Entries tagged with: black metal
by Doug Moore
Death and black metal don't often intersect with children's literature, but oh, what glories when they do. Most Americans probably aren't familiar with the Czech illustrator Helena Zmatlíková, but seeing her work in kids' books is evidently a universal experience for children growing up in her homeland. Fortunately, you don't need to be familiar with the original illustrations to appreciate the awesomeness of the following images. Some wiseass Czech metalheads have paired a bunch of Zmatlíková's paintings with logos and titles from well-known metal albums to absurd/hilarious effect. According to the über-kvlt Nuclear War Now! forum thread that dug the pics up, one of the culprits is both a member of the black metal band Umbrtka and a writer for the Czech version of Maxim. Umbrtka have released 17 albums over the last 13 years, including one called Melša - Frank Zappa Meets Darkthrone, which is pretty impressive in its own right.
Check out more of these below, and the rest over at Deathmetal.org. (The Satyricon one is my personal favorite.)
In addition to Jeff Wilson's undertakings (pardon the pun) in Wolvhammer and Chrome Waves, the guitarist has announced another new death-rock/gothic project in Liar in Wait. The band, which also features members of Mourner, Iron Thrones and more, have released the first track from their forthcoming EP for Profound Lore, Translations Of The Lost. Stream that below in full.
That EP will be released while Wilson is out on the road with Wolvhammer, part of a trek with Glorior Belli in late May/early June which sponsored by Invisible Oranges. Union Pool gets the look on May 24. Check out the tour flyer below.
Dave Hill, whose next edition of The Dave Hill Explosion, goes down at the UCB Theater on 2/28 at 9:30pm with special guest Kristen Johnston, is, as we already knew, the King of Metal. Watch and learn below...
Parisians Hell Militia are have closed in on a decade of depravity, and are celebrating with another set of blasting black metal destruction in Jacob's Ladder, their new LP due this week (11/20) via Season of Mist. Stream all of Jacob's Ladder below, and order yours now.
Hell Militia dates are few and far between (the band was scheduled to be part of the debacle that was Rites of Darkness), so in the meantime check out live video of the band below (and the album stream!).
Salvation at Power of The Riff East, August 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
With their dates with Night Sins now behind them, Salvation have plotted a course back to NYC for a show on January 13 at Saint Vitus. There the band will join NYC black metal favorites Raspberry Bulbs and noise terrorist extraordinaire Pharmakon. Tickets are on sale.
Similarly, support for the previously discussed Nachtmystium show has changed yet again, this time with Mutilation Rites, Batillus, Sannhet and Lord Mantis. Tickets are still available for the 11/19 show at Saint Vitus.
Meanwhile, support for the previously discussed Eyehategod shows at Saint Vitus have been announced, with Magrudergrind, Clean Teeth and The Communion taking on 11/27 (tickets) and Mortals (Record Release), White Widows and one more TBA taking on 11/28 (tickets).
In other Saint Vitus show news, look for the great Pinkish Black to team with Naam for a show at Saint Vitus on December 1st (tickets).
by Kim Kelly
Brazil black thrashing maniacs Sarcofago are a band that, to extreme metal fans at least, warrants no introduction. To bring the rest of you up to speed: formed in 1985 when the members were still in their teens, the band went on to release a handful of classic albums (perhaps most famously 1987's I.N.R.I.) and serve as a gigantic influence on black metal's sound, aesthetics, and attitude. Their last official release, the Crust EP, was released back in 2000, and since then, things have been quiet in the Sarcofago camp. When news began to circulate that an officially-sanctioned reissue of 1995's seminal compilation Decade of Decay was due to be released in North America by Greyhaze Records (in association with Cogumelo), it was, to say the least, a big fucking deal.
When Wagner Antichrist, founding member and legend in his own right, agreed to do an interview, it was (to me at least) an even bigger fucking deal. Check out a few choice words (and more Sarcofago news!) from the man himself below.
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
"We do our own thing, on our terms or not at all. Kvlt can suck my fucking dick. I want it all. Evil has no boundaries" - Vetis Monarch of Weapon
Weapon at Rites of Darkness 2011 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Canadian black metal horde Weapon have made a few major transitions of late, moving from a staunchly independent black metal label (The Ajna Offensive) to one of the bigger labels in the genre (Relapse) and taking their show from recording-only to full-on tour mode. The occasion? The release of their third LP, Embers and Revelations, due on October 9th. Stream the new song "Vanguard Of The Morning Star," which we're premiering below, and you can order your copy at Relapse.
