Metal as transcendent sublime

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

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Slayer: best during mythological years

From a recent ode to Slayer:

The resulting tune was, appropriately, titled “Aggressive Perfector,” and it ushered in an era during which the band ditched the fake blood and histrionic shock of their formative days in favor of head-down assault. Or, as Araya says, “We started out with devils and demons, but we evolved to focus instead on the true devils and demons of society.” Which explains why the band ditched the D&D-esque vibe of early records like Hell Awaits and Show No Mercy in favor of a scorched-earth vivisection of society’s bleakest moments, often pairing their musical blitzkrieg rush with a lyrical preoccupation with war’s atrocities. Songs like “Mandatory Suicide” (from 1988’s South of Heaven) and “War Ensemble” (from 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss) combined a musical gut punch with lyrical odes to the senselessness of conflict that, to many, signified that Slayer were a band of their times, commenting on the brutality of the pugilistic Reagan/Bush years. – The Phoenix

Protest rock is all crap and Slayer lost focus when they went to protest rock.

Complaining about events in society enslaves the complainer to looking for approval from others, which requires whining about feelings hurt, the tragedy of others, etc.

Describing life in mythological terms instead frames the combat as one that can apply in any situation, and requires no pandering.

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Hipsters invading metal

All the world is rock ‘n’ roll.

The West used it during the Cold War to seduce the Eastern Bloc population, making them want a Western lifestyle and pressure their governments in myriad ways.

You can’t go more than ten feet in public without hearing it, in stores, from cars, in commercials, hummed by other people.

Metal is not rock ‘n’ roll. Where rock relies on static riffs and returns, metal is narrative music shaped together out of interlocking riffs, much like soundtrack music or Scandinavian folk.

The problem is that when you mix the two, you cannot reconcile those extremes, so you end up with one flavored with the other. The result is a lack of focus.

For their upcoming album, out this fall on Century Media, the Twilight lineup will consist of Moore, Judd, producer Sanford Parker, Stavros Giannopoulos from the Atlas Moth, Wrest of Leviathan, and Imperial from Krieg. Judd told the 1st Five that he hopes to get Isis’ Aaron Turner, Lichens’ Rob Lowe, and Malefic of Xasthur to also contribute. – Pitchfork

I have owned Sonic Youth albums in the past, and think more highly than average of them than of your regular ol’ rock band. Nonetheless, what Thurston Moore does is create indie rock, and indie rock is incompatible with metal.

There are many things in this world, but few are unique. Metal is a truly unique perspective. Outsiders see in it only rebellion and taboo-breaking. Inside, it’s more complex.

When you replace unique things with hybrids of the norm and that unique thing, you destroy the uniqueness and replace it with conformity.

Indie rock is still rock music. Much as the music of 1968 was rebellious in its day, but now is mainstream enough to show up in blue chip commercials, the indie rock of the 1990s is mainstream at this point.

That isn’t an insult or a moral judgment, but a fact of history.

Do you want to be assimilated into the same stuff as everything else, or keep a unique viewpoint that because it is not the same, may have a perspective others have lost?

That’s the dilemma before metal right now.

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PESTILENCE Announces David Haley (PSYCROPTIC) as new drummer

PESTILENCE Announces David Haley (PSYCROPTIC) as the new PESTILENCE drummer.

Guitarist/vocalist Patrick Mameli of the resurrected late ’80s/early ’90s death metal outfit PESTILENCE has issued the following update:
We are very pleased that we can officially announce that David Haley (PSYCROPTIC) will replace Tim Yeung for the upcoming PESTILENCE album and upcoming shows. Bassist Stefan Fimmers (ex-NECROPHAGIST) already joined PESTILENCE for the new album OBSIDEO and live performances.

Although Tim was really excited to join PESTILENCE, it was because of his conflicting tour schedules with MORBID ANGEL (and other projects), that made it nearly impossible for Tim to tour with PESTILENCE.

