Saturday, December 3, 2016

Matricide - 2004 - Blasphemic Fire

Swedish Black Metal act Matricide has offered us seven tracks on this cassette, which is a re-release of their 2002 demo with three bonustracks added, including a Von cover. The music is mid-paced to fast and the first four tracks remind me of a tighter version of early Emperor and Sorhin. The vocals on this part sound very much like the vocals of Sorhin.

The bonus material shows some progress toward the newer Swedish Black Metal sound similar to the likes of WatainOndskapt and Funeral Mist, with the vocals sounding reminiscent of those of
Ondskapt. The first four tracks have a considerably worse soundquality than the bonustracks, the music can be heard somewhere in the distance, but the feeling in these tracks is just amazing.

Be sure to check out their recently released debut album Black Mass Gathering.

Standout tracks are "Blasphemic Fire" and "Seven Daemons".

Friday October 29 2004, by :Vragh:

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Roskilde Festival 2005 Report

As is usually the case when people wear almost no clothes, and are eating icecream a lot, it is time to get ready for another edition of the Roskilde Festival. You have to get to the camparea by late Saturday evening or early Sunday, in order to get a good spot for your camp, of course. For us this is not such a big hazzle, it takes us a little over an hour to get to the festivalsite. Now imagine many hundreds of people all waiting through the night for the moment they open up the gates, and when they finally do open up the campingarea, try to visualize the same amount of people all running, with
their campinggear, trying to get to that particular spot they have laid their eyes on. Chaos, exhiliration, exhaustion. Then you try to put up your camp. Most enjoyable, and of course this is a task that is fueled with beer. Lots of beer. Or any other kind of alcohol you might have handy. Putting
up the camp usually takes about two hours, all included, and after that you sit down for a(nother) beer. This year was a bit different, since we arrived a few hours earlier than we usually do.

I met up with my backpack at Sand's place, and after packing some more, and chilling we got word from the official Baphomet's Throne driver that he finally was on his way with Vinthras, with an ETA of mere minutes. Packing the car proved to be an adventure all in it self. Also there are some pretty weird people living in that building. A complete stranger came up to us and asked us if we had a permit to stand on the parkinglot. We said, that though we did not, we were not aware that we would need one, since we knew people living in the building, and in fact were packing the same people's gear into the car right at that very moment. Furthermore we were alsonot convinced that such a permit existed anywhere but in this persons imagination. Really, some people. Unbeknownst to us, more such people were to rear their ugly heads around us during this week. But we'll get to that.

After packing the car with all the stuff we were bringing, of which one third wasn't ours, we climbed into the car. Now, in the backseat there wasn't really that much space, I must say. Me and Sand tried to get comfortable there, but it was not an easy thing to do. In between us, in the middle there was 264 cans of beer. Our backpacks (size XL) we had to have in our laps. But we did manage to squeeze it all in, including ourselves.

Driving to Denmark is fairly simple from here, and the customs usually don't bother you, and after some wrong turns (our driver isn't always on the right track) we arrived at the festivalsite, just when they opened the parking, at 23.00. The partying started in the car on the way from Lund to Øresundsbron, as per usual, and when we finally did arrive at 23.00 (a few hours later than planned) they had just opened the parkingareas, so we parked the car, brought out our trusty Roskilde Festival
Chairs, and continued the partying. Not much else to do, really. When you know you are going to stay up the entire night, waiting for the campingarea to open, and then raise a camp and continue drinking beer, you might just as well try to keep drinking. Said and done. Certain individuals, who shall remain anonymous (read Bobby and Vinthras) passed out in the car early in the evening. No solidarity there. And no alcohol sense either. After a while we move the party to the fence that they will tear down when the campingarea opens. The hours move at a crawl, waiting for that magic moment at 08.00 when they open. Cold, miserable and tired we await this glorious moment, which seems ever so distant. But fear not. It arrives, just as we thought it would.