Weapon see these transitions as opportunites (as they should) and as such, we cornered the creative mind behind Weapon, Vetis Monarch, for a few interview questions which you can read below.
Song stream and Q&A are below.
BBG is back in Oslo, this time for Inferno. Here's what he's catching at the Norwegian metal festival...
One Tail One Head @ Inferno Fest
There's no way to put it nicely. My final day at Inferno Festival was an extremely up and down affair. Thumbs down to the bloated and overthought bands that had polished themselves and dulled their edges. But a big thumbs up goes out to the "true Norwegian Black Metal" hordes that stood out by delivering laser-precise performances at their corpse painted, blood-soaked, and firebreathing best.
Coming onto a stage lit by candelabra, accompanied by a fire-breather and adorned with animal skulls (shocker: they were actually the first and only band to do so at the fest!), Throne of Katarsis played a killer set of blasting old school black metal with some doomy breakdowns. The corpse painted quartet were the first band on the main stage and though the turnout was small, it was positively worth getting to the venue early for.
Svarttjern was next on the John Dee stage, a band cut from a similar cloth as Throne of Katarsis, but with less breaks in between blasts... a relentless full on assault. The band came on stage covered with blood and in full corpse painted glory, complete with both the beastial inhuman growls, and the uniquely black metal "deer in headlights" looks at the audience. Theatrical yet never campy, and totally fun.
Einherjer, a pagan-y viking metal band that helped pave the way for much of the genre (along with names like Enslaved and many others), was next on the main stage. 99% of the time pagan-metal & viking metal gets the gas face, and live I found it even more repellent. As I type this, my laptop keeps wanting to autocorrect their name as Winger... coincidence?
Ancient Wisdom was next up on John Dee, playing their pagan style folk influenced by bands like Death in June. Outside of those clad with the hellion skull, manson's face, or some other holy terror indicator like Vegas, it seemed like a lot of the metal crowd didn't quite "get it", a sentiment I also heard a few times when they toured North America with Ghost. Regardless of the overall temperature of the room, I found the music to be interesting but the vocals didnt seem to fit in.
My losing streak continued with Decapitated, the Polish metal band that rebuilt itself after a horrid accident a few years ago, and Monolith Death Cult, a long-winded death metal band with technical tendencies but very little to offer in the good riffs department. Decapitated has definitely crafted their live show to a fine point and the foursome handled the stage well. I'm just not a fan of the chugga-chugga-squeal-style of tech death. Witchery, the "supergroup" made up of ex-members fo Brujeria, Arch Enemy, Mercyful Fate, Dismember, Opeth, The Haunted and more, were similarly not my cup of tea but knew how to handle the stage and kept it interesting.
Then came One Tail One Head, the headliner at John Dee and a truly indestructible live juggernaut. One Tail One Head was yet another Norwegian band (that made three on Saturday) to reach into their country's storied black metal playbook and knock it out of the park. Musically speaking, these bands aren't breaking any new ground, but their approach with reverence and ferocity is so pure and devastating, it's hard to ignore them. I think bands like Borknagar and Arcturus (I'll... yawn... get into that later) forget that black metal is rooted in punk, and it's punk's "don't give a fuck" attitude that is so important to keeping the music's spirit alive (it's the difference between Discharge and MXPX).
One Tail One Head was one of my favorite performances from the whole fest, and definitely my favorite of the day (Svarttjern & Throne of Katarsis were the day's other highlights). The lead vocalist swings and thrashes like Erik of Watain, with the band keeping that same stage energy and intensity. The guitar/bass/drums trio are impeccably tight, much more so than I would expect for a band with only a couple demos and EPs to their name. Awesome set. This band needs to play in the US and soon.
After that amazing set it was on to the final band of the night, Arcturus at Rockefeller main stage. I don't particularly dig on symphonic black metal and for the most part progessive can be a dirty word for me, so the Arcturus set definitely fell on deaf ears. Their set, peppered with oodles of pyro felt like a Jerry Bruckheimer production; explosions hide the fact that the storyline, dialogue and execution were all weak.
