The Candlelight Records Tour was bringing their bands Absu and Sothis to the Black Metal legions at clubs all around the USA. It originally featured both Averse Sefira and Glorio Belli but towards the end they were replaced by Rumpelstiltskin Grinder and we were on point to bring you images and the scoop on the event. Absu was actually supporting their own self-titled release “Absu” while Sothis would be celebrating the darkness of “De Oppresso Liber”. To learn more about this show, just scroll down past the logo below to see it all. Photos of all three bands were delivered for your dark viewing pleasures.
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Sothis, Rumplestiltskin Grinder
Label: Candlelight Records
The third incarnation of the Candlelight Records tour was finally hitting New York City and while this was a very good thing, the show would be slightly different from the one that was originally announced. When the tour was first broadcast we found that Absu and Sothis would be joined by both Glorio Belli and Averse Sefira but as the weeks went by learned that each of these groups had dropped off the tour for one reason or another. It happens, but how would the gap be filled in would be the question on many of the Metal minds. The answer would come in the way of Rumplestiltskin Grinder who hail from the Philadelphia, PA area and are signed to Relapse Records. In the end this would leave the audience with two Black Metal bands and one that was more along the lines of Thrash meets Hardcore and if you were not there but wished to be, here is how the evening transpired.
Sothis: I was very surprised to find Sothis being up first but as I asked around, some folks that had been following the tour mentioned that they had always been the ones kicking off the mayhem. The band went on at 7:30pm, and I admit that I was very excited about finally catching them in concert having heard a lot of good things about what they do. While I don’t actually own their album yet, I had to admit that I was enjoying what they were putting out from the second they hit the stage. I had some background before the show as I visited the bands MySpace page for a little education about them so I didn’t walk in totally lacking any idea of what to expect. For those who are newbie’s, well the band is Symphonic Black Metal and there is a large membership roster making up the group. They are fronted by the towering presence of Drogoth who is their singer and he is flanked by a twin guitar attack from Scathe and Nylock who each seem to share the leads. Keres handles the bass and Dross the drums for an exciting rhythm section and closing out the lineup is the sinister malevolence of Asperia on the keyboards. The bands debut album “Der Oppresso Liber” comes care of Candlelight Records as expected and its really powerful stuff and a recommendation for those fans of bands like Dimmu Borgir. While not drawing a complete comparison of the two, it is safe to say that if you enjoy Dimmu, you should easily enjoy Sothis. Drogoth is an imposing front man who speaks to the audience on a number of occasions during the set list. They had limited space based on their being the first band up and also based on Dross’ drum kit being one of the largest I had seen in a band of this kind. He is actually using the Roland electronic drums and it was cool to see how they are employed in music as heavy as this. There was considerable head banging from everyone on the stage and while the glares of doom often came from the guys handling the axes, they were hardly as intense as the look of utter contempt for the mortal fools that stared at her which came from the dark beauty Asperia. It seemed as though most of the songs came from their debut CD, and these were available for the fans to purchase. They went over great and I would love to see them back again for a longer set. I honestly never expected this kind of Black Metal to come from the land of the rising hair spray – Los Angeles. Clearly the balance is shifting, and that is a good thing. Rumplestiltskin Grinder was up next.
Rumplestiltskin Grinder: Since these guys were the late addition to the package I really expected them to come on first but that was not to be the case and instead they were on the stage as the second band on the tour, or direct support for the headlining Absu. They were also not a Black Metal band which did not sit well with some of the fans who were in front and frowning as they were instead treated to a righteous thrashing that had a lot of different elements mixed inside it. Personally I found too many genres being tested in the bands overall sound makeup, and think that I will need to sit down with an album to better gauge exactly what they are all about. I will say that they were tight and that they were heavy and perhaps it was a good thing that they were on the bill based on it breaking up the Black Metal just a little bit. This allowed each band to have some uniqueness from each other and while it initially was not doing anything for me, I did find myself head banging towards the end. The band is signed to Relapse Records and their latest release is entitled “Living For Death, Destroying The Rest”. I did not capture their set list so am unsure of what was played but shall assume that much of its makeup was from this album. Now it was time for Absu to crush everyone’s skulls.
