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Messages - phantasm

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Metal / Re: Demilich/Averse Sefira Texas Shows
« on: June 06, 2006, 03:53:49 PM »
The Montrose, a dead cat, a venue about the size of a small tent, and a crowd that wasn't even able to begin to fill that.  The artists that performed on this evening, by their choice of genre, made a social transgression that resulted in sacrifices that no one in"proper" society would ever be willing to make, and have guaranteed that they will never become rich celebrities, and that their art will never do anything but cost them materially.  Yet, in the eyes of some bands on this night, there was a spark, a sign, that they were happy with their choice despite the sacrifices, that they'd rather play for a small devoted group the"right way" than whore themselves out for the jewish god ($).  This author doubts that it was a coincidence that these bands who looked like they'd rather be no where else in the whole world were the highlights of the night, and that the rest will simply be remembered as"those other bands".

This reviewer only caught parts of Spliteye's set, but what he did hear was far from impressive- their music was fairly tedious groove-laden death metal with no coherent structuring but rather disparate riffs strung end to end, conveying volume and groove, but little more.  However, the way the band conducted themselves was refreshing- despite the fact that there were only a few people in the venue watching them, the band quickly set up, played their set, and got their gear off for the next band, perhaps sacrificing a bit of their glory for the greater good of the show, which this author appreciated.

The author found socializing with fellow Hessians in the parking lot more gratifying than witnessing the following set from generic black metal band To Scale the Throne.  After this, he followed the mass of metalheads back into the venue for…

Henceforth referred to as Biowitz, they were the only true low point of the evening.  Technically competent, but lacking any sort of stage presence, Biowitz's music was"technical" death-grind mixed with random sections of indie rock in order to seem"progressive" and"open-minded".  The antics of the lead vocalist were irritating- he acted more like a rapper than a metal vocalist, and ran up and screamed in the faces of members of the crowd who were obviously not interested in seeing Biowitz.  This would have all been forgivable, and they wouldn't have earned their new name, had the members of the band not been insufferable shitheads- interrupting Averse Sefira's set, heckling Demilich between songs (the author thinks that this was an attempt to be funny, but it came across as shitheaded), hardcore dancing during Demilich's set, and walking out of the restaurant at the post-show party without paying their bill, leaving it for others to pay.  The sole fan who seemed to actually get into their set reflected their idiocy, having seizures all over the club and doing anything except for watching the band play.  These guys should not be supported, unless they're considering jumping into an oven.

Averse Sefira
On album, Averse Sefira is powerful, convincing, and terrifying.  Live, they're a force of nature, with intensity unimaginable to those who haven't witnessed it.  Blasting straight into their set with Plagabraha, which seemed to be played at twice the speed it is on the album, Averse Sefira dominated the stage with an amazing amount of energy.  Rather than running out into the crowd and acknowledging it directly, Averse Sefira stood at the front of the stage, proudly and confidently, reflecting the assertive nature of the beings in their lyrics.  The set here was dominated by material from Tetragrammatical Astygmata, which meant that what they played was a synthesis between Morbid Angel and Immortal, featuring not only the chaos and structuralism of the former as the album did, but also a certain physicality and exuberance, tempered with the reflection of the latter's second album.  This inclusion of multiple facets and sorting of them into their place is what creates truly epic music, and in this Averse Sefira were the bards of a metallic epic poem, glorifying the cycle of life, death, and rebirth in flames for a small but devoted audience who were packed together against the stage hanging on every note, every word, every beat, and won't soon forget the magic created at the venue on this night.

The most awaited band of the night, Demilich did not disappoint.  Coming across more"brutal" than on Nespithe, the band seemed to have a bit less of that rhythmic bounce that marked their famous album, which worked in their favor as with less of an obvious hook the chaos and unpredictability of their brand of death metal shines through more- no easy grooves to hide in, and forced to face the voice of the universe mocking the listener for their mortality, represented by the utterly absurd chromatic riffs that almost sound like a possessed non-improvisational jazz band, an effect which is furthered by the adroit drummer, and structures that twist and turn at every possible juncture, changing intensity and building expectation only to burst in a completely different direction.  One new song was featured in the set that night, which, in a manner reminiscent of Acerbus, integrated seemingly unrelated passages juxtaposed against each other, featuring an absurdist sense of humor without coming across as forced or"ironic" in the hipster sense of the word.  Their stage presentation was less intense than Averse Sefira's, but no less compelling- the movement of their guitarists was absolutely hypnotic, completely wrapping the audience into the music, lulling the crowd into a state where many were able to do nothing more than nod along appreciatively.  The absolute high point of the night was their rendition of"(Within) The Chamber of Whispering Eyes"- already the band's best song, played with tons of energy, and given massive support from the crowd.