Patrick Mameli commented: But we (Uterwijk, Fimmers and Mameli ) weren’t really too disappointed by this unfortunate development because of our talks with David soon after. The new material will fit David perfectly. He is such an amazing drummer and a really cool guy as well!!! We all welcome him into the PESTILENCE camp.
David Haley commented on joining PESTILENCE: “Im very excited to be performing the drums on the new Pestilence album…and quite nervous about it too!! PESTILENCE have been such an influential band within the metal community throughout their whole career, so it’s quite an honor to be asked to perform for the upcoming album. The material I’ve heard thus far is amazing – and I am really looking forward to start the recording process”

For the new album OBSIDEO, eight of the ten tunes are written, and PESTILENCE hopes to start recording end of 2012. Some new song titles are: Necromorph, Saturation, Soulrot, Laniatus and Superconcious. Overall theme will be the journey of the human soul.

PESTILENCE 2012 is:

Patrick Mameli – Lead guitar/Vocals
Patrick Uterwijk – Lead guitar
Stefan Fimmers – Bass
David Haley – Drums

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Steve Harris – British Lion

EMI Music are proud to announce the release of Iron Maiden founder Steve Harris’ debut solo/side project album. Entitled ‘British Lion’ and comprising ten songs that Steve and his collaborators have been working on for the past few years between Iron Maiden tours and releases, it is an album that will surprise and delight music fans the world over.

With a decidedly heavy rock-vibe this roaring debut paints with a full palette of sounds; brooding, melancholic, righteously indignant and exuberantly heavy. With Kevin Shirley at the mixing helm – whose credits include Iron Maiden as well as Led Zeppelin, Journey and Rush among many others – this is an album to sink your teeth into.

From the growling riffage of opening salvo This Is My God to the heavy forlorn balladry of follow-up Lost Worlds which showcases Richard Taylor’s soaring vocals, it’s clear that ‘British Lion’ is an altogether different beast from Maiden.

Karma Killer, with its dirge-like muscularity, and Us Against The World, with its massive chorus, demonstrates just how far ‘British Lion’ has flexed Steve Harris’ considerable musical muscle. Dovetailed with guitarist David Hawkins’ positively gargantuan lyrical guitar melodies, it’s a mere hors d’oeuvre ahead of the epic, riffing-feast of The Chosen Ones, with its swaggering bravado.

A World Without Heaven, at a breathtaking seven minutes and infused with progressive elements without ever teetering into self-indulgence illustrates perfectly these songsmiths’ colossal abilities to create a mood and stay there. Supercharged by Steve Harris’ inimitable style, there’s an un-cynical vibe here that’s as refreshing as it is out of place in today’s all-too-categorised music industry.

And as far as the name ‘British Lion’; “I’ve always been proud to be British,” explains Steve, “I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be. It’s a massive part of being me. It’s not like I’m flag-waving or trying to preach, this is not a political statement at all. It’s like supporting your football team, where you come from. I just think it lends itself to some really strong imagery too, and to me it fits in with the sound.”

With Iron Maiden, Steve Harris has become one of the most recognised and successful ambassadors for British music on the world stage. Having released 15 studio albums, sold over 85 million records worldwide and played more than two thousand gigs in 58 countries in the band’s thirty-five year career, his appeal is truly global.

And now with ‘British Lion’, Steve steps out from Iron Maiden’s illustrious shadow to present a different side of his musical visions.”

The tracklisting for ‘British Lion’ is as follows:

1.This Is My God
2.Lost Worlds
3.Karma Killer
4.Us Against The World
5.The Chosen Ones
6.A World Without Heaven
7.Judas
8.Eyes Of The Young
9.These Are The Hands
10.The Lesson

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Best of YouTube comments

Music is not subjective. Quality is not subjective. If you are unable to see artistry, hear musical phrase and connect it to the overall aesthetic/narrative (what the band desires to do with these sounds) then you are tin-eared and need to widen your appreciation of music. Listening to expectation based, simple, easily gratifying music has spoiled you. Even when it is technically complex, popular music (and bad metal) satisfies simple hungers. – autobotftwww

Reality is not subjective.

Humanity is subjective.

