Thursday, February 26, 2015

1349 / Origin / Wolvhammer / Yesterday's Saints @ Empire 2/24/2015

I went to see black metal monsters 1349 ($18.50) and more at Empire. They brought an odd tour package- sludgy Wolvhammer and death metal band Origin to go along with their black metal. I saw a number of people there- Ariel, Nathan and Alie, Sean, Jason, Renae and her dude, Tom, Lindsey n Blake, Kim, Kris, and of course Metal Chris.

There were probably 150-200 people there overall. Not a great turnout, but it could have been worse. I think more people would have turned out for a more solid lineup. I swear I only saw a couple Satanic Hispanics, which was very odd for the rare black metal show.

From 1349 Bookface

Merchandise wise, there was a bit to buy if you were so inclined. 1349 had a number of shirts ($20), a hoodie ($40), some vinyl and CDs, a cassette, a beer coozy, a patch ($10). Origin had a bunch of shirts ($20) and a hoodie w/ Galactus  ($40). Wolvhammer had shirts, CD/Vinyl, and a patch. Local boys Yesterday's Saints had their new album ($15), posters ($5), and shirts.

I unfortunately saw only the last song of Yesterday's Saints, who recently released their debut "Generation of Vipers." Their sound was probably even better than when I caught them late last year. Despite only catching their last song, I got to experience their death/thrash blend of metal for a momentary high.

Sludgy metal Wolvhammer from Minnesota was up next. I have to say that I really didn't enjoy their set at all. Soundwise, they were alright, but their songs were in a word, boring. Their slow, doomy mix of sludge made me feel like a nap. I listened to the first couple of songs, then really had to take a break. There were some people in the crowd who were digging it, bobbing their heads, but I didn't get it. Some people in attendance mirrored my sentiments, but others seemed really into it.

Death metal band Origin was up next. I'd last seen them at Summer Slaughter in 2014, and they were unfortunately about as good as they were then. A lot of energy, but indecipherable vocals, brutal drums, and a pillow pit. I believe this was started on the 70,000 tons of metal cruise, where they requested a ...pillow fighting pit. This apparently is a thing now, as several concert goers brought their own and utilized them. This was a bit distracting and even a bit gimmicky. I don't know if this pillow pit thing is going to be a great thing for them in the long run/ I was disappointed that the guitar was buried in the mix, there was maybe one partial solo I heard- which removed the technical aspect of the technical death metal they play this evening. I still think their albums sound better than they do live. However, I must note that the crowd was super woken up for them, and were positively electric, moshing and pillow fighting on nearly every song!

During one song they did a faux advertisement for local brewers Port City Brewery (a la Wayne's World obvious product placement) which was pretty funny. The strangest part was the one 8-bit track that they started playing. The frontman made some comment along the lines of "oh what you guys don't dig it?"

I had been eagerly awaiting 1349 since I last saw them in 2012 in Baltimore with Marduk. As I loved their aural hellfire last time, I was understandably pumped to see them again. Also it'd been a bit since I've had my black metal fix. As the corpse painted Norwegians marched to the stage from the filthy Empire WC and the lights changed to a dim red, the anticipation was palpable. They crashed off to a rousing start, but  something was wrong. It seemed not loud enough, the drums, and themselves being less than ideal, really drowned most of it out. The crowd on the floor was mostly mobbed at the front, in a trance with bobbing heads, arms raised at times, but mostly motionless and enraptured by gauntleted frontman Olav "Ravn" Bergene  and company.

1349 was not able to get a visa for drummer Frost again (last time they had Job For a Cowboy drummer J. Rice), and I'm not exactly sure who they had this go around. A portion of the crowd chanted "Frost" at some point, but they were summarily ignored. Bassist Tor Risdal "Seidemann" Stavenes was in a black robe (like a Sith). Idar "Archaon" Burheim on guitar stood like a sentinel on house right. Unfortunately their ominous presence, the lighting, and the loud music somehow didn't work this evening and I was left pretty disappointed.

1349's setlist comprised itself of mostly tracks from their most recent release "Massive Cauldron of Chaos" (5 of their 12 songs), and several of them seemed slower and clearer. I think I realize I don't really recall any of their songs, just that I liked their overall sound (on the album). They played barely an hour- another in the line of 1 hr headliners...

Overall, this wasn't a great show for me. The rollercoater of energy and that bands were boring or had intricacies marred by the sound system really killed it for me. I hope Behemoth will bring a  better show (next week) to redeem the black metals. At least it was an early show (over by 11!)

Next show: BEHEMOTH

Yesterday's Saints (- 7:50)

  • ?

Wolvhammer (8:08- 8:34)

  • ?F the world!
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

Origin (8:50- 9:35)

  • ?intro -'other life' supernova
  • ?
  • ?
  • The Absurdity of What I am
  • ? 8 bit breakdown
  • The Aftermath
  • ?(from s/t) w/ booming short sample
  • ?(from entity)
  • ?
  • ?

1349 (10:00- 10;59)

  • Sculptor of Flesh
  • I am Abomination
  • Slaves
  • When I was Flesh
  • Postmortem
  • Riders of the Apocalypse
  • Exorcism
  • Nekronatalenheten
  • Serpentine Sibilance
  • Atomic Chapel
  • Golem
  • Cauldron