i just stumbled over a very funny music video on youtube. someone took a black metal video by immortal (no need to watch this, it is crap, believe me…), recut it, and exchanged the music (the new one has nothing to do with black metal). the result is incredibly ridiculous:
posts about black metal.
in the last two weeks, i attended three concerts:
- the first one was by the norwegian prog black metallers enslaved in the z-7. the concert was really good, even though enslaved could have played longer in my opinion. unfortunately, the place was pretty empty, which is something enslaved does not deserves.
- the second concert was by the swedish prog death metallers opeth in the rohstofflager, with the ocean and cynic as support. the guys in the ocean apparently have an urge to move around. i’ve had it so often that stupid kids constantly jump you in the back if you’re standing in the front, but so far i never had it that band members constantly jump in front of you from the front. pretty annoying, somehow. anyway. they were ok. after them, cynic entered the stage. i never heard anything from them, but i heard some people praise them a lot, so i was really looking forward to hear them. well, i’m not sure yet how much i like them, i guess i should listen to their music intensively. but at least they sounded pretty cool. well, then, finally, opeth began to play. as usual, they were simply fantastic. here’s the playlist:
- heir apparent;
- the grand conjuration;
- godhead’s lament;
- the lotus eater;
- hope leaves;
- demon of the fall;
- the drapery falls (encore).
it’s nice to finally have heard godhead’s lament live.
- finally, i saw the german medieval metal band in extremo. the support was the cologne based alternative rock band the black sheep, consisting of four girls, who did a good job opening the gig. then, finally, i was experiencing in extremo. as a lot of famous bands, the concert was also attended by a lot of annoying kids who gave their best to chase people away from good places. anyway, after losing my very good place in the very front, i found a still good one a bit farer away. i don’t know too many albums of in extremo, mainly older stuff, so i didn’t knew at least half of the material, but i still enjoyed it. (they were also the first band i saw who used pyrotechnics.) but there were also lot of songs which i knew, for example vollmond, wind, spielmannsfluch and ave maria.
while browsing around in my favorite music store in town some time ago, i stumbled across several very good albums. one of them, about whom i want to write today, is ashes against the grain by the american folk/black/doom metal band agalloch.
a stream of dark, intense music. full of beautiful, sad melodies. doomy. somehow, catchy, too. creating mental images.
the first track, limbs, is a very good example for this. i feel beauty and despair, going hand in hand.
also a very beautiful song is this mountain on which you will die, with eyes closed, i feel like through a foggy, snow-white landscape in the mountains. a gloomy atmosphere is building up. staying, while the music fades out…
another beauty is not unlike the waves, beginning with the sound of waves. powerful; full of energy, pushing forward, almost no rest. clean vocals mixing with screaming. beautiful.
the album ends with the three-parter our fortress is burning…. the first part is more quiet, slow. at the end, distorted guitars are lightening up in the background, like flames starting to lick, trying to spread. in part two, they gain more intense, spreading over the fortress, while in the more drony part three, they eat up everything. destruction. death. the end has begun.
recently, moonsorrow released an ep called tulimyrsky, featuring a 30 minute song called tulimyrsky, a metallica cover (for whom the bell tolls), two old demos (taistelu pohjolasta and hvergelmir) and a merciless cover (back to north). the main track tulimyrsky can be seen as a sequel to last year’s viides luku: hävitetty. again, it begins with a slow, melodious, mystic atmospheric part, lasting 3:45 minutes, until a scream fades in from far away, guitars and drums kicking in, finally launching a black metal thunderstorm after five minutes, evolving into a stream of brutality, speed, piercing melodies. then, later, the music gets slower, less brutal, still intense. a speaker telling a tale. then, the action returns, sounding heroic, somehow, until it fades out into a beautiful, orchestral and melodic piece of music. beautiful.
the two demos feature pretty black metallic sounds, still very good though. moonsorrow is really one of the bands which started as a success and continued to be a success over the years. finally, the two covers are pretty ok, too. and, tulimyrsky is the longest ep i ever saw, having 68 minutes of playing time, from which 30 minutes are the main song, tulimyrsky. again, probably one of the best releases this year.
the second one this year i attended, to be more precise. this time, in bremen’s tivoli, the so called paganfest tour 2008 launched, featuring the finnish bands ensiferum, korpiklaani and moonsorrow, the swiss band eluveitie, the faroese band týr and local support ctulu.
well. apparently, it’s impossible to start a concert (or even, start letting people in, before they get soaked wet in the rain outside) in time, i.e. the time which was published before. i’m really sorry for the ones who probably have to spend today in bed, being sick. and then, when they started letting people in, they did it in an incredibly slow way. i mean, what the heck, how hard is it to organize such things?
