Clockwise: David Herrera, Mark “Blaash” Michelson, “Jenoside”
Mark “Blaash” Michaelson, known for Where’s My Skin zine and playing drums in Bahimiron, has died. A lively spirit imbued with a fatalistic sense of self-destruction, Michaelson was nonetheless an affirming personality who enjoyed life to the fullest and never let anyone tell him what to do. Our condolences to his family, friends, bandmates and all who were touched by his life.
I met Mark back in the early 2000s when Bahimiron was just starting up and was immediately impressed by his grasp of the spirit of metal. While for him it took a suicidal black metal type of path, he nonetheless understood the more triumphant aspects of metal and affirmed them with vicious but elegant music. He was always a good person to query about the relevance of anything going on in the community.
According to The Daily Dot, 1970s heavy dark rock with metal influences band Dream Machine has been dropped by its label, Castle Face Records, for “controversial” statements regarding feminism and immigration.
We all know the score in entertainment: 90% of the people are full-tilt Left-leaning, and the remaining 10% have to hide their views until they are too big and too old to fear repercussions. A Swedish folk-rock duo named Lilou & John have launched a website, Belzebubbles, to feature Right-leaning bands who have been censored or ignored by the entertainment establishment.
The path of heavy metal is a solitary one. Most people do not like the idea of it, hate the sound of it, and look down on those who like it. It is not simplistic and mindlessly obsessive like rock, nor fancy and high-falutin’ like jazz. It seems deliberately antisocial, disruptive, violent and dark.
Underground occult metal blog Praefuscus Ferrum recently posted a piece entitled “Underground turned Funderground, and the Obscurantist Elite” proposing that what killed underground metal was widespress consumer access to new technologies such as the internet. These and the increased exposure to fans led artistically successful underground metal bands to pursue raw consumerism at the expense of writing transcendent music. D.A.R.G. points out that “the truest artists purposefully hide away from the profane eye” as the communication mediums the underground metal utilized (physical mail, tape trading, and BBSes) have been usurped by ones more accessible to laymen. He states the underground became the “funderground” in the blink of an eye as mainstream rock and pop fans who felt adventurous wanted rock and pop music with “black” and “death” “metal” production aesthetics, not actual death, black, or even heavy metal. Now the musicians actually writing novel underground metal compositions hide unbeknownst to the typical beer metaller in plain sight.
Continuing a proud tradition, the twelfth annual International Day Of Slayer kicks off tomorrow morning, June 6. The whole point is to blast Slayer all day long while avoiding and evading the tedious requirements of this fallen world.
“Nothing gold can stay,” reminds us the poet Robert Frost, and this applies to black metal. Its gold occurred between 1991 and 1994, when its progenitors innovated a new style and took it to great heights, but after Burzum – Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, it became clear that black metal was not content to be a normal, rock-style music genre.