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Live Review: Necronomicon with Vesperia, Abiotic, and Tales of the Tomb

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Necronomicon - Okkultis in Canada Tour 2016

When: August 17, 2016
Where: Brixx

Oh man. It’s taken me awhile to get to type this up, but I really had to get these thoughts onto screen. This was a big night for me, a show that was more of a collection of bands that I really like in one room.

First up on the stage was a band that needs no introduction in Edmonton. One of the fastest rising bands this city has is Tales of the Tomb, a death metal band obsessed with serial killers. The Snowtown murders, Pickton and his farm, and 9/11 are just some of the topics that they tackle. This set was one of the best I’ve seen from them, and I’ve seen them a lot! Just this year alone I think I’ve seen them seven times or so. Not a band to miss in a live setting, and that’s agreed upon even by Rob from Necronomicon, who thanked Tales and said they were one of the best opening bands he’s had for the tour.

Second up was Miami, Florida’s Abiotic, who broke up shortly after this tour. This was my second time seeing them live, the first being with a different singer as they toured with Dying Fetus. This set was better than the last time, but there was some problems at the beginning of the set that caught my ear and almost made me dismiss them. The sound was just… quiet. There was nothing there. During the second song, however, the sound tech found where he wanted the band and everything went from somewhat flat to a wonderfully dynamic and fucking loud volume. Seriously excellent shredders on all instruments, but Travis Bartosek on vocals stole the show for me. If you’re one of those people who film with your cell phones though, I warn you: he’ll take it out of your hand and do some filming for you, giving you a phone video you won’t soon delete. It’s unfortunate that they split because I honestly could tell there was an amazing future ahead for this band if they did one more album. It’s the curse of being underrated and not quite getting the big push they should have gotten.

Third up was Vesperia, from Ontario. They all have a small-town attitude but hail from the big city of Toronto, so it’s always a treat to see these guys on a stage. Imagine Amon Amarth but from Canada, and you’re kind of in the right territory. Not so much a Viking metal sound, but a death metal with symphonic elements and a huge feel. They are truly an epic band to behold. The vocalist, Morgan Rider, has such an expressive voice with a large range. Sometimes they even get clean in the vocals, and this is where Vesperia shine for me. As I said, Morgan has a large range, and his cleans are the stuff legends are made of. It would never surprise me if they got picked up by Napalm or Nuclear Blast. In fact, it would surprise me if they didn’t. For those that might be thinking the name is familiar, it is probably because they won the Wacken Metal Battles in Canada, and played at Wacken as a result, winning the world-wide Battles.

Finally, the band that everyone came to see, the legendary Necronomicon took the stage. This is a band that has perplexed the death metal world since their Morbid Ritual demo in 1992. They sounded like Behemoth do now, back when Behemoth were still worshiping Norwegian black metal. Symphonic death metal, with black metal influences and overtones, this power trio is a true force to reckon with on a stage and on record. And since 1988, when Rob the Witch founded the band, they have been completely underrated because no one knew what the fuck they were watching and listening to. Yes, this is death metal. Yes, there’s pretty sounding and ominous keyboards in it. Yes, there’s songs with 100% black metal lyrics in them. No, this doesn’t really make sense, but fuck making sense, man! Sit back and enjoy just how huge these three dudes sound and look on a stage. Rob stole the stage from Brixx, he took it, he made it his and he owned it. Simply put, this band is one of Canada’s best, and we seem to take them for granted on our soil. The fans in the USA and Europe seem to understand them a little bit more, perhaps, because that is where their biggest successes are. But ultimately, they are just three dudes from Quebec making the noise they want to make. And goddamn they are good at it. If you missed out on this tour, you missed out big.

NOTE: This live review was originally published on September 15, 2016. Republished on March 23, 2017 after being reformatted for this version of the Crown of Viserys website.

Music Review: Food Metal – Food Metal

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Food Metal - Food Metal

Genre: Food Metal
Label: Independent

Alum, sodium, zinc, etc… I get plenty of metal in my food. Now if I can just manage to get some food in my metal… wait, what? Native Californian and sometimes New Zealander James Perry?! Why are you putting your guitar in the oven? Ohhhhhhh…

Food Metal apparently started off as an exercise in song writing and snowballed into a legitimate project (think Tim Lambesis’s Austrian Death Machine only with no celebrity impersonations and less attempted uxoricide). This self-titled offering is a savory selection of songs that blend hard rock, metal, gastronomy and humor together to make an album that’s not heavy on calories, but heavy where it counts.

