Death Melodies Series: Johann Sebastian Bach

johann_sebastian_bachThe Death Metal Underground (DMU) is proud to present the Death Melodies Series (DMS).

The primary function of the DMS is to expose metalheads to Classical Music that they might enjoy.

If it’s Baroque, don’t fix it.

Our first in the Death Melodies Series will feature some Baroque pieces. The Baroque Period followed after the Renaissance Period and was roughly from the beginning of the 1600’s to mid 1700’s. The emphasis on tonal harmony was established during this time. Opera was also introduced amid the Baroque term.

This article will focus on Bach, which is one of the most prolific Classical composers that ever lived. Bach gradually became blind as he aged, however his disability didn’t stop him from composing. Other noteworthy composers of this era were Handel, Scarlatti (x2), and Vivaldi. Nevertheless, the DMS will be showcasing more of the dark, ominous, and powerful pieces.

Bach’s most assaulting weapon was the organ, though he also played and wrote pieces for violin, viola, and harpsichord.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFtOgB_oFAw

There is debate about transcriptions for Bach’s organ work for other instruments. Hipsters like Glenn Gould would claim that they do justice transcribing it to piano, though piano was invented during Bach’s life and he didn’t compose any melodies for it because he found it somewhat lacking. Glenn Gould just wanted to be hip, different, and make money doing it. Orchestrated versions of Bach’s work tend to add more parallels, which Stokowski portrayed:

Here is another example of an orchestrated rendition:

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“Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash” Occult Book Released

Some classical music incorporated morbid themes, but most metalheads look back to Black Sabbath being the first to incorporate occult themes into their music. Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler have both been noted for dabbling in the dark arts, while their vocal counterpart Ozzy Osbourne publicly denounced any Satanic undercurrents. Their label Warner Bros was more than likely the cause to establish their occult image in the press. From this point on, the dark arts have been subject matter to innumerable musical acts and has become steeple in the extreme metal community.

Gilles de Rais from US Black Metal band Teratism has released his grimoire, “Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash“.

Excerpt from its press release via Negativity Records:black magic evocation

“The Shem ha Mephorash or Explicit Name is a list of 72 angels derived by ancient occultists. Combined, these spirits are believed to comprise the secret name of the Creation of the Universe. Now, for the first time, these angels are uncovered and illuminated, presented with detailed information and spirit signatures, enabling witches and left-hand-path magicians to access their energy and interact with them through ceremonial conjuration and black magic. In essence, Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash dissects the Abrahamic creator Deity into 72 segments and empowers brave witches everywhere to ritually evoke them into conscious interactive manifestation. Included are exhaustive tables of hours, days, weeks, months, planets, elements, and sacraments, all the information needed to bring the spirits of the Shem ha Mephorash, the most powerful name in western occultism, to life within the magician’s ritual chamber.”

 
Q&A with Gilles de Rais:

Where do you think the occult first gained momentum in Metal?

I don’t know: Black Sabbath? But that thread really goes back to the Blues, which is a form of apostate gospel sung by those who wanted to get drunk and laid on Saturday night more than they valued getting saved on Sunday morning. Moreover, the idea of magick hidden in music (or music as a form of magick) goes back to the dawn of civilization. The book of Genesis talks about the fact that music and musical instruments were invented by Jubal, one of the sons of Cain, the first murderer and a symbolic type of the Antichrist. Even though the book of Genesis is fictional, its poetry, symbols and imagery derive from archetypes in the shared collective unconscious going back to before Sumeria. To quote the old adage: the Devil writes the catchiest tunes.

You go by the saying ‘Do What Thou Wilt’, which stemmed from Aleister Crowley’s teachings. My personal take on this saying is more of a metaphysical one; meaning that we should harness our wills into the most impactful manner possible. Then again, there must be meaning behind our wills. If they are aimless, they shouldn’t be focused upon. How do you equate this saying in your day-to-day life?

The statement “Do What Thou Wilt” is misunderstood. Everyone seems to want to take orders and always looks for some new commandment. It is not a commandment. It is a simple admission that the laws of physics provide the limitations of human experience, not what your priest, pastor or rabbi tells you. It is simple, elegant, flatly amoral statement and should be left as such and not tagged with any asterisks, addendums, modifications or apologies. The morality should come from your own conscience and the fact that the temporal lobe of your brain gives you the ability to ponder the consequences of your actions and act accordingly.

What inspired you to write this grimoire?

