The heavyweight band is back with their latest album, and I won’t try to sweeten any of what I have to say about Borknagar’s latest. There are times when it really does take a knife to the intestines and lets out that nice fine ooze, but I felt that for much of the album I had to repeatedly dive headfirst into any bricks I came across. And if you didn’t know, there’s a mighty ton of bricks here at N.C. State.
I’m sure my colleague and fellow metalhead-in-crime Noobhammer wouldn’t object to calling this piece of work “progressive” in some way, but I’m not a man of labels. I just know that past Havoc and Reason, the guitars aren’t grinding my elbows to dust. Once I even took a flier from those folks on campus gathering attention for their cause by handing out dead tree pulp just so I could papercut my tongue with a pentagram
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how they give those cuddly-type of music people their teddy bears and skin-moisturizing lotion, and I thoroughly enjoy black metal artists, but by the end I feel like this is a softer “Aealo” from Rotting Christ. Rotting Christ delivers the rot, Borknagar does not.
Now the Amon Amarth concert this past Tuesday was quite disembowling– or satisfying in layman’s terms. The first band to play was Pandah, and they did a good job getting the crowd worked up on chewing through their own cheeks. They were a refreshing mix of deathly speed and blackened keyboard gore. Next to play was Holy Grail, remnants of 80’s speed metal both in sound and the singer’s tight pants. His shrill was fierce, and we all enjoyed the feeling of leeches feasting from within our ear canal.
Both bands’ styles, however, stood at a contrast to Týr and Amon Amarth. Their songs, based upon Nordic mythology and Scandinavian tales of viking warriors led some in the crowd to produce hammers and bash people’s skulls inside out. Many wound up with a Hammer Smashed Face.
Týr did not disappoint, playing beloveds such as By The Sword In My Hand, Hail To The Hammer, and By The Light Of The Northern Star. Their stage presence was a nice menacing beast through which many lost pints of blood, fluids, and bile. By the time Amon Amarth arrived, the concrete floor was coated with a nice slippery mix of stomach acid, disfigured severed limbs, and organs. Nothing like free food.
Amon Amarth brought quite a light show with them, causing peoples’ eyes to become hyperactive and either explode or pop out and dangle by that stretchy optic nerve. They opened with Twilight Of The Thunder God, where fans immediately lost all sense of self and began destroying each other in a mosh pit of flying gore. Johan, the singer, kept repeating between songs about how rockin’ the people of Raleigh were. If only he could see the floor, where half the crowd was scattered about.
They wound up playing many bloody songs such as Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags, The Fate Of Norns, Down The Slopes Of Death, Cry Of The Black Birds, Under The Northern Star, Live For The Kill, and Guardians Of Asgaard to just name a few. Their destructive power, the packed venue, and the madness-inducing lights created an environment where it was impossible to not headbang and give Johan the horns. I could keep on describing the concert, but instead have a look (that is, if you’ve got eyes to spare at the moment) at the concert pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, but these blurry pictures are worth the wading through pools of excrement and gore.