Friday, August 26, 2011

Suomi Finland Tourkele part 10: This Is The Song That We Chose To Sing

8/12 - Schlotheim

There is little cooler than dancing around to Benny Hill, while drinking beer, at 6 in the morning. \m/. Unless, of course, it's having to switch off the music due to complaints from dudes half the campground away....and cranking it up again as soon as they leave.

It's absolutely going to rain today. Only question is when. I will see bands today, too; I'm near out of CDs, and have a flag to throw at Primordial.

In addition to just moving the CDs, I got some reactions as well; people, at least from the Erfurt crew that heard Dennis playing the BCS split from his car, were very impressed not only by the musicianship and songwriting of the bands, but also the professionalism of the recording. Big ups to Eric, Eliot, and any other engineers involved on this end; we have a lot of good recordists as well as good bands in New England, and the former definitely helps the reception of the latter.

Wow. I was wondering why my kutte felt so light (well, besides all the CDs being out of it) and was letting so much wind through; closer inspection reveals that almost all the dirt has been washed out of it. Yeah, it rained that hard on the last day of Wacken. Five years of mud, sweat, and beer, all gone.

It rained a little (knock on wood) and I spent most of the morning drinking with the Terror Blade NRW crew, at the beerwagon, in camp, and around the Flunkyball tourney. Now, in to the fest!

Urgehal [NR]
I only saw the last song from this bunch; pretty decent, all told, and if/when they play somewhere normal closer to home (one would probably suspect PT-109 or another DIY space for this kind of black metal band), it'll be worthwhile checking them out.

Skeletonwitch [5.5/7]
A little short, but a hard-kicking set of American blackened thrash including a couple off the new/forthcoming record. They hit nice and hard, but seemed to clear out a little fast.

410. "Upon Black Wings", Skeletonwitch take the stage.

411. Full band banging.

412. Hero shots "Beyond the Permafrost".

It was in here, or maybe just before, that I got the requisite "bum picture" taken by a few people I ran into before Watain the next night; me napping at the rail between bands, them at the side giving the horns. If you have this pic, send it in. Short sleep + eight hours of drinking + old age = big wreck of a carcass piled against a metal fence.

Desultory [5.5/7]
A crunching, puching set of Swedish thrashing death metal that beat back the rain and kept us tough folk who endured that downpour satisfied. Killer shit; I don't know nearly as much about this band as I ought to, and that's got to get corrected going forward.

413. Desultory steps out.

414. Blasting the crowd.

415. These dudes will never be "Enslaved".

video6: The weather tarp over the bass cabs kicks along with Desultory.

Absu [7/7]
Not perfect, but what a fuckin' set. Tremendous from start to finish; this kind of second-wave mayhem was supposed to be extinct, but not here. For a black metaller of my generation, there's not a whole lot better than "Never Blow Out The Eastern Candle" when played this hard. Amazing.

416. Proscriptor setting up. And yes, he's even better than advertised as a drummer/vocalist, which considering his rep is pretty difficult.

417. Absu assaults the stage.

418. Ezuzu, hero shot.

419. Vis Crom shredding the fuck out.

420. Uh oh, somebody smuggled in a political banner. This one isn't controversial, but security might want to think about what might've been if this'd been a Starry Plough or something.

Primordial [6.5/7]
No Grave Deep Enough
As Rome Burns
Bloodied Yet Unbowed
The Coffin Ships
Empire Falls

Killer set, and as can be seen, nearly all new material. There were some tech problems, and security was up on me about the flag (and also, they didn't close with "Death of the Gods", which would have got it chucked regardless), but as regards actual music this was amazing. Even more new stuff might have made it better, but they kind of have to play "Coffin Ships", and there's only so much time in a festival set. To the bitter end!

421. Alan is wicked pissed.

422. Michael, hero shot.

423. Ciaran ripping.

424. Pol laying it down, and Alan gets in the shot because that's what lead singers do.

425. Simon back behind his kit behind Michael.

426. No stage deep enough.

427. Full band, full stage.

Melechesh [6/7]
The hits keep coming; killer, first-class black metal with their unique Mesopotamian edge. I only saw the first half of this one from the front, the rest from the back, but this was still and absolute class performance following three other absolute class performances.

428. Melechesh setting up.

429. The band invokes the tones of war.

430. Guitar intifadeh.

431. A better shot, if not as low as Paul Proteus' ninja stance.

432. Ashmedi slashing away at the crowd.

433. Bassist on the far side.

434. Full band in full cry.

435. Moloch with his hood off. It lasted one song before being too hot to justify.

436. Hero shot of Ashmedi because he was also there. This camera's too slow to get a two-shot of the guitarists here as well.

When I came off the rail, I thought I'd hit the head, get dinner and a drink, then be back after Belphegor. This turned out not to e the case: it was quickly clear that I was, for lack of an equivalent expression in English, "völlig auseinander". Eight beers (that I can remember), a half pint of vodka, and a couple hits of whiskey between 0700 and 1400, followed by standing on a rail in sun and downpour for the better part of four hours without food or water will do that to you. By the time I was rehydrated -- which also included passing out a decent amount of promo stuff - I'm down to buttons, seriously - to Tank from Zombieslut -- I was about ready to pass out. I saw a bit of Belphegor (decent, but not enough of a sample space to actually rate), picked at some pakora (not working this year), then sacked out. I need to get better at sleeping in the morning and staying up at night.

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