I wrote it to consolidate the wisdom of a growing library of books on the occult — 700+ and counting — that I have collected over a lifetime, and from my knowledge of those books, synthesize a functional, cohesive, unique system of left-hand-path meditative and mystical Satanism as a way of providing a foundation of legitimacy to creating music under the titulary umbrella of Black Metal, which I personally believe begins and ends with the transmission of Satanism and demonology.

In the process of researching for that book, on which I am still working, I attempted to gain some understanding of the Shem ha Mephorash (Shemhamphorash) due to the fact that (1) it is ubiquitously referred to in Satanism and black metal, and (2) i could not find any authoritative, complete books on the subject. This book (Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash) is the result of my findings.

How would you differentiate Luciferianism and Satanism?

Etymologically, Lucifer means light bearer and the name primarily refers to Satan as the descending archangel who brings forbidden illumination to witches (and mankind). Satan means “adversary” or “accuser” and it refers to the role of Satan as an enemy of the herd, as a liberator from the commandments, restrictions, subjugations, and shackles of the right-hand path, and an instigator of insurrection against the tyranny of Light and the murderous blindness it engenders in its devotees.

Esoterically, some schools view Lucifer as Satan in his “pre-fallen” state as an archangel, and so their roles often differ in terms of how they are approached in occult ritual when accessing the two figures within this specific mythological paradigm.

Generically used, however, the two words can be interchangeable because you are drawing water from the same well. It should be noted though, that my answers are terribly condensed and incomplete, and that these two words also have as many meanings as there are practitioners of both disciplines.

What literary work would you impose on our readers that are interested in the Dark Arts?

Start with the Bible and the Koran to gain a healthy sense of contempt and rage for the mindless, savage, hysterical, phobic herds of the Right-Hand Path. When you are sufficiently outraged and ready to take action and see what the sitra ahra (other side) has to offer, you might begin Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, which is a graduate course on Western occultism. In terms of taking the elevator all the way down to basement level 666 and drinking the poison of Sammael right out of the genie’s bottle, go to Amazon and enter “Satanism” and “Black Magick” and enjoy.

Is there a direct correlation to your book’s subject matter to Teratism’s lyrics?

That’s best left for an interview with Teratism. They’d flay me alive and put me on their altar if I went into that here.

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Realm of Chaos re-released in FDR audio

bolt-thrower---realm-of-chaosBolt Thrower‘s Realm of Chaos album will be re-released by Earache Records on Monday 18 February, 2013.

This time around, it’s been pressed from the master tapes in Full Dynamic Range audio, which according to Earache means the album is

at its optimum sound quality, with full dynamic range and in its highest resolution. No loss of quality, no compromise. To put it simply, this is, without doubt, the best sound this album has ever had!

Realm of Chaos was originally released in 1989 and according to our review it shows how the band’s grindcore leaned towards the grandeur of death metal, making this album an amalgamation of the epic and the youthfully energetic.

The release includes a DVD of the Bolt Thrower performance at the “Grindcrusher” tour in Nottingham, where they played seven of the albums songs on 14 November, 1989.

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Best Metal of 2012 (en Español)

Spanish blog El Negro Metal has published a Spanish translation of our post, “The Best Metal (and related) of 2012”.

Compare the English original:

This legendary band existed before Amorphis and plays a grittier style of the bold, warlike and heavy yet melodic music that graced Amorphis’ first album, The Karelian Isthmus. These Abhorrence tracks show the band that would later write that album as they emerge from early grind/death stylings and gradually work more melody into their work. This is metal’s holy grail: how to be both epic and amoral in the nihilistic sense of worshipping power, darkness and nature, but also use melody and harmony to give the works some staying power. As this collection of re-released demos progresses, the fusion of the two gets more confident and deft, leading us up to the point where the greatness of the first Amorphis album was inevitable.

With the translation:

Este grupo legendario existió antes de Amorphis, y practicaba una versión menos refinada de la música audaz, belicosa y pesada, y sin embargo también melódica, de que hizo gala Amorphis en su primer álbum, The Karelian Isthmus. Estos temas de Abhorrence muestran al grupo que más adelante compondría aquel disco a medida que emergía de un estilo grind/death primitivo para ir introduciendo gradualmente más melodía en su obra. Aquí radica el Santo Grial del metal: cómo resultar a la vez épico y amoral en el sentido nihilista de la glorificación del poder, la oscuridad y la naturaleza, sin dejar de utilizar también la melodía y la armonía para conferir a las grabaciones cierto poder perenne. Según avanza esta recopilación de maquetas reeditadas, la fusión de ambos factores se vuelve más segura y hábil, llevándonos hasta el punto en que la grandeza del primer disco de Amorphis resultaba inevitable.

