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Messages - Goluf

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Interzone / Re: Contemp art is d-bag
« on: December 28, 2011, 07:14:52 AM »
Consider modern classical music. One long-suffering audience member said it reminded him of a bus crash. Though read any of the top music reviewers, and you'll find them exulting over this tuneless mess.

Or take modern art. For a mere $140 million, you can buy a painting by Jackson Pollock called "No. 5." I forget if this is the one that hung upside down in a New York gallery.

But if you laid a piece of canvass on the floor of a chicken coop for three months, "No. 5" is what it would look like.

So too modern sculpture. I still recall the horror of local citizens in Kingston, Ont., many years ago, when the city commissioned a centre piece for MacDonald Park and the "artist" erected two huge sewage culverts with sludge spilling out.

The eyesore was improved one night when a bunch of engineering students from Queen's University temporarily transformed the culverts into perfect representations of a Coke and Pepsi can. But the sculptor insisted on returning to his vision of a bombed-out septic field.

You find modernity's palsied hand in updates of the Bible. Thus "Mary was with child" is rendered as "Mary had fallen pregnant," while "through a glass darkly" becomes "puzzling reflections in a mirror."


It's too painfully true. We've replaced everything difficult with prole-friendly stupidity.

You've inverted part of the author's meaning. He's attacking intellectualism and esotericism in art by advocating for the good ol' days when music had "tunes", and every artist was a photo-realist. Not that I'm supporting shit like Jackson Pollock, but this guy would have the same problems with Burzum as he does with Schoenberg. If you're going to attack a piece of art, at least do it for some other reason than it makes your brain hurt; this sort of neo-romanticist longing for simplicity is not the same as a demand for high quality, and it certainly is not a call for more elitism to insulate serious art from "proles". In fact, the desire for such insulation from those very people is what produced music like Stockhausen in the first place.

Tying yourselves to the fools that write these sorts of articles is a dangerous game.

Metal / ANUS cited in academic discourse on Black Metal
« on: December 23, 2011, 09:07:02 PM »
From the abstract:

"The American Nihilist Underground Society (ANUS) once published a piece sketching the apparent affinity between death metal and Buddhism. The article recounts the story of a man who, focusing all of his attention on death, learns the Buddha’s open secret. “Only death is real.” Total awareness of death brings death metal into a space where it may begin to realize the Buddhist path to enlightenment; it is, after all, what set young Siddhartha on his path to become the Buddha. Simply recognizing death is only the beginning, however. Without a liberatory practice, death metal stalls and binds itself more deeply to illusion. Looking is not enough. One must “taste and see.” Where its forbears have only gazed, black metal insists on going."

Taken from the blog on Black Metal Theory symposia here:


Interzone / Re: Why I'm a 'LIBERAL'
« on: December 23, 2011, 07:24:48 AM »
There doesn't have to be just one common good/purpose/social organising princple in the universe. In fact, I don't believe you can consisently be a nihilist and disagree with this.

Actually, you're arguing for the opposite of nihilism, which is that many beliefs are true at once.

Nihilism says look at the world, see what is there, and adapt/interpret.

You're conjuring up new "valid" beliefs that have nothing to do with reality, and that's fantasyland.

I read these types of statements more as a primitive endorsements of perennialism, actually. Perhaps we're having trouble distinguishing between the type of pluralism you describe and the "many paths to the same mountain" lesson gleaned from writers like Huxley, Eckhart, Guenon, etc., and at points I think this website has endorsed all of them. Perhaps you could elaborate on the distinction you see between these two worldviews?  

Metal / Re: Song Structure in Metal
« on: December 23, 2011, 07:14:56 AM »
Isn't it just phrasal composition? I.e. passages evolved. I.e. if B comes after A, B will be almost the same as A but slighlt modified (step up/down, slightly different end to the phrase, etc). Whereas with bad metal, B will not resemble A at all (cannibal corpse, deathgrind, etc).

I know it's not quite as simple as that, because new 'bits' come in (i.e. a verse after a chorus, or a break).

There's plenty of good, or at least ANUS approved metal that doesn't use this technique. Gorguts and Darkthrone both come to mind.

