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Messages - Devamitra

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Indeed, it's an eternal battle between eugenizing the worthless and letting the reasonably interesting to have a chance. It is overkill to mention all these items just to emphasize the simple statement that I found "World Painted Blood" lacking in rare qualities.

However, provoking some interest, discussion and controversy about the mentioned albums was very welcome and in my mind it's one of the main things metal forums should do - I might be old, but the original reason to participate was exactly to gather information about gems I would hardly discover any other way. I don't see coolness or uniqueness as a factor or motivation; simply utility.

With all due respect, I'm not into canonizing the '93 or the '94. The harbinger of new metal? You can call me that.

Interzone / Re: Scenes, and psychology behind them.
« on: July 08, 2010, 12:05:24 AM »
I am very much amused by the fact that talk about ANUS is pretty much like talk about Manowar. People who like it, aren't always able to articulate why they do, because it has to do with the whole "package", embracing the contradictions as well. Those who don't, have an easy time picking on the apparent weaknesses because the whole construction of the phenomenon seems to invite it. Show the site and this discussion to any outsider and the response will most likely be: "pretty good, they're actually making people think and choose sides". Similar to the Manowar case, I'm still wondering about the motivation of the "ANUS critics" here, even though I see what they are criticizing. Do they want "us" to stop liking ANUS because of the points they raise? Do they want "us" to convince them that these points are invalid so they can like ANUS again?

"It all depends on who you would rather have lunch with." I bet even the detractors would go for Conservationist instead of most of those Metal Archives / Wikipedia / review site wimps and drunks.

Metal / Re: Metal 2000-2010
« on: July 07, 2010, 02:03:18 PM »
Since when has Slough Feg been anything BUT a hipster band?  They're The Sword with slightly more scene cred.

I do see how their infatuation with rare and old hard rock and heavy metal could suggest one of the more tangential definitions of hipsterism, but a band that recorded progressive, mythological and not image-heavy American power metal already around '91 is hardly The Sword, or Mastodon, or Steel Mammoth. I have no idea what "scene" this band belongs in, thus am also unaware of their credibility or lack of it - it's easy to see how the music stands on its own merits.

Interzone / Re: Consensus
« on: July 06, 2010, 03:56:43 AM »
And you never see classical music afficionados argue whether, say, "Fr Elise" is a masterpiece or worthless crap, no?

I don't see why discussion should be based on consensus - the discussion rather might, or should, lead us towards something more consensual. It is the spirit of the process. But indeed you are right - more people should look at the big picture, not only temporary aural pleasures. You won't see me spinning "Advent Parallax" or "Obscura" in the record player anytime soon, but I might take the time anyway to give them some promotion since they are inspirational pieces of work with value to people I trust.

It was only yesterday that I exhorted to some "elders" how beautiful it would be to agree on, say, top 30 albums of the last 30 years, but what I see happening in practice is that year by year our lists and reviews are differing more from each other. Consider "Belus", for example. This is not to say consensus is hopeless, but we probably need to approach it indirectly and express common courtesy and consideration.

Metal / Re: Metal 2000-2010
« on: July 05, 2010, 07:53:55 AM »
Do we seriously think this stuff holds up to the standards of the past?

Yes and no; there is a sense of glorification surrounding the metal "past" I don't entirely subscribe. The 80's had it's C grade Judas Priests and F grade thrashers where we have the suicidal posers and the Christian metalcore and what not. From the 90's we don't need most of the "playful" jazz metal or the more mathematically inclined "brutal" death metal.

I'm not saying Wolves in the Throne Room is the next Burzum, but give me Vektor over something half-interesting from the 90's such as Deeds of Flesh or Sinister any day.

No-one except the promotional agencies and labels deny that we are living the tail-end of a Gaussian curve; this year's list will most likely be shorter. And top 50 of 1985, 1990 or 1995 probably is better, I give you that.

Weren't there more than fifty better than "World Painted Blood" the previous year?

I hate to be the one who craps on the mighty Slayer, since I have found all the albums up til "South of Heaven" as amazing and influential as the next Hessian does. But if there is something I can't stomach in metal, it's these "mortgage" riffs. It's not in the technique but in the spirit. It's the spirit of artists who succumbed to middle age. Last year's Heaven and Hell album is another incriminating example of this. The interesting thing is that at the time of "Diabolus in Musica", I didn't consider Slayer to be hopeless, because their act of imitating younger bands at least gave us the hope that if and when they return to death metal toned expression, the true voice of Slayer is to be heard again. But "Christ Illusion" showed that when they go for "Reign in Blood" part two, the faults become even more apparent, crystallized by the self-professed Christian Tom Araya half-heartedly screaming "Religion is a whore". Actually it's all these bands that are whores. And all I keep hearing is the "Death Magnetic" argument: well, at least it isn't "Load".

Hereby I give you albums out of which 10-15 are genius, the rest are uncompromised, good, sensual and fairly original listens from new and old promising bands in the process of one discovery or another, slight distractions here and there mostly explainable by the fact that in our time it's too quick and easy to record and release without giving the formulations enough time to sink in through countless rehearsals.

