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Is black metal "twee" now?

Is black metal "twee" now?
November 05, 2009, 12:55:08 PM
Quote
In American English it often refers to a type of simple sweet pop music, but in British English it is used much more widely for things that are nauseatingly cute or precious. It comes from the way the word sweet sounds when said in baby talk.

Someone who is adorably sweet almost too sweet, sometimes hippie like. It's also a spin-off from the indie style they like being unique but not "in your face unique."

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=twee

For all its bluster about being evil, black metal after the Norwegians is the exact opposite.

The genre welcomes any newcomer, and will immediately immerse them in a world where everyone is unique if they use the right combination of trite blasphemous cliches.

It's the only place where you can scream "I want to kill everyone and everything" and get a group hug.

You can also take Garage Band, four chords and a fifteenth-rate imitation of the truth, pop out a demo, and quickly have people calling you a genius.

Even with the imagery of violence and hatred, black metal is very sweet. The black metal Nazis don't mind if you're black, as long as you want to be a black metal Nazi.

Black metallers don't even care if you want to listen to black metal, as long as you're cool with it, they're cool with you.

It's like a big emo community, dedicated to making Satan cute and the apocalypse amusing.

But no one has yet dared use the word "twee" in public to describe it.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 05, 2009, 02:15:36 PM
It reminds me of death metal's situation.

Most of everything related to it in people's lives is an attempt to escape from discomforting situations, experiences and thoughts - absurd for a genre which basically explores and theorizes the extremes of agony, mortality and blasphemy.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 05, 2009, 03:52:51 PM
It reminds me of death metal's situation.

Most of everything related to it in people's lives is an attempt to escape from discomforting situations, experiences and thoughts - absurd for a genre which basically explores and theorizes the extremes of agony, mortality and blasphemy.

Really? I rather thought that as the point - to explore the ugly, uncomfortable, blasphemous and mortal, as polite-society generaly refused to do. Of course it was/is a means of escapism on some level, metaphoric or literal - all proper Metal always has been.       

As to the OP - it seems those observations are entirey, if painfully true for the most part.





 

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 05, 2009, 06:19:50 PM
Most of everything related to it in people's lives is an attempt to escape from discomforting situations, experiences and thoughts - absurd for a genre which basically explores and theorizes the extremes of agony, mortality and blasphemy.

Really? I rather thought that as the point - to explore the ugly, uncomfortable, blasphemous and mortal, as polite-society generaly refused to do. Of course it was/is a means of escapism on some level, metaphoric or literal - all proper Metal always has been.       

By escapism I mean making it into a linear horror entertainment product squarely aimed for the public that doesn't want to engage in the scary ideas - kind of things such as "brutal death metal" which from Cannibal Corpse onwards has sought to make death metal into something where the horror and agony is a matter of aesthetics (endless recombinations of murder and death happening randomly as in the hands of a screenwriter that needs to invent scenes for Friday the 13th part 2627), not content (all of it is just a jumble of words, it has no story, teaching or direction underneath). It's "illustration" for a rock/jazz/metal jam session, not mythology or spirituality or sacralization of death.

I must assume that the Metal escapism you are referring to is something like replacing the mundane, social, everyday sphere of activity with the concerns of the intangible, the occult and the "otherworld"; but in line with the Platonists I believe that this means approaching fundamental reality (the noumenal world, the subconscious, the Abyss), not an escape from it.

Related: Why death metal is good for you?

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 05, 2009, 09:24:08 PM
Black metal has become twee because no matter what it makes itself appear to be, all that appearance is posturing.  Ah, if every "misanthropic" black metal listener actually went through with their "misanthropy" and shot up a mall.  But, we get "misanthropic" products instead.

On a related note, Linkola and Kaczynski are more properly classified as philanthropic.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 05, 2009, 10:42:53 PM
I don't see what your points have to do with black metal being twee.

That, and the fact that this topic exists and there are surely several thousand people who think about the matter at hand in a similar way  [i.e. "black metal is srs bsns"] should be enough to discount such a claim.

Listen to what is good, ignore everything else.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 06, 2009, 12:09:59 AM
I don't see what your points have to do with black metal being twee.

That, and the fact that this topic exists and there are surely several thousand people who think about the matter at hand in a similar way  [i.e. "black metal is srs bsns"] should be enough to discount such a claim.

Listen to what is good, ignore everything else.

It directly correlates to finding what is good. The inane kiddies who think 3 chords and a PC makes them uber kvlt black metal gods have so much shit clogging up the genre, finding a good band amidst it all is like digging through your septic tank for a spec of gold dust.

