Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Order Of The Light - Ancestral Knowledge

Order Of The Light have created an interesting sound scape on their "Ancestral Knowledge" tape. Somewhere between spacey and earthy, the six tracks on this cassette simply exude imagery of deserted cavern walls meeting the starry sky at sunset. You can get a similar sense of this atmosphere by listening to Earth's "Hex: Or Printing The Infernal Method" though Order Of The Light attack the imagery from a lo-fi, more distant direction than Earth. Really, the only thing this release is missing are a few well-placed wolf howls. What Order Of The Light have done so well is create six tracks that are similar and maintain an original style yet also offer something that the previous tracks may not have been able to offer. They are parts of the whole and able to hold ground on their own however there really aren't songs on this album that would stand out. They do work better when listened as an album and falling asleep to them is quite an awesome experience.

There are few things to compare "Ancestral Knowledge" with. Clock's "On The Threshold" is one worthy mention. Something (slightly) less obscure worth noting would be Bosque's less black metal moments. A clean guitar is the culprit for the majority of the release performed by the mysterious "N". If the tone of the album was cake and the icing was the reverb, the cake would be tiny and the frosting would be all over the place. Every note lasts forever and drips into the background like echoes dying off in the dark emptiness of a cave. The strings have a metallic ring to them and a distinctive clang, even when paired with the myriad number of reverb and echo effects which are used throughout the album. Percussion is provided in a slow, steady manner with the drums distant in the background by "S," another enigmatic character. The drums actually sound very close to the distinctive timbre of those kits that kids play in grade-school to accompany a piano for a Christmas Show however in this setting, with this accompaniment, they are anything but childish. What I find very interesting about the drums, is you can hear the room ambience and create a visual image of the room in which the drums are recorded. A rare experience in music. A constant windiness graces the release, subtle but real. Mere haunting movements in the foreground almost too close to see. Interesting release from Order Of The Light and a great gateway listen for those looking to get into ambient music.

____________RELEASE INFO________________

Year: 2008
Origin: Portugal
Label: Perpetuam Productions
Serial: PER004
N - Strings
S - Drums

Track List:
1. I
2. II
3. III
4. IV
5. V
6. VI

Perpetuam Productions

_____________EXTRA INFO_____________


Perpetuam Records: PER004 Cassette Limited to 200 Copies

Monday, May 25, 2009

Logo Preview

So, had a logo made because my crappy self-made one is long past its prime (as if it ever was in a prime state). Now, I won't be changing it until I get the artist paid however, I feel that a preview is worthy. Of course, it is hand drawn, in old school fashion - as it should be - and is 100% metal. Here is a preview, for your eyes:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Doom Reich - Doom Reich # 2

