Lost on Planet Metal (and my Swedish summer)
OK, so it’s been a while since any of us have written anything. Reports are sketchy, but suffice it to say that our myriad adventures around the Planet ov Metal have left us little pause for thought, reflection, and report backs of late. In the other-worldly language of black metal, time and space have truly been devoured as one, as our tortured souls toil in the constant struggle to wrest ourselves from the nauseating whirlwinds of anti-cosmic chaos. In the more realist lingo of thrash, we’ve all just been really fucking busy with a whole lot of shit.
Tell you what, though, it does actually feel like I’ve entered some kind of wormhole through space and time and ended up in Sweden for the summer, because we’ve had a few months of shows from some of the best Swedish bands ever. I’ve already posted about the At The Gates reunion tour, but since then we’ve had the likes of Unleashed and Watain grace our shores. Unleashed played a great show with Obituary in San Francisco last month, on my birthday actually! Their set was a bit too short to do them justice, but they still kicked some ass with tunes like Midvinterblot. It was worth it just to see Johnny Hedlund shout “I only fuck the dead.” Amazing. Turns out I share my birthday with their drummer too! And fittingly enough, we share our birthdays with the day the Battle of Stamford Bridge took place in 1066, marking the end of the Viking age in England…
OK, on to other topics before I reveal yet more of the inner nerd.
Norwegian black metal is, of course, legendary, but Swedish black metal doesn’t seem to get many props, eclipsed as it is by the x number of crappy Gothenburg-sound metalcore bands out there. But just last week we had one of the best Swedish black metal bands, Watain, play in what ended up being a warehouse show in Oakland… the show was epic in the true sense of the word- we had to wait like what seemed like a starless aeon before Watain hit the stage, which turned out to be just after 1am (I won’t go into the crazy organization of the show, or ponder why the hell a band like Book of Black Earth was on this
US tour with them). For the 200-odd people who stuck around for their set and the encore, it was not just worth the wait, but would have been worth another 10 hours of waiting just to see them destroy Oakland with enough dark energy invoke Leviathan itself. No goblets of blood and gore poured on the audience like the pre-tour marketing was suggesting (luckily, I’d say)… though a sickly-sweet garbage like smell (Monica described it as smelling like period blood) did kind of permeate the venue, gaining in pungency as the band came on to the upside down cross, candle, skull, and spinal cord-decked stage. The set list was mainly from Sworn to the Dark, though they did play some older stuff as well. The Serpent’s Chalice was more intense live than I could ever imagine, and you could actually feel the firmaments crumble as they went into Stellarvore. Some weird vibes at the show, and it seemed the band was pretty pissed off with the audience by the end (even beyond their usual grimness), but damn their set made for an amazing night.
And hey, speaking of Swedish black metal, I’m off to LA for the weekend to see Nifelheim, among many, many others…
Rest assured, the horde has not abandoned its post! Expect more very very soon… PranjalistKrieg