People want to make our subjectivity into a false objectivity, so we can claim that we know our world, when really we are projecting onto it and nothing more.

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Interview with Jan Kruitwagen about the upcoming fifth Sammath album

Originally this was to be published on Examiner.com, but they censored it for reasons unknown, with no explanation given.

One minute it was there, and the next minute it was all deleted as if it had never existed. Never mind the work that went into putting the interview together, formatting it in Examiner’s arcane system, working around their software, etc. Just deleted. I use Examiner.com because, since most of what they publish is pop culture, it’s a good place for links to underground death metal and black metal bands to exist, but it makes me wonder how professional they are to simply delete work without an explanation or even notification.

I was able to restore most of it and at the band’s request, we’re republishing the uncensored version here.

###

In a time of just about any style being called “black metal” if someone shrieks during the recording, Sammath stay true to the older ideal of powerful, melancholic, evil and naturalistic music.

Their archly elegant Strijd kicked off a promising career, and since then, the band have experimented with a more warlike outlook. We were fortunate to catch a few words with founder Jan Kreutwagen about the band’s fifth album, yet unnamed, which will emerge this year.

What can you tell us about the new Sammath? When will it be recorded, on what label, what’s it like?

It’s turning out just like I wanted Sammath to sound back in 1994: a fine-tuned combination of total chaos, aggression and the right dose of melody. Every time we started to write tracks for this album something good popped up.

The new album is only 34 minutes. I can’t see myself creating a better album than this in the near future. The work Ruud (bass) put into Sammath over the last few years is probably why it all sounds this way. He has a good ear to weed out the weak parts and most of all filter out the bullshit. His dedication and experience, and also that of complete nutcase drummer Koos Bos, have made Sammath sound like this. I write all the music, but what Koos and Ruud deliver is so damn aggressive and intelligently thought out that it takes it all to a new level.

Folter will be releasing the CD at the end of this year or maybe early next year. I get enough offers from other, smaller and larger labels, but I will never leave Folter Records. What others think or how big the band is doesn’t really concern me. Jorg is a underground maniac and he was the first to give me a recording contract in 1997.

The demos you’ve been posting are admirably raw. Will the production and adornments remain this minimalist, or will there be more guitar solos, production tweaks and other refinements as there were on the last Sammath?

The tracks on the internet are just pre-production demos; all drums and guitars will be re-recorded in the coming months. I decided to throw some tracks online and the response has been overwhelming. I really want this release to sound as basic and raw as possible but with a great production that does not sound thin and weak like most black metal releases. Before we enter the studio I want the entire album finished in demo version.

Peter Neuber (Axis of advance, Severe Torture) will once again be doing the mastering. He knows exactly how to get Sammath to sound its best — a review for the last album stated that it sounds like it’s all going to cave in at any moment, raw, loud and filthy. This time there are no guitar solos, production tweaks or other bullshit; the tracks have enough energy already. It’s all very primal and blunt. I don’t think todays black metal fan will like it. The last album is still fucking killer, but this will make it sound like an ABBA release.

These songs strike me as the best expression of the direction you’ve gone since the first album. How has your direction and intent changed?

Finally I am achieving what I’ve always wanted but simply could not do. It’s not technical, it’s just all very blunt and straight forward aggression. But the combination with the new chainsaw bass sound, the over-the-top crazy drums, without triggers or any bullshit, makes it all sound very alive and dynamic. Someone told me it sounds like a combination of all previous Sammath CDs. I also think experience and creating your own sound is something that takes years to achieve.

Problem is that, unlike in 1994 when we started, we all have families, kids, so most of our days are filled up with watching over the kids or getting enough money together for them. I usually only have enough time at night so I get up in the middle of the night to work on new material. I now have the opportunity to record whenever I want, seeing as I have my own primitive little hellhole to create music at dangerously high levels without anyone being able to hear it.

Sample tracks posted so far sound like a cross between APOCALYPSE COMMAND and first album SETHERIAL; they’re blasting black metal with death metal influences, on the edge of war metal, but they have actual melody and structure so it’s not as monotonic. What are your influences and what style do you want to express with the new songs?