So, after the hatred that was Doom Reich Issue one, I knew that Doom Reich Issue two would be the next step up in the magazine's nuclear arsenal. If numero uno (number one for Americans. I apologize for giving in to the "let’s put everything in Spanish, also" craze) was the first nuke, then number two is the hydrogen bomb. The hate is more prevalent, the opinions more forceful and the feeling one gets from reading something dangerous more pronounced. Oh, and that sick, disgusting humor is still there permeating every page like political correctness run rampant. And while this issue has, as Greven Melkor insisted, more material than number one, I still want just a little bit more because 20 minutes worth of time absorbing malice sometimes just isn't enough. Greven once again offers an introductory statement, this one entitled "No Life Worth Living." Once again, a philosophical display of resentment towards everything, but also reflective and legitimate, "No Life Worth Living" condemns the pretentious modern outlook on nihilism and demands a return to when nihilism simply was a hatred against every institution and beacon of order in the world.
Once again, Greven, Kvisling – who now has more aliases than the concept known as God — and Parallel, have awarded readers with material deserving of praise and, possibly, its own marble statue. Greven and Kvisling's material makes up 90 percent of the zine, while Parallel submits just one article. Though he only has a single showing in the magazine, Parallel's piece is going to be the most interesting to those looking for music "journalism." Part one of a three part series, "The Top Ten By Far Most Hateful Records Ever" covers what Parallel believes are the most disgusting, angry and malevolent records the world has ever seen. Three choices down and seven left to go (Parallel's math is wrong as he estimates that there are six more in his list), this should be a worthwhile romp through both known and unknown records. Parallel offers strong evidence as to the reasoning behind his choices as well, with little fluff and a lot of passion.
Other standout articles in the Doom Reich pamphlet include an interview — Doom Reich's first, with Eviigne, leader of the Argentinian enclave known as the Southern Elite Circle. An in depth, intellectual conversation concerned with the ideology behind the man before his music, Eviigne's mentality, outlook and goals sit well with the themes that wind their way through the magazine. In short, the interview has become less of a standalone interview and instead it takes the place of another Greven rant. Anyone looking to invest time in discovering interesting and rebellious philosophy would do well to take the suggestions of Eviigne. An excellent inclusion. Greven's last article in the magazine covers the important of Tabasco sauce in the diet of... well... anyone. Interestingly enough, Greven either has written this article in the style of Kvisling purposely, or has gone on to be influenced by Kvisling's writing style while writing about his fondness and need for the world's greatest condiment. Read it. You'll know what I mean.
On to Satan's Apostle: David Kvisling Hitler Faubus Stenger / Imperial Wizard Kvisling / Hasamir Fenring. Kvisling's first few words in the magazine are, "Fuck, so anyways I fucking crashed through the front of deLesseps and Son." The sentence goes on to describe the careening bus and the smashing of grandpa skulls. Yes, you know I'm talking about another installment of "My Life as a Superhero." Just as funny and moronic as the first episode, I get the feeling that by the time this is over everyone will be dead and/or raped, and there will be a movie deal in the works. Best line: "I flexed my massive forearm muscles so hard that his body fucking exploded apart under the strain." Genius. Kvisling's other notable articles contain information about his group, the Anti-Folk Metal Front, and an awareness for the degrading standards of the Metal Archives Web site. While I agree with everything he has to say, I feel that these articles might be over the heads of readers who are not aware of the Metal Archives Web site. Understandably, most of the readers of this magazine will be a member of the site, or have used the Web site before, but to confine one's thematic scope to cover such a minute piece of Internet space might be detrimental.
Overall, the magazine is still living up to expectations. I miss some of the inside the magazine artwork, as there is none in this issue; just the front cover and back cover imagery which are — as they were in the first mag — awesome. The writing is still excellent, well written and edited neatly. The construction and print job still good for a photo-copied zine. I still got my personalized note like I did with the first magazine. I don't have the feeling the magazine is slipping in quality, and I don't have the feeling that there will be any compromises in the future. I still support Greven Melkor and his minions and the ideas they are spreading to the masses. This is still one of the more unique fanzines around, and one I hope continues to preach for a bit longer.

________________RELEASE INFO_________________

Year: 2009
Origin: USA
Label: Self Released
Serial: None
Greven Melkor
David Kvisling

1. No Life Worth Living
2. My Life As A Superhero Part II
3. A Call To Arms - Voice Of The AFMF
4. Post... Metal?
5. Nietschean Will: Interview With Aviigne Souther Elite Circle
6. The Top Ten By Far Most Hateful Records Ever
7. The Metal Archives' Standards Are Slipping And Its No Joke
8. Tabasco: The Swiss Army Knife Of Condiments
____________EXTRA INFO________________
Doom Reich - Doom Reich #1

Limbonic Art - The Ultimate Death Worship

Before this album, I have never heard something so absolutely unnecessary in my history of listening to music. "The Ultimate Death Worship" is the black metal equivalent of a Backstreet Boys "Greatest Hits Compilation." It's not that Limbonic Art aren't good musicians or good songwriters (which they aren't) but their style of melodic black metal is extremely stale and Limbonic Art does nothing to make it exciting. In fact, they make symphonic black metal less exciting. The whole style in which they compose has been overcooked to a degree in which it is no longer edible. What is even worse for Limbonic Art is that "The Ultimate Death Worship" was never edible to begin with. They are trying to cook rancid maggot infested meat and make it taste like fillet mignon. Combine irritating keyboards, inferior songwriting and samples worse than shitting yourself at the beginning of an airplane ride and the effect of Limbonic Art's album is near enough to poke with a short, poison tipped stick. The album is flawed irreversibly. It is not a matter of fixing a guitar part here, or adding some slight reverb to the drums or increasing volume of the bass guitar.

