German black metal label Purity Through Fire has released a promotional sampler of bands from the new wave of black metal inspired music, including Leichenzug, Kroda, Bergrizen, Vspolokh, Myrd, Svartblodgard, Sarkrista, Infamous, Heldentod, and Irminsul.No Comments
Tonight, on When SJWs Attack: a small metal distro finds itself in the crosshairs and crossfires of political controversy.
Diabolic Force Distribution is a small, independent mail order wholesale price distributor or “distro,” participating in one of the institutions that forged the underground back when metal CDs were unavailable in all but dedicated specialty stores that often went bankrupt. Some time ago, this distro came under fire from “social justice warriors,” or SJWs, who are people who hang out on social media looking for people who are not politically correct enough. Driven by the thrill of subjugating others with political power and the need for self-importance, SJWs frequently destroy lives with their witch-hunting accusations of racism, sexism and other political constructs.
Upon hearing of this situation, I wrote to Diabolic Force Distribution and got the story in interview form. Read on for the latest outrages of the SJWs — the new censors — as they try to limit what you can hear and buy so they can in turn limit what you think.
How did this all start?
To the best of my knowledge this all began when the singer of Bestial Evil (Shawn Wright) suddenly became aware of a Facebook status I made approximately seven weeks ago from the time of this writing, about how the band should be dismissed by fans of metal, because in my opinion they aren’t any good. Simple as that! We got enough awful crap around here as it is. That being said I never accused them of anything other then being posers, no trigger warning required hahaha. I am not alone in this low opinion of the group either.
Apparently receiving criticism is not one of their strengths however, so they started a smear campaign complete with all the usual name-calling and threats. I want to point out that it was a private post that I made and only my friends could see it… so how exactly it came to the attention of the people in question is unknown to me, probably a screen shot or word of mouth. I don’t care. I wasn’t hiding it from anyone in the first place and I still stand by what I said too. Bad’s bad and good’s good, tough shit. This is Heavy Metal, not a reality TV show where you get a prize at the end from Carson Daly. There is already a band from Italy named Bestial Evil anyhow so that just goes to show you they didn’t even do their homework in the first place.
How did these guys try to rally an internet army?
Again, social media was involved, like always. Facebook to be specific. A concerned friend showed me a post made on Shawn Wright’s Facebook page inciting a “boot party” if anyone ever saw me out somewhere and proclaiming that I was to be “banned” from the city of Baltimore, that he was gonna come to my house, etc. This was based on accusations brought on by Shawn himself that I am a homophobic/neo-nazi or some other completely unfounded nonsense like that. One person even commented that I “infiltrate shows” to sell white power music, which is an outright lie.
People ask me to vend at shows very often, I never have to sneak in, let alone with the intent to slip some poor unsuspecting SJW a skinhead album or whatever. The whole thing is totally absurd. Anyhow, not long after this stuff was brought to my attention I started to receive threatening calls and texts to my phone from Shawn himself. None of which I ever replied to. The voicemails have been recorded and saved though, as well as any other evidence of threats against my home or person. So if anyone does do something stupid I have evidence of a conspiracy I guess. They have done some tidying up on the band page it seems, I think their attempt to raise an army has faltered for now.
Is there truth to their accusations that you run a white power friendly distro?
Absolutely not. While I personally do not believe in censorship of any kind, especially with regards to music and art… there’s just nothing in there that qualifies. The merchandise and albums that I sell span across multiple genres of extreme music, everything from black and death metal to harsh noise and grind, but there’s no “white power” bands… The thing they have accused me of is totally baseless and merely an attempt to incite a witch hunt against me to fulfill a personal vendetta and stir up trouble.
People of this SJW/hipster type of mindset seem to always invoke these things to try rally an angry mob as a means to carry out intimidation tactics or make it seem like they’re in the right because they got a couple hundred views on their webpage. You see it more and more as of late.
