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Topics - death metal black metal

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811
Metal / ANUS cited in research paper
« on: December 30, 2005, 03:13:56 AM »
Background in cultural studies. Black Metal is a musical subgenre of Heavy Metal that appeared in England back in
the 80’s. It combines radical political ideologies and left hand path religious beliefs with nihilism, misanthropy and a
dark aesthetic. This subculture spread in Norway in the early 90’s and got infamous due to violent episodes of
murdering and church-arson (Moynihan, 1998).
Background in sociology. Young people of western countries are growing up in a Judeo-Christian influenced culture.
One mean of rebellion is to reject the biblical and become adept of everything that is described as evil in it. In this
case, they search for a social group based on their insurgent beliefs and consequently adhere to Black Metal which is
unanimous in its destructive impulses toward Christianity and its parent religion, Judaism from the Middle East
(Prozak, 2002).

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:F5JciRJwQw8J:gewi.uni-graz.at/~cim04/CIM04_paper_pdf/Ardet_CIM04_proceedings.pdf+prozak+history+%22black+metal%22&hl=en

812
Metal / Mayhem Feature
« on: December 30, 2005, 03:09:16 AM »
Like a dark breath of forbidden fantasy, black metal came into a world of orderly containers and sprayed them with foaming blood, black bile, and most of all a poisonous uncertainty about the safely egalitarian but boring lifestyle of the first world. In this genre, Mayhem were the band that by sheer persistence evolved into being one of the founders of the new black metal style, but only after years of thrashing in the dark and confusion of the fatalistic tendencies that eventually brought the band to artistic collapse.

Formed in the early 1980s by Oystein Aarseth, or Euronymous, the band released two demos which built upon what Bathory and Celtic Frost had achieved by making it more minimal, Mayhem less coherent, and less friendly to the ears; in truth, the first anti-social music. The latter of these, "Pure Fucking Armageddon," had attributes of extreme crustcore infused into its fractured heavy metal stylings, bringing criticism from a metal world which was then just beginning to accept Morbid Angel, Kreator, Destruction and others as a new form of "music."

As time went on, two important things happened: first, Mayhem released "Deathcrush," their first release and the best snapshot of the musical style they were attempting to produce, and second, the vocalist "Dead" [Per Yngwe Ohlin] from the Swedish band Morbid joined Mayhem to replace previous vocalist Maniac. The underground was slow at first to embrace the newer music, but soon there was a firm niche carved out for Mayhem: those who rejected the desire for logicality, in the modernist style, that death metal represented. As Euronymous said, "Black Metal is so extreme that not anyone can get into it. This isn't any funny hobby which stupid kids shall have after they comes home from school."

With the introduction of Dead, the conceptual impetus behind the band changed, and soon the blocky and deliberately awkward music of "Deathcrush" was metamorphosizing into a sleeker, melodic variant with more dynamic change in the songs, producing different "settings" to tell a tale, somewhat like a micro-opera in harsh guitars and howling vocals. Similarly, the appearance of the band went from t-shirts and jeans to black clothing, black boots and facepaint - corpsepaint - in black and white. In concert, Dead cut himself onstage, surrounded by the carcasses and heads of slaughtered animals. A full rejection of the positivity, pity and focus on individual lives of democratic humanism, the new appearance and music of Mayhem emphasized the bold, terrifying, Dead morally ambiguous and deathlike in life itself. To understand it, one had to realize that the passion given to the music was an affirmation of life, but a different form of life, than that endorsed by the nominally Christian Nordic countries.

With this change, the following of Mayhem increased, especially as their recognizably different image placed them ahead of other musical efforts in the world of metal as less socialized and thus more extreme. Mayhem played a series of concerts across Europe, but recording and songwriting were sporadic, thus little material emerged from this period. At the end of it, Dead, in a moment of nihilism and darkness in 1991, slashed both his wrists and blew out his brains with a shotgun, leaving only a note: "Please excuse all the blood." Euronymous, upon returning to the band's shared dwellingspace to discover the cold corpse, took pieces of the brain and integrated them in a stew of ham and vegetables for the pleasure of eating human flesh; the band's drummer, Hellhammer, took pieces of the shattered skullcap and made them into a necklace. As if a primitive ritual, the members of Mayhem paid their respects in death as in life: with coldness, feral opportunism, and a denial of any "sanctity" or "feelings" toward life, even that of a friend and collaborator. As Euronymous said later, about his form of "evil," "It is basically hate to humankind. I have no friends, just the guys I'm allied with. If my girlfriend dies I won't cry, I will missuse the corpse."

