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Norwegian black metal scene decline

Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 11, 2011, 12:40:20 AM
 i saw a video clip of satyricon the other day performing at a fashion show in oslo...regardless to say they sold out since they signed up with road runner, this was a new decline for the band and the genre in general..since it became one of the main exports of Norway , a lot of bands sold out , including on of the gods of the genre varg vickerns , the bands that didn't sell out turned their music into something ridiculous to say the least, Darkthrones  black and roll is a good example of that , so my question is...since the scene started in norway..do you think they are gonna end it..and turn it into something commercial?

 http://www.metalinjection.net/tv/view/6496/satyricon-perform-at-fashion-show

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 11, 2011, 05:24:08 AM
Where have you been for the last 15 years?  Are you only just noticing this?

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 11, 2011, 05:43:27 AM
Did they sell out? Do you think that Satyricon or Emperor or Immortal are forced to play at these types of events/endorse bottles of shitty wine/brand their clothing at Hot Topic because of contractual obligations? Do you think they are forced into any of this, or, do they choose it themselves? I think it is the latter. If you agree, then you are misunderstanding what "selling out" means.... Selling out is taking the cash and handing over control of the creative direction of your band to a corporate money interest. But if you do all these things because you want to, that is not selling out. It just means you have shitty taste in the sort of cultural outlets you choose to support.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 11, 2011, 06:11:43 AM
Where have you been for the last 15 years?  Are you only just noticing this?

am asking about the scene, and like i said before, this is a new level of declining,,,

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 11, 2011, 06:13:51 AM
Did they sell out? Do you think that Satyricon or Emperor or Immortal are forced to play at these types of events/endorse bottles of shitty wine/brand their clothing at Hot Topic because of contractual obligations? Do you think they are forced into any of this, or, do they choose it themselves? I think it is the latter. If you agree, then you are misunderstanding what "selling out" means.... Selling out is taking the cash and handing over control of the creative direction of your band to a corporate money interest. But if you do all these things because you want to, that is not selling out. It just means you have shitty taste in the sort of cultural outlets you choose to support.

i guess i didnt understand the term correctly...so  a black metal band that sign up with an international label and all of a sudden their "taste" in the music and lyrics changes dramatically...but thats not selling out? even if i agreed with what you say..i can only call them posers...

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 11, 2011, 07:24:59 AM
Did they sell out? Do you think that Satyricon or Emperor or Immortal are forced to play at these types of events/endorse bottles of shitty wine/brand their clothing at Hot Topic because of contractual obligations? Do you think they are forced into any of this, or, do they choose it themselves? I think it is the latter. If you agree, then you are misunderstanding what "selling out" means.... Selling out is taking the cash and handing over control of the creative direction of your band to a corporate money interest. But if you do all these things because you want to, that is not selling out. It just means you have shitty taste in the sort of cultural outlets you choose to support.

i guess i didnt understand the term correctly...so  a black metal band that sign up with an international label and all of a sudden their "taste" in the music and lyrics changes dramatically...but thats not selling out? even if i agreed with what you say..i can only call them posers...

Are they posers? Quite possibly. But I do think that they genuinely want to get involved in these weird showbiz antics. So in that respect, they are not selling out.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 13, 2011, 11:11:05 PM
Did they sell out? Do you think that Satyricon or Emperor or Immortal are forced to play at these types of events/endorse bottles of shitty wine/brand their clothing at Hot Topic because of contractual obligations? Do you think they are forced into any of this, or, do they choose it themselves? I think it is the latter. If you agree, then you are misunderstanding what "selling out" means.... Selling out is taking the cash and handing over control of the creative direction of your band to a corporate money interest. But if you do all these things because you want to, that is not selling out. It just means you have shitty taste in the sort of cultural outlets you choose to support.

When did Emperor and Immortal play at these types of events or endorse bottles of shitty wine? Only Satyricon did those things. And I don't think artists have any control over which stores sell their merchandise or albums.

Selling out works like this: first a band makes music for their own satisfaction. Then they build up a fanbase. Then they change their style to appeal to a bigger, more mainstream crowd usually by incorporating more pop music elements. Then the old fanbase cries that the band sold out. In the case of Satyricon there is nothing to sell out. They always made music to appeal to certain crowds. I never had the impression that they made music just for their own pleasure, the joy of creation was just never there with Satyricon. They started as a scene band (Dark Medieval Times/The Shadowthrone) then became commercial (Nemesis Divina/Rebel Extravaganza) and now they're just following in Gaahl's footsteps, they'll probably come out the closet as lifelong homosexuals this summer. I have no doubt they always did what they wanted to do and are doing the same now. They just want your attention and your money but they have no real talent or message to offer in return.

Look at it this way: most musicians start making music in their teens at which time they either have idealistic motives or they are typical teens who just want to have a good time. Then several years later they are adults and suddenly need to pay their own bills but for the most part they are failures at life with low income jobs and the only time they ever got recognition was when they made music. So they add 1+1 and think "maybe I can get paid making music" and so their art starts to gradually decline.

