Our debut, integrated, music-media project for the track “Ode to Misanthropy- This I Swear!” taken from the Oaths ov Stygian Dusk split release with Plutonian Shore, released August 11th, 2011.
As I sit here, sipping my coffee, aimlessly floating through three hundred and sixty five days worth of musical activity, attempting to compose as best I can both an extensive & entertaining summary of 2011, I am compelled to hold the priority of the premier happenings above all else. This compelling feeling is even further consecrated in my being when I think about the sheer number of particular debuts or “firsts” bequeathed unto us through out the four seasons. In many different senses it has been an incredible journey down many a long & harrowing road, with attractions and pitfalls of a humongous scale greeting us with open arms at every turn, only to, eventually, lead to a longer path, each more unknown & uncertain than the next. However, in passing through the sands of time, an inner familiarity and confidence is fanned as the dimmest of coals, and so a new, roaring blaze unbeknownst to the world is birthed unto her. Having said that, I would also like to place utmost priority in giving thanks and congratulations to the other extremities of Humut Tabal for progressing in their musical and theatrical craft greatly throughout the year. A formidable challenge therein lies in adapting to an environment when sudden development has taken hold all around you. My fellow musicians have displayed an almost virtuous, no doubt fortuitous, character in rising to meet the aforementioned demands around them & into 2012 I remain impressed and in wonder.
Going back to my original point, it is with a profound difficulty that I attempt to recall every single one of the virgin sacrifices bestowed upon Humut Tabal this year. Looking on the entity that was then & the entity that is now, the differences are astounding. It would take many hours to list every single appreciative happening in 2011, and it would be incredibly boring to read, so only the general highlights of our seasons will be recorded here.
Oddly enough the very first two weeks of 2011 were wholly the most organized and productive of the entire year. What took place has been meticulously forged ever since & will soon see the light of the public forum after months of waiting, avoiding the question, changing the subject or simply keeping silence.
As plans for February came into the fold, it became immediately present that 2011 was to mean an astoundingly busy year regarding live performance & state-wide stimulation via new, freshly developed techniques of musical torment developed around & within the minds of Hravan, Grimzaar & myself. We returned from the northern void a different trio than we departed. Still youthful minded, each barring our own general, musical personalities quite well from the experience, but we were connected mentally in a manner that was not present, at all, in 2010. This became extremely obvious when we picked up the instruments once within our skins so to speak. Channeling this exorbitant musical energy, we took all of our previously released material and tore it apart, bit by bit, section by section, much like a herd of wolves, until we found the base of what this particular piece, or certain movement, was supposed to be invoking or reminiscent of; the pulse of every song. After working for some time, no matter how much “more” any particular piece felt or sounded, it became extremely apparent that a fully outfitted live lineup was necessary to ring in the full potential of what level we had brought the different songs to. We decided this was something to be immediately taken into action. Prioritizing what we felt would really produce the fullest essence of the general sound, it was bass guitar that was needed the most. Much of the material from 2010’s “Gods ov Darkness, Hate & Flame” relied a scathingly heavy, enthusiastic sounding low end. That “breath” was needed to achieve at least the marginal atmosphere, and the majority of Grimzaar’s new writings in 2010 took that role of the bass to an even higher level than we previously expected. It was a crucial requirement. The search began & we resumed our efforts in revamping the official show we were to bestow on all audiences for the year, working and supplicating the sounds as best we could as a relatively newly reduced trio once again, after seeing former bassist Scathrath’s departure earlier in November of 2010.
The first performance of 2011 took place at Zombies in San Antonio. It was a local event put together by a few different promotional companies to celebrate a local bakers birthday, which sounds strange but here’s the catch- the baker catered to every realm of subculture imaginable, most preferring to hire an individual to make their Satanic symbolism cake as opposed to something like a grocery store…In any case, we shared the stage with our good friends in Plutonian Shore & attempted to deliver as intense a show as possible given the current lack of personnel. Our rigorous study over the previous weeks proved invaluable, and the sound was gaining strength as it was. An improvement had been made, and morale was high. Also, it was apparently evident, particularly to a specific youth in the audience whom weeks later requested an interview, introducing himself as Jacob Holmes: The San Antonio Metal Examiner. At the time I was not entirely aware exactly how much water his column, or his writing, or even his opinions, pulled in the local community. We did the interview & I was impressed with his obvious desire to achieve relatively insightful information from the bands he was interested in. Little did I know exactly how hard Jacob worked, and continues to work, to achieve such knowledge.
