Black metal soul is not rock soul

From Non-Alignment Pact:

What we’re looking at here is a style that uses some of the techniques of extreme metal, but which applies them to an aesthetic philosophy and a worldview that are basically the exact opposite of what you would find in extreme metal and especially in black metal. Given the skill and veracity with which those techniques are executed, I don’t think it’s an option to put Liturgy’s music in a category like “false metal.” And yet, again, there’s nothing black about this music at all.

So I really think we ought to call this something else. Unfortunately, the appellation “white metal” has already been claimed for Christian metal- which, when it imitates black metal specifically, has been tagged with the topsy-turvy name “unblack metal.” So what do we call what Liturgy does? Gray metal? Bright metal? Perhaps, following the diction of frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, “transcendental metal.” I think here we can see how the world of black (or “black-esque”) metal and the world of NPR come to intersect: as metal critic Stefan Raduta noted last year, other bands that do this type of thing (specifically Wolves In The Throne Room) “[are] giving [black metal] back its soul, its integrity.” – Non-Alignment Pact

I forget how 20 years later, black metal is still alien to modern people. They want it to be just like rock music.

Liturgy isn’t giving black metal back its soul; as Mee admits above, it’s going in the opposite direction.

It’s putting rock soul into black metal.

Rock soul is the worksong of proles everywhere — life is bad, it ain’t my fault, let’s get drunk and screw, maybe lose ourselves in emotion, and we’ll feel it’s bigger than the whole world, until tomorrow of course when we get up and do it all again.

Differences in execution

While a piece of music remains great independent of production, great execution can bring out the best in it.

It’s kind of like how you are born with intelligence, and can either develop it, or sabotage it. What you cannot do is change the amount you are born with.

This is why classical people are diehards about not just composer, but conductor and orchestra. All of these influence the interpretation of the music.

Since it’s Sunday and you’re high/drunk/covered in whale semen already, check these out and appreciate their differences:

Beethoven Symphony 7, movement II, conducted by Leonard Bernstein

Beethoven Symphony 7, movement II, conducted by Herbert von Karajan

Beethoven Symphony 7, movement II, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler

Beethoven Symphony 7, movement II, conducted by Bernard Haitink

False metal versus hipster metal

Daniel Mee over at Non-Alignment Pact had this to say about the hipster metal binge:

But one thing that I do not hold against The Sword is that they are a “hipster metal” band. Now, that’s not because I think that the tag is inaccurate. On the contrary, I think that it describes a real stylistic phenomenon in hard rock- music that has some superficial resemblance to metal, but actually has roots in some other kind of music. The “hipster metal” epithet emphasizes the “superficial” part of this formulation, implying that the music is intended for dilettantes who get their ideas about underground music from mainstream culture (i.e. think all metal is guys that look like KISS playing Sabbath songs) and basically don’t know actual heavy metal from a hole in the ground.

I don’t think this is necessarily the case, although music critics certainly have a tendency to turn into those idiots when they try to write about metal. I think that it’s possible to make non-metal music that sounds like metal for some reason, either intentional or unintentional, without having the end result be something that is itself superficial. Instead of “hipster metal,” call it “false metal.” – Non-Alignment Pact

I guess my question is this:

Why pretend to be something you are not?

You change on the surface, but not inside. It’s a costume.

While it might be an interesting experiment, once, it seems more like infiltration.

However, he raises an interesting point.

Hipster metal is not just a regular band making a metal or metal-ish record. Enough have done that successfully that the process should be viewed as metal influencing the wider spectrum of music.

Hipster metal is insincere metal. It’s hipsters — surface > form — creating metal, ironically, so they have some new and unique/different combination to show off.

It is whore, at its heart and in its soul, even if its skin is metal.

Aesthetics is not composition

We have long said on this site that aesthetics and composition, while they can aid each other (particularly aesthetics enhancing presentation of composition), are not the same and aesthetics — on the whole — is disposable. A great symphony played by a metal band would still be good music, and a great metal song played on kazoo would still be a great song.