The venue
The building itself is unassuming, to say the least.  The parking lot holds about ten cars, the paint is peeling, the stage is about the size of a postage stamp, and the bathroom's stalls reportedly have no doors.  However, the sound was excellent, the staff was friendly, and the audience was literally within arms reach of the artists.  Special thanks to the promoter, who drove thousands of miles on very little sleep to put the show together, and was a friendly guy.

Kudos, this is one of the most humourous show reviews I've read.  Having been there to witness and crack some of the jokes which are used perhaps adds to the humor for me.  

One minor correction though, the male bathroom had a door, just no toilet paper.  It might as well not have come with one though as the walls were paper thin and the Hessian parking lot conversations during the Spliteye show could be heard in full.  It was one of those bathrooms you'd rather not wash your hands in...because you are pretty sure it will make them more dirty if you try.  But I've seen worse and I must say there was spacious leg room...and best of all no AIDS (I think).  

Metal / Re: Demilich/Averse Sefira Texas Shows
« on: June 06, 2006, 03:23:19 PM »
Thanks.  That one was near the middle, right?
Yes.  They were playing Nespithe pretty much start to finish and to my memory it was pretty much in order.  

Metal / Re: Demilich/Averse Sefira Texas Shows
« on: June 06, 2006, 03:05:39 PM »

I'm damn near positive I forgot a Demilich song or two in that list, and that the Averse Sefira tracks aren't quite in the right order, but it's close.

Full fleshed review coming shortly, as soon as I finish the intro.

You are forgetting The Echo (Replacement)

Metal / Re: Demilich/Averse Sefira Texas Shows
« on: June 06, 2006, 01:18:22 PM »
At many points on my flight home I was close to laughing out loud remembering some of the jokes and trolls that were told. Particularly memorable was:

"Dope" and "LOL J.e.w.s did AGB!"

Hessians have a great sense of humour.

"Hello my name is Lyle, I have a son who plays in a band." (This is one only those who where there will understand)

Here's one for you cynical:

"Averse Sefira sprayed a bunch of goat semen on the crowd in Austin.  Some of it got in my eye."

Metal / Re: Demilich/Averse Sefira Texas Shows
« on: June 06, 2006, 01:00:20 PM »
Two words for both the Austin and Houston shows: fucking godly.  I agree wholeheartedly with the good ol' boys in Averse Sefira when they said, "if you know someone who didn't come to these shows, punch them in the fucking face."  If you happened to be one of the people who missed out, please punch yourself in the face.    

Austin had the bigger crowd but Houston had better sound and better intensity as has already been noted.  I didn't really watch much of the opening bands, as all I cared about was Averse and Demilich.  Both bands put on amazing shows that I don't think anyone who was there will forget.  It has already been put succulently by others who were at the two shows, but the Houston show had better vocals as they were higher in the mix (thankfully) and the guitars were much more clear and audible.  The general performances of the bands were tighter as well and they seemed to feed directly off the energy of the small, perspiring crowd.      

This will sound like the back of a CD booklet, but it needs to be said.  My thanks and appreciation goes out to the boys in Averse and Demilich for being upstanding, hospitable and awesome guys who also craft great music.  We all really appreciate the time you all took to make these shows happen.  Deep thanks also to vijay prozak for offering shelter, anal jokes, transportation and great conversation.  Much good is also to be said about Dani Hell and everyone who helped get Demilich to the states and promote the shows.  Your tireless effort is to be commended.  And finally it was great to meet and hang out with all the great chaps I met along the way: Keltic Myth, Cynical, gosp-hell, Kontinual and his awesome buddy Lyle who works at H&R Block, and anyone else I happen to be missing.  We will all have to do this again sometime.    

For anyone who hasn't yet seen Demilich, there are still a few shows left.  I can tell you that the travel time has been grueling on them and they are on a shoestring budget (crossing the country as they are doesn't leave much time for sleep)...but they are still playing phenomenal metal in top form, which is a testament to their character.  So if you are able to make any of the remaining shows, do it; I guarantee you won't regret it.    

Metal / Re: Demilich Tourdates
« on: April 18, 2006, 09:21:37 PM »
I think this show will be worth every ounce of effort committed to it. Those of us in Texas will do what we can to take care of our guests. So far, judging by the emails I've received, it's starting to look like a world metal convergence.

We might as well rent a hotel room and throw the "First Hessian Studies Conference." Maybe get some press attention.

If you're thinking about coming, but aren't sure, email me and I'll talk you into it.


Check your throne.net email asap.  Hate to be hasty, but I'm in that narrow margin where I can still find some cheap flight tickets...in three to four days I have a feeling I'm going to lose my window.  I need to make a quick decision and have a few logistics questions I need answered first.

