“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
On sale Tuesday Jan 15th
On sale Tuesday Jan 15th
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On sale Tuesday Jan 15th
On sale Tuesday Jan 15th
MARCH 2013
SAT 02
SUN 03
TUE 05
THUR 07
SAT 09
SUN 10
TUE 12
WED 13
THUR 14
SAT 16
MON 18
FRI 22
SAT 23
SUN 24
TUE 26
WED 27
FRI 29
SAT 30
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
On sale Saturday Jan 19th
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20 years ago: Nespithe

Demilich-NespitheAlmost exactly two decades ago, Nespithe, the sole full-length album of Demilich, was released, like a snake swiftly escaping its cage. That simile is not entirely off: trying to explain what this now classic death metal album sounds like, one almost inevitably comes across likenesses to slippery serpents or, considering the “cut-off” melodies played, to dismembered slimy worms twisting and turning. And growing anew.

What about the vocals? Metal fans seem divided and either hate those belching croaks or love them to death. In any case, I think they fit the idea of the album pretty darn well. The world of Nespithe seems like a cavernous microcosm of life and death, an evolutionary breeding ground hidden away from the rays of the sun, where Antti Boman‘s murky vocals comment on developments like a detached god. Penetrating those underground worlds (that are surprisingly free from tremolo riffs) feels like being thrown down a dark hole, and, after hitting the ground, you realise the floor is “moving”. And the listening experience is much like that: the mind is forced to pay attention to every single movement in the dark despite its complexity. Challenging, terrifying, beautiful.

23 years since its conception, the band Demilich is no more (it now seems definite), but Boman, the mastermind behind it all, is involved in other interesting projects (e.g. Winterwolf and Jess and the Ancient Ones) and we will always have the ever so generous Demilich download page.

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Supuration to unleash Cube 3 on February 25

supuration-cube_3Long-time progressive rock, alternative rock, death metal and Voivod crossover band Supuration (sometimes called S.U.P.) are releasing yet another album of their eccentric yet interesting music.

Cube 3 will hit the CD stores on February 25, 2013, or you can pre-order it here on Listenable Records. Expect more unusual but logical death metal.

Supuration‘s material ranges from early death-grind, recently released on a demos compilation Ultimate Sessions 1992-1993, to this kind of rock-metal fusion that keeps the metal at the forefront and while it is experimental, never forgets to actually write a song.

Unlike most of the rock-metal hybrids now, it is not so much jazz-based as rooted in the oddball progressive and folk rock of the 1970s and the alternative rock of the late 1980s, giving it a richness against which it can play its rougher metal elements.

Following up on Supuration‘s greatest success, 1993’s The Cube, this album promises to restore this band to the spotlight at a time when most “progressive metal” bands can noodle all day long but never write a coherent song.

Here’s the released teaser track, “Consummate,” from the forthcoming Cube 3:

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Death Metal Underground podcast 01-27-13

death_metal_underground-podcastWe are proud to launch the DeathMetal.org podcast series which features the type of music and thinking you expect from your favorite nihilist death metal maniacs.

Covert DJ Rob Jones brings you the esoteric undercurrents of doom metal, death metal and black metal in a show that also exports its philosophical examinations of life, existence and nothingness.

If you miss the days when death metal was a Wild West that kept itself weird, paranoid and uncivilized, you will appreciate this detour outside of acceptable society into the thoughts most people fear in the small hours of the night.

The playlist for this week’s show is:

Derketa – Obscurities of Darkness (In Death We Meet)
Extract from Aubade by Philip Larkin (read by Larkin himself)

Deathless Order – Tentacles of Circumstance (Obeisance)
Goatcraft – Vestibule to the Abyss (All for Naught)
War Master – Into the Abysmal Fire (Pyramid of the Necropolis)

Beithíoch – Arm Na Déithe (Summoning the Past)
Uriel – Azathoth (Arzachel)
Swallowed – Unsavourably (Swallowed)
Chthe’ilist – VeÆcoiitnÆaphnatÆsmaalÓ (Amechth’ntaas’m’rriachth)

A transcript of the dialogue embedded therein:

Death metal is a reflection of our every fear. It thrives upon our sense of our own mortality – the unavoidable feeling of horror that comes from the knowledge that we and everything we cherish and hold dear will eventually all amount to rot.In a world without god there is no respite from this fear; no comfort or deliverance from the terror that wakes us in the night.

To face this darkness unflinchingly is wisdom. To act in spite of the over-arching fear of death is godly.