During this time, Euronymous and his band were instrumental in the forming of a new black metal social group, or "scene," centered Euronymous around his record store in Oslo called Helvete [Hell]; the downstairs was a necrotic and bleak excuse for a commercial establishment in which the hatred and disassociation from commercial process was as much a barrier to purchase as anything else, but the upstairs was a practice room where Nazi flags and weapons hung over instruments decorated with inverted crosses. During the daytime, the store was a gathering place for musicians and fans of an anti-social nature; at night, Euronymous indoctrinated those who might be useful to the scene by inviting them to wild parties in which orgiastic appetites for alcohol fueled self-mutilation and eventually, rampant church and graveyard desecration [in Europe and many older American towns, the graveyard surrounds the church - a strangely forthright admission of the role of religion in society!]. Euronymous also started the first record label of the modern black metal movement, Deathlike Silence Productions. While these events stood against everything that Norwegian society of the time valued, authorities were permissive and did not "connect the dots" until far later.

It was at this time that many of extremist views, such as the skinhead-turned-rocker Kristian Vikernes - also performing in Burzum, joined the circle - and joined Mayhem on bass. Vikernes was an interesting counterpoint to those in the association so far; he was a hater of life but, like Dead, had an uncanny passion for life through art, and seemed to value his time in nature, away from people and their imaginary rules. His intent could be summarized in his most clarion statement, "I see Burzum as a dream without holds in reality. It is to stimulate the fantasy of mortals, to make them dream" - a replacement of morality with the über-Romanticist ethos of adventure and heroic classicism. Between the Gothic neoclassicism of Dead and the postmodern Romanticism of Vikernes, black metal became more than a style of music, but an ideological and social tool for change away from a highly regimented, moralistic society. Vikernes again: "We want to create the most possible fear, chaos and agony so that the idiotic and friendly Christian society can break down. We are overall not interested in that the truth comes through. When we spread lies we cause confusion and confusion leads to chaos and at last breakdown. People shall be oppressed and we support everything that oppresses man and takes from him his feelings as free individuals."

It was part of this denial of the supremacy of the lives of individuals over ideas, emotions and even real-world activities that helped what happened next to occur. Two polar opposites existed in black Varg Vikernes metal, the fatalism and negativity of Euronymous versus the political and violent doctrine of Vikernes, and these were brought into conflict through the personalities. Vikernes claims Euronymous delayed the release of Burzum albums [on Deathlike Silence] by spending the money instead on degenerate pursuits; Euronymous presumably did not care and was more interested in the upcoming Mayhem release, which was moving slowly because of the personality conflicts in the band. Eventually, reality followed imaginary projections: on the night of August 10, 1993, Euronymous was stabbed to death by Vikernes; of 26 knife wounds, 2 were to the head, five to the neck and 19 to the back. Thus began the projection of Mayhem into legend, since it provided black metal in the modern sense with not only its first model of technique and imagery, but also its first martyrs. Dead was eulogized in a 1992 release, "Live in Leipzig," which recorded an excessively bloody and violent Mayhem concert in East Germany. Teaming up with Attila Csihar of Tormentor, the remaining members of Mayhem put out "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas," one of the most impassioned black metal albums released, yet one with its feet firmly grounded in old-school Venom/Bathory heavy metal styles. Their nihilism was so great they left Vikernes' bass tracks on the album next to the guitar work of the man he killed, claiming in the press to have removed them so not to attract unwelcome attention from his family.

While the lives of its members had mostly run their course, and its most epic work had been produced, at least in conceptual form, before these deaths, afterwards the social and political importance of Mayhem was fully recognized. First, it gave many a central point with which to identify the new movement, and generated a wave of publicity especially in unison with the news of 22 churches burned in Norway, mostly by black metal "Satanists." Even more importantly, Euronymous himself became a central figure, and his ideas [and those of Dead and Vikernes, who heavily influenced him] became dissected and discussed across the globe. Not only was this influential in the fanbase, but labels and bands worldwide began to see the importance of the new black metal movement: unlike anything from popular music since the 1960s, this was shocking; the people in black metal lived on the edge and fought to the death, something metal bands had always sung about but never acted out, much to the derision of punkers and other underground fans. The image of Helvete - the church of the anti-life - became predominant in the minds of many when conceptualizing new forms of social expression to the anti-oversocialization impetus that black metal and heavy metal share. In the years following the death of Euronymous, the focus he brought to the scene brought it to a dramatic rise and sudden death, as in late 1997 the genre became swamped with commercial bands in the mainstream style.

