Joshua Wood, managing editor over at Metal Rules, conducted an interview with me a few days ago. You can read it here:
Lonegoat of necroclassical band Goatcraft issued the following statement today on, of all topics, Death Metal Underground itself. Read on for some clarification of the oddities of Goatcraft coverage for the past year or so, and the “no Goatcraft rule” implemented some time ago.
Brett Stevens is a controversial man. He’s made more armchair activists angry than anyone else on the internet. Founding the legendary Dark Legions Archive, as well as many other groups/websites/etc, his reviews were unmatched and were of the highest linguistic artistry. He created worlds in his reviews that paralleled the musical subjects better than anyone else who ever wrote about metal.
He’s been around since the nascent stage of the internet to this now populace, SJW Tumblr Tranny modern wankery that resembles dumpster diving more than anything else. It’s only suiting that he swapped to writing movie reviews.
For a while I aided Brett by helping out behind the scenes at Deathmetal.org. I wouldn’t really consider it “helping” as I’ve never been a writer nor cared to be one. Usually my contributions were drunken and juvenile. It was what it was.
In return for my contributions, Brett hosted this domain while I was in between jobs and had no spare money to pay for it. About a month after that we had a falling out over a mutual acquaintance and our stances regarding this person. Goatcraft.net was then nuked. Most of the Goatcraft material was pulled from Deathmetal.org at my request. There’s now a No-Goatcraft rule implemented at Deathmetal.org because of all of this.
About 8 months later Brett gave me the Goatcraft.net domain back.
I’m indifferent to what Deathmetal.org is nowadays. There are some good articles like the recent Abominations of Desolation controversy article, although he should’ve been more specific in the article instead of hiding its intent through multiple layers.
This should clear up any confusion regarding the friction between Deathmetal.org and Goatcraft.
Consider it a generous statement and a fair one, and wonder no more why our Goatcraft reviews went away. It is what it is.
DMU has grown over the past year from a retro-site keeping the old writings alive to a vital source for information on the new underground metal that hasn’t sold out or otherwise lowered quality.
At this point, it’s time to push to the next stage.
This would involve taking on the “big” sites that publish label press releases as news and write fawning reviews that praise musical gibberish as “innovation.” But to reach that level, DMU has to become a more general-purpose news source.
To that end, I’m reaching out to you, the audience. We need a new editor. This editor would do the following:
- Post daily news stories on all relevant events.
- Write reviews on new death metal and black metal releases.
- Edit texts submitted by writers including myself.
This takes about four hours a day minimum and so it is a paid position. Qualifications are an ability to write and edit grammatically-sound and interesting text and to produce the volume of stories needed to bring in this new level of audience. Apply within.
I have somewhat served in this role, but with multiple writing obligations, I no longer can do so.
For those of you who like to trade movies, music, books and conversation online, the Neoclassical Music Hub offers a Direct Connect (DC++) hub for those who enjoy classical, neoclassical, dark ambient, heavy metal and hardcore punk.
Hosted by a small team of users who have kept it running for a decade, the Neoclassical Music Hub allows users to share files with one another in the curated environment of a Direct Connect hub, which allows chat, direct messaging and file sharing between those who are connected to it. This escapes the somewhat chaotic nature of open-access P2P clients and the access issues of torrents.
If you have noticed the site has been running a little more slowly lately, this post may offer an explanation. During the past year, our traffic has grown and lately it has been enough to tax our web server (pictured above) to the point of slowdown. Here’s what the last two weeks of traffic look like:
Average successful requests for pages per day: 66,582
Average data transferred per day: 2.97 gigabytes
Some of this traffic is the usual web gunk — search engine crawlers and spammers — but a good portion of it represents the community growing. We’re glad to have all of you on here and hope it keeps up, and we’re making some changes behind the scenes to speed up the process.
2013 has been a big year for Coffins, with the release of their debut album The Fleshland for Relapse Records in July and the recent announcement of their upcoming appearance at Baltimore’s Maryland Deathfest in 2014. Coffins toured with Noothgrush in 2013 in Japan, thus it is not surprising that the two, who have gifted each other with fresh ideas, have decided to release a split EP on Southern Lord Records.
