Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Reviews (but not Heaven And Hell just yet)

Three new reviews of mine (Throne Of Katarsis, Forest Silence, and Koldborn) have been posted at L4M. You can read them here.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Briefly...

I'll soon be writing a detailed review of the Heaven And Hell/ Megadeth/ Machine Head show which took place at the L.A. Forum on April 25th. I'll have the usual crap pictures/ videos etc. I am out of town at the moment due to the impending marriage of Skull.

My next show will be Dimmu Borgir/ Kataklysm at the Wiltern on Thursday, May 17th...



I'll be reluctantly skipping the Knitting Factory shows that I mentioned in a previous entry. Also, take a look at the band lineup for the upcoming Summer Slaughter tour. This show hits the HOB in West Hollywood on June 16th...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

1349 Video Clip

Unfortunately, the videos that I shot during the 1349 concert didn't turn out very well (worse than usual) because the stage was poorly lit. I was able to compensate for this with my photos by editing, but not so with the video clips. I deleted most of them, but I did keep a couple. Here's a 1349 clip...



All of the videos that I kept should soon appear in the Widget in the sidebar. You can access my YouTube page here.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

1349/ Goatwhore/ Nachtmystium/ Averse Sefira/ Ascension Review!!!

Date: Friday, April 13th, 2007

Venue: The Knitting Factory, Hollywood, California.

Bands: 1349/ Goatwhore/ Nachtmystium/ Averse Sefira/ Ascension

Oh, yes! Black metal of the highest caliber invades Hollywood on Friday the 13th! I was really pumped up for this one, as you may well imagine (even though I worked that day and woke up at 5 AM)!

I made the trek to the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, a small venue with a front bar (closed off) and the main stage area with a capacity of several hundred. The Knitting Factory is somewhat notorious for getting a late start, and that was true tonight with the first band, locals Ascension, not taking the stage until about 45 minutes or so after the doors were scheduled to open. Oh, well. Steph's out of town this weekend and I certainly don't have to work on Saturday. Entering the venue, I immediately bought an "Instinct: Decay" Nachtmystium shirt (I already have a 1349 shirt), and I found a place to camp out next to the mixing board on the second floor to watch the first two bands.

Local band Ascension was up first for a 25 minute set consisting of mid-paced death metal. Ascension were given a warm reception by the sparse crowd (believe me, it would fill up later), and their set was enjoyable. When it comes to L.A's metal scene, I've heard a lot worse.

Next up was Averse Sefira, from Austin, Texas. Their last album, 2005's "Tetragrammatical Astygmata" was competent, fast black metal and, I believe, the band was recently picked up by Candlelight. Unfortunately, they had some sound issues early on that were never completely resolved (the drums were very muted, and the guitar playing was, frankly, sloppy), and I could tell that their bassist was quite pissed. At any rate, their set was enjoyable enough, but they weren't that tight. Ultimately, I was a bit disappointed.

At this point, I migrated downstairs for Nachtmystium, one of the best USBM bands around. Their slightly psychedelic-tinged form of black metal, exemplified on the opus "Instinct: Decay", works really well, and I was really looking forward to their set. Nachtmystium immediately brought the now-packed house down with a blistering set that was firing on all cylinders. Great sound and musicianship were the norm, and the crowd really responded. A huge pit opened up immediately and continued unabated throughout their set. With a performance such as this, the future is very bright, indeed, for Azentrius. Hail to Azentrius!

At this point, I was able to hook up with an old friend that I hadn't seen in a couple of years, and we all hung out for the remainder of the show. NOLA's stalwarts and one of the hardest working bands in America, Goatwhore, was up next with the much-deserved slot of main support. I've seen them a number of times, and they always deliver the goods. Tonight was no exception, and they were able to play a longer set than they usually are afforded. This resulted in a few more songs from their older material, and they were hailed by the crowd. Fantastic!

Crowd anticipation was high as excitement continued to build for the appearance of 1349. 1349 finally took the stage after midnight and proceeded through a mind altering set that FLATTENED the crowd. They hammered through one gem after another as a HUGE pit flew in all directions throughout their set. The sound was great, Laureano was spot-on (hard to fill Frost's absent shoes), and Ravn was like a demon possessed. 1349 chooses not to really interact with the crowd; rather, they just go out and play with an intensity that is hard to describe. It's obvious that they are as into their art form as one can be, and this pays huge dividends in a live setting. Like Krisiun, Nile, and only a few others, I'm resolved to see 1349 every time they come through L.A. Unbelievable set, and the adrenaline's still flowing through my veins now almost 24 hours later. 1349's encore was "Beyond The Apocalypse". They did briefly acknowledge the crowd with a bow.