Mayhem itself continued on in the form of two major works, "Wolf's Lair Abyss" in 1997 and "A Grand Declaration of War" in 2000, interspersed with numerous live albums and re-releases. where "De Mysteriis..." continues to be their most popular work, "Wolf's Lair Abyss" is regarded by many as a highly proficient black metal album in the style of Satyricon mixed with old Mayhem, producing something with the same rhythmic thrust as "De Mysteriis" but with less of the operatic lack of total consistency in songs. "A Grand Declaration of War" is more problematic, taking a divergence into math-metal and pseudo-progressive stylings, which creates an album which sounds more like soundtrack Mayhem anno 2003 than foreground listening, with Marilyn Manson influences in both songwriting and image. Because of this, and other factors such as the vast commercialization of black metal during the last six years, Mayhem is effectively dead in the underground and a small player with a devoted fanbase in the mainstream metal scene at this time. However, for every person who gets into black metal, the chorus of voices suggesting "De Mysteriis..." has an effect, for people continue to buy it at a great rate and praise it as immortal metal music and unmatched spirit in a genre filled mostly with angry people of little imagination.

Regardless of the current tedium of record sales and popularity contests, Mayhem contributed an indelible influence on not only metal, but music of resistance to socialization as a whole. Their ideology - part blank-faced fatalism, part fascism and part feral atavism - was carried upwards by the voices of many who were similarly frustrated with the pity-oriented egalitarian society of the first world, which preached that avoiding death was more important than achieving heroic or passionate things. Against this belief system black metal, and Mayhem most visibly, agitated. "True satanists are superhumans," stated Euronymous in a now-infamous interview. A few years later, Vikernes gave a clearer view: "Strife is evolution, peace is degeneration." This did not sit well with not only Christians and Jews, but also many people who had become dependent upon society and its pity toward those who are less-able as a whole, thus raising a cry against black metal as music of "hate" or "intolerance." While those would clearly like to file black metal into a wholly political category, the raw artistry and imagination of bands like Mayhem make that appear a one-dimensional look at the story. As Ihsahn from fellow Nordic rockers Emperor said, "You'll never understand me because you sit in the audience at a horror movie. I'm up on the screen." There is no place in the current society for bands like Mayhem; they are beyond its rules and mental conditioning, and always will be. And for this, wherever anguish at social predominance grinds, there will be new fans of the fundamental works of Mayhem, which not only outlive their creators but will forever be a mythos larger than life itself.

©Written by Spinoza Ray Prozak

http://www.antenna.nu/mayhem_article.php

813
Metal / The History of Black Metal
« on: December 30, 2005, 03:08:31 AM »
 Black Metal

The genre that came seemingly last of all the metal genres was the one that considered its ideals the most seriously and consequently, produced a radically distinctive form of music. While black metal was somewhat of the cousin of speed and death metal during its early days, during the 1990s it bloomed into full musical form after developing a philosophy more coherent with its dark aesthetic than the hedonism and liberalism of the past. In a consequent blaze of controversy, the black metal genre streaked across the public perspective briefly before proliferating into a variety of styles and mainstream versions of its sound, forcing older variants out as a flood of similar bands absorbed the genre.

The Early Years
Black metal existed first as a singular concept in aesthetics, and later began to proliferate musically, only differentiating itself from death metal in the theoretical arena when its philosophical divergence became clear to the Norwegians in the early 1990s. A comparison from history can be found in the invention of the telephone; while Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone itself, the complex switching systems necessary to connect multiple parties within a city awaited later inventors. Similarly, the aesthetics [appearance and stylistic refinements of music] of black metal were created long before it really existed as a genre, influencing a period of long lull in the 1980s.

There is confusion as to who "invented" black metal, but it is clear that like death metal, its origins came from the same general area and were spread across creators worldwide contributing to the process. While Venom were the first band to grab headlines with their sensationally stripped down riffing and overtly occultist yet ludicrous image, it was Bathory, Sodom and Celtic Frost who gave the genre its enduring form. Where Venom was limited musically to deconstructed heavy metal, these bands took the neoclassical phrasing and minor key melodies of NWOBHM bands like Angel Witch, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and matched them up with the droning three-note roar of early crustcore as exemplified by Discharge. As both bands depended on diminished melodies in power chord riffing it was a seamless match.

During this formative era of black metal, several general styles emerged. First was Bathory with a smoothly flowing, fast-tremolo picked flow of sound over consistent throbbing drums; next was Sodom, making three-chord primitivism which moved at high speed with unsteady and abrupt changes of riff, tempo and texture; also included were Hellhammer, who specialized in droning minimalist music that often resembled hardcore punk played in minor keys, and Celtic Frost, the continuation of that band into grandiloquent constructions resembling the musical staging of operatic scenes; finally, there was Venom, who continued to produce their heavy metal/punk hybrid which delighted in using the simplest possible musical devices to convey the broadest changes available.