A few photos from that performance:
March & April came and went, the sun proved to be abnormally punishing and little rain fell on our hills. But we continued to work diligently, several important dates had been booked, including a second appearance with depressive, Canadian Stoner giants Woods of Ypres & a headlining spot on the first official Dread Lair Showcase in Houston, TX, which was an unusually pleasant happening, having the Dread Lair only recently experience a huge surge in local presence & acquiring a few Houston acts of their own. We gathered at the drawing board, yet again, to debate in hosting a series of auditions for a bass player in order to best fulfill our obligation to these upcoming dates. Before we even had time to make a full decision, something fell into our idle hands, as most of these things do in Humut Tabal. The reporter, Holmes, was impressed after the interview & after noticing our deprived situation, offered to fill in on bass temporarily for however long we needed his assistance. We had him join in for an audition, and after quickly picking up the material & an assurance of stage enthusiasm like we had never known, we decided to assign him the position full time & adapted him into Humut Tabal as Prokingu.
Having a personality to work the bass proved to become an invaluable tool in the month of May. A completion was beginning to be heard in the song structures & we felt much more confident in going into a season destined for live performance. Throughout June, July, & August we took HT through roughly 15 performances across 5 cities, with enormous victories in our hometowns as well as abroad in the State, with appearances in Corpus Christi & Houston. Several of these dates were in support of national touring outfits traveling through Central Texas, many of whom of proved to be exceptional people & musicians. Some of the dates were in support of a few local favorites, some familiar with us & some not. And many of the dates were of our own chagrin & organisation, testing to see what sort of energy we could deliver giving the circumstances. Much was learned in those months, and the musical cooperation & understanding between the four of us grew to a very powerful level. One of our last dates in August had two of our label mates & an opening band cancel, we still had a significantly packed crowd for ourselves and the headlining band traveling from afar, with audience approval & enthusiasm extremely high. August also saw our second release on The Dread Lair, the split with Plutonian Shore, Oaths ov Stygian Dusk, which featured a completely reworked version of “Smiting the Peons” from the Frozen Death demo & a new tune premiered on the release, “Ode to Misanthropy- This I Swear”. Production ended early in the month & Oaths was officially released on August 9th, 2011 to end the season. The tracks were mastered & mixed by Grimzaar himself.
When the blistering summer of heat, sweat & Black Metal came crawling to an end, it was a hard justification for the season of the mist. October & September proved to be even more scorching than a few of the previous months, and the energy we were riding off of into the fall was only fueled by the never ending downpour of solar rays. With several very high profile dates & events set for the season, we wanted to replicate the productivity of the summer months in an even greater manner. Easier said than done, we began to plan, rehearse & research. What we would find would accomplish our goal with more ease than I would have ever thought.