Overall, an excellent weekend and I feel lucky to have been able to catch such great talent on foriegn soil. Inferno 2013, here I come.
BBG is back in Oslo, this time for Inferno. Here's what he's catching at the Norwegian metal festival...
Church of Misery
It's late and I'm strolling down Karl Johan's Gate in Oslo, trying to snag a snack at one of the only late-night spots in the area, 7-11 (it's not only NYC that they've infiltrated). A young woman aggressively walks over to me and says something in Norwegian that I clearly don't understand, and like any ugly American I respond with an "excuse me?". The girl fires back with a "Hi, handsome" and asks if I like her with a very pointed look of intent... Like Whodini said, the freaks come out at night.
Night fell on day two of the Inferno Festival (day 1 review/pics HERE) and instead of being dispersed across many clubs in the city, the creatures of the night (in this case, the bullet belted and corpse-painted set) converged on a single area, connecting clubs Rockefeller & John Dee. The two clubs are interconnected with a third stage (Rockefeller Annex) serving as the all-important metal-merch area, housing all manner of silver rings, zillion-dollar Morbid Angel ultra-limited boxsets, and your basic assortment of metal patches. The mighty Neseblod Records (home of the black metal museum that I visited last time I was here) had also set up shop, selling wares from their jaw-droppingly extensive collection.
Bands were staggered across the two stages with the show opening at a whopping 5:45PM with an appearance by Corpus Mortale at John Dee. Due to prior obligations, I stumbled into the venue in time to catch Anaal Nathrakh, missing Trollfest, Undying Inc, and the previously mentioned festival day opener.
Anaal Nathrakh played the Rockefeller stage at 7:45PM and the band was noticeably missing Mick Kenney, one half of the mostly-studio project. Vocalist V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (Dave Hunt) commented that problems at the US border (UK-born Kinney now lives in the states) had kept Kinney from performing at Inferno Festival, but the band forged on and seemed no worse for the wear. The band dedicated "Submission is For The Weak" from Codex Necro to the US Border authorities.
Maybe it was the Integrity sticker on the bassist's instrument, but I think Anaal Nathrakh has a distinct hardcore feel live. Hunt jerks around and slithers on stage like a hardcore vocalist yet when the songs require clean singing, he executes them perfectly. Awesome set, with my personal highlight being the blistering "The Final Submission".
The Konsortium, a supergroup featuring shrouded members of Mayhem and Kvelertak (I do believe it was their lead vocalist), followed on John Dee. Wearing white masks, the band played their version of black metal/thrash to the room, with the lead vocalist toting a copy of the New Testament. While bibles on stage at a metal show are hardly a new thing, this copy clearly had lyrics written inside of it (just an observation, no judgement). The band didn't leave much of an impression, positive or negative, and felt more like black metal by committee, not consortium.
White corpse-paint followed the white-masked when 1349 played the next set at the big Rockefeller stage. The band was much tighter than my previous experiences with them and the crowd energy was high during their performance as well. While I have waivered regarding 1349, their showing at Rockefeller renewed my faith.
Considering the list of bands that preceeded Vesen, a black-metal thrash crew from Oslo, I was intrigued at where they sat in the lineup. While Vesen is hardly breaking any new territory, their thrash-attack was energetic and compelling live. Fun set from this Norwegian four-piece.
The stage at Rockefeller was curtained when I got in place for Triptykon but I could hear the vocals being checked over the PA:
"COOKIE! COOKIE! C is for COOKIE! COOKIES GOOD! COOKIES GEEEUHRRR..." said the voice in a Cookie Monster style growl.
There is no evidence that Tom Warrior was responsible for that Sesame Street impression, but I'd like to think that he was.
Then the curtains parted and Triptykon came on stage. The band performed pieces from their recent Eparistera Daimones in addition to classic Celtic Frost tracks like "Circle of The Tyrants" and "The Usurper" featuring Ravn of 1349 on vocals. The band was definitely tight and delivered an excellent set with thick and hearty guitar tones that sounded amazing on the ample Rockefeller PA (not that a single band was poorly mixed in that room... I just think Triptykon sounded the best).