anyway, the local support started playing probably when the first people were let inside, i.e. we missed half of it, and some others probably most or everything (if they didn’t die before). well, anyway, they didn’t missed anything but awful noise. you could replace the singer by a barking dog without changing the result. sorry, this sounds hard, but that’s the truth… well, the sound quality sucked a lot in the beginning anyway, so it’s probably not just the fault of the band… after a short break (the openers played for like 30 mins), týr entered the stage. i was expecting a lot, but was heavily disappointed. it seemed that they also experienced heavy technical problems, so i might try them again once… but then, i’ll try some studio recordings.
anyway. they stopped after like 20 minutes (less than the opener!?) and we took the chance to eat something. after that, swiss pagan metallers eluveitie entered the stage. filling the stage with eight musicians, they are probably the largest (in this sense) band i ever say. eluveitie features a variety of instruments, including lots of different fluetes, vielles, hurdy gurdies, bagpipes, uilleann pipes and bodhráns. i also was expecting a lot from them, and this time, i was blown away. they are really good. mixing heavy black metal with beautiful folk melodies and themes, they deliver a complex, hard to digest but extremely beautiful (even though the sound quality still wasn’t too great) stream of music. (now i’m listening to their newest album slania, whose release party in the knochenhaus i missed… it’s definitely worth buying, if you’re wondering.) a very, very sad thing was that eluveitie had to stop after 30 minutes. :-(
then, after another break, moonsorrow started playing. as you may know, moonsorrow is one of my favorite bands, so i was expecting a lot. well, they were good as usual, but this time i didn’t like the songs they selected too much. one of the songs sounded quite unknown to me, maybe it’s from the ep which will be released soon? well, sounded a bit too black metallish for my taste. at least, they could play for 45 minutes… still, way too short, but better than just 30 mins… (hey, really, which idiot got the idea to restrict great bands such as eluveitie and moonsorrow to 30 resp. 45 minutes?!)
after moonsorrow, it was time for korpiklaani, a bunch of guys making “old guy music with heavy metal guitars”. well, after eluveitie and moonsorrow, it became obvious how simple their melodies and songs are, well, of course relatively. anyway, if they would have played earlier i would have liked them more. apparently, they covered a king crimson song, at least so said a friend of mine who knows the king crimson discography by worlds better than me. as moonsorrow, korpiklaani also just played for 45 minutes.
finally, after yet another break, which we spend sitting in the food compartment of the tivoli, ensiferum began conquering the hall. well. they’re really good, but again, in my opionion, moonsorrow and eluveitie are better. at least, their guitarist was feeling better this time, so they played probably for one hour. probably, because we decided we were too tired and had enough after, say, 55 minutes, and after someone working at the tivoli decided to chase us off the stairs where we were sitting (because of some fire regulations, probably)…
anyway. the festival was definitely worth going there. but, the next time, it would be way better if they would reduce the number of bands (to, say, moonsorrow and eluveitie :-) ) and let them play a lot longer!
i can’t stop listening to ascension, a song on the isa (ᛁ) album by enslaved. pink floyd style prog fusing with black metal, creating an intense, beautiful, somehow strange but yet so neat stream, switching between mellow, dreamlike sequences and brutal riffs.
“never in need of sleep,
nor in need of truth
i would never have stayed in this darkness,
and we would ascend”
after making a best of concerts list for this year, i decided to make a best of albums list for all albums i have bought until now. i divided this up into several categories:
- punk/punk rock;
- trip hop, alt rock;
- other non-metal;
- metal: atmospheric;
- metal: death/black;
- metal: doom;
- metal: extreme prog;
- metal: folk/pagan/viking;
- metal: gothic;
- metal: power;
- metal: prog;
- metal: other.
note that this list reflects a snapshot of my current interest and remembrance of most of the albums. it could already be different in a few days. but feel free to comment or discuss this with me.
- porcupine tree: deadwing.
- pure reason revolution: the dark third.
- frost: milliontown.
- opeth: damnation.
- porcupine tree: the sky moves sideways.
- die ärzte: die bestie in menschengestalt.
- wizo: uuaarrgh!.
- die toten hosen: kauf mich!.
- die ärzte: planet punk.
- die ärzte: 13.
trip hop, alt rock.
- kari rueslåtten: other people’s stories.
- radiohead: ok computer.
- portishead: portishead.
- kari rueslåtten: spindelsinn.
- nine inch nails: the downward spiral.
