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Between Ildjarn and Engram....

Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 21, 2012, 11:03:22 PM
...and with a few brief exceptions, did anyone hold up the flag of Black Metal with any kind of integrity other than Graveland?

When getting links the other day I was tempted to listen to Fire Chariots of Destruction and what could be called its sister album Altantean Monument by Lord Wind, both of which I haven't listened to since I lived in Albuqueque three or four years ago.  I'd have to say, there is so many sublime moments I missed back then, and maybe my senses needed to mature.  This is truly some of the greatest metal ever made. 

I remember in those days, I would say things about how they were great but that all their music is the same.  I feel so bad about this, and I already remembering apologizing for it here when Engram came out and I really saw what Black Metal was all about.  Despite this, I remember also feeling like, the first time I heard these albums that there was a clear line that went as follows:

Bathory->Burzum->Graveland.

I believe now that this is true.  I know everyone thinks this is lame, and that Graveland has a lot of cheese to it, and at the same time, everybody knows that Graveland is good metal, but I just think it needs some extra appreciation that at a time when Black Metal to most meant Cradle of Filth and the sell-out versions of Emperor and Dimmu Borgir, someone has the discipline to make some of the most musical metal of all time. 

This is somewhat meant to be a response to the thread about metal bands being obsolete, but decided to start a whole new conversation. 

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 21, 2012, 11:24:53 PM
Darken is definitely one of the good ones.  Some of his material after Fire Chariot.. has its moments but just seems like a blur to me, less emotive and organic  Atlantean Monument was The best thing he created afterwards.  I do not really like the sounds of the new Lord Wind album though... definitely more along the lines of cheesy. Nevertheless he is part of metal history and definently should be appreciated for what he has done, and hasn't done(sell-out/in).





Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 21, 2012, 11:33:09 PM
I liked "Will Stronger Than Death" a lot when it came out.  It had a lot of the heavier and hard hitting elements that Fire Chariots lacked, showing that those things didn't have to be sacrificed to create that level of musical value.  After that though, yeah it seems like he is just a craftsman.  I won't fall into that trap of saying that it isn't worth it to listen to it though.  Not every single piece of music Beethoven wrote was the 7th symphony, but it may still have musical value.

I also think it's interesting, the more other bands go on, they either try to make corporate music or else they get tired and make tired albums.  Despite how tedious it must be to write his music, he doesn't relent. 

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 21, 2012, 11:39:34 PM
To answer your first question
...and with a few brief exceptions, did anyone hold up the flag of Black Metal with any kind of integrity other than Graveland?

What about Black Funeral? 

Not everyone can appreciate the obscurity that comes from this band time and time again but is M.Ford not a better candidate for the BM Flag bearer this last decade?

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 21, 2012, 11:42:41 PM
I will look into it, certainly.  I am only familiar with one  of their albums, and never really gave them a chance.  Really, it is just amazing how little good black metal there was all that time.  If you know more besides those two and Summoning, everyone is free to list them.  It really is bleak though.

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 21, 2012, 11:52:29 PM
I would start with the newest by Black Funeral, Vukolak.  It really didnt sit well with me at first , and in fact I hated it.  Its grown on me tremendously though, one of my favorites for sure.

Yes, consistency from one band was rare but It is an error to call Darken Black Metal in this last decade.  He himself would detest that statement.  What matters is that Black Metal still had a strong presence.  Who cares if it was unleashed by several different bands? 

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 21, 2012, 11:56:16 PM
It is true maybe Fire Chariots should not be called the same kind of music as Under a Funeral Moon, but I guess I was calling it Black Metal due half-part because of the band's history and half-part just to distinguish it from Death Metal and other extreme forms.  Yeah it is more of a martial or battle metal type thing, or maybe just traditional metal with black metal aesthetic similarities.

