Thursday, August 13, 2009

Album Review: Teitanblood - Seven Chalices

I'm listening to Seven Chalices, the new-ish release by Teitanblood that Seth digs because they sound like they're riffing off of Celtic Frost. The album definitely has two presences: on the metal tracks, a majestic oppressiveness heightened by its low-fi production and the slap echo on the singer's voice. Very quickly, his shrieks and growls become like the cries of a demon-infested grotto, drawing you in to where horrors dance in the malevolent half light, crying for your tasty flesh. The non-metal tracks are atmospheric interludes, where drones and Eastern instruments meld to create soundscapes; drug-induced fantasies where Lovecraftian horror lurks at the edges, ready to turn dream into nightmare.

I'm in the process of re-reading The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco's tribute to the Sherlock Holmes stories set in an abbey in northern Italy in the 1300s. It was a time when pretty much everyone believed that all of the stuff Teitanblood is trying to conjure up in Seven Chalices was out to get them on a regular basis and they made their art accordingly, so everyone would know what was what. At one point, the main character - an elderly monk chronicling his experiences as a young man - recounts the story of his younger self examining an entranceway into a church, where carvers had depicted scenes from the Book of Revelation. The carvings are vivid enough that his young mind is able to bring the details to life, thrilling in the promise of salvation and shrinking back in intense fear from the horrors spewed up from the bowels of Hell. When I listen to Seven Chalices, I get the feeling Teitanblood were trying their best to bring that same sort of demonic presence to life in auditory form.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sweet Promo Photo There, Guys

The photo above is of the guys from Behemoth, presumably as part of the promo package for their new album, Evangelion, and its anime-inspired title (I suspect it's really a religious reference, but I'm enough of a nerd to think of Neon Genesis first). Looking closer - perhaps at the sweet Napoleonic officer meets Magi robe the dude on the right is wearing - you'll notice that the whole picture looks it was done up in CGI. How far do the alterations really go? It makes me wonder if Behemoth is actually made up of three guys who all look like Brendon Small done up in Photoshop to look like black metal bad asses.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Set List Geekery

That Mike Portnoy spends a lot of time putting together set lists is common knowledge among Dream Theater fans, but something about this quote makes me think of him running complicated algorithms through some fan-developed database program:
That is something that I personally spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy determining. I will send out a master song list to the band and crew to learn/program at the start of the tour with a few songs I've picked from each album...I then change up the sets each night depending on the city. I do a tremendous amount of research for every single show....looking at what was played in that particular city the last two or three times through the years and I will write a set that hopefully doesn't repeat anything to make each time a fan sees a show a unique experience. I also take into account if we are playing two or three shows within driving distance of each other, to make those shows different from each other as well. It's a ridiculous, obsessive compulsive process that I don't think anybody else in this business does for their fans, but somehow I make myself insane doing it. It's like trying to solve the ultimate puzzle each and every day!
Via Blabbermouth

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Immortal Releases Cover Art for Reunion Album

If you're going to take the time - and elicit the fan response - to do a reunion album, you might as well do it right. While the album itself isn't out yet - and there's the philosophical question of whether a release after a six year hiatus is really the same as a reunion album is the more current sense - the cover art is pretty sweet. If I had a castle, you can bet I'd put doors like those at my gates.

Via SMN News