Blackwood Live by Thy Dying Light

Darkness descends, the air thickens, a figure of impending doom approaches… “LET’S BEGIN!” He summons from within a symphony of blasphemous black metal artillery. Blood curdling screams, sharp riffs of piercing repulsion for all things holy, and bone breaking percussion come together like a gallon of gasoline and flamethrowers into the airwaves. Sounds just like any good black metal show should be, and Thy Dying Light are kill your lights with their LIVE DEBUT, recorded as a set from the Blackwoods of hell.. or somewhere close enough to that. A 5 song live rendition of what I first discovered them on, the first half of their Forgotten By Time compilation, or more recently discovered the entirety of their first EP, The Last Twilight. Either way, it’s goddamn-pun- very-intended awesome.

“THIS IS SATANIC BLACK METAL!” Vocalist, guitarist, bassist, evil mastermind, Hrafn declares to introduce to next tune “Fists Of Satan”… as if there was any ever argument or debate about that at all asThy Dying Light spiral into more pure classic black metal destruction. The power of that good 'ol fashioned, pure, raw, and evil black metal being played in a live setting is impossible to be captured onto on MP3 file, cassette, vinyl, or really even video; it’s something every black metal fan knows as something you have to be right there live, all up in it , close, afraid, headbanging, fist-raising, and personal, to understand and appreciate. For that reason, most “live” black metal (or most extreme metal) records never really appeal to me because they almost always fail to capture that essence or provide anything much worth listing to over the master copy of the record, but not to go off on a cynical tirade about that or anything! Luckily though, on this Blackwoods Live record, it sounds very much like you are listening to it among a rabid black metal audience. From the roaring and howling and swearing of the fans to the hair-raising feedback of the demonic amplification equipment, to the riot- inciting shoutings of the singer… the HIGH ENEGY black magic factor is THERE. Seriously, all metaphoric praise and craziness aside, this is a really well recorded and mixed live record that definitely adequately captures the feeling of seeing an enthralling black metal live act via foley audio. Very much not an easily accomplishment, especial to a particularly strange and picky black metal enthusiast like myself. So, bravo there; Death Kvlt Productions, they are the real deal. A lot has to do with the balance of the sound and quality of the recording that makes it so geniune. To me, black metal that sounds perfect is pretty boring. There definitely is something to be said for that raw, lo-fi, shittiness of an old cassette to hear black metal come from. Where it originated from and arguably how it is meant to be heard is always the path to take, and this is a killer way to channel that energy onto digital music (although the vinyl is much cooler).

As the concert trudges forth and we are ripped through the ritualistic grooves and rapid fire war cries of Thy Dying Light, it never once loses that energy. Playing and performing nothing fancy-about-it-black metal in a captivating way is something to be appreciated, in a newer band especially. They are certainly sticking it to the new batch of black metal bands trying to be artsy with this bunch of demonic throwbacks. He spits out the title of the last song, “Thy Dying Light”, and the band fires its way through some of the best brutal actual devil’s music you can get anywhere. Refreshing and warmed up my cold heart for a minute. “Hail Satan!” He declares at the conclusion, because of course he does, puts the nail in the coffin of this incredible live black metal ritualistic experience. Powerful as all hell.

Rating: 5/5

Gym Rating: 666/5

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