You eliminate the parasites, and the number of crap being churned out drops. Once that happens, all of these aberrations will stop being praised, and the truly talented works will be more easily discernible, leading to a rise in the standard of quality.

But until then, we'll have to settle for being told every overly distorted; strummed out farce that some dweeb puts on his myspace, is the new Burzum-meets-Darkthrone played like Immortal-meets-Dissection.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 06, 2009, 01:18:55 AM
Most of everything related to it in people's lives is an attempt to escape from discomforting situations, experiences and thoughts - absurd for a genre which basically explores and theorizes the extremes of agony, mortality and blasphemy.

Really? I rather thought that as the point - to explore the ugly, uncomfortable, blasphemous and mortal, as polite-society generaly refused to do. Of course it was/is a means of escapism on some level, metaphoric or literal - all proper Metal always has been.       

By escapism I mean making it into a linear horror entertainment product squarely aimed for the public that doesn't want to engage in the scary ideas - kind of things such as "brutal death metal" which from Cannibal Corpse onwards has sought to make death metal into something where the horror and agony is a matter of aesthetics (endless recombinations of murder and death happening randomly as in the hands of a screenwriter that needs to invent scenes for Friday the 13th part 2627), not content (all of it is just a jumble of words, it has no story, teaching or direction underneath). It's "illustration" for a rock/jazz/metal jam session, not mythology or spirituality or sacralization of death.

I must assume that the Metal escapism you are referring to is something like replacing the mundane, social, everyday sphere of activity with the concerns of the intangible, the occult and the "otherworld"; but in line with the Platonists I believe that this means approaching fundamental reality (the noumenal world, the subconscious, the Abyss), not an escape from it.

Related: Why death metal is good for you?


I see where you were going with this now.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 06, 2009, 01:19:29 AM
I don't see what your points have to do with black metal being twee.

That, and the fact that this topic exists and there are surely several thousand people who think about the matter at hand in a similar way  [i.e. "black metal is srs bsns"] should be enough to discount such a claim.

Listen to what is good, ignore everything else.

It directly correlates to finding what is good. The inane kiddies who think 3 chords and a PC makes them uber kvlt black metal gods have so much shit clogging up the genre, finding a good band amidst it all is like digging through your septic tank for a spec of gold dust.

You eliminate the parasites, and the number of crap being churned out drops. Once that happens, all of these aberrations will stop being praised, and the truly talented works will be more easily discernible, leading to a rise in the standard of quality.

But until then, we'll have to settle for being told every overly distorted; strummed out farce that some dweeb puts on his myspace, is the new Burzum-meets-Darkthrone played like Immortal-meets-Dissection.
Personally I'm happy if I'm only able to discover something truly brilliant about twice a year. I guess it makes it that much more rewarding. I can understand that for kids who sit in front of their computer all day downloading albums faster than they can listen to them, it might be frustrating that their hard drive is actually overloaded with crap. Personally I take comfort in the music that I own, and have owned for years, and if something is genuinely worthwhile, it gets mentioned on forums and in reviews. We have plenty of tools for discerning which music is worth looking into, so randomly searching for stuff on myspace is completely unnecessary.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 06, 2009, 07:23:20 PM
I don't see what your points have to do with black metal being twee.

That, and the fact that this topic exists and there are surely several thousand people who think about the matter at hand in a similar way  [i.e. "black metal is srs bsns"] should be enough to discount such a claim.

Listen to what is good, ignore everything else.

It directly correlates to finding what is good. The inane kiddies who think 3 chords and a PC makes them uber kvlt black metal gods have so much shit clogging up the genre, finding a good band amidst it all is like digging through your septic tank for a spec of gold dust.

You eliminate the parasites, and the number of crap being churned out drops. Once that happens, all of these aberrations will stop being praised, and the truly talented works will be more easily discernible, leading to a rise in the standard of quality.

But until then, we'll have to settle for being told every overly distorted; strummed out farce that some dweeb puts on his myspace, is the new Burzum-meets-Darkthrone played like Immortal-meets-Dissection.
still doesn't sound twee

And the not being able to find good metal sounds like a personal problem. Stop downloading random albums by bands you've never heard of that receive no acclaim aside from on some random kid's metal blog.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 07, 2009, 09:02:27 PM
Even the cutest, most huggable, adorable and house-trained black metal  bands will never be played in a Hallmark store.  They may suck, they may be derivative, they may be stupid, they are probably homos, but the aesthetics of black metal are not twee... I suppose if we water down the definition of 'twee' to mean 'harmless' or 'without strength' then black metal could be called twee.  But I think that defeat the perpose of having such a stupid word as 'twee'.  I MIGHT use it to describe something nauseatingly cute or precious but I would most definately not use that word when I could just say 'harmless'.
"Just like your ancestors
you will fight today."