You have described it brilliantly. Those bands are fucking great! I had never heard of Apocalypse Command (shame on me, just ordered all I could find). I didn’t really have any plans before I started recording; I just began and it ended up like this. After a few months I got the feeling that this was going to be very stripped down album, blunt black metal — no remorse. A big influence on me the last few years are Blasphemy, Revenge, Brutality, Incubus (now Opprobrium), and Autopsy. And some new bands like Portal, Impetuous Ritual.

Do you think black metal is still alive, or has it been absorbed into something else? How do you describe your music, now that we’re entering into black metal’s second decade?

I really don’t have a clue, at concerts I see less and less people I know, but then again I don’t go as frequently as I used to. I only have time in the winter, making sure to go to the Nuclear War Now! Productions fest this year again, the scene is great when you see over a thousand maniacs from all over the world there. Last year there were a group of about thirty of us creating havoc outside and I think there were twenty different nationalities.

Black metal has always been a strange scene; people tend to get too serious, no fun, no humans, to me that’s absolute weakness. I think black metal died when all the suicide-kill-people self-mutilating fags appeared. All this anti-life gayness stands for the depressed little boys who simply can’t get laid and feel like the world hates them. There used to be a great gap between gothic and black metal, the way some bands try to combine these two are what’s raping the scene the most.

For me, and I can also say this for everyone in Sammath, black metal stands for arrogance and power. My grandfather taught me this, fuck everyone’s opinion, never listen to other people, always follow your instinct. Screw religion, never trust anyone, and above all, don’t give a shit. Even if people think I’m wrong I’m right. This might sound irritating, but I don’t look down on people, I’m a pretty easy going person, I just don’t bow down to anyone (except my wife…). The new Sammath sound is black/death/war metal, nothing new, but it will fuck you up.

Thank you for your time, and good luck with the new Sammath! Based on the promo track you sent us (attached in video form), this is going to be a great addition to the Sammath catalogue.

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Massacre – Succumb to Rapture

http://soundcloud.com/centurymediarecords/massacre-succumb-to-rapture

MASSACRE – Succumb To Rapture. Taken from the 7inch EP “Condemned To The Shadows”. Century Media 2012. In stores on July 30th – pre-orer now: http://www.cmdistro.de/Artist/Massacre/1677

Available as:
Black 7″
Ltd. transparent 7″
Ltd.. Yellow 7″ (CM DISTRO only)

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Why don’t metalheads have power?

Bruno of Katornas writes:

Saturday – 3:10AM @ 32Degrees(C) – link below is an epitome of a successful person raking millions of money! she’s 36, and with all the millions she’s earning – she could manipulate mankind in a snap! I’m in my early 30s now and I’m back to level 1 here in first world! I could have been living here last 2002 but to my regret, I did chose the wrong path and that is by : SELLING CDs and WASTED MY LIFE packing orders for about 11 years!

playing satanic music to fight christianity??? hail satan??? those were brainless!! how about desecrating cemeteries to “scare” christians?? are they scared?? let’s face it : the only way for you to defeat christianity is to make christians stop believing on it! and the only way to do that is to have lots and lots of money!! I mean BIG MONEY!!! you’re in control of everything! do you really think your evil corpsepainted heroes are earning big “playing” their shit touring and gigging in wacken?? think AGAIN!!

Qourthon re-defined Black Metal, invented Viking Metal, made a million of followers all over the world and so what??? he died a lonely man! worst thing is someone even compared him to Whitney Houston explaining the difference between the two!! that’s literally FUCK UP!!

who else? schuldiner?? dio?? those people’s legacy were remembered but anything else?? however, try to look this up: Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, etc – those people defines POWER!!

