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Topics - dead last

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Metal / I'll be damned. (Vigil of the Third Eye)
« on: June 02, 2014, 08:18:34 PM »
I just checked this forum after a handful of months of disengangement from a serious period of alcohol abuse (as if there is a method of properly "using" alcohol) and am floored that the interzone is gone.

Anyway, I've recently been spinning the most recent Howls of Ebb (English [abuse] notwithstanding) and would like to know what others have thought of the album. Sounds to me like an improvement of proper death metal expression minus the modern aesthetic "LOLgotha" sound that has plagued many-a-modern release.

Thoughts?

2
Metal / Melo-Doom
« on: February 09, 2014, 01:30:12 AM »
Yes, it's an imaginary name for a genre, so let's not dwell on that.

I am really digging albums like these;

Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction

Warning - Watching From a Distance (a less developed and less dynamic form of the above album)

Windhand - Soma (less "prog" than Pallbearer but still interesting enough that I don't feel braindead after 45 minutes of 40 BPM tempos)

I don't know if it's safe to call these albums "doom metal". The Black Sabbath influence is always evident, what with the moderately blues-centered guitar melodies and theatrical, almost thespian vocal delivery. But what really gets me going are the very melancholic melodies in these, which impact me emotionally far more than Electric Wizard ever does.

Discussion of these albums is welcome, but the main point of this post is to get suggestions on similar albums that use this same mix of "heaviness" and melancholy and melody.

3
Interzone / animals and lessons
« on: January 11, 2014, 03:51:45 AM »
Spiirtual experiences are probably hard to describe. I can't say for sure, becauase I can't say for sure that I have ever had a spiritual experience.

Howevever, I'm inclined to share this lesson anyway. This lesson was brought to me by a spider. Ever since I was a kid, I've had a fascinating view of spiders. And why not? They are more alien than coomon insects. Although they don't fly, they do have many outstanding hunting techniques, and they have ten manipulative extemities, not so unlike the fingers and toes of humans but at the same time very dissimilar in their applications.

Anyway, this lesson particularly is about the web-spinning variety of spider. I didn't see the spider, unfortunately (or not) but the web I witnessed was of the most practical significance.

This web was attached to the base of a branch on the lower end of a fir tree that I would often sit beneath to smoke, or read, or sit and talk with friends.


The web itself was unremarkable as far as spider webs go. Like I said, there was no spider around, and no insects trapped in the web either. It was a generally run-of-the-mill web. Probably by some type of weaver spider. The important thing is the web itself. The web itself, insofar as it was an object identifiable in relation to the rest of the fir tree, was its own thing. It could not have existed without the tree trunk and branch to support it.


As I looked at the web, that very thought was striking; that it itself was something different than the structure that supported it. Yet, without the structure of the tree, the web would have no foundation, and would not in any sense be identfiable as a web. Most importantly, the web was comprised of many lines that relied on its own structure, not quite independent of the tree but certainly not independent of the other strands that made up the rest of the web.

This, I thought, was a perfect analogue to the human mind.

Human minds are like a spider web. Our associations are like the individual strands in the web. First, we need a grounding that exists in the reality (physical or otherwise) outside of our mentality. Once those basic connectiond are established, we begin drawing associations between those basic associations. This is reflected in the way some of the more intricate strands in the spider webs are connected to strands that akready exist. This series of connections can fractalize, maybe indefinitely. While spider web is confined to a relatively small space, sich is not true for the mind. Maybe the mind is not constricted to physical space at all; who knows?

4
Metal / Sacramentum - Far Away From the Sun
« on: January 06, 2014, 12:34:52 AM »
http://youtu.be/cQXEoGoiQfs

Just started listening to this album as part of my expansion into slightly-less-well-known originary black metal.

The melody is not afraid to stray toward more major structures. The atmosphere is not purely black-drenched-evil, it is more empowering and majestic than the more maniacal ranting of Mayhem. Still has the theatricality of Nightside Eclipse but no over-long or excessively flashy phrases.

And, while I finish writing this, the track number (in my MediaMonkey player) of this song happens to be 666.

5
Interzone / water and light
« on: January 05, 2014, 08:11:36 PM »
The air temperature is between twenty and thirty degrees. The ground is covered by about seven inches of snow. I have spent the last two-and-one-half hours enjoying it.

As usual, my mind wandered to the microscopic level as I walked a trail through the woods with my lady. I thought, snow is water. The only difference is that snow molecules move more slowly than water molecules. The molecules are the same in terms of atomic configuration. Only the speed of their vibration is different.