-Rob Darken

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 08, 2009, 02:09:41 AM
The earlier comparison to the situation in which death metal finds itself is the most apt. If you want to understand where black metal is going, go ahead and take a look at the African-American bounce death metal typified by the sort of stuff that you can purchase at Best Buy for $13.99 (i.e. pretty much all of it). Regardless of whether or not modern black metal will be played in a Hallmark store -- or anywhere else for that matter -- "twee" is obviously not meant to be taken literally. Think about it this way: do you enjoy experiencing the feelings that listening to a certain song produces or do you just enjoy it because it's fun to listen to? The problem is with the people who fall primarily into the second camp; the third Burzum album is a great experience if it takes you to another place (as it's designed to) but it's fucking horrible if you just want to sit around and laugh with your friends about how 'brutal' Varg's voice is. The problem is also with bands like, say, Darkthrone that become parodies of themselves for the purpose of appealing to this (generally younger) crowd. When you get to that level of ironic, self-referential parody, that's when you've reached twee status.

I'll echo what everyone else has said: trim the fat and listen to/support what's really worthy. If you eventually reach a point where you can't find anything else that's appealing, don't give up! Reasonably affordable guitars are everywhere and there's always someone with a bass who needs a jam partner. Go ahead and write the next great black metal album instead of waiting for someone else to do it. If you're self-conscious about your musicianship, then just write and record music for yourself. The proliferation of black metal "bands" created in a person's bedroom using Frooty Loops hasn't helped the cause any, but if you know what you're doing and you have the right mindset, then make something.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 08, 2009, 04:31:19 PM
Quote
By escapism I mean making it into a linear horror entertainment product squarely aimed for the public that doesn't want to engage in the scary ideas - kind of things such as "brutal death metal" which from Cannibal Corpse onwards has sought to make death metal into something where the horror and agony is a matter of aesthetics (endless recombinations of murder and death happening randomly as in the hands of a screenwriter that needs to invent scenes for Friday the 13th part 2627), not content (all of it is just a jumble of words, it has no story, teaching or direction underneath). It's "illustration" for a rock/jazz/metal jam session, not mythology or spirituality or.

There are at least four approaches to death within death metal: the sublime, the material, the Messianic and the existential.

Contrary to your assertion that Cannibal Corpse lyrics offer no “story,” nearly all of the band’s tracks present a narrative exploring sadism or sadomasochistic themes within the context of a particular happening or situation. The encyclopaedic thrust present in what you identify as the band’s documentation of “endless recombinations of murder and death happening randomly” is descended from the taxonomy of perversions offered in de Sade’s 120 days of Sodom. These narratives present lurid and fantastical vistas of torture and mutilation that are too easily dismissed as mere “escapism” - if they are escapist, it is an escapism worthy of question, not least in the light of the comic allegation that one escapes life by thinking of death.

Cannibal Corpse is offensive to many people because, like horror movies, it markets the tendency of the public to gaze at car crashes and accidents and, by so doing, forces an acknowledgement of the “darker side” of what is taken to be “human nature.”* If this “darker side” is evident in waking life in what is called “morbid curiosity,” it persists in dreams through something like the obscene fantasies of de Sade. Holding in abeyance, for a moment, de Sade’s response to these drives, I submit that for the non-sadist ("less" sadistic person, at least) these fantasies themselves are, in situation, closely related to Kant’s notion of the dynamic sublime. Just as one gazes upon a wild and untamed landscape, feeling sublimely safe from behind a cottage window in the presence of a comforting fire, so, when reading de Sade, or listening to Cannibal Corpse, one feels temporarily safe upon his island of life amidst a sea of torment and death. This safety is profoundly fragile and comes not from an "avoidance" of death, but a recontextualisation of life in the face of death. The sadist himself transgresses this sublimity by seeking to usurp the place of Nature/death and transform other subjects into mere objects for pleasure before his will. For the non-sadist, however, the music of Cannibal Corpse intensifies the random malevolence of death by presenting life as raw material for a predatory will, and with its intense, driving music, even asking the listener to celebrate, as metaphor, the nihilistic randomness of such a will. It is “shock” music in that it shockingly refuses moral decency in favour of untamed excess (perhaps what Blake identifies as the road to wisdom).