With the split being actively distributed, it was our natural obligation to perform the two tracks we contributed. Unfortunately, as our craft grew, both our old & new material demanded a sonic ascension that lay in the only instrument now missing from the completed sound: keyboards. Having faith in the universes bestowal, we began to seek an individual to fill the job. The first who was to contact us proved a viable choice, and after many hours of rehearsing & debate, we settled on absorbing Bakeneko, who’s title is taken from the shape shifting, corpse resurrecting, demoniacal feline from Japanese mythology, into the realm of the storm bird. With the three dates on the horizon in need of immediate attention, we kept her in the shadows until every element of the music was addressed & adorned in full. In October we opened for the mighty Occult Mythological Metal band Absu, which proved to be a worthy event despite numerous technical quirks in the venues sound system, as well as the thrashing super group Maiestas which proved to be an equally exciting venture. In November, we headed north for our second appearance at The Gathering of Bestial Vengeance Fest. After suffering a heavy cancellation spree, festival owner Pete Brown (Ex-Verkommen, current The Black Moriah) got in touch & managed to rebuild the lineup to an astounding level that surpassed the previous years attendance & quality by far. It was this performance that we bestowed Bakeneko in front of a very large, very enthusiastic audience. The intensity reached a level never before seen or felt, and our endeavors of the years work had became realized & set in stone. Later in the month we had the production crew from Mhinotahn, based out of Houston, venture to our humble hill country abodes to film what was to become our first ever music-media venture. The track chosen was “Ode to Misanthropy-This I Swear”, and total taping was wrapped up extremely quickly, within a day. The video can be viewed here:
Leaving behind the massive success in performance during the year, we gathered as a group to write & prepare for the new happenings of the new year in a way more profoundly diligent than previous accomplished. Grueling musical examination was reinstated, plans consecrated & musicianship tightened, with only one performance in Austin during December to break the focus & keep the live momentum. 2012 will see the release of our two official media releases: The Metal Summit 3 Live DVD & the first issue of Feral Noise Zine DVD. In all considerable points, 2011 was a year of time biding & inner preparation, building and working and polishing our sound into an explosive experience as opposed to a worthy performance. With the outfit complete for the first time in our history, our true potential is dormant right in front of our eyes. For 2012 we hope to ascend higher than we’ve ever been ourselves, with landmark happenings every season. With so many alterations, we are indeed a different entity. But one thing will never change: Our undeniable & unpreventable goal of installing wretchedness & wonder through music in every single soul.
We’ll see you in the new year. Vomits & Hails.
I, Njord, originally began to use this medium to chronicle some of the times of Humut Tabal throughout our travels and various endeavors. Some is a keyword, as until recently most of our blogging was regulated & enacted by Prokingu, who also maintains The San Antonio Heavy Metal Examiner. However with the changing of seasons came new obligations for a few of our members & thus the eventual slowing down of the literary creative offset. Desiring still to offer a relatively consistent & current medium of our exploits, I provided this source to fill in the blanks so to speak. Our normal blog, the Chronicles of Prokingu, will still retain functionality as well. humuttabal.blogspot.com
From what I remember the last show Prokingu was promoting on that blog was for a Corpus Christi show in mid August, followed by an appearance at Beerland downtown with Birth A.D. & a band of Austin veterans whom we hadn’t played with since 2010, The Blood Royale. Both of these said performances went off without a hitch, with enthusiastic audiences & pleasurable evenings.
The week after was our own hosted Extreme Texas Metal Showcase (no relation to the South Texas promotional company Extreme Texas Metal) which took place at Headhunters on the 19th. We booked our good friends in Emperial Massacre, Xapharon & Feral Rex, so it was a diverse mix both musically & regionally. At one point during the evening a vehicle in a nearby parking garage happened to burst into flames, spewing enormous clouds of smoke & fire onto the crowded Red River district, enacting a panic of sorts & further contributing to the energy present. An aggressive fan’s (though not one of ours) violent overreacting towards Grimzaar got him promptly removed from the facility, as well as a swift kick in the balls from what Metal Fuckin Monday’s coordinator Sarah LeVine reports (cheers to whoever did that!). The Showcase was eventually dubbed “The Splooge October After Party” somewhere in the night after learning of the release of a Blue October performance scheduled right next door earlier in the evening. Perhaps a slip of booking conscientiousness on my part but for almost all due respects the night was, thankfully, declared a victorious finale to the extensive travel & gigging of the Spring & Summer of 2011, with somewhere around 15 total appearances in 5 or so cities over a few months time-considerably heavy given our usual performance schedule.
With a few weeks having passed since that evening, and all of us tending to the demands of the new season, things had appeared to slow down for at least a minute. Then, in the past week, we informally began auditioning for a keyboardist, the first time since our conception. Having Prokingu steadily in play allowed us to reflect on the benefits of acquiring an additional personality to further fulfill the demands of the music, considering the drastic improvement in overall sonic clarification since his joining. The first audition was held yesterday beginning with a young lady coming mostly from a progressive metal background. The concepts of the music, when played in unison, were obviously solidified with minimal technical adjustments required in regard to her playing. Because of this we have decided to continue rehearsing & engaging in those aspects of the music, and if progress is made, than we expect to utilize the synthesizer at our next performance, another first for us & very potentially worthwhile concept.