if you’re happy with your life getting drunk, getting wild in your room while listening LOUD to Bathory’s “Massacre” (not that I’m complaining… don’t get me wrong I’ve done my fair share here), then be stagnated in where you are at! happy with your mere salary while making someone else rich??? then be stagnated in where you are at! I can’t imagine bands like the “big four” still exist. I’ve met ellefson and mustaine last february and all I can say is that they’re happy where they’re at. btw, sorry no pics uploaded; not a metal fan boy here…

reaching 50 years of age playing the same shit over and over again for the next 20-30 years!! those guys got money but where are they spending it?? buying guitars?? buying cars?? anyone of you here knows Manny Pacquiao??? that son of a b*tch got lots of money but you know what… he’s busy buying houses, a Porsche, and a wife that is busy planning for her next liposuction! unbelievable! that’s just TOO HUMAN!! If I’m having money like that I will build my own private army and get ready for what it should be! maybe investing it building a bombshelter buried 3000 feet under the ground, who knows…

so how much more for a struggling evil black metal band who seeks attention by worshiping satan and making literally USELESS NOISE any retard is capable of doing??? well you can cry for satan but that’s just won’t work! you can cry for money but it won’t come to you like the fantasy world gives you…

money defines power! POWER GIVEN BY DRAGON – MOUTH OF A LION – BEAST FROM THE SEEEEEEEEEE??? haha, yeah… I’ve WASTED MY LIFE doing that garbage but I’m still in my early 30s and it’s never too late to rake more money and do the plan and put it into action! in my country alone; money can deny justice, money can make you kill a dozen of people and simply get away with it! so… SHOULD I EXPLAIN MYSELF MORE?

last winter I’ve met a guy and he plays drums and trust me, he’s the USELESS PERSON I’ve ever met! talking about “metal collection” all day?? beer?? eating chips?? jamming?? he doesn’t even have a job to support himself but an allowance from the government!! WHAT KIND OF A STUPID LIFE IS THAT!!! no offense to all of the people around here but it’s a different path now, so…

it doesn’t matter who you are and what religion are you into as long as you bring misery to mankind YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT!! a few months ago, another flyer was posted here and it was like a METALHEAD and a CHRISTIAN PRIEST. the funny thing is that, all the support goes to the LONGHAIRED GUY and no one likes the priest because he’s sinking his dick into kids! and I remember a line like this: “who is the real monster now????” LAUGHING MY FUCKING ASS OFF, hahaaaa!!

I thought “metalheads” wanted to be evil all the time??? people don’t like varg because he’s a murderer and he’s burning churches, boooohoooo! some even called him gay because the guy’s good looking, played casios, and not the typical MONGOLOID LOOKING METALHEAD posing with POINTY GUITARS and a boatload of SPIKES! varg killed someone by stabbing his head, burned down SEVERAL (not just one) churches in norway and someone in the internet calling him “gay”, that’s hilarious…

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE???
killing yourself is not the solution but someone else…
think again and do something relevant/irrelevant…
change is essential, take the risk, playing safe is stagnation…
MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL and EMBRACING EVIL IS POWER!!!

He makes a good point.

People who are into metal are not big supporters of modern society.

We can either drop-out, and wage a fantasy war in our own apartments, or get powerful and be effective.

The more emotional someone is, the more likely they are to do the former and not the latter.

But only the latter gets results.

Bruno’s best paragraph:

playing satanic music to fight christianity??? hail satan??? those were brainless!! how about desecrating cemeteries to “scare” christians?? are they scared?? let’s face it : the only way for you to defeat christianity is to make christians stop believing on it! and the only way to do that is to have lots and lots of money!! I mean BIG MONEY!!! you’re in control of everything!

In contrast to what the underground has become, now that its music is popular — drop-out and fantasy LARP (about metal) central:

last winter I’ve met a guy and he plays drums and trust me, he’s the USELESS PERSON I’ve ever met! talking about “metal collection” all day?? beer?? eating chips?? jamming?? he doesn’t even have a job to support himself but an allowance from the government!! WHAT KIND OF A STUPID LIFE IS THAT!!!

Metalheads, stoners, and other drop-outs do not make change. They complain. Sometimes beautifully, but those days seem gone now. What’s left is the failed, and it justifies its failure with more alienation.

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