While Coffins have always had their fair share of sludge influence, the band up the ante by incorporating more stoner rock riffing and melody. The result is slower and stripped down, with less of an Autopsy and more inspiration from Eyehategod. The band still retain their core sound with mid-paced riffing hybridizing Coffins’ downpicked death metal chug and Noothgrush’s crawling musical ethic. Lead work, although sparse, brings a brightly colored spark. The drums straddle the line between D-beat infused percussion in the style of Deathstrike and the breakdowns that are archetypal to the sludge hybrid-genre. Inflected riffing pounds through both tracks in the stoner metal style, inserting absurd jauntiness into droning music.
Noothgrush on their half of the split apply characteristic sludge riffing accompanied by sample-infused soundscapes which provide abstract narratives pertaining to the song titles. The material retains an earthy, doomy sound without digitised production artifacts. “Jundland Wastes” samples the kick drum from “Tusken Raiders” amidst desert winds, reminiscent of the tripped out atmospherics of “Dystopia” but with a more concrete narrative function. “Thoth” follows in very much the same footsteps, with a sample-driven interlude halfway through — complete with layers of ear-piercing feedback and tasteful synth pads — provides a welcome break from the crushing, monolithic riffing.
Whilst Noothgrush ominously work their trademark, sample inflected sludge machine, Coffins’ foray into the sludgier side of the doom-influenced musical spectrum is somewhat generic; it feels lacklustre in comparison to Noothgrush’s experienced assault. Where Noothgrush manage to keep things interesting, if a bit mundane, Coffins’ offering for this split EP feels rushed and uninspired.
Death Metal Underground
Weekly Newsletter 11/18-11/24
Because Metal Is Art
Five things every musician needs
Those of us who have had the fortune to hang around the music industry for a few decades tend to pick up a few ideas about what works and what doesn’t.
If you are trying to get your music out there, you’ll get a lot of advice from people with agendas. They want you to do x so that they get y. What follows is generic advice for putting your best foot forward.
Demilich box details revealed
Back in 1993, Demilich released a killer album entitled Nespithe. The album innovated consciously in every way possible. It took the audience a decade to warm up to it, but by the time Demilich re-united in 2006 for a reunion tour, death metal had fully bonded with this inventive act.
Fast forward a few more years and Demilich is finally getting the recognition it deserves through re-releases of its classic material. These were originally planned in 2006, but got delayed a bit as the wheels of music justice ground. Demilich has just announced the release of a limited edition box set with a 44-page booklet, sticker and new cover art.
Black metal album titles illustrated like children’s books
These pictures were originally innocent illustrations for children’s books. They were drawn by well-known but now deceased Czech artist Helena Zmatlíková who illustrated numerous books for children.
At some time after that, they were creatively edited by a member of Umbrtka who also writes for Czech Maxim. The innocence drained away, replaced by the eternal darkness of the blackest of souls.
Deicide – In the Minds of Evil
If you break any ground as a band, you will suffer from momentum inertia. Your initial direction will carry you quickly to its end, and after three albums, you will find yourself with a loss of direction.
This occurs because in your vision, substance and form were joined, and you made a language out of what you wished to express. For some visions, a lifetime of specifics can be created; for most, there are big picture things to do, and then emptiness.
Cryogen – Continuum
Two revelations before listening to this: first, when I first got into music I thought talent and ability were rare; now I realize they’re commonplace, but the ability to apply them in some non-inert interesting way is rare. Second, that metalcore — the mix of metal genres in the post-hardcore style of “contrast without continuity” riffing — borrows almost everything it has from 1980s speed metal.
Micro-songs: the shortest songs in heavy metal
About a decade ago, the trend of flash fiction or micro-stories seized the literary world by storm. The reasoning was that as people did more of their reading via phones and portable computers, they would want shorter, harder-hitting fiction.
Of course, metal was there first.
Pink Frothy AIDS frontman says metal fans are “close-minded”
Heavy metal music gets a bad rap, not just from people who dislike it, but from people who claim to like it. The problem is that criticism draws attention to the speaker, so there’s no better way to stand out than to stand up and say, “All of this is wrong!”
While some critics of the current way are motivated by a desire to create useful change, most people are motivated by self-interest and change for change’s sake, which lets them seize attention and/or power. Pink Frothy AIDS’s frontman Mikael “Mick” Åkerfeldt recently attempted such a power grab.