1. Birth A.D. - Stillbirth of a Nation (crossover thrash practically reinvented)
2. Ascended - Temple of Dark Offerings (warm melodic death metal in the spirit of Demigod)  
3. Midnight Odyssey - Firmament (ambient black metal finally with proper use of elongated drone)
4. Inade - Delineation.Metamorphosis.Permanence (cosmic-esoteric subversive ambient)
5. Beherit - Engram (black metal majesty)
6. Nazxul - Iconoclast (unlikely combination of Australian and Norwegian black metal)
7. Siena Root - New Day Dawning (psychedelic intricately constructed crooner rock)
8. Tournament - Years Old (abrasive post-punk meets New York hardcore)
9. Nile - Those Whom the Gods Detest (technical mastery with tributes to Allah and doom metal)
10. Will Over Matter - Wasteland (explorations between "Electric Doom Synthesis" and pure noise)
11. Vektor - Black Future (picking up where Coroner and Voivod left technical speed metal)
12. Slugathor - Echoes from Beneath (black metal influenced death metal superior to hypes such as Teitanblood)
13. Goreaphobia - Mortal Repulsion (the most occult of the year's comebacks, bringing new focus and alignment to the ancient death metal sound)
14. Cloama - Lernaean Catacomb Complex (industrial textures)
15. Destroyer 666 - Defiance (a more heavy metalized version of this band dedicated to the glory of war and metal)
16. Denial - Catacombs of the Grotesque (tight darkness from Mexican death squad)
17. Goatmoon - Goatmoon (aerial folk and black metal from Finland's Ildjarn/Absurd)
18. Heathen - The Evolution of Chaos (a proper "Bay Area thrash" comeback)
19. High Spirits - High Spirits (honest heavy metal and AC/DC style revival)
20. Count Raven - Mammons War (lyrical and politically intelligent, if preachy, doom metal in between St. Vitus and Bathory)
21. Arckanum - (hardly a surprise to the followers of the band, but perhaps more professional this time around)
22. Ignivomous - Death Transmutation (Immolation/Incantation pastiche from Australian veterans)
23. Into Oblivion - Into Oblivion (intelligent and inspiring ANUS cohort metal)
24. Razor of Occam - Homage to Martyrs (black thrash with vicious proficiency and cosmological themes)
25. Ride For Revenge - Wisdom of the Few (noisy and experimental, as if Winter's "Into Darkness" mingles with Beherit-ian underworld)
26. Giant Squid - The Ichthyologist (progressive "chamber" metal, with a neo-classical use of violin)
27. Empire of Tharaphita - Path of the Old Lunar Cult Empire (impressive demo level black metal romanticism)
28. Herod - The Curse of the King (heavy metal with slight metalcore tendencies, occasionally excellent harmonies and composition)
29. Satanael - Fire of Satan (raw, penultimate blasphemies for the maniacs)
30. Uncelestial - Born With Lucifer's Mark (unique riffcraft from an underrated old Finnish black warhorde)
31. Sinister Realm - Sinister Realm (borrows heavily from Death SS and Mercyful Fate, with an excellent vocalist)
32. War Master - Chapel of the Apocalypse (Texan death metal supremacy in the form of a short 3-song demo)
33. Grave Miasma - Exalted Emanation (vicious British answer to Blasphemy)
34. Armour - Armour (uproarious Finnish heavy metal/hard rock with slight nods to Destruction)
35. Absu - Absu (disappointing, but interesting "progressive" take on the Absu sound)
36. Lie in Ruins - Swallowed by the Void (a crepitant, sludging Finnish old-school death metal monster)
37. Kormorany - La Musica Teatrale (bridging neo-classical and jazz in scenes reminiscent of a movie soundtrack)
38. While Heaven Wept - Vast Oceans Lachrymose (early Fates Warning's fantasy melancholy in epic Shelleyan/Byronian proportions)
39. Witch Tomb - Crippled Messiah (Ledney-approved mad black metal uproar)
40. Asphyx - Death... The Brutal Way (grinding and compulsive, not for wimps)
41. Katatonia - Night is the New Day (elegant pop music from former death metal musicians)
42. Slough Feg - Ape Uprising (San Francisco's "true metal" thorn in the side of hipsters)
43. Logistic Slaughter EP (Bolt Thrower-esque arrangements from a young and promising band)
44. Tervaht - Tervaht (freezing Finnish neo-ambient folk, very textural)
45. Arktau Eos - Ai Ma Ra (monastic and minimalistic DCD influenced rituals)
46. Graveland - Spears of Heaven (improved rhythms and a couple of massive pieces, sadly gets repetitive towards the end)
47. Havohej - Kembatinan Premaster (a musical statement superior anyway to most of the year's black metal hypes)
48. Desecration Rites - Hallowed Depravity (Argentinian death metal that sounds like mental sickness)
49. Deiphago - Filipino Antichrist (my favorite of those Hells Headbangers bands that sound like a bunch of rabid dogs in studio)
50. 1349 - Revelations of the Black Flame (Tom G. Warrior helped build this alien artifact of industrialized Norwegian black metal)

Hopefully I missed something great. And there's yet a lot left to hear.

