We seem to be stuck on triads. On each of the last two days, we featured the music of three bands. This being the third day, it appealed to our rudimentary desire for symmetry to feature three more. A triad of triads. Today, we’ve got a fairly new video of Fleshgod Apocalypse (Italy), a song from the recent U.S. label debut of Eastern Front (UK), and a not-new video of a not-new song from a not-new band — but one we finally decided to check out — Taake (Norway). Let’s get right to it:
Don’t know how I missed this. On February 21, a video appeared on YouTube of Fleshgod Apocalypse performing live at The Bonecrusher Fest 2011 in Utrecht, Holland, the night before. If there were such a thing as an official NCS “mascot”, this band would be it. We’ve probably dropped their names in posts and comments more than any other band.
We fantasize about offering them vast sums of money to come live in Seattle and be our official house band, y’know, after one of those stupendous offers of cash from Nigeria or Ghana or Mali or Hong Kong materializes — which we know will happen if we’re patient and continue to lead a clean, godly life and do good works for those less fortunate than ourselves. Can I get a big “Amen!”?
No, no, no, I did not ask for a big “Hail Satan!” Let’s try that again: Can I get a big “Amen!”?
Well, I can tell that ain’t gonna fuckin work with this crowd, so let’s just go back to FA. (after the jump . . .)
This video consists of the first two songs of their performance at Bonecrusher (except for the last few seconds of the second song — the filmographer had to hide his camera because filming wasn’t permitted in the venue). The video quality is quite good, and for fan-filmed footage, the sound quality is above average (though still not wonderful). And it’s fucking Fleshgod Apocalypse, in all their acrobatic, tuxedo-ed, black-faced, balls-to-the-wall glory. Watch it . . .
Sometime late last year, I caught some buzz about this UK band and meant to investigate, but the thought managed to drift out of my head before I acted on it, as most of my thoughts do. They were signed to Candlelight Records last May. In September, Candlelight released their debut album, produced by Andy LaRocque, in Europe and the UK. It’s called Blood On Snow, and it was the source of the buzz. And then Candlelight released the album in the U.S. in late January. I snagged it and finally made my way around to listening.
I’ve barely been through the album once, and I mean to write a full review of it. But I form those intentions about lots of albums and somehow don’t follow through. So, soberly recognizing my attention deficits and general half-assed-ness, I thought, to be safe, I should say something now before my enthusiastic thoughts about Blood On Snow . . . drift away.
The album as a whole is frighteningly good — an acidic drenching of black metal, but with the heavy lumber of death metal swinging at your head when you’re not expecting it. Nordic shrieks and brutal gutturals, rancid tremolo slicing and chugging chords, the speed of a howling wind and the lurching menace of a tank.
But that’s not all. There are songs on the album, mainly in the second half, that are melodic and atmospheric. Add to that a lyrical focus on the battles on the eastern front during World War II, and what you have is a work that isn’t easy to label or sum up — which is part of what makes this such a very strong debut. Here’s one of those more melodic tracks from Blood On Snow, which I love:
“Taake” is Norwegian for “fog”, and it’s the name of a true Norwegian black-metal band that have been making music for more than 15 years. Their last album, Taake, was released in 2008.
It appears that in terms of musical creation, the band is essentially the one-man project of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Hoest. He also has a habit of providing guest vocals for other bands. For example, his snarling rasp appears on a song (“Ulvetid”) by 2010’s Norwegian sensation Kvelertak. When Taake plays live, Hoest fills out the band with session artists.
Despite the fact that Taake have been around a long time and undoubtedly are well-known to all acolytes of black metal, I’m still learning and exploring the genre, so until yesterday I wasn’t familiar with Taake’s music, though I knew the name. Yesterday, I decided to dip my toes in the icy water and I watched this official performance video for a song from the last album called “Umenneske” (“inhuman”). I do like it — a scalding piece of black ‘n roll with a crawling, doom-like finish. These dudes look like they’d be lots of evil fun to watch live.
Taake will be playing in Brazil in March and then a series of dates in Europe beginning in April. The current tour schedule and other info about Taake can be found on their official site (here).