Wednesday, February 11, 2009

None More Black

Cradle Of Filth / Satyricon / Septicflesh
The Grand, San Francisco
February 10, 2009

An oldie but still a goodie:

Black Metal

When it comes to Black Metal (or Extreme Metal... or whatever the kids are calling it these days..), Umlaut still lives in the past with his old school Venom, Mercyful Fate, and Slayer memories. Umlaut finds alot of today's Black Metal (or Extreme Metal... or whatever the kids are calling it these days..) very silly.... Umlaut has been attending concerts for 2/3 of his life; hundreds and hundreds of shows. Umlaut will not mince words: This was one of the worst Metal shows he's ever had to endure.. Umlaut almost blew off writing about it.. but Umlaut will give it his best shot eventhough his heart ain't into it.....

It was a rainy Tuesday night in San Francisco and there was classic Will Call drama as we tried to enter the show: "You're not on The List..". It went downhill from there:

Septicflesh: From Greece. Umlaut loves falafels, but Septicflesh were awful. They had the look, but their use of backing tapes in an attempt to create drama in their songs was laughable. As I've said in the past, I can't stand Metal bands who tell a crowd exactly what to do, and Septicflesh can now be added to that list. If I hear "Show me the devil horns like this!" in a Greek accented Metal voice again it will put me off baklavas.

Satyricon: From Norway. Umlaut has never had Norwegian food, but Satyricon were awful. Satyricon are basically 2 guys (Satyr and Frost) who write and record everything and then tour with a backing band. This lack of being a 24/7 band was painfully evident onstage: When the 6 "band members" went into their synchronized headbanging, some of them threw their heads from side to side, others did the hair windmill, and still others employed the traditional style of banging. Their lack of a cohesive Metal presentation looked ridiculous, especially since all of them had obviously just washed their hair and all of that clean hair flailing all over the place looked like a product commercial; I could practically smell their conditioner from where I stood. I spent their set wondering where the guys in the band got their black button down shirts, because they were exactly the kind I like...

Cradle Of Filth: From England. Umlaut loves fish 'n chips, but Cradle were awful; Dani Filth is one of the worst Metal vocalists ever to don leather. In between songs he'd break character by saying lame banter in his squeaky normal "Daniel Davey" voice and then go back into his "Dani Filth" voice. Awful. Despite their lameness, I do still appreciate Cradle for having the most offensive band shirt ever; Umlaut once had an open box of the "Vestal Masturbation" shirt in front of him and I failed to take one. Regrets. At one point, Ray and I tried to remember the location where Jesus Christ was supposidely crucified. This was triggered by the silly stage prop Cradle had that featured a wooden cross with a comically cheesy skeleton crucified on it (Answer: Calvary). After around 4 songs, I turned to Ray and Timo and said "I'm done!" and walked out.

Dethklok shirts = 1... and it's sad that a cartoon Metal band blows away all 3 of these real bands. I didn't do a merch audit, but The Grand was 2/3 empty.. which is a bummer for Cradle's merch company, whoever that might be. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. This was 2 hours out of my life that I'll never get back.


Anyway, on another note, the blackest (and coolest) thing Umlaut received over the past week was a copy of the amazing hardcover photo book True Norwegian Black Metal by photographer Peter Beste (Thanks to Mr. Sanchez and Timo for the book hook up):

The photos are amazing.. Some beautiful, some funny, some disturbing, some silly... but all are engaging. I'm a fan of Rock Stars who have no sense of irony, and these guys are the definition of that. How do you say "Rock Star" in Norwegian? However, THE blackest and best thing in the Umlaut Nation is still:

Buggers aka The Dark Prince of Casa de Umlaut!