Yet, light passes right through water. It does not pass through unscathed, though. It is refracted, showing us the secret of the color spectrum hidden within pure, invisible (but not indivisible) light.

Snow, on the other hand, does not allow light to pass through it. Nevertheless, it still shows us another secret of light; the whiteness of every color combined. For mysterious reasons, the low frequency of vibration in snow molecules blocks all light, showing us the purity of light unrefracted, in it's whole form.

In the microscopic realm, as frequencies increase, the structure of an object as a whole begins to lose its form. At the higher frequencies, solid objects cease to be themselves altogether, becoming liquid, then gas, then something even more mysterious yet.

But, when light interacts with snow, that effect appears to be reversed. The lower frequencies show us a whole that is typically hidden from our eyes!

This day inspires me to praise these mysteries.

6
Interzone / Synchronicity
« on: December 29, 2013, 05:41:47 AM »
We have probably all experienced synchronicity at some point in our lives. You will hear a new word, and suddenly find it used much more commonly than you'd expect. That's the most common example I hear of.

Jung defined a synchronicity as a co-incidence that seems too unlikely or relevant to be random or unrelated.

The last stark synchronicity I ran into occured a little over a year ago. My grandpa (who I lived with since my grandma died) had become to sick to get out of bed. This was not normal, but I was not all that concerned. In the week before he went to the hospital where he was pronounced good-as-dead and sent home, I noticed a few buzzards (large carrion-eaters common to the midwest) in the giant sycamore tree outside my bedroom window. I had never seen one there before, let alone four.

As the days of that week passed, their numbers increased, and soon there were over twenty buzzards in that sycamore. When my grandpa went to the hospital, they left, and I never saw a buzzard in that tree again.


This might sound like too much of a stretch to consider this co-incidence as anything more than just that. However, that tree had some significance to me since very early childhood. There was one major limb of the tree, jutting far out over the back yard. This limb was dead (due to a lightning strike, according to my grandpa) and had been that way for more than twenty years. Because of this, I always had a strange feeling of danger when near that tree, because my grandpa had vigilantly warned my brothers and I to stay far away from that side of the yard, lest that branch break and kill someone (he was a disastrous thinker). The buzzards never rested ain another tree; just that huge sycamore with the dead branch, hanging over the yard like the guillotine of some senseless devil.

After my grandpa died, I knew why the buzzards had been there. I even knew the reason for their visit before he went to the hospital, but my rational mind would not admit to it.

---

Recently, I've been disturbed by similar thoughts. For the last three years (or more), I notice street lights blinking out when I pass under them. Sometimes they extinguish when my car goes beneath them, but often they shut off when I am approaching them, and occasionally after I have passed them. This happens on either side of the street. I have found that a couple specific lights are prone to blinking on and off at random, so I discount those. Yet, I can count on seeing at least one light go out every time I drive through town at night.

My rationality wants me to convince myself that I am just prone to noticing when a street light goes out. But, at the same time, I really doubt that this is the case.

---

What are some synchronicities that you've experienced? Did you ever unravel their mysteries before it was too late?

7
Metal / Criticism required for metal music
« on: December 25, 2013, 10:15:03 PM »
"A friend" of mine is composing some music. "He" would like some criticism on this effort. I can already tell you that the drums are programmed and sound quite shit, and there is only guitar recorded, no vocals or bass.

Please offer criticism.

https://soundcloud.com/iconoclasm-2/xxvi-xii-mmxiii-draft

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Interzone / Root for Ukraine
« on: December 22, 2013, 03:20:04 AM »
http://www.businessinsider.com/ukraine-protests-what-you-need-to-know-2013-12

Complaints about police brutality? That's cute. In the US, the dudes on the front-loader would have been gunned down before they got within a block of the police.

9
Interzone / Nature and anti-art
« on: December 15, 2013, 03:31:19 PM »
When humans create art, there is all kinds of argument.

Generally, it is agreed that creation of art means rearranging natural or artificial materials into an aesthetically pleasing configuration (Van Gogh). Sometimes, the configuration is representative, and the art means something beyond the obviously pleasing aesthetic (Burzum).

Art can be beautiful, but art is not beauty, neither is beauty art. In fact, nothing is beauty, but beauty is everywhere.

I find most beauty in natural configurations. These configurations are anti-art because they arise strictly out of necessity, rather than from sentient whims of cognizance. This could be called anti-art, because it is created in the opposite way that art is created. Still, that beauty is recognizable in such raw and inhuman forms, is something to be celebrated.

Share some natural anti-art?

http://digg.com/video/what-you-get-when-you-pour-molten-aluminum-into-an-ant-hill

10
Interzone / What is wrong with deathmetal.org
« on: December 13, 2013, 03:07:15 AM »
DMU and ANUSian bastions are widely hated across the internet.

