There are those who would make us think that peace is essential for life. They demand we must reconcile all manner of disagreements and simply live happily together. In reality, what happens in a real compromise (if indeed it is a compromise) is that every one involved gets a bit of what he bargained for. It is not unlike Celtic Frost, a.k.a. the failed post-Hellhammer experiment that tried going mainstream a step at a time. By the time the band released Into the Pandemonium it was clear that by trying to bring the monster of underground black/death metal into the light they only degenerated it into a joke that no one, except masochists, want to ever hear again. The reader may want to attribute the downfall of Celtic Frost to a host of other causes, but the decision was in fact simple: give in to niceties and benefits through a compromise, or keep on fighting, towards a transcendental victory.
In truth, peace is only essential for business. We can see this in the likes of Iron Maiden, and the whole power metal explosion that they, in part, engendered. This is the most theatrical group, and also the less corrosive, both musically and lyrically. They represent nothing more than safe fantasy, while adopting pleasing and readily understandable aspects of pop music to soften, smoothen up the aggression inherent in metal music. This is also the case with all groups who try to blend metal into rock formats, purportedly to help it “progress” beyond its state of caveman art. It is also the case when purportedly underground extreme metal bands who adopt politically correct postures… a change of mind which may, by psychological impact, affect the character of their art through a change in attitudes.
In struggle, life will blossom at its purest and most creative. Whatever else may be said about them, Les Légions Noires were a supreme example of originality and creativity. They challenged their listeners not with hipsterism but with forms that were attempts at carving an organic path to the darkness which all true black metal attempts to unearth and make patent. This was not well-received at large (nor has it been well-remembered) but the works are there representing unique and penetrating forages into void realms to bring back unfathomable and painful echoes beyond normal human consciousness. Their struggle was one that took the form of deliberately trying to evesdrop outside what should be permitted to human beings in their fleshy suits.
The same is true of Burzum, who never “sold out”, nor was the project consumed. The black metal of Burzum died in a proud, glorious flame titled Filosofem, proclaimed “anti black metal” by its author. The key to this state of mind is an individuality and a stubbornness towards truth, always towards truth, in spite and as a result of the opposition of most- if not all- humans surrounding us. The mind behind Burzum has always been one beyond music, and music always resulted from a state of struggle, striving in championing excellence in ever-growing efforts and maturity, never repeating himself. The music, the message, the state, the attitude, the degree of exposition (and so of its hiding) was just perfect. Instead of narcissism, we see nature coming to us through the work. It is not nature, of course, but a view of it filtered as if through a gemstone.
The listener and reader can also adopt such an attitude, and become a “bitterman” in their own right. This attitude does not lead to “being bitter”, but actually to delighting in the few good works to a greater degree than others would, if only by the stark contrast with which they would be perceived by the mind in constant awareness of the differences in quality. By quality it is not intended that one adopt a straight-forward industrialist mindset, the kind that would simply mean pairing up against a given benchmark. Although metaphors have been drawn in this respect, one cannot quantify art or derive a standard based on quantification without also closing off doors to lanes of exploration, and thus limiting art.
Victory, on the other hand and contrary to peace, does determine the success of an effort. Therefore, we advocate victory over peace, in all senses of the phrase. Not only truth or illusory ‘right’, but the power, the means, necessary to actually carry out this struggle to a victorious state. Death Metal Underground was based on the principle of struggle for elitism, for high standards, and will continue to represent that spirit through whatever means it can. A new mission rises on the horizon, then, and it is the contributing of means and methods so that victory of the transcendent, of the dark, becomes a reality rather than a tragedy at the hands of consumerism and banality.