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Heathen Crusade

Discussion in 'RC' started by skyrefuge, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Ok, I really shouldn't be the one here posting the first Heathen Crusade comments, but I'm a boring old man who wasn't drinking last night, so I think the job probably falls to me by default. Here's my comments from Day One:

    Bronnson
    --------
    I caught their last two songs. They were a local band brought in as a last-minute replacement, and that's basically what they sounded like.

    Will of the Ancients
    --------------------
    Pretty damn good for the second band of the night. I'd say they basically play "Heathen Crusade metal": blackish metal with lots of melody and headbanging groove. While they were almost exclusively growling, their song about pirates had their bass player doing some epic melodic yelling which was quite awesome.

    Vesperian Sorrow
    ----------------
    Wall-of-sound blackdeath metal. The parts where they'd just blast away could be a bit boring, but luckily they included enough kickass headbanging riffs to keep me interested. In what I think is a first for me, the normally-growling singer would exhort the crowd *during* the songs, using a normal clean voice. That just struck me as funny.

    Slough Feg
    ----------
    Easily the best band of the night for me. I'm not even that much of a fan of them on record (it all seems pretty one-dimensional), but I'll never miss a chance to see them live. They had their shit so together they started 10 minutes early, which gave Mike Scalzi time during the set to work his stand-up act: "So who here got a ride from Gary Gygax?" "How many women are here who aren't somebody's mother?" Even without the awesome jokes, the band had perfect sound, is tight as hell, and had the most impressive drummer of the night. Add in nearly constant dual-guitar harmonies played along to head-chunking rhythms, and what more could someone with good taste ask for?

    Vreid
    -----
    Well, the Windir song was the best thing that they played, but only by a small margin, so that's pretty impressive. Somehow they find the perfect proportions for the mix of black, thrash, epic, and rock-n-roll groove to generate what was probably the most energized crowd of the night.

    Manegarm
    --------
    Finally, the first non-standard instruments of the night (violin and a bit of recorder)! Oddly, they were played not by a Viking, but by the guy who works in the A/V department of your college library. Some of their songs were total ass-kickers, but then they had some that were just kind of there. Still, they kept me interested for their whole set, which means I was kept interested for the entire day, which is pretty unbelievable.

    As for the festival, scheduled times were hit dead on the nose for the entire night. Sound was generally good, lighting was about the worst ever, and I cannot comment on the beer!
     
  2. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    Thanks for the write-up. I was actually waiting to hear from someone on the front lines. What was so bad about the lighting?
     
  3. EricT

    EricT Don't you ever get...

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    There is lighting here?

    Its really awful.

    Floor 7 was the place to be last night, the bands and goers like us were getting sloshed among eachother in the rooms and the halls... smoking in the halls, suprised the smoke detector didn't go off, heh. Got to talk to mike from slough feg for a while, and he gave me his beer, which was some wheat beer which was realy good. Then a cop came up. I got to pile in a room with manegarm and vreid and hear swedes quote american movies and drink for a while.

    I expect the same for tonight.

    Slough Feg killed, btw.
     
  4. Evil?

    Evil? omghaxlol!1

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    Sounds like a great time.
     
  5. Demilich

    Demilich Remember

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    I'm glad Slough Feg is getting better writeups than when Keeley and whoever else saw them a while ago! Those guys had better make it up to Toronto some day!
     
  6. EricT

    EricT Don't you ever get...

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    I have returned home, sadly.

    I'ma bit out of it, so I'll keep this short:

    Rudra fucking owned, and whatever that pink shit RIA kept pouring in me mouth was really fucking good.
     
  7. General Zod

    General Zod Ruler of Australia

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    No one told you? RIA has a rare, but managable medical condition that causes his splooge to turn pink. Strange, but true.

    Zod
     
  8. EricT

    EricT Don't you ever get...

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    Most delicious cup of 100% pure money shot -ever-.
     
  9. swizzlenuts

    swizzlenuts i'm sciencing as fast as i can

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    Mael Mordha was fucking fantastic.

    Rudra was ace a fuck

    Obtest ruled
     
  10. swizzlenuts

    swizzlenuts i'm sciencing as fast as i can

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    pictures after my camera's battery gets charged.
     
  11. lurch70

    lurch70 Active Member

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    They are playing tonight in NYC ... but I have to get up super early tomorrow morning, otherwise I would have went.
     
  12. Evil?

    Evil? omghaxlol!1

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  13. Sfarog

    Sfarog Trapped in hated logic

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    Rudra guys are super cool, and a very tight band, by the way! we hung out with them a bunch in MN, and I went to see their brooklyn show as well. good times!
     
  14. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    OK mofo's, Heathen Crusade ruled. Just when I thought HC1 was untouchable, they totally did it again. HC must continue to exist and they need your support!!!