Metal / Re: Black metal as art
« on: June 19, 2005, 10:57:45 PM »
More can be found here:http://dore.artpassions.net/

The works of Theodor Kittelsen - whose work has been used on many Burzum albums - are also quite excellent and deserve recognition.  Some of his work can be found here: http://www.munchforlaget.no/galleri/galleri_kittelsen.htm  

Metal / Re: Black metal as art
« on: June 19, 2005, 10:37:00 PM »
This is a great one:

As is this:

And this:

(His use of shading, lighting, and textures is masterful and no less than amazing.  Take a look again at the texture of the water in the first picture if there are any doubts.  Also note how wonderfully done the lighting and shading is thoughout the whole drawing.  Truly breath taking as far as I'm concerned and no vibrancy or detail is lost just because it's a black and white illustration [like most of his work for literature which I have seen])

Metal / Re: Black metal as art
« on: June 19, 2005, 10:34:11 PM »
Here's some from his work for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Metal / Re: Black metal as art
« on: June 19, 2005, 10:26:38 PM »
The work of  Gustave Doré is also wonderful and highly romantic.  Many of his illustrations are of Romantic works and fairy/folk tales.  He has done some of the best illustrations I have ever seen and I can't praise his work enough; it's absolutly some of my favorite.  In fact his work has been used on the cover of a few black metal albums, most notably Emperor's EP.

Metal / Re: Black metal as art
« on: June 19, 2005, 10:19:35 PM »

This was always a favorite of mine as well.  Words won't do it justice, so I'll leave it at that.

Metal / Re: Seeking opinions?
« on: May 18, 2005, 04:47:24 PM »
Seeking opinions on:

Liers in Wait (one of the bands formed from the Grotesque breakup)

Behemoth (black metal albums)

I recommend From the Pagan Vastlands and The Forests Dream Eternally.  Both of these albums are fairly straight forward black metal with evident folk influences (which many of the early Polish bands reveled in).  From the Pagan Vastlands is more in the style of Immortal's first out put.  What Behemoth did real well on these first two albums was create an atmosphere by weaving in acoustic guitars with the main riffing (this worked exceptionally well for them).  Check out these two as they are the best.  Later albums, starting with Grom, began steps towards their newer style that they play today and I can't really recommend it much as a result.  I don't find it (in particular Grom) heavily original or interesting (there are some good parts in Grom, just not enough).  Grom plays more like a band with an identity crisis, unsure if they still want to play black metal and weave in folk elements to their music (which they still do pretty good on this album when they take the time to put them in); this album reflects a band lacking passion and ideas as it sounds like they are mimicing the style of Mayhem  and mixing it with a little early Satyricon and Dodheimsgard.  In short it is medicore compared to the two earlier works I mentioned.

Metal / Re: Underrated albums?
« on: May 04, 2005, 01:11:45 AM »
Primordial - Spirit the Earth Aflame
Primordial - Storm Before Calm
At the Woods - Heart of the Ages

Correction: In the Woods, not At the Woods.  Pretty good list btw.  I enjoy Primordial's material and I think that those two albums are great (haven't had the pleasure of hearing much before Spirit the Earth Aflame however).  Both of them were albums that grew on me.  I enjoyed them both when I first heard them, but didn't think they were anything to rave about, but slowly they grew on me and I came to enjoy them immensely.  I consider Heart of the Ages one of my favorite albums (I wouldn't call it strictly a black metal album as it ventures into other realms).  It's their best work by a good measure in my opinion, followed by the demos (which share a lot of the same songs).  

Metal / Re: Seeking opinions?
« on: May 01, 2005, 11:59:14 AM »

Can you tell offer me a brief description on each release by Dr. Shrinker?

Sorry, afraid I can't.  Like I said, I haven't heard much from this band as some of their back material is hard to find online and I haven't yet picked up their rerelease.  I know of them via Phantasm, since they share three of the same members.  They played a style similar to old Autopsy...sort of a death grind.  You can get some in depth info on a couple of the releases here:


and they recently released all their old material on one disc.


Hope that helps.

Metal / Re: Underrated albums?
« on: May 01, 2005, 01:52:46 AM »
Because of the mention of Dr. Shrinker in the seeking opinions thread it reminded me to add a little known Wisconsin based Death Metal Band from the early 90's called Phantasm (one of the bands that was involved with Shrinker...and no, has nothing directly to do with my sn choice, it's just coincidence).  Phantasm is great old school death metal (with the old fashioned horror lyrics and all). The band never made it beyond the demo stage (like Shrinker), but  they produced great old school death metal on their demos (The Abominable, Gut Suckers, Lycanthropy), with an emphasis on creating an eerie/heavy atmosophere.  Very cool band that nobody really knows about these days.

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