- eläkeläiset: humppasirkus.
- bohren & der club of gore: black earth.
- the 3rd and the mortal: tears laid in earth.
- finntroll: visor om slutet.
- tool: 10 000 days.
- anathema: a natural disaster.
note that i took out the prog death/prog black (avantgarde) albums into its own category, called metal: extreme prog.
- bolt thrower: those once loyal.
- moonspell: the antidote.
- wintersun: wintersun.
- amorphis: elipse.
- childen of bodom: hatebreeder.
i think this is the category where i could have made the longest list. there are many really good albums missing, for example down and love and death by sentenced, the other swallow the sun albums, sunn o))) and boris‘ altar, some candlemass albums, unholy‘s the second ring of power, and some more.
- sentenced: frozen
- swallow the sun: ghosts of loss.
- type o negative: world coming down.
- tiamat: prey.
- unholy: rapture.
metal: extreme prog.
this category is dominated by opeth; therefore, i decided to list the top seven instead of the top five.
- opeth: still life.
- orphaned land: mabool — the story of the three sons of seven.
- opeth: blackwater park.
- distorted: memorial.
- opeth: orchid.
- borknagar: epic.
- edge of sanity: crimson (part one).
- moonsorrow: viides luku: hävitetty.
- moonsorrow: verisäkeet.
- primordial: to the nameless dead.
- finntroll: jaktens tid.
- moonsorrow: voimasta ja kunniasta.
- lacuna coil: karma code.
- tristania: beyond the veil.
- lake of tears: a crimson cosmos.
- poisonblack: lust stained despair.
- nevermore: dead heart in a dead world.
- nevermore: dreaming neon black.
- symphony x: paradise lost.
- communic: waves of visual decay.
- nightwish: oceanborn.
- dream theater: train of thought.
- the gathering: mandylion.
- ayreon: the human equation.
- dream theater: metropolis pt. 2 — scenes from a memory.
- dream theater: images and words.
- timo rautiainen & trio niskalaukaus: hartes land.
- rage: lingua mortis.
- samael: solar soul.
- annihilator: king of the kill.
- apocalyptica: cult.
today i was on the last concert for this year – at least, the last one planned ahead more than a few days. this was probably also my last visit to the z-7 for this year.
this time, three bands were playing, the main act being ensiferum (which is latin and means as much as sword bearing), a finnish (what else) viking/folk metal band. well, as it is quite common for viking/folk metal bands nowadays, a huge crowd of kids was there. i saw the first ones at zurich main station, it was quite obvious that the drunken (or starting to get drunk) teenagers as the same track dressed in black were heading for the same destination. i haven’t felt so old for a long time…
the concert started with the swedish power metallers insania. as i already wrote once, i don’t like that kind of music too much, but it was ok. in particular, the singer made funny grimaces (though i’m not sure if it was intentional that they were funny). after that, a taiwanese symphonic black metal band called chthonic entered the stage, featuring an erhu (“chinese violin”). i liked that one pretty much, and i could stand the screaming way more than napalm death‘s or cradle of filth‘s screaming, which i pretty much hate, even though it was pretty similar (in my opinion).
finally, ensiferum entered the stage. well, one member (markus) sat down on a chair, and some guy announced that he isn’t feeling well, that they just fetched him from hospital and that they’ll bring him back right after the concert. that’s devotion! the result was that their gig lasted only a bit more than one hour, until markus let announce (one of the tech guys was regularly filling in water for him and handling him the cup, and passed on messages from him to the other band members) that he wasn’t feeling good and so the last song was announced. (the last song’s beginning was accompanied by chthonic‘s erhu player.) after that, they gave an encore, without markus though, and maybe even a second, but i decided to catch the train instead.
well. on the way back i was pretty much annoyed by the fact that apparently most of the night bus passengers have no clue how the thing works. they don’t manage to change bank notes into coins (there’s a machine for that), they don’t manage to buy the right tickets (there are instructions all over the place), they don’t manage to use the right bus entry (you have to enter in the front, and not try to enter at the other doors, and waiting for 30 seconds until figuring out that you can’t get in there), they don’t manage to prepare the regular ticket and the night surcharge to show it to the driver (instead, they start to search their pockets for another 30 seconds). i understand that some people don’t speak or read german and thus have trouble following the instruction, but i think this didn’t applied to most of them. well, but that explains why the night bus is always late, and the amount of time it is late increases at every stop (at least, as long as people are entering). but at least i could watch all this while sitting inside the bus, so i could listen to good music (kari, of course, as also during the train ride; a big contrast to the concert :) )…