"Phrasal", "Phrasal composition", "phrasal narrative" etc. are all pointless terms that don't mean anything to anyone outside of this website. As far as I can tell by the extremely vague "definitions" offered by its members, it's describing variation technique, which was used and codified by western art music hundreds of years before the first metal ever appeared. Check out Beethoven's 4th symphony, particularly mvt. 2:


Same idea. If we're going to claim common ground with classical music, the least we can do is not insult the intelligences of the listeners of both genres, metal and classical, by using the correct terminology for things we didn't invent. It also shows laziness on our part when we're not willing to understand the music on a technical level with which we claim a lineage. Good luck getting metal into the history books using terms like "phrasal composition", when all it is is variation technique.

Interzone / Re: Visions of evil
« on: December 17, 2011, 05:52:10 PM »
(1) My traditional vision: "good" is what the herd desires, and means giving up on any reality-based plan in favor of human-based desires, feelings, judgments, etc. In this view, HAIL SATAN and kill the sheep.

(2) Evil is error, and like any other kind of error, it is what crushes us. What makes it a different kind of error is that it is a kind we should be able to understand and after a first experience, foresee, and thus avoid. The worst kind is Kantian "radical evil," which states that the mundane acts that the herd accepts are most likely to be the most evil.

At the back door the dog is MIA. Everyone else has dogs who go missing for days at a time. You push away the briefest thought of a cold lonely creature in a strange place wondering if its adopted human family actually gives a damn. The farthest thing from your mind is the mythological brightest of angels who rebelled against the cosmic order and so was granted his own greatest wish and greatest prison, independence in a dominion where he alone was law. Freedom in a cage. Cursing, you dump dog food into the bowl. It’s the dog’s fault for obstructing what you need to do.

The TV says today will be sunny but with a 30% chance of rain. Why can’t they all be sunny days, like the days in those car commercials (or antidepressant commercials) where people are happy together and spend more time on work-life balance than simply trying to make it through? Maybe science will fix it.

At this point, you take an important step: you obtain consent from yourself to get in the car, muddle through traffic to work, tolerate whatever stupidity occurs at work, achieve minimal results, and then come home to have a few hours of home time before you do it all again. You don’t want to, but this is the life everyone leads, trading time for a salary so you can be more like those people in the commercials and less like those under the bridges you drive past.


(3) "Good" and "evil" are both misnomers; there's only reality-based ideas and hypothetical ideas. This is essentially point of view #2 above, replacing any notion of inherent direction with the choice to avoid error (a concept central to nihilism).

I've found a use for all three of these at different points, depending primarily on my own maturity, but also on social context. Can we reconcile the 1st with the 2nd and 3rd? The presence of all these in my mind at once is an annoying cognitive anomaly which I wish to make sense of.

Metal / Re: Song Structure in Metal
« on: December 17, 2011, 05:39:37 PM »
(I wrote this this morning.  It's ok, goes a bit off the mark into my own semi-philosophical ramblings, but I think I get the point across.  I'll post [or link to] the review of Pure Holocaust if anyone's interested.)

Metal, when it comes down to it, is not about distorted guitars, fast tempos, aggressive vocals, or Satanic/Evil lyrics and imagery.  It’s not even about awesome riffs, cool solos, or the brilliant harmonic sensibilities introduced in the late ’70s/early ’80s.  These things, in conjunction with each other, might make something which sounds like it could be Metal, but I am going to point out something very obvious which I’m not sure many people have thought about to any great degree: these same ingredients make up the best of NWOBHM, Extreme Metal, and fucking metalcore.  Think about that for a minute: the metalcore of the 2000s has exactly the same basic ingredients as all good metal.  That’s how it sells - it sounds like Maiden, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, and, for some odd reason, Orchid, all in the same song.  There’s something for everyone, there - harmonised guitar solos, an impressively wide range of vocal styles and pitch, all sorts of tempo changes, cool beats, slamming whatever they’re calleds (breakdowns?), and so on, and this is why teeny boppers hop on the bandwagon and buy these bands’ retarded output.

