The Darkness Looms

four ‘black metal’ bands to collide for night of noise

Andrew Patrie |

Black T-shirts required, sleeves optional.

At the turn of the last decade, black metal was becoming too comfortable in its own corpse paint. Bands that had built a mystique via lo-fi recordings and shadowy imagery, not to mention the occasional murder and church arson, began to inject more “commercial” elements into their music, like quasi symphonic synth work and industrialized beats. Older fans were clamoring for the scene to bring out its dead. The irony was that the scene was far from its last legs. It was the decade that saw the refinement (degradation?) of the Finnish sound, the emergence of a French identity beyond the Black Legions, and the establishment of credibility for the United States. In 2000, Louisiana-based Goatwhore dropped their debut long player, The Eclipse of Ages into Black, a raging, unapologetic regression to black metal’s core aesthetics – a spiked fist in the faces of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth. Subsequent recordings saw the band “progress” by exploiting idiosyncrasies in their sound, such as their seriously spooky sophomore slab Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun. But all that was prologue for their finest moment, Carving Out the Eyes of God. It sacrifices none of their viciousness while managing to incorporate a bit of thrash into the mire, without a wink or a white hi-top in sight. Best of all, by the metal gods, they’ll be in Eau Claire to share the stage with the kindred malcontents – Nashville’s Enfold Darkness as well as local ne’er-do-wells Desolatevoid and Purge the Woods.

Goatwhore + Enfold Darkness + Desolatevoid + Purge the Woods • Wednesday, March 3 • House of Rock, 422 Water St. • 8:45pm • $8 in advance, $10 at door • ages 21+ • 838-0158 •