we needed to split it into three posts. Here is the first. Head below to hear from members of Noisear, Monarch!, Mammoth Grinder, Pulling Teeth, Sulaco, Bloodiest, and many more...
Hot off of news that their epic Sovereign Nocturnal will finally be released on vinyl via Vendetta Records, Velnias will return to the road to play a string of East Coast dates. The dates mean a return to NYC and a show on May 11th at Acheron with Ruin Lust (member of Fell Voices, their first show is on 4/20 with Caulfield), Lonesummer, and Ithi. $10 gets you in. Velnias recently dropped a limited cassette via Land of Decay.
Ithi is noise/ambient duo Luke Kranker and Joshua Convey. Stream their demo at their website and look for their new LP, The Persistence of Meaning, due on Utech Records in June 2011. Check out one track from that, "Imagination is the Ground of Being" streaming below. The track also comes from a free Utech digital comp that is offered in celebration of the Utech Records Festival at The Cactus Club in Milwaukee, WI on June 11. Horseback, Locrian, Mamiffer, House of Low Culture, James Plotkin, and many others play that festival too.
Lonesummer recently shared a pretty impressive split with Planning for a Burial. Stream that below in full, and download it for FREE at their bandcamp.
Fliers, song streams, and tour dates are below.
DOWNLOAD: Velnias - Untitled (excerpt) (MP3)
Velnias at The Studio at Webster Hall (more by Samantha Marble)
Apparently the time to take your band from good to jaw-dropping in black metal hours is less than two years. Between my first experience with them at Public Assembly to my last at The Studio at Webster Hall, Velnias have has established themselves as a legitimate force. They matched the awesome power that was Altar of Plagues on that August 2010 afternoon. In the moments directly following their set of punishing doom-meets-soaring-blackened destruction, I knew I needed some recorded material for the train rides... but sadly their tour-only EP had sold-out before they made it to NYC.
Thankfully, Velnias has righted that wrong, but for a limited time....
Land of Decay is pleased to announce our newest release, a limited edition cassette from Velnias. The band originally released this album as a tour edition CDr last summer, but sold out of the release quickly... The tape consists of one extended track that lasts over twenty-two minutes... The track on this release is a mesmerizing piece. We'd rather that you hear it for yourself rather than attempt to describe it.An excerpt from this awesome and uber-limited cassette (100 copies!) is downloadable above and streaming below for the first time. No word on if a vinyl release is in the works, but fingers crossed.
All current Velnias dates, the art and song stream is below.
photos by Samantha Marble, words by BBG
Altar of Plagues
A hearty thanks go out to all who attended the fantastic show at The Studio at Webster Hall on Sunday (8/1), where transcendant Irish black metallers Altar of Plagues and Chicago's similarly punchy Velnias teamed up with NYC's black metal/hardcore assualt team Castevet and rootsy Cobalt side-project Man's Gin as part of a BrooklynVegan/Haunting The Chapel production.
Most, if not all, of the Sunday turnout arrived early and stayed for the duration of all four bands, and those who did arrive early were treated to Man's Gin's second show ever and first with a full lineup (that included a piano and an upright bass). With Josh and Fade of Inswarm (Fade also plays in Batillus) backing Erik Wunder (of Cobalt), the soulful achy stomp of Smiling Dogs tracks like "Solid Gold Telephone" strongly revealed themselves live.
As usual, Castevet delivered hardcore tinged black metal that was muscular and riveting. They will make an excellent match AND departure for KEN Mode's noisecore assault at Acheron on August 17th.
Velnias followed, and the band has expanded from a three to a four piece since I last caught them (December of 2008). The addition has increased their live firepower and bombast exponentially; Velnias gave a dynamic and emotional performanc, complete with swelling highs and crashing lows delivered by candlelight. Mogwai would be proud.
Altar of Plagues finished off the night with similarly powerful set culled from their recent output White Tomb and Tides EP. With a member of Lake of Blood filling in for departed AoP member Jer Spillane (who left the band two weeks before tour), Altar of Plagues made a triumphant NYC debut that night, and definitely felt more powerful than their recorded output suggests.
More pics and some video are below....
words by BBG, Elbo Room photos by Taylor Keahey
Smiling Dogs by Man's Gin
Simply put, Cobalt is my shit. In release after release of riveting blackened war metal (including recent fave Gin), Cobalt has proved a laser-pointed focus on well-crafted and incendiary songwriting. With half of the band (Phil McSorely) tending to the duties of soldier-at-war, multi-instrumentalist Erik Wunder delved into new directions with his solo project Man's Gin. Due at the end of August via Profound Lore is the band's debut album Smiling Dogs, an effort more akin to a southern-fried acoustic Alice-in-Chains that dips its toes into the same gothic blues-y gene pool that produced bands like Wovenhand (who is coming to NYC with Sareena Maneesh) and Dax Riggs (him too). Dig on the title track and "Solid Gold Telephone" which makes its first appearance above. It's a surprising turn for the man associated with such destructive output in the past, but a fascinating one nonetheless.
Man's Gin will play NYC on August 1st, alongside Altar of Plagues (who we interviewed), Velnias, and Castevet at The Studio at Webster Hall. Tickets are still available. The show takes place two days before another BV event in the same venue with Black Cobra/Howl/Struck By Lightning/East of The Wall. Tickets are still available for that as well.
Altar of Plagues and Velnias are currently on the road together, and the band teamed up with Dispirit (who we profiled here) and headliner Inquisition (who played NYC in May) at the Elbo Room in San Francisco on July 16th. Pics from that show are below...
Mounds of Ash
If you're anything like me, you've probably been bumping the latest Altar of Plagues EP, Tides, for a few weeks now (order a copy). The EP is the follow-up to the band's incredible 2009 LP (one of my faves of the year) White Tomb and while I've thoroughly enjoyed all of their work thus far, I've yet to catch the Irish black metal combo live. That will change this summer!
BrooklynVegan and Haunting The Chapel are proud to present the NYC debut of Altar of Plagues with Velnias, Castevet, and Man's Gin on August 1st at The Studio @ Webster Hall! Tickets are on sale for the show, which is part of a larger tour for AoP and Velnias.
Altar of Plagues recently, and triumphantly, played Roadburn 2010 (twice!) alongside an amazing cast of characters despite the volcanic ash situation. Streaming sets from the band's appearance aren't currently available, but sets by Brant Bjork, Earthless, Firebird, Horisont, Nachtmystium, Pagan Altar, Shever, Trinacria and Yob are! Scoot on over to check them out.
Castevet will share multiple dates with the AoP/Velnias tour, and the band recently welcomed their new LP Mounds of Ash on Profound Lore Records. Check out the NEW track from the LP "Red Aura" available for download above. The band will celebrate that release with an absolutely unmissable lineup that will play alongside the NYC band at Lit Lounge on Monday 6/7: Woe, Batillus, and Flourishing!
While Man's Gin is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Erik Wunder of Cobalt, don't mistake his new project for a war metal assault. Man's Gin is more akin to a mix of Tom Waits, Alice In Chains, or Angels of Light, but is nonetheless a fascinating listen. A teaser for the band's upcoming LP is available above, look for it later this year on Profound Lore Records, and get to The Studio early!
The Justin Bartlett (!) designed NYC show flyer, some videos, and full tour dates are below...