His statements, recorded in a Metal Hammer interview via Metal Injection, are harshly critical of metal but suffer a gigantic logical “plot hole” that makes them totally nonsense.
http://www.deathmetal.org/news/Pink Frothy AIDS-frontman-says-metal-fans-are-closed-minded/
Sadistic Metal Reviews 11-24-13
What are Sadistic Metal Reviews? These reviews address the music itself, instead of the social impact of assembling a public persona out of bands you claim to like. Since almost all human endeavors are mostly mediocrity, there will be tender self-pity follow by rage. Come for the laughs, stay for the schadenfreude… and occasional quality metal.
DeathMetal.org is the net’s oldest and longest-running heavy metal resource center and home of The Heavy Metal FAQ. We treat heavy metal music as a form of art and culture, and we believe we should bring out the best in it. Our primary focus is death metal; but we remain open to new musical experiences, both within metal and without. To learn more, visit our information center at:
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What is the sign of the modern person? Cause and effect have become reversed: like buying products on a shelf, the modern person expects to see the effect he wants, purchase it, and have substituted that action for causing what he desires.
In music, you either stand for what you believe because you think the music embodies the cause of values you desire, or you choose music as an accessory or effect to make yourself look cool, and hope that by changing your appearance, you become cool.
This is why people who are reversed (confused cause and effect) are always ironic. For them, the music is an accessory to make themselves look good, and so when that fails, they backpedal. The best backpedaling is not to reverse your opinion — “Oh no, I don’t like that at all” — but to keep a foot in both worlds: “I just like that ironically.”
The ironists are ultimately a sad bunch, because they cannot enjoy what they claim to believe in. They believe in nothing, except themselves, and only then in a past tense and not a future tense, as in “I will achieve things.” They want to borrow cool from things they buy or know, but don’t actually like themselves.
In the 80’s music was quite tribalistic. Those who grew their hair long and listened to metal incurred the ridicule of those with spiky hair and synthesisers. It was a complete lifestyle and those who bought into it lived it 24/7.
Looking at all the guys in wigs and spandex, I was struck by how we now accept that you can buy into a lifestyle at whim, experiencing the external signifiers for a night, but not having any long term involvement. It’s all very ironic, and it is irony that now allows us to have an escape clause for just about anything. Rather than risk looking foolish we can just say the magic word ‘irony’. Is everything all about external signifiers and short term experience these days? – Sunsaria Music
They’re afraid of looking foolish, of believing in anything, of taking a stand. On the other hand, music that stands for what it believes attracts fans who feel the same way. These are the groups that invent everything. The ironists then recombine it, parrot it, vamp off it, but give nothing back.
If you want to know the difference between True MetalTM and ironist hipster metal, this is it: the ironists are afraid to stake a claim, stand up for an idea, and defend it. True MetalTM is composed of pure idea and a desire to make it real.
Youth culture is a misnomer, since it’s not culture. It’s products. These products take two forms:
- Explicitly corporate products that embrace conformity.
- Anti-corporate products that embrace non-conformity, sold for profit.
The only difference is where the money goes. If you buy aboveground, all of your money goes to large corporations. If you buy belowground, your money goes to small labels, who then spend most of it back to large corporations in CD pressing, licensing, etc.
The message of non-conformity is a hilarious one. First, the idea that conformity to a norm has no purpose; like waiting in line in the grocery store is a personality statement, instead of a means to an end. Second, the idea that if we all “non-conform” there will be any way to non-conform, since non-conformity is defined by conformity.
Finally, the idea that non-conformity is anything but a behavior on the surface of a person. Is one’s goal in life to “be different”? To what end? And what about where it matters, which is character itself? Must that be different, or can it simply be good, realistic, honorable and kind?
Non-conformists are the biggest “conformists” that exist.
Youth culture is product-driven because it is not actual culture. It is a set of attitudes designed for you by people in their 40s-70s. They then pass this on to people your age, who see a possibility of profit (and thus no hateful day job) and so they ape it up.
In youth culture, everything is personal. There is no goal except how you look to other people. You are not trying to gain abilities, or become clearer in what you know, but to act in a way that makes other people think you are “different” and “interesting.” It is total whore.
You are a perfect consumer because you are in the process of self-definition as a youth. Youth culture short-circuits that by instead telling you what to think and how to act. It is inherently defensive, in that it requires you to have a tantrum against your parents and “conformity” in order to buy into it.
A better plan is to grow up without growing old, which is to make your own decisions based on the reality you experience, and to stop pretending to be something you are not. Non-conformity, posing, adopting a style, etc. is all pretending.
But if you do that, you won’t make a bunch of old people money as they profit off your confusion.