I then headed to the basement to see a band that I have longed to see for years.... Church of Misery! Church of Misery do a perfect mix of classic, bluesy doom riffs with sludge and have the sickening vocals of Hideki Fukasawa over top of it all. Booming, jaw-dropping and laser-precise, there was a moment during their set that I was convinced that Church of Misery was the baddest motherfucking band on the planet. One thing is for sure, they rip.
If there ever was a band that would enforce my "OMG Church of Misery is the best band evar" theory, it would be Borknagar who was up next. The band practices in progressive, folk-y style metal with keyboards and black metal tendencies but with none of those, you know, memorable parts. Kind of a sour note to end the night on the big stage and overall, but at least I saw some incredible music today.
More pictures from the whole day below....
the basement of Helvete in Oslo
Day two of By:Larm (read about day one HERE) started out with a "black metal" tour of Oslo lead by Anders Odden who has played with everyone from Celtic Frost to Satyricon to Ministry and played in death metallers Cadaver. The tour, which was especially educational for those with limited knowledge of the genre, took us to Holmenkollen Chapel (which was famously burned down by Varg Vikernes, Faust & Euronymous), the site of Helvete (the store owned by Euronymous of Mayhem) which is now a coffee shop, and Neseblod Records, a sort of museum/record store located downtown.
continued, with lots of pictures, below...
Dropdead at Europa (more by Keith Marlowe)
Chaos in Tejas have announced another round of bands for their 2012 shindig (first round here), including rare appearances from legendary post-hardcore band Moss Icon (a one-time only reunion), as well as Japan's Reality Crisis and Skizophrenia (their only US dates), and repeat offenders/favorites like Dropdead, Municipal Waste, Midnight, Ares Kingdom, Puerto Rico Flowers, Xeno & Oaklander, Thou, the Rival Mob, Boston Strangler, Crazy Spirit, Brain Killer, Power Trip, Wiccans (who just played one of the final shows at Emo's), and many many others. A full list of additions and the new flyer is below.
Since the original announcement, two previously announced bands have dropped off the original lineup: Mexican black metal band Nyogthaeblisz disappeared from the lineup after their anti-Islamic/Semitic/Abrahamic stance and involvement in known NSBM (National Socialist) label Satanic Skinhead was pointed out by a few blogs. That led to Antisect and The Mob even threatening to not play. Word then spread that Disma's Craig Pillard released nazi-glorifying records under the name Sturmfuhrer. Disma then dropped out as well due to "the drama" that ensued. Craig would not comment on the matter, but other members of Disma say he has changed.
In related news, Thou will hit the road for a string of dates with The Body this week on the West Coast. Both bands will also be at the inaugural Gilead Media festival (chaired by the Gilead Media label) in Oshkosh, Wi on 4/28 and 4/29 which will feature appearances from (in alphabetical order) Arms Aloft, Aseethe, Ash Borer, Baby Boy, Darger + Plague Mother, False, Fell Voices, Get Rad, Hell, Loss, Mutilation Rites, Northless, Protestant, A Scanner Darkly, and Sleepwalker. More details are available at the site.
All tour dates, new additions to Chaos in Tejas, and the show flyer is all below.
Kuxan Suum at Acheron (more by BBG)
Though previously listed with the same lineup as the show they just played at Acheron, this Friday's 9pm Black Twilight Circle show at The Charleston will feature an almost entirely different lineup with Raspberry Bulbs, Volahn, Arizmenda, Shataan, and The Haunting Presence. Black Twilight Circle also visit WFMU that day (10/7).
The show is also one of two upcoming shows for Raspberry Bulbs who will also join Villains, Occultation and Skull at Saint Vitus on 10/18 (tickets).
Speaking of black metal, the.... New Yorker wrote a piece:
The fertile and fractious U.S. scene in the genre known as black metal can be understood through a familiar moment in rock history. In the sixties, British bands like Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones mined American blues, first copying their heroes and then creating something vivid and novel. In the nineties, a range of American acts began drawing from the work of Norwegian metal bands that were famous mostly for a look and for several unpleasant events. The Norwegians were largely faithful to the "corpse paint" costume, in which the face is covered in white makeup, with black circles drawn around the eye sockets. Upside-down-cross pendants and spiked bracelets were common accessories. The tabloid-worthy events centered on a musician named Varg Vikernes, of the one-man band Burzum, who encouraged and participated in the burning of churches. In 1993, while playing bass in a band called Mayhem, he murdered the guitarist, a man known as Euronymous.The article goes on to talk about Wolves In the Throne Room's recent show at The Bell House.