Addressing the keyboards on this album is both a wonderful chance to explain why I hate keyboards so much and also a great opportunity to utilize this hate to obliterate their usage on this album. Keyboards are a useful tool for creating quick and easy pseudo-atmosphere on a record. Keyboards come loaded with tons of effects and instrument modelers which make hiring real musicians a wasteful expense. Keyboards when used properly can recreate the sound of marching legions coming from hell, but still sound like evil carnival music. When used improperly they ALWAYS sound like evil carnival music and nothing less. Keyboards are also the most unmetal of all instruments. They remove any sense of bestiality and primitivism from black metal and make all forms of traditional and power metal sound like arena rock. Keyboardists, when playing on stage, always look like they are in an eternal squatting position, as if they are constantly being kicked in the balls every time they press a key and emit a girlish screeching wailing note instead of a manly painful grunt. Admittedly, Keyboards are not always terrible and will on occasion work as long as they exist inoffensively and are recorded with top of the line equipment. This usually works best on albums in which keyboards don't actually exist.

Limbonic Art has successfully created the worst showing of keyboards in black metal I have ever heard. The first track, the album's self titled song, is at best mediocre until the atrocious toy-ish keyboards start assembling. With keyboard accents accenting every note, there really is no such thing as accents. When the keyboards on your album sound like the battle effects from Legend of Zelda Windwaker and the flute leads (midi flute leads) sound like an SNES recreation of Aqualung there should be at least one person in the band thinking "This doesn't sound right..." Somewhere between the end of the first track and beginning of the second track is some weird spoken word segment focused around the death of a death row inmate. This between-track-purgatory consists of someone speaking through a walky-talky and stealing the background music for the next forgettable survival horror video game. All I know is that the title track is just the first dingleberry on the yak's ass.

While I could neatly rip apart any track on "The Ultimate Death Worship" with nothing more than a spoon and a damp washcloth, I feel compelled to point out the worst track. "Towards The Oblivion Of Dreams" is a bombastic amateurish romp through every stereotypical symphonic black metal convention that exists without doing anything to break the mold and lead the molten metal in a new direction. Considering the poor job Limbonic Art does at making symphonic black metal, however, I would be even more frightened to hear them attempt something new and unique. The childlike chanting and warnings in the track's introduction sound more like the fat kid on the playground. Some slight metallic jingling makes it sound like he's got change in his pocket as well. Ignoring the next two and a half minutes of banal riffs with more of that terrible keyboard instrumentation, the track kicks off into a sloppy black metal tremolo riff. After another three full minutes of crapboards and mind-numbing unoriginality, "Dreams" decides to try something interesting with a slow, doomy riff. If you guessed that keyboards ruined the sole chance the song had of creating atmosphere during this critical juncture, you win every copy of this album ever printed to use just for stress relief. This song is ten minutes long... there is no reason for such a pretentious song length. I would rather be waterboarded than listen to this flatulence.

What makes this album so spectacularly terrible besides the terrible songwriting, irritating keyboards and spunk-covered gay-porn samples is the album's tone. Fagboards have been discussed already but Daemon and Morfeus (Morfeus? Seriously?) have more at their disposal than stolen Fisher Price keyboards and kidnapped playground bullies. Daemon handles the vocals and lyrics and while I could go on endlessly about how he sounds like a constipated Gollum with a sore throat, it is easier to describe his vocals using his own lyrics. Taken from "Purgatorial Agony," a song that sounds like Butthead splooging inside an angry dwarf , Daemon's vocal talents "hide within places unknown." Other phrases from this song which apply: "There was nothing else to do", "Reservoirs of shame", and the classic Freshmaker hating battlecry of "Mentos Undivine." While Daemon is getting upset over breath-fresheners, Morfeus is trying his best to be genuine by burying every riff underneath a sagging elderly triple D sized breast full of muffled distorted bass and a buzzy guitar tone that sounds less like heavy and more like cheap amplifier. Do I need to describe what programmed drums sound like also? Thankfully they are neatly buried under everything else.