    Day One has already been covered here, but I'll throw in my two cents on a few highlights.

    Slough Feg - UNBELIEVABLE. Obviously they were the "odd ball" band and they totally took command. Everyone went nuts for them and pretty much agreed that it was like being at some NWOBHM show in 1981. Very Maiden-esque all the way, and the guitar harmonies were bang on the money. "Sky Chariots" and "Red Branch" never sounded so good.

    Vreid - STOLE THE SHOW NIGHT 1. As I predicted, I knew their material would work well live.....but I didn't realize they would be THAT good!!! Outstanding riffs Norwegian style and a moshpit frenzy. Sadly no "songen et fangen" but they finished with the almighty "Hengebjorki" and of course the crowd went nuts.

    Manegarm -- excellent stuff, but I have to admit I was wiped out at this point. I watched from afar and thought they did an excellent job. I'll never look at this band again without being reminded of Andy Dick.

    Day 2 overview coming....
     
  15. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    Day Two

    MANETHEREN - They had the tough job of kicking off day 2 at 1pm with a half empty hall and a bunch of hungover metalheads. They did brilliantly. I'd never heard their material before but it worked well live and it seemed pretty 'atmospheric' in a DRUDKH kind of way.

    WITHERING SOUL - I can't remember to be honest. I think I was scanning through merchandise.

    DARK FOREST -- EXCELLENT!!!! Shame their sound mix wasn't too good at the beginning but they ended brilliantly. "Under the Northern Fullmoon" and especially "Journey to Ever Eternal Skies" worked fantastically well live on stage. The balance between keys and guitars was perfect and that "journey" song ended up being the first song I listened to again on my iPod once the fest was over.

    GWYNBLEIDD -- What can I say? Outstanding. The songs are long but they journey well enough not to sound stagnant. Their masterpiece, "Awakening" was definitely one of the highlights of the entire festival. Great guys too since we got to hang out briefly. Will definitely see them when they play locally again.

    EARTHEN, SHROUDS OF BEREAVEMENT, HORDES OF YORE -- I have little to no recollection. I think I was distracted with drinking beer, hanging out with RUDRA, chanting "Frank Frank Frank" every 2 minutes and buying merch.

    MAEL MORDHA -- STOLE THE SHOW NIGHT 2. I didn't know anything about this band going in, other than they being Irish and big drinkers (as we witnessed the night before on floor 7 of the hotel). This was like going into battle with Braveheart. If these guys ever tour with PRIMORDIAL, it could possibly become the greatest show on earth.

    OBTEST -- good, but I was loaded at this point. I needed to sober out some and prepare for the almighty......

    .....RUDRA!!!!!! Holy shit. Let's put it this way -- if I'm moshing, then it means they're kicking ass and taking no prisoners! Even falling over in the moshpit was fun, haha! Not only are these the nicest guys you'll meet, they totally ruled the stage and blew all our expectations away. Somebody needs to sign them now.

    SKYFORGER -- great stuff, but I was wiped at this point. I remember the lead vocalist looking mean with that balding hair-do and the riffs were tight as hell. This was a band I didn't think much of on CD, but live on stage, the whole fucking world turns upside down.

    BAL SAGOTH - no idea. I left to beat the crowds. I couldn't last another minute.

    Here's the thing about Heathen Crusade bands......whatever you hear on CD is really just a sample of things to come live on stage. It's all about the live experience. Pagan / Heathen music works SO MUCH BETTER live on stage than on CD.

    Even the Mael Mordha guys were saying the following morning that they could never capture on CD what they do on stage. The intensity is just ten-fold.

    Oh man, my head hurts.

    If HC3 gets announced, I'm going even before the line up is announced.

    Thanks to the promoters for putting on a show and granting us "all access" VIP badges, which of course came our way through Dark One's generous sponsorship deal so thanks to him too.

    :kickass:
     
  16. Demilich

    Demilich Remember

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    The dudes behind promoting/organizing this show are pure genius! :kickass: Glad everyone had a good time!
     
  17. MetalNations

    MetalNations Member

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    Thank You all very much for your great words. Also, thanks for attending. We still have HC 1 Fest DVDs left. Not sure what kris will do. But, stay tuned.
     
  18. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Ok, Day Two. Ready....Go!

    Manetheren
    -----------
    Top-notch atmospheric hypnotic black metal. Sure, the style has been done before, but they executed it perfectly, had a perfect sense of melody, and since Drudkh wasn't anywhere to be found, this was the next best thing. They deserved way better than the 1pm slot with 20 people watching them.

    Withering Soul
    --------------
    I missed them opening for Enslaved earlier in the week in Chicago, and then only caught about half their set here. Competent if unspectacular melodic black metal. I'd have to listen to them closer to figure out if their one guitarist is actually as awesome as he makes himself look by the motions of his fingers.

    Dark Forest
    -----------
    Some more competent if unspectacular black metal. Or, maybe they were spectacular, but c'mon, I saw 18 bands, so I can't quite remember everything! (Really, it's a credit to the festival that all the bands had as much individual identity as they did.) Actually given their name/logo/origin, the music was actually a lot more militant and 'viking' than I was expecting.

    Gwynbleidd
    -----------
    I totally understand why these guys have a pretty good buzz going. They sound completely "pro", and sounding like Opeth these days doesn't hurt either. Perhaps a little too much like Opeth for my liking. That's why it was nice when they brought out the acoustic fun in their last song, it gave a bit more connection to the earth, if you're feelin' me. Subtract two points for the guitarist with his hair tied back! If you're onstage, performing in a *metal* band, and you still don't let your hair loose, why the heck do you even have it? For your second job as a romance-novel model?

    Earthen
    --------
    Let's see if I can remember the eight people onstage: singer (girl), violinist (girl), drummer (girl!), bass (12-year old boy with a wedding ring, seated), 2 acoustic guitars, electric guitar, and keyboards. It sounds like it was basically their first performance, and it kinda showed, but I really like the concept, so hopefully they can keep this orchestra together and develop it more. Ooh, and they played a "Tolkien" song! (Pippin's depressing-as-fuck lament from "Return of the King")

    Shroud of Bereavement
    ----------------------
    Most memorable moment was the singer/guitarist chugging from a half-gallon of milk between songs. They probably would have been a lot more memorable if their sound was better. They had two keyboardists, but I could only hear about half of one. And their female vocalist sounded incredible during the soundcheck (especially compared to the Earthen singer), so it was unfortunate that I could hardly hear her either. It was definitely good to have a doom-ish band like this on the bill though. I left a bit early to grab some dinner.

    Hordes of Yore
    --------------
    Another good band playing "Heathen Crusade metal", but I was hoping for a bit more ethnic instrumentation.

    Mael Mordha
    ------------
    Holy crap, these guys easily won the whole festival. They came storming on stage in their Irish war-paint and never let up. Every member of the band was great to watch, with the singer in his Jesus-robe being the obvious focal point. He was climbing all over the stage, roaming out in the crowd, playing some flute and a big-ol' horn, and was fookin' funny too. Oh, and their songs completely slayed. Stomping, melodic, headbanging folk metal. It's simply a crime that the first time I heard about these guys was when the HC lineup was announced. With a performance like that, they could be headlining Wacken.

    Obtest
    -------
    These guys were the 'Slough Feg' of the night, though a slightly more intense version. Almost speed-metal with tons of guitar harmonies. The "singer" was a bit unfortunate, but a lively performer if nothing else. Lots of fun, and perhaps a hint of what it would be like if a real power metal band ended up playing.

    Rudra
    ------
    Damn, did these guys bring it. Powerful death metal that just sounded great. For some reason, I was thinking "eh, they're from the other side of the world, I'll understand if they don't have their shit together. They probably don't have 'survival-of-the-fittest' to encourage them to raise their game". But they were one of the most pro-sounding bands of the whole fest. Their frontman has the skinniest fingers I've ever seen on a (male) bass player, but he played some awesome stuff. They also win the award for Most Genuinely Heartfelt 'Thank You' Speech.

    Skyforger
    ---------
    Ok, so you've got a singer/guitarist fronting your band who may very well be Rasputin. Yeah, the mad fucking monk, still alive and kicking after all these years. Then, you've got a singer/bassist *also* fronting your band, and he just happens to be King Of All Vikings. With that, how the hell can you lose? So yeah, they pretty much slayed. And that doesn't even include the third singer and all his wacky instruments (flutes, bagpipes, some sort of strap-on zither-type thing). Probably second-best band of the fest for me.

    Bal Sagoth
    -----------
    The narrations and between-song banter was awesome. Unfortunately they had to play some music too, and that didn't do a whole lot for me. Beyond the masked singer, there wasn't much to watch either. So after 12 hours of watching bands, I checked out about halfway through their set. Seemed like lots of big Bal Sagoth fans stuck it out 'til the end and were having a great time though.

    For the festival, they actually were running 10 minutes ahead for much of the day, and the lights were doing stuff, so that was nice. Only other thing I could have asked for was for the place to not reek of Sloppy Fuckin' Joes the whole day!
     
  19. MetalNations

    MetalNations Member

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    Agreed.
     
  20. Sfarog

    Sfarog Trapped in hated logic

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    :lol: I'll make sure he reads this
     

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