The success of endeavors that carry with them the implication of development or transformation, such as the evolution of an artistic genre (without any relation to the ‘progress’ of dialectical materialism), requires the constant testing of strength, the crossing of one’s boundaries. Contrary to the beliefs of the simple minded, this does not mean that the act of crossing those lines is in itself enough for a fully-formed conclusion to be presented, although there is indeed great value in violation itself. But one could argue that the great weapons of the mind, enacted, come as a result of a full digestion and re-application of invaluable experience and information that comes from the crude testing of strength, directed towards the intuited limits of the yet unexplored. (more…)
The blast beat has had a very unlikely journey through its relatively young lifespan in music. Rooted in a jazz technique of an alternating bass drum/hi-hat and snare 16th note pattern (though played at much slower tempo in jazz music), it found a unique identity in the early 1980s when underground hardcore punk bands like Siege and Asocial began using it at aggressive speeds to enhance their violent bursts of rebellion. This made it a close friend of metal when the middle of the decade saw a fledgling death metal movement getting its hands dirty with hardcore punk speed and sound in an effort to push its own extremity. Over the next 15 years, several drummers would rise to prominence with their clever use of the blast beat to either push these combinations to extreme speeds or to utilize them enduringly for an effect similar to trance music. Suddenly, every metal band that wanted to play fast or play simplistically HAD to play blast beats, and we eventually reached a point where blast beats were the most dominant part of every death and black metal song’s drum composition.
For the future of death and black metal to establish themselves distinctively, they must abandon what has become routine and keep only what is necessary to preserve their underlying spirit. And with this understanding comes an unfortunate truth- the beloved blast beat must be laid to rest, so that new life in metal can grow. (more…)
Dark, brooding, and long cloaked in obscurity, the harmonic minor scale is a compelling collective of notes that has historically been used as an accent to minor key compositions. For centuries only a handful of pieces had been written within its bounds as composers instead opted to weave in for a number of measures before an eventual progression into the natural minor scale. From there it appeared again in a few folk songs, took a strong spiritual presence in Islamic culture, and later became an integral part of horror movies when they progressed into the frightening mediums they became in the 1970s. But it wasn’t until the musicians of the early Swedish death metal scene discovered how to fully harness the scale’s potential that lengthy songs and even the majority of some albums began being composed within its bounds. A truly grotesque wedlock, the scale gave he who wielded it the power to craft the most sinister and foreboding compositions possible within the laws of music. It is for this reason one could attest that the minor harmonic scale has found a home in heavy metal that no other genre of music could provide. (more…)
2017 was a year of total war and, culturally, a year of victory. What it lacked in quality metal it made up for in illuminating many of the harsh truths about metal’s business side, the narcissism of metal musicians, disloyalty of metal fans, and the desperation of metal journalists to fit in with flavor-of-the-weak liberal hysteria. Outside of metal, conservatism has won almost every battle and leftism continues to be on the defensive. With the death of Antifa in America, the complete meltdown of liberal journalists in and outside of metal, and endless infighting and cannibalization within the left, 2017 has been perhaps the most amusing and fulfilling year in recent memory.
Yet as great as this last year was, we must keep our eyes on the future with maximum alertness as the war continues. Therefore let’s leave the crystal ball reading to the crazy cat lady witches running Cvlt Nation and instead make some logical predictions on where the world of metal may be headed in the next year:
There are many well cultured intellectuals who, when presented with metal music, will immediately be tuned out by the vocals. This results in much of the metal collective being comprised of hold-my-beer normies and most of the world’s high IQ population never grasping a music genre that has both the depth and the complexity they yearn for. Moreover, vocals in metal have not progressed AT ALL since the 1990s and therefore vocalists have been rendered indistinguishable from one another. Through this understanding comes the ultimate revelation: metal vocals, more than any other factor, are hindering the next great wave of metal.
In Trendkillers, we will engage the unseen and/or uncontested trends that have permeated metal culture. Death to false idols!
We begin the Trendkillers series with the most tired and meaningless year end tradition in metal culture- the top 10 list. Or is it a top 20, top 40, top 100 list? Do 100 death metal albums even get released in a year, or are some blogs trying to virtue-signal how many albums they are aware of? In any case, many metal bands and musicians consider this the crown jewel of their existence as it’s often the only chance they get to pad their narcissism and reaffirm their perceived importance in the grand scheme of things.
Growing up, I always detested “political” albums because people were ranting to me about partisanship from an adult world that I knew had already failed. It really was shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic to demand one failed version of the current order over another. It also violated what I felt was sacred about art: its abstraction, metaphor, and connection to the naturalistic experience.
Hessians were always searching for anything heavy back in the eighties. Digging deep into the import section or buying blindly from catalogs or zines were the only ways to hear anything that could be heavier outside of rarely engaged in underground tape trading. Slayer was the heaviest mainstream metal ever got. Sepultura was one heavier.
You were born in a time when all things acclaimed were in fact lies.
The reality of life was hidden behind products designed to allay fears.
The future revealed itself as emptiness or worse, false substance.
Daily Fred Nietzsche:
Mankind surely does not represent an evolution toward a better or stronger or higher level, as progress is now understood. This “progress” is merely a modern idea, which is to say, a false idea. The European of today, in his essential worth, falls far below the European of the Renaissance; the process of evolution does not necessarily mean elevation, enhancement, strengthening.
True enough, it succeeds in isolated and individual cases in various parts of the earth and under the most widely different cultures, and in these cases a higher type certainly manifests itself; something which, compared to mankind in the mass, appears as a sort of superman. Such happy strokes of high success have always been possible, and will remain possible, perhaps, for all time to come. Even whole races, tribes and nations may occasionally represent such lucky accidents.
You were born without a hope. You have no future. In fact, nothing has a future.
The only response must be to burn it all down, reduce to zero, and then rebuild.