What’s missing, then?  What seperates the shit from the good?  The answer, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed by the title of this post, is the structure.  Metalcore has no discernible structure when it extends beyond verse/chorus rock (which is extremely rare), but a great deal of NWOBHM, Death/Black Metal, and even grindcore has very well thought out and reasonable song structures.  Rather than the ingredients themselves, it is the way in which they are combined which makes Metal great.  As I mentioned in the Pure Holocaust “review”, the journey/return song structure is pretty common in Black Metal, and, actually, in a lot of other forms of Metal - listen to Altars of Madness, Don’t Break the Oath, or Deicide’s debut, and see if you can pick out how many times this kind of structure crops up.  A possible reason for its prominent inclusion in Metal is that, as a basic song structure, it accurately mirrors vast portions of the lives we live: we start something, we follow through with it, and when we finish it, we look back at the entire process which has led to the point at which we now stand.  A change has occurred, but that change brings with it the memories of its origin(s).  However, we can say more than this: by extracting the human from the equation, we see that reality, progressing through points along the axis of “time”, is a succession of cumulative orientations and events, which must, by the laws of Nature/Physics, be based on every single orientation/event which preceded them.  How like human memory is this very basic principle?  Things happen, and the fact that they have happened remains throughout time, and actively affects (some would say it effects) the futures which arise.

This sounds sensible to me. Metal is most unique, and perhaps most "metal" when it addresses these more complex narrative structures. In fact, it's really the only significant thing that sets it apart from other popular musics (but it is very significant).

Metalcore gives us nothing but a random string of slightly interesting items to observe.  Once we’ve examined them, we say “alright”, and put them away again.  The best of Metal stays with us forever.  I would say that it actively alters our perceptions of the world around us (and, perhaps, the world “behind” us [consciousness et al, I’ll get onto that at some point if I haven’t already]).  Like a “life experience” (going bungee jumping, being entangled in a hostage situation, coming close to death but surviving), this music informs us about our realities, our lives, and our selves, and, as such, it is indispensible.

Here's where I think you go wrong. Metalcore is not random at all. Verse-Chorus song structure may be more obviously recursive than sonata form, but that doesn't make it random. In fact, given its near monopoly on popular music songs, I would argue that it's the rigid logicality and predictability of this form that gives its mass appeal. I can hear the first 30 seconds of most pop or metalcore songs, and then tell you, with varying degrees of total accuracy, the events that will occur over the next two and a half minutes. I think it's this predictability, partly, that makes this music so disgusting to discerning minds.

Further, you mentioned earlier on that recapitulation seems to be an idea inherent to good metal, but I'd like to point out that even popular Verse Chorus song structures contain some form of recapitulation, in the return of the "chorus", often transposed up a half step. In principle, this isn't that different from Beethoven, but simplified to the extreme. I don't even think the structures used in popular music (and there are not more than 10) are that uninteresting inherently, but rather that their composers are simply not as skilled in applying these principles of formal design in interesting ways.

Finally, a word on the word "random". I was once challenged by a jazz musician on the topic of metal, and why I devoted so much time to practicing and perfecting my technique and knowledge of the repertoire because after all, as he put it, " Isn't metal just playing fast in random half steps and tritones?".

To this I responded: "Well, isn't jazz just a bunch of random noodling over ii-V-I progressions?".

What appears as randomness to the uninitiated is rigid structure to the learned, and what appears as monotonous placidity to the layman is exciting subtlety to the connoisseur. People outside of a musical sub-genre are often incapable of seeing past the surface aesthetic to the deeper structure. I'm sure metalcore listeners can tell the difference between As I Lay Dying and All That Remains, but I can't.

To this I hear the marketplace crowd responding, bleating like sheep with swollen spleens: "you shouldn't have to be initiated to understand great music!!!". And to this I say: appreciation of a music's subtleties by an intellectual elite does not good music make!

You see, there's something deeper beyond the elements that only specialists can hear and pick apart, meaning that there's some substance common to all good compositions, regardless of style or social setting. Once this is understood, you can listen to Autechre, but throw away shit like Skrillex; you can indulge in Suffocation, but ignore Dying Fetus; you can love Mozart, but scorn Salieri.