The reasons for this are simple; they are the same reasons that drew me to ANUS (lol) and then here. We maintain that metal should be upheld as art, and judged for quality by that consistent standard. There are a lot of very different people here at DMU, and I love a good argument, so I get lots of brainfood from this forum's users. But, that is our unifying characteristic; the belief that metal deserves to be upheld to standards, not just enjoyed for the sake of enjoyment (or, worse, cool points).

Meanwhile, most people consider music to be nothing more than amusement, entertainment. Because, much music *is* amusement, entertainment; it rarely crosses their minds that music *could* be anything more; or, if it does cross their minds, they are repulsed by the implications of responsibility.

I understand that the goal of ANUS and subsequently DMU is not to 'win them over' as if we were some kind of metal evangelical front. But, I think some of these 'metal is not art' naysayers deserve a response, because they have leveled one very serious and penetrating accusation at us.

This accusation is that we all sit around and rip on bands that are not cool enough for our standards, without giving anything back to 'the metal community' or whatever. I recognize this as a bullshit accusation, because I have listened to several users' musical projects, and they are of a higher caliber in general than one would expect of modern metal or other music independent of generic restriction.

So, I suggest this resolution: Put members' music projects on the front page. Make them clearly visible and accessible to any and all visitors. Show them that we aren't here to tear down music that is just 'not good enough' for us; show them that our purpose is to make a difference by dissecting the problems with modern music and then (most importantly) correcting the problems by offering superior music instead; by offering ART.

11
Interzone / Big Brother vs. Terror
« on: December 09, 2013, 05:18:17 AM »
http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2013/12/08/indiana-state-police-tracking-cellphones-but-wont-say-how-or-why/3908333/

So how much farther will this monitoring trend go?

Is it something to worry about or is it not really a big deal (unless you're a TERRORIST)?

Can we do something to fight against it besides throwing out our cellphones and permanently ostracizing ourselves from society?!

12
Interzone / Offering free metal logo design
« on: October 25, 2013, 04:03:20 PM »
Graphic design work is usually very boring because I'm forced to work in such tight constraints. So I am trying my hand at designing logos for metal bands. This is a very new style for me and I would very much like criticism on my work, as I intend to charge bands for logos in the future (once I reach a professional level).

As a means to this end, I'd like to draw some logos for you, in whatever style you prefer, that I might brush up on my skills and have some samples to show off. And, if you are in a band, the logo will be yours by all rights to do with as you please. I'd appreciate credit if you do end up using it (though I sense an unlikelihood there since I'm so new at this).

So fire away; just tell me the name, and general feel you want. I'm having a lot of fun doing symmetrical logos (like Obituary, Mayhem, Emperor) but will gladly do more "old-school"-looking designs in the vein of Suffocation, Death, Slayer etc.

PM if you want or post here.

13
Interzone / Subjects in death metal lyrics
« on: October 24, 2013, 06:23:14 PM »
(If this topic should be in the Metal board, then tell me so. I chose this board rather because this subject is less about a metal band/s or music and more about our connection with the ideas that are presented in metal lyrics.)

I've not been listening to metal long enough to absorb a solid understanding of lyrical styles in metal, so I am asking for help. Excuse my lack of experience.

Lyrical themes in metal appear to me to follow trends (naughty word!) throughout the history of metal eras. Much like techniques used in writing and playing metal - the d-beat (Slayer, Possessed) preceded the blast beat (Deicide), which preceded more experimental tempo-shifting beats (Incantation, Suffocation) - lyrical focus shifts between subjects that seem relevant to the time at which they are written (naturally).

In the 1980s metal, I hear a lot about war, especially nuclear events. According to my dad who was a teenager in the 80s, there was much tension even so many decades at the conclusion of the last all-out war between nations. You can even find mentions of nuclear-weapon-based tension in pop music from the 1980s (Escape Club - Wild Wild West). There are also a hanfdul of movies based on nuclear attack (or just invasion - "Red Dawn") made in the 1980s. So it makes sense that this kind of tension among society would bleed over into contemporary metal, which is an art form that exposes tension that would otherwise remain an obscure, paranoiac undercurrent.

The theme of death is a big one from metal's get-go and has remained since. Obviously the fear of death has not loosened its grip on the throat of society since the 1980s (unlike nuclear attack), so it remains just as common (maybe just as relevant) today as it ever has been in metal's history.