We are planning a promotional campaign for our split release with San Antonio Black Metal mystics Plutonian Shore in the coming weeks and months. The release can be purchased online here: thedreadlair.vstore.ca for $5 along with our debut EP Gods ov Darkness, Hate & Flame. With the next order that arrives I will begin to stock local record stores around Central Texas. One of our tracks from the split can be heard in it’s entirety on our Reverbnation.com page as well as our Last.fm station.
The coming weeks in the HT camp will be spent in strict preparation for our upcoming dates relevant to new releases or performances, posted below, & to begin organizing material that has yet to see the light of record or stage. We do plan, however, to premier at least two of these works within the next three performances, so we are attempting to make them worthwhile in both attendance and general atmosphere.
Dates of interest:
October 1st, 2011: Performance at Bonds 007 Rock Bar on the Riverwalk, Downtown San Antonio. This one features Dallas titans Maiestas (with ex-members of Absu, Bael Occultus & more among their ranks). Joining them will be fellow DFW area band Demonhammer, although not much is known about them at this point. In support we have local San Antonio death metal veterans Butchered Saint (featuring ex members of Thornspawn) & our good friends in Ancient Malus. Since we are opening up the evening we encourage an early attendance for those who wish to catch our set. Beyond the Dark Horizon is presenting this so more information can be found here: http://beyondthedarkhorizon.com/events/2011/08/01/new-show-announcement-october-1st-maiestas-demonhammer-butchered-saint-more/
October 11th, 2011 see’s the release of the official Dread Lair Metal Summit 3 Live DVD. Filming for the release was taken at last years Summit during December in Houston, TX, by Melhouse-a filmmaker both working within the underground and mainstream genres. The DVD features performances from Humut Tabal, Plutonian Shore, Spectral Manifest & The Nephilim Terror. This is our first appearance on a live video release so naturally we are very much looking forward to it’s arrival. Alternate footage of HT’s set at the Summit, captured by The Shapes of Sound, can be found on our youtube channel here: youtube.com/user/HumutTabal.
October 21st, 2011: From what I can tell this is a sort of preshow to In Blackest of Hate taking place the next day in San Antonio. This event is being hosted at Headhunters downtown Austin with Baton Rouge Black Metal outfit Barghest as well as HT, Ancient Malus (Both of whom we will be joining the following day), & local support from Rise Thy Ruin and Flesh Hoarder. More information can be found here: http://www.reverbnation.com/show/5330201 although a flyer has yet to be constructed.
October 22nd, 2011: In Blackest of Hate- Nightbringer from Colorado’s exclusive Texas date with special co-headliner, mythological N. Texas masters Absu. Supporting lineup is not to be beat with Morbus 666, Torment Defined, Barghest, Ophian, Ancient Malus, Goatcraft & yours truly. More information & advanced ticket sales, which are encouraged to be purchased before Bonds’s capacity is completely overrun, can be found here: http://beyondthedarkhorizon.com/events/2011/08/10/absu-nightbringer-to-play-exclusive-texas-date/
November 12th, 2011: We are scheduled to return to Dallas for the second annual Gathering of Bestial Vengeance Festival featuring Maiestas, Steel Bearing Hand, ourselves, plus many others & a surprise headliner possibly to be announced soon. Here is the event page for Facebook with door cover, venue information, etc: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=243504112345259
We also have an exclusive performance scheduled for December 17th for my very own birthday celebration, as well as Sam from Ancient Malus, considering we were born on the same day. He has begun the booking process so more on this date will be revealed soon.
For now, that is all, check back often. Vomits& hails.
Alone, as countless souls ascend.
Souls ov men long forgotten, or rudely pressed into legend.
|—||Excerpt from “Wielder ov the Daemon Blade”, Grimzaar, 2009.|
Humut Tabal live at Metal Summit 3 (12/11/10) hosted by The Dread Lair, Sound Exchange & MSR Cast. Recorded by The Shapes of Sound on the new Nikon D7000.
Check Grimzaar’s solo starting at 3:19- crazy fingers.
Cover for “Oaths ov Stygian Dusk”, split release between San Antonio BM band Plutonian Shore & ourselves. Available now as the first of it’s time through The Dread Lair.