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Dark Legions Archive: The Book

Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 09, 2009, 12:07:06 AM
DLA Book
Status: Proposed idea that has little or no discussion. The content upon which the book should be based already exists (DLA website).

Suggestions welcome, project contributors more than welcome.

My suggestion:

The core of it is the metal history, which then dovetails into metal philosophy, and then lists the top echelon of metal releases by year.

That should be about 200-300 pages.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 09, 2009, 01:03:59 AM
DLA Book
Status: Proposed idea that has little or no discussion. The content upon which the book should be based already exists (DLA website).

Suggestions welcome, project contributors more than welcome.

My suggestion:

The core of it is the metal history, which then dovetails into metal philosophy, and then lists the top echelon of metal releases by year.

That should be about 200-300 pages.

On the physical book:
 I'm thinking that perfect bind in soft (and maybe hard) back is best with  200 - 300 pages of depth at a size of 9' x 6' (?): something similar in size to Lords of Chaos.

Content-wise:
I'm asking myself and forum members these question: What do we want to achieve with a DLA book? Why do one at all? Can't we just leave the market to others?

Succinct answer: provide a coherent yet alternative/ non-hipster analysis of metal.
The aim is to clear up some myths about metal; show that metal is an artform and is the most relevant musicform for a failing society; help metal achieve an academic footing; and lastly promote the DLA as a source of metal. I agree with the suggestion of content and would present like so: Chart metal's history (much like Lords of Chaos did) and then provide an understanding of what metal is and is not (much like the DLA FAQ). The latter is essentially metal philosophy, this would lead naturally to looking at metal culture (community / scene / fashion / other paraphernalia). The lists of best bands could either appear as an appendix or integrated with metal history (imo).

The simplest and least refined idea would be to literally copy paste the website into book format. Pros: don't need to write new material, most of which is solidly written. Cons: Won't appeal enough to the everday metal fan, nevermind the every day person. The reviews are of a complex lexicological nature, it has its uses, but it won't help to sell the product or promote the DLA to a wider audience. I think the most obvious path is take the information already on the DLA and transcribe it into a more digestable format. Not that we should include reviews of every band but reviews / comments on major bands and albums would be a worthy inclusion (perhaps that would go into an appendix if it doesn't slot logically into metal history).

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 09, 2009, 01:51:10 PM
I agree with these ideas thus far.  What needs to be done is to include some analysis of the "bigger" bands in metal today, and why they do not fit in with the DLA.  It needs to be explained in a manner which is critical, yet does not stoop to calling them feces eaters.  In this fashion, people will just think of the review as another viewpoint, to be respected, as opposed to "OMG ELETIST LOLZ". 

To appeal to the "everyday" metal fan, especially those not affiliated with this site, I would suggest advertising it as something which aims to help the world understand what metal is, and not in a stupid "Headbanger's Journey" way.  One does not necessarily need to include the criticizing of bands in the book's description.   

The most important thing is to make it known that metal is not just some other form of rock music.  It is another form of music entirely.  Tackling these and other mainstream ideas will certainly prove to be a daunting task, however.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 09, 2009, 03:28:52 PM
Also in agreement thus far.  The most critical element to me is the communication of a real/true metal history that doesn't go entirely over the heads of the targeted reader, yet also avoids the pedestrian simplicity common to many metal "histories."  Also, although I believe it would behoove "us" to be careful about excess or indiscriminate criticism(ie. you know who/AIDS, etc.),  it might be interesting to set aside a chapter on why much of "history" of metal to date is more myth than reality, fraught with obscene sycophancy and fanboyism, and generally unfair to far more talented and influential bands, individual contributions, etc.   
Beyond that, content-wise, the philosophical and other aspects would just need to be collected into a coherent, readable format and the book sort of writes itself, as ANUS has a wealth of info to draw upon.   

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 10, 2009, 08:49:12 AM
Interviews could add creditability to what is said within the book. Hopefully what should make these interviews actually useful to someone will be useful questions rather than the usual "Please explain why you are so awesome". This should hopefully also bring the book to a wider audience if say Varg Vikernes and Vidar Vaaer were interviewed.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 10, 2009, 02:51:46 PM
Also in agreement thus far.  The most critical element to me is the communication of a real/true metal history that doesn't go entirely over the heads of the targeted reader, yet also avoids the pedestrian simplicity common to many metal "histories."   

I suggest looking to phenomenally successful books like 'A Brief History Of Time', which confidently walks the line between being a text-book and having an accessible narrative form.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 10, 2009, 04:57:36 PM
Interviews could add creditability to what is said within the book.