After the bizarre race for the perfect spot (which inadvertently proved to be the exact spot we occupied last year..) and defending it with our teeth, and then raising the tents, we are finally ready too get some sleep. But no rest for the wicked. Might as well wait. There's lots of beer to be consumed, and not a minute to spare for rest. Not yet. The following days go by as they usually do, awake early, since you can't sleep, because of the sun and heat attacking your tent. Crawl out of
 the tent, which by now has reached temperatures that surpass that of a pizzaoven, and surely must be against the Geneva convention somehow, into the open and try to rest some more. After this slow process of awakening you go buy some breakfast, and be sure to not forget the coffee. You then eat said breakfast, drink your coffee, and then go back to camp. Plans are laid out for getting more alcohol, since you drank most of what you had the night before. Travel into Roskilde takes about 10 minutes by car or by train. You buy more alcohol and food, eat something, possibly at Domino's, then back to camp and open a beer. Play music, mingle with people, or just sit in your chair and watch people go by your camp. Continue to drink, until you are too tired to stay up. Get some sleep. Repeat.

This year had some nice new routines, though. This year we received backstagepasses. That means you can enter the festival area whenever you want to, instead of waiting for it to open on the Thursday at 17.00. This was most excellent. Another of the highlights of the festival was the time I drove the car into town (no, I don't have a driver's license, why do you ask?). I found it most entertaining, though the passengers did not quite share my enthusiasm. No idea what there was to complain about, apart from that 90 degree turn, perhaps. And the roundabout. Oh, and maybe the parking as well. Other than that, almost perfect. Live and learn, I say. And we all survived, didn't we? So stop complaining!

After these days of drinking, which are essential to get into the  festivalmood, the second reason for going to this campingarea and live here for a week is finally upon us. Yes, the music! This year, as most every year, sported a wide variety of bands from most every conceivable genre, and from all over the world. This is a veritable smorgasbord for anyone with an interest in music, and the possibility to see bands you normally wouldn't dream of seeing, and in fact even didn't know existed is indeed a very nice feeling. Not a year goes by that I don't discover new bands.

On Thursday we watched some odd groups. First out was Dwi Makar, from Indonesia. This was an interesting performance, obviously not following the standards of music that we are used to in the west. Quite interesting for a while, but not captivating in the long run, I thought. After 15 minutes or so, we went to see the second band for the day, Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung, or DAAU for short. This proved to be a very interesting band. Now normally, when someone walks out on
a stage with an accordion, that's not a good sign. Now when the accordionplayer is joined by a violinist, a guy on clarinet and another on cello, I get curious. This was something that could be interesting, and indeed it was. Musically this went across a few boarders. Jazz, classical, rock, dub - the list goes on. This was very refreshing. There was a great energy to the music, a power that many bands unfortunately lack. These guys loved what they were doing, and they did it well. This was indeed one of the highlights of the festival. Albums have been purchased, and more need to be bought! A few interesting bands played this day, as most any given day at the festival, but most of them unfortunately proved to be extremely boring. First up after DAAU was Velvet Revolver, and this was not at all fun to watch. A bunch of old men on stage, trying to be energetic, but failing miserably. Just sad, really. The performance felt halfhearted, to me at least, and the material was monotonous and frankly uninteresting. They played some Stone Temple Pilots tracks, as well as some other well known tracks from other members former bands. Nothing much to peak my interest. Vinthras on the other hand thought this was a really good concert, and that they lived up to his expectations, which of course just proves that all people can't have good taste in music all the time, and of course there's nothing wrong with my tastes. As luck would have it this concert collided somewhat with the next band I wanted to see, so after a short while, that felt a lot longer, I assure you, I left for the Arena stage and the Sonic Youth concert, and the second disappointment of the evening. As with Velvet Revolver, this got old very fast. You can only watch a guy making weird noises with his guitar for so long, before it gets a bit tiresome and old. They were still better than the concert I left, in my ears at least, but they lacked a certain edge in their performance that I would have wanted. Also there was that same feeling of older people trying to act young and revolutionary. People around me seemed to enjoy this a bit more than I did, and I left after a handful of songs for a bite to eat, and then head back to camp. On the way back I stopped by the Le Tigre concert, and this I must say was the silliest thing on this years festival. Two girls and a boy in silly getups, with three beat machines and sythezisers in front of them. Their performance seemed to focus around them jumping around on the stage, while they were singing their very feminist lyrics. I didn't get it at all. Hip and politically incorrect electronic Art Pop, anyone? Didn't think so. The only reason I stayed for almost an entire song was the fact that I ran into an old aquantance, and stayed and talked for a bit. I give them an F. They failed miserably to entertain me. I would have had more enjoyment out of watching a rock on stage for 40 minutes, than seeing their entire show. Some other up and coming bands performed this evening, as well as some more established ones, but I skipped these. Mastodon have gotten rave reviews, but they're really not my cup of tea, and Kent? No thanks. Time for more alcohol instead!
 Partying ensued. This was a fun evening. I managed to get Sand very drunk. Very drunk indeed. He had a sip of my Jack and Coke, which he quite enjoyed, so I continued to offer him some, and also making them a lot stronger for every new drínk I made. He is very funny when you can get him really drunk. But you have to be sneaky! He usually tries to stay on top of it all, drinking lots of water as well as alcohol. But I have photographic evidence of his drunken behavior!