Until recently, it was a legacy that the genre couldn't shake. But now American bands such as Liturgy, Krallice, Absu, Leviathan, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Inquisition have left a fair amount of the pageantry behind--not to mention the violence--and helped to create a community, as well as a musical moment that is rife with activity...
Speaking of Liturgy, The Quietus recently interviewed Aaron Weaver of Wolves in the Throne Room . They discussed, among other things, Liturgy and its place amongst the "black metal elite": Aaron Weaver says:
"Wolves in the Throne Room has absolutely received the same kind of criticism, because over the years I've said the exact same thing [as Hunter regarding black metal's ability to be positive and optimistic]. That's something that I believe very strongly. I think that maybe the difference is that I've always said that we don't play black metal. I refer to Wolves in the Throne Room as a black metal band just sort of out of convenience. But I've also been really clear over the years that I do think that true black metal, which is a worthwhile and very powerful thing, does need to be negative. It does need to be rooted in the darkest aspects of the human experience - bitterness, negativity, hatred, violence, tribal warfare, mass murder, these sort of things lurk in the human experience, and it's always been there. And true black metal channels that incredibly destructive and insane and violent energy."Read the whole thing HERE.
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...
photos by Suren Karapetyan, words by BBG
Mutilation Rites @ DbA, WITTR backdrop on the wall
"The most exciting music in American black metal today is being made by a collective of musicians who call themselves the Black Twilight Circle, and who combine for a dizzying array of line-ups under names like Arizmenda, Axeman, Kuxan Suum, the Haunting Presence, and Dolorvotre. Based in Los Angeles, the collective takes its inspiration from pre-hispanic cultures and, in solidarity with the Mexica movement, they reject terms like "latino" and "native American," and instead call themselves "Nican Tlaca," a Nahuatl phrase often translated to "we the people here," meant to refer to the indigenous population of the Western Hemisphere.Mysterious black metal crew The Black Twilight Circle will head to the East Coast for a rare set of dates that will (if everything works out) include THREE NYC stops. As you can see in the list of dates below, two are still "TBA", but one is 10/3 at Acheron. The Black Twilight Circle member bands on the Brooklyn bill are Kallathon, Dolorvotre, Kuxan Suum, and Shataan. Mutilation Rites also play that show. Stay tuned for more info on the other dates.
Black Twilight Circle's bloodthirsty music praises ritual sacrifice and the shamanistic exaltation of mind-altering drugs. The collective's vision of black metal combines traditional sounds and outré experiments, with Blue Hummingbird on the Left adding flutes and war drums to their instrumentation; others, like Arizmenda, churning out muscular, twisting 13-minute epics; and groups like Axeman hewing percussive BM anthems inflected with traces of '80s punk like GISM and Amebix. An intensely secretive group, the Circle's music appears in very limited editions, often on cassette; they favor off-the-beaten-path live performances..." [The Phoenix]
The BTC, which is primarily based on the West Coast, recently played a showcase at Chaos in Tejas. Click the link for pics and more about that.
Mutliation Rites played Death By Audio on Wednesday 9/14 as part of a pair of NYC dates for Wolves in The Throne Room & Thou. Pictures from the show are in this post (pictures from The Bell House are HERE). Thou returns in early October.
In related news, Wolves In The Throne Room spent Saturday night (9/17) at Strange Matter in Richmond, with support from Megaton Leviathan (who re-released their demo) and Richmond favorites Bastard Sapling. Richmond show-goers might have noticed that Bastard Sapling had a new item on their merch table, Dragged from our Restless Trance, a new collection of tunes on cassette. Check out "Cold Winds Howled Across The Desolation" from said cassette below, and look for copies of it at Forcefield Records.
That song stream, more pictures from Death By Audio, and the Black Twilight Circle dates are all below.