What have they threatened you with? Do you think they can accomplish it?
I was told multiple times that I would be visited at home, that they would kick down my door and “destroy my life,” and then there was the foolish claim that I was going to be sued for “defamation of character and distributing hate material.” Loads of ignorant threats and boasts were made. I welcome any legal action from them, as I am sure the courts would like to hear the voicemails that Shawn left on my phone, threatening me with home invasion. And as for the defamation of character thing, I am pretty sure they just did that to me so good luck getting that charge to stick. Personally, I do not think they can actually accomplish these things, especially the part about being sued, but I am not taking it for granted either. That’s not the sort of thing you joke about. I am prepared for all eventual outcomes of this retarded comedy.
First phone call
Second phone call
What are your distros/bands/projects that people can support?
For over ten years now I have been proactive with music in the Baltimore Maryland area in some way or another, although I do not reside in or claim the city. I was in a weird band a long time ago but I don’t play anymore, there’s too many bands and not enough fans anyhow, I would rather be a fan. I printed shirts for local bands and old school heavyweights like Blood Storm, Nunslaughter and Gravewurm for many many years… and I used to book concerts in Baltimore sometimes but I have taken a hiatus from organizing live events.
My label/distro is called Diabolic Force Distribution, the purpose of which has been and always will be to support underground bands and zines get out there to the maniacs that need it. Heavy Metal isn’t about fashion or climbing the social ladder, it’s a way of life. It’s outsider art and it’s meant to be challenging and dangerous. Diabolic Force likes to do things the old-fashioned way because I believe in the life force of the music itself and the people in the trenches fighting to keep it real. Diabolic Force will always offer support to those individuals and bands who hate posers and love Satan. Our motto is “Support the underground, bury yourself.”33 Comments
Turkish record label Merdumgiriz — people who might actually face law enforcement consequences for their anti-Islamic expressions — found itself in the center of yet another controversy as band Azerine withdrew from the label after pressure by modern metal blog CvltNation.
Although only the least savvy of metal fans would go to some place named “Cult Nation” for their news, the blog has made a name for itself by covering war metal alongside the usual wash of hipster black metal and tryhard imitators. Merdumgiriz, on the other hand, is a small label which spends its time dodging Turkish religious authorities and authoritarian Western SJWs alike.
Merdumgiriz issued the following statement:
Yesterday I released the album of a so-called “extreme” metal band. I worked so hard on the released that I forgone one of my PornHub premium shemale sessions. Not to mention the money and hard work spent making merchandise. They are a band that uses Lovercraftian lyrics (the trigger on their brains must be malfunctioning for using that “racist” writer) and much “occult” symbolism. Today they wanted me to remove their entire name and work from my label like my label had Ebola saying “Pull all support for my band from any Merdumgiriz websites immediately. Members were not fully aware of the political associations with your label, we wish in no way to have any political or religious anti religious associations.”
Mind you, they share the stage and a member with Anti-Cosmic Satanist bands and frequently use upside down pentacles.
I have heard from good sources that the website CVLT NATION have told them not to work with my label. I apparently support National Socialist bands (which band is this?) anyway, this “Nazi” was kind enough to disregard the legally binding record contract those grown up men have signed with him and let them go. Not to protect their fragile feelings or PC image, but because I do not want to insult the name of “extreme art” with supporting pussies like this.
It is no secret that Viranesir uses racist and sexist terminology to open discussion and mock taboo subject matter. I think using overly offensive language will pull the strength out of taboo subjects and render them unusable for those in power.
Here are some lyrics for the VIRANESIR song HITLER RAPE:
I have lost all my sensitivity toward the taboo subjects in my life through art and I think it can be the same for everybody else. Of course, this will be a nightmare for those in power because they won’t be able to use those taboo subjects as a means of control anymore, hence they will do all within their power to not let words like “nigger, hitler, rape” lose their power. All you have to do is use them without fear. All you ever have to do is commit the greatest sin of freedom.
