How To Know Your Genre Is Played Out (And Suitable Only For Wal-mart Hipsters)

black_metal_jumps_the_shark

A recent flyer for a record label of otherwise quality states:

On the one year anniversary of her critically-acclaimed, masterful debut full-length, M, Danish black metal artist MYRKUR unveils a captivating live recording from the historic Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo, Norway. Aptly titled Mausoleum, the album features beautifully dramatic & stripped down acoustic reinventions of seven songs from M plus one brand new song and a Bathory cover; all with the accompaniment of the storied Norwegian Girls’ Choir. Captured in a cold, dimly lit tomb covered in morbid frescos that depict the circle of human life from conception until death, Mausoleum is an incredible showcase of MYRKUR’s sublime yet haunting voice in a truly chilling, unrivalled atmosphere.

Equal parts hipster rock and Better Homes and Gardens article, this text talks about everything but the music. For all we know, it could be tremolo-picked Justin Bieber covers, but instead we get this lifestyle-selling article about how the music is recorded, all the fetishistic novelties involved, with implications of elite status unrelated to the music so much as the quality of its production. You can imagine them selling grapes this way:

“Doused in starkly cold water, the grapes are stripped of their stems and then allowed to mature in the historic marble Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum, where the storied Norwegian Girls’ Choir sings to them a cappella world music until they have fully ripened. Matured in this cold, dimly lit tomb covered in cultural frescoes that depict the circle of human life, the grapes are taken to market in a frigid, sugar-less state for better health and world peace.”

You may have thought the nadir of black metal was back in 1998 when Wal-mart started selling classic albums to wannabe basement badasses (who then launched wave after wave of “bedroom black metal” projects that redefined ineptitude in new dimensions). Now, however, Wal-mart and other retailers are targeting the more lucrative demographic of nerdy obedient kids who will rage like rats in a cage but still go to school, jobs and wait in long lines at the DMV like the neutered little tools they are, but will purchase album after album that makes them feel superior to you.

Perhaps it is simply time for fans to start avoiding anything that labels itself black metal for a few years until the parasites grow hungry and wander off to another genre. I hear there is a vacancy left in the hipster scene now that Deerhoof have ascended to Wal-mart status.

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34 thoughts on “How To Know Your Genre Is Played Out (And Suitable Only For Wal-mart Hipsters)”

  1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

    “Equal parts hipster rock and Better Homes and Gardens article, this text talks about everything but the music. For all we know, it could be tremolo-picked Justin Bieber covers”

    This is actually the norm in music reviews.
    This morning I read a review of a Beyonce concert in a Swedish news paper, and it was exactly the same. All fluff, no substance.

    1. Subnormal says:

      Why would someone read a Swedish newspaper?

      1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

        I live in Sweden, and they tell me of events.

    2. LostInTheANUS says:

      It’s been like this for a long time, I remember reading some old music magazines recently and they do the same shit, they talk about the people, the place where it was recorded (without actually talking about how the actual production sounds like), then they mention the past albums if they have any and the only part where they mention the music can be summed up as “Well I guess some guy banged at drums and some other one plucked at strings”, which might as well be summed up as “things happened”. It’s the same here: “the album features beautifully dramatic & stripped down acoustic reinventions of seven songs from M”. What if I don’t know what kind of fucking music they play? It could well be music that purely uses synth and drum machines and in this sense acoustic would mean playing on a piano or something and using an actual drummer, but we don’t know.

    3. Dis Member says:

      Hey Ludvig B.B. (vOddy), is it true that Swedish girls are being raped by muslims and or immigrants over there? Also that jails are full of non-Swedish people? Are people getting sane and will they start rejecting tolerance and multiculturalism any time soon you think?

      1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

        I will gladly have a discussion about this, but not like this. I have done decent research (most people have done no research) on the topic and have well founded opinions on it.
        Those opinions can not be expressed accurately in this format. If you want to talk about it, I will give you my Skype address and we can talk in real time.

        Or, we could talk via IRC.

      2. Rainer Weikusat says:

        Unfortunately, none of the sources cited by this are freely available and some of the data is quite ancient but it’s nevertheless interesting:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_and_crime#Sweden

        Selected statistics: 74.5% of the crime suspects in Sweden were born in Sweden, 69.3% to at least one Swedish parent, IOW, the overwheming majority of these are Swedish. The corresponding groups make up 86.9% and 83.7% of the population. 13.1% of the population are immigrants, 5.2% 2nd generation immigrants. People who argue in favour of dedicating more resources to ‘immigrant crime’ thus implictly argue in favour of going less hard on the homegrown crime suspects despite there are a lot more of them.