Selling out is a slow process, it doesn't suddenly happen when a band signs to a certain label or when they start endorsing their own brand of wine (neither of which are acts of selling out, just think about it) Selling out starts with a seed in the artists brains which turns into weeds that eventually grow everywhere and suffocate their minds, clouding their thoughts and actions more and more each year. Usually this seed is already there when they start the band because the older a person gets the more difficult it is to put new ideas into that person's head. Omen_of_deth is right that this is another phase in that decline. But to answer his question: black metal is already a commercial genre and always was. But black metal simply doesn't have that much mass appeal, it's outsider music for the geeky fat kid or the silent guy in the back of the class. Since the mid-nineties there have been plenty of bands that made black metal to appeal to those two demographic examples so in that sense it is commercial music already. But they can't make black metal for the jocks and the prom queens, it's in black metal's nature to be offense to most other demographic types. But ever since Nirvana and Korn there has been an appeal to artists who represent the fat kid and the silent guy, and one way some artists try to do this is by wearing certain band shirts or having elements of black metal in their music. That is something to be weary of so it should be made clear that for instance emos who wear Burzum shirts to show just how outsider they are have no real connection to black metal and are, in the metal lexicon, just poseurs. The same goes for indie black metal bands.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 14, 2011, 07:57:36 PM
In the case of Satyricon there is nothing to sell out. They always made music to appeal to certain crowds. I never had the impression that they made music just for their own pleasure, the joy of creation was just never there with Satyricon. They started as a scene band (Dark Medieval Times/The Shadowthrone) then became commercial (Nemesis Divina/Rebel Extravaganza) and now they're just following in Gaahl's footsteps, they'll probably come out the closet as lifelong homosexuals this summer. I have no doubt they always did what they wanted to do and are doing the same now. They just want your attention and your money but they have no real talent or message to offer in return.

You're wrong.  Dark Medieval Times and The Shadowthrone are not simply products of a "scene band."  Those albums are every bit as romantic as ItNE and more atmospheric.  If you don't see any of the value in them then I question your ability to listen independently, without the DLA holding your hand every step of the way.  Those albums, particularly the first, are pure magic.  Satyricon's selling out is no different than Darkthrone's or Emperor's.  They're all appealing to their base desires that they suppressed in the early years.  For Darkthrone it is to emulate their idols, for Emperor it is to impress their listeners with their mad skills, and for Satyricon it's being rockstars.  I'm not sure what Varg's vice is, probably money so he can support his family.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 14, 2011, 08:30:44 PM
Andrew:
Early Satyricon has several problems for me.  Satyr seems too often to be 'writing' the song while other times overwriting the song.  Some of the songs and some of the riffs seem self-conscious and self-aware... as if he were trying to make the music something it might not essentially be. There are also a good number of random pointless bits of music where he is writing more riffs just for the sake of complexity (Hvite Krists Dod would be a good example of this).  There are a few emberassingly cheesey riffs and vocals as well.  The production on the first two is really good.  On Nemesis Divina he massively overdoes some of the (very good)production ideas from Shadowthrone to such an extent as to make ND un-listenable regardless of whether the songs are good.  Mother North is a pretty fun song with a fantastic bass-line that is comperable to Mr Varg's bassline on Life Eternal, but the guitar tone on that whole album just bugs the shit out of me; the album art for ND is a fuckshow disaster of rotting shit.  On the plus side, he does write some pretty powerful melodies and manages to write a few majestic songs - Dominion of Satyricon is a good example of that as is Dark Castle in the Deep Forest.

Overall, to get back to the point of the IP, I do think Satyricon was probably always a scene band.  They just always seemed to be trying way too hard.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 14, 2011, 11:02:22 PM
In the case of Satyricon there is nothing to sell out. They always made music to appeal to certain crowds. I never had the impression that they made music just for their own pleasure, the joy of creation was just never there with Satyricon. They started as a scene band (Dark Medieval Times/The Shadowthrone) then became commercial (Nemesis Divina/Rebel Extravaganza) and now they're just following in Gaahl's footsteps, they'll probably come out the closet as lifelong homosexuals this summer. I have no doubt they always did what they wanted to do and are doing the same now. They just want your attention and your money but they have no real talent or message to offer in return.

You're wrong.  Dark Medieval Times and The Shadowthrone are not simply products of a "scene band."  Those albums are every bit as romantic as ItNE and more atmospheric.  If you don't see any of the value in them then I question your ability to listen independently, without the DLA holding your hand every step of the way.  Those albums, particularly the first, are pure magic.  Satyricon's selling out is no different than Darkthrone's or Emperor's.  They're all appealing to their base desires that they suppressed in the early years.  For Darkthrone it is to emulate their idols, for Emperor it is to impress their listeners with their mad skills, and for Satyricon it's being rockstars.  I'm not sure what Varg's vice is, probably money so he can support his family.

Because before I found the DLA I had never heard of Satyricon. And I certainly didn't have any metal friends who all considered Satyricon more gay than Dimmu Borgir. Right...