The Friday looked promising. The only really annoying thing was that all the metal bands played early hours, for some reason. The Haunted at 13.30? What's up with that? No, after going into Roskilde to get some white and black paint, we prepared ourselves for the first band of the day, the Norwegian Vikings Enslaved. I've seen them once before, also in Denmark earlier in the year (I conducted a really good interview, but our dictaphone is dead, and the tape is somewhere in the basement, probably lost for ever..), and this was an equally good performance. Now, you can't really go and see such an oldschool Norwegian band without corpsepaint, can you? Of course not! So we painted our faces, put on our spikes, and went to see the show. These guys are really fun to see live. Grutle and his grimaces are well worth travelling many miles to see. You can see that they really enjoy themselves on stage. They play both old and new material, ranging from their split with
Emperor to their latest album, and all the material works very well live. The second highlight of this years festival. Most excellent. After they finished their set, it was time for Sunn 0))) to enter the stage (at 3 pm! What were they thinking when they planned the timetable?!). A very interesting thing to see, Sunn 0))). I had the chance to see them at the Inferno Festival earlier in the year, and later in Malmö, but I decided to wait and see them here instead. Something about droning bass and small venues, they don't mix very well. Better to wait and see them here, in the outdoors. It was a very intense thing to witness, but it would have been a lot more effective had it been dark outside when they played. Sunn 0))) live is somewhat of an experience. The alloted time for them here was an hour and a half, and I don't think they had one moment of silence  during this time, just non-stop drone for 90 minutes. After 20 or so minutes Attila, of Mayhem came out on the stage and started chanting in latin. I watched 50 minutes of their set, but then I had to leave, the droning bass made me very sleepy, and I was already tired because of the few hours of sleep I got during the night. After sitting down for a bit, I went to the next (disappointing) concert, Audioslave. This was another band that were supposed to be really good, another supergroup, but this was very uninteresting, and after only two songs I left. Sad, really. So far, all of the big names for the festival had been uninteresting and boring. Now, what are the odds of that, I ask? Instead I went for a bite to eat and to check out a band from Mali, of all places, namely Tinariwen. This '60ies inspired Desert Blues of theirs was interesting for a little while, but was a bit too slow for my liking in the long run, at least live. I have listened some to one of their albums after the festival, and I appreciated that a lot more than their concert, so it is somewhat of a mood thing too, I guess. I left the concert, and went back to the camp for a beer
 or three, before the next concert.

Black Sabbath entered the main stage at 22:00. This, on the other hand, was really good. Something about hearing the classics you grew up with performed live by the originators of all heavier Metal, that's just really appealing. Sure, Ozzy has seen better days, and his stage presence leaves a bit to be desired, but what the Hell. These guys are still rocking after all these years. Something I always find very fascinating is to watch Geezer Butler play his bass. Fat, heavy chords played with a real attitude and amazing technique. Geezers solo albums have all been heavier than the Sabbath originals, too, and that says quite a bit I'd say. His music isn't getting softer, it's getting heavier as he gets older! Most of what the crowd wanted to hear was played. They did "Electric Funeral", and that's an essential track for me, plus a bunch of their other classics, of course. Quite a crowdpleaser. The soundquality wasn't the best throughout the entire performance, but it was still a very good concert, and these guys have aged with dignity. Every year you forget or miss something you'd have liked to see. I still curse myself for not waiting two more hours before I went home on a Sunday a few years ago, when Lou Reed was playing, for instance. This year it was the Canadian band Death from Above 1979, that I missed. Consisting of only a drummer and a bassist, this sure would have been
 interesting to experience. I forgot all about them, and didn't remember until several hours later that I had missed their performance. Black Sabbath was the last band for me for the day, and now it was time to head back to camp and drink some more danish beer.

