Sep 132012

On September 8, 2012, the current North American tour featuring Korpiklaani (Finland), Moonsorrow (Finland), Týr (Faroe Islands), and Metsatöll (Estonia) hit Seattle’s Studio Seven, with local support from Funeral Age and Blood and Thunder, and yours truly was there to bear witness. I again brought my camera, which both thinks for me and defeats my thinking because it speaks a language I don’t understand. I took pics, did the best I could to pretty them up on iPhoto, and have included the most tolerable ones in this post.

We got to the venue in broad daylight, at door-opening time because the guys from Blood and Thunder were starting off the night and we didn’t want to miss them. We headed for the venue’s balcony bar, hoping to grab a couple of the stools up against the balcony’s front railing so I could get an unobstructed view of the stage for pics and so I would have a place to park my lazy ass instead of standing for the next 5-6 hours.

No problem getting to the rail . . . but the stools were nowhere to be seen! I could already feel my ancient back beginning to stiffen up. But I put the anticipation of pain out of my head as soon as Blood and Thunder started to crank it up.

This was the first time I’d seen these dudes since a line-up change that brought on board a new bass player (not sure who he is) and new second guitarist and backing vocalist (Vance Bratcher). I had some question marks about what would happen, particularly because the band’s blackened form of melodic death metal gets intricate and relies in part on dual guitar solo’s and leads. But all was well. Continue reading »

Oct 152011

Last night NCS co-founder Alexis and I went out to Seattle’s Studio Seven and met up there with our friend Travis for a bit of vigorous headbanging. There were massive attractions on the bill, starting with one of our favorite combines of local dudes, Blood and Thunder (whose new album we’ll be reviewing shortly). In talking with them after their set, we learned they’re recording a new song and we got a look at a new piece of artwork that will likely appear on future merch — it’s a huge eye-catcher, and I hope to splash it all over NCS soon.

And then we got the chance to see another Seattle band who I’ve heard good things about — black metallists Funeral Age. Their set was killer and I’ve now got their latest album, which I’m looking forward to ingesting. More likely, it will ingest me.

After that was a surprise — Rings of Saturn from California’s Bay Area. I didn’t know these maniacs were part of this show (they weren’t listed on the Studio Seven web site), but man, I’m glad they were. They’ve now got a new 7-string bass player and a new man-mountain of a drummer, and they delivered a high-energy blast of technical death metal. The calculatingly dead-pan stage banter of their frontman Peter Pawlak was also funny as shit.

And then came the band Alexis and I really were there to see — Fleshgod Apocalypse, who were making their second Seattle appearance of the year, after their all-too-brief set on the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour stop. We moved up close to the stage for this one and just got completely mind-blown. We weren’t the only ones. The floor crowd was clearly eager for this set and exploded at the same time as the band’s first song exploded. So, in addition to getting mind-blown, we got treated to non-stop body slamming until the set ended. It was fucking spectacular. I didn’t think it was possible for me to become any more enthusiastic about FA than I already was, but yeah, it happened.

And then, we sort of lost the rest of the night’s music, missing out on Decrepit Birth and Decapitated, because we got engrossed in conversation at the tour bus with FA guitarist Cristiano Trionfera, later joined by Francesco Ferrini (keyboards), frontman Tommaso Riccardi, and drummer extraordinaire Francesco Paoli. More about that after the jump, plus another jaw-dropping Francesco Paoli drum-cam video that SickDrummer released yesterday from FA’s performance on October 11 in San Francisco. Continue reading »