____________RELEASE INFO________________
Year: 2002
Origin: NORWAY (Sandefjord)
Label: Black Metal Attack Records
Serial: BMA 002


Daemon: Guitars, Vocals, Lyrics, PSYCHO PIANO (LOL)
Morfeus: Guitars, Electronics
Guest Vocals: Attila Csihar (Why stoop so low Attila?)

Track Listing:
1. The Ultimate Death Worship
2. Suicide Commando
3. Purgatorial Agony
4. Towards The Oblivion Of Dreams
5. Last Rite For The Silent Darkstar
6. Interstellar Overdrive
7. From The Shades Of Hatred
8. Funeral Death

Limbonic Art Myspace
Black Metal Attack Records

_____________EXTRA INFO_________________


Black Metal Attack Records: BMA 002 (2002)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dark Fortress - Eidolon

Against my better judgment, I picked up a copy of Dark Fortress' Eidolon. It seems that the advertisements for this release permeated every magazine I read, appeared on trade lists across the internet and was basically thrown in my face at every record store I walked in. I knew Century Media had the capability to back their artists but their pushing of "Eidolon' has been borderline fear-mongering. So I caved in, collapsed against the pressure of Century Media's grasp and traded for a copy. Oddly enough, the release was not a total waste but it was far from deserving all the backing which Dark Fortress has gotten. It would be easy to pair them with Emperor, Satyricon and the newer wave of black metal such as Keep of Kalessin. All the bands utilize a similar style of chaotic black metal which Dark Fortress has picked up and copied to a great degree. While there are songs on this CD, such as "Analepsy," which show a band that might have something to offer in the future if they can escape the silhouette of previous bands, this release falls neatly into the category of "another black metal album."

Speaking solely in terms of production, the disc is like a trip to Perkins - you think it is everything you want but then you find that you feel empty afterwards. The guitars are clear, yet raw with some slight hiss. Everything is distinguishable and yet nothing stands out. The beginning of "Baphomet" offers a good opportunity to listen to the guitar tone alone. Luckily, only the first track has prevalent keyboards. Elsewhere on the disc, they remain in the distant background providing just slight atmosphere. They break through at times much to my dismay. I find myself the least irritable when I can barely hear them. Seraph's drums sound as good as any modern drums sound. Thankfully there is not much "kick click" and the snare sound is acceptable, yet I felt it to be buried for some reason - possibly because the drumming itself sounds hollow and uninspired. Draug's bass is audible as well though once again, fails to capitalize on the space given for it. Ultimately, the production is strong but retains a dullness much like a used razor blade. Morean's vocal approach is far from unique. A raspy, heard-it-before-on-every-black-metal-album, where-is-the-originality vocal style born from tradition; not all that astonishing considering Dark Fortress' Velcro-like attachment to the generic black metal style they swim in.

Most of the songs on "Eidolon" are unremarkable, standard black metal fast food. Opener "The Silver Gate" is devoid of anything that closely resembles interesting songwriting while "Cohorror" passes me by without drawing my attention away from what I am doing at all. The first song that really gets my attention is "Baphomet." Though the first three and a half minutes fly past without much impact, the song really breaks out into more impressive territories at the four minute mark. From this moment until the end of the song, there is a vastness and depth to the layers of guitars. Screaming guitar notes echo from the abyss. The whole last two minutes have a Gateways to Annihilation vibe while the rest of the song navigates between boring and a "Bewitched" styled plodding. Tom Fischer does guest vocals on "Baphomet" and that may have given the track a kick in the ass. "The Unflesh" once again drifts into this style a minute into the song. Distinctive Egyptian flavors reach out for one's tongue though are doused before obtaining a permanent position on the palette.