I think it was about the time when I got back to camp, that I had an encounter with what must have been a molusc or other simpler lifeform, maybe an over grown amoeba of some sort, as the level of questioning that emanated from this pile of useless meat was astoundingly stupid. Now, I understand that some people might find that wearing corpsepaint is something to ask about. However, if I'm wearing a shirt with a big pentagram on it, an inverted cross on my forehead and another one around my neck I do not really expect questions in the line of "Are you a Satanist?". I think that is rather clear, really. And when I am confronted with the brilliant argument that goes something like this: "I am an Atheist, but if god exists he would get mad at you for being a Satanist. I don't believe in god, but I wouldn't go around saying that god is a pussy, I mean what if he should exist? Then he would get mad at me. But I can say that Satan is a pussy, since god would like me for that, should he exist."

What a stunning argumentation! And here I thought Atheists did not believe in god. To think that to this day I can still get surprised at the stupidity of some people. Mindboggling! After a while, and some Jack Daniel's I go to wash off the paint, and then I head for bed.

Saturday proved to be one of the least busy days, when it came to bands. There were three bands that needed to be seen, and the first was at 16.00, one of the many bands featuring Mike Patton (he performed with four bands this year!), Fantômas. Patton's voice is something out of the ordinary, really. He uses it like an instrument, producing the most bizarre sounds, and indeed he pulled it off live as well. This was quite spectacular to see. A drumkit that totally surrounded the drummer (Dave Lombardo was touring with Slayer, so they had a stand-in), with the most peculiar of objects to hit for various sounds. Patton acted conductor to the drummer, who also had papers with notes that he turned every so often, to be able to follow the process. They played a very interesting set, mixed from most of their albums, including their Director's Cut album, which is a personal favourite, where they perform old, classic soundtrack pieces the Mike Patton way. Seeing Patton live, or Fantômas for that matter, is quite an experience. This was very good indeed! After this we headed back to camp for some more alcohol and await the next concert of interest at 19.00, Foo Fighters. Now, you get really tired of all the walking at the festival. The area is rather big indeed, and there really is no other way to get from point A to point B than to walk. So you walk. And walk. And walk. This leads to the fact that at times you just want to sit for a bit, no matter what's going on around you, or what band is playing, so I went to this concert a bit later than originally planned, which really was ok with me. I caught the last five songs of their set, and since these were some of their better songs, that was absolutely fine. Some bands play some of their songs slightly different live, just changing them around a bit and adding stuff, which makes it a bit more interesting both for the band and the listener, since some songs have been played so many times you can hardly stand them, which you've probably guessed by now, they did. They are clever, those musicians. Very enjoyable! Now the next band that I wanted to see wasn't playing until 23.30, so I had almost three hours off. Time off means eat and drinktime. Yay! After some recreational beeractivities it was time to head back for what would actually be the last concert on this years festival, for me. The Danish band The Raveonettes with their weird, and unique '60ies and Sonic Youth inspired energetic pop/rock n roll. Of course they played the stage that was farthest from the camp, so it took a little while to get there, but as always with this band, it was well worth the effort. Much of their material is quite powerful and aggressive in my ears, and the guitars.. Ah, the guitars! They sound like sharp knives, or something. A very aggressive sound indeed. As expected, they played material from all of their albums, with most of my personal favourites, like "Attack of the Ghost Riders", "Do You Believe Her", "My Tornado", and of course the new single "Love in a Trashcan". A very good performance, and ending with a cover of Velvet Underground's "Waiting for the Man", this was yet another highly memorable moment of this years festival.