Good composition transcends style and its peculiarities. There's good (and bad) drum-and-bass, percussive death metal, classical, and potentially (even though I hate the stuff) metalcore.

Update: I found some metalcore I like! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDEI-Bb9PBQ&

Metal / Re: Bruckner Discussion
« on: December 10, 2011, 06:57:12 AM »
I find 'getting better with age' is often the case with classical composers (and it seems to be the opposite for metal).

I've found the same thing, with some very notable historical exceptions like Schumann. Probably because metal musicians devote almost no time to developing "craft", and also because many don't see it as their profession. If you're not committed to improving your musicianship every year and working yourself like a slave, then you're likely, as in metal, to use up all your good ideas within a few years. This is a far cry from life-long professional composers like Brahms, who did counterpoint exercises when he was bored.

My all time favourite of his works is the unfinished 9th symphony where I think he entered a new period of development yet again, it's still very cyclical but with more subtle variations in the repetition of its phrases, it also contains some of the most beautifully intense melodies/harmonies he ever wrote. By the end of the third movement I always find myself lost in deep thoughts, imagining what would have come next.

Can you recommend a good recording of this piece?

Metal / Bruckner Discussion
« on: December 08, 2011, 10:24:36 AM »
This was originally a response to another post concerning Sibelius, but my response became more about Bruckner than Sibelius, so I figured it was worth making a separate thread for it.

Regarding length, I find Bruckner's music is very cyclical and even a bit OCD but the tension-release certainly originates in a much more natural mechanism than Sibelius, probably there's every bit as much of the Schubert-Beethoven tradition in his work as there is Wagner.

Maybe, but beyond the influence of Viennese composers of the previous generation, the essence of Bruckner's craft was sacred music; this is what sets him apart from other composers at the time, with the exception of Liszt who was also an ordained priest, but who lacked Bruckner's humility to be able to write music as meditative. To me the reason why his symphonies are enjoyable at all is because he treats the orchestra like an organ, orchestrating in large blocks that mimic the combination of different stops on an organ. This is similar to Wagner, but without the voices and solo passages for section leaders to break up those taxing full orchestral textures.

But I'll say here what I've said before about Bruckner; since all this is the case, why not go straight to the source and listen to his sacred organ and vocal music, which shows his two artistic strengths, contrapuntal mastery and a profound understanding of religion and its associated musical history, in full force? From my perspective, people's praise of Bruckner symphonies looks like someone listening to "Domination" by Morbid Angel and enjoying it; there is a whole separate part to their output that unless you address, you aren't really evaluating them fairly, and many people do the same with Sibelius. You haven't heard Morbid Angel until you've heard "Blessed...", you haven't heard Sibelius until you've heard the fourth symphony, and you haven't heard Bruckner, indeed perhaps you've not lived at all, until you've heard this:


"Os justi meditabitur sapientiam,
et lingua ejus loquetur judicium.
Lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius:
et non supplantabuntur gressus ejus. Alleluia."


"The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks what is just.
The law of his God is in his heart;
and his feet do not falter. Alleluia"

Terse, cogent, and passionate, compared to the symphonies, which are drawn-out, and passionate only.

Metal / Re: Fuck Morbid Angel
« on: December 08, 2011, 09:38:59 AM »
Of course he picks the really famous one from "Amadeus"...

Nothing will ruin the first two albums for me, but I agree with the general consensus of this being terrible.

Metal / Re: Sibelius
« on: December 04, 2011, 08:51:59 PM »
Cursory analysis can be so provocative; can I try?

A bitter genius whose compositional long-windedness was necessary and natural, unlike Bruckner's which was an affectation derived from his man-crush on Wagner. There's more meat on the bones of his symphonies than he's often recognized for, especially given that moderns almost exclusively listen to his compromising, and often terrible, more commercialized nationalist output; as with any composer you should be listening to the pieces that their public hated, to really get a feel for their work.

