Death Metal Underground

Sammath “Godless Arrogance” tracklist released

August 30, 2012 –

Dutch storming melodic black hateful metal band Sammath have released the tracklist of their forthcoming album on Folter Records, Godless Arrogance.

The album will be out in Feburary/March 2013 and the tracklist will be:

1. Shot in mass
2. Fear upon them
3. Thrive in arrogance
4. Death (hunt them down)
5. This world must burn (hammer of supremacy)
6. Through filth and the remains of man
7. Nineteen corpses hang in the mist

Schools ban sacred Hessian symbol as “resembling a gun”

August 29, 2012 –

Grand Island, NE — Hunter Spanjer is deaf, and uses a sign language symbol for his name that some school administrators say resembles a handgun.

More accurately, it’s the Hessian “devil horns” symbol, which teachers have been trying to ban since the early 1980s. Hessian activist Seamus Israel in Omaha offered the following analysis: “Teachers ban first, then look for a reason why they were right. Now they’re using fear of violence to discriminate against Hessians.”

Hessians, or metalheads, heshers, threshers, bangers and headbangers, is a term used to refer to those who are not only fans of heavy metal music but incorporate its values, imagery and outlook into their personal lives. “It’s a culture like any other,” said Israel. “Just because you weren’t born into it but found it later doesn’t make it any less legitimate than being French, Inuit, Maori, Jewish or a Wall Street economist.”

During the 1980s, American teachers banned symbols and behaviors they saw as associated with “Satanism” and sent students home. These included wearing all black, wearing Slayer t-shirts, wearing symbols like the ankh or yin-yang, displaying the “horns” symbol and reading H.P. Lovecraft at lunch when they should have been playing basketball or watching TV.

Used by Hessians worldwide, the “devil horns” symbol is formed by extending the forefinger and pinkie while tucking the other fingers and thumb into the palm of the hand. It is considered the sacred symbol of Hessian unity and allegiance to the ancient powers of darkness that existed before Christianity, humanism, democracy, reality TV and dubstep, said Hessian Reverend Vijay Prozak. “The devil horn symbol is our most sacred rite, similar to ritual dances or meditative breathing in other cultures.”

Protests continued at the campus on Wednesday. “This deaf child is paying the price for decades of American anti-Hessian bigotry,” said Israel. “In the rush to demonize the horns, and heavy metal music, teachers are now discriminating against deaf kids so that they can find ways to ban heavy metal from the campus.”

Amnesty International sues military for use of later Deicide in torture

August 27, 2012 –
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For the last decade, the United States military has used loud rock music to torment captives from the war on terror. Isolated in dark cells, the captives are subjected to blastingly loud music on repeat for days at a time.

The international human rights agencies have been unanimous in their declaration that this is not torture until. Amnesty International spokesperson Bob Cratchit revealed that recent media sampling has provided a reason to declare this torture and end it.

The U.S. military has found the music handy at times. According to Mother Jones magazine, a song from Deicide’s album “Scars of the Crucifix” was played during interrogation of detainees in Iraq. The band said it was proud to do its part for the war effort. – AP

According to Amnesty International research, Deicide ended as a musical force after Once Upon the Cross and their remaining output is “so dishearteningly disorganized, aimless and without artistic merit as to create suicidal impulses in the listener.”

In fact, Cratchit added, “This music is so bad that most of our test subjects would only consent to listen to it when the only other option was Nickelback. Several test groups chose Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ on repeat over the later Deicide.”

Amnesty International acknowledges that early Deicide, from the self-titled album to the epic and devasting Legion, is ranked among the treasures of humanity. “Even Once Upon the Cross is an amazing album, although nothing like Legion.”

The US Fifth District Court held the injunction hearings and sampled the music in question. “The justices could tell right away,” said bailiff E.L. Saunders. “Old Deicide was distinctive and artistic, but the new stuff is a morass of confusion, like tormented souls locked in Wal-mart for eternity.”

The lawsuit by Amnesty International and three dozen other human rights and civil rights organizations allege that later Deicide, especially repeated, is a musical transgression that amounts to human rights abuse. Their lawsuit is pending before the courts at this time.

Dark Descent sale

August 21, 2012 –
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Sometimes, metalheads talk about shopping.

When it’s hard enough to get the music you like, it’s sometimes important to nab it whenever it appears.

Dark Descent records put up a sale that ends next Wednesday featuring many of the mainstays of their catalog.

