Archive for black

Primordial w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2018 by Pieni

Primordial, Basalto, Aura
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
21st September 2018
Promoted by Notredame Productions

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One month yesterday and the memories still send shivers down my spine. Primordial’s songs already have that effect on their fans, but something about that night’s performance made them more enthralling. I always thank the promoters for allowing me the chance of shooting these gigs but this time my heartfelt reverence towards Carlos Freitas and Notredame Productions goes deeper, for bringing such show to us.

DSC_0067 copyBut first things first. Post black metal Aura, promoting their debut EP “Hamartia”, which had been released in July. Aggressive, but bearing the somberness of a doom band, the mix works out extremely well, the four musicians really “into it” when on stage. For what I could gather, “Your Eyes Can Sweat My Desire For Catharsis” is their strongest track. An extra note on the bass player’s professionalism, as the piece on the bass that holds the strap broke but he didn’t stop playing; he just put his foot up on one monitor and held the instrument on his knee. I can only imagine the strain on his back and arms while doing it. In the end of the song he fixed it with duct tape, but since their songs are over 6 minutes long, consider my hat tipped.
https://www.facebook.com/oficialauraband/

Then came the 99%-instrumental Basalto. In fact, the first I’d seen them, a few months prior, I’d say they were an instrumental act. But this time, on the first and last track, guitarist António Baptista growled something indecipherable.
The final product is labelled as stoner/doom metal, but it’s achieved with a variety of other elements, such as jazz and blues, making it a lot spicier, more spirited. “Doença (“disease” in Portuguese) is their second album, released in February, and according to them, it represents everything black or dark in Humanity’s intellectuality. Interesting concept.
https://www.facebook.com/basaltostoner/

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In +25 years of attending concerts, I can only remember three concerts that went on for two hours: Iced Earth (the “Horror Show” tour, which coincided with the release of the boxset “Dark Genesis” and so the band decided to play a little bit of their full discography so far, with three different stage sets); Queensrÿche (the “Operation: Mindcrime” 20th anniversary tour where they performed both the album and its sequel in full) and Moonspell (the 20th anniversary of “Irreligious”, where they also played the whole DSC_0272 copy“Wolfheart” and “Extinct” albuns). Primordial was now the fourth, but the first without any special reason for it, apart from “not being like one of these new bands who play for an hour and go home” (quoting Nemtheanga himself). You’ve probably done the math by now: more time to play, less key-songs left out of the set, even if they have to insert new ones out of the latest “Exile Amongst The Ruins”. Plus, if you know how charismatic Nemtheanga is, you know how intense every minute of a Primordial show can be; 120 of them is something just beyond words.
Nemtheanga recalled several times their first show in Portugal, 20 years ago, praising “his friend” José Costa for it, and also mentioned the last time they’ve played at Hard Club (although that gig happened in the original venue, on the other side of the river, but that he didn’t seem to remember). Such sweet nostalgia, brought on not just by the older songs…
From “Nail Their Tongues” to “Empire Falls”, going through “To Hell Or The Hangman” or – my all-time favorite – “The Coffin Ships”, this concert was a roller-coaster ride of emotions that will hardly be forgotten by any of the presents.
https://www.facebook.com/primordialofficial/

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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Ihsahn – Arktis

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 25th March 2016 by mickbirchy

Ihsahn
Arktis
Symphonic Black Metal, Progressive Metal
Released: 8 April 2016
via Candlelight Records

I’ll admit this wouldn’t usually be my cup of tea. However I do love listening Emperor and since Ihsahn embarked on his solo journey in 2006,  I have been inclined to listen to his music in the same way. I wouldn’t call myself a fan per say, but I do listen to his music every once in awhile and I like what I hear. So when his new album Arktis fell in my lap, I was curious to hear the next chapter in his evolution. Ihsahn should need no introduction to the metal community, he is a pure force to be reckoned with.  His writing is slick, matching heavy tones with brutal melodies like it was child’s play and believe me there is no difference with this record.

Arktis, sounds really nice straight from the get go. Ihsahn wastes no time in with the opening songs Disassembled and Mass Darkness, it just has that overpowering grandeur, that we have come to expect from his music. The heavy verses bleed into the melodic choruses and the production is on top form nothing feels out of place.  The music surrounds you and you can really get lost in the sounds. Ihsahn’s vocals have a heavy impact and the guttural vocals scream with power whilst the clean vocals are a little unsettling, in a good way. I think Ihsahn want to make you feel unsettled in parts of this album, like on the track South Winds, mixing the heavy metal with that mind-melting progressive stylings. Everything about this album speaks to his talent for writing and producing great work. When I was listening to the album, I got the same feeling of listening to Emperor’s Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise, I’m not saying it sounds anything like that album but I get the feeling that I’m listening to something that will stick with me for a long time, which that album did (and still does).

The melodies a beautifully crafted and entrancing.  Designed to keep you hooked to the album, with great riff work too.  My favourite riff on the album being Until I Dissolve Too, purely for it’s catchy sound and distance from the rest of the song, so it sticks out more. The more progressive moment on this album somewhat lose me as it’s a little too jarring to my ear, however, for someone who is used to progressive metal will probably love the way the sound twists and turns around in the production.  The guitar work is superb it always sounds good when it comes in. The keys and synth are a little too overused for my liking and sometimes they don’t really fit the music at times like on Pressure, again maybe that’s just me but it’s quite distracting.  However when the keyboard parts work, they really work.