Exhibit 1: Angel of Death (Soft Rock Version)

Although this is sacrilege and the person who committed it should be raped to death by pigs, it’s not only hilarious but, in comparison to all other soft rock ever created, total genius.

Exhibit 2: Hipster music

Note how brilliantly contrived the aesthetic is — and how empty, pointless, binary and unexceptional the underlying composition is. If you played this on an acoustic guitar, it would put you to sleep.

Like all hipster music, it’s a surface treatment. Death to all hipsters — well, that’s true, but the bigger point is: the song is not the production, the imagery, the performance or the weird little artists statements these grebo queerballs make in their album liners. It’s the composition.

Troll-a-poll

*** ATTENTION ALL HESSIANS ***

True Cult Heavy Metal has posted a poll asking who should be the next BIG FOUR of “THRASH,” by which they mean everything from DRI to DESTRUCTION.

Unintentionally, for sure, they forgot to add motherfucking Birth A.D.

It would be great if others joined me in going to the True Cult Heavy Metal Thrash Poll and commenting to this effect:

Great list! You might also enjoy a crossover thrash band from Texas, Birth A.D.!

http://birthad.com/

You can also send email to the author directly with words to that effect.

Aurora Borealis makes full discography free download

Aurora Borealis define “melodic death metal” in the best tradition of the old school: it’s death metal, but it makes use of melody.

It has nothing in common with the new pseudo-genre “melodic death metal” which sounds like a power-metal/metalcore crossover with an emphasis on frilly melodic fills. You and your rape rump roast can go enjoy that elsewhere.

Instead, it sounds like Fallen Christ crossed with Luciferion. It’s good stuff:

Scenes from the making of the new Aurora Borealis album:

And some classic material from early in their career:

Why do metal/rock bands get worse over time?

If you get stuck in an ivory tower then you’re kind of lost, and that’s what happens with some of the older bands; they sort of lose touch with what actually is reality. – Phil Cullen, Def Leppard

With a few exceptions like BEHERIT and ASPHYX, the nearly-universal rule is that metal (and other popular genres like rock, techno, etc) artists/bands get worse over time.

Usually, there’s an inspired but semi-incompetent first album.

Then an ambitious but half-complete second album.

Finally, the dreaded third album, which either makes the band or breaks them. They’re at their technical peak but losing vision.

After that, they’re re-interpreting their influences, being influenced by other bands they’ve toured with, etc.

They don’t seem to ever get it back.

Why is this?

Much like modern society itself, the music industry is a process of detachment. You detach into thinking about sales figures, being on tour all the time, trying to manage your money, wasting time with women and drugs/alcohol, etc.

Eventually, you’re living in a new place, practicing less like a passion and more like a job, and thinking about how to be popular.

Whatever inspiration you had is gone.

Celebrate blasphemy

The tantalizingly-named Blasphemy Day International is basically a thinly-veiled excuse to troll Muslims who were offended by cartoon caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH); if you ask me, it’s kind of a shitty passive-aggressive way of going about this.

However, it’s also a good excuse for blasphemy, and we need more of that.

The holiday is on September 30. This year, why not:

I. Increase the Traditional Blasphemy

Our tribute to this is the Internet Altar of Unholy Blasphemy and The Christian Holocaust.

II. Force People to Accept the Genius of Paul Ledney

Not enough people know the sacred words:

Rip the sacred flesh
Sodomize the holy asshole
Drink the red blood of the mother of earth
Masturbation on the dead body of christ
The king of Jews is dead
and so are the lies
Vomit on the host of Heaven
Masturbate on the throne of God
Break the seals of angels
Drink the sweet blood of Christ
Taste the flesh of the priest
Sodomize holy nuns
The king of Jews is a liar
The Heavens will burn
Dethrone the son of God
God is dead
Holyness is gone
Purity is gone
Prayers are burned
Covered in black shit
Rape the holy ghost
Unclean birth of Jesus Christ
Heaven will fall
Fuck the church
Fuck Christ
Fuck the Virgin
Fuck the gods of Heaven
Fuck the name of Jesus

III. Extend this humanism, the secular form of populist religion

If we can blaspheme Islam and Christianity for being ignorant, how about humanism?