Metal / Re: Deathspell Omega Interview
« on: July 01, 2010, 01:22:12 AM »
Related: I never understood why these orthodox bands don't just embrace Christianity. 

I think most of them would, if they just lost the hipster-ish obsession with being "cool" and "different"; the entire clique is about shocking black metal crowd with elements of Christianity in order to evoke reality cults and insanity by association. A bit like they would be shouting "ALLAHU AKBAR" but they aren't quite there yet. That's because most of them are Swedish; well educated, but too bourgeoisie and happy.

Four bands that had a better release this year than Belus: Black Funeral, Cemetery Urn, Ares Kingdom, Autechre. Probably Master, too, though I haven't listened to their latest yet. If you want to include upcoming albums that are VERY FUCKING LIKELY to be better, by all accounts(seeing as we're only halfway through the year): Profanatica, Avzhia(if we're lucky), Inquisition. Please name forty out of your fifty. Thirty, if you want to exclude Autechre for not being metal.

Regarding Black Funeral, Profanatica and Avzhia you have a point. The rest aren't bad but also not exceptional. Master was maybe on par with "Belus"; a masterful (!) album in general standards, less so considering the band in case.

If my list would actually serve some purpose, I could type it out, based on the two or three dozen new releases I have bought and enjoyed last year and the same amount I just might accept in trade or ridiculously cheap price. "World Painted Blood" fits in neither category.

No, you misread it. My logic is to ignore which band we are talking about and appreciate the album on its own merits, or not at all. Have there been even five better albums than "Belus" released this year? Weren't there more than fifty better than "World Painted Blood" the previous year? And note, the year is used here simply as an illustrative device, not as an absolute way of assessment. I need to point this out lest there will be nitpick.

Regardless of a personal preference for "Belus" over "Hlidskjalf" and "Christ Illusion" over "World Painted Blood", the above is a weird strain of logic to follow. a 50% improved Slipknot or Deathspell Omega won't amount to much in any critical review. Whereas Summoning, Ildjarn (hails towards the other topic!) and others have had their constant ups and downs without us needing to make a big deal out of it as even their missteps bear easy on the ears.

It all boils down to the fact that people on either side of the argument wish to use "Belus" to influence mainstream opinion and thinking - this is not wrong. But by the above mentioned logic it could also be easily said that one should support the people coming in from crappier music to listen to "Belus"; approve of it and guide them to even higher a level of standard.

Metal / Re: Sludge Metal suggestions
« on: June 26, 2010, 02:23:45 AM »
I don't know if Winter's "Into Darkness" applies, but if it does, who needs anything more?

Metal / Re: The "Bad" Immortal Albums. Are we asking too much?
« on: June 22, 2010, 10:36:40 PM »
Given their vapid commentary in media appearances such as "Until the Light Takes Us", I'm prone to reach the conclusion that the bunch were traitors all along. Note that before and during his imprisonment, Varg was always saying kind things about the Immortal guys but now has added them to the list of rats. Excellent music, though.

Metal / Re: Another "Christian" Black Metal Idiot Argument
« on: June 22, 2010, 06:35:38 AM »
Satan, or more accurately Lucifer, represents not the 'necessary opposite to God', but the tendency towards individualism and denial of the transcendent order.  

And how are these statements exclusive? 'Necessary', because this opposition (lawlessness and chaotic impulse) manifests itself in reality. 'Worship', because this aspect must be appreciated and treated with respect and caution (see "Book of Job"). I understood Conservationist's statement as "to be a real Christian, you must acknowledge the dualistic cosmological nature of Christianity". And this is nothing more than a theologically and historically accurate point of view.

Metal / Re: Swedish Christian Death Metal 1990-1994
« on: June 20, 2010, 07:22:37 AM »
Sounds like a scam to me, based on what little I know of these bands (that Crypt of Kerberos played a gig with Beherit, among others) and from a quick perusal of their available lyrics now. If some of the members happened to hang out with Christians, it sure doesn't seem to have overtaken the entire aesthetic expression of these bands, thus the topic amounts to no much more than gossip about those people's private lives.

Metal / Re: The feeling of concrete
« on: June 19, 2010, 02:00:29 PM »
What happened when everything got purely intellectualized, is Deathspell Omega.

Surely you mean Averse Sefira? Because it's a much better example. The output of Deathspell Omega, despite what you might assume from 'sensorial elements are subordinated', is extremely sensual. If anything, I get a disctinct feeling this self-imposed restraint breathes an additional air into the fire.

All right, I'd say that Deathspell Omega reacts extremely emotionally to what it thinks. This maybe is the cause of such strange and contradictory music. Averse Sefira doesn't seem to think so much concerning black metal and the arts, instead simply proceeds to do it, in quite a logical and meticulous manner. But it's not a bad example either, of the workings of the new generation.

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