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America should have avoided making black metal

I'll float this idea.

Death metal comes from out there beyond us humans (the eternal). We take and fit it regionally whether in Europe or the Americas. Death metal is more of a universal.

Black metal comes from within the Northern European soul. Its best releases were in the midst of the appropriate cultural setting. Black metal is more of a regional art.

North Americans would have been better off perfecting an industrial, Anglosphere grindcore, or other contra-modernism regional particular, from the mind and soul of the thoroughly modernized. That isn't to say that the two, three or four worthwhile American black metal bands should not have happened. It is to say that in retrospect, the emulation trend did not pan out, likely because the black metal art is not a universal fit and because each world region may have its own particular form of underground (thesis opportunity: enumerate these) in addition to the universal death metal one.

My guess is Americans for the most part have thus far missed the boat on their own regional particular. Speed metal had its appropriate time as did thrash.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793

There are some alright American Black Metal bands like Absu and Demoncy but the vast majority of them are largely subpar.  However, I don't really see the cause of this as region (perhaps partly) but more as timing.  Black metal only really became well known enough in America after the second wave in Norway reached its creative apex.  Most bands in Black Metal, regardless of location, after that never really could recapture the greatness of that movement.

There are some alright American Black Metal bands like Absu and Demoncy but the vast majority of them are largely subpar.  However, I don't really see the cause of this as region (perhaps partly) but more as timing.  Black metal only really became well known enough in America after the second wave in Norway reached its creative apex.  Most bands in Black Metal, regardless of location, after that never really could recapture the greatness of that movement.

True, and the few good Gay Midget Fecal Pr0n (GMFP) bands (Absu, Demoncy, Night Conquers Day) all existed prior to 1996-97.
-l-

I'm still not seeing much in the way of American BM save for Averse Sefira and Demoncy.

I'm increasingly agreeing with this. America did death metal well; it should have pursued this to its logical ends instead. Then again, outside of the Greeks, Finns, and Mexicans, did anyone really do black metal as well as the Norwegians 1989-1993?

I'm still not seeing much in the way of American BM save for Averse Sefira and Demoncy.

I'm increasingly agreeing with this. America did death metal well; it should have pursued this to its logical ends instead. Then again, outside of the Greeks, Finns, and Mexicans, did anyone really do black metal as well as the Norwegians 1989-1993?
In terms of specific density of quality in a region; the answer is no.

In terms of bands that competed with, or outdid the median output of those regions; the answer is yes.

I'm still not seeing much in the way of American BM save for Averse Sefira and Demoncy.

I'm increasingly agreeing with this. America did death metal well; it should have pursued this to its logical ends instead. Then again, outside of the Greeks, Finns, and Mexicans, did anyone really do black metal as well as the Norwegians 1989-1993?
In terms of specific density of quality in a region; the answer is no.

In terms of bands that competed with, or outdid the median output of those regions; the answer is yes.

What examples did you have in mind? I can think of Sacramentum, Graveland, and Summoning off the top of my head.

I'm still not seeing much in the way of American BM save for Averse Sefira and Demoncy.

I'm increasingly agreeing with this. America did death metal well; it should have pursued this to its logical ends instead. Then again, outside of the Greeks, Finns, and Mexicans, did anyone really do black metal as well as the Norwegians 1989-1993?
In terms of specific density of quality in a region; the answer is no.

In terms of bands that competed with, or outdid the median output of those regions; the answer is yes.

What examples did you have in mind? I can think of Sacramentum, Graveland, and Summoning off the top of my head.

Sacramentum, Graveland, and Summoning all released their albums after that period though. Moreover, both Sacramentum and Summoning can be said to have evolved into a kind of 'third generation black metal' by the time of their most qualitative releases. I have a really hard time believing that black metal needs a specific culture to thrive, rather the reason behind Norway's impressive output is that those musicians happened to live together in a tightly knit community where ideas and influences could flow freely in all directions. That is, I think it was coincidental and could just as well have happened in Australia or Japan, given the right circumstances. I don't know what "the Greeks, Finns, and Mexicans" did that was so special, just like every country outside of Norway (including America) they produced two or three noteworthy black metal bands at most.