I am as shit as everybody else, but I seem to be the only one knowing, not fighting, even celebrating and all the while changing it…
You make fools out of yourselves doing extreme art and being pussies. You aren’t extreme, and you are not fooling anybody with screaming and playing loud. I am the real Satanist; I am LUCIFER the bringer of true black light. I change the false meaning of things into harsh truths and fight a lonely fight to break the tyranny of cosmic order, unlike pseudo-prophets singing safe songs about mythical phenomenon. Makes me vomit.
While many of us are not fond of hearing some of the words in those lyrics, we realize that defending speech means defending unpopular speech, even Christian speech. And while this blog has no anti-Christian, anti-Islamic or anti-Semitic agenda, nor a racialist one, we understand that throughout human history demonized ideas have become the basis of the next era of society, and so we encourage open discussion of all topics. Viranesir, Merdumgiriz and Blighted take it further with pure provocation for the sake of pointing out how censored our society is, and for that reason as well we refuse to censor them.
Others feel differently. They have an agenda, but will not state what it is, preferring to work behind the scenes to sabotage the ability of others to express their point of view.
By threatening to “blacklist” metal bands for not conforming to its agenda, CvltNation creates the exact opposite of a safe space: a paranoid community where people fear accidentally saying or thinking the wrong thing as their careers will then be destroyed. This is the same method of control used in totalitarian systems like Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.
A second band, Chronovorus, withdrew in fear of the blacklist as well. The fear spreads, and in the name… what? Fear of ideas? How metal is that?8 Comments
Kronet til Konge shows what happens when a genre overshoots its inertia. Everything labeled “Norwegian black metal” with “that sound” was selling like hotcakes, which is a rare position for metal to find itself in. The fans, labels and magazines howled for more, which is always a sign that the quantity-over-quality groupthink has arrived. This band pasted together a bunch of riffs and called it an album.
The result shows us how important metal songwriting is: it’s not just about the riffs. Good metal comes from arranging riffs so they talk to each other to create “heavy” moments which feel like realizations (or provoke them). Normal rock is designed to distract you or get you lost in a sea of bittersweet conflicting emotions. Metal builds up illusions and tears them down, then inverts the whole structure to show you a hidden truth. This is the mythological nature of metal.
Dodheimsgard are talented musicians. They have about one good riff idea per song, and are musically adept enough to cook up the other riffs and bits necessary to tie it together into a song, but these are addressing the riff itself and not some underlying topic or feeling for the song. As a result, these songs feel random and convey nothing, although it’s hard to come to this conclusion when caught in a quality riff. But the sum has to be more than the total of its parts and that leap to greatness is not made here.5 Comments
Adversary came to us from the heartland of Indiana and released two solid old school death metal albums, the second of which, Forsaken, may deserve more attention. This one is misunderstood because its form is old school death metal, but its heart is in classic heavy metal with melody and groove, as well as some of the more atmospheric 1980s rock.
As a result, listening to it presents a dual experience. It sounds like Num Skull or Nunslaughter doing their version of a Possessed-Venom hybrid, but with more attention to melodic guitar hooks. Vocals take the form of barfed out gruff explosions, guiding the rough-hewn riffs like a second drum track, but the heart of each song is a 1970s heavy metal riff with a broad chord progression through which melodic lead-picked figures wind. Songs mostly follow the speed metal pattern of verse-chorus with interludes and transitions, but each song is wrapped around a presentation of dynamics to bring it to a dramatic close.
While other bands worked with this formula, none have done so with such old-school technique and so this album neatly slipped between its potential audiences. Compounding this fact was the trouble that Adversary’s first album, The Winter’s Harvest, used a drum machine and so was overlooked by many. But for those wanting the feeling of 1985 — that nexus of different influences and unresolved potentials — this album deserves a second look.4 Comments
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote without an outline using only the thoughts gathered in his head over long hours of smoking his pipe and staring into a fireplace. Sitting at his typewriter, head wreathed in smoke, he pounded out a first draft of the Lord of the Rings mythos, and then discarded it, beginning again from scratch. As the story took form, it left behind a litter of empty blue-painted cans of tobacco.
