Introducing/Lasse/Boutrup Jensen

In only a couple of weeks time a brand new festival sees the light of day, when Infected Festival takes place in the small town Ganløse, 25 kilometers outside Copenhagen.

An event like that doesn’t normally raise any eyebrows; the metalheads has been introduced to a lot of smaller festival in Denmark over the last few years – but the story behind this one may just catch your attention..

Back when I was in my youngest teens I walked around, being one of only a few metalheads in school. We shared thoughts on the latest album by Megadeth or admired the new Metallica shirt one of the guys just bought. I didn’t ever have to stand up for the music I loved – It didn’t harm anybody and I was, as my fellow metalfans, left minding my own business – not to worry about what some people would say behind my back, or perhaps even write online.

Not everybody is as lucky as I was back then; fourteen year old Lasse Boutrup Jensen is the perfect example of a kid that don’t match the norm of the happy cheering pop-loving teens, that are mostly portrayed in popular culture, the magazines or on MTV. Despite his, in a positive sense, quite ordinary casual look, he has a heart that beats for for the darker and chaotic voices of music.

I became aware of Lasse in a podcast-special, done by radiohost Anders Bøtter on  Sort Søndag (Black Sunday); since then Lasse has told his story on both regional and national Danish television. A story about being bullied and spoken about, both behind his back, to his face, and on social medias; being labeled kind of an outcast because he listens to metal.

Such an experience might, at least in some cases, lead to a behavior mirroring the expected; violent and aggressive – but in Lasses case it’s quite the opposite. He kept the growing frustration inside, and turned the energy into something much more constructive; telling his story, and educating the masses along the way.  It resulted in the idea of creating his own free one-day metalfestival, Infected Festival.

Forced Ingestion, Obscure Carnage, Radtskaffen and rising stars Livløs are all playing for free in the name of a good cause on saturday the 10th of june. Lasse has orchestrated the whole event himself, applied for grants from the municipality and booked the venue and bands.

Latest news on Lasse, is that he has now taken over booking activities of EP-debuting sludge-rockers GoatHawkBuffalo; he could be set for a bright future in the music-business – at least he is making a terrific effort at exploring the opportunities rising at the moment.

On a personal note this is the last post in English; future writings will be done in Danish, on my new Facebook-blog Livet er Lyserødt (Life is Pink) But for now, go and give the Infected Festival page a “Like”, and share the story of a kid they just couldn’t keep down..

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Review/Orm/Self-titled

Back in 2015 the Danish deathmetal band By the Patient released the highly acclaimed “Gehenna”, and shortly after announced the surprising descission to split-up..

About half a year later some demo material aired online and on the Danish radioshow Sort Søndag. Speculation on the menbers identities followed as the only information the public had gotten, was that it featured members of other Well-established Danish bands.

In my case I decided to do some serious stalking, and the picture below, posted on Facebook, confirmed my suspiscion. The Patient did in fact survive being put into the ground, later resurfacing as a fourpiece, as vocalist Tan had split from the rest of the band, leaving Simon Sonne Andersen with the vocal-duties, and a new blackened output; Orm was born.

 I had very high expectations for this release, as the demos released beforehand all were pretty good. As it later was announced that the coverart was to be done by italian artist Paolo Girardi, it only added further to the expectations.

The cover, by the way, depicts Midgaardsormen of the shore of the bands home-island Bornholm, with the old castle Hammershus burning on top of the hill. A beautiful piece of work. A typical “Girardi”, you might say..

As first single “Apotheosis” was released a couple of months ago, I immediately knew that they weren’t going to dissapoint me; powerful and grand blackmetal with a strong sence of melody, perfectly crafted by a band that knows how to handle their instruments.

Despite the album consisting of only five songs it still adds up to a total playtime of fourtytwo minutes; the chosen five all being complex and varied pieces – with my favourite “Ancient echoes” being the shortest one, at almost seven minutes.

Throughout the album Orm makes use of beautiful choir pieces. They are certainly not the first band in the history of metal to include choirworks in their music, but instead of comming across as a cheap gimmick,  it adds to building up a haunting atmosphere, equally part despair and beauty, on top of the wall of razor-sharp guitars and thundering rhythm-section.

Orm join the ranks of danish quality blackmetal bands such as Solbrud, Slægt and Denial of God – the first two mentioned both got albums to be released as well this spring – and will definitly have something to live up to, as Orm makes and instant impact and joins the topshelf of Scandinavian metal.

The album is out now on vinyl and “name your price” download via Bandcamp or Indisciplinarian.

PLBM Podcast – Episode 1

The pilot episode of the Peace Love Black Metal Podcast is now online on Soundcloud.

Track listing, and where to support the bands:

Nevalra – Terror Throne

Vukari – Cursus Honorum

Batushka – Yekteniya III

Blazing Eternity – Over Sorte Heder

Naðra – Forn

Antlers – To The Throats

Thunderwar – Black Storm Will Unfold

Chaoscraft – Craft Of Deceit

Moonsorrow – Suden Tunti

Black Sabbath – Sabbath Blood Sabbath

Sol Sistere – Death Knell

Show Me A Dinosaur – Wojna

Review/Zeal and Ardor/Devil is fine

Zeal and Ardor takes bastard metal to a whole new level on “Devil is fine”; mixing bluesy spiritual chants with lo-fi black metal, samples and just a little bit of Beck and The White Stripes on top. If you think that sounds crazy, you’re absolutely right. This is crazy, crazy good.. And quite possibly unlike anything you’ve heard before.