I'm still not seeing much in the way of American BM save for Averse Sefira and Demoncy.

I'm increasingly agreeing with this. America did death metal well; it should have pursued this to its logical ends instead. Then again, outside of the Greeks, Finns, and Mexicans, did anyone really do black metal as well as the Norwegians 1989-1993?
In terms of specific density of quality in a region; the answer is no.

In terms of bands that competed with, or outdid the median output of those regions; the answer is yes.

What examples did you have in mind? I can think of Sacramentum, Graveland, and Summoning off the top of my head.

Sacramentum, Graveland, and Summoning all released their albums after that period though.


Ah, sorry. I read over the 1989-1993. In that case, there's nothing that I can immediately recall.

I have a really hard time believing that black metal needs a specific culture to thrive, rather the reason behind Norway's impressive output is that those musicians happened to live together in a tightly knit community where ideas and influences could flow freely in all directions. That is, I think it was coincidental and could just as well have happened in Australia or Japan, given the right circumstances.

A specific culture is essentially a large tightly knit community. America and Australia have not in recent memory created anything vis-a-vis the arts, but instead adopted what was pioneered elsewhere as if it were an import. Japan maintains plenty of its own distinct cultural output without needing to resort to metal.

Is it an axiom that an intact culture is an absolute prerequisite to pioneering authentic classes of art?
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793

I have a really hard time believing that black metal needs a specific culture to thrive, rather the reason behind Norway's impressive output is that those musicians happened to live together in a tightly knit community where ideas and influences could flow freely in all directions. That is, I think it was coincidental and could just as well have happened in Australia or Japan, given the right circumstances.

A specific culture is essentially a large tightly knit community. America and Australia have not in recent memory created anything vis-a-vis the arts, but instead adopted what was pioneered elsewhere as if it were an import. Japan maintains plenty of its own distinct cultural output without needing to resort to metal.

Is it an axiom that an intact culture is an absolute prerequisite to pioneering authentic classes of art?

I think you can find many examples of pioneering work if you look at American death metal from the late eighties and early nineties. The question is why Norwegian black metal is attributed to a cultural anchor (which would be Norway itself), when in reality this music largely stems from a feeling of cultural alienation to start with. In actuality it would even make sense if a pseudo-culture like America produced a lot of high quality black metal, for the very reason that it isn't an intact culture (America being opposite to Japan in the context of what you wrote then).

I have a really hard time believing that black metal needs a specific culture to thrive, rather the reason behind Norway's impressive output is that those musicians happened to live together in a tightly knit community where ideas and influences could flow freely in all directions. That is, I think it was coincidental and could just as well have happened in Australia or Japan, given the right circumstances.

A specific culture is essentially a large tightly knit community. America and Australia have not in recent memory created anything vis-a-vis the arts, but instead adopted what was pioneered elsewhere as if it were an import. Japan maintains plenty of its own distinct cultural output without needing to resort to metal.

Is it an axiom that an intact culture is an absolute prerequisite to pioneering authentic classes of art?

I think you can find many examples of pioneering work if you look at American death metal from the late eighties and early nineties. The question is why Norwegian black metal is attributed to a cultural anchor (which would be Norway itself), when in reality this music largely stems from a feeling of cultural alienation to start with.

You're using the idea of "culture" incorrectly here, at least for the purposes of this discussion.  The alienation of the Norwegians was towards the global non-culture, not towards Norwegian Culture.  They very much adopted Norwegian Culture, staunchly - the Nationalism prevelant in Norsk Arisk Black Metal is indicative of this - primarily as a part of their anti-modernity stance.  Rather than doing what Death Metal musicians might do, which would be to reject the non-culture they find themselves in merely to linger in limbo, the Norwegians (and many other great Black Metal bands) moved straight into home territory, using established values and ideals as the basis for their own.  This explains Enslaved, Emperor, Burzum, Darkthrone, Hades, Borknagar, and even early Dimmu Borgir having thier "Viking" aspects, either musically, lyrically, or in speech/thought.

