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
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.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
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.
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.