This massive session was booked long before I decided that I'd be taking, at the very least, a season off from broadcasting the My Castle of Quiet program on WFMU. A somewhat different grouping of bands from the Black Twilight Circle (aka artists on the great Crepusculo Negro label) had visited the show in October 2011, and thanks to all the bands, M. from Seed Stock/Raspberry Bulbs, and the engineering/organizational skills of Diane Kamikaze Farris, that session had come off as something really special—a sprawling, but tight and ferocious bill that myself and all others involved could be very proud of.
This time, Eddie and company were returning with a slightly different selection of bands—Volahn and Arizmenda would be back; this time with the opaque, progressive death-metal of BHL (Blue Hummingbird on The Left), and the solidly composed, chunky, contemplative black metal of the much-loved Bilirubin. In the "but wait, there's more" category, also joining us would be perhaps my favorite bm band from French Canada—the great Verglas, whose outstanding tapes have enthralled and mystified me over the past few years.
So, even though by the time of the tour's arrival, I would no longer be on the air weekly, as luck would have it, in early July, before the soil had even been packed atop the coffin of MCoQ's first four years, Evan Davies would need someone to fill in two weeks in a row, perfect timing for me to air this session while it was still fresh, in a prime-time, evening slot.
The level of musicianship and compositional talent in all of the Crepusculo Negro bands is so high—these guys simply love to play, and do so with the utmost congeniality and ease, often working a round-robin where certain players workout on drums, guitar or vocals, depending on the project—such that all of these groupings defy easy categorization. Black metal is the shaky umbrella under which they all casually fall, but the sometimes limiting definitions of that genre are such that these groups bleed out over its edges (and in the case of Arizmenda, quite literally!) In each of these projects, a different player takes the lead, seemingly writing the songs and arranging the parts, etc., so what results is four very distinct voices. Each will end up in your "black metal section," but only for ease of definition, as they all reach far beyond in their way.
Verglas are another animal entirely, drawing on their own urgent, propulsive, minimalist energy, making "the succinct statement" work for them, in a way similar to some of my favorite bands of the genre—Vordr, Bone Awl, Malveillance and others—but shorter songs, and an urgent force, is where the comparisons end, as Verglas have their own character and a songbook of raw dynamite.
All in all, this was a plate-shifting session of great music by great bands, leaving your host very thrilled, and elated that such a passionate coda could be placed upon four years' worth of weekly broadcasting that was more often than not black-metal dominated.
Thanks again to Eddie, all the CN players, Diane, and the Verglas players, for making this day yet another massive Castle session to remember. Each band's set is presented here as a single, unbroken mp3. I had let this session languish in the streaming archive after leaving the weekly air, and my Summer / Fall got cluttered and busy, so I must thank you all as well, for your patience in waiting on this post.