Photo by Jess

Tonight Urgehal and Spearhead begin a US tour. (See dates below.) This is a big deal, as both bands rarely play the States. I have a soft spot for Urgehal‘s Goatcraft Torment (Agonia, 2006), as it was the fifth album I reviewed for this site. The album itself has no soft spots. “Gathered Under the Horns” has a malevolence sorely lacking in much of black metal today. Its riffs are thickets of forked tongues. The band’s new album Ikonoklast comes out Nov. 16 in Europe, with US release date TBA.

Urgehal – Gathered Under the Horns
Spearhead – When the Pillars Fall

Spearhead, meanwhile, are one of metal’s most underrated bands. Their last album, Decrowning the Irenarch (Invictus, 2007) was a masterpiece of blackened death metal. The songs were brutal, the solos were shredding, and the production was suitably punchy. Why isn’t this band huge??? Hopefully this tour will change that.

Finally, in a real head-scratcher, Eyes of Noctum accompany these bands. This is the band of Nicolas Cage’s son Weston. It plays symphonic black metal, polished to Hot Topic standards, with a drummer so incompetent that Snowy Shaw (of King Diamond/Mercyful Fate) had to do drums on the album (which also features a “guest appearance” by Hellhammer of Mayhem fame — see story here).

Hollywood black metal aside, I eagerly await the LA date of this tour — the Gathering of the Bestial Legion festival, which features Deströyer 666 and The Chasm, among others (see flyer here).

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Endurance of Iron & Blasphemy Tour: September 2009
Urgehal, Spearhead, Eyes of Noctum

14 Brooklyn, NY @ Europa (w/Villains, Black Anvil)
15 Pittsburgh, PA @ 31st Street Pub
16 Detroit, MI @ Blondie’s
17 Chicago, IL @ White Star Bar
18 Lake Nebagamon, WI @ Wasko’s
19 St. Paul, MN @ Big V’s
21 Riverton, WY @ Bite Fest
23 Aurora, CO @ Iliff Park Saloon
24 Salt Lake City, UT @ Club Vegas
25 Las Vegas, NV @ Yayo’s
26 Los Angeles, CA @ The Iron Room (w/Deströyer 666, The Chasm)
27 San Jose, CA @ Voodoo Lounge
28 Oakland, CA @ The Metro
29 Sacramento, CA @ The Fire Escape