The very existence of life and consciousness, and all things fleeting and impermanent in this reality are themselves a contradiction and a challenge to the crippling endlessness of death stretching before us and behind us – for if life came from nothing and is only going back to nothing, perhaps here and now is actually something special and sacred?

Death metal like a Lovecraft story presents the world to us in a way that is grotesque and fantastic, contorting and parodying things that at one level should be ordinary and rational but defy explanation – but are also all too familiar and real in their prescient sense of horror at death, despite how obviously mythic and over the top the presentation may be.

Indeed, arguably the surreal outward appearance of death metal is entirely appropriate for discussing death – for death and the cessation of consciousness are to us now as they always have been to man – beyond the normal bounds of our thinking – semi-mythic, inexplicable and more than the mundane sequence of things we grow accustomed to.

The last incomprehensible, more-than-real event our lives will encounter in this secular and rationalist age.

***

Metal music is quite deliberately not very sentimental or excessively introspective about death; but rather by its raging implores us to be actively conscious of death and to endeavor to live life.

For, as death is certain, it is no more meaningful to live in willful ignorance of it than it is to wallow in self-pity about it. Both of these responses are passive, and are little better than being dead before your time. Knowing that, there is perhaps nothing left to do but marvel at the awesomely uncrafted beauty of everything, and to treat life as a constant challenge or adventure – which, paradoxically perhaps, we seem to instinctively know is the most fulfilling way to live.

For by great striving and fortitude life justifies itself, both with each moment and in the reaching towards some future moment or goal – in defiance of the entropic power of decay and death.

Relish the madness. Submerge in the surreal.

DOWNLOAD

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Metal and Nihilism: the realist principle

black_sabbath-nihilismMetal stumps many people because there is a values system within it which has been consistent across the years, but from reading metal lyrics it is hard to figure out what that values system is.

From the imagery and topics of songs, we know metal has a spread not unlike that of European Romantic poetry: nature, horror, the occult, ancient ruins, melancholy alienation and war-like power worship are frequently mentioned. It is difficult to translate those ideals into our contemporary individual-based values system.

Arguably the primordial ‘Lucy’ of metal bands, Black Sabbath augmented the aesthetics of heavy blues rock bands like Cream and Led Zeppelin with occult imagery, pagan and mystical overtones.

However, at the same time as they were seemingly ‘up in the clouds’, there was a nuanced and satirical realism present in the band’s aesthetics that prayed on rosy-eyed optimism.

For instance, in the lyrics of ‘Solitude’ we get a stark, if not sentimental, picture of the fragile nature of human life:

My name it means nothing
My fortune is less
My future is shrouded in dark wilderness
Sunshine is far away, clouds linger on
Everything I possessed – Now they are gone

‘Hand of Doom’ is a satirical jab at the escapism of the contemporary hippie drug scene:

First it was the bomb, Vietnam napalm
Disillusioning, you push the needle in
From life you escape, reality’s that way
Colors in your mind, satisfy in timeYour mind is full of pleasure, your body’s looking ill
To you it’s shallow leisure, so drop the acid pill
Don’t stop to think now

To many, this would seem hypocritical given Sabbath’s legendary history of drug use. However, as any user will tell you, there’s a difference between use to escape and use simply because you like getting high.

This seeming paradox extends to other areas. For Sabbath, the means-ends relationship between an action and its intention is important. It may not be bad to use drugs, but to use drugs to escape reality in such a way that you then end up with an ideology of denying reality, could well be bad.

They apply this lens to other areas, such as politics and religion.

More interestingly still, Sabbath were regarded by many as a ‘Satanic’ band owing to the cover art of their first, self-titled album. However, in the song ‘After Forever’ a charge of ‘group-think’ mentality is directed at, ironically, atheists:

Is your mind so small that you have to fall
In with the pack wherever they run
Will you still sneer when death is near
And say they may as well worship the sun?I think it was true it was people like you that crucified Christ
I think it is sad the opinion you had was the only one voiced
Will you be so sure when your day is near, say you don’t believe?
You had the chance but you turned it down, now you can’t retrieve

The above content makes sense when we consider that one of the things that sets the best metal apart from its heavy rock is its nihilism. Nihilism is a form of extreme realism that rejects the intentions of human individuals when used for the sake of those human individuals, and respects only viewpoints that are oriented toward the larger reality outside the individual.

Metal has always been about blowing overly-optimistic and unrealistic view points out of the water, and worshiping what is ‘heavy’ about existence. Black Sabbath started this trend by calling out many of the convenient lifestyle viewpoints of its contemporaries.

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