Vreid at the first BV-BBG CMJ in 2008 (more by Leia Jospe)
It has been almost three years now since Norway's Vreid played their third ever US show at the first BV-BBG CMJ event back in 2008 (with Trap Them, Rival Schools and Made Out of Babies) at the old Knitting Factory (Norway's Shining played the same room hours later).
Now Vreid is returning and embarking on a North American tour TONIGHT that will see them headline dates with Kampfar & Necronomicon including this Sunday (8/28) at Europa in Brooklyn. Tickets are still available for the show that will also feature an appearance from Grafvolluth. All dates are listed below.
Montreal Mirror recently caught up with Vreid and asked how the recent tragedies in their home country affected them. Bassist Hváll said:
It affected us deeply. Our drummer worked in the government office that was destroyed, but thankfully, he was on vacation and wasn't at work that day. He didn't lose any of his closest coworkers, but it hit him personally as he worked with people who lost friends. He could hear the bang of the explosion from his house when it happened--his whole department was shattered to pieces. It was one of the most brutal things we've ever seen in Norway. This was a complete madman hell-bent on destruction. We all have children and when tragedy like this happens you just think about protecting your child. The slaughtering at the youth camp was one of the most savage things I think we've seen in modern history. If this could happen in Norway, it's proof it could happen anywhere.All tour dates, and some recent video of the band at Wacken 2011 is below.
As the clock ticked towards 2AM on Monday night (8/8), a five band bill of raw and dissonant black metal was entering its seventh hour. Plagued by equipment issues and over-long sets, the blackened school night in Greenpoint featured an early-Tuesday morning appearance from Spain's Proclamation, along with support from Black Witchery, a reunited Abazagorath, Deceiveron, and Villains.
Early support was a mixed bag, ranging from tongue-in-cheek and fun, to horrid, and not in an "ugly black metal" sort of way. Brooklyn's Villains match over-the-top and revolting in on-stage banter, with seriously great blackened street-punk. Deceiveron followed Villains, and were probably the low point of the evening. Besides being out of tune for the duration of their stage time, their set was long and uninteresting. Due to equipment issues, Abazagorath (who was next) took close to 45 minutes to set up and were relegated to a 13 minute set. Despite that considerable setback, the reunited New Jersey band's thrashy black metal was engaging. Make sure you catch them on an upcoming go-around.
Black Witchery had the largest crowd of the evening, possibly due to the hour that the band hit the stage (around 12:30). The trio's blackened blasts of war metal incited pits while the band kept it interesting with an animated and costumed live show. Black Witchery's theatrical and anti-melodic black metal was my favorite performance of the evening.
The audience had thinned considerably for Spain's Proclamation, and though they they delivered an excellent set of Blasphemy-style war metal, their late set-time and much-more-energetic direct support of similar-influence made it hard to stay enthralled.
More pictures and video from Europa are below.
Falls of Rauros' set unfolded over a series of long, gorgeously-crafted atmospheric black metal compositions. Their sprawling odes to the wilderness and man's primal past recalled the power and delicacy of Drudkh and Agalloch, with a taste of Ulver's Kveldssanger and a hungry intensity all their own. Unfortunately they'd already sold out of CDs by the time they rolled through Brooklyn, but this Maine collective are working on new material for an upcoming release that will undoubtedly surpass even my high expectations. -[Kim Kelly earlier this year]I was similarly impressed with Falls of Rauros' set, which sat comfortably beside impressive sets from Lake of Blood and Seidr that bitterly cold night at Acheron.
There are a zillion bands that do the epic-black-metal thing, but most mistake "sprawling" for meandering, long-winded, and ultimately predictable. Thankfully, Falls of Rauros is not one of those bands and they've created the excellent The Light that Dwells in Rotten Wood for Bindrune Recordings. Out now, the LP features the requisite melancholia, light and shade, and ripping black metal riffs and though Falls of Rauros aren't forging any new paths, The Light that Dwells in Rotten Wood is a well-crafted piece of epic darkness. Stream the LP in full below.
Though their music is incredible, it's hard to think of France's Peste Noire without also calling to mind their controversial ideas on (satanism and) nationalism...
