Straight outta Finland, Archgoat!
(Pictured: Brothers Kai “Ritual Butcherer” and Rainer “Lord Angelslayer” Puolakanaho)

Beneath the Lordi’s, the love metal and snow lies a darker and brutal layer in the land of the midnight sun. Archgoat’s tar black metal is a living testament just how heavy the Finnish can get! The black metal veterans brought a memorable supporting lineup from near and far on Feb. 24 at the Brick By Brick.

Kicking off the night was none other than local melodic black metallers Ruines Ov Abaddon (minus the keyboard…whoa…). RoA started this sacrifice with “Tongue Ov The Lamb” and treated their loyal fans with songs from their 2016 EP such as “Attack” and “Destroyer.” For their avid followers, it’s not a RoA show without their anthem “Kill For Satan.” Those that are not familiar with these guys or that song, well, see for yourself.

Ruines ov Abaddon return with more brutality.

This is not my first tango with RoA but something seemed different about them. Their overall sound was harder, faster and came after you with a blistering vengeance. Vocalist Chris Bourne possesses great showmanship but that night, the heavy guitar licks and relentless overall brutal rhythm transformed Bourne in to a new and vicious demon. RoA as a whole outdid themselves and after they wrapped up with “Malevolent Goddess,” it felt like I had been reintroduced to a different band.

Following up with more black metal madness was the masked trio Hellfire Deathcult. The hooded figures unloaded with “Militant Hymns ov Apocalyptic Genocide” from their third and upcoming album Death Worship (which according to Our Ancient Future Records’ Facebook page, it will be released by the end of March rather than the originally scheduled Feb.22). The delay in their album release didn’t stop these guys from promoting Death Worship and played a total of five songs off the album such as their first single “Anti God War Command Ov the Apocalypse” and “ Eradication Ov Humanity” to name a few.

Hellfire Deathcult bring some of that Chicago heat.

Hellfire Deathcult torpedoed through their set and threw their older stuff into the mix such as “Ancient Ceremonial Death Ritual,” which was great anticipation builder for the moshers, and ended their night at the Brick by closing with a classic “Black Death Empire” of their first album Ave Mors. Though this enigmatic trio didn’t say much in between songs and literally stood their ground, their rabid set spoke for itself.             

Valkyrja soon followed and decimated any lingering underestimations by unloading “Catharsis (Contaminate the Earth)” and “The Cremating Fire,” causing a stir in the crowd. The pit hungered for more sweat, booze and metal, so the Swedish quartet delivered by the appropriately titled “Madness Redeemer” and a classic from their debut album, the unforgiving and Norwegian Black Metal-esque “Frostland.”    

Valkyrja’ Rogier “RSDX” Droog reaping our souls with guitarist Simon Wizén.

Though vocalist Rogier “RSDX” Droog has been in the band for a little over a year, he made Valkyrja songs into his own which was complimented with his subtly powerful presence and the wind milling of guitarist Simon Wizén and bassist Vlad P. (he’s too cool for a full last name…but enough my outstanding journalistic research!). Though Valkyrja only performed seven songs, their brutal and instrumentally orgasmic set was all about quality over quantity and wrapped up with (one of my personal favorites) “Eulogy (Poisoned, Ill and Wounded).”

Archgoat wasted no time and greeted the weekend with the brutal party anthem “Nuns, Cunts and Darkness,” ‘cause it was Friday night and it was time to loosen up! They may have started off with their recent material but these Finnish Black Metal vets took things old school by following up with “Lord of the Void” from their debut LP Whore of Bethlehem and “Death and Necromancy” from their debut 1991 EP Jesus Spawn. 

Vocalist of Archgoat, Rainer  “Lord Angelslayer” Puolakanaho invoking demons and Lordi’s alike.

Vocalist Rainer “Lord Angelslayer” Puolakanaho was a man of few words who channeled all that was left unsaid in a face melting performance. Though the Lord was frustrated onstage and struggled to read the mangled set list on the floor (thanks to a pair of drunken fan girls that attempted to take it earlier in the night), he soldiered on like a pro. Archgoat wrapped up their set with more timeless classics to sing along the campfire such as “Penis Perversor,” “Soulflay” and “Thrice Damned Sodomizer (Streams of Blood).”

The pit was satisfied and so were fans. Though the openers nailed it and warmed up the crowd, Valkyrja stole the show and are on the right path in joining the likes of Archgoat. Hope to see these masters of kvltness return and bring mayhem to our sunny city!

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