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 22, 2012, 12:05:45 AM
Lets say for instance that we were right in the middle of another upsurge of Black Metal.  Would we really be so much more pleased than we are right now with the black metal from yesterday?  Or would we still be complaining and debating which albums hold more value?  Why does it really matter how frequent great black metal is being produced? or how consistent one band is with creating it?

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 22, 2012, 12:09:45 AM
Personally, I don't think it matters if any more great black metal comes out ever againg.  The movement has a message and communicated it beautifully.  Just like how a good book of philosophy or a Symphony doesn't need copycats to make it good, I don't think it needs to be repeated over and over.  That being said, I remember when Engram came out, and I was just thinking "Man, this is the best thing to come out in 15 years".  I think the difference between that album and what else was coming out was very stark.

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 22, 2012, 12:43:23 AM
Lets say for instance that we were right in the middle of another upsurge of Black Metal.  Would we really be so much more pleased than we are right now with the black metal from yesterday?  Or would we still be complaining and debating which albums hold more value?  Why does it really matter how frequent great black metal is being produced? or how consistent one band is with creating it?


Well, what did people feel about older albums (in say, death metal) while Black Metal was at its peak? Our statements of pleasure and complaint don't really matter, but I think quality art would still be appreciated by the discerning. It's not that subjective.

It matters more in the sense of the health of the genre and a continuation of its ideas. There's a sense that more can be stated, that there is unfulfilled potential. I don't think this sentiment would exist if exciting things were happening with frequency. Once again though, it wouldn't be important.

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 27, 2012, 11:10:41 PM
...and with a few brief exceptions, did anyone hold up the flag of Black Metal with any kind of integrity other than Graveland?

Profanatica/Havohej is the only other example I think.

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 27, 2012, 11:32:37 PM
I was thinking of Oath Bound when I wrote that, but you are definitely right. 

I don't know.  I remember when I first came here and it was 2006 and my screen name was Buckets of Rain.  Everything was about Lord Wind and Summonng, Dead Can Dance, ambient music and Burzum.  I was very excited about that identity.  It was as if metal was being completely divorced from rock once and for all.

I guess nostalgia doesn't have much a place when it comes to being constructive, but I was very inspired back then, despite whatever idiotic posts I made back then.

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
January 29, 2012, 09:22:10 AM
I actually started with Graveland when I was getting into black metal a few years ago. The Celtic Winter up through to Following the Voice of Blood still have a spot in my listening rotation when I need some simplistic folk esque music.

I think that was the biggest contrast between Graveland and others in the scene around him at the time : there was focus on creating a symphonic wall using your guitar or a conjuction of guitar and synth (Emperor, Immortal, Burzum, Enslaved, Sacramentum, etc) whereas Graveland opted for a more stripped back approach that fell back on stylings of old folk.

Even Ildjarn seemed to base his compositions off of concerto forms (with the contrast used between riffs and percussion, in addition to the cyclical effect).

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
February 02, 2012, 12:09:54 AM
I was thinking of Oath Bound when I wrote that, but you are definitely right. 

I don't know.  I remember when I first came here and it was 2006 and my screen name was Buckets of Rain.  Everything was about Lord Wind and Summonng, Dead Can Dance, ambient music and Burzum.  I was very excited about that identity.  It was as if metal was being completely divorced from rock once and for all.

I guess nostalgia doesn't have much a place when it comes to being constructive, but I was very inspired back then, despite whatever idiotic posts I made back then.

Summoning is right in the mix too.  Oath Bound and Dol Guldur are 1 or 2 either way depending on the day.  Is Land of the Dead the best ending to a metal album ever?  I think it may be.

Re: Between Ildjarn and Engram....
February 02, 2012, 05:25:18 AM
Not quite black metal in the strictest sense but Tom Gabriel Fischer's latest two outings (Celtic Frost's Monotheist and Triptykon's Eparistera Daimones) are right up there with Engram as far as recent metal done right.  Interesting to think that both Engram and those albums were made under similar circumstances with the recreation of a long dead but influential band.