Sunday is the worst day of them all. A sense of sadness fills you, when you see that people are leaving, and the camping area, that was so cramped just the night before looks deserted early in the day. You know this is the last day of Roskilde Fun for an entire year, which is a real downer. Usually you pack your gear rather early in the day. You start to feel tired, a week of partying and minimal sleep catches up to you at this point. As there were no bands playing this day that I felt I had to see, it was time for me to head home as well.
Many stay behind, of course, to help with the obligatory Roskilde Bonfires that are so typical for the last night. Tents and gear that has been left behind (and that's usually quite a lot) gets piled in stacks and then burnt. This is not something that the people behind the festival are fond of, mind you, it
has just become somewhat of a tradition, if you're still there for that final night.

All in all this was another very nice Roskilde festival, despite some annoying people that did what they could to ruin the pleasantries. I didn't mention all of them, there were indeed some more, but it all worked out in the end, without any bloodshed (amazing, that..). Also, I think there should be a law against bringing an acoustic guitar to the festival. I hate that campfire singalong crap, where people that don't really know any songs try to play them on an acoustic guitar that they don't know how to play, while people that can't sing try to sing lyrics they don't know. Maybe I'll just bring a big hammer next year.

I can't recommend this festival enough to you. It's amazing, really. There are between 75.000 and 100.000 people camping on a field for a week, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and quite a few also ingest lots of more controlled substances, and yet it is such a calm place. If you've thought of going, do yourself the favour and go next year. If you're from overseas somewhere, and you're visiting Europe in the summertime, be sure to plan the trip so you can go to this event. I can almost guarantee that you'll have a great time! And if you don't there's something seriously wrong with you, or you just had rotten luck, I don't know.

July 2005 by :Vragh:

Wewelsburg - 2007 - Ultima Intolerance

Out of Russia comes this NS industrial Death/Black Metal band. Musically I find influences from a lot of different genres and groups. Mysticum and The Kovenant are apparent in the first track, Morbid Angel with a big dose rock n' roll in the second, the third track starts off with a classical piano piece, then moves on to more The Kovenant sounding elements. Track four is straight forward Death Metal. Over all this reminds me of early Stiny Plamenu.

The vocals are also reminiscent of The Kovenant, metallic and distorted but with more reverb, but as
with the music, the vocals change throughout the album. On the track "Gott Mit Uns", rather influenced by white power music, for instance, the vocals are deeper and much more catchy.

The sound is set very high on this album which tends to result in a chaotic effect, which indeed is the case here as well. They use a drum machine, with the cymbals set a bit too high which is annoyingly in the foreground at times. There is also a keyboard present. The vocals and the  drum machine are in the foreground, closely followed by the guitar. When there is a solo without any singing the guitar steps up to the foreground. There is also a keyboard present, fighting with the other instruments to be in the front. Despite all this this is a fascinating album, somehow, most likely because you do not know what to expect next. It is also a tiring album to listen to, since the recording level is so high and there is a lot of stuff going on. This is not bad, but it is not very focused. I think it would have been better if there were different bands for the different musical ideas.

Standout tracks are "Ultima Intolerance" and "There Where the Winds Sing Their Songs".

Sunday August 23 2009, by :Vragh:

Weltbrand - 2006 - The Cloud of Retaliation

Out of the Netherlands comes this Black Metal horde, with their second fullength. Presented here are eight tracks of mostly fast Black Metal with the odd slower track thrown in for variation plus one industrial sounding interlude and an outro. The sound actually has somewhat of a  eath Metal feel to it.

The vocals sound like a mix between Nimroth, formerly of Cirith Gorgor, Maniac, and early Emperor, with some Aldrahn and Quorthon showing up every now and then.

Musically this reminds me mostly of the Zyklon-B sideproject from the '90ies as well as earlier Frozen Shadows. Not at all a bad combination.

The soundquality is slightly murky and, as with the music presented here, also quite similar to Zyklon-B and Frozen Shadows, and as mentioned earlier with rather a Death Metal approach to it. The vocals are at the front with the guitars and the snare drum quite high in the mix as well. The rest of the drums and the bass unfortunately disappear to a certain extent in the murky production. This is quite good. Released as a limited A5 digi, as well as regular CD.

Standout tracks are "Channeling Black Energy", "Descending of the Black Ash Rain", "...And the Winds Brought Death".

Tuesday October 14 2008, by :Vragh: