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Black & death metal lyrics

Black & death metal lyrics
June 28, 2009, 05:46:10 PM
Are they important and if so, why?

Below we have an example of an actual lyric which must be hard to beat in terms of sheer generic and childish stupidity.

Quote from: Internet black metal retard Moat
History shall be changed forever
Thoughts of darkness won't leave his head
He leaves nothing for the better
Evil shall rule the land
So join him and take his hand
(The Knight’s Return)

Blasphemous of Veles once summed up his approach to writing lyrics succinctly (in Godless zine #1), by saying he preferred to write about the harsh realities of existence than compose "fairytales about elves and knights and their cocks". I would agree that this is the stance taken by the originators of death and black metal, and now we have the modern bands and intertard myspace projects all trying to copy what went before and missing the point...


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Re: Black & death metal lyrics
June 30, 2009, 07:56:32 AM
Some of my favorite albums ever possess some pretty awful lyrics - it's never been something I got hung up on. On the other hand, lyrics can, when well executed, add an interesting dimension to the whole experience as well.   

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
June 30, 2009, 08:15:47 AM
On paper the lyrics for many great albums don't look that good, especially some black metal bands for whom English is a second language. (having said that some Norwegian bands speak excellent English). However, when you hear them in their context the devilerence of lyrics can send a shiver down my spine.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 03, 2009, 03:08:40 AM
On paper the lyrics for many great albums don't look that good, especially some black metal bands for whom English is a second language. (having said that some Norwegian bands speak excellent English). However, when you hear them in their context the devilerence of lyrics can send a shiver down my spine.

agreed.  it's almost more about how the lyrics sound and where they are "placed," than what they "mean."  the perfectly placed word or phrase, within the context of the song, can send a shiver down my spine, too.  the final line to "As Flittermice As Satans Spys," when he says "with the eye of our master," gets me every time.

however, I actually think the fact that English is the second language for some bands might be an asset.  when you're writing in a language you're not as familiar with, you have to be a little more judicious about the words chosen.  and although it can result in some clumsy phrases or word choice (see Immortal (whose lyrics I actually quite like, btw)) it can ALSO result in some turns of phrase that are more poetic or original than what a native speaker could EVER come up with.  at the end of the day, metal lyrics need to be EVOCATIVE above all else.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 03, 2009, 04:01:53 AM
agreed.  it's almost more about how the lyrics sound and where they are "placed," than what they "mean."  the perfectly placed word or phrase, within the context of the song, can send a shiver down my spine, too.  the final line to "As Flittermice As Satans Spys," when he says "with the eye of our master," gets me every time.

Vocals are VERY important  - much, much more so than the lyrics themsleves, though as noted, a well-placed phrase(lyrically) can be quite powerful. 

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 03, 2009, 10:42:31 AM
Vocals in death metal are more of an additional instrument than "real" singing, in some ways.

I agree with the points made above, certain lyrical phrases may look stupid or childish but are invested with potency by vocalists of the calibre of Rob Darken: "Fucking Jesus Fucking Christ" at the end of "In the Glare of Burning Churches" for example (especially the different, even harsher vocal version of that demo).

No one could make Moat lyrics sound good though.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 03, 2009, 03:40:07 PM
No one could make Moat lyrics sound good though.

yes.  The Moat lyrics you cited above are pretty cheesy and un-subtle.

on a side note, I prefer it when artists keep the curse words to a minimum.  leave that to rappers.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 06, 2009, 01:21:56 AM
In perusing the mediocrity and respective nadirs of metal's lyrics, let us remember the apex: Tom G. Warrior and Fenriz.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 06, 2009, 11:53:24 AM
Three remarks I wanted to make:

1. Lyrics are secondary to the music (but we all knew that, right?)

2. Buying an album because of the lyrics is akin to eating feces from the street because they contain some undigested peanuts

3. Varg Vikernes wrote the best lyrics, As Flittermice... was written by him for instance. And what's wrong with:

"Devestation, blasphemy, desecration, unholy he
who burned the face of god with the eye of our master"?

