The devastating 1349 arrived in NYC the other night amidst the barren chill of a heavy snowstorm. The evening of True Norwegian Black Metal was complimented by NJ’s own Annunaki. For those intrigued, just click the logo below to be brought to our item on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Label: Candlelight Records
It could be said that only the most insane of Metal heads would brave the elements that hit the Big Apple this past weekend and left the region blanketed in almost a foot of snow along with a bitter cold Nordic wind from Sunday night until Monday and yet out came a little over one hundred of the legions to support the band 1349 who were doing a short tour of the states before heading home to finalize the recording of their latest Metal release. They would bring along for the nights festivities Bayonne, NJ’s Death Metallers Annunaki and here is how the gig played out for those who opted to stay warm in the confines of wherever they were.
Annunaki: Interestingly enough there is another band using this name, and that surprised me since it was rather unique in terms of a Metal band but with their being on the other side of the world I guess it was bound to happen. These guys however hail from Bayonne, NJ and they deliver a crushing style of Death Metal that holds a very European vibe to it. They are fronted by singer Tony Stanziano who growls like some ravenous creature from the abyss while guitarist John Blicharz delivers the goods on the axe. They’ve been around for a few years I am told and they have a CD entitled “Throne Of The Annunaki” which they released in early 2007 available for consumption. Based on this a majority of the material 45 minute set comes from the album and while still technically an unsigned group they have a strong fan base which was somewhat visible this evening at B.B. King Blues Club. I liked most of what I heard but did have to say that for me the drumming of Kevin Kuzma and the guitar work of John was what stuck out the most for me. Don’t get me wrong, since Stanziano comes across as an imposing front man, but with so many luminaries of the Extreme Metal genre doing the same thing for a lot longer he has some work ahead of him to come into his own for the benefit of the band. Musically they were tight this evening and while I noticed no actual mosh pit, there were nothing but fists up in the air as the audience supported them while prepping themselves for the onslaught that would come when 1349 hit the stage. I found it promising to see a band from the immediate region delivering such a powerful sound and that makes me realize that NYC and the surrounding areas are not hopeless when it comes to offering up bands that could very well be the next big thing. I would say that if you are a fan of Cannibal Corpse and perhaps Krisiun that you should give these guys a chance to show you what they are made of. There was a quick set change and now it was time to find the senses assaulted once again by the might of 1349.
1349: Named after the year that Norway was reached by the Black Death (or Bubonic Plague), these Black Metallers surely mean business with the style of music that they deliver. It was almost appropriate that a bitter chill and heavy snowstorm heralded the bands arrival in NYC tonight for while the band has been touring for their CD “Hellfire” for quite some time, there is nothing colder than the dark abyss that these guys walk upon musically night after night. I last caught them when they were performing with Carcass as a part of the “Exhume To Consume” tour and while it was great to find them on the bill, the fact that they played a short thirty minute set really took a lot away from it for me. Tonight they would hit the stage in their true ominous fashion and while still touring to death their much praised aforementioned album, they would even deliver to the fans two new tracks from the album we are told will be called “Revelations Of The Black Flame”. Fronted by singer Ravn, who looks like the absolute epitome of evil on the stage, the material buzzes by the listener like a speeding freight train that would sooner run you over before it ever slowed down. Their sound is often compared to the Black Metal bands of the second wave of that genres movement and they do not use any synthesizers but in the end their tunes do not even need it. Guitarist Archaon was totally focused on his playing tonight but he found time to keep the head banging happening and the horns being thrown into the air as he glared into the faces of the fans right in front of him.
Bassist Seidemann would do the same but the musician was now sporting a head of hair and a longer beard than I remember him having during the Carcass show. On drums would be Tony Laureano who has worked with the band in the live sense for some time even though the mighty Frost is on drums for the recordings. A fan I spoke to was swearing up and down that Frost would be on the kit tonight based on internet forum board chit chat he was reading prior to the show, but I stressed that he was wrong in this assumption. Let’s face it; such news would be broadcast loudly as opposed to being a secret that only a select few would be able to enjoy for the night. Granted this could have been a possible thing when one considers how Frost had just been on tour with Satryicon and that band had completed their run of Cradle Of Filth dates on the Saturday that had just passed us by. Purists of the bands recorded work should not fear because they are in very capable drumming hands with Tony on board.
There is not a lot of stage banter between Ravn and the audience outside of a couple of dramatic lead in parts to a couple of their songs and that makes sense based on the persona that he is portraying. Up under the lights Ravn comes off as frightening and threatening to ones safety and someone who I would never wish to run into in some dark alley, so getting to know him in a different fashion might ruin the whole image thing that is going on. He remains serious throughout the set and stares right through the fans that are close enough to look into his cold eyes. Clearly he is one intense performer who does not break character for anything, and now having seen them almost five times I am not sure that this even is a character as much as it is a true provider of Norwegian Black Metal. The new songs came by the way of “Invocation” which the band actually opened the show with and also “Maggot Fetus”. The tracks definitely continue the process that one expects from the band and I am sure that the new release will satisfy the dark needs of the fans that purchase it.
In the end this was a good show, but I would have liked to see more people in attendance than had actually made it out. This could have been weather related or the fact that the group has been around a few times for the same recording. Maybe even since both Cradle Of Filth & Satryicon had just played this past Friday and with the current state in everyone’s economic pocket there is a lot more picking and choosing happening when it comes to shows.
1349 Set List:
4. Riders of the Apocalypse
6. Chasing Dragons
7. Satanic Propaganda
8. Aiwass Aeon
9. Maggot Fetus
10. I Am Abomination
11. Sculptor of Flesh