The hipster takeover of metal

Whenever NPR gets involved, you know you’re listening to state-sponsored propaganda. They also tend to favor any topic that humbles the strong and caters to the weak of spirit.

NPR’s favorite “metal” albums of 2011

Other than a few honorable mentions, there are no metal albums here. Only the indie, post-rock, punk, sludge, emo and shoegaze mixture that is popularly infused with a few metallish riffs to become the non-mainstream form of nu-metal.

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Sadistic Tidbits

Absu – Abzu

Starting with Emperor’s Reverence EP, this is the kind of music that ruined black metal: salad. It’s mixed riffs and influences with no coordination except repetition, and it adopts the “carnival music” style of variety show riffs, meaning that nothing makes sense as anything other than a grab bag of random stuff designed to distract you. As a result, this has zero staying power and while your favorite metal heroes will be hyping it today, they will from that day forward only put it on to do laundry. Get it? As background noise. It’s less organized than the noise from your air conditioner as and a result is mostly spam for your brain, just as pop music is. The cynicism behind releasing this and calling it “black metal” suggests a massive scorn for all metal fans. “These idiots can’t tell the difference, throw some guitar practice at them, then we’ll sample an elevator and let the press release talk about our ‘industrial influences.'” Metal pundits should be ashamed for pushing this as a continuation of the old school, or even as being good; I would use the first few Absu albums to show my friends that metal is talented, but I wouldn’t push this sophomoric dog’s breakfast on anyone. In fact I’d hide it, lest they think metalheads are cretins who think random catchy off-time riffs make a band talented. I realize it’s heresy to not cheerlead for Absu because the Absu guys are such nice fellows and all, but that has nothing to do with musical quality. This sucks. It’s annoying. And dumb. Really stupid. You have to live in a plastic world to think this is good. 0/10

Asphyx – Deathhammer

I had high hopes for this, but an unsettling feeling with Wannes Gubbels having left the band. During the Wannes years, Asphyx went from trying to make two riff songs that carried themselves on pure rhythm, and instead tried to make mood shifting experiences that used melody and harmony as well as greater texture to create a sense of having gone somewhere. This new song is entirely circular. It goes nowhere; its precepts equal its conclusions. Instead, you get a horrifically catchy song that is pure rhythm and uses melody only as a hook but then drops it, leaving you in grinding chromatic land as your brain atrophies. They cannot possibly say “deathhammer” one more time can — oh. Oh. And again. Again. Oh. It keeps on going. This song is only 2:30 or so, but it feels like The War of the Roses. As one forum poster noted, this may be a Hail of Bullets song more than an Asphyx song. Gone is the old school heavy mood. It has been replaced by dressed-up pop. It’s as repetitive as Justin Bieber, and that isn’t lightened by the fact that these guys howl about the joy of endless war instead of teeny sugar pop training-bra romances. Asphyx has completely lost direction and forgotten what made them great, which was not “smashing riffs” but “smashing riffs in epic songs.” Even the riffs are dumbed down, like the recent Pestilence output. I have zero incentive to buy the album or even download it.

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Metal trolls

Two awesomely oblivious places to visit. The people here have bought into the plastic facade, but they insist it be covered in granola, life failure, twee sycophancy, social nuance and novelty, and of course the purple-assed baboon showing submission while picking your pocket.

Allahu ackbar!

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Documenting speed metal

With the rock-crit establishment turning up its collective nose at thrash, the task of documenting the Bay Area’s ’80s metal maelstrom for posterity has been left to fans. Brian Lew and Harald Oimoen – two thrash survivors who snapped countless shots of the unruly, burgeoning scene – are doing just that with their recently released book, “Murder in the Front Row,” a photographic odyssey through the inception of Bay Area thrash.

“The thrash scene, as far as metal goes, is one of the most influential scenes ever,” Lew says. With its insistence on pushing metal to new extremes, thrash prefigured all the genres that would crop up in its wake, including death metal, black metal and any other style that ratchets up the revolting possibilities inherent in heavy metal. “A lot of it started here, and it’s not really known.”

With contemporary music fragmenting into ever more insular subgenres, thrash metal’s legacy seems more salient than ever. – SFGATE

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MP banned from Maiden T-shirt in House of Commons

A Conservative MP and music fan was not able to completely fulfil on his pledge to his Hove constituents to wear his Iron Maiden T-shirt in the House of Commons.

Mike Weatherley said he had worn it in Westminster Hall, but added: “It’s not allowed in the Commons, I asked the Speaker if he’d give me permission and he said no.”

He was on the Daily Politics discussing the links between music and politics. – BBC

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“Until the Light Takes Us” holiday sale

Hi Everyone, we’ve got some North American DVD’s and Blu-rays, so if you want one of those (can be signed) for Xmas for anyone, order it soon! DVDs are $28 including shipping to US, Canada or Mexico. Order one by sending that amount via paypal to untilaudrey -at- yahoo.com – include a note if you want it signed. Note* We have to remove the cellophane to sign them.

We’re now down to our last batch of International DVDs, so put in your order double-quick if you want one of those. They’re $35.49 including shipping to Europe (ask about other countries). Order those at: http://www.blackmetalmovie.com/.

We only sell the double disc/blu-ray with the extended special features (4 hours) so yes- that’s what you’d get.

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EQM holiday music sale

We’ll be conducting our first clearance sale ever, to make room for the exciting new year ahead. Your help would be much welcome – get
together with some friends and combine your requests for additional savings, or spread the word around!

This special offer covers all the items from the list below, as follows:

2 CDs = 20.00EUR
5 CDs = 45.00EUR
10 CDs = 85.00EUR

Prices include worldwide shipping via regular air mail and PayPal fees, if you’re using that payment method.

To place an order, you can email us the list of items that you wish to purchase, together with your name / address and information on the
payment method that you wish to use. We will send your total once we have checked availability on the items. Alternatively, you may also
place your order using the shopping cart system on the site – the discounts will be applied when sending your total.

Please note: the offer is limited to the available stock and to the items listed in this file. When applicable, the order will be dispatched in
multiple parcels and/or without jewelcases for the sale items (if this is a problem for you, please let us know).

Kind regards,
JM / EQM
www.equilibriummusic.com
orders@equilibriummusic.com

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