Did ya fuckin’ miss me? On the one hand, how could you? You get to deal with my bullshit at least once per day on this blog in some format. So I’m kinda always here. On the other hand, how could you not? I mean… It’s me. There could never be enough me. But all joking aside, I know it’s been some time since the last episode of Drinking With Satan. I took the month of January off mostly out of laziness and a futile attempt to behave one extra weeknight per month. So for all those who felt my absence last month (Manny-O-War — I still don’t know idea why you support this column), I apologize. I know it must have been hard. But I’m finally back in 2016 with Drinking With Satan and it will be just as pointless as it was in 2015. But, as usual, that doesn’t matter in the slightest. So, without further delay, let’s talk about booze and black metal!
Does anybody else hate wearing shirts? I hate wearing shirts. For a little bit of background, it’s been a weird evening/week. Starting smaller scale, tonight I ran seven miles, drank a beer and ate dinner, went to the gym, drank another beer, recorded The Nine Circles Podcast while drinking two more beers, and now here I am. Shirtless. Drinking more PBRs and red wine out of my favorite pentagram engraved chalice. Oh, but I’m double fisting between the chalice and just… the bottle. I’m drinking wine straight from the bottle while drinking the same wine from the chalice. Full disclosure: I don’t drink boxed wine. Fuck that shit. Good wine only. What I’m saying is, I put the ‘class’ in ‘classless’. ANYHOOZLE, I started early and it. Has. Been. Great.
On the larger scale, yeah it’s been an interesting start to the year. I’m not complaining. 2016’s outlook is phenomenal. Sure, I’ve seen some relationships with people mysteriously come and go, but that’s done nothing more than remind me of my own mental immortality. Some call it apathy, but I choose more badass terms. Regardless, it’s been a ride already. And that’s this fucking game we call life is, right? A ride? You figure out a way to survive without being miserable all the time (often times with meds) and then you die. That sounds pathetic. Survival until our inevitable death. What an existence we have. We bust our asses all day, everyday in our very finite life just to tolerate everything. Maybe I’m doing life wrong. Or maybe I’m doing life right since everything I do is in acknowledgement of that. Huh. My own thoughts intrigue me. I should take this concept and hike with it. When I’m sober enough to drive. Or stand. Anyway. This wine is mediocre. My thoughts are getting deeper than I was expecting and thus I don’t feel like investing in them any further. So let’s talk about black metal. For this wine has rendered me a simpleton.
As I plow my way through this depressing cabernet sauvignon, we will be “focusing” on the equally as underwhelming Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw from Folteraar.
Where should I begin with this? How about from the superficial beginning shown above? Personally, I love this artwork. It’s dark, grainy, full of mystery, and just feels like something is lurking within its… pages? Walls? Whatever. Off to a good start. After some rather basic research (reading is proving a challenge), it turns out Folteraar is from the Netherlands. I love that country. I had a ton of fun visiting several years back. But that’s basically where my positivity will end. Expect zero specific references to song titles because that’s gonna require copy and paste and I just don’t see that happening. Yeah, this isn’t in English is what I’m getting at.
Featuring two musicians known as B. (drums) and K. (everything else), this is a project with many years of experience in other bands and albums… most of which I know nothing about. But that’s still interesting, right? Anyway, I gotta say I love the way this thing kicks off. The opening minute of ambiance is terrifying. You want it to lead itself into an explosion of darkness and sorrow layered with depth and complexities. Instead, it whimpers to a close and then reopens with a very generic sounding display of riffs (barely audible due to production) and percussional cadences that are chaotic… yet uninventive. The shouted lyrics are interesting enough. But this is just very straightforward black metal produced in low quality.
The following tracks (whatever they are called) get better but the lack of clarity in the leads and the dissonance of the rhythms just makes this rather frustrating. I’m bored. I love black metal. As much as I love Satan and alcohol. But it still needs to do something in either emotion or musicianship. This doesn’t. Being ‘black’ isn’t always enough. There are certainly moments of more deliberation, slower-paced darkness, which I am definitely into. But for a genre that is largely defined by the atmosphere it creates, this just doesn’t have that. At the midway point (still no idea what track) there are some moments that are highlighted by incredibly piercing leads that definitely dig deep into the heart of a listener. But, again, it just isn’t enough… enough of anything. Overall it sounds shallow… empty. Like my heart, or absence thereof. From start to finish it is just missing the emotions and personality of what make this genre so incredible.
Alright, I’m wrapping up. I’m too drunk and tired to care about this album anymore. If you like the generic black metal stuff from two decades ago, I’m sure you’ll love this. If you’re like me and are a fan of black metal because it can be progressive and explore a variety of soundscapes, go elsewhere. I guess I can say that I will always have a place in my heart for those that appreciate their roots, which is what I’m gathering from this. But otherwise, I’m going to go search for something… else. Maybe I’m an asshole. Mayble I’m not kvlt enough. Either way I’m not entertained and that’s all that matters to ME. PEACE. Uno más cerveza, no más los pantalones. One more beer… no more pants.
“Ein bier… bitte.”