Black Metal clowns Carpathian Forest could teach, say, The Rolling Stones a thing or two about Stage Craft, is what The Duke has decided. This live DVD, although cursed with ridiculous title, is as much fun as anyone could rightly expect to gleam from an artform awash with ditties like Morbid Fascination Of Death or Nuclear Fucking Death Machine.
I think that latter one might be a Hank Marvin cover, although I can’t be too sure.
This form of the old extreme guitar-molesting is certainly far from the most pleasant of sounds. It’s often incredibly complex, symphonic even, (albeit suffering from a peculiarly distasteful pretension), but still, it probably wouldn’t get you very far on, say, Popular Idol or whatever, the show about some folks sing and then Simon Cowell says about how he’d rather rape his own eyes than listen to it again.
Those catchphrases, man. How does he come up with them all?
This obstacle, however, is overcome considerably when a fella is blessed with a visual accompaniment to the gloomy tapestries seeping like noxious toss from the speakers.
To this end, The Duke, hardly a connoisseur of the Norwegian Black Metal (the geography doesn’t seem too important to me, but front-man Nattefrost thinks it’s of utmost relevance, asking about “Are you ready for some Norwegian Black Metal?” and then even adding stuff about “Fucking Norwegian Black Metal” into a couple of the songs), still found himself thoroughly entertained by the sheer theatricality of the affair.
Recorded in Krakow in 2004, the concert which serves as the main feature on this extras-packed disc is nothing less than captivating, often on account of how bizarre the whole thing appears. In an era of super-slim, lipo-sucked, preening Pop Divas, it’s indescribably refreshing to see the two dancers, Dzidzianna and Lala, prancing around the stage throughout, two black haired ladies who appear to be no strangers to a fish-supper or twelve, bounding from one end of the stage to the other, naked but for a piar of dirty y-fronts, looking and sounding for all the world like a couple perverted Telletubbies.
Bassist Vrangsinn, too, offers much hilarity, a behemoth the size of thirty men with his arse hanging out of a bone-tight leather g-string. Added to this are a whole heap of pyrotechnic firework carry-on’s, although really, Carpathian Forest are hardly the kinda motherfuckers who need a sparkler or two to hold the audiences attention.
Nattefrost is also one damn fine frontman, regardless of one’s opinion regarding his chosen genre. Watching him command the proceedings, arms aloft, sometimes holding two inverted crucifixes on account of the “evil” and so on, face caked in the usual white-and-black corpse-paint get-up, modeling the fetching pointy-stuff black armbands and so on, it’s all terribly entertaining.
From what I can tell, the musical content of the live show is fairly superior to the studio equivalents. Judging from the tracks littered around the DVD’s bonus audio section, the live-renditions have an urgency, a power that seems lacking from the occasionally weedy aural-only alternatives.
Of course, you have to respect a band who have not one, nor two, but three intros during their live show, not to mention the outro which, fitting enough, heralds the close of the performance. These brooding, orchestral diversions add to the near-operatic nature of the whole shebang, although in this case the fat ladies don’t sing, but instead run around performing a kind of morris-dance, naked and covered in fairly poor make-up.
So packed with added treats is this DVD that it’d be possible for a fella to get confused as to where the main-feature actually begins or ends. In addition to 20-odd audio tracks, we get some bootleg video and another live show from the Wacken Open Air festival. There’s also a fairly amusing in-studio featurette concerning the recording of Defending The Throne Of Evil.
In addition, then, to the lessons these fellas could teach the likes of The Manic Street Preachers regarding the live-show, they could also give a fair old lecture concerning value-for-money when it comes to DVD releases.
Those lectures, incidentally, would be nigh-on unmissable, I’m guessing, filled with dancing naked fat people and hairy bassists with their arses hanging out and loads of shouting about “Norwegian Fucking Black Metal!” and so on.
It’s all a whole barrel of the theater, from the banners hanging from each side of the stage which read “Fuck You All”, to the guttural ranting throughout such amusing numbers as Pierced Genitalia and Humiliation Chant Part I.
It’s preposterously pompous, for sure, but it’s hard not to bop along, or stare moodily from up past your eyebrows, in appreciation of the stage-craft on display. Certainly The Duke hasn’t enjoyed a live show so much since back when GG Allin – Raw, Brutal, Rough And Bloody graced the old DVD player, or maybe that VH-1 special where I believe Madonna closed the show by singing Papa Don’t Preach and then hitting Guy Richie, like, seven or nine times in the face with a hatchet.
That Madonna knows how to give an audience what it wants, is the truth of the matter of fact.
Carpathian Forest – We’re Going To Hollywood For This is available from The Music Video Distributors Site.
The Duke resides at Mondo Irlando