Looks like a good in-depth analysis and translation. Thanks to El Negro Metal for this addition to the world of metal en Español!

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“Christian” black metal band attacked by fans

christian_black_metalAccording to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, the Sweden-based “Christian” black metal band Antestor recently experienced black metal fans engaging in some real life activism.

The band left a successful gig in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to encounter a crowd of about a hundred people who, bearing banners with anti-Christian and anti-Antestor messages, attacked the band, spat on them, beat them and kicked them. According to Antestor, if it had not been for the timely arrival of the Brazilian police, things might have gotten worse.

According to a local black metal blog that reported on the attack, WarMetalBR.com, Christian black metal is a “cultural plagiarism” that needs to be disposed of. Apparently the protestors agree.

Given the history of black metal, it is hard not to see the protestors’ point. Black metal was founded as a rejection of all that Western civilization considers sacred, including humanism, Christianity, acceptance of others, kindness, hope and even “fun.” Like metal itself, black metal is a realist reactionary movement that distrusts society because of its tendency to put human moral emotions before the consequences of our actions in reality itself. Black metal musicians pointed to the church, McDonald’s, pollution, cultural loss and rising stupidity as the result of us prioritizing human emotions before nature and the consequences of our actions.

“Antestor play extreme metal with a Christian message, while those who lay in wait for us are ‘Satanists’ — they lag ten years behind musical developments development in Norway. It is just not something new that some extreme metal fans ‘hate’ the Bible and Christianity. But it is the first time for us that there is such a thing,” said Antestor guitarist Robert Bordevik.

At the Death Metal Underground, we can’t condone randomly assaulting bands (or can we?) but we can’t claim to be surprised. Black metal is music of hatred and of hating humanist ideas including those in religion and its secular counterpoints. It is nice that people are well-intentioned. Black metal, like a predator in the dark Nordic forest in winter, is not. It is based on power and competition in nature and not on good intentions.

Most people go through life in a willful denial of the results of their actions and the consistency of reality that makes it so. People want to be aware of only what they want, and they invent happy stories to justify this. They manipulate others with these happy stories and the vision of equality that makes us all feel like there is no competition or need to exert ourselves.

Like the heavy metal generations before it, black metal crashed down on these fanciful illusions by pointing out that reality is shared between us and is the ultimate arbitrator of what is true. We can deny it, but then it just grows stronger as we bury it under prayers, propaganda, good feelings, alcohol, drugs, television and Big Macs.

For those who believe this, any form of humanist or Christian attempt to make “black metal” will seem like someone spreading the opposite message of the genre within the genre, so it’s not surprising they retaliate. Perhaps this will spur the black metal community to go back to its roots and analyze what it actually stands for.

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Comic book on slaying posers anno 1985 reappears

Slay Team

In the days when bands like Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth fought to hold true to the metal spirit, Lizzy Green, the ex-girlfriend of Exodus’ lead singer, did her share by creating a comic book called Slay Team: The Poser Wars.

The comic book, whose first issue can be found on the Bazillion Points Blog, takes on the theme of the Exodus song “And Then There Were None” and applies it to the helpless poodle rockers of the day: throughout the sooty black and white pages, the Exodus members — the Slay Team — attempt to “slash, assault, and mow down the poodle-haired metal posers spreading falseness instead of relentless metal mania”.

A charming and humorous take on the violent passion of true metal music, Green’s work ends with a relentless cliffhanger leaving us thirsty for more poser blood and more Exodus thrashing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a-Sh9Ik-lI

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A Transylvanian Funeral sets release date for third album

On March 20th, 2013, Arizona black metal band A Transylvanian Funeral will release their third album, ‘Gorgos Goetia’.

Formed and executed by sole member Sleepwalker, A Transylvanian Funeral’s second album, ‘The Outsider’, gained a lot of recognition in the US black metal scene.

Partaking in more than black metal, Sleepwalker also runs and operates Forbidden Records, Forbidden Magazine, and Forbidden Radio.

Forbidden Records is hosting a 10% off sale on all items in their distro.

