Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Upcoming Shows!

Once the epic Immortal / Absu show has come and gone, Texas will see a spectacular run of sweet gigs for awhile, about one show of Astral proportions per month. So, here's an excuse for me to post some cool live performance videos!

Next up is White Hills (the #5 Top Ten write-up is taking forever), March 15th at the Continental Club here in Houston. Looking forward to seeing this band - and finishing up that post! More tour dates here.

"Dead (live)" in Paris, France - March 14, 2010

Then on April 9th, Maserati will return to The Mink on Main (#2 Live Show of 2009)! The drum slot is still being filled by A.E. Paterra (from Zombi), and this should be a barn-burner. Attendance is mandatory! US and Euro tour info here.

"Monoliths (live)" in Chicago, IL - Nov. 17, 2010

Later that month, Austin Psych Fest 4 features: Roky Erickson (#1 Live Show of 2009), Cloudland Canyon, The Black Angels, Dead Meadow, The Quarter After... Oh, plus White Hills (again!) and many, many others.

The Quarter After, live in Sheffield UK - Sept. 24, 2008?

And the preliminary line-up for Free Press Summer Fest just recently came out. WEEN!! That's enough, I say (#2 Live Show of 2010). But there are some other nice surprises - especially glad to see locals Linus Pauling Quartet nab a slot.

"The Final Alarm (live)" in Portland, OR - Jan. 26, 2011

Sometimes Ween will play it safe with their festival sets. Here's hoping they'll really brown it up for something lower profile than Bonnaroo or whatever. January 2011 setlists were mind-blowing for the most part.

Austin Psych Fest
Full for-future-reference Austin Psych Fest line-up (so far) - in order of my psychedness or interest in exploring:

Roky Erickson
Cloudland Canyon
White Hills
Dead Meadow
The Quarter After
The Black Angels
Indian Jewelry

Atlas Sound
Prefuse 73
Black Moth Super Rainbow
The Fresh & Onlys
Crystal Stilts
The Soft Moon

Black Ryder
Sleepy Sun
Holy Wave
Young Prisms

The Night Beats
The Sky Drops
The Cult of Dom Keller
Lower Heaven
The Diamond Center
Vacant Lots
The Meek
The Black Hollies
The Growlers

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In My Kingdom Cold

At the Heart of Winter
With the recent chilly weather (for Houston) and upcoming Immortal / Absu show in San Antonio (2 weeks!), I thought I'd put together some of my grim and mythological favorites from each.
Plus learning the new software has been rough - even MS Paint??

"All Shall Fall" from All Shall Fall (2009)

The title track of the last Immortal studio album and apparent set opener, this video was just put up on Immortal's YouTube in September. As with all Immortal videos, it's equal parts ridiculous and sublime. I just hope Demonaz does a mountaintop spoken-word cameo at the show! I've been digging the stuff I've heard from this record - also check out "Hordes to War" and "Norden on Fire."

"One by One" from Sons of Northern Darkness (2002)

This is the first Immortal song I ever heard, on a Nuclear Blast compilation - not that long ago actually. From the last album before they took an extended hiatus, and Abbath went to play in Bömbers, a Mötorhead tribute band! Other great tunes from SOND would be "Antarctica" and of course "In My Kingdom Cold"... maybe you're picking up on a theme here.

"Solarfall" from At the Heart of Winter (1999)

Maybe my most favorite Immortal tune. There doesn't seem to be a consensus "best" Immortal album, but At the Heart of Winter is a definite contender for me. It's the first after Demonaz had to retire from playing, and also contains the classic "Withstand the Fall of Time."

"Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)" from Battles in the North (1995)

The notorious and infamous "Blashyrkh" video - love it!! Battles is another obvious contender, and also provided the "Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms" video. It's weird to see Hellhammer in that one, although he was playing drums live with them at the time. He seems really out of place with his non-corpse paint make-up and poofy pirate shirt.

"Pure Holocaust" from Pure Holocaust (1993)

Immortal's second full-length boasted super necro production values and almost unending blastbeats and tremolo-picking. So basically your classic of 2nd wave Black Metal classics. The title track has it for diversity, but the ultimate is probably "A Sign for the Norse Hordes to Ride."

And so what about Absu? They're opening this Immortal US mini-tour, and I couldn't be happier! Definitely Texas' finest Black-ish metal band, although more on the thrashened side. I'll go backwards, same for them...

"Night Fire Canonization" from Absu (2009)

So many to choose from on the most recent, self-titled Absu. Like Immortal, this was their triumphant return after a long break (up). I thought it was the #2 Non-Top 10 Metal release of 2009. If just starting with Absu, I'd suggest both "Amy" and "Girra's Temple." Seriously looking forward to this opening slot!

"Pillars of Mercy" from Tara (2001)

Tara is excellent, probably the best of all Absu. Probably definitely. Among many greats, it's got "Four Crossed Wands (Spell 181)" and "She Cries the Quiet Lake," plus a bagpipe intro!!

"Manannán" from In The Eyes of Ioldanach EP (1998)

That one was re-recorded and improved for Tara. This EP also features the awesome (and awesomely-named) "Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle."

"Highland Tyrant Attack" from The Third Storm of Cythraul (1997)

I've never been able to find this album, but that song shows up all over the place. And because it's about leather and swords, they like to call this one "Swords and Leather!" Thrash. It. Up.

"The Thrice Is Greatest To Ninnigal" from Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (1993)

For the final one, I could have gone with something from The Sun of Tiphareth (1995), but I love that song title. Also, the full name of this release is Barathrum: Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultul Lapidem. Hahaha!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Zombi walks again!

Via the eagle-eyed owl, new Zombi drops May 10th!!

Escape Velocity
Perennial winners Zombi (co-#2, 2009 / #1, 2006 / #1, 2004) are set to return with 2011's Escape Velocity!

As I guessed, per Steve Moore's tumblr, "Artwork by Jeremy Schmidt." Who is Sinoia Caves (co-#8, 2006) and keyboards for Black Mountain (#10, 2008) - he did both those covers, and Zombi's Spirit Animal (2009) too!!

Per Relapse Records pre-order page:
Escape Velocity sees ZOMBI return to their roots, using synth, and drums to create stirring melodies and moving cadences. Whereas earlier efforts found the band entrenched in Italian horror scores, Escape Velocity finds Zombi continuing their exploration of famed Italian record producer Giorgio Moroder and legendary Kraut Rock icons Neu and Harmonia. The sweeping synth sequences and pulsing rhythms are sometimes dancey, sometimes reflective, but always hypnotic under the watchful eye of this distinguished duo. Escape Velocity's five ethereal tracks are simply put, celestial music for other worlds.

BOOM! The only reason I haven't pre-ordered is to wait on possible special vinyl edition, but this is now locked in at the top of my list.