Minnesotans love their beer. They also love their Norwegian black metal. So what do you get when you mix one of the top breweries in the Twin Cities with a true Norwegian black metal band? You get my night last night.

Surly is, by far, one of the most popular breweries in the Twin Cities. The best part of this brewery? They are a staple in the metal scene up here. Todd Haug, the head brewer, is a huge supporter of live metal music in the Twin Cities. He can be spotted at various shows up here and last night was no exception. He had claimed his spot at the top of the stairs in one of the coveted chairs that are typically reserved for royalty (okay, maybe that’s a little over the top but it’s hard to get a chair up there unless you are one of the first ones through the door or unless you are a notable person… I’ll get there someday!).

1349 is a Norwegian black metal band all the way from (you guessed it!) Norway. They were here last June but, of course, I had a different show I had to cover so I couldn’t make it out to see them. I finally got to see them live last night and they didn’t let me down. They were brutal, they were frightening, they were everything I needed on a Wednesday night.

So what is the connection between this local brewery and the Norwegian black metal band?

Surly had a limited time run of a 1349 Black Ale. This beer was brewed in collaboration with Lervig, a Norwegian brewery, and with the members of 1349. How cool is that?! Surly has a beer just for this band from Norway. Okay, maybe you don’t think it’s that cool but I think it’s awesome. I think it’s awesome that, even though we are separated by thousands of miles, people still come together just for good beer and good music. That’s exactly what last night was. People coming together through the love of good beer and some awesome music. (Unfortunately, they did not have the 1349 beer last night as it was a very limited run last year but there were still plenty of Surly choices on tap and in the can for a discounted price!)

Some of the music last night was a bit over my head but some of it was dead on. The show started with local group Pestifere. As much as I loved their music, I loved their singer’s hair even more. Talk about the most luscious locks in all the land. Holy cow! But back to their music. It was good and trashy. It was dirty and fast. They were the perfect band to open up this show and I can’t wait to see them again… oh and see the singer, Lucas’ hair again!

Tombs played right before 1349 and they blew me away. They were full of energy and talent (as were all of the other bands who played last night). Their music was probably the most generic metal sounding than any of the other bands. Usually that is a terrible thing. I find it boring and sounding like everything else but Tombs did it right. Even though they were the most generic sounding, you have to think about how extreme the line-up was. So in the end, they really aren’t all that generic sounding, they just were last night. Their live show, like I said, was full of energy. I was completely captivated by keyboardist/ backup vocalist Fade Kainer. His screams were extreme and even if you didn’t know the music, he made you feel the energy and emotion that he was trying to convey.

The second band to play was Full of Hell. I didn’t get it. It is rare that I hear a band and really just don’t understand it but that’s exactly how I felt about their set. They weren’t bad and their singer had more than enough energy to convince me that I liked them even though I didn’t get it. They used something called a “Kaoss Pad” which is used to play samples. Majority of the samples that Full of Hell used were samples of white noise and obnoxiousness. It was a bit much on my eardrums even with my earplugs in and that’s why I didn’t understand it. My friend Angel, who I took to the show, even had to run up to the bar after the first song to get earplugs because of the pain. At the same time, when the Kaoss Pad wasn’t being used, I completely loved this band in all of their heaviness and chaosness (they were chaotic and loud even with the Kaoss Pad).

1349 were the headliners, as they should be. These guys, as I mentioned, are a black metal band from Norway. Everything that you are picturing in your mind right now is exactly what I saw last night. The band members had their faces painted with white and black makeup. They were dressed in all black with their long hair flowing over their instruments (those damn Norwegians and their nice hair!).

The music sounded just as brutal as these guys looked. It was heavy and loud. It was mean and aggressive. Surprisingly, the crowd was fairly calm through majority of their set. Yes, there were some outbreaks of a small mosh pit, but it never lasted. I think people were just in awe of the pure musical talent these guys have. Their drummer is a monster. I couldn’t stop watching him. What he plays is not easy, the music is full of some of the fastest blast beats I have ever heard but this drummer was nailing them perfectly and he looked like he was just sitting there waiting for tea time or something! There were no faces of agony, no grunting, hell, I’m pretty sure this guy wasn’t even breaking a sweat. It’s crazy to see something like that and I envy him for all of his talent. I envy every musician that played last night for their level of talent.

Black metal may just sound like noise to majority of people. Full of Hell may have sounded just like noise to me but regardless of your opinion on the type of music that was performed last night, you can not deny that these guys are super talented.

Last night, like many of the black metal shows I find myself at, was not necessarily my cup of tea but that didn’t stop me from having some awesome beer, surrounded by awesome people, and watching some awesome musicians.

Line Up:

Pestifere

Full of Hell

Tombs

1349

Venue: Triple Rock

Sausage Fest Meter- 21 out of 10

Crowd Surfers- 0

Stage Divers- 0

Broken Bones- None

Average Age- 35

Drink of Choice for the Crowd- Anything Surly! (Surly Hell was my choice for the night)

My Dreadlock Envy- 7 out of 10

Found in the Pit- None

Moshing Level- Low to Moderate

Spotted Flying Through The Air- None

Celebrity Sightings- Todd from Surly Brewing; Natalie from Naive Sense; Lee from Mithya

Overall Score- 7.2 out of 10

Show on Deck- Lower Dens/ Invisible Boy at the 7th Street Entry

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