        According to a 2013 survey, there were 9,658,301 people living in Sweden and 15,200 crimes per 100,000 people, making for about 1,468,062 crimes. Using the numbers from above and taking crime suspects as criminals, this thus means that about 7,195,434 ethnically pure Swedes would be responsible for 864,688 crimes, meaning 88% of these didn’t commit any.
        1st and 2nd generation immigrants (1,574,303) would account for 443,354 (30% of all crimes), which means 72% of them didn’t offend. That’s unfortunately not not all but most of them, about three quarters. And those 72% law-abiding immigrants deserve exactly the same legal protection from unwarranted persecution as the 88% of law-abiding Swedes, no matter how much someone might object to their skin colour, hair colour, marriage customs or prayer habits.

        Two other things which deserve to be mentioned here:

        Criminials typical come from poorer and less educated segments of the population and one would expect that immigrants are on average both poorer and less educated, especially first generation immigrants.

        These numbers represent raw facts. They are no more suitable for predicting the future as watching the flight of birds or inspecting coffee grounds. A scientific theory enabling such predictions could be constructed from them, however, to venture beyond the realm of junk science, this would require repeatable experiments and these are impossible to conduct (data collections are not experiments).

        1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

          The only thing that matters is the percentage of crime committed compared by a group, compared to which percentage of the overall population this group is.

          So, if immigrants from country A are 5% of the population, they should commit 5% of the crimes. Any more than that, and there’s a problem.

          I’ve read a statistical report from the Swedish government, and guess what: Immigrants are over represented, even when all immigrants are counted as one group, which does nothing but help the immigrants from the worst countries, since they are grouped in with immigrants from countries which do very well.

          I have a pdf of it on my computer if you want it, but it’s in Swedish.

          1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

            In this study, more than a third of all rapes of the assault type (when the offender does not know the victim and drugs are not involved) were by immigrants.
            Immigrants are not even close to a third of the population, yet they committed more than a third of all crimes of this type.

            They were over represented in other crimes, too, like all kinds of rapes, assault, etc.

            1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

              “These numbers represent raw facts. They are no more suitable for predicting the future as watching the flight of birds or inspecting coffee grounds”

              Pathetic dishonesty on display.

              1. Rainer Weikusat says:

                The future won’t be like the past. That’s not my fault and I’m not being dishonest in pointing this out. I also didn’t invent the term »junk science« and the notion of theories aiming to be regarded as scientifically sound must be based on repeatedly experiments didn’t come from me, the canonical text for this would be

                http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/51/2/CargoCult.htm

                1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

                  What do immigrants who have moved from countries like Algeria and Somalia, to countries like Norway, Sweden, and Germany, all have in common?

                  But hey, it could magically change the next year. There’s no way to know for sure.
                  If you stop eating, maybe you won’t starve.
                  Maybe the theory of gravity will stop applying.

                  1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

                    We have the data. We know that there is a correlation between crime and immigration from certain countries. This can not be denied.

                    For example: http://www.pdf-archive.com/2011/05/08/br-1996-2-invandrares-och-invandrares-barns-brottslighet-1/br-1996-2-invandrares-och-invandrares-barns-brottslighet-1.pdf

                    Thus, if they had never entered the country, there would have been less crime. That is a fact.
                    And most importantly, they make the ratio of inhabitant to crime worse, because they are over represented.

                    For you to say that this is “Useless data” which “can not predict the future at all” is disgustingly intellectually dishonest.

                    1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

                      Let me spell it out out for you:

                      During the 5 year period 1985 – 1989, 15.4% of all crimes were committed by immigrants.
                      Was 15.4% of the population immigrants?

                      In 1993, 16% of all crimes were committed by immigrants.
                      Was 16% of the population immigrants?

                      For crimes against an individual person, they stood for 20%, between 1985 – 1989.
                      For murder and manslaughter, including attempted ones, they stood for 28%.
                      For rape, they stood for 38%.
                      Thirty eight percent.
                      That’s not a coincidence. That’s an indicator of a trend.
                      Oh, and for “other seuxual offenses” they stood for 10%.

                2. C.M. says:

                  “The future won’t be like the past”, that’s the progressive’s delusion. The Past is Alive.

        2. ShitChrist says:

          Your whole fucking post is a tirade about nothing. It reads like a copy from some liberal blog.

          1. Rainer Weikusat says:

            “My whole fucking post” is about some basic calculations done with publically available numbers and some common sense suggestions like “70% of something ought to be more important than 30%”. I possibly have slight, natural advantage here as I consider all people alien to me and belonging to all kinds of cultures differing from mine. They also look differently and were born in all kinds of different places but that’s rather an ancilliary detail.

            Nice text for people who can read German:

            http://www.yolanthe.de/stories/tucho01.htm


            Man is a political creature and prefers spending his life as particle of a clot. Every clot hates every other clot because the others are them and hates itself because we are us. The latter hatred is called patriotism. Every man has a liver, a spleen, a lung and an ensign; all four are vitally important. Reportedly, men without liver, spleen and with only half a lung exist; men without ensign don’t exist.