"Analepsy" is an incredibly subtle and yet wholly screaming track. It is the one track which has a massively infectious introduction that captures the ear and the attention of anyone with an interest in a more blasting black metal style. I would compare it to combining those black metal atmospheres which we all know and love with the intensity of the introduction of Decapitated's "Spheres of Madness." Aside for smashing skulls, the subtlety of the track is conveyed through fragile, windy melodies and a twisting structure like a bizarre glass art form ready to crumble should one construct fall out of place - a subtlety communicated again in the lyrics to the song. "Analepsy" is the kind of song I appreciate from this style of black metal, complex in its design yet not confounding. Considering the Czervikian quality of following track "Edge of Night," I nearly weep each time "Analepsy" ends. "Analepsy" shows much of the imagination and inventiveness that the rest of the album lacks.

"Analepsy" marks the high point of the album, the climatic moment where all other songs that follow are less intense, gratifying and interesting. "No Longer Human" is plagues by an overabundance of keyboards similar to "The Silver Gate." The scathing cymbal play halfway through the song is remarkable however sounds oddly enough like a hyperspeed alarm clock of sorts. The kind of clock that wakes you up three days before the designated time. "Catacrusis" lacks personality and sounds incredibly generic. Not something all that surprising however compared to most of the material on Eidolon. Closing track "Antiversum" is close to being a standout track for me though there is a dullness lingering, as if the passionate side of the track decided to elope. The song is well constructed, interesting and complex to a degree, particularly what could be considered the chorus. Ultimately, it is the perfect closing track for the album but it just lingers in a barren space trying to make it out. Much like "The Unflesh" there is a gap when the song seems like it will explode into something more than itself and just like "The Unflesh" it reverts back to something predictable.

________RELEASE INFO__________

Year: 2008
Origin: GERMANY (Landshut, Bavaria)
Label: Century Media Records
Serial: 8358 - 2

Seraph - Drums
Draug - Bass
Asvargr - Guitar
V. Santura - Guitar
Morean - Vocals
Paymon - Keyboards
Guest Vocals on "Baphomet": Tom Fischer

1. The Silver Gate
2. Cohorror
3. Baphomet
4. The Unflesh
5. Analepsy
6. Edge Of Night
7. No Longer Human
8. Catacrusis
9. Antiversum


Dark Fortress Official Website
Century Media Records
________EXTRA INFO___________


Century Media Records (2008) 8358 - 2

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Playlist - 05/14/09

So the show went decent aside for a few slips. I couldn't find the community calendar and I had literally two minutes to set up so a bit out of breath and flustered in the beginning. Audiovault was set on a manual mode which I was not sure how to use and I didn't figure out how to change the settings until about halfway through the show but I think it went smoothly. I want to thank everyone for listening and for anyone who called in requests. I had a request for Pantera after I went off which isn't listed also. I will say this, that Sepultura song is awful and should never be played ever. If I knew it was that bad I would not have played it and put on Arise or something from Schizophrenia instead. I apologize to all listening. It is a blatant reminder of the collapse and corruption which so many great thrash bands suffered. I will do my best to get a copy of the show uploaded within the next few days. I hope everyone enjoyed the music and heard some things they have never heard before. I feel this playlist was very conservative though hinted at the kind of show I will be doing once I get my own scheduled time.

Artist / Album / Song

01. Manowar - Battle Hymns - Metal Daze
02. Fates Warning - Awaken The Guardian - Guardian
03. Sapremia - With Winter Comes Despair - Open Grave
04. Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time - Wasted Years
05. Death - Spiritual Healing - Killing Spree
06. Grand Magus - Iron Will - Beyond Good And Evil
07. Amon Amarth - Once Sent From The Golden Hall - Once Sent From The Golden Hall*
08. Budgie - Live In San Antonio - Melt The Ice Away
09. Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak - Emerald
10. Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak - Angel From The Coast
11. Anthem - Anthem - Warning, Action!
12. Anthem - Anthem - Shed
13. Virgin Black - Elegant... And Dying - And The Kiss Of God's Mouth Part I
14. Virgin Black - Elegant... And Dying - And The Kiss Of God's Mouth Part II
15. Morgion - Solinari - Nightfall Infernal
16. Venom - Black Metal - Black Metal
17. Primordial - Spirit The Earth Aflame - Gods To The Godless
18. Immolith - Rehearsal 2008 Demo - Ghost Tower Of Inverness
19. Apolion - The Mute God Of Deaf Men - Obscurity Millenium
20. Midnight - Farewell To Hell - Black Rock And Roll
21. Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse - April Ethereal
22. Sepultura - Roots - Ratamahatta*
23. Iron Savior - Unification - Starborn
24. Manilla Road - Crystal Logic - The Riddle Master
25. Candlemass - Nightfall - Bewitched
26. Cathedral - Soul Sacrifice - Autumn Twilight
27. The Beast - Born To Metalize Split - The Shape
28. Deep Purple - Machine Head - Highway Star
29. Watchtower - Control And Resistance - The Fall Of Reason
30. Znowhite - Act Of God - To The Last Breath
31. Saxon - Crusader - Set Me Free