From this time onward, the genre slept while innovations were made in the death metal camp, with a few notable exceptions soon to be covered. The same year that Bathory unleashed its first opus brought about a small but intense wave of hardcore/metal hybrids front by Slayer but including within the next two years formative works from Sepultura, Possessed and Morbid Angel. While the basic approach of death metal was to create intricate arrangements using extended phrasing in an architectural style, its essential approach involved rhythm and chromatic progressions which did not admit much obvious melody. The tightly-woven, complex and interlocked riffing used by early death metal bands produced a sense of deconstruction and immersion but gave little new direction. As the genre wound up for its grand entrace, black metal again split from the pack in the 1987-1988 era with Sarcofago and Mayhem, and was then silent for another four years while death metal raged.

Sarcofago presented something offensive, abrupt and even ludicrous to people of the time who were schooled in the riff salad style of death metal, with stilted and broken sounding rhythm changes matching akward, nearly imbecilic riffs which fit together into songs with an uncanny, barely discernible continuity. While the majority of the formative work of Sarcofago, "I.N.R.I.," was abrasively disassociative rhythm riffing, the album held itself together with some admirably sonorous yet barely logical melodies, seemingly as if formulated on a whim by demons of a distracted but perversely insightful mentality. Ignored at the time by most, Sarcofago in part generated the impetus toward the bizarre and primitive that spurred the next generation of black metal into action.

Simultaneous to the release of "I.N.R.I." was the fourth release from Sweden's Bathory, "Blood, Fire, Death," in which the rippingly fast and simple works of earlier albums had been turned into theatrical yet emotive quasi-operatic pieces in which rasping vocals and singing coincided and song structures staged dramatic encounters of their parts more than repeating cyclic patterns. Across the water in Norway, Mayhem were putting the finishing touches on a massively incompetent but enigmatic work known as "Deathcrush," in which tortuous guitar patterns arced over drumming with the grace of an exhausted pack animal, and horrific howling vocals textured the mix. The following year, Merciless assembled "The Awakening," a fast speed metal album with touches of death but an undeniably morbid melodic sensation. Together these releases defined what would go into the mix of the genre coming next: the aggression and grandeur of Bathory, the abrupt and convoluted structures of Sarcofago, the rough aesthetic of Mayhem and the dramatic staging of Celtic Frost, who had just unleashed their discontiguous but impressive masterpiece "Into the Pandemonium."

The Modern Era
Again some years went by in which death metal was the primary focus of the community and fans. Where mainstream metal had vanished under the dual onslaught of grunge and the progressive selling out of speed and heavy metal bands like Metallica and Testament, the underground shot to the forefront of the minds of those who expected metal, and consequently, became the area where development in metal occurred while the more popular bands did their best to reiterate their essential sound and presence as a means of not losing ground. As death metal became more accepted, however, it became slowly infested with the same mentality that clogged mainstream metal: an underconfident, socially dependent, accepting and undiscriminating mentality which placed excellent bands next to derivative, unimaginative acts without thinking twice.

Born of the desire to surpass this mess, the modern era of black metal began in Norway with the first releases from Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor, Burzum and Mayhem. Each differed from the death metal before it in an emphasis on melodic composition and intricate, classically-inspired song structures which functioned as motifs, returning to not verses or choruses but clusters of riffs and musical ideas which framed their concepts in a setting, not unlike the work of an opera or ancient Greek tragedy. This new form of metal was more vivid and emotionally evocative than the thunderous assault of death metal, and also less concerned with the immediate social values around it; it embraced independent thinking, a dislike for all social dogmas and humanism, a Romanticist love of nature and predation, and a penchant for fantasy and thoughts of ancient times.

The reaction of the death metal boy's club was unanimous: "fags!" However, the new style rapidly gained ground and soon a second generation of the modern era, including bands like Ancient, Gorgoroth, Graveland, Behemoth, Abigor and Gehenna among others landed in the crowd. Many of these bands were inspired as were original black metal pioneers Darkthrone by the melodic tremolo picking of Swedish death metal bands from the previous generation, which caused the pace to be picked up as the aggression, but the fundamental differences remained. From the reaction to the first wave of black metal, and a desire to get "purer" and farther away from the possible infestation of death metal bands, black metal bands starting with Darkthrone on "Ablaze in the Northern Sky" began to use a fuzzed-out, lo-fi sound and primal song structures similar to those of Hellhammer, early Bathory, and Venom.

