Black metal has been, for years now, my power food—visceral nutrition for the body and spirit. For three hours on October 7, the heartiest of metal meals was served up on WFMU by the Southern-California collective known as The Black Twilight Circle. A grouping of ~than a dozen projects, the BTC releases most of their work on their own Crepusculo Negro label, and styles run the gamut from high-powered, tuneful hardcore (Mata Mata) to raw, darkly atmospheric gut-punch black (The Haunting Presence), to the most esoteric of psych-informed, highly creative bm (Shataan, Kuxan Suum.) Many, but not all, of the players in the collective are Mexican-American, so there's that intriguing and arcane element (for most of us Anglos, anyway) of Mayan folklore and symbolism that also serves to make the BTC bands so fascinating and somewhat impenetrable.
The individual members of the BTC are all incredibly talented and accomplished multi-instrumentalists as well, so depending on which project has taken the stage, different players make their unique contribution on different instruments. This evening was, without a doubt, one of finest radio events I've ever hosted, the power staggering, and the range of styles represented incredibly impressive. A total of seven bands played sets that night (a WFMU record?), each project completely distinct from the previous, and each equally magnificent in its own way.
Virtually every band on the BTC's east-coast tour played a set that night, though even three hours does eventually run out, and Dolorvotre were unfortunately cut down to one, temple-smashing number, "Brilliant Brightness," nonetheless a highly apropos way to cap off the event. Here now are those sets, in the order in which they were performed. Where the live performance was rendered continuum style (as in the case of Arizmenda and Kallathon), I kept that flow, ripping the set as one, continuous mp3 file. Other sets, like those of Shataan and Volahn, had clearer stopping points, and thus the mp3s have been broken up accordingly. Endless thanks to Eddie and the BTC band members; you're welcome back any time. Depicted: Volahn; photo by the author, manipulated by Tracy Widdess.