Some highlights for the hardcore death metal or black metal maniac, especially those who like recent history:

Metal has hipsters, and it’s a massive infestation

August 15, 2012 –
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Someone had to say it:

Heavy metal hipsters are fellow Hessians who make it their goal in life to find the most obscure heavy metal/hard rock music, buy the expensive vinyl and then proceed to say, “You haven’t heard of Satan’s Love Pump? I thought you were metal. They put out a 7-inch in 1983 in Greece and have a song on a vinyl comp. They’re awesome!” And when you ask, “What else do they have out?” They look at you as if you’re retarded because that 7-inch and 1-song contribution to a vinyl comp is literally the ONLY music that band has released. What makes Satan’s Love Pump so awesome besides the incredibly badass name I made up? Is it the fact that they have no discography whatsoever? Or that the songs they do have are nothing more than basement recordings where the drums are too loud, the guitars are barely distorted, no bass at all, and the vocals aren’t in key?

Look, I’m not bashing obscure music; I love good obscure music. Yes, there were bands back in the day that never got the recognition they deserved and they’re discography is limited. I get it. But for a lot of those old bands, there’s a good reason why they never made it into the big time. All those demos, EPs, and contributions to comps never went anywhere because the band itself was subpar at best. – Jason Corpsemolester (Gravehill)

Hipster: someone for whom all publicly visible choices are designed to make the hipster look cool by being ironic, weird, different, unique, etc.

There’s no reason they couldn’t infest metal, and starting in 1994 they really got entrenched.

“Black metal! Far out, that’s so weird. I need to invade that and make it just like my indie bands!”

Thus the uniqueness of black metal was sacrificed to make it “unique,” and its quality declined because you cannot have quality when everything is a measurement of surface/face value.

Thevetat – Disease to Divide (Dark Descent/Destro Records)

August 14, 2012 –
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Thevetat’s demo CD “Disease to Divide” will be available early September. This is a collaboration between Dark Descent Records and Destro Records. The demo will be streaming on the Dark Descent Records Band Camp page when it becomes active later this month. The CD is the most limited Dark Descent Records CD to date, so don’t miss out. These will not be available for long. More info soon, including a link for preview on the Dark Descent Records Band Camp page.

Immolation – Live at B.B. King in NYC, 2006

August 8, 2012 –
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To sweeten the pot of the Hope and Horror EP, Immolation added a live DVD of a show demonstrating material from throughout their career. Pound for pound, this recording is one of the better live video and audio combinations to come out of extreme metal. The sound is a single track extracted from the soundboard, leaving out most crowd noise and faithfully capturing the instrumental sound in a thin but clear quality where optimally guitars would be louder. However, nothing cannot be heard and there are no fade-outs, which makes this a joy to follow along, especially since the videographer specializes in capturing tight shots of the playing of instruments as well as wide pans that show the enormous synchronicity and professionalism of this band. Unlike most videos, there are enough shots of the drummer and they linger long enough for us to see the interplay of hands and feet. The performance Immolation delivers merits quality cinematic treatment because it is technically precise, with medium levels of energy that allow the music not performer aerobics to be the focus of the video, and with none of the unprofessionalism or confusion that can make metal shows drag like extended sentences in foreign prisons. For technical reasons as well as the power of the performance itself this video should be commended.

1. Swarm of Terror (03:09)
2. Unholy Cult (06:25)
3. Into Everlasting Fire (05:27)
4. Dead to Me (04:11)
5. Sinful Nature (03:14)
6. Harnessing Ruin (04:27)
7. Unpardonable Sin (04:26)
8. Crown the Liar (04:41)
9. No Jesus, No Beast (04:45)
10. At Mourning’s Twilight (06:07)
Length: 48:18

Outsiderness in heavy metal

The world has never forgiven metal for being an outsider. Since the dawn of its creation, metal has not gone along with the love songs, hippie values and cheerful oblivion of the rock/pop crowd.

When other bands were singing about flowers in their hair and how peace would save the world, Black Sabbath — inspired by horror films, which have similar themes and sound — took a view that could only be described as “heavy” and thus as unpopular, inevitably outsider.

Much like Galileo centuries before, Black Sabbath upended the human cosmos. Most people saw themselves as the center of the universe, and their individual desires and concerns as important.

Heavy metal smashed all that down by viewing humanity like microbes on a microscope slide. We are tiny, insignificant, and battered by the winds of history, in its view. The highest goal is not some callow happiness, but to fight with honor for glory!

This sentiment shows up throughout metal in many genres. This is music for war, death and evil. It is music that recognizes hatred and cruelty as a necessary part of the dark half of the human soul. It is natural music, as natural as a predator crushing its adorable prey.

Naturally, this is very offensive to some people.

