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Topics - Istaev

Metal / a timeline
« on: May 09, 2011, 07:44:31 PM »
Burzum - s/t
Darkthrone - A Blaze in the Northern Sky
Immortal - Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism
Emperor - Wrath of the Tyrant

Burzum - Det Som En Gang Var
Darkthrone - Under a Funeral Moon
Immortal - Pure Holocaust
Beherit - Drawing Down the Moon
Gorgoroth - Pentagram

Burzum - Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger
Emperor - In the Nightside Eclipse
Enslaved - Vikinglr Veldi
Gorgoroth - Pentagram
Graveland - Carpathian Wolves
Dissection - The Somberlain

Summoning - Minas Morgul
Sacramentum - Far Away From the Sun
Graveland - Thousand Swords

Burzum - Filosofem
Gorgoroth - Antichrist
Graveland - The Celtic Winter

Summoning - Dol Guldur

what I gather from this deliberately incomplete outline is that black metal peaked in 1994, and had more quality releases in '92/'93 than in later years but still held out for a few years.
the music inspired events and events inspired the music. art is greater than the historical narrative, however, and after the events came to an end the music became fully autonomous and self-conscious for the space of roughly a year ('94). this was probably, like the introduction of writing and subsequent recording of tales by heroic pagan societies, fatal to the tradition. shit happens.
also, in terms of both artistic merit and listening priority i've determined (in order)...

 - Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal (creators)
 - Beherit, Emperor, Enslaved, Gorgoroth (innovators)
 - Graveland, Summoning (invigorators)

Gehenna, Dissection, Ildjarn
Sacramentum, Havohej, Mayhem
 + too many to others to mention here

Metal / Väsen - Essence
« on: March 20, 2011, 11:33:49 AM »
So I downloaded this about a month ago and I haven't stopped listening to it. I've been in love with traditional folk music for the last 15 years or so, especially Scandinavian and Irish, but usually to supplement my metal, electronic, and classical diet. This one really blew me away though. Every track is gold. I was familiar with their Whirled album and enjoyed it but it didn't inspire me to investigate any further into their back catalog. Anyone have any opinions on these guys, especially their other work, and where someone could purchase their albums. Post links!

Interzone / Militarism, Masculinity, Metalheads
« on: November 15, 2009, 09:05:12 PM »
Military service: what do you guys think about it? I expect there might be different attitudes partly based on whether service in your country is mandatory or volunteer. I'm particularly interested in the role military service plays in character development. In western nations in particular there's a shortage of martial virtue. Regardless of how you feel about international relations or the United States government, do you think your nation's military (or at least a branch of it) does a good job in instilling these virtues and by that means producing better citizens? I believe hardship, structure, discipline, and exposure to danger is a very important part of personal development but I recognize that it's hard to come by in effete western democracies.

Redirect: There's always been a strong streak of anti-authoritarianism in this subculture. The free-spirited traditionally respond hostilely to any externally imposed discipline at least insofar as it applies to themselves. At the same time, metal music is masculine, belligerent, and violent. In most manifestations it's not militaristic but warlike nonetheless. Ironically, metalheads are definitely not a particularly macho or assertive bunch. Paradox? Not really. I think metalheads as a class have low self-esteem but unlike most youth subcultures they have an idea of what they'd like to be. Part of that vision involves not being a metalhead.

Interzone / help me: I'm a MICK
« on: September 13, 2009, 02:35:24 AM »
a long time ago I talked about stuff which mattered to me. what matters to me now is material things along with stuff I can't grasp without divine help. I like a good chaser, a good hook, a harmonic minor riff which flips off gOD and false victimicization and also RACIAL GUILT. but I also like girls, and convenience, and alcohol, and dumbass irish bloodlust. help me; I think I'm having too much fun but I feel guilty about it.

Interzone / Metal today SUCKS, kids
« on: August 10, 2008, 01:09:08 AM »
Eventually you reach a point in life where you realize youth has expired. The things that once seemed exciting no longer are and there is a change in life direction. Anyway, I look here and hear people talk about how great this new crop of blackened death or deathened black metal bands are. I've heard samples from this generation of dark and evil metal and I just don't get it. It's mostly derivative to my ears and ergo fundamentally boring. I started listening to dark-sided metal in the early nineties and I remember hearing the previous generation of metal listeners making similar accusations about "my" metal. Back then, for example, the old farts thought the early Norwegian black metal sound was indistinguishable from old Bathory. In other words, current metal was dismissed by the old farts as extrapolation, natural consequence, obvious development, or second-rate in other words. Now I'm a pretty studious guy generally and I have a developed rationale for why I think those old farts were ignorant mainstreamers or otherwise illiterate slobs. However, I recognize that historically a self-conscious break from the past signals a decline in culture. I look at metal musicians past and present; and when I see them or hear them talk, I honestly think "what a bunch of inconsequential losers" or "what a bunch of marginally articulate dirtbags." What does this mean? My thought is incomplete here so I plant an ellipsis in its place ...

