Mar 012013

(In this post, guest contributor The Uncool Guy Down the Hall gives us a show review with photos.)

I thought while Islander is off working on his Evil Super-Science project this would be the perfect opportunity to break the NCS rules and present an all clean singing review. And while I know Islander did provide a review (here) of Ancient VVisdom and Royal Thunder along with Pallbearer when they supported Enslaved, the focus of that review was (understandably) more on Enslaved. I’d like to put the focus on Royal Thunder and Ancient VVisdom for this review, as well as perhaps introduce Backwoods Payback to the NCS readers who may not have heard of them.

First off let me talk about the venue a little bit. The Fed Live is located in downtown Harrisburg, PA, a city well known around the Commonwealth not only for being the location of the state capital, but also for having filed for bankruptcy. This, combined with the fact they were hosting three metal acts, did not give me high expectations of the place.

Turns out, the bar/restaurant portion of venue (The Federal Taphouse) is a rather upscale place featuring a tap room of over 100 craft/micro brew beers and a respectable food menu. Getting there pretty early and having time to kill, I indulged in both the food and beer offerings, feeling a bit out of place mixed in with the after work suit and tie clad business types and/or legislators, but the food and beer were both excellent. Continue reading »

Feb 132013

On February 11, 2013, the night before Enslaved received their seventh Norwegian Grammy nomination, I had the pleasure of seeing them perform in Seattle at a bar called The Highline, which is rapidly becoming my favorite place in town to hear live metal. Somehow, despite its very small size, it’s booking some really amazing tours. It’s a clean, cozy, comfortable place with cool people working there (Dylan Desmond from Bell Witch was behind the bar this night, and I’m pretty sure I saw his bandmate Arian Guerra helping out, too), and they make some good cocktails.

Enslaved weren’t the only draw for what turned out to be a jam-packed audience. Three bands who had breakout years in 2012 were also along for the ride: Arkansas’s Pallbearer was the direct support, preceded by Ancient VVisdom from my hometown of Austin and Atlanta’s Royal Thunder.

I was somewhat familiar with Ancient VVisdom’s music (having featured them in this post at the end of 2011), but I must be the only metal blogger in creation to have missed Pallbearer’s critically acclaimed 2012 album Sorrow and Extinction, and I think I’ve previously heard a grand total of one song by Royal Thunder. So yeah, I was pretty much there for Enslaved.

Nevertheless, I and my friends got to the Highline early enough to grab places to sit on a raised area that runs down the left side of the floor against the wall. We were so far forward that we were almost — but not quite — on the side of the stage, as you’ll see from the angle of the photos I took. And yes, I’m sorry to tell you that this review, as usual, will include a lot of my amateur concert pics. Continue reading »

Nov 132012

Here’s a collection of items that came my way over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth sharing — in addition to all of the awesome posts that already graced the site yesterday.  (I can use the words “awesome” and “graced” without tarnishing my well-known reputation for humility because I’m not directly responsible for any of ysterday’s posts, even though this post will also be awesome.)


I saw via Heavy Blog Is Heavy the rumor that Meshuggah will be touring the U.S. along with Animals As Leaders and Intronaut early next year. The rumor is based on a flyer for a date in Minneapolis that you can see above.Yes please.

That same photo up there also provides evidence of another tour that I read about previously. This one is official: Norway’s Enslaved will be returning to the U.S. and Canada in early 2013 for a headlining, 20-show “Winter Rite” tour joined by U.S. doom metallers Pallbearer and occult rockers Ancient VVisdom (and both of those bands are killers).

The tour begins January 30 in Philadelphia and ends February 22 in New York City. The full schedule can be seen after the jump. And in case you missed our earlier post yesterday, Osmose Productions has just uploaded three older Enslaved albums for streaming and download on Bandcamp for the first time. Continue reading »

Dec 082011

Yessirree, it’s that special time of year when our tender ears are bombarded not only by multi-media ads exhorting us to spend our money like there’s no tomorrow, but also by manifold forms of musical Christmas cheer, whether in the form of carols or other “standards” we’ve heard a jillion times before, or special seasonal items being released for the first time.

Take this new video by Ancient VVisdom, for example. Specially timed to help celebrate the Yuletide season with tidings of great joy and the harking of heralds, these Austin-based musical angels have chosen to bless us all, every one, with a very catchy tune from their well-received 2011 debut, A Godlike Inferno. It’s called “The Opposition”, and it’s guaranteed to be a hit wherever fine Christmas music is heard on a non-stop basis, such as shopping malls and elevators.

So go ahead, get in the Christmas spirit: fill up a glass with eggnog, light some votive candles, and sing along with Ancient VVisdom to these stirring lyrics:

“Hail to thee, Lord Lucifer/I sing praises to thee/and I suffer no longer” Continue reading »