* Requested

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Filling In

I will be filling in for C. Moore Evil this Thursday from 9PM-12AM EST on WPRadio887. Normally I Co-Host but the Host will be at a concert so I will have full control. Without Divulging the exact playlist, some bands which will make appearances are Manowar, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Omen, Cathedral, Power and Deep Purple. I will also be playing heavier material from Sapremia, Ripping Corpse, Apolion, and Death. Check it out here:


Just click the Icon at the top.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Opeth / Enslaved - Starland Ballroom

So, I grabbed the girlfriend and wandered on down to check out Opeth and Enslaved at the Starland Ballroom. Admittedly, I was more interested in seeing Enslaved at this show than Opeth due to my fear of Opeth "Watershedding" their set-list, a fear proven with the inclusion of Heir Apparent, Lotus Eater and the ungodly Hessian Peel which must be the most boring song I've ever heard. Throw in Ghosts of Perdition after Heir Apparent and basically half the set-list was new material. For me and the girlfriend - as longtime a fan as myself - a very upsetting revelation. Enslaved, after major sound problems during the first two tracks, To the Coast and Fusion of Sense and Earth, got their sound fixed for the rest of their set though, to my ears, the engineers were trying to fix their sound throughout their stage time. They suffered from a muffled sound with the bass and drums mixed too high and the guitars too low. I was impressed though with their style which I thought was a good pairing with Opeth, especially tracks like The Watcher and Ground. I was not familiar with most of their material though after the show I did feel a desire to delve into their back catalog. Vocally I thought they were fantastic. It was hard to distinguish some of the vocal harmonies however the black metal vocals were vicious and sharp. I will definitely be going to catch Enslaved next time around and I expect that I will be familiar with their material by then also.

For Opeth, I was scared while still waiting in the parking lot. When I go to a metal concert and see groups of blond girls in flowing dresses trying to cut me in line, I immediately want to beat them with their own flip flops. I am not a judgmental person but I know their type - the girls who love Damnation and expect them to play nothing but Windowpane and To Rid The Disease for two hours. Secondly, I saw roughly thirty people in Dream Theater shirts or tour shirts from the last shows Opeth played with Dream Theater. "But how is this foreshadowing?" You ask. I absolutely love going to see bands and having my theories proven true. In fact, I enjoy going to shows these days just to observe the audiences as much as see the bands. In the case of seeing Opeth for the first time after releasing both Ghost Reveries and Watershed, my predictions as to the change in their marketing strategies and set-list tactics prove my fear that Opeth and Dream Theater are secretly trying to steal each other's audiences. Now, I expect to get massive hatemail/male from the Dreamfags and Gaypeth fangirls so let me explain. Anyone with an ear can delineate the change in style from Blackwater Park onwards from their earlier material, notably My Arms, Your Hearse and Morningrise. Gone are the subtle black metal melodies, and flowing melodic structures influenced from the Gothenburg scene and second wave black metal bands. Replacing this are progressive rhythmic structures and awkward transitions (the main problem I have with Ghost Reveries and Watershed) similar to the style Dream Theater use - you know them, the incredibly technical guitar fills and moronic keyboard transitions. Also, Dream Theaters use of *gasp* blast beats on their new album is a sign of Dream Theater attempting to sink their hand into the Opeth cookie jar.