This is the second full-length release from the one-man project by Manuel Gagneux from New York; having only released the self-titled “Zeal and Ardor” prior to this back in 2014. Having listened to the debut, it seems that Manuel has turned to the dark(er) side both music and lyric-wise since then.

In the time being, between the debut and the follow-up, Manuel has tied down some of the loose ends I found to be on the first album. Every idea seems much more integrated this time around, and he sees to have a greater idea about what the final output should be concept-wise.

 The lyrics is most about praising the devil and darker things in life, and they’re very well delivered, with the vocals changing between shrieks and the blues-like clean vocals. Don’t waste your time, trying to look up the vocal samples, as they are all written and performed by Manuel himself.

The musical arrangements are near impossible to describe; a mix of everything I mentioned in the beginning, and then some.. You’ll easily identify most  genres known to man if you decide to give the album a shot.

“a good lord is a dark one
a good lord is the one that brings the fire
the riverbed will run red with the blood of the saints and the blood of the holy
(the one that brings the fire)”

Should I choose to mention a few favourites from the album, it would have to be “Come on down”, “Children’s summon” and “Blood in the river”. Despite being very different compositions they all have a thriving riffs, catchy melodies and strong lyrics in common. If you only got ten minutes to check out an album, these gives a great impression of what to expect.

So, to sum up the above..  This is one of the most interesting things I’ve come across in a VERY long time, and the only bad thing I have to say about this album, is that it might just be a couple of tracks too short; Twenty-four  minutes playtime, from start to end is not much. That being said, this is a must-listen; whether this turns out to be your thing or not, this is not an album to miss out on. 

Being fresh and groundbreaking it deserves, at least, your honest opinion; one that’s only to be given, when you’ve heard it a couple of times. At some time, people will ask you about “that Zeal and Ardor thing” – better be prepared..

On the Zeal and Ardor Bandcamp page it says the following in the description:

“Zeal and Ardor is a project trying find new combinations of established components. The most important factor is a thematic coherence, not a musical one.”

Status: Mission completed, with excellence.

 

Review/Vukari/Divination

What started off as a studio project by vocalist/guitarist back in 2013 Marek Cimochowicz,   resulted in the release of the debut album “Matriarch”, with the help from bassist Spenser Morris and a sit-in from the former Weekend Nachos vocalist John Hoffman on drums. From there, Vukari evolved into a full blown band-outfit on the follow-up EP, “En to pan”.  A release that first caught my attention on one of the many Facebook pages I follow.

On “Divination” the line-up features, besides Spenser and Marek,  Rich Stancanto on guitar and Mike DeStefano on drums. The band picks up from where they left us on “En to pan” – this time around perfecting their intense sound of atmospheric blackened metal, with hints of post-rocks influences from time to time.

The post-black influences shines brightest in the first few minutes of “Invictus maneo” and the intro to to album closer,  “Bathe in the divine light”. The first of these two, works its way from melodic post-black – to a haunting closing in the space of it’s near six-minute playtime. Why does the last couple of minutes on this one, makes me think of Behemoth..? I’m not pointing fingers here. They aren’t copying anything – it’s rather a case of the dark and gloomy atmosphere, for a short while resembles the one on Behemoths masterpiece of an album, “The Satanist”. Great stuff.

Excluding the intro “Divination I” and  interlude “Ad delerium I”, this album features six tracks, including my own favourite; The eight minute tour-de-force “Cursus Honorum”. Halfway through the song the pace might drop, but the combination of harmonics and unearthly roars of Marek makes sure that the intensity is preserved.

Vukari has already caught the attention of the underground scene over the last couple of years, that leading to sharing a scene with Vattnet Viskar, and opening for Taake back in february. This album could might be the ear- and eyeopener of a bigger audience – shooting them to a bigger stage; at least I hope so. They deserve it.

Pick up the early released digital version of this album on Bandcamp,  and/or buy the cd (august 1st) og vinyl (TBA fall 2016) – both to be released on Bindrune Recordings.

Video/Dark Funeral/Unchain My Soul

Dark Funeral makes a run at the throne of black metal with this, their first music  video since the release of “Nail them to the cross”, back in december 2014.

Their latest offering, in support of the upcoming album, is a video to the song “Unchain my soul” – and shows a Dark Funeral in great shape, and ready for battle.

“Where shadows forever reign” is set for release on June the 3rd.

 

Don’t want to miss a beat? – then go ahead and press “Like” on the PLBM Facebook page.

 

Video/Møl/Radar 360

For the last many years, Danish (and other Scandinavian) bands have been able to secure them self a spot in the recurring showcase festival “SPOT Festival,” that takes place every year in Denmarks second-largest city, Aarhus.

This year the Danish post black shoegazers in Møl was among the chosen ones, offered the opportunity to promote themselves.

The music venue Radar, decided to make some fun out the whole arrangement, and record a few of the concerts in 360. If you’re watching this on your smartphone/Ipad/tablet/whatever, you simply move it around to focus on the different bandmembers, crowd. Or the ceiling…

Watching the video on your computer, you’ll be able to move around using the cursor.
Soundwise this isn’t the greatest recording ever, but if gazed out post black is your thing, you should do yourself a big favour, and stream a few tracks on their bandcamp.

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