"When delving into the band's work, it needs noting that Famine, aka La Sale Famine de Valfunde, is known for his controversy-baiting interviews: Outside the albums he spits more bile than his hero Baudelaire or Varg Vikernes (who seems relatively mild-mannered in comparison). As a listener, it's up to you to see where you draw the line regarding that sort of black metal "hate" and how you interpret the "French nationalism," etc." [Brandon Stosuy]Peste Noire blossomed from the heavy creative wellspring that is France in the early aughts (Deathspell Omega, Alcest, etc), producing several releases that touched on punk, black metal, folk, and many other genres in an utterly astounding way.
Peste Noir released their most lauded LP to date in 2009 with Ballade cuntre lo Anemi, and now have followed up said LP with L'Ordure à l'État Pur, out now in the US via Transcendental Creations. The LP features five new tracks of genre-crossing darkness that dabbles in black metal, ambient, shoegaze, post-punk and folk along the way, as exhibited on the songs "Casse, Pêches, Fractures Et Traditions" and "La condi hu". The former saw the light of day on Stereogum and and at the Onion AV Club. Both can be listened to below...
The previously discussed Proclamation show just went from awesome to bonkers with the addition of Black Witchery to the lineup. The pair will team with Abazagorath (mem Funebrarum, Evoken), Deceiveron, and Villains for the August 8th show at Europa. Tickets are still available.
Black Witchery released Inferno of Sacred Destruction in 2010 on CD via Hells Headbangers, and have released it on vinyl via Nuclear War Now. Villains new LP, Road to Ruin, is also out now via Nuclear War Now. Order them both at the NWN webstore.
Show flyer and some video is below.
"A lot of people don't take metal seriously as art, and a lot of people don't take art seriously as ethics. That's fine, I guess -- but as for myself, I do both."
- Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Hunter at Mercury Lounge (more by Greg Cristman)
Hunter of Liturgy has offered a rebuttal to Chris Grigg and countless others' criticism of Liturgy. Read his entire statement below.
Liturgy are hitting the road in early July for a string of dates with the spazzy Dope Body followed by shows with Chelsea Wolfe across the US before returning to the area in early August. Full tour dates, HHH's statement, and a never-seen-before live video from their recent Knitting Factory show, is below.
Mayhem at Irving Plaza (more by Paul Birman)
After cancelling their last batch of dates, Mayhem will head back out to North America for a fall tour with support from Keep Of Kalessin, Hate, and Abigail Williams. Woe will also join on thirteen dates, though no word on which ones. The tour hits NYC at Gramercy Theater on November 3rd. Tickets info is forthcoming. Full tour schedule is below.
In related news, Woe mastermind Chris Grigg recently penned an open letter to Liturgy's Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, an excerpt of which follows:
To the point, then: we get it, dude. You think you are very, very important. Everything about you oozes a sense of superiority. Looking at only the first few pages of your Transcendental Black Metal essay, we find the following:Check out the whole thing at Metal Review. All tour dates and some video is below.
You somehow decided that black metal is the "culmination of the history of extreme metal."
You explain that traditional black metal is ultimately unfulfilling: "Hyperborean [traditional, Scandinavian-derived] Black Metal represents the mountaineer's arrival at the peak and a supposed leap off of it... And he is left, crestfallen, frozen and alone, in the Hyperborean realm."
You authoritatively claim the blast beat as belonging to black metal, though far from unique to it, because it allows you to rationalize your I-can't-maintain-a-hyper-blast beat by plainly stating, "the technique of Hyperborean Black Metal is the blast beat."
You audaciously inform us that your work is the next stage of the art's evolution with "[Transcendental Black Metal] is a sublimination of Hyperborean Black Metal in both its spiritual aspect and its technical aspect."
Those passages, the essay on the whole, and every attempt to defend your position shows that you lack even the smallest sliver of modesty or respect for your peers or listeners. These qualities -- rather, the lack of these qualities -- are not unusual for black metal artists to possess; after all, concepts of superiority and elitism are hallmarks of traditional black metal. In your case, though, they do not apply because you have gone so far out of your way to show that you are not the typical black metal musician, you are not part of this world -- you are an outsider wearing some (just some) of black metal's skin. I appreciate you taking the effort to describe what you are attempting to do; however, when you make lengthy, authoritative statements decrying black metal as dead and outdated, when you deride everything that came before you as little more than a failed attempt at something that is unreachable, you're thumbing your nose at everyone who does not see things your way. It's obnoxious. It's rude. It's annoying.
