This week’s blog contains a rundown of the metal concert happenings of the week, plus a spotlight of the record label Transcendental Creations with reviews of two albums released this week. Also included is a review of the new album from Austrian black/death band Belphegor.
On Friday, Feb. 11 the City Weekly Music Awards is hosting Invdrs, Killbot and Ravings of a Madman as part of their annual competition. Come vote for your favorite—or vote for all of them, if you can. Music is at Burt’s Tiki Lounge, $6 gets you in and tunes begin around 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 12 brings Swiss folk/melodic death metal crew Eluveitie—and I mean crew like 8 or more members, to In the Venue for an all ages show. Opening acts include 3 Inches of Blood, Holy Grail and System Divide. Tickets are $16 and music gets underway around 7 p.m.
Want to take your valentine to see some rocking music? Check out Times of Grace, featuring former and current members of Killswitch Engage, along with Straight Line Stitch and War of Ages at the Complex on Monday, Feb. 14. Advance tickets are $13 and it’s an all ages affair.
Blog Exclusive CD Reviews
The Beast of the Apocalypse
The Beast of the Apocalypse = Bahimiron + Beherit (Engram era) + Pestilential Shadows
While being described as a rather raw black metal monster, Netherlands duo The Beast of the Apocalypse feel a bit mechanical in their work on Henosis, their second official album. The band is far from establishing a footing anywhere in the scene—Henosis has much to prove. The album has plenty to offer, but listeners are either going to enjoy it or find it mediocre. The paces come from raw black metal, but the sound feels overly mechanical and not as raw as black metal fans generally appreciate. Half the time the band is initiating the raw sound that the band is trying to capture, but the other half comes off as a bit clunky. I found myself enjoying the bass guitar portions and slower paced atmospheric meanderings than when the band hit full tilt and things run into “wall of sound” territory. The outstanding third track of the album “I Am Not Worthy to Utter thy Name,” is easily the best song on record the progression or lack of makes the rest of the songs suffer. At it’s best Henosis is a stark industrialized atmospheric work that revels in dismal to tumultuous realms – if a few things were harnessed right, one being the ability to retain a form of pure rawness the other mixing the vocals higher in the audible mix giving them the power they deserve and this would be a damn fine album. –Bryer Wharton
De Magia Veterum
The Divine Antithesis
De Magia Veterum = Blut Aus Nord + Deathspell Omega
If hell had an elevator that takes a millennium to reach its destination, The Divine Antithesis would be its elevator music. This reallyshouldn’t be considered all that musical—it’s deviant noise that knocks down those things in your head that prevent you from doing dastardly things and drives you into fits of madness. Well not literally, but the word insanity frequently comes to mind with The Divine Antithesis. Not surprisingly De Magia Veterum comes from the mind of Mories of Gnaw Their Tounges, Pompidou, Ophiudchus, Astral and many other endeavors. The record is split into seven parts, each one just as insane as the other. Drone and noise freaks take heed: this is one for the books. If you like your black metal twisted to maniacal paces with tones that eat melodies like flies on a bloated rotting corpse, enter this realm but do so with caution. I highly suggest not engaging in using mind altering substances, say dropping acid, while listening to this album—damn, that’s one unimaginable horrific trip. When it’s all over and done, I have to encourage taking this maddening journey of erratic drumming, guitars that swirl and spin or completely enrage in dissonant eardrum annihilating fashion. Add to the fact that the cover art is friggin amazing and there’s no avoiding this sonic devilry. –Bryer Wharton
Blood Magick Necromance
Belphegor = Behemoth + Naglfar + God Dethroned + Impious
Austria’s Belphegor have quickly become one of the better-known black/death metal acts in the world scene; their last three full-lengths have not only offered punishing tunes; their production value lends itself to be highly accessible to all types of extreme metal junkies. There is a good reason they’re a scene leader, and Blood Magick Necromance is just another nail in the band’s aforementioned demonical, powerfully brutal, inverted cross that puts any naysayer or imitators to shame. The album rips your face off in multiple ways, blazing and intricate tremolo riffing coupled with gargantuan machine-gunned, grooved riffing; even some melodies and slow, menacing types of tracks. While the production is good, you can instantly tell it’s a Peter Tagtgren/Abyss Studio production, because of its guitar and drum tones. This could be a few sucker punches better in power, with a bit thicker, bass-ended riffing, but really, it’s a small complaint. If you like what Belphegor has been doing the last five odd years, this won’t disappoint, and if you haven’t heard these Austrian beasts, well, jump on the Belphegor wagon—this is one to blast again and again. –Bryer Wharton