Mr. Perry borrows from a multitude of subgenres before butchering them, marinating them in his own distinct style, broiling them and finally serving them up on Food Metal‘s sonic smorgasbord. “Fries” takes bit of a slower paced thrash approach (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”), while “Pass The Beets” finds James in more familiar territory (for me at least) with a slower, more melodic (almost poppy) tune. But, in terms of balls out headbanging, the cake surely goes to “Where the Hell is My Food”. James’s vocals, dirty rollin’ riffs and lines about being pissed off about shitty customer service fit perfectly together here.

My only complaint here is that I felt a bit like Oliver Twist towards the end. “Please Sir, may I have some more?” (Ok, not an apt comparison since James would gladly give an orphan all the metal he/she could handle and I’m a fully grown ragamuffin.) I guess I should ask him if he plans on serving seconds in our forthcoming interview?

Food Metal Site
Food Metal Facebook

Video: Music Review 001 – Woe – Hope Attrition

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So I’ve completed a new video review for the upcoming album Hope Attrition by New York’s Woe. Let me know what you think in the comments below, or on YouTube.

Video: News Bit 001 – The Projectionist, Saille, and More

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Here’s a new segment, possibly, on YouTube from Crown of Viserys. Comment either here on this post, or on YouTube, and let me know what you think. Any particular news items we should tackle, or any albums coming out? Let me know that stuff too.

Music Review: Barshasketh/Void Ritual Split Tape

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Barshasketh/Void Ritual - Split

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Broken Limbs

Scottish black metal by way of New Zealand, Barshasketh provides two songs on the first side of this split. The first, “Palingenesis” is a slow burning track that reeks of shoegaze for almost three minutes, then just comes in with super fast, blasting black metal. The entirety, from the slow beginning all throughout the rest, is beautifully executed, filled with melodies, harmonies, and ear piercing shrieks. The second track, “Dominion of Ashes” starts off fast, and pretty much stays fast throughout, but it is no less melodic or beautiful. Fans of Winterfylleth, An Autumn for Crippled Children, Desolate Winds, Wolves in the Throne Room, etc., you’ll want to check this out.

Void Ritual comes from New Mexico, USA. Daniel Jackson is from Albuquerque and is the sole member of the band, producing, recording, mixing, and mastering everything on top of writing and performing it all. His side of this split is a but more focused, a bit more raw, and a bit more old school sounding. There is more of a second-wave black metal low-fi sound, but there also seems to be influences of death metal happening as well. In the same amount of time it takes Barshasketh to do two songs, Void Ritual does three. All of them are rather magical, filled with riffs that are super catchy and evil at the same time, while lyrically about cults of recent memory. Heaven’s Gate, Paradise, and the Order of the Solar Temple all get their own songs. Fans of Marduk, Mayhem, and Darkthrone, as well as the same comparisons for Barshasketh, you’ll want to hear these songs.

In all, Barshasketh and Void Ritual have together crafted a split that is beyond easy to listen to over and over again. Truly captivating black metal of the highest order.

Music Review: Imperial Savagery – Imperial Savagery

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Imperial Savagery - Imperial Savagery

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Independent

Chicago natives Imperial Savagery got in touch with me and mailed me a copy of their album for review. I looked at the cover, nodded my head, and opened it up. Into the car’s CD player it went, and very quickly my brain was being battered against the insides of my skull. The band’s name is also the band’s sound; old school, fast, and brutal, and not without a somewhat militaristic feel to it.

It is like listening to an army marching toward the building where you are hiding with all the women and children of the city, and the army is carrying swords and chainsaws. It’s inevitable that they are going to find you, and they are getting closer, and when they uncover your hiding spot, it’s going to get fucking messy.

One of my honestly favourite things about this album is that all the songs are pretty short. The longest song, “Thy Kingdom Crumbling” isn’t even four minutes long. The average length is pretty much 2:30, 2:45 range. This disc is ten songs, but not even a half hour. It’s like listening to a death metal band write punk songs. No frills, just kills. In itself, this is slightly strange because their bassist used to be in technical death metal royals Gigan, as well as currently in Sons of Famine with the drummer. Looking deeper into the pedigree of Imperial Savagery results in a mess of unrelenting death metal heritage. From brutal death, slamming death, blackened death, and technical death, these guys bring some serious fucking history to this band.

Fans of Gravehill, Crepitus, Deicide, underground hardcore punk, and violent mosh pits, get it here. This shit is so good.