Is this a great album.  For me it’s good and certainly will be on my playlist for the majority of 2016. For the average music fan who may not be really into this sort of music I really couldn’t recommend it.  I would say start with Ihsahn’s earlier work then work their way to this or just stay away from this type of music in general.  It was definitely something different and I’m glad that I have returned to his work after a bit of a break.  If you’re a fan or someone that may like this type of sound then I would say check it out.

3/5

Mick Birchall

Frozen Ocean – The Prowess Of Dormition

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 10th December 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Frozen Ocean
The Prowess Of Dormition
Released February 26th 2016
Atmospheric black metal
Released via Apocalyptic Witchcraft Records

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I don’t think this band could have picked a more fitting name, judging by the unveiling of The Prowess Of Dormition’s first track. This is like sailing face first into a blizzard of ice, albeit in an eerily pleasant way. When discussing black metal, the term ‘atmospheric’ tends to feed me a pre-emptive expectation of slow, meandering ponderings, but this leans far more heavily on the BM side of things. ‘Atmospheric’ in Frozen Ocean’s universe might be better replaced by other words. Not that I’m keen on expanding the list of sub-sub-sub-genre tags already available, unless through descriptive necessity, titanic black metal does have a certain ring to it.

I’m not sure whereabouts in Russia they hail from, but they seem to have taken influence from the folk music of The Steppes which stretch out into Northern Asia. However, it is in a far more extreme direction than, say, Mongolia’s Nine Treasures. The import of the folk element would be better compared Melechesh’s inclusion of Persian sonic idioms, or the metalised Celticisms of Cnoc An Tursa. Blending this with the depth of Moonsorrow, and the pace of Enslaved, TPOD is delivered with a certain charisma which makes it stand out from its contemporaries.

The ability to capture such a distinct essence is all the more impressive, considering this all created by the individual known as Vaarwel, the single contributor to Frozen Ocean’s output. It’s a shame, as it would be easy to imagine this music performed by a full line-up in an open air environment, under the likes of Primordial or Satyricon. However, if you’re not big on society’s take on the coldest season, yet still have an affinity for winter, TPOD is the perfect partner to isolated ambulations and frostbitten retrospect. Definitely worth putting on your mp3 player and letting yourself become immersed for a while.

4/5

Paul Macmillan

Midnight to release second album on 19th August

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th June 2014 by Pieni

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After a series of EP and splits, black/speed metal act Midnight released their much acclaimed debut album, “Satanic Royalty”, in 2011. The Cleveland-based act and their record label Hells Headbangers have now set 19th August as the release date for the follow-up “No Mercy For Mayhem”, which will have the following track list:

1. Penetratal Curse
2. Evil Like A Knife
3. Prowling Leather
4. No Mercy For Mayhem
5. The Final Rape Of Night
6. Degradation
7. Woman Of Flame
8. Try Suicide
9. Whiplash Disaster
10. Aggressive Crucifixion
11. Destroy Tsunami’s Power (CD Bonus Track)

Meanwhile, through webzine Noisey – Music By Vice, they’ve let the world hear the track “Evil Like A Knife”:  http://noisey.vice.com/blog/new-midnight-track-streaming-evil-like-a-knife

Official Facebook page

Amon Amarth w/Support @ Vicor Street, Dublin

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23rd March 2012 by colmcasserly

Bands: Amon Amarth, Grand Magus, In Solitude
Location: Vicar Street

Date:  15th April 2012

Epic night of metal right here and my first assignment for Valkyrian Music so I was very excited about this! The night was  not just anticipated by me but the entire Dublin metal scene as it was Amon Amarth’s first time to bring their stage show with them. I had never heard Grand Magus or In Solitude before the night and I was very surprised by both bands they both had some seriously good tunes and they put on a great show. It was the second night of the tour and the bands seemed very confident on stage as the first date jitters had worn off it seems.

In Solitude were the opening act and they really played a blinder, they’re blend of black and old school metal was really interesting and they set the stage for a really good night. They could come off a little cheesy at times though and the vocals were far too low in the mix and that is one of their selling points I feel cause the style of vocals are very alluring. Also, what was with the dead fox? But quality songs and great stage presence combined made for an awesome set!

Grand Magus were on next and they’re something else! Soaring, powerful vocals with epic sounding songs without even a hint of power metal except some song titles, “Hammer of The North” for one, just good old Heavy Metal! They started a little shakey but pulled it together very quickly and delivered a very entertaining set and they truly looked like they were having the time of their lives! They did get a little samey over the course of the set though.

And the headliners, Amon Amarth, they have made quite a name for themselves over the years so we all really knew what to expect from them. They played the best part of an hour and a half which consisted of old faithfuls (The Pursuit of Vikings) and some newer tracks (Death In Fire) but they never relented and even the slower tunes never dropped the intensity. Any issues with the levels or sound were gone now and it was now crystal clear. I don’t think they made one mistake all night, and it being very close to St Patrick’s day in Dublin any crowd interaction went down really well. They had their stage complete with glowing ruins and the drum riser was massive and they had some pretty epic set pieces on it. A lot of Amon Amarth songs recently have guest guitarists playing solos and here is what annoyed me, they can’t do them live. They give them their best shot but never seem to pull them off convincingly. Other than that minor problem they really gave a 110% and it looked like they really had a blast. Epic gig, epic bands great night!