Nov 082016

Zhrine in Seattle

On November 2, the Shrines of Paralysis North American Tour launched in Los Angeles, headlined by New Zealand’s Ulcerate and also including the Icelandic band Zhrine, and Phobocosm from Montreal.

Zhrine was one of the biggest and brightest surprises at this year’s edition of Maryland Deathfest (as we discussed here and here, with photos), and now large numbers of other metal fans are getting the chance to discover what makes Zhrine so special. And so we count ourselves very fortunate to bring you the first in what we hope will be a series of tour reports from Zhrine’s manager Bogi Bjarnason (accompanied by his photos) — though as you’ll discover, it may be the last as well as the first.

You’ll also discover that this particular tour diary displays an articulateness and eloquence that’s rare in observations and musings about the highs and lows of metal tours. So read on, and enjoy.




What you notice first is the violence.

An Ulcerate soundcheck is like nothing short of an extinction event.

As Kelland’s bass rumbles like the San Andreas fault, his throat reaches down into the abyss of the ages and comes back up again with a voice as thunderous as it is infernal, as monotone as it is marvelous.

Meanwhile Hoggard picks away at the jagged edges of what is melody, weaving seemingly random squeals into Kelland’s palpable backdrop to form a tapestry of pain and immeasurable suffering.

Jamie Saint-Merat then ties the proceedings together with drum work so incomprehensible in its intricacy yet so effortless in its execution it defies both rhyme, reason and common sense.

The venue is Complex in Glendale, Los Angeles, and we’re off to the races.




The road unfolds like an endless serpent’s tail leading us into a dark oblivion.

We bounce to and fro like a pinball on the far beyond broken highways of an America caught in the liminal space between a barely functioning system and a post-truth fascist Armageddon.




We’ve conquered California and slipped in and out of a distant Portland in the dead of night, leaving nothing but visceral airwaves lingering in countless hipster ears like industrial strength aural graffiti that lesser notes will never wash away.





We’ve come through every bottle in the Emerald City unscatched, slain the dragon that is UPS ground freight, and danced through a Canuck corridor of discarded syringes to take us to the here and now; a 666-mile trek from BC to Weed, California.




Still we marvel at the American guessing game that is the total due, still we are no closer to deciphering the senselessness of your archaic weights and measures, and we’ve yet to grasp the significance of breaking a 108-year old curse in a sport itself cursed with a total lack of entertainment value.




I pen these musings in “Notes” on my iPhone, I process these pictures in the Instagram of same. The date is November 7th, 2016. These might very well be my last recorded words before the end of times.

Bogi Bjarnason, Manager, Zhrine





Nov 02 Los Angeles, CA Complex
Nov 03 San Francisco CA Elbo Room
Nov 04 Portland, OR Panic Room
Nov 05 Seattle, WA Highline
Nov 06 Vancouver, BC Astoria
Nov 08 Oakland, CA The Golden Bull
Nov 09 San Diego, CA Brick By Brick
Nov 10 Tempe, AZ Yucca Tap Room
Nov 11 El Paso, TX Mesa Music Hall
Nov 12 San Antonio, TX Limelight
Nov 13 Houston, TX Acadia Bar
Nov 14 Dallas, TX Reno’s Chop Shop
Nov 15 New Orleans, LA Siberia
Nov 16 Gainesville, FL Atlantic
Nov 17 Tampa, FL The Brass Mug
Nov 18 Atlanta, GA 529
Nov 19 Richmond, VA Strange Matter
Nov 20 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery
Nov 21 Trenton, NJ Championship Bar
Nov 22 Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle
Nov 23 Boston, MA Great Scott
Nov 24 Montreal, QC Piranha Bar
Nov 25 Toronto, ON Coalition
Nov 26 Detroit, MI Corktown Tavern
Nov 27 Chicago, IL Reggies
Nov 28 Pittsburgh, PA The Smiling Moose
Nov 29 NYC, NY Saint Vitus

For ticketing info visit


  1. Haha… Perhaps the most well-written tour diary ever to shape the liquid crystals in front of me into pixels exhibiting the most amusing wordsmithed formulations 🙂

  2. Seeing them in a week! So stoked… I missed them at MDF because I was getting busy…

  3. Can I just take the time to appreciate the fine, almost artisan level of ‘Fuck You’ to the parts of California that aren’t coastal that is this specific block of the tour booking?

    Nov 02 Los Angeles, CA Complex
    Nov 03 San Francisco CA Elbo Room
    Nov 04 Portland, OR Panic Room
    Nov 05 Seattle, WA Highline
    Nov 06 Vancouver, BC Astoria
    Nov 08 Oakland, CA The Golden Bull
    Nov 09 San Diego, CA Brick By Brick

    It’s so goddamned good. I can’t even be mad.

    • Yes indeed, whoever booked the tour clearly has impeccable taste in locales and routings. Far better to drive past towns such as yours and wave fondly than to actually stop. 😉

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