Why do you say that? Interviews with famous bands will be a marketing gimmick, people may perceive the book to be better only because famous bands are included; however, the DLA name by itself should carry enough weight to make many metal fans curious enough to buy/read it. If we need marketing strategies then we can, potentially, send review copies to newspapers or popular metal websites. I think content by itself must be strong in order to stand the test of time but the first round of marketing should be done externally.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 14, 2009, 04:36:43 PM
Is there anything I can do to help this project along?  I would be happy to proofread.  I think this is a great idea and I don't want to see it fall by the wayside.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 16, 2009, 02:47:56 AM
One sure way to get the book to sell would be to put ANUS.com in very big letters on the cover. At least it would get people to at least read the back cover or skim through the book. Since these non-metal-affiliated people looking through the book would have no idea what to expect, a very clearly defined goal must be put in the back or front cover. Some people have suggested that telling the truth of what metal really is might be a good goal. This new information about metal might pique someone's curiosity and eventually get them into metal even if they don't read the book.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 17, 2009, 01:36:10 AM
Contents: History, Philosophy. Then (perhaps) appendices: top 15  bands lists from the DLA, plus more?

Best of ideas:

analysis of the "bigger" bands, why they do not fit in with the DLA.  It needs to be explained in a manner which is critical  - another viewpoint, to be respected.

To appeal to the "everyday" metal fan, I would suggest advertising it as something which aims to help the world understand what metal is. One does not necessarily need to include the criticizing of bands in the book's description.   

The most important thing is to make it known that metal is not just some other form of rock music. another form of music entirely.

The bigger bands not fitting in, will tie in with philosophy mainly but also in history. eg Why are certain bands not important to BM? They aren't core to the BM ideals hence aren't an important part of BM history. Again, both history and philosophy will reinforce the idea of why it isn't rock music part 2.

The appeal part is about writing style, I'm sure we all agree that it should be understandable to a wide audience without killing meaing.

most critical element is the communication of a real/true metal history that doesn't go entirely over the heads of the targeted reader, yet also avoids the pedestrian simplicity common to many metal "histories." 

it might be interesting to set aside a chapter on why much of "history" of metal to date is more myth than reality 

Communication is key, just as I agreed with deadite. Not sure about a whole chapter about metal myths but it is perhaps too early to say for definite.

a very clearly defined goal must be put in the back or front cover.

Indeed, the cover art and text is crucial. It needs to lure all reader to actually read the book.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 17, 2009, 02:21:07 AM
  it might be interesting to set aside a chapter on why much of "history" of metal to date is more myth than reality 

 Not sure about a whole chapter about metal myths but it is perhaps too early to say for definite.


Perhaps I wasn't really clear enough initially. I was speaking specifically to those myths and indeed mythological figures(or bands) who are generally credited with far more than they deserve. Or in other words, why ANUS is so critical of the generally accepted orthodoxy on Metal and its various shibboleths and messianic figures. But then, that would probabaly be covered elsewhere already(?). I guess I was envisioning an opportunity to formally explain exactly why many of us find the deification of clowns who do more harm to proper Metal than anything else, just because they've expired, been shot, or whatever, positively disgusting and completely antithetical to what we see Metal being all about!

Of course, there is plenty more mythology to smash than all that...



Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 19, 2009, 11:44:30 PM
Quote
The core of it is the metal history, which then dovetails into metal philosophy, and then lists the top echelon of metal releases by year.

I agree with all but one word: "dovetails". Metal and metal subculture is a social phenomenon. What you call 'metal philosophy' IS the climax of this book, and it's the only thing that disconnects it from pop culture / teenage rebellion and connects it to the wider world of art, literature and philosophy. Metalheads aren't always sure what they're trying to say, but they've intuitively struck the heart of the most vital social criticism of modern times. Metal is not an intellectual response but an emotional response to a culture that is failing.

Thesis: metal subculture is distinct from pop-culture. Pop culture reinforces the status-quo; metal subculture deconstructs it. Then steps on it, burns it, buries it, pisses on the grave and masturbates over the ashes. Do metalheads have something better in mind for the world? Not really; but death is better than submission. Where metal has "gone wrong" is not where it's gone too far, but where it hasn't gone far enough - abandoning the intuitive sense that "something's wrong and it's pissing me off" and turning with its dick between its legs to embrace pop-culture. In other words, "selling out". The fame and the paycheck are just too irresistable. All you have to do is contract AIDS!

So you have History, Philosophy, and then wrap it up with where metal has gone (musically, artistically, intellectually) - Ulver, Manes, Godkiller come to mind [there are probably other broader examples] and what happens to metal heads when they "grow up". You have your list of releases as an appendix, each with a good concise summary. Bands that aren't worthwhile are best NOT MENTIONED. The point is not to try and make a comparative study, but just to express the hit-and-miss genius of metal - to explain in more words what is meant by "Fuck Christ" and "LOL AIDS LOL".