The tobacco was Capstan Original Navy Cut. Members of his family remember the tins proliferating around the house and being used to store household items. When Tolkien and other members of his literary group The Inklings met, nicotine burned in abundance, and they could be found by following the trail of smoke. In his books, Tolkien inserted characters finding great comfort and wisdom in their pipes much as he did in his.
As part of a recent binge of writings by Tolkien and fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis, this writer has indulged in their favorite tobaccos. Capstan Original Navy Cut comes in “flake” form, having been pressed into table-sized cakes and then sliced into wafers about a third the size of a playing card. These are either stuffed into the pipe or “rubbed out” which converts them into ribbons of tobacco. Throughout this experiment, the thought lingers at the back of the mind: why this tobacco, and does it resemble the Longbottom Leaf or Old Toby of his legends?
Original Navy Cut is composed of pure Virginias, but the pressing and aging has converted some of their sugar and acid into a more hay-like flavor, the partial decomposition of the leaf having released its most irksome elements. What remains is a sweet smoke, with slightly more Nicotine (PBUH) than the average medium smoke, which burns evenly and rewards small “sips” or short slow puffs, as one might take while hammering out words on a typewriter. It also admirably complements the smell of typewriter ribbon, for whatever that is worth.
Virginia flakes such as this tend to appeal to either new smokers who want a blend that is sweet and strong like a cigarette, or to the experienced who can nurse a pipe for hours. Since Tolkien was a master pipe smoker, he fit the latter category, and apparently always kept a pipe going with this and other blends to power himself through late-night endurance test writing sessions. And we can enjoy the results, and the metal inspired by them.
Nocturnal doom/black metal band No God Only Pain are finalizing details on their upcoming EP Roads to Serfdom which demonstrates a transition in styles of this band toward apocalyptic roadhouse dark metal. This new style features all of the Motorhead-inspired choruses, Darkthrone-infused verses and oddball, doomy structures and atmospheres of the earlier work, but with more of a nod to early Danzig in an exploration of classic heavy metal.
An exclusive stream of one track, “Who Forgives God?,” is below:
We were fortunate to catch a few minutes with the band, who dictated the following release:
This recording is a dissonant experiment under the Barkeresque transmutational concept that “anything can be created.” There’s five songs total, hinging on the theme of how (despite its appearances) modern society is still feudal in nature. Riff wise the songs still attempt to flow as a single voice yet are purposely more diverse than on Joy of Suffering.
This recording demonstrates a singular musical concept: simple Burzumy punk tunes to some epic song progressions. The album challenges itself like a madman and aims to polarize opinion like a bad Zogby poll.
Half the recording is purposely super lo-fi with a very minimal number of microphones. Purposely using so few mics (and nothing direct ) seems ridiculous, but previous attempts at for lo-fi but discernible sound sucked for me. We acquired many pieces of gear at flea markets and pawn shops to try to capture the sound we required, and most failed, but we perservered.
Our goal was to get a dark and grungy sound, like Transylvanian Hunger, but with bass and vocals done way more professionally (Scott Burns Obituary style) which creates irony since our bassist plays groovy and fuzzy like Blue Cheer. A large part of the point of doing the recording this way is to allow more time for the bass and vocals to experiment and color the songs more, while the guitars and drums maintain more basic driving tones. The bass is not on this recording yet.
The title track is an experiment in itself as it questions how much variety in riffs and song structure a song can have and still make sense. It attempts capture in one song the variety of genres of music in metal and juxtaposes them as a metaphor for the cornucopia of ways that society trys to exert control over the individual. There are many diverse experiences, but all roads lead to serfdom.
