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THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 18, 2012, 09:06:04 PM
Early Enslaved as well

Jim, the more I think about what you mentioned, this also arises

those albums were made by people who were 100% focused on creating amazing and emotional art.

it's too bad that these same people generally lose that focus, and start to focus on other things (money, popularity)...things which absolutely destroy art.

This is probably also testament to why you're a moderator, as Early Enslaved is the first band of the second wave of the (identifiably) Black Metal genre that pops into my mind that clearly represented Asatru, Heathenism and Nordic antiquity aggressively, undiluted in such a way that other bands dared not to venture into, whether it be due to lack of interest, or fleeting type of flirtation with the aesthetic. Simply popping a Mjollnir into your logo or around your neck, wearing armor and dress akin to the dark-ages period and taking a pseudonym from Scandinavian mythology has always been popular in this culture, but Enslaved wrote propaganda as much as they wrote lyrics. Whatever they say nowadays seems much like explanations away from heated dogma; I have their first DVD and the interview in the special features is less than inspirational. It's also contradictory to their original lyrical expression:

Midgards Eldar
"The call of the Gjallarhorn
Return to the ring of our forefathers gods
The flames of Midgard's fires and ancient mystisism still are

Asgardsreien rides with terror above the village
Mjolner is swung, thunder and lightening!
The landmarks of the Vikings
Wolves and ravens guards the throne"

Svarte Vidder
"The ravens are flying, the one eyed watches
Into the fog, shadows appear
Memories from the first empire covered with gold
Runes scratched in, scratches in by hatred
The hordes of the one eyed are riding once again
Hammer crushes cross
Inverted by the unbound
Dark clouds gather, the light retreats

Burned landscape, where it earlier bloomed
Battle fields for the first
A black empire, eternal winter
Frozen fields, eternal cold
Lightening and thunder commands from the first
Eternal storms, an evil monsoon
A wall of darkness
The voice is calling, the circle completed

The age of wolves
Hunger and despair
Mother earth
Expect your death

Warriors are gathered through the dream
Re-conquering the old norse throne
Under new flags
With the swords held high
The ravens are flying, the one eyed watches
Into the fog, shadows appear
Falling icons in a holy war
Black mountain plateaus the battle is won

The age of wolves
Hunger and despair
Mother earth
Expect your death"

Wotan
"Naked, waste landscape
Vast plains lead to the seashore in the west
A northern wind sweeps over dead bodies
A stranger has entered the domains of the vikings

Die not lying sick, dastardly coward
Draw sword, fight with the war gods
Wotan!

We shall fight until we see Bitrost
We shell fight until Heimdal flows the Gjallarhorm
We shall fight for our domains
We shall fight with the war gods
Wotan!

Die not lying sick, dastardly coward
Draw sword, fight with the war gods
Wotan!"

Clearly, contained in their lyrics is as much propaganda as there is poetry. Enslaved played with spirit, and I believe this is the very same spirit originally mentioned in the OP's drunken rambling. They had a mission to ignite an interest of active participation in ancient practices. When a band is motivated at such a level, I think this motivation becomes the spirit that a band like Enslaved played with, and propelled their mature and advanced writing technique. I think what separated them from others is that they believed they were creating hymns to represent the Gods and the culture they so vigorously believed in, whereas what we can see in other examples is that bands tend to adopt this thematic primarily for the focus of standing out, explaining a lot of the lessening of the spirit.
"I hung there on a cross as you are hanging, and I lived, thanks to circumstances and a stamina peculiar to barbarians. But you civilised men are soft; your lives are not nailed to your spines as are ours. Your fortitude consists mainly in inflicting torment, not in enduring it. You will be dead before sundown." - REH

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 19, 2012, 01:14:00 PM
we don't need theory, metal is about spirit, the spirit of nature not of the people who live in cities
but i'm not sure if i can tinkle in front of a crowd.

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 19, 2012, 09:21:20 PM
Nightspirit:  Bjornson has some interesting things to say on Until the Light Takes Us about how he and Kjellson conceived of Enslaved in the first place.  He mentioned he grew up with Norway's native myths and stories.  His parents were academics and this literature was always around the house.  One of the biggest mind-blowers for me is that Bjornson was 15 when he wrote a lot of those original Enslaved songs.
His Majesty at the Swamp / Black Arts Lead to Everlasting Sins / Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism / Oath of Black Blood / Privilege of Evil / Dawn of Possession / In Battle There is No Law / Thousand Swords / To Mega Therion

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 20, 2012, 01:12:03 PM
alott of the best metal bands started out that young, like Bathory and Possessed
but i'm not sure if i can tinkle in front of a crowd.

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 21, 2012, 09:14:24 AM
Vikingligr Veldi: perfect album. One of the few metal albums that constantly unfolds with repeated listens, yet never truly reveals all of its inner magic.

Quote
As such its appeal is lost on many; there is no dominant mood, but a range of moods variantly saturated with sadness, ambition, youth, despair and a hopeful sense of structuralist pragmatism in service to an ideal based in belief in life and its darkness and light. No album more "beyond good and evil" has been so subtly stated however, and the progressive inspiration to gestate concept and project reason in the form of fantastic voyages into the subconscious desire for existence of all free spirits, while brilliantly executed and reasonable in musicianship, remains underappreciated for its contributions not to black metal but to metal as a whole in gesturing a compositional complexity which could in fairness be called symphonic.


Out of all ANUS reviews, I can't think of a statement that cuts closer to the gestalt of the music more so than this one.

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 21, 2012, 12:52:38 PM
Romanticism:

(1) Reverence for the ancient
(2) Sense of being inspired by a spiritual field to life itself, e.g. the Aeolian harp metaphor
(3) Desire for independence from the herd (including a rejection of social-good and social-evil) and cities
(4) Adoration of nature
(5) Notion of technology as amoral
(6) A type of nihilism: God does not give meaning to life, the logicality of life gives meaning to life/God
(7) You won't like this but: piety

What happened about the same time:

(1) Kant: evil is not external, evil is bad choices made by the majority of people

Problems of Romanticism:

(1) Divided by enlightenment. Much of it got easily sidetracked into the new revolution and SWPL-land

Why it endures:

(1) Appeals to our sense of meaning outside of the social-defined good/evil and popular/unpopular categories
(2) Appeals to something higher than current techno-rodent-like existence

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 21, 2012, 04:10:29 PM
(7) You won't like this but: piety

I like this.  Reverence is a necessity.

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 21, 2012, 04:58:01 PM
Reverence can exist for many things, but there must be a sense of an order to it all. It's what you discover in the forest, if you go in for the duration. There is a point. It's not inherent; it can be denied. But it's there as an option and in a relative universe, that's better than inherent.

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 21, 2012, 05:21:24 PM
Your point about the forest is extremely apt: I find that considering the life around me at any one point in such a setting is conducive to the greatest sense of calm and propriety* I have ever known.

*(By this, I mean that my place as a part of a whole becomes solidified to me - I am aware of my role as "Man", and am comfortable with it.)

Re: THE SPIRIT OF BLACK METAL
April 21, 2012, 06:25:28 PM
I learned everything I know from long unattended periods in the forest. I don't even remember the passage of time. It was like a glimpse of monism, a timeless space in which every possibility existed at once.