Also, let's not forget that Mahler being "overrated" is a very recent phenomenon, spurred almost entirely by the athleticism increasingly associated with American orchestral playing in the last 20 years (Bernstein's boner for this composer also contributed to his subsequent enthronement in "educated" circles). As such I don't really think it's fair to say that Mahler is generally overrated; most people don't, and didn't like his music, and the only reason it gets so much air time is because the players and conductors control what the public hears in classical music to a large extent, and Mahler wrote music catering exactly to the interests of that demographic. It's easy to mistake this for real "enjoyment" in the non-musician public.

This shit's tight:


Check out symphony 2 also. But what do I know, right?

Interzone / Re: Please be nice.
« on: December 04, 2011, 08:13:22 PM »

It's not a single factor quest, but a two-factor quest.

Twice as complicated, still not that complicated.

Can you do it?


Firstly, I'm never quite sure what's a troll and what isn't; it's best to completely ignore that kind of immaturity.

Beyond that, in general I find being positive to be more interesting. When faced with the choice to destroy 10 convoluted logical hamster-wheel arguments OR post one worthwhile piece of analysis and encouragement, if time is a factor (and it often is) then recently I've found myself choosing the latter. Judging by the posting habits of the respectable members of this forum, I think this is a mistake you and a handful of others know something about.

Point taken though; 'tis the season.

Interzone / Please be nice.
« on: November 20, 2011, 07:41:03 PM »
I understand how uncomfortable these types of posts make everyone, especially having been on the receiving end of such criticism a few times myself. Threads on conduct may get redundant, but I can only hope that a few of you will finally listen this time. I did, eventually, and I'm the better for it. So please...

Be nice to each other here. The purpose of discussion is to compare competing models of reality, and then use our intellects to determine which one is the most accurate.

Things that inhibit this process:

-Name calling.
-Demanding that another poster kill himself.
-Demanding another poster leave the boards, or be removed from the boards.
-Obliquely doing any of the above by using a group or another person as a stand in for the poster. "That argument is very much like ones that x uses, and we all agree that x is stupid, so you must be..."
-Blatant logical fallacies. I realize that logic is a subtle thing, and part of why we're here is to check our logic against our peers', but that doesn't mean that retreats into non-sequitors are permissible, and when you let one of these slip it can be as insulting as being called a name.

None of these things advances discussion, and they are therefore useless. Avoiding them also saves time, because by not doing these things you're spending less time figuring out how to hurt someone over the internet, and more time focusing on making your argument coherent. This means you get to post sooner and get back to that groundbreaking project which you were working on before coming to the forums.

Things that help this process:

-Formulating coherent thoughts which are interesting
-Posting those thoughts
-Attacking incoherent thoughts
-Praising coherent thoughts

Many people forget the last one. We're all in this sinking ship together; each day smart people get enough soul crushing criticism from normal society (made of manipulative losers who hate themselves and live to belittle others), so that to the sensitive or young it becomes almost unbearable. So each complement you can give someone here on something they did right is going to go a long way into sustaining their energy in finding and creating beauty.

Not that I want this place to become a haven of platitudes. It's been said we should attack bad ideas, not the people that created them; this is true, but we should also praise valuable ideas, not their creators. Praise for being a person is cheap and easy to come by, but praise for an idea, praise for your mind, is rare, and more valuable.

Similarly while I recognize that the topic for these boards is metal and that therefore you all have more confrontational personalities than the average, save it for bootcamp or strength training where that type of aggression can be converted into useful energy; shit-talkers are usually not ass-kickers.

/end christfag bong-hit rant

Interzone / Re: "The poor": kill them
« on: November 20, 2011, 01:37:19 PM »
The only (well, not the only...) claim needing evidence here is yours. Differences of caste may always have existed, but to say that they correspond directly to the "innate qualities of the human being" does not follow. This would mean that in all instances of caste division (let alone a visible caste system) everyone behaved in the way prescribed to, predicted by, or expected of them by their caste, which you yourself proved incorrect in your previous post when you detailed how the French aristocratic class became "corrupted".

The caste system is the traditional (and best) model for describing qualitative difference between human beings.  It has existed in virtually all traditional civilisations in some form or another, suggesting that it possesses a degree of universality.  Of course there are exceptions, as there are with any system, but exceptions do not disprove rules and it is an extremely biased logic which claims otherwise.

