Five Popular Metal/Black Metal Releases @ Amoeba Music San Francisco.
1) Throne of Katarsis Helvete - Det Iskalde Morket
2) Torgeist Devoted To Satan
3) Vlad Tepes Black Legions Metal
4) Vietus Mortuus These Haunted Lands
5) Root Hell Symphony
This list of five popular Metal/Black Metal full length albums can be found under the expansive "new releases" CD section of heavy metal, located on the right hand side of the back wall of the Haight Street Amoeba Music store in the vast metal section. These are just a sampling of the countless wonderful metal (including lots of black metal) albums on CD found in this section of the store. More metal releases popular at Amoeba's three stores will be featured in future Metal Monday Amoeblogs. Note that this "new releases" section is technically not all brand new releases, but most are new to many US metal fans. There are also many black metal imports in the section which were previously often difficult to find.
Included is Throne of Katarsis -- the Norwegian self-described "masters of unholy black metal," who in the six years since forming have achieved their goal of trying to keep the spirit of dark atmospheric occult Black Metal of the early ninties Norwegian Black Metal alive and well. According to the band's website, "Sanrabb of Gehenna joined forces with Throne of Katarsis on bass and will appear at upcoming shows and on tour with the band. Current bass player Lord Imalas will still be a part of the live line-up, as they will do separate rituals in the future."
Another CD in the new releases section at Amoeba SF is Torgeist's Devoted To Satan, which has been out for a while. Part of the Black Legions circle, it is a Drakkar Productions label release. Another Drakkar Productions release from past years and re-released is closely related French black metal band Vlad Tepes' Black Legions Metal, which was a 1996 split album release with Torgeist. Formed 17 years ago, the Vlad Tepes took their name from the 15th century Wallachian ruler who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's fictional vampire Dracula.
San Francisco black metal band Vietus Mortuus' EP These Haunted Lands, released last Fall, is still doing well and considered current at Amoeba SF -- one of the select few stores where you can buy this release. Below is a video clip of the Bay Area band at the Black Castle in Los Angeles last year. (Note the Black Castle, located at 855 W. Manchester Ave., is a dream destination for metal fans, as it was created specifically to provide a place dedicated to heavy metal, where the more extreme aspects of this oft ignored genre can be unleashed.)
Also in the black metal style and in the above five metal releases is Czech band Root and their classic 1991 album Hell Symphony. Formed in 1987, Root was one of the original pre-second-wave black metal bands that followed in the footsteps of Venom and Bathory.
SF Black Metal band Vietus Mortuus at the Black Castle in Los Angeles - "Within the Void"
Recently it was reported that three Cowboy linemen (as in the football team the Dallas Cowboys) have signed a heavy-metal record deal for their band Free Reign with the Australian based Riot Entertainment record label. NFL offensive linemen Leonard Davis, Marc Colombo, and Cory Procter, who, along with their buddy guitarist Justin Chapman, make up Free Reign, recently signed the recording contract and their debut album for the Australian music company is scheduled for release this Fall.
"Considering all three players weigh over 300 pounds, it only makes sense they are being referred to as "heavier than metal," wrote the Associated Press in their report of the story last week, further quoting Riot Entertainment's owner John Howarth: "There has been an enormous buzz surrounding them since they appeared on the scene a few months ago. Free Reign has already been flooded with endorsements. Their marketing potential is limitless. These guys are already huge sports stars, but they have shown they have the talent to diversify." Hmmm? Sounds more about business than music. And these three Cowboys surely won't be the first sports stars to branch out into music, from rock to rap to country.
But before you dismiss this latest venture into music by sports or movie stars as yet another soon-to-fail vanity project, check out Free Reign's music on their MySpace and/or hear what they have to say in the video interview below with the band, who played a gig at House of Blues in Dallas over the weekend. Not sure what covers, if any, Free Reign plan on doing, but I would recommend they do a version of the great Phil Lynott/Thin Lizzy "Cowboy Song," as it would go down a treat in concert. And in addition to Riot Entertainment releasing Free Reign's music, expect another sports star related future release from the OZ label, who also recently signed the group Fozzy, which includes professional wrestler Chris Jericho.
And finally, I leave you with the heavy metal air-guitar clip of the week, Fuckin Death Metal Air Guitar with LOUIANDOLL!, originally posted a couple of years ago by UK YouTube member Louismiles, who writes of the video below, "I'll be honest, every band on there except Necrophagist is a bunch of shit. I know I'm wearing a Suffokate shirt but I hate [Oakland,CA band] Suffokate. The others were in the wash, and we were so drunk we didnt realise how scene we looked, so just to clear it up this is generally a product of a Saturday night."