In the world of old school death metal, few manage to revive the past and carry it forward in a unique voice. Desecresy resurrects the greatness and gives it a unique spin with atmospheric lead melodic guitar droning over death metal and doom-death riffs, and on Stoic Death they increase the variety of death metal riffs and the dynamic impact of songs in a style more like that of their first album, Arches of Entropy.
Stoic Death begins at full speed and continues to vary pace throughout in order to build intensity, applying the resonant melodies selectively like layers, enwrapping the surging power chord riffs in sheets of harmonic background that intensifies at crucial moments in each song. The doom-death influence shows its strength most in the careful pacing of each song and introduction of elements like seasons, cycling to a conclusion.
The increased variety of riff types shows a familiarity with death metal of the oldest school, but now they take on a new language, with Asphyx-style percussive riffs sliding into rolling Bolt Thrower style dirges, and then emerging with the powerful Finnish-style death metal riffs anchored in melody that specialize in crucifying beauty with cruelty. The mid-paced approach might seem to kill aggression, but it has replaced that sentiment with a deepening sense of melancholy, dread and suspension of all normalcy as the bizarre becomes sensible.
This album feels like a descent into a tunnel shrouded in darkness, where as the voyager goes deeper both in the ground and behind the layers of twists and turns, the daylight world seems more remote and unreal. The songwriting technique Desecresy has made into their trademark presents challenges in that the overall sound is similar between tracks, but here the band differentiates them with elegance and creates a complexity of texture in which the listener can gratefully lose themselves.
More Godflesh influences permeate this album as do nods to recent changes in metal toward the more atmospheric, but Desecrey channel these into its own voice, translating the insipid into the ambiguous and the comforting into a threatening lack of center. What emerges from that fertile combination is a voice perfect for this time, a great sea of doubt in which glimpses of beauty are hidden behind primal uncertainty. Like the best of metal, it makes greatness from conflict and then shows the wisdom of that atavistic outlook through precisely-architected composition.4 Comments
Coming from that early intersection of death metal and black metal that produced bands such as Havohej, Misanthropical aim for awkward riffs like the sinews of a polymeliac beast, combining them with crudely cut black metal rhythms and surging melodic drones. The result shows a band starting out, but with a good concept that is enough removed into the bizarre, like bands such as Resuscitator or Legion of Doom, to leave us wondering what thought process could create it. The band is strongest when they abandon genre conventions and let the weirdness out, mixing riding riffs that compel energy with connective tissue that bends it into odd contortions, putting the listener on edge. They are weakest when trying too hard to be raw black metal or when filling spaces in songs with cymbal crashes and repetitive drones. Of interest is the unsteady fusion of doom metal moods with the more martial modes, creating a soundscape that sounds like battle by those with vast inner doubt and torment. Conjuring Thy Infernal Lord demonstrates the basics of a powerful voice that with growth and maturation could take this band in interesting and intriguing ear-torturing directions.2 Comments
Codex Obscurum has distinguished itself over the course of seven issues by putting the underground first and focusing on quality of music, in addition to a range of topics about what we might call metal culture, or other areas of life in which metalheads find an interest. Over time, the editors have become more adventurous and now include a wide diversity of genres, artists and the ever-popular gaming features and editorials.
Issue Eight takes up the mantle with eleven band interviews, two live reviews, thirty-nine album reviews and an artist interview. These span genres from traditional underground bands to rough roadhouse hard rock, touching on grindcore and punk and even juggalo rock, giving the kind of panoramic view of the genre that big glossy magazines pretend they have. Speaking of, apparently Decibel referred to Codex Obscurum as “elitist,” which is a media code word for not regurgitating the spew from promotional mailers, and that gratifying tendency means that a refreshing honesty about the limits of many of these bands cuts back the hype and focuses on the actual.