Absu: Fronted and led by the legendary Proscriptor on drums, Absu is a straight-ahead Black Metal band with no symphonic elements and very simply loaded with power from top to bottom. Of late they have been referring to their brand of Metal mayhem as being “Mythological Occult Metal” and I had to say that this would be a new one for me. Their newest CD is entitled very simply “Absu” and it’s another one that I have yet to purchase, but when I compared the tracks on the release against the set list that was performed had found that a lot of this new CD was delivered for the fans. As I mentioned, the band finds the drumming of Proscriptor keeping it together, and the musician is also the bands lead singer. He performs in full silver face paint and seems almost robotic when he arrives on the stage. He walked out to a great amount of cheers and he just stood there motionless with the sticks in his outstretched arms like a cyborg. Despite this image, the musician would talk to the crowd on a number of occasions and introduce almost every song. He seemed pleased at the turnout, which I still felt should have been a lot better, but if he liked it I was surely not going to argue. Absu is also made up of Zawicizuz, Aethyris MacKay and Ezezu who occasionally offered up some backing vocals, screams or growls – depending on what was necessary of them and the crowd was really eating up their performance. Believe it or not, this was the very first time that Absu had been in New York City, and I must admit that this surprised me quite a bit. The set moved very quickly and while the guitar work was blazing what was keeping everyone rooted to their place was the thunderous and incredibly technical drumming of Proscriptor. You had to admire his ability to keep the fills and patterns that interesting while at the same time singing and never seeming to lose a beat, his place, or the overall drive of the songs. It was definitely cool to see such an important Black Metal drummer in an intimate setting like B.B. King’s. Having come to this show with a light background on much of the proceedings, I had to say that there was a lot of Black Metal that should be paid more attention to by the Metal community. We don’t always find bands like Absu getting to this part of the States, and I am gauging this based on their never having been here before while being active for a number of years. Let’s hope that it doesn’t take too long for them to return because there is a lot of really cool music going on in their repertoire and those who were in the club were treated to a great appearance.
After the show ended I saw some of the members of the various bands hanging around to meet the fans that were looking to speak to them or pose for photos and get autographs. It seemed that they were enjoying being here for the first time as well. Such interactions are great things to the fans and makes their belief in the bands cause all the more stronger.
Sothis Set List:
1. Of Night and Silence
2. De Opresso Liber
3. Obsidian Throne
4. Sinister Nation
5. Lair Of The Benighted
Absu Set List:
1. An Involution of Thorns
2. Descent To Acheron
4. Night Fire Canonization
5. The Thrice Is Greatest To Ninnigal
6. 13 Globes
10. Swords and Leather
11. Four Crossed Wands
13. Twix Yesterday, The Day & The Morrow
14. Girra’s Temple
15. Highland Tyrant Attack
16. The Coming of War
Backstage just before their set we snared a shot of Sothis. I was very interested in hearing them in the live sense after checking out their MySpace page. Really powerful and compelling Black Metal from the USA.
Pictured from left to right we find Drogoth (vocals), Asperia (keyboards), Dross (drums), Scathe (guitar), Nylock (guitar) and Keres (bass). Please try to remember all this as you will be tested at the end of the Metal year. After the show we really had more fun than one is legally allowed to have with a Black Metal band. Check it out.
After their crushing set we caught up with Sothis’ lead singer Drogoth who was enjoying some beer with some very lovely companions. Obviously this is a role that is very hard to handle role and you can easily see by this photo that his job must suck 🙂
After a crushing set of Symphonic Black Metal, there is nothing quite like an ice cold beer and here we find bassist Keres letting us know that we are interrupting his quality decompression time.
Guitarist Scathe also relaxes with a cold one, and I sense the building of a Heavy Metal themed beer commercial, I mean you have heard of the war of the roses before, but how about this war of the beers shot that we see next.
This was a really funny moment to have captured and one could not blame the band for letting go of a little steam as they reflected upon their just finished first time in NYC set. The beers were certainly flowing after this one. Just look below if you don’t believe me.
Here we see Keres trying out for the beer commercial a second time and changing his delivery to suit a wider audience. I don’t know which one works best in my eyes, but think that each of them might be perfect depending on the situation.
Official Website: http://absu.bandzoogle.com/home
Official Website: http://www.sothis.us/
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/Rumplestiltskin-Grinder-321925101165155/