Liturgy at Scion Rock Fest 2010 (more by Christopher Mumma & BBG)
Brooklyn black-metallers Liturgy released their sophomore effort Aesthethica on May 10 via Thrill Jockey. As previously mentioned, they play an album release party June 2 at Knitting Factory with Sightings, Matteah Baim, Swati, and Todd Pendu (DJ set). Tickets are still on sale. In July they head out on a month-long US tour. All dates are listed below.
If you want to understand the band better, or just need some light reading material for the beach, pick up a copy of the frontman's new book...
"Liturgy consciously inverts old-school black-metal nihilism, complete with theoretical undergirding--Hunt-Hendrix, a former philosophy student at Columbia, has even published a treatise on the subject, Transcendental Black Metal: A Vision of Apocalyptic Humanism.Download "Generation" and "High Gold" off Aesthethica above. Also check out the video for "Returner" off the album, along with the album tracklist and all tour dates below...
"I think that to the degree that anyone involved in underground music has an anti-intellectual attitude, they are making a mistake," Hunt-Hendrix writes via e-mail between European tour stops. "I guess it's just difficult to a lot of people to see that music, philosophy and art share a living common root--in the 19th century everyone knew that." This high-minded rhetoric has attracted its share of critics--"[Transcendental Black Metal] belongs to a rich, collegiate tradition of taking a movement or piece of art that you enjoy and writing about it in a way that suggests you take no enjoyment from it whatsoever," Vice quipped--but anyone attempting to brand Aesthethica as passionless will rapidly dead-end. The record's most memorable tracks ("Generation," "Veins of God") come off like high-fives between Black Sabbath and Lightning Bolt: undiluted collisions of volume and intricate groove." [Time Out]
Marduk at Gramercy (more by Paul Birman)
Despite their failed tour with Mayhem, Marduk have almost become live staples in the US as of late with two visits to NYC in as many years (with Nachtmystium/Black Anvil/Merrimack at Gramercy, and with Withered/Tombs/Black Anvil at Gramercy). The Swedes will be back in the US to play Maryland Deathfest, but this time will hit NYC with the self-proclaimed ugliest band in the world Aura Noir (!!!), Panzerfaust, Black Anvil and HOD at Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 3rd. Tickets go on sale at noon on Friday (1/21). All other known tour dates are below.
More tour dates and some videos below..
Twilight 2010. That's Jef Whitehead, second from the left
"A tattoo artist raped his girlfriend using tattoo tools above a near West Side tattoo parlor, authorities allege.What the article doesn't mention is that Jef Whitehead, aka Lurker of Chalice aka Leviathan, is also a highly regarded US Black Metal musician. Leviathan's Massive Conspiracy Against All Life was one of my favorite LPs of 2008 and his catalog has quite a few other highlights. Whitehead, aka "Wrest", also collaborated with Nachtmystium and Sunn O))) among others, and was also a member of the band Twilight alongside Aaron Turner (Isis), N.Imperial (Krieg), Blake Judd (Nachtmystium), Stavros Giannopolous (The Atlas Moth), and Sanford Parker (Minsk). The "supergroup" released Monument to Time End last year and it ended up on a few "best-of" lists.
Jef Whitehead, 42, allegedly choked and beat his 26-year-old girlfriend unconscious by banging her head against a wall above Taylor Street Tattoo and Piercing, 1150 W. Taylor, in t he early hours of Saturday morning.
He also attacked her with a pair of scissors, it's alleged. When she regained consciousness she discovered she had been sexually assaulted with the tattoo tools, Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Tom McGuire said. Whitehead then allegedly knocked her out again, McGuire said. When the victim woke up she was in the street outside the parlor, he added. A heavily-bearded and tattooed Whitehead was dressed all in black as he appeared before Judge Israel Desierto Sunday morning.
Wearing a hooded sweater with the words "stop the madness" printed on it, he was ordered held on bail of $350,000. Whitehead is from California but he and his girlfriend had recently arrived in Chicago and were considering making it their permanent home, McGuire said." [Chicago Sun Times]