Friday, April 27, 2007

Men with long, silky hair rule

I was bummed to miss Dimmu Borgir's show at Nokia—and I'm even more bummed now that I've read Steve Smith's account. Steve is dead right about the fact that hipsters tend to laugh at bombastic black metal and prefer BM when it's recorded on hissy 4-track by misanthropic loners with mommy issues. But while I do enjoy the latter subgenre, particularly when oozing out of Burzum, Draugar, Leviathan or Xasthur's nether regions, there's no denying that over-the-top BM is giddily enjoyable, as theatrically satisfying as classic disco and an evening at the Met. I particularly love reading liner notes that include references to recording with the Riga Symphony or whatever former communist orchestra is paying the bills by backing—through gritted teeth—metallers with Wagnerian ambitions.

At least a fair number of great metal bands is due to visit us: Celtic Frost opens for Type O Negative at Irving Plaza next week; a scary-looking bill including Watain and USBMers Nachtmystium hits BB King's on May 14; Immortal is at BB's July 13, followed there ten days later by Mayhem (not crazy about Attila Csihar being back at the mike but that's not reason enough for spurning an opportunity to see Mayhem) and by Taiwan's Chthonic on August 21. You could also add Emperor (June 1) to the list, though I saw them last year and don't feel a pressing need to repeat the experience, good as it was.

And while I'm on the metal tip, the label/distributor Ledo Takas, from Vilnius, now takes PayPal, considerably easing up the purchase of extreme music from the Baltic and Eastern European countries. I have a soft spot for Estonia's Loits and Obtest, a Lithunian outfit that delivers emphatic "war metal" (with, alas, the dubious politics that tend to accompany that genre).

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