Satan and hatred are two subjects that occasionally overlap (Deicide is my best example), but there are the uber-aggressive grindcore acts that focused on hatred as an inescapable consequence of the liberalized society mired in superstition and anti-aesthetic utilitarianism, and they rarely cross into religious commentary (except to decry the oppressive methods of modern Christianity's offshoots). Then there are those that took a step back and delved into the conceptual aspect of Satan as a liberator; Satan introduces chaos into the rigidity of the hideously mechanical framework of society and therefore offers us new tangents to explore psychologically and socially. Thus it makes sense to glorify Satan even if Satan is not considered a being or entity of any type.

Another constant in lyrical subjects is the relatively simple concept of discomfort. This is a deceptively subtle matter; "goregrind", "brutal DM" and related tripe has driven the subject of brutality and murder into the ground so far that it has popped out the other side of the planet (though I'm not so cool as to be above listening to Disgorged).  But there are subjects that do not relate to war or religion that are still extremely uncomfortable for most people and like I said earlier; it is death metal's duty as an art form to expose these subjects. Some examples I have are Death - Spiritual Healing (almost every song), Slayer (mostly everything up to and including Reign In Blood), Blood (most every song I know the lyrics to), and Cryptopsy - Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile.

What are some subjects that are exclusively (or just mostly) relevant in the 1990s or 2000s? Have there been any paradigm shifts in lyrical techniques like the shifts we see in instrumental techniques? Punk rock has run out of stuff to bitch about because the punks won; they repainted their hippy-infested world with a fresh coat of bullshit but were still pushing that agenda of acceptance, tolerance, and equality all along. Will death metal ever get there? Is it languishing or stagnating (lyrically) for an obvious reason or do the subjects of death, war, violence, and Satan remeain just as relevant today as they were three decades ago?

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Interzone / Magical utility
« on: October 22, 2013, 03:04:36 PM »
Experimenting with Tarot cards is one of the most useful types of magical work that I've found.

If you are remotely familiar with Carl Jung's work, you have heard that much of your thoughts are "hidden" from the mind's eye - that is, your "ego" or active consciousness. Below the level of ego (which is the part of mind that communicates like a messenger between your mind and the mind of another) is a murky, swirling, chaotic but self-balancing system where your experience in life collides with genetic memory, or instinct. Thoughts are constantly emerging from this "unconscious" (similar to Freud's "subconscious" but more basic) in ways that defy our understanding. As the thoughts drift up from the murk, a few of them float into the radiant realm of the ego, where they can be externalized and solidified as ideas outside the mind, even while they mutate or disappear forever back inside the depths of the unconscious.*

This crucial disconnect between conscious interaction and unconscious mutation is not a condition that we as humans are cursed with. Through the process of what Jung calls "individuation", we can establish a real-time, "high-bandwidth" connection between the unpredictable emergence of unconscious and the pattern-obsessed, future-predicting ego.

One of Jung's suggested techniques to achieve this unity is to be aware of communication that occurs in your dreams, which is the only time that your unconscious speaks directly (or through images and sounds, as directly as it is possible to transmit thoughts) to your conscious. I've experimented with this technique, and it involves keeping a log of dreams. This sounds boring, but after less than a month I found that my dreams became incomparably more lucid, and I was almost "in charge" of what "I" did during the dream, whereas I used to merely watch "myself" interact vaguely with a dream environment. Now, choices are significant, have consequences. The difficulty here comes when you attempt to interpret the symbols expressed by your unconscious. Projection is almost unavoidable; while the ego is so intent on making sure meaning and experience align in a comfortable and straightforward manner, the symbols offered by the unconscious are often neglected or misinterpreted. This is a normal thing; it is why keeping a dream log is essential; soon you will detect patterns that seem revolutionary and uncomfortable. Thatis exactly what we're looking for. Those are the thoughts that appear in the purest detectable form. There will always be some Heisenbergian uncertainty, as your ego will be constantly trying to parse out details and often overlook the meaning of the experience, but persistence is the key to establishing that bridge between the active and passive parts of the mind, no matter what your technique is.

* These paragraphs are based entirely on my own experience and not intended to be an accurate reflection of Jung's ideas. His work is hugely inspring, and I recommend introducing yourself to his books to get a much better understanding of his concept of mind than I could ever give you.

15
Metal / Skewered (Ireland)
« on: September 24, 2013, 07:01:13 PM »
I've been digging into the vein of modern "brutal" death metal. Most of it sounds redundant at best but a handful of bands are interesting enough to share.

I think: The chuggy parts are fun but that's all they're there for.

But I also think: There is a strong sense of constant movement and the band clearly know the limits of using such simplified riffs as these songs are short.

http://youtu.be/Y0VO84HFGeg

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