Monday, December 15, 2008


My journey through Scandinavia is coming to a close. It was memorable, to say the least. At this point it is easier to let the photos tell the story.

The owner's identity should be obvious - Oslo, Dec.2.08

Neseblod Records, Oslo, Dec.3.08

Watain - Uppsala, Dec.6.08

KK of Destroyer 666 at Necromorbus Studio, Dec.7.08

Pantheon I rehearsal, Dec.9.08

Proper use for a church - Dante's Metal Bar, Helsinki, Dec.13.08

Antti Boman - Helsinki, Dec.14.08

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Early Mourning

I smell. I smell like zombie vomit. I smell like I shit my pants and then died. I smell like Watain. The creeping red odor of the bunker has attached itself to my hair, skin, clothes, and everything else I own. I'm not sure if Ravn will let me back into his place when I return to Oslo. I made my bed and agreed to lay in it, but I really cannot believe how bad I smell right now. It's the worst I've ever smelled in my life. Everyone who caught a whiff of me on the city train reacted with distaste or upset and some confusion as to the odor's origin. Someone had a dog on there and it wouldn't leave me alone. I have become an unwitting harbinger of Watain in my journey to Uppsala; I am now their stench-bearer and I leave a trail of olfactory evil behind me. I have to admit that being caught in this miasma has been giving me alternate waves of amusement and an unease that could pave the way to panic. I think this is the true nature of death – alternately absurd and terrifying in equal measures. People on this train car are starting to freak out. Good thing I'm getting off.

Now at the central station. I tried to look around for some dryer sheets, Febreez, or something else to stem the putrescence but the grocery stores here don't seem to carry anything like that. I hope I don't get kicked off the train. I am actually feeling a bit self-conscious; back home, this would be totally hilarious but here I feel like a scumbag amongst all these well-dressed and well-bred people. Even the Mcdonald's servers are slender blond angels sent from Heaven to serve us our Big Macs.

Maybe this is part of what motivates Watain; they come from a place where everyone is shiny, groomed, and good-looking, and they factor that into their rejection of the world at large. To be an odious freak in America is commonplace, but here it is a statement. All I know is that they are the antithesis of what I see in the people of Sweden.

5pm. I got a nice hotel room up the street from the venue and took a shower. I couldn't take it any more. I also got a bottle of Oust and sprayed it liberally on my clothes. The thermals are toast. I have to rinse them out. I have another clean shirt but that's it. We'll see if the Indian restaurant across the street can stand me. The show starts in 3 hours. It promises to be great and insane, and I am looking forward to seeing a lot of friends. More tomorrow.

To Sleep With Evil

Friday, 12.5.08, Watain bunker, Stockholm – It smells bad down here. Really bad. Watain is gearing up for their 10th anniversary show tomorrow and they are stepping up the offal to match the occasion. They removed most of the actual offending pieces, but there's still a lot of grue-covered skulls everywhere, and there is no real ventilation at all. Erik warned me that he woke up vomiting this morning but I decided to stay here anyway. I am tired of moving from place to place for the moment and I have been supplied with a comfortable bed so it is fine for now. This is a special day for Watain and since they went so far as to include me I might as well embrace the entire experience from start to finish. Maybe I'll wake up to a breakfast of vomit myself, but so far so good. I will breathe deep of death and see where it takes me in my sleep tonight.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Belfast Outrage

Teloch is sneaky with the camera. So much the better.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Recent remnants:

Wrath - Austin, Tx, 10.11.08

Sanguine has a drink - London, 11.1.08

Gaahl sends the horns, Newport 11.22.08

Read this to summon Cthulhu.

Today's Black Metal concert comes with a salad and soup of the day.

King ov Hell - Birmingham, 11.30.08

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Late on this; I spent the last day getting settled in here in Oslo. London was a long day but proved to be a good time. We got into town from Birmingham late Saturday night and then were out to Camden Town by noon. This wasn't really ideal as we ended up having to stash our gear and sit on it at the Camden Underworld for almost four hours. Sanguine and I took turns watching the pile of bags and guitars. When I ventured out I mostly saw endless stores piled high with vinyl trenchcoats, pre-fab punk gear, and New Rock boots. Anyone looking to pose out on short notice would be all set in this neighborhood. The street market was actually quite an experience with exotic cuisines served by every stripe of Asian mainlander imaginable. The gray and rain did much to reinforce the Blade Runner feeling of it all. Eventually we were met by Paul of Arcane Productions and trekked down to the Purple Turtle. It was a longer walk than we expected, and it meant having to set down our gear and rest periodically, which was sort of comical (in retrospect). The venue was a nice place and the opening bands of Niroth, Eastern Front, and Skaldic Curse were all agreeable. We ended up with 75 people in attendance, which was to our satisfaction considering Satyricon played two nights before and the Cradle of Filth/Gorgoroth show was the next evening. We played well and even ran into a couple of people we met at the Arnhem Metal Meeting exactly a year before. It was a fine way to close the tour. Sanguine and I stayed at a hostel down the street and were kept awake by another guest who moaned and talked in his sleep. Irritating to say the least. We parted ways at the tube station and I went to the airport to go to Oslo. The weird and funny part of that ride was that there were (predictably) many Norwegians on the flight. It was general seating and while I was in the 3rd row by myself I was categorically avoided. They wouldn't even look at me. I can't know for certain but I was still dressed in tour mode and it seemed like they knew what I was about. Either way, I got the extra space.

Ravn and Seidemann of 1349 are graciously hosting me during my time in Norway and I then I will go to Stockholm for Watain's 10th anniversary show at week's end. There may be no time for further entries but some additional photos will be forthcoming. Thanks to all who came to the shows and to Gorgoroth and their outstanding crew. We will return to finish the job on the mainland dates as soon as we can.

In Longing Spirit

Oof. I am tired. I was up until 7am talking with Gaahl. He kept pouring me wine through the course of our conversation and I ended up drinking a lot more than I had planned (which started out as not at all). Gaahl was very complimentary to Sanguine about his vocal performance last night, and King pointed out that these sorts of compliments were rare. It was nice to hear his efforts praised in that fashion. I finally slept and had a lot of weird dreams and woke up at 1:30pm feeling very unrested. Birmingham is a tough looking city and it was again cold and wet when we arrived. The venue was called The Asylum and it was actually a really nice place with an adjoining rehearsal space building that set us up with coffee, tea, and a place to hang out for a little while. The show felt very anti-climactic in a lot of ways; it was nothing compared to the raw electricity of Leeds the night before, and the turn-out was not as big. It was the standard 100 heads, give or take, but the room was large and it made the crowd seem thin. We played a razor-sharp set to a moderately good response, a lot of people were taking photos. When Gorgoroth went on the room ignited and they owned the crowd from beginning to end. It was a good time. Then came the part we always hate- the farewells. We had just gotten to know this band and its crew, all of whom we enjoyed thoroughly. There was the shared sentiment that it was too soon for us to leave and that it felt strange that we would not continue with them on their tour with Cradle of Filth. Once again, I am pleased to say that this tour, while short, was another great experience for AVRS. We presented well on all fronts and made a lot of new friends in the process. As I have affirmed many times before, I wouldn't trade this for anything.

Coda- we received a lot of email leading up to this tour regarding our opinions of Gorgoroth and Gaahl. While I still decline to comment on any of that directly, I will say that Gaahl, King, and the band as a whole were professional, dedicated, and they treated us with respect and esteem. We are not taking sides on their legal situation, but it would be very disingenuous of me to say that we did not enjoy our time on the road. If we have the chance, we will appear with them again regardless of the disputed name.