A second approach to death resides in what you identify as the “jumble of words” approach to lyrics. Predominantly this technique is found in goregrind music descended from Carcass. This approach presents medical jargon as a conflicting discourse vying with everyday notions of personhood (e.g. “my hand,” “my arm,” “your pretty face” etc) for purchase upon the body. Its often nonsensical, comedic tapestry of medical terminology presents an extreme materialism as an antithesis to pious or sanctified notions of death, human decency and individual autonomy. In staging its “revolt of the body,” this music might be thought of as Nietzschean.

“What indeed does man know about himself?… Does not nature keep secret from him most things, even about his body. e.g. the convolutions of the intestines, the quick flow of the blood-currents, the intricate vibration of the fibres, so as to banish and lock him up in proud delusive knowledge. And woe to that fatal curiosity which might one day have the power to peer out and down through a crack in the chamber of consciousness and then suspect that man is sustained in the indifference of his ignorance by that which is pitiless, greedy, insatiable, and murderous-as if hanging in dreams on the back of a tiger. Given this situation, where in the world could the drive for truth have come from?” – On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense (1873)

In a certain sense, one might say that, on their first two albums, Carcass “peer out… through a crack in the chamber of consciousness” towards the taboo body beneath. Maybe they could see the ANUS. Far from being a “sacralization of death,” this is a "materialist" reduction of life (and truth) itself.

A third approach is Messianic, as found on Morbid Angels’ Formulas Fatal to the Flesh album, longing for the destruction of the world in the hope of a renewal (“come with fire and burn the flesh from this earth”).

A fourth approach is existential (note: not existentialist) and is found in Eastern form on Gorguts’ Obscura album. This approach casts death as an ontological constituent of man, as something to which he is always already bound.

* - Similarly, pornography markets the taboo sex drive but here, rather than reinforce, one wishes to penetrate the thin sheet separating observed from observer. This results in stimulation, not sublimity.

Quote
I must assume that the Metal escapism you are referring to is something like replacing the mundane, social, everyday sphere of activity with the concerns of the intangible, the occult and the "otherworld"; but in line with the Platonists I believe that this means approaching fundamental reality (the noumenal world, the subconscious, the Abyss), not an escape from it.

“Fundamental reality” cannot be “approached” without an understanding of fundamental ontology, which is deeper than the epistemological division of phenomenon and noumenon. Any distinction between cognisable beings in appearance and the ineffability of what remains outside appearance is predicated upon a presuppositional understanding of being itself. I stress, too, the metaphysical implications of an “approach” made by a “subject” to reality. Dasein in the clearing of its cultural world is the pre-subjective vector through which Being shows up as what it is. An understanding of Being is prior to anything like a “subject” or “object,” which are themselves ontological structures of Being made possible only by the pre-ontological understanding.

While there is continued talk of pattern language, categories and noumena as foundational structures of reality, the question of Being will remain obscure and fundamental ontology will continually be confused with epistemology.

Re: Is black metal "twee" now?
November 09, 2009, 03:14:19 AM
By escapism I mean making it into a linear horror entertainment product squarely aimed for the public that doesn't want to engage in the scary ideas - kind of things such as "brutal death metal" which from Cannibal Corpse onwards has sought to make death metal into something where the horror and agony is a matter of aesthetics (endless recombinations of murder and death happening randomly as in the hands of a screenwriter that needs to invent scenes for Friday the 13th part 2627), not content (all of it is just a jumble of words, it has no story, teaching or direction underneath). It's "illustration" for a rock/jazz/metal jam session, not mythology or spirituality or sacralization of death.

This is true. They give us only half the story because they want to make it accessible and empower with deranged fantasy what are in reality lifelong weaklings. A victim that mysteriously, somehow comes into our power so that we may engage in taboo acts with it? Juvenile.

The missing half of the violent epic is the harrowing side: hunting the fiersome Grendel, a mighty bear that could rend us asunder if we aren't wary, stalking a godly dragon or elusive vampire. This other half of the experience is missing. It requires something from us such as valor, heroism, enduring hardship, even insatiable greed to steal a dragon's treasure, or the haughty pride of Beowulf.

Like Slipknot, CC is a better fit for underconfident fatboys with a chip on their shoulders, who are as yet untested in life and probably hopelessly unfit anyways.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793