Blood Red Throne, Enslaved, and Dimmu Borgir

T’was many nights before Christmas and evil rolled into the land.
They came from oceans away with sticks, drums, and battle axes in hand.
All the naughty little boys and girls rejoiced and cheered their Norse visitors with horns in the sky.
And in the background I could’ve sworn I heard Santa and Jesus cry.

-Aamir Hydari, 12/8/10…ha!

Blood Red Throne, Enslaved, and Dimmu Borgir at HOB Houston , December 7, 2010…

A crushing Norwegian onslaught befell Houston last night at The House Of Blues. Riquelme and I walked in as Blood Red Throne was pummeling the masses. Man, these guys were good. They played Floridian Death Metal with that oh so tasty Scandinavian touch and charm. Wailing solos, deep guttural vocals, fluid bass lines, and great drumming. The break downs were groove laden and the fast stuff was dizzying. Added coolness factor were the huge spiked arm bands the singer was sporting. They looked like he could seriously hurt someone with those things. Ha!

Next on deck was Enslaved. These guys put on an absolutely stunning performance. A hybrid of Pink Floydish atmospherics, guitar god fret acrobatics, brilliant melodic synth textures, a juxtaposition of clean vocals and raspy throat shredding, with a foundation of gargantuan Metal. Even with all these elements, there was no cheese and no mindless wankery. It was highly impressive and extremely captivating. Really talented and seasoned group of musicians. Thick mid-tempo groove, soft psychedelic interludes, soaring guitar solos, and the power of a Howitzer. These guys were pure majesty. Added coolness factor was the skull mounted front and center on the drum rack and the group of dudes next to us proudly waving a Norwegian flag. Awesome.

It was now time for Norway ’s ambassadors of darkness to spread their seething evil message over the crowd. The stage setup started to take form and an impressive sight it was. A huge drum riser flanked with inverted crosses, skulls, and pentagrams. The monster kit that sat atop it was magnificent. The humungous backdrop graced with the image of the mask from the cover of the new album – “Abrahadabra”. Two huge fan shaped lighting rigs sat in the background and when fired up delivered a strobe effect that made Riquelme so sick that he couldn’t look straight at them for very long. Ha! After an orchestral intro, Dimmu Borgir burst on to the stage and started to deliver wave after wave of symphonic Black Metal. Gone are the traditional black costumes with spikes and the like. Instead, they have opted for a new look on this tour. Corpse paint still used, but the garb was white. They looked like a group of evil polar mutants. They sounded fantastic and with all the symphonic/orchestral interplay it all had a regal-evilness to it. Ha! The precision and execution was mind boggling, especially in the double bass drum work. My favorites were “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse”, “The Serpentine Offering”, and “The Chosen Legacy”. Factoid – Cyrus from Susperia is handling bass duties on this tour for Dimmu Borgir. It was a ‘hell’ of a show…ha!!! Riquelme and I had a major good time. Really glad we went and soaked up some evil for the season. In Sorte Diaboli!!!!!!!!!

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