No offense but I don't see any bad English in that line. In fact the English is very good in that song, the lyrics are just difficult to understand.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 06, 2009, 04:41:31 PM
"Devestation, blasphemy, desecration, unholy he
who burned the face of god with the eye of our master"?

No offense but I don't see any bad English in that line. In fact the English is very good in that song, the lyrics are just difficult to understand.

no, no bad English there.  Immortal is the band that comes to mind for some, let's say, "unique" English.  And you're right, I forgot Varg wrote 'As Flittermice.'  He, Tom Warrior, and Fenriz are all lyricists that metal should be proud of.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 07, 2009, 03:58:36 AM
Are they important and if so, why?

Increasingly, I like the Greek idea of entwining music, lyrics and theatre.

There should be a story to every song.

The mode should sound like the emotions and find a way to mix those emotions in the right percentages at the right time; the rhythms should feel like the gut reaction at each stage.

The lyrics should tell the story from the point of view of a character, or an anonymous observer, but never cross over the two.

The stage should be set, and the creatures should act out any drama but that of being musicians playing the song.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 07, 2009, 08:13:19 PM
Are they important and if so, why?

Increasingly, I like the Greek idea of entwining music, lyrics and theatre.

There should be a story to every song.

The mode should sound like the emotions and find a way to mix those emotions in the right percentages at the right time; the rhythms should feel like the gut reaction at each stage.

The lyrics should tell the story from the point of view of a character, or an anonymous observer, but never cross over the two.

The stage should be set, and the creatures should act out any drama but that of being musicians playing the song.
Hell yeah!  I mean, why not?  Will improved/better lyrics "save" metal?  No.  But why not work on improving all aspects?  As an artist, it can be beneficial to take a break from the "meat" of your work and go off on a tangent, even as an "exercise."  The tangent may open up new potentials and inspire you.  A good idea, is a good idea, explore it to the end, even if it takes you away from the heart of the matter for a brief time, if it comes up fruitless, so be it.  Everyone works differently, but I think what Conservationist proposes is a good idea

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 08, 2009, 02:14:24 AM
I think metal is a race for its life: to escape being a mainstream genre.

Hardcore was brilliant in that it deconstructed the rock/blues paradigm; but from deconstruction, we must reconstruct.

Classical music is too far an extreme, but Dead Can Dance/Tangerine Dream/Fripp & Eno territory is where metal should go, and its best bands like Morbid Angel, Burzum and Demilich reach that level.

But it can be pushed further.

Metal is not counterculture; it is counter-counterculture, as Black Sabbath made clear. The hippies aren't going to save us. We need to get back to reality, only death is real.

As long as the music is too easily imitated, however, it will be assimilated by rock music.

I used to believe in rock, blues and jazz as some new invention; then I heard some Norwegian, Swedish, German and Scotts-Irish folk music from the past 200 years and realized that actually, these guys did everything the blues did centuries before, and did it better.

Like metal, a forgotten but better history of humanity...

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 08, 2009, 04:18:16 PM
Look, the fact is, if you are going to include lyrics, they need to be good.  A lot of people here are using that argument that rock bands make that "it's just how it sounds" or "it's just the way the lyrics make you feel, rather than what they mean".  This is just a justification for albums that have bad lyrics.  If a band has a message, and that band chooses to have lyrics, then there is no reason why the lyrics cannot express that message in a descent way.  It does not have to be Shakespeare, but it shouldn't be childish crap either.


That being said, there are a lot metal bands where the lyrics are subpar because the band's statement was something along the line of hardcore punk, and included simple or shocking lyrics for effect.  Obviously, if this is the meaning of the band, then they are beyond such judgements as mine.  Deicide is a good example, on the first 3 albums.  Their lyrics aren't the best ever written, but they are precisely what the music requires.

Re: Black & death metal lyrics
July 08, 2009, 08:37:27 PM
Look, the fact is, if you are going to include lyrics, they need to be good.  A lot of people here are using that argument that rock bands make that "it's just how it sounds" or "it's just the way the lyrics make you feel, rather than what they mean".  This is just a justification for albums that have bad lyrics.

you're right.  I plead guilty.  don't get me wrong - I would love to see higher standards for lyrics in metal.