In the 1980s and 1990s, their response was to try to ban metal, first for sex, drugs and Satan, and next for politically unacceptable speech. Starting in the 2000s they found a better way to smash it: assimilate it.

Their method is simple. They make bands that sound like metal, but are compositionally closer to mainstream rock music. That way people stop seeing a difference between the two, and metal vanishes, replaced by rock music.

This brings us to “indie rock.” In the early 1980s, people used the term to refer to any DIY rock bands, most of which emerged from the DIY punk movement of the previous decade. Because of the punk influence and outlook, most of these bands sounded similar.

Indie bands use punk riffs and power chords, tend toward minor key droning, have a little bit more country and folk music in them, and are less consumer-oriented. Where the big bands sing about politics and getting laid, indie rock sings about being alone and confused.

If big rock ‘n’ roll makes perfect consumers, indie rock does even better. It makes people who pity themselves and need a lifestyle with lots of products to buy in order to fit in. Do all indie people collect records, buy nostalgia toys, and have ironic tattoos? Maybe not all, but most.

In fact, indie rock and mainstream rock are two sides of the same coin. They are both based on the desires of the individual and a need for some kind of consumption to have identity. One appeals to the thoughtless, the other to the neurotic.

On the radio there are songs about disposable relationships, getting laid, feeling good and buying new things. In the dark hipster corners of the internet, indie rock bands pour out songs about having a cup of coffee, feeling empty and giving up on love.

When nu-black metal superground “Twilight” (composed of Nachtmystium’s Blake Judd, Atlas Moth’s Stavros Giannopoulos, Sanford Parker, Leviathan’s Jef Whitehead, and Krieg’s Neil Jameson) announced that Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore would be joining the band, it was a formal certification that black metal was being replaced by metal-flavored rock.

This sleight-of-hand is a play on outsiderness. Paradoxically, outsiderness is the easiest way to sell a product. It says “You’re different, you’re not like everyone else.” Much as birds in the jungle like to have bright plumage to stand out from the others, men and women in modern society like to be different.

However, truly being different is a big deal. It means nothing is convenient, and that you have to live a lifestyle that takes you away from the herd, and reduces your access to easy friendship, mates, business, etc. You have to be a real wildman, underground man or drop-out. Most people don’t want to do this.

As a result, there is a huge profit to be found in manufacturing outsiderness, or taking the same old stuff and re-surfacing it with something tinged with outsiderness. Hence metal-flavored rock: look outsider like a metalhead, but be normal and social like a rocker.

The world experts on having an outsider surface to cover their inner mundanity are the hipsters. They like indie rock because it, too, is a re-surfacing: it’s essentially the same stuff that’s on pop radio, but with DIY aesthetics and lyrics about being an outsider.

Hipsterism has taken over mass culture because, as AdBusters puts it, hipsters are what happens when your culture has died and there is nothing left but interpersonal drama. The hipsterification of metal picked up steam in the late 1990s.

Indie-metal superstars Mastodon are working on a new single collaboration with indie drama queen Feist. Some new horror called “vest metal” is already showing us indie trends in action.

Underneath the skin, however, modern science has officially recognized that all pop music is essentially very similar on a musical level, even if on the surface — its “flavoring” — it’s “different.” This has caused others to wonder if music now is a spectacle that’s all image, with musical quality ignored in favor of novelty and popularity.

This won’t suprise metal fans, who tend to see society as a lost colony of narcissistic sheep rocketing toward an apocalypse, but might upset the “normals.” I guess there really is something to outsider status, after all.

Progressive war metal

August 4, 2012 –
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There’s a new style that’s rising which combines progressive metal with the True Metal styles that emphasize a warlike outlook.

While progressive metal has neat instrumentals and all, it’s generally caught in an effete urban altruism and disconnected from Machiavellian reality.

These progressive war metal bands are fixing that with epic, Nietzschean and complex compositions that challenge the status quo of “progressive” metal!

Metal as transcendent sublime

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Death metal, like Autopsy or Deicide, really is bizarrely brutal—one of the least-accessible forms of high-decibel torture ever to try to pass itself off as popular music. But once you move into other extreme metal subgenres, like black and doom, you face an uncomfortable truth. A lot of this music isn’t exactly aggressive or off-putting. Instead, it’s … kind of pleasant. Soothing, even.

Ukranian black-metal horde Drudkh, for example, may ideologically flirt with quasi-fascist nationalism, but musically they’re no more offensive than My Bloody Valentine or Sigur Ros. Drudkh is loud, certainly. But its loudness is lyrical and sweeping—less remorseless assault than transcendent sublime. – The Atlantic