I would like to add that when speaking of the notion of castes, both in terms of intrinsic human differences in potential spirituality and a corresponding institutionalization, it is important to correctly the cause-and-effect relationship between the two: spirituality determines caste, not the other way around. The castes correspond to differing levels of spiritual potential (imagine a vertical axis), just as the races correspond to various psychosomatic possibilities (horizontal axes): this is the traditional view. What can be called "natural castes" persist even with the disintegration of the institution.

Apropos I will leave you with a quotation from Frithjof Schuon's "Survey of Integral Anthropology," remarking also on the somewhat problematic phenomenon of genius:

It is not of institutionalized--hence necessarily approximate--castes that we wish to speak here, but of natural castes, those based on the intrinsic nature of individuals; the institutional castes are merely their legal applications, and in fact they are more often symbolical rather than effective as regards the real potentialities of persons, above all in later times; nonetheless they have a certain practical and psychological justification, otherwise they would not exist traditionally.

The essential point here is that mankind is psychologically differentiated by gifts and by ideals: there is the ideal of the sage or the saint, then the ideal of the hero; next the ideal of the respectable and "reasonable" average man, and finally that of the man who seeks no more than the pleasures of the moment, and whose virtue consists in obeying and being faithful. But, aside from men who are psychologically homogeneous, there is also the man "without a center," who is capable of "all and nothing," and who is readily an imitator and also a destroyer. Let us hasten to add, however, that in this world there are distinctions and shades of difference in everything, and that if we must take note of inferior human possibilities it is not in order to pronounce verdicts upon individuals; for "what is impossible for man, is possible for God."

We mentioned "gifts" above, and this allows us now to consider the phenomenon of talent or genius. First of all, it is all too clear that genius has value only through its content, and is even of no worth in the absence of human values which ought to accompany it; and that consequently, it would be better for a "great man" with a problematical character to have less talent and more virtue. The cause of genius is a hypertrophy or supersaturation due to heredity or, as the transmigrationists would say, to a certain karma, hence to the merits or demerits of a former life, as the case may be. The karma is in any case benefic when it is the vehicle of spiritual values or when it gives rise to them; obviously, the great sages and saints of all traditional climates were men of genius--but they were not merely that, precisely.

Thank you for describing this division between natural caste and institutionalized caste. In light of these definitions, let me clarify my original statement:

The only (well, not the only...) claim needing evidence here is yours. Differences of caste may always have existed, but to say that they correspond directly to the "innate qualities of the human being" does not follow. This would mean that in all instances of caste division (let alone a visible caste system) everyone behaved in the way prescribed to, predicted by, or expected of them by their caste, which you yourself proved incorrect in your previous post when you detailed how the French aristocratic class became "corrupted".

The caste system is the traditional (and best) model for describing qualitative difference between human beings.  It has existed in virtually all traditional civilisations in some form or another, suggesting that it possesses a degree of universality.  Of course there are exceptions, as there are with any system, but exceptions do not disprove rules and it is an extremely biased logic which claims otherwise.

It may be the best method for describing qualitative difference between human beings, but saying that a caste in a caste system is a "caste of the soul" is demonstrably false by, as I pointed out, your own example. Nothing you've said here rebuts this.

My aim in attacking your statement was to try to route a convenient mistake you seem close to making; that is to operate from a  merit-based view of humanity, and then to assume that current institutions, because they appear to be merit based actually are.

The institutions that set up such excuses for "caste systems" in our society are equally spiritually impoverished as those that protest it, but I think right now your original post reads as an endorsement of one group in an attempt at salvation from the other. Endorsing greedy, high society, Yankee-educated oil tycoons won't save you from the sub-human drones who work their drills, if you'll allow me to take the comparison into admittedly absurd hyperbole to prove a point, but which your intelligence obviously doesn't require.

Metal / Re: Where is all the *high-quality* Pagan Black Metal?
« on: November 20, 2011, 01:08:31 PM »
One last thing about production values in general: whether the production sound is good or bad is very closely connected to the music itself. Some albums simply need great production to be able to appreciate the music for what it is, for instance In The Nightside Eclipse which barely even makes it through production. While other albums such as Transilvian Hunger would probably lose their magical shine if they had good production.