Opeth's decision to tour with Dream Theater was a conscious move to gain that audience - an audience they knew would take to their more modern material. The porcupine tree connection is also a factor here. This audience is more interested in the musicianship and progressive metal aspects Opeth employed on Ghost Reveries and Watershed and to a lesser extent on Deliverance and Blackwater Park*. Of course, this is a generalization however the amount of reaction to the Watershed tracks at this show and the number of people wearing Dream Theater and progressive metal shirts does support this. Hell, I saw four people talking to each other all wearing the same Dream Theater tour shirt. Also, only Dreamfags would create a circle pit during the kiddie music section or in my girlfriend's words, "It sounds like a Circus"-section in Lotus Eater. The "push" forward when Opeth took stage was another warning that Opeth had reached superstar status. This "Push" is a phenomenon I just will never understand. It only happens at shows where there are incredible amounts of newly indoctrinated fans. Where the fuck do you people think you are going to get to? Seriously? Why must you push forward to be as close as possible to the inside of Mikael's rectum? You will hear the same thing anywhere in the venue with the exception of the bar in the back which tends to become subject to "treble-drop." This kind of reaction to a band taking the stage is, above all, a sign that a band has become a "ticket" band. Opeth have become a gateway band much like Metallica, Dream Theater and Iron Maiden. Some people will never pass through the door, most will drop out and a few will move through and come to the realization that no band is worth shoving your cock into someone else's dirty ass for. In the case of girls, these numbers become even more exaggerated. Ninety-eight percent will fall into the "trendy" category and two percent will actually like the music and move on to better things.

ANYWAY. Other than having, in my opinion a shitty set-list, Opeth were excellent musically speaking. Mikael was, as always, humorous with a keen attention to localities, talking in depth about Bon Jovi and Skid Row. I was hoping for a cover of "Youth Gone Wild" but this never came to fruition. The inclusion of Godhead's Lament was really awesome. Last time I saw them they played Face of Melinda so now, I just need to hear Moonlapse Vertigo and The Moor before saying they have played all my favorite tracks from Still Life. Leper Affinity was also particularly brutal. The extended version of Closure was also trippy, especially when mixed with some psychedelic lighting, though after Credence (a song I adore) and Hessian Peel, I was ready for something blistering. I have to give massive credit to Mendez. He has always been one of the driving factors of the band for me, his playing is fluid, legible and his tone is gargantuan. Live, he is even better than on record. He provides the gravy to the potatoes. As Mikael talked about some Swedish jazz everyone in the audience should hear (but won't take the time to explore) Martin tossed in the beginning of what I believe was Visa Fran Utanymra** which was even more impressive. Definitely on my list as best bassists in every sense of the word. Frederik also did a sweet guitar solo and gave the impression of being a great addition to the band. I still miss Lindgren though.

Overall, I would admit that Opeth were fantastic, with a severely weak set-list. Not a single of the heavier tracks off My Arms Your Hearse showed themselves. I would have killed the flowy hippie sluts to see April Ethereal and would have taken out the rest of the audience to see Advent. Hell, even Demon of the Fall, a staple in their set would have been fantastic after so many newer tracks. Ultimately though, you can only get what the band gives. For me, they gave a great show though a bit too much laid back material and not enough of the metal. On to Pagan Fest!



To the Coast
Fusion of Sense and Earth
As Fire Swept Clean the Earth
The Watcher


Heir Apparent
Ghosts of Perdition
Godheads Lament
The Leper Affinity
Hessian Peel
The Night and the Silent Water
Lotus Eater

*Blackwater Park was always a logical progression from Still Life in my opinion. The transitions on this album are still strong. The melodies are still in the style of their earlier releases and the ratio of death metal to their Camel influenced sections is still roughly fifty-fifty. Though I do feel that they lost the grandeur of Morningrise and My Arms by this point the album still touches on some of the regal feel of Still Life. Ultimately this was the last album that presented any of this vibe and in my opinion was the final true Opeth album.

**Visa Fran Utanymra is a track by Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson off "Jazz pa svenska" (Jazz In Swedish). He is the father of Anders Johansson and Jens Johannson. Anders has played drums with Malmsteen and Hammerfall. Jens Johansson has played keyboards in Stratovarius and with Yngwie also.