Quorthon made the logical transition. No longer allocating worth to the Christian antigod, Satan, a negative, which implies that Christianity is all things positive, why not instead reassert a prior positive in the place of the modern and the Christian ostensible positives.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793

I have a really hard time believing that black metal needs a specific culture to thrive, rather the reason behind Norway's impressive output is that those musicians happened to live together in a tightly knit community where ideas and influences could flow freely in all directions. That is, I think it was coincidental and could just as well have happened in Australia or Japan, given the right circumstances.

A specific culture is essentially a large tightly knit community. America and Australia have not in recent memory created anything vis-a-vis the arts, but instead adopted what was pioneered elsewhere as if it were an import. Japan maintains plenty of its own distinct cultural output without needing to resort to metal.

Is it an axiom that an intact culture is an absolute prerequisite to pioneering authentic classes of art?

I think you can find many examples of pioneering work if you look at American death metal from the late eighties and early nineties. The question is why Norwegian black metal is attributed to a cultural anchor (which would be Norway itself), when in reality this music largely stems from a feeling of cultural alienation to start with.

You're using the idea of "culture" incorrectly here, at least for the purposes of this discussion.  The alienation of the Norwegians was towards the global non-culture, not towards Norwegian Culture.  They very much adopted Norwegian Culture, staunchly - the Nationalism prevelant in Norsk Arisk Black Metal is indicative of this - primarily as a part of their anti-modernity stance.  Rather than doing what Death Metal musicians might do, which would be to reject the non-culture they find themselves in merely to linger in limbo, the Norwegians (and many other great Black Metal bands) moved straight into home territory, using established values and ideals as the basis for their own.  This explains Enslaved, Emperor, Burzum, Darkthrone, Hades, Borknagar, and even early Dimmu Borgir having thier "Viking" aspects, either musically, lyrically, or in speech/thought.

However, what now is Norway isn't much more than a cultural extention of America, and therefore the ideas and the symbolicism this movement adopted didn't come from "home territory" per se. You could speak in such terms if there actually existed meaningful ties to the past in the culture these artists grew up in, but those ties have been severed. The national romanticism of many of these artists concerns a country which is as foreign to the modern Norwegian as it is to an American. What you say about death metal and black metal is in line with what I'm saying, with the exception that black metal is about searching for a new home rather than simply re-connecting with the past. In this sense these artists are different from a post-colonial writer who embraces his roots, since the latter one still has access to a substantial cultural identity, weakened and opressed as it might be. The bottom line is that Norwegians live in the same situation as Americans, and therefore it's clear that being American (or Australian or whatever) doesn't by default create road blocks here. Look at Absu, an American band which makes use of Celtic imagery and manages to create a coherent atmosphere around it, despite having rather superficial ties to Celtic culture.

Ah, sorry. I read over the 1989-1993. In that case, there's nothing that I can immediately recall.
This is someone else's arbitrary line in the sand - I don't really care for it. In any event, I read it as him saying "what else compares to what Norway did 1989-1993?". This would make more logical sense. Side-tracking a bit; if I said what compares to what the Egyptians built at Giza in 2500-2600BC and used the same logic then you would be convinced that these were the greatest buildings of all time (not saying that they are not) without any chance for comparison outside of that time period.

Outside of the regions mentioned I can think of Zhurong, Fanisk and Absurd off the top of my head.

Black Funeral - Vampyr - Throne of the Beast
This one is quite possibly the most underrated Gay Midget Fecal Pr0n (GMFP) album ever and is IMHO just as significant as Joined in Darkness or Dethrone the Son of God. It has the powerful medieval atmosphere of Vlad Tepes, but is a more compressed/technical rendition of this style.

(and yes, I noticed that what kind auto-completion "help" the writing form provided..)