Jan 032021


Here we are, in this uncertain in-between time, with one foot still in the old year (because it seems to keep moving forward, refusing to let go) and one foot in the new year (which isn’t exactly providing solid ground to stand on). And so it is in the micro-world of extreme metal, when we’re still catching up with late-year releases while looking ahead to what’s coming in 2021. What you’ll find in this blackened round-up is a mix of such things.


To begin, I’ve chosen two songs that appeared during the last two months of 2020, both of which are part of an album entitled Siste stopp skjærsilden that’s planned for release later this month. The band is Noen Hater Oss from Stavanger, Norway, which began as the solo project of Raum and now also includes vocalist Morloc. Their discography includes a demo and two full-lengths, but they are new to me. Continue reading »

Feb 262010

This is just a mish-mash of funny shit we saw over the last 24 hours. I had planned to be talking about some new music today, but the demands of my day job kinda screwed over those plans, so there’ll be a slight delay until tomorrow. So yeah, today’s post is more or less filler. Forgive us.


First up, this kinda bizarre piece of news about Oakland metal band Machine Head (pictured above):

MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn has revealed that his band has “fired” the city of San Diego, and will never play there again. He tells Rock Radio DJ David “The Captain” Grant, “A lot of crowds are awesome. But if we’re playing San Diego, we’re not going to go on the radio and say, ‘San Diego crows are awesome’ — because they’re not. They’re beat. That’s MACHINE HEAD slang for ‘We don’t like them.’ They don’t come to a show and rage and go crazy. They come to a show and say, ‘Okay… this is cool. Oh, I like this song.’ We’re not into that. I don’t know why they come to a rock show with that kind of attitude. So we don’t go to San Diego anymore. They’re fired.”

This is the first time we can remember a band deciding to fire a whole city. Sure, bands have been known to write off a particular venue where they had a shitty experience, or refusing to participate in a particular tour because of bad experiences with a particular promoter.  But giving the finger to an entire city’s worth of fans? Maybe this is a manifestation of that NoCal – SoCal rivalry that’s been around since California became a state. Or maybe there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

But we’re guessing that now, the feeling’s mutual. Maybe some enterprising photographer will figure out a way to arrange a shot of all metal fans in San Diego gathered in a stadium and flipping the bird at Machine Head. (more after the jump, including some embarrassment about Ozzy and some wet-your-pants funny shit about Tiger Woods . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 152010

We apologize in advance for the following post. It’s the latest bizarro episode in the long-running soap opera that Gorgoroth has become. We can’t think of why it would have any redeeming value for you. But the story is just so fucking ridiculous that we couldn’t resist.

The immediate controversy concerns the release by Swedish label Regain Records of a live performance by black-metal legends Gorgoroth and a resulting lawsuit brought against Regain by former Gorgoroth members Gaahl and King ov Hell. Over the last week, Gaahl and King, on the one hand, and Regain, on the other, have engaged in a MySpace exchange over the resolution of that legal case — and someone is either lying or deeply confused.

Just in case you might not find this as funny as we do, we’ll give you the Cliff Notes version of the exchange first — but to appreciate the full, whacked-out hilarity you would need to read the details supplied after the jump.  Cliff Notes version:

Gaahl/King opening salvo: Fuck you Regain Records!

Rejoinder by Regain: No, fuck you, you corpse-painted morons!

Reply by Gaahl/King: I beg to differ — fuck you, you pencil-necked bean-counters!

Now, the details . . . (after the jump) Continue reading »

Jan 162010

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this post, we focused on the recent exploits of ex-Gorgoroth vocalist Gaahl. Gaahl has publicly supported the burning of churches in his native Norway. Norwegian churches don’t much care for Gaahl’s rhetoric (shocking, isn’t it?). They are now pressuring Norway’s National Stage to drop Gaahl from the cast of a black metal musical scheduled to be performed there in May. They might succeed.

You may remember that this isn’t the first time or the first place where Gaahl has run into trouble for being offensive to institutional religion. In 2005, he and Gorgoroth narrowly escaped criminal prosecution in Poland for staging a concert that featured impaled sheep’s heads, satanic symbols, and a mock crucifixion by naked models doused in blood. Poland has laws that prohibit behavior offensive to people’s religious beliefs.

Gorgoroth are not the only corpse-painted dudes who’ve had run-ins with those Polish laws. Which brings us to Behemoth (more after the jump). Continue reading »

Jan 152010

Editor’s note: This isn’t the Part 2 of “Burning Ideas” that we originally planned to run today. But some breaking news directly relevant to what we wrote in Part 1 shoved the original Part 2 off the front page. So the original Part 2 has become Part 3, and we’ll run that tomorrow.

I’ve never been to Norway, but I know a few things about it that are different from the good old US of A. In Norway, for example, you can stage a black metal musical at Den Nationale Scene (translation: The National Stage), one of Norway’s oldest and most renowned theaters, as part of an annual international music and culture festival. And as we wrote yesterday in Part 1 of this post, you can apparently include in your cast a guy like Gaahl, ex-Gorgoroth vocalist and twice imprisoned advocate of church burning.

Oops! Not so fast. Check out this breaking news as reported by Blabbermouth yesterday:

The artistic director of Den Nationale Scene (DNS), the renowned Norwegian theater where Kristian “Gaahl” Espedal (GORGOROTH,GOD SEEDTRELLDOM) is set to make his musical debut this May, is reconsidering his decision to cast the former black metal vocalist for the upcoming “Svartediket” production.

Bjarte Hjelmeland is under pressure from both the clergy and the director of at Festspillene i Bergen (Bergen International Festival), the annual international music and cultural festival where the “first-ever black metal musical” is set to receive its premiere, because Gaahl has once again made it clear that he supports and condones the church burnings associated with the early Norwegian black metal scene. . . .

Hjelmeland says he will travel to Oslo to have “a long talk” with Gaahl about his statements to the media before making a decision on whether to allow the singer to stay involved with the musical. “It is important, both for me personally and on behalf of DNS, to completely distance ourselves from the attitudes Gaahl has expressed in the Bergens Tidende interview,” Hjelmeland says.

“My beliefs are diametrically opposed to his. I pretty much grew up in church and consider myself a Christian. . . . I was not familiar with Kristian‘s past when I hired him to do ‘Svartediket’. And I could not possibly have known that he would come out and publicly support these serious crimes.”

Tell you what: I’d pay decent money to be a fly on the wall when Mr. Hjelmeland has that long talk with Gaahl. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 142010

I had another late night. But today I’m gonna resist the urge to bail out on my journalistic responsibilities by posting more Elize Ryd-style cheesecake. Instead, we’re returning to our more usual serious-minded, thought-provoking metal journalism. We’re going to talk about burning churches, burning Bibles, and burning ideas.

And because we provided some eye-candy for the dudes yesterday, we’re gonna show how even-handed we are and start off today with some eye candy for the ladies. Feast your orbs on this delicacy:

Okay, so it’s licorice-flavored eye candy.

This handsome Norwegian is named Gaahl. That’s not the name his momma and daddy gave him. They liked the name Kristian, as in Kristian Eivind Espedal. But when Kristian started playing black metal circa 1993, he must have decided it would be better to have a name that sounded like throat-clearing. And voila! Gaahl!

As you black metalists out there well know, Gaahl is one of the more notorious figures in a fairly notorious genre. During his ten-year stretch with Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth, he was imprisoned for assault in Norway in 2002, and then imprisoned for a second nine-month stint in 2006 for allegedly assaulting and torturing a man for six hours while collecting his blood into a cup and threatening to make him drink it. (read more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »