Nothing tops off a weekend more than a full force plunge into the depths of Black Metal. When a hard driving line-up headlined by Norway’s 1349 including US-based UADA and Cloak along with Pulchra Morte, there was no way to pass it up. With the end of Daylight Savings Time, the darkness took over the daylight quick and I knew it was almost time to head out to the Turf Club in St Paul. There was a nice Fall chill in the air when I arrived and donned my gear.
Once inside the venue, I spent a little time catching up with friends with the normal discussions of quirks and comical rants. The merch area was busy with the normal fair of killer shirts from each of the bands. I took a quick pass through the area, but knew it was almost time for the show to begin.
Pulchra Morte took the stage first. For the opening band, these guys did not waste any time on laying down a solid set. Melodic and hard-driving, with a clear doom overtone, Pulchra Morte had the crowd quickly walking to be closer to the stage. Clearly they did not hold back and drove through their set like a well-tuned machine. Pulchra Morte combines the models from the 90’s doom metal and displays them with strong elements of early Paradise Lost Gothic era and God Macabre-type elements.Next up was Cloak. Cloak is really a band that can appeal to those who love traditional black metal, more modern black and most certainly classic metal. Their set was dark with lots of groove and great riffage. With two great guitar players who exchange both leads and rhythms, an incredibly talented bass player and a solid drummer, Cloak is definitely on my list to cover again. After a quick stage change, UADA was ready to unleash madness on stage … and unleash it they did. This was one of bands I had been waiting to see live. I was highly pumped when they kicked off their set. From the moment their sigil was set up on both sides of the stage, the fog began engulfing the room, and the band started playing the energy in the room was in overdrive. The sound coming from the band and the intensity at which it was played completely rocked the venue. There were even a few moshers despite this being mainly a Black Metal show. After witnessing this performance, it is easy to say that Uada should be headlining tours. They are monsters on stage with a performance that compliments their presence. After a short break, 1349 hit the stage and the fans got what they wanted. From the very first note of the set, 1349 established a new level of extreme intensity as they are just one of those battle-hardened extreme Black Metal bands that hit you right in the face. And that’s exactly what 1349 did. In a relentless way the four Norwegians terrorized the Turf Club with their Aural Hellfire (as the band calls their music). Now, it is not only 1349’s music that is extreme … it follows the cold and grim tradition of Norwegian Black Metal. 1349 on stage is a complete work of art with the purpose of creating the most extreme, chaotic and destructive experience of music. All band members work hard on stage as individuals and as a group. Frontman Ravn’s stage presence is commanding. His expressionistic behavior combined with the aggressive quality of his vocals certainly makes him the focal point of the band. The fans eagerly followed his every command throughout the set and never let up until the bitter end.