Yes! I'd like to elaborate on this.

The issue can be split into two questions, with different answers.

The first is: why do bad contemporary pagan black metal bands choose a poorer sound quality than what is available to them?

The answer to this question is fairly simple; here it is:

In a genre of music which includes such a strong respect and advocacy for tradition, it makes since that its unintelligent, illogical, and image-focused participators would be very sensitive to how things were done by the originators (for the purposes of this article, the 'orignators' means the Norwegian second wave: Burzum, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor, Gorgoroth, Ildjarn etc.). Because many of the first black metal bands sounded a certain way, allegiance to bad production, bad equipment, and sometime bad songs, became a feature of pagan metal as an extension of the respect for tradition in that genre.

It also functions as a sort of hero worship. We should not forget that prior to internet resources, even accessible Norwegian black metal was very difficult to buy or find in the U.S., until the drama and associated media exposure of the church burnings. Many who are part of the scene now were originally inspired to listen to and write black metal because of the actions of one man who hated Christians as much we all wished we could express, and the careers of those who went on to become black metal musicians can also be seen as a way of vicariously carrying out violent acts against Christian institutions. Allegiance to a lo-fi sound can therefore be seen as a tribute to the genre's ultimate and undisputed hero, Varg. I find it amusing that similar behavior is to be witnessed in fanatical Christians when they choose to be ritually crucified (non-lethally) as part of religious observance. I trust the ironic parallels are not lost on you.

These are of course an appeal to history, and an appeal to authority, respectively, both logical fallacies, but bad pagan black metal bands aren't exactly grooming themselves to participate in logical discourse; I'm not condoning this type of mindless romanticizing (that is, fetishizing) of past bands and musical models, but explaining it for what it is; an outgrowth of a common logical error committed every day by hundreds of millions of people on this earth, and from which black metallers are not exempt. This is one of the contributing factors to why the majority of music produced by these people is unoriginal, and therefore uninteresting.

Now the second, more interesting question:

Why do good pagan black metal bands, contemporary as well as defunct, also insist on poor sound quality?

Firstly, it's worth beginning by saying that not all of them do. Summoning is an excellent example of a band whose sound quality is competitive not only with orthodox satanic black metal (a fairly recent phenomenon of black metal that anyone with a decent academic education will find amusing), but also with contemporary pop and club music. However, we can point to elements even in these bands that hint at the outrageously lo-fi sounds of the mid 90's Norwegian bands. For example, on the last release by Summoning, 'Oath Bound', the guitar consistently plays in a broken arpeggiated style, whose sound is a studio produced counterfeit of the 15-watt-bad-peavey-combo distortion used by Burzum and others on their enduring albums. So what's really at play here if a band as technically and technologically competent as Summoning chooses to use poor sound quality even as we breach the second decade of the new millennium? The answer brings me to my next point, which is that for many bands in this style, including the originators, the lo-fi sound was not only unnecessary to convey the music they were writing, but actively hindered it. Consider the following.

Historically, black metal can be seen partly as a rebellion against the enthronement of physical violence in death metal, which found full fruition in the percussive style death metal which matured in the U.S.A. just previous to the release of the first demos from the second wave of black metal. Percussive death metal is designed to be experienced as a physical phenomenon, by detuning the guitars (lower frequencies are felt more than heard) and playing and recording at extremely high volumes (again, high amplitude increases the physical sensation of sound). There has been commentary from black metal originators from this period to the effect that part of the black metal sound was about escaping the "jogging-suite" death metal of the U.S. In this light, we can see the focus on bad production and lo-fi sounds as part of an impulse away from the physical and towards the cerebral, which explains also the use of schreeched as opposed to growled vocals in black metal music.

