Entries tagged with: corpse paint
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.
words by Kim Kelly, photos by Keith Marlowe
Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult
This past Sunday (May 23, to be exact) Colombian-bred, Pacific Northwest-dwelling cult black metal horde Inquisition brought their necromantic live ritual to Europa's be-disco balled stage, and were joined by Germany's Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult on the latter's first-ever US tour. This was the duo's only East Coast date, and the last of three very special shows on the Anthems of Pestilence & Death 2010 minitour, which had kicked off in LA last week. Having caught Inquisition before at Heathen Crusade III in Minnesota and 2008's legendary performance at Remains (featuring the live debut of everyone's favorite blackened tech 'heads, Krallice), I couldn't resist making the trip up to see 'em again. After all, third time's the charm...
People-watching at New York metal shows is an endlessly entertaining pastime, especially if you've stumbled into the kind of show that rolled into Europa this past Sunday. From the Spanish Glen Danzig lookalike to the handful of leather-clad corpsepaint wearers, to the barely-legal drunk broad who kept trying to mosh it up with the pit bosses and falling flat on her face and the smattering of very worried-looking hipsters (this was Greenpoint, after all), it was one hell of a subcultural mish-mash up in there.
continued with more pics below....
words by BBG, photos by Greg Cristman
So campy.... but oh so fun! Immortal played Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Tuesday, 3/30, as part of their brief but sweet "Blashyrkh in North America" campaign that laid waste to a select few cities on said continent (namely Toronto, Montreal, Brooklyn, and LA).
With a serious lighting rig and enough smoke machine action to make Greg Anderson proud, the band opened the what-appeared-to-be-sold-out show with the title track and "The Rise of Darkness" from their recent success All Shall Fall. Though guitars were a bit too thin in the mix for my liking, the band blasted their way through killer renditions of classics from across their catalog (setlist below) while the eager and surprisingly not too mosh-y crowd nodded and raised their fists in triumph. It was a big and bold set from the frost-bitten Norwegian legends. If you missed it and can't make it to The Avalon in LA (where the band was already spotted hanging out last night) on 4/2, then pray that the corpsepainted (or should I say warpainted?) horde make another trek to the US soon (and hopefully they don't wait 3 years again this time).
Black Anvil opened the show after Immortal hosted a fan meet & greet (it cost extra money). The band is like Kiss in more ways than one. More pictures (though not of Black Anvil yet), as well as tons of videos, below...
words by Black Bubblegum, photos by Chris La Putt
Mortuus of Marduk is angry. You won't like him when he's angry.
Three beers and as many bands into the blackened bonanza at Gramercy, nature was calling. I scooted downstairs to a mostly empty bathroom where every stall was open but all of the sinks were occupied. Standing at the sinks were four men applying a base coat of white to their face, adding black around their eyes and upside-down crosses to their cheeks.
Mental note: corpse paint and beige khaki shorts is not a good look.
Gramercy's doors swung open for me a little bit before 9:30, missing Black Anvil & Tombs (who by all accounts, destroyed... me = not surprised) but just in time to catch Withered for the umpteenth time in a year. Vocalist/guitarist Dylan Kilgore was absent for the second time in recent months (similar to the tail end of Mayhem fest), but their new guitar player was a suitable replacement. In fact, the road has been good to Withered; every single NYC performance is better than the last, with Saturday's performance topping them all. It is debatable, yet entirely possible, that Withered were as or more powerful than the mighty Marduk.
Besides some of the more familiar landmarks in their setlist (from their two LPs Folie Circulaire and Memento Mori), Witheredalso revealed "From Shadows", a new song which, according to members of the band, will be recorded in the coming months for a new LP(!). The track retains all of the Withered signatures of subtle melody, blasting power, and unplanned left turns. Get psyched.
To chants of "Panzer Division Marduk", the Swedish black metallers took the stage clad in all black (doy), 14 hole combat boots, and the requisite corpse paint. The band was gloriously powerful, and I couldn't help but wonder about how the band would have fared on Blackened Fest. Would opening for the extremely theatrical Mayhem diminish their impact or would Cephalic Carnage's relatively clinical approach made them seem all the more punishing? Either way, dem boys were good. The sound was well balanced for Marduk from multiple points of view (as it was for Withered), with my single complaint being there wasn't enough guitar in the mix (which is probably is due to the fact that the band had one guitarist).
Before the set, multiple backstage sources were spreading the word that the band had gallons of cow blood prepped for use during their set. Gallons, I cannot verify, but vocalist Mortuus (also known for his work in Funeral Mist) did pause for a moment mid-set to "drink" a chalice filled with cow blood, most (all?) of which ended up on his chin and chest. Yummy. It was highly theatrical and down right hilarious/awesome. To quote Bon Scott: "If you want blood, you got it!"
Marduk has said in the recent past that these three dates are just a taste before they embark on a full-on US tour in the winter. Let's hope that NYC gets another date... just don't count on me to get made-up for it.
More pictures below....
photos by Ryan Muir
1349 is a black metal band hailing from Oslo, Norway. The band's music is purposely similar in style and construction to that of bands from the Second Wave of Norwegian black metal of the early 1990s, and does not incorporate synthesisers. As a result, 1349 have been compared to the early incarnations of Enslaved, Emperor, Burzum, Gorgoroth, Darkthrone, Immortal, and Mayhem, being described as much heavier than most other black metal bands. The band has so far, rejected the more commercial style of black metal exhibited by some bands.I saw them at SXSW, at night in a field which was also a VICE party with not many people, but with very drunk people. The band takes the scary act to the next level. The scary faces never leave their faces, so between the scariness on stage and the scariness in the crowd, it was overall kind of scary scary (but very entertaining). Now the band is on tour with Carcass and that brought them from their lair in Norway to the heavily guarded and corporate Nokia Theater in NYC on Saturday night (Sept 6). Black Bubblegum was at the show and his full review is coming soon, but I can tell you now that he was less than impressed with 1349. Ryan also found them hard to take seriously, but did admit they do a good scary (and a good Kiss). More pics below...
The name 1349 comes from the year the Black Death reached Norway. [Wiki]