1349 have been heralded since their inception in 1997 as true practitioners of Norwegian Black Metal.
They carry a torch for all the fundamental elements that make Norwegian Black Metal what it is— fast, furious, and soaked in darkness.
Just what you need to put a little pep in your step on a chilly night in Saint Paul.
Starting off the night was Pulchra Morte, who are inspired by dense and expansive doom and death metal of the ’80s and ’90s.
Pulchra Morte brings a modern approach to the type of heavy metal made famous by bands like Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride.
Their album Divina Autem Et Aniles is full of character and complexity and I was curious to see how it translated to a live performance. I was happy to see that they did a great job.
Their set was full of energy and aggression that was just the right way to kick off a night of heavy music.
They ended their set with their first single off of Divina Autem Et Aniles, “Soulstench.”
A bruiser of a song, it showcases some of the best elements of this band’s sound. Tight dual guitar attack, rock-solid bass, and drums. And dark tragic lyrics.
Cloak was next to take the stage.
If you like your metal with a little more rock and roll swagger, I encourage you to throw on your favorite leather pants and head to the next Cloak show.
This Atlanta, Georgia-based four-piece brought their best to the Turf.
Their set was full of riffy death jams. Thick with thrash and blackened gloom.
It is easy to see why their debut album, To Venomous Depths, was listed at number 20 of the top 40 albums of 2017 by Decibel Magazine.
Following Cloak was UADA, who took to a blacked-out, fog-shrouded stage introduced by howling wolves.
I have been a fan of UADA (Latin for haunted) from the moment I heard their song “Snakes and Vultures” off of their 2018 release Cult of a Dying Sun.
If the band Cloak brings a swagger and strut to their live show, UADA reverses that direction opting for anonymity and atmosphere.
Each member wears a uniform of black clothes and a black hood that hides their identity.
Add to that enough fog to fill up a haunted house and one small light behind the lead guitarist and bassist, and you have yourself enough atmosphere to truly be able to enjoy UADA as intended.
Their sound is a combination of black metal and death metal.
They Use smart, catchy guitar riffs that give you something to hold onto while also beating you down with frantic and powerful drumming and bass.
Layer on top of all that Banshee howling and growled screams of deceit, fire, and the dark void and you have yourself a cocktail of sonic adrenaline.
Our evening’s ritual concluded with a performance by the sensational 1349.
Named for the year the black death reached Norway, 1349 have been on a path to bring the concept of aural hellfire to the world since 1997, and this show was no exception.
Their sound is something you feel in your bones, it catches the air in your throat and doesn’t let go.
Blistering razor-sharp guitar and snarling bass twist and tangle over some of the most insanely fast athletic drumming in heavy metal.
Paired with screams of lyrics encompassing terror, annihilation, and destruction, 1349 is a total sensory onslaught.
There is a reason they have been considered titans in the black metal scene for years and seeing them live proves they have earned every bit of their reputation.
They are a shining example of true Norwegian Black Metal that anyone who even has a passing interest in the genre should see live in person.
That goes for every band on this show’s bill. If you have any interest in experiencing what great modern heavy metal has to offer, you would be doing yourself a service to check out any of these bands.
1349 will be continuing their U.S. tour until the end of the year then transitioning to Europe to tour with the ABBATH and Vltimas in 2020.