Further, good production became associated with death metal bands that had achieved a comparatively huge amount of commercial success (Morbid Angel), and therefore it was also avoided as a way of distancing black metal from commercial tendencies which could allow it to be easily commodified. This is close to being a logical error on the part of our hypothetical pagan-black metal warriors , but it's achieved its goal of insulating the genre from idiots for a long time, and continues to do so in some instances of the practice (Horn's production is, contrary to what some others have said here about this band, god-awful, and I think this is partly why I haven't met a stupid person who listens to Horn) so I'm inclined to let this slide.

However, the final reason, and the most important one, why pagan black metal does not use "good" production its inconsistency with the aesthetics of the genre. The droning, densley harmonic and naturally resonant guitar parts found in black metal songs would be butchered by a resonant, bassy, well defined, tube-saturated guitar tone that is standard in modern death AND black metal. The musical elements in this genre blend together, to purposefully mimic the ambiguity of sounds in nature, and also to obfuscate the sonic tapestry in general for the purpose of achieving the mysterious atmosphere which is the prime communicative element in black metal.  If your aim is to achieve this integration of all sounds, then why would you use technology whose purpose is to make individual sounds more defined?

The sound of "pagan" black metal is often indistinguishable from a broken refrigerator unless you pay close attention, and the gradual aquisition of these ugly, veiled, and mysterious sounds, over the course of the actual song, is part of the aesthetic experience of so called "pagan" black metal. Because ultimately we know that, because of the near complete lack of written or material evidence that would tell us who northern European pagans actually were, to communicate "paganism" must always include an aspect of mystery. In fact, the vehicle of paganism is in this sense similar to the vehicle of "orthodox" satanism in modern black metal, in that they both serve as vehicles into the shunned unknown.

I've explained how lo-fi sound in pagan black metal is part of a generalized impulse in that genre away from the physical, and towards the cerebral. I've also shown how it was partly a way of delaying the commodification of the music, and finally that it is a conscious decision made to facilitate certain musical textures. I've also shown some ways in which this corresponds to the aesthetics and aims of "pagan" metal generally, and how at least one of these aims is shared by orthodox satanic black metal, even if the two genres differ in their methodology.

But there is one difference between these two vehicles: none of your ancestors were satanists, but chances are some of them were pagans. To listen to pagan black metal implies that you have an interest in the past, and if you are the same race as the creators of the music, into your past. This leads inevitably to the issue of identity; who were your ancestors? what is a pagan? what is nature, and how did pagans interact with it? who am I when considered in the context of these questions?

There's a resultant deeply personal and human quality to pagan black metal that is simply not there in orthodox satanic black metal. Humanistic introspection is implied in the very concept of pagan black metal, and to distract from this by appealing to world-effacing impulses (death metal; "this song's is all about killing people...", that is "[other] people") or self-effacing ones (orthodox satanic black metal; "cut your flesh and worship Satan") would destroy this art.

And to think: you get all this by turning down the bass on your amp.

Interzone / Re: "The poor": kill them
« on: November 19, 2011, 08:57:49 AM »
This is not a good thing to post on this site, but i doubt the poor are genetically inferior. I think one of the most contributing factors is  that on average they consume the absolute lowest caliber of food. Whenever i go by these fast food places i just think of crack/meth houses. that's essentially what they are. most of the supermarket is poison too.  

This is patently false, if you cannot provide scientific evidence then it is simply a ridiculous statement.  Differences of caste have always existed and they correspond directly to the innate qualities of the human being.  You blame secondary causes, this is typical behavior of the worst kind of leftists, as if they could ever have occurred without a primary cause.

Why would he need to provide scientific evidence to make a statement that begins with "I doubt"? If you're questioning the putridity of fast food, check this out:


If you're questioning whether this contributes in any meaningful way to the plight of lower classes, I would implore you to research it, as I don't know either. In any event, I read diesel's post more as a suspicion than a statement, especially since he formulated it with "I think".

The only (well, not the only...) claim needing evidence here is yours. Differences of caste may always have existed, but to say that they correspond directly to the "innate qualities of the human being" does not follow. This would mean that in all instances of caste division (let alone a visible caste system) everyone behaved in the way prescribed to, predicted by, or expected of them by their caste, which you yourself proved incorrect in your previous post when you detailed how the French aristocratic class became "corrupted".

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