Humanism is the idea that humans are more important than reality, and that they’re all equal, and that their feelings matter.

The fact is that most humans are shitheads, and we want to celebrate the few good ones.

Spread this blasphemy:

  • Use the R-word. Mock the retarded, kick cripples out of wheelchairs, rape the cowering, sodomize the meek, etc.
  • Make fun of stupidity. It’s not polite to do this. Blaspheme! Do it.
  • Mention overpopulation. People hate to hear about this. There’s too many of us, and not everyone can be special!
  • Mock TMPR. Too Much Positive Reinforcement (TMPR) is “the belief, against all available evidence, that one is meant for Special Things.”

People hate it when you rape sacred cows, then cut their heads off and make them into burgers. Do it. With extra ketchup.

Summoning – Minas Morgul

Great Death Metal, through its boundless courage, developed an uncanny ability to plunge listeners into a subterranean labyrinth, revealing the philosophical impetus that stimulated the development of the genre itself. Black metal is slightly inverted, wherein the meandering melodic and thematic developments reveal an adventurous spirit and a desire to plunge into and discover the majesty of the infinite. Indeed, although each genre is somewhat complimentary there is a stark philosophical difference that characterizes each, where Death Metal revels amongst the catacombs and forces listeners to re-evaluate life in the face of their impending doom, Black Metal having stared long enough into the abyss and having emerged from the catacombs seeks glory amongst the stars, and in so doing provides listeners with a glimpse into what once was, and must be again.

Minas Morgul is a testament to this very spirit. Individually meandering, soaring and delicate melodic phrases weave around one another, periodically converging and thus creating a breathtakingly lucid and organically familiar polyphonic structure. What the listener will find most striking is the way each melodic motif develops according to its own internal logic while simultaneously complimenting and augmenting the presentation and development of concurrent melodic lines, which themselves develop according to their own internal logic. Here the infinite abounds as listeners bear witness to the expert use of polyphony, with each rung in the ethereal melodic hierarchy subtly altering the emotional experience of the listener through its capacity for slight differentiation.

The individual melodic motifs themselves are more robust and less restrained than the cryptic sense of melody that characterized say early Darkthrone. However therein lay this albums strength, as each melody is highly communicative and capitalizes on its inherently archaic, although timeless content to appeal those psychological archetypes that define the modern Hessian, to wit, regality, a desire for adventure, wanderlust and a sense for the transcendent.

Guitars are a secondary instrument on this album, however they are utilized with such tact and melodic viciousness, if I may say so, as to ensure that the sometimes airy and sentimental melodies remain grounded, bonded to an orthodox sense of attack and ferality that has always made great metal threatening, challenging, confrontational, and insightful.

Indeed, what makes this album truly compelling is that it successfully melds together a romantic longing for those eternal values that once gave life meaning, with a feral and commanding spirit that wishes to take hold of life and explore it’s depths, and its mountainous heights! One is less likely to find an album more suitable to one’s journey of self exploration and self transcendence.

-TheWaters-

PHLEGETHON RISING demo 1998

You may have wondered what Kam Lee was up to between Massacre and Kauldron, Bone Gnawer, The Skeletal and his other current musical projects (and one horror film appearance, in Deep Seeded).

The answer is that back in 1998, he released a demo by his one-man black metal project, PHLEGETHON RISING:

Master of Plagues

Legends Advent

He claims a BATHORY influence in addition to the HELLHAMMER-ish parts, but in many ways, it’s reminiscent of early DEMONCY and PROFANATICA. Good to see this reach the light of day.

Other Kam Lee projects:

Bone Gnawer – Anthropophagus Beast

The Grotesquery – Nightmares Made Flesh

The Skeletal – Vengeance Sewn