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

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

The Difficulties of Folk Metal

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Article by Johan P.

I’ve never been overly impressed by the folk metal phenomenon, which emerged in the middle of the 1990s and began to gain popularity some years later. I do not mean to imply that there isn’t any good folk music out there. On the contrary, there’s a lot of rewarding traditional music to discover. Many musicians – metallers included – have realized that their respective countries’ folk music reservoir is a gold mine for potential ideas to integrate into more modern forms of music. It was on these premises that folk metal was born. However, if the source material is to be successfully re-animated and be brought into metal or any other genre, it requires some serious work from the composer and performer. Most folk metal bands fail at this point for a variety of reasons, with the end-result often sounding like bad heavy metal adorned with folk-melodies that have been stripped of all subtlety to fit into a rock-based harmonic and structural environment.

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The Mythic and the Mystic

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Article by Lance Viggiano.

Burzum and Beherit each represent two summits of black metal’s many perspectives – in particular its looking back to look ahead ethos. The work of Laiho is exploratory and spiritual while the work of Varg is seeking and religious. Each composer followed a similar trajectory of mapping this landscape through metal first, then ambient. Each phase reveals strengths and weakness in each of their aims which results in a somewhat complementary synthesis between two highly individual bodies of work.

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#Metalgate: The Blastbeat Network Collapses As SJWs Fragment

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Hipster weathervane Decibel magazine could not backpedal fast enough on its pro-SJW stance, and has now retracted that and taken a more fence-sitting approach which allows it to both criticize SJWs and uphold their ideology. Continue reading #Metalgate: The Blastbeat Network Collapses As SJWs Fragment

Possessed by the Moon

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Article by David Rosales.

A legendary time and place for underground metal, the Norway of 1993 is an esoteric landmark (1994 being the exoteric) in time and space in black metal history. It saw the rise of a mythology of its own, the mythology of black metal, and an eventual catastrophic demise worthy of a saga of its own.

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Contrarian Gay Trolling

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Article by Gonzalo Gallina.

In 1996, Spanish rock band Mago de Oz released their most acclaimed latin-rock-underground albums, Jesus de Chamberi. Like most things coming from modern Latin countries, it has difficulty defining itself. Representative of the modern cultural confusion of Hispania, Mago de Oz presents the audience with a mixed bag of rock ala Dio, reggae, and eighties bar heavy rock, while borrowing some metal riffs and melodic leads here and there, and ocassionally overlaying folky tunes on a violin.

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Traversing the Underground: Roots and Origins

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Article by David Rosales.

A trend in the modern conception of anything has been that the newer something else, the better we expect or assume it to be. Experience in reality, however, has also given rise to another perception: that the new tends to be worse and not better. Attempts at rationalizing this drive the pseudo-intellectual, pro-sheeple crowd to say that times just change, but ratios of quality do not vary. This is not only unscientific but an obvious politically correct answer that has as its premise that everyone is equal, and hence, that the resulting products of these “equal” people must also be probabilistically equal. Impermeable external influence seems to them the only changing factor, with the internal being either infinitely constant or practically negligible. This is assumed and then possible causes are haphazardly and desperately pieced together, the answer is assumed and then anything is either positive evidence or brushed aside if too problematic to incorporate into the fairy tale. Ignorance compounded with pretense and emotional insecurity always results in capricious imposition of an arbitrary and dogmatic concepts and scale of values.

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Defining Metal

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Article by Lance Viggiano inspired by International Day of Slayer.

A candidate for the best work within a genre of music should capture every manifestation as best as it can and be able to answer the question: what is X? One might make the argument that the best album must capture the genre at its summit; still, that is a far more difficult essence to capture as in the case of metal, both black and death metal scaled adjacent but different peaks and therefore offer their own unique views of the same musical landscape.

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Space Rock Special: Hawkwind (1971-1973)

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Article by Johan P.

The stylistically inclusive nature of progressive rock allows quite a lot of stretching of the genre’s musical boundaries. This part of Death Metal Underground’s 1970s Progressive Rock for Hessians series looks into the early, classic period of the English group Hawkwind – a group of sonic shaman-warriors who transgressed more than one genre border right from their inception. Well, almost. Their unconvincing 1970 self-titled debut album can rightfully be dismissed as a failed attempt at improvisational psychedelic folk rock, with songs that sound too much like flawed byproducts of the flower power era. Luckily, the following years saw the band re-forge their sound on In Search of Space (1971), articulate it on Doremi Fasol Latido (1972) and finally push their newfound style to its limits on Space Ritual (1973).

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