            I’m neither responsible for nor aware of anything people referred to as »liberals« in the USA (conjecture) write in »blogs«: From a European perspective, there are two parties in the USA, the right wing party and the righter wing party, and their petty difference seem bizarre.

            1. ShitChrist says:

              …and we all bleed red, boohoo.

              I`m not American and the post was not even meant to represent America in any way. I just consider most people to be idiots, who lack the capacity to make simple decisions, let alone big ones, but this has nothing to do with the given context. Citing statistics, especially those that can be interpreted (yay for subjectivism) in however way you want is simply dishonest. Would you jump off a building if you had the chance of 70% of success, 20% of serious injury and 10% death? Do you anally calculate every action in your life? Does it even matter?

        3. LostInTheANUS says:

          If it’s only due to social reasons, why do poorer and less educated natives commit less crimes than immigrants? Also, if we take your assumption that everyone’s the same and we compare different groups of immigrants, let’s assume that Romanian immigrants commit less crimes than Middle Eastern immigrants, yet they commit more crimes than native Swedes who are poor and uneducated, how would you explain that?

          1. Crypto-Communist says:

            Its clearly the fault of the bourgeoisie.

            WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE, CLASS WAR NOW!

  2. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

    Anyway, thanks for the well written news update. I suppose it’s good to know what’s going on in metal at large these days.

  3. C.M. says:

    Deerhoof! Haven’t heard that name in a while.

    This ad sounds like it should be for a video performance or something. Do they not realize that you can simulate tomb acoustics in the typical North American apartment bathroom?

    I always thought it would be cool to play and record in a cave for real-time real-life real-cavernous reverb. Mammoth Cave in KY has a room that bands used to play in during the earlier part of last century, so you can definitely get gear down there. Somebody please take this idea and run with it, I’m too poor and unmotivated.

    1. Old recording studios had reverb chambers and were often built in old churches for that reason. John Bonham just played at the bottom of a stairwell on When the Levee Breaks though.

    2. Experience suicide says:

      Just let someone play in your cavernous anus, faggot.

  4. canadaspaceman says:

    i am nit attracted , i thuink, bit dammit we wamt nuide myrkr pics, after all tghs hype here!!
    wtf?!@

    PS. Polar Ice vodka is vry smooth you gaylords
    GET BENT

  5. mightypeniz says:

    Decades later, the fact that Fonzie wore his leather jacket while skijumping over that shark, still makes me laugh.

  6. Rainer Weikusat says:

    Seems targetted at well-to-do pensioners.

    The promo sticker on the Abnormality CD I bought a while ago was generally written in the same style but worse, sinking to the depths of most extreme vocals you ever heard from a woman (What’s that? Why should I care?). Nothing more nefarious here than labels employing PR professionals who don’t understand why anyone would like this noise and who thus address an audience of hypothetical imbeciles secretly (They surely must!) looking for something completey different.

    stripped down girls’ choir chilled in the mausoleum!
    hark!
    the grand vizier’s tentacled henchmen close on your heels!
    the nameless, gargantuan creature of the bottomless abyss!
    the darkness, the cloud of … ! it’s moving! closer!
    and
    the deathly fennel
    herbal abomination of utmost horror
    with fries

    https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3090686971_10.jpg

    1. C.M. says:

      I’ve placed two orders from Hammerheart Records this year. Both times they’ve sent me a “free gift”, a Call of the Void album, that I haven’t listened to yet because of the descriptive sticker on the front…

      “… crust and grind elements seamlessly merge to conjure visions of grind godfathers Napalm Death and Pig Destroyer while effortlessly treading the abrasive caustic nature of Converge’s hybrid progressive hardcore and Mastodon’s technical metal-tinged rock mastery.”

      Gag me with a spoon! I’d rather listen to live streaming audio of a maternity ward in Madagascar than this mishmash of irrelevant genreless mutant poser bands.

      1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

        At least it’s better than Christian instrumental rap.

        1. C.M. says:

          Instrumental rap? You burning some hella good Swedish leaf or what? But yeah I guess it is a little better than rap… turned out to be pretty generic crusty grindy sludge with dumb lyrics. Worse than Napalm Death but better than Mastodon for sure…

          1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

            It’s a joke genre. I tried to come up with the worst possible genre I could. :P

            1. C.M. says:

              Ah well I give you credit for trying to imagine something worse than blackened-shoegaze but I think the worst of the worst genres are already established! I’ll take Christian rap over some of the stuff mentioned here recently… say, Nothing Left or Bestial Evil.

              1. Ludvig B.B. (vOddy) says:

                Instrumental rap, though…

                1. C.M. says:

                  Would probably sound something like this, right?

                  https://youtu.be/JTEFKFiXSx4

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