Von (band)

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Von
Tuska 20130629 - Von - 23.jpg
Von live at Tuska Open Air 2013
Background information
Origin San Francisco, California, United States
Genres Black metal
Years active 1987–1992, 2010–present
Labels Von Records
Associated acts Abscess, Eatmyfuk, Sixx
Members Venien
Lord Giblete
Xaphan
Dirty FvKn! Pistols
Past members Goat
Snake
Kill
Blood
Charlie Fell

Von is a black metal band from San Francisco, California, United States. They are thought to be the first American black metal band, and have strongly influenced the second wave of black metal.

Biography[edit]

Von was formed in 1987 by Jason "Venien" Ventura and Shawn "Goat" Calizo. After Venien (temporarily for personal reasons) departed in late 1990, Goat and Snake played one gig as a duo. In early 1991, Kill played bass in the band and the trio recorded their second demo, Satanic Blood. During 1991, Von played a couple of live gigs and recorded another demo, Blood Angel, which was never released on its own. The band disbanded shortly after the release of Satanic Blood in 1992. The band's members also recorded a gothic rock demo under the name Sixx.

In 2003, Nuclear War Now! Productions released Satanic Blood Angel, a double CD/triple LP compilation featuring the band's demos on one CD and a recording of a live show on another. Besides the original Satanic Blood demo, this was the only other official Von release prior to 2010. In 2009, Nuclear War Now! Productions released the Sixx recording on an LP entitled Sister Devil.

The band reformed for a one-off show on June 6, 2010, at the Armageddon Fest in London, England. Watain and The Devil's Blood opened for the band, marking the first time Von has played live in 20 years.

To commemorate the show, the band put out a brand new 7" single with re-recorded versions of "Satanic Blood" and "Veadtuck", and a brand new song titled "Blood Von". The 7" was released on VMG Records with a limit of 500 copies.

In October 31, 2012, Von released their debut studio album titled Satanic Blood.[1] In March 22, 2013, a second full-length album titled Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves was released digitally.[2]

Style[edit]

Von plays highly simplistic black metal with short songs based on almost continuous blast beats (occasionally accompanied by drum fills) and repetition of only from one to three riffs, each containing only about three or four power chords. The vocals are performed in a guttural growling fashion more characteristic of death metal than the Scandinavian black metal style established later. In Lords of Chaos, Satanic Blood was described as "one raw-sounding demo tape".[3]

Von can be seen having been ahead of their time, playing minimalistic black metal on a time when the genre was virtually non-existent, especially in the thrash-oriented West Coast.

Cult following[edit]

Von has gained a cult following in the black metal underground since their disbandment and the few recordings of Von are considered classic and pioneering black metal. Prominent black metal bands have covered Von, either on record or live (or both), including Dark Funeral,[4] Enthroned,[5] Krieg,[6] Taake[7] and Watain[8] (who are also named after a Von song[9]). Also, in addition to spreading copies of the Satanic Blood demo,[10] Varg Vikernes of Burzum did arguably direct promotion for Von by wearing their t-shirt in one of his murder trial sessions.[10][11]

The band's name[edit]

The band's name is sometimes falsely thought to be an acronym for "Victory Orgasm Nazi(s)". Varg Vikernes used those words to spell the band's name during a phone interview because the interviewer apparently did not hear the name correctly.[10] According to the band, the name stands for "nothing but images of darkness and blood".[10] The word von means hope in some Scandinavian dialects and in Norwegian and Icelandic.

Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

  • Satanic Blood (2010), recorded in 2010, three-track 7" EP with tracks "Satanic Blood", "Blood Von", and "Veadtuck". All of the tracks are remixed and re-written from their original form.

Compilation albums[edit]

Demos[edit]

  • Satanic (1990)
  • Satanic Blood (1992), recorded in 1991
    Some sources[12] report that this demo was released in 1988, but it was actually recorded in 1991[10] and released in 1992.[10]
  • Blood Angel (unreleased), recorded between 1991 and 1992[10]
    The demo was never released on its own, only as part of the Satanic Blood Angel compilation released in 2003.

DVDs[edit]

  • Satanic Blood Ritual (2010), Nuclear War Now! Productions

Bootlegs[edit]

Several bootlegs exist, mostly containing the Satanic Blood demo, including releases on Hellspawn and Hammerheart Records, while one notable example was a split compilation with Dark Funeral entitled Devil Pigs, released by Karmageddon Media.[13]

References[edit]