Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blood and Sun, Falls of Rauros, The Flight of Sleipnir, and Velnias at St Vitus Bar

St Vitus Bar is rapidly becoming one of my favorite places in the world to see a metal show. With solid mixing, a great vibe and stellar bills (Locals included!) most nights of the week it's hard not to appreciate what those guys have done for the scene. Yesterday evening evidenced some of the supreme glory that this bar has come to represent with four of the most exciting bands on America's bleak folk/viking metal scene. There was a distinct sense of ritual as I entered the venue and I couldn't help but smile - this is what metal is all about.

Blood and Sun - who opened up the show weren't actually a metal band, but like many other downtempo projects from dudes like Mike Scheidt and Scott Kelly they explore a metal-esque sonic space using exclusively acoustic instruments. They have a wonderfully rich and deep sound that is hard to ignore. It reflect the internal power that this kind of music can have and allows the heart to ring out as you find yourself lost ever deeper in their doomy and quasi-apocalyptic sounds. The thing is Blood and Sun are wonderfully iconoclastic and their sound is wholly their own - reflecting an ancient time and forgotten powers that resonate within us all.

Up net was the immortal Falls of Rauros who have perfectly constructed a sonic space where they can toss in guitar solos into black metal, folk elements into triumphant doom riffs with an overwhelming sense of vocal slaughter reigning high above it all. Falls of Rauros speak to the essential power of American black metal and invoke all sorts of ancient rites into their incredibly epic sound. I was impressed at the sheer quality of the musicianship that these guys represent too - they are wonderfully talented and dedicated to their craft - a key part of what helps to make their live experience so incredibly powerful

The Flight of Sleipnir though were my most anticipated band of the evening and the highlight of my night. They bring their A game with an incredible sense of pagan magic seeping from every chord. There is a jarring and tormented magic to the Viking odes of The Flight Of Sleipnir and these dudes truly get the essential power of the genre and you see that in their performances. Simply put - the organic and profoundly resonant sounds of The Flight Of Sleipnir are impossible to ignore because, as with every other band on the bill they have a very particular way of resonating within the human psyche. It shows that they have unlocked a path forward in a crowded scene and it makes me curious for what is to come from these Colorado geniuses.

When Velnias took the stage I was emotionally drained, but I stayed simply to appreciate the vibes of what they do. Their melodies are impressive and carry a minor key madness to them that only the greatest bands can invoke. Their stage presence is potent and provided a nice sense of majesty to the entire affair. As bizarre as it may seem - Velnias in their forty odd minute set managed to transport the gathered die-hards to a far off land and make them look at reality in a whole new way until the time came for us all to leave - explore our separate ways into the night and hope for a better tomorrow.

And so the memory of last night starts to fade away - but the potent magic remains within. All four bands who played at St Vitus last night had a distinct awareness of the epic nature of their craft and that made it all the better. As I enjoyed some drinks at a rooftop party back at my apartment I found myself unable to re-enter reality and instead sat back, talked to some homeless dudes and reveled in the strange power that the pagan forefathers imbued their music with. Pagan metal is alive and well in the New World and it is good.

Find the bands on Facebook!

Blood And Sun:

Falls of Rauros:

The Flight of Sleipnir:


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