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Black Metal Should Be Esoteric

Black Metal Should Be Esoteric
November 12, 2012, 11:46:30 AM
So, I was re-ripping my timeworn copy of Xasthur's A Gate throught Bloodstained Mirrors (yeah, yeah, I know most of the people here hate Xasthur, but I like some of their stuff; in my defense, they were a favorite of the site at one point) to my hard-drive with a different codec to see if it sounded better, and when Gracenote brought up the track titles, they looked like this:
1. Why Do
2. All These
3. Bands Have To
4. Typeset In
5. All Caps And
6. With An Unreadable Font
I laughed, not because this act of sabotage against a musical database was particularly witty, but because I realized that some "normal" person must have stumbled upon this particular Xasthur album when it was reissued a few years ago. Rather than learning how to decipher the artist's chosen elaborate Gothic typeface (a very time intensive process involving looking at the track-listing on the inside of the CD case for upwards of five seconds) or engaging in the slight bit of internet-based research which would have given them the track titles (i.e. "looking it up" on Amazon.com, Metal-Archives, Hydra Head's website, or even simply typing the album's title into Google), they instead chose to pitch a fit and scream their problems to the world via the internet.

I was instantly reminded of this article on Amerika. A hipster was confronted with a massive "NO" in the form of black metal's esoteric aesthetics, and rather than putting forth the modicum of effort required to interpret the unfamiliar and bizarre visual stimuli, they threw up their hands and went back to listening to Wolves in the Throne Room, presumably. I'm glad that in even is this age of commercialization and decay, some small part of black metal still exists outside the mainstream, even if only by virtue of font choice.