Interviews abound. This latest edition begins with a relaxed interview with The 3rd Attempt that gives some context to the last two generations of black metal, then launches into an energetic discussion with PanzerBastard that reveals some of the Motorhead plus apocalypse thinking behind that act. It follows with an honest and ambitious interview with Skelethal, whose thoughtful responses make me want to listen past the name, and a somewhat guarded interview with Castrator where the band’s attempt to repeat its talking points fades under wily questioning. Then comes an interview with songwriter Ninkaszi about his latest project, Impenitent Thief, which covers a decade of New England metal in a few pages. Noisem follows with an interview of probing questions and somewhat surface-level answers, revealing more about this band than the band intended. After that, Jake Holmes of Plutonian Shore, Under the Sign of the Lone Star zine, and about ten other bands talks Morgengrau and gives some context to what this band has released. Then arrives a rough-hewn interview with hard rock band Rawhide, a contemplative discussion with Zemial, and a detailed look into Blood Red Throne. After the centerpiece of pen and ink art, Teutonic speed metal lords Blizzard weigh in with an irreverent but topical interview.
CO: You’ve started your own paper zine called Under the Sign of the Lone Star. Can you tell us a little about it, and how we can order a copy?
JH – Under the Sign… started as a reaction against click-baiting, witch-hunting, hypersensitive-PC and overall-clueless “metal” blogs/mags that are unfortunately ubiquitous these days. The PMRC may have been the enemy of the 80s, but at least they never passed themselves off as “one of us” like these rags do! The premise of Ut-SotLS was to write about Texan bands that I really like without stirring controversy or spreading gossip for increased ad revenue: passion, not profit. (16)
The centerpiece takes the form of a deliciously gory mythological-apocalyptic-dystopian scene hanging in blackness, which adds to the mood of the zine, and divides an interview with artist Sebastian Mazuera, who reveals quite a bit about the craft of metal art and the thought process behind it. Then the zine takes a Burzum/Bolt Thrower turn with an article about Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, showing the development and pitfalls of this very metal pastime. Most interesting here is the analysis of how fan interaction shaped, and possibly limited, the game. From the gonzo journalism department, two honest reviews of metal festivals — Blastfest and Messes de Morts — revealing the alcohol abuse and manic social aspects as well as the performances by bands both well-known and nearly unknown. These gave more of a feeling of “being there” than the usual paint-by-numbers reviews, plus hilarity in an honest and uncensored look at how well these bands actually performed.
Incorporating elements of crust, doom, even death metal at times this band can take a left turn in their composition at a moment’s notice. From open palm droning and melodic riff structures moving into driving thrash renditions and crusty d beats, these types of elements give the band a really varied and aggressive sound…With tasty build ups making use of both dynamics and tempo, their song structure is quite complex and makes for an entertaining replay value without seeming repetitive after multiple listens. (47)
From there, it is on to the reviews. These establish both how a band composes and records, and reviewer reaction to the utility of listening to the material in question. Although the review of juggalo band The Convalescence is a high point for sadistic mockery in the best offhand zine style, the bread and butter here is nailing a realistic buy/avoid assessment of bands from Empyrium to Tau Cross, Dysentery to Malthusian, and W.A.S.P. to Paradise Lost. These read well, are witty and biting, but are unstinting with praise where it is deserved. Choice of albums here shows more of a strong hand with the reviewers choosing both movers ‘n’ shakers of the underground as well as undernoticed contributions of interest. It would be hard to find a more straightforward and observant review section in print.
Many have claimed the death of the zine, but with more people cutting the cord to the internet because of the sheer amount of spam disguised as reporting, having a volume like this — that you can pick up and then feel you have a good basic grasp of the scene after an hour of reading — reduces the chaos and puts many metalheads with otherwise full lives back into the game. On its eighth issue, Codex Obscurum has expanded its reach without losing touch with its direction, which is a feat of focus that most metal writers should aspire to.
You can still get copies of Issue Eight through the CO online store.1 Comment