Metal / sketchy Norwegian black metal
« on: July 17, 2008, 10:38:53 PM »
ok, since the work of the 'conceptualizers' (notably: Darkthrone, Immortal, Burzum; possibly: Emperor, Enslaved, Gorgoroth) has already been talked to death years ago does anybody have anything to say about the other bands of the period? what about that Norwegian black metal of questionable value which came immediately after the groundwork had been laid out? Specifically, I'm thinking of the first couple of albums from Gehenna, Ancient, and Dimmu Borgir (I could mention Satyricon or Ulver, e.g., but I won't ;)). Personally, I could never get into this stuff entirely but I wouldn't call it second-rate either as this stuff was inspired although never brilliant. I consider these records at least historically important because it really fleshed out the style and so also everyone's idea of what black metal is or should be even if they've mostly been collecting dust for five years or so.

Metal / Reflections on undernoticed classics
« on: April 21, 2008, 06:31:42 PM »
- a band that was interesting on the conceptual level but didn't follow through in execution. similar to Mayhem.

At the Gates - With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness
- underrated. yeah, there are a couple of throw-away tracks here but otherwise this is the apex of death metal. it's parallel to Burzum in that it transcends its genre. i call it 'progressive' because of its its adventurous spirit (without being "mature" or frivolously experimental), conceptual clarity, and just because it sheds everything that is ultimately extraneous to death metal. already with Terminal Spirit Disease we witness mainstreamification taking place (more hooks, simplistic song structure) but WFIKtBD they got the balance right.

Burzum - Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
- ok, so "Det Som En Gang Var" is probably the most perfect black metal song ever crafted but the remaining 3 tracks, while excellent in their own right, are not quite the same caliber. Burzum's best work is spread out over his entire catalogue and his individual albums lack the cohesiveness in concept and overall track-to-track quality that albums like "In the Nightside Eclipse", "Transilvanian Hunger", or "Pure Holocaust" had. Part of the reason I think this work gets so much praise is a desire that many have to exalt Burzum above lesser bands. HLTO is the closest he came to perfection in album-form.

Dissection - Storm of the Light's Bane
- a classic which pairs nicely with the debut. and unlike The Somberlain, with the notable exception of the intro (At the Fathomless Depths) every track is strong. the most annoying part of this album is in the utterly predictable song structure. aside from this annoyance, I'd suggest that this album is in actuality not significantly cheesier than The Somberlain.

- awesome band. probably of larger historical import to both death & black metal than is generally acknowledged. the first really evocative death metal they went straight back to Slayer and Frost for dark inspiration. while outwardly idiotic their influence on evil melodic metal is immeasurable.

Metal / most metal ambient
« on: February 23, 2008, 08:28:02 PM »
most of us are aware that (black) metal music has over the last, eh, 15 years or so incorporated elements of ambient music or imitated ambient structure in a metal context. Transilvanian Hunger, Pure Holocaust, any Ildjarn, Sort Vokter, Summoning, and occassionally Graveland come to mind. but hey, what about ambient music which (coincidentally) is evocative of the same sort of moods and landscapes? Here's some of my favorites to (hopefully) get something started:

Biosphere - substrata [or really any his work; substrata just happens to be the best]
When - The Black Death (Svartedauen) [only album which genuinely scares me]
When - Black White and Grey
Lustmord - Heresy [there are many, many works in the 'dark ambient' category which are very derivative of this]

more 'gothic' than ambient:
The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud - any [the quality of their output was inconsistent, but their unglamorous take on medievalism was very much in the metal spirit]
Monumentum - In Absenti Christi [somewhat misty-eyed but strangely sinister and resolute in its blasphemous attitude]

Interzone / metal is fun, so is reading
« on: February 16, 2008, 07:37:41 PM »
I like black metal. I like death metal. but honestly there's more of this stuff than I have time for, and I'm only counting the good stuff. in my spare time I also like to leave the house.