I finally arrived home at about 2:30 AM. Special thanks to Dave Brenner at Earsplit! I have photos already available on the Slide show in the sidebar. In addition, you can see all of my photos here.

I'll have some videos posted soon. In the meantime, here's a couple of photos.

Averse Sefira



Nachtmystium



Goatwhore



1349



1349



Next up is Heaven And Hell on April 25th!

In addition, The Church of The 8th Day has posted the following fliers for upcoming shows at the Knitting Factory. I'll probably be skipping these, but check out the fact that Merciless Death will be making an appearance! I haven't checked them out, yet, but I will eventually track down their latest release.

May 11, 2007.



May 20, 2007.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A correction...

This is my own damn fault. I erroneously referred to the new Omnium Gatherum album as "Stuck On Snake's Way" in my review at L4M. The album's title is "Stuck Here On Snakes Way". You can read the review here plus my review of the new Ensiferum album here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You pick the black metal title...

I recently took this photo on a vacation to the Southwest and I thought that the setting could be made into a black metal motif with some effects and a caption. Here's my choice of caption...



"Charnel Dwelling Devoted to the Exemplification of Misanthropic Hate Within the Shifting Satanic Paradigm"

Feel free to provide your own interpretation. You can read about the site here.

Also, I found two old reviews of mine while I was, very briefly, submitting reviews to Deadtide. You can read them here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Crossover and finishing the mid 80s...

Crossover should get a special mention. Yes, the usual bands get the necessary recognition from myself and my friends. We were all heavily into S.O.D. (the Anthrax "Spreading The Disease" concert I've previously mentioned featured a Benante drum solo with the opening of "Kill Yourself"), C.O.C. (pre- "Technocracy", although I have been into this band since then, in a big way, as well, and I have the classic skull tattoed on my shoulder), D.R.I. (I saw them live for "Dealing With It", and I bought a t-shirt at that show from Kurt Brecht himself), Attitude Adjustment, and others. Skull was also into a fair amount of hardcore, such as The Exploited, GBH, MDC, and so forth, but I stuck with crossover, for the most part. Two bands that should get special mention, in my opinion, are horror hardcore greats Septic Death and perhaps the first grindcore band, Cryptic Slaughter. Pushead and company's classic "Now That I Have Attention..." album saw heavy rotation in our stereos as well as featuring, perhaps, some of the first blastbeats and Pushead's best album cover art, shown below...



Cryptic Slaughter is noteworthy for being, also in my opinion, the first grindcore band with their debut "Convicted", which was released prior to Napalm Death's "Scum"...



I lost track of Cryptic Slaughter after "Money Talks", though (being from Seattle, they also had an influence on grunge, just look at the flannels on the artwork, this predated grunge by a couple of years).

I finally saw Slayer for the first time in late 1986 with the "Reign In Blood" tour (album still makes periodic appearances in my stereo) at the Aragon Ballroom with Overkill and Zoetrope opening...



The show was introduced by the DJ's of Chicago's only metal radio show at the time. Northwestern University did a radio show for a few hours every week called RPM. This stood for "Real Precious Metal", which, of course, we derisively referred to as "Real Poser Metal" as their playlists consisted of, almost exclusively, the usual hair/ glam metal crap that we all detested, and seemingly couldn't escape from. Needless to say, they were booed loudly by the Aragon Ballroom crowd. RPM disappeared pretty quickly, as I recall.

Lastly, I attended the very first Milwaukee Metalfest on July 24-25, 1987 at the Eagles Club Ballroom. I don't remember the total band list, but Nuclear Assault and King Diamond headlined (a rumored appearance by Destruction never materialized, much to the disappointment of myself and my friends). Also appearing were Death Angel (I shook hands with Andy Galeon), Trouble and Zoetrope (of course), At War, Realm, Hallow's Eve, and, yes, one of the very first official live appearances of Death around the time of the release of "Scream Bloody Gore". I distinctly recall Rick Rozz alongside Chuck Schuldiner, but I don't recall any of the details regarding a set list or anything like that (some "Leprosy" material was already being played, apparently). It turns out that this would be the only time that I would see Death in concert, something I regret to this day. Rest in peace, Chuck Schuldiner...



Finally, this Friday is the 1349 show with Nachtmystium, Goatwhore, and Averse Sefira at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. I'll have a detailed review, pictures, and the usual shit videos soon after. Skull saw this show last night in Chicago and said it was great...