Get off your high horse and don't base your arguments on assumptions just because you're so butthurt that someone doesn't like your favorite kvlt atmospheric black drivel band. Satyricon made some half-good songs on their first two albums, there are some nice moments here and there but I can't recall any Satyricon song that I like from beginning to end. Their "atmosphere" seems forced instead of natural and their songwriting sounds like it was rushed, there's no depth or true beauty like there is with Burzum or Emperor. So it seems to me that they always had a low standard when it comes to writing songs and were just happy to be "part of the gang" of Norwegian BM, which in my book makes them a scene band.

Darkthrone sold out after they joined Frosts label Moonfog. Panzerfaust is excellent but I consider Total Death to be a scene album too (the DLA seems to think differently btw) Why is Total Death a scene album? That should be obvious, a lot of the lyrics came from people who were important in the Norwegian scene back then. And musically the album offers nothing new, it's the moment that Darkthrone started repeating themselves with every album and had nothing to say anymore. Darkthrone becoming a crust BM band is only another phase in their decline, now they're just repeating what other people said.

And how the fuck is Emperor "impressing their listeners with their mad skills" selling out? Making an easier accessible version of ITNE was selling out which was when they made Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 15, 2011, 01:41:11 AM
Umbrage, your posts are a lot more boring than you think they are.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 15, 2011, 05:34:31 AM
Here's a thought: the Norwegian scene was severely overrated in the first place barring a few excellent bands.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 15, 2011, 06:05:23 AM
Selling out is taking the cash and handing over control of the creative direction of your band to a corporate money interest.

I have to disagree here. Selling out is changing your direction to a direction which is likely to please more people based on what they already like. Art challenges; pop gratifies. Art will make you like art for its own expression, not that it contains enough known crowd-pleasers to pander to the lowest common denominator and thus, be popular by being inoffensive and catchy/novel/flashy/"barrier-breaking"/extreme.

For a clear example, contrast early Slayer and Cradle of Filth. Both got their chord progressions, with some modifications, from Iron Maiden. Slayer projected a mtyhical vision with challenging music. Cradle of Filth set up an Excel spreadsheet listing all of the attributes -- blast beats, howls, poetic lyrics, meth, sexual imagery, pentatonic solos -- that were popular in metal for the past 20 years, and then crammed as many as they could into their music.

Artists make art to be great and expressive. Sell-outs make music to make money. That requires knowing what your audience wants on the shallowest level of appearance, and giving it to them with no concern for how that corrupts any "message" or "meaning" you could have conveyed.

Where have you been for the last 15 years?

Assuming he's not 33, he probably was doing other things.

Also, while metal took a huge quality hit after 1994, it has gotten much worse recently.

Satyricon made some half-good songs on their first two albums, there are some nice moments here and there but I can't recall any Satyricon song that I like from beginning to end. Their "atmosphere" seems forced instead of natural and their songwriting sounds like it was rushed, there's no depth or true beauty like there is with Burzum or Emperor. So it seems to me that they always had a low standard when it comes to writing songs and were just happy to be "part of the gang" of Norwegian BM, which in my book makes them a scene band.

This has always been how I've viewed Satyricon. Neat ideas, never quite made it to that A-level like Immortal, Emperor, Burzum, Enslaved, etc.

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Why is Total Death a scene album? That should be obvious, a lot of the lyrics came from people who were important in the Norwegian scene back then.

I think this is a bullshit criterion. Analyze the music, not the drama.

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And musically the album offers nothing new, it's the moment that Darkthrone started repeating themselves with every album and had nothing to say anymore.

This could be legitimate.

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And how the fuck is Emperor "impressing their listeners with their mad skills" selling out? Making an easier accessible version of ITNE was selling out which was when they made Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk.

Not to mention when they got random in order to try to please everyone at once...

Here's a thought: the Norwegian scene was severely overrated in the first place barring a few excellent bands.

Probably no more so than metal itself, which has always relied on 2-5 bands per generation who really knew how to make intense music, with the rest tagging along and emulating them.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 15, 2011, 06:18:44 AM

Here's a thought: the Norwegian scene was severely overrated in the first place barring a few excellent bands.

Probably no more so than metal itself, which has always relied on 2-5 bands per generation who really knew how to make intense music, with the rest tagging along and emulating them.
This is pretty much what I was aiming at in a round about way. No "scene" is immune for the suck.

Re: Norwegian black metal scene decline
April 15, 2011, 06:28:02 AM
No "scene" is immune for the suck.

And if you want to be really cynical, it's arbitrary to a degree:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution

You have a few really shit bands (Cradle of Filth, all NSBM) and a whole bunch of bands who are decent but generally just not that great, then a few demi-greats and a precious few greats.

The difference is your starting point, which defines the low end of your curve. If you make true moron music, like hip-hop, the curve will be the same but all of it will be at a lower level. It's like saying "pick any three numbers starting at any number from one to ten"; black metal picked a 7, hip hop picked a 2.