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Smite Hipsters with Decapitated Sheep Heads

True Metal has cut the surfeit fat, declared posers and wimps irrelevant, defied commercial principles and kept a small steadfast fan base. However, it all appears to be rather divergent. In order for True Metal to thrive, quality must be spread like a plague.

This new Disma track, “The Manifestation”, has been made available to listen to.

https://soundcloud.com/disma/disma-the-manifestation

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“Fortress Europe: The Big Shiny Prison Volume II”

fortress_europe_the_big_shiny_prison_volume_2-ryan_bartekFORTRESS EUROPE (The Big Shiny Prison Vol II)’ is the sequel to 2009’s ‘THE BIG SHINY PRISON (Volume One)’ and chronicles the authors journey through the European Counterculture in 2011.

This is a nonfiction road book/music journalism expose which defies all conventions, existing in the territory of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road,’ Henry Miller’s ‘Tropic of Cancer’ and Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas.’ This modern version of such writing follows author Ryan Bartek as he reveals a postmodern, dystopian vision of the European counterculture while interviewing a number of living legends face to face and drudging through the gutters of society.

‘FORTRESS EUROPE (The Big Shiny Prison Vol. II)’ covers all forms of extreme metal, punk rock, industrial, experimental, rock & electronic and features appearances/interviews with members of Brutal Truth, Master, Agathocles, Wolfbrigade, Rotting Christ, Killing Joke, Funeral Winds, Nahemah, Enochian Crescent, Moonsorrow, LAIBACH, Defeated Sanity, First Blood, Hello Bastards, Abortion, Panthiest, Arkangel, HATE, Repulsione, Dehuman, General Surgery, Corpus Christii, Fides Inversa, Excavated, Primordial, Splitter, Pyramido, Black Breath, Ingurgitating Oblivion, El Schlong, Spacemen 3 & legendary Detroit writer/60’s radical John Sinclair and more.

FREE DOWNLOAD (PDF)

Interview with the author on Berlin TV:

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Steve Harris British Lion tour dates

steve_harris-british_lionIron Maiden’s Steve Harris will be taking his new solo/side project British Lion out on the road next month, visiting fourteen countries and twenty four cities across Europe starting in Portugal on Feb 21.

Harris comments, “It’s fantastic to get out there and once again experience the sheer vibrancy of small clubs with the fans right up front and in your face. I think the fans will enjoy that too. It’s exciting, going back to the roots, and it’s going to be fantastic. We are taking this to clubs all round Europe – a full club tour, with club shows at club prices, hot, sweaty and loud.”

British Lion is Harris’ debut solo/side project CD which was released by EMI in September 2012. Alongside him are Richard Taylor on vocals, David Hawkins on guitar and keys, Grahame Leslie on guitar, and Simon Dawson on drums. The 10 track album was mixed by Kevin Shirley, Iron Maiden’s longstanding producer, and is both similar to Iron Maiden and taking the characteristic Steve Harris songwriting in new but faithful to influences directions.

FEBRUARY 2013
THU 21
SAT 23
SUN 24
TUE 26
WED 27
THUR 28
PORTUGAL
SPAIN
SPAIN
SWITZERLAND
ITALY
ITALY
PORTO HARD CLUB
MADRID LA RIVIERA
BARCELONA SALAMANDRA
ZURICH KOMPLEX
MILAN LIVE CLUB
ROME ORION
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MARCH 2013
SAT 02
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TUE 12
WED 13
THUR 14
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MON 18
FRI 22
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FRI 29
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GERMANY
GERMANY
GERMANY
AUSTRIA
GERMANY
GERMANY
SWEDEN
SWEDEN
NORWAY
SWEDEN
FINLAND
HOLLAND
BELGIUM
FRANCE
ENGLAND
ENGLAND
SCOTLAND
ENGLAND
NUREMBURG ROCKFABRIK
MUNICH BACKSTAGE HALLE
STUTTGART LKA
VIENNA ARENA
COLOGNE LIVE MUSIC HALL
BERLIN COLUMBIA CLUB
MALMO KB
GOTHENBURG BREWHOUSE
OSLO ROCKERFELLER
STOCKHOLM KLUBBEN
HELSINKI CIRKUS
AMSTERDAM MELKWEG
VOSSELAAR BIEBOB
PARIS LA TRABENDO
O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON, LONDON
O2 ACADEMY 2, BIRMINGHAM
GLASGOW GARAGE
MANCHESTER CLUB ACADEMY
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