At least, that's what I would do if _I_ were writing the book. You either need a strong thesis, or you need to package it with a free CD sampler and a couple of fold-out posters.

Cheers


Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 20, 2009, 11:43:26 PM
  it might be interesting to set aside a chapter on why much of "history" of metal to date is more myth than reality 

 Not sure about a whole chapter about metal myths but it is perhaps too early to say for definite.


Perhaps I wasn't really clear enough initially. I was speaking specifically to those myths and indeed mythological figures(or bands) who are generally credited with far more than they deserve. Or in other words, why ANUS is so critical of the generally accepted orthodoxy on Metal and its various shibboleths and messianic figures. But then, that would probabaly be covered elsewhere already(?). I guess I was envisioning an opportunity to formally explain exactly why many of us find the deification of clowns who do more harm to proper Metal than anything else, just because they've expired, been shot, or whatever, positively disgusting and completely antithetical to what we see Metal being all about!

Of course, there is plenty more mythology to smash than all that...


I think I misunderstood the first time, essentially I wouldn't suggest having a separate (discrete) chapter about myths but would prefer to work that information into the history and philosophy. Especially in light of what Onde said above, we don't want to spend too much time (if any?) talking about shitty bands even if only to give them a negative reputation. I think your point is valid but would it make sense to place a lot of emphasis on bands we dislike in such a work? Perhaps we should leave the undeification of false gods to the DLA website. The catch might be that if we are going to say that Emperor / Burzum are great then we should provide counter examples.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 20, 2009, 11:58:40 PM
Quote
The core of it is the metal history, which then dovetails into metal philosophy, and then lists the top echelon of metal releases by year.

I agree with all but one word: "dovetails". Metal and metal subculture is a social phenomenon. What you call 'metal philosophy' IS the climax of this book, and it's the only thing that disconnects it from pop culture / teenage rebellion and connects it to the wider world of art, literature and philosophy. Metalheads aren't always sure what they're trying to say, but they've intuitively struck the heart of the most vital social criticism of modern times. Metal is not an intellectual response but an emotional response to a culture that is failing.

Metal philosophy is the climax of the DLA website so it would make sense to place a lot of emphasis upon it in the book. I'll also add to your last comment by saying that: intellect gave the emotional response a unique shape that is apparent in great metal.

Thesis: metal subculture is distinct from pop-culture. Pop culture reinforces the status-quo; metal subculture deconstructs it. Then steps on it, burns it, buries it, pisses on the grave and masturbates over the ashes. Do metalheads have something better in mind for the world? Not really; but death is better than submission. Where metal has "gone wrong" is not where it's gone too far, but where it hasn't gone far enough - abandoning the intuitive sense that "something's wrong and it's pissing me off" and turning with its dick between its legs to embrace pop-culture. In other words, "selling out". The fame and the paycheck are just too irresistable. All you have to do is contract AIDS!

The idea of having a thesis title is good but I'd be inclined to move away from the using the word 'culture', given that it connotes a 'scene' and 'trends'. Instead I'd substitute 'culture' for 'philosophy' or the notion of ideals. For example:
Thesis: The inherent ideals of metal are distinct from pop-culture. Pop culture and ideals reinforce the status-quo; while metal deconstructs it.

Infact, I think there is a fair argument in favour of BM not only deconstructing pop culture but also suggesting how we can replace it with something better. DM is more about deconstruction without a later reconstruction of something positive (imo).

So you have History, Philosophy, and then wrap it up with where metal has gone (musically, artistically, intellectually) - Ulver, Manes, Godkiller come to mind [there are probably other broader examples] and what happens to metal heads when they "grow up". You have your list of releases as an appendix, each with a good concise summary. Bands that aren't worthwhile are best NOT MENTIONED. The point is not to try and make a comparative study, but just to express the hit-and-miss genius of metal - to explain in more words what is meant by "Fuck Christ" and "LOL AIDS LOL".

At least, that's what I would do if _I_ were writing the book. You either need a strong thesis, or you need to package it with a free CD sampler and a couple of fold-out posters.

Where metal has gone would already be covered in History and Philosophy, imo. Eg: What was metal a reaction to? Where did metal go once it started and why? Can talk about the changes in ideas from era to era, eg the early 90s BM being a reaction to late 80s DM.
But you gave me an idea that would make more sense for the structure of the book: history, philosophy, future. appendices. It makes sense to talk about where metal originated and why it did so but it would make a lot of sense to end on a positive and forward thinking note by talking about the future.

Re: Dark Legions Archive: The Book
January 21, 2009, 02:53:43 AM
Apart from a past-present section, where will the future section stand ?

We badly need advice for newcomers in the genre.