While this initially drove away the more sycophantic fans, it was a failing strategy for the same reasons it failed in the production of hardcore music: it made the genre extremely easy to emulate. As demonstrated by bands such as Dark Funeral, it was easy to transition from death metal and make primitive and fast melodic black metal songs which sold in the underground, and soon there were more ex-death metal, ex-crustcore and ex-rock personnel surging into the scene. By the time of the middle 1990s, bands such as The Abyss and Marduk had joined the party, creating in their process templates which any bands could use to emulate the style - and did.

In a few short years the genre had gone from a handful of bands making distinctive music to a horde of bands making indistinguishable music identified only by novelty factors of instrumentation, voice and concept. Nothing was any longer being achieved in the central group of black metal bands, so most of the "old guard" of Norwegian bands backed out and allowed their music to dissipate, as indicated by Darkthrone claiming their "Total Death" album would be final one from the band. As the hordes of scenesters and clone rock artists gathered, bands such as Graveland, Summoning and Ildjarn began experimenting in ambient forms of the original style, writing longer melodies and integrating semi-symphonic instrumentation in digital form in some cases and making rawer, less rock-like music in the case of Ildjarn.

The Drama
Much has been said about the dramatic entry of the Norwegian scene in the early 1990s. Articles ranting about the terror the "Inner Circle" and "Black Circle" would bring to Christian society overstated the case, and so by the year 2000 most fans were tired of hearing the same stories of the genesis of the scene. These will be mentioned here only for the purpose of conveying the ideology of black metal, and its effect upon society at large that in turn reflected the response of civilization to black metal and some of the factors that contributed to its demise.

In the beginning, there were a handful of black metal bands in Norway loosely unified around some ideals and a few meeting places, including the shop Euronymous from Mayhem ran called Helvete [Hell]. There is some debate over whether or not there was a formal "Black Circle" as initially was claimed by American and British publications, but clearly the members of these bands communicated and met within the 4.5 million person country. Strange things began happening in Norway: churches burned, a homosexual man was slit open, miscellaneous assaults and grave desecrations occurred, and then to cap it off, Euronymous was stabbed one night in his apartment. Furthermore, implications of fascism and/or Nazi beliefs were pointed at many members of the underground, most of whom quickly denied them.

First, the vocalist Dead of Mayhem committed suicide with a large knife and shotgun, leaving a note "Excuse all the blood." Some time later, Varg Vikernes of Burzum was arrested for burning churches and murdering Euronymous; at the time of this writing, he is still serving his term [when arrested, Vikernes was near famished from lack of money to buy food, yet had 150kg of explosive in his basement for use in destruction of churches]. Over 20 other black metal musicians and fans were arrested for burning churches; a total of 77 burned in Scandinavia during that time, although not all have been definitively linked to "Satanists." Several other musicians did time for killings, assaults, desecrations or unrelated arsons, including Jon Notveidt in Sweden who served 8 years for being accessory to a killing, and Hendrik Moebus in Germany, who served several years as accessory to a murder before being arrested for making a Roman salute while on parole. While the carnage was not widespread, the effect was; Europe saw a wakeup call to some Pagan values and anti-Judeo-Christian sentiment, and America saw a chance at rebellion and consequently, marketing.

Further, the community of black metal had a chance to demonstrate its values. While most members of the scene when pressed denied they had been involved in fascist or Nazi politics, they were indifferent to the roles of others in such things. Equally noncommittal were many around Euronymous after his murder; Hellhammer, the drummer of Euronymous' band Mayhem, shrugged and said, "One of them had to die," when queried about the feud between Vikernes and Euronymous. Most bands interviewed spoke positively of nature, negatively of Christianity, and displayed disdain for social behavior that placed the lives of individuals above that of a collective movement. This made many uneasy, especially in tolerant, peaceful and normally quite uneventful Scandinavia.

The Aftermath
When the mainstream bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and Marduk that attracted hundreds of thousands to black metal are confronted with the ideology of the founders of modern black metal, they quickly shake their heads and walk away. "Not for us, thanks." In addition, their music is fundamentally different from that of the underground bands; where the originators of this style used diatonic and chromatic riffs and melodic modes, most of the "aboveground" black metal uses pentatonic scaling and much of the same riffs and rhythms of metal bands from the 1970s. Thus is exemplified a split in the genre: the bands who are doing what metal bands always have, and the bands who are moving away from traditional metal toward a more neoclassical, less rock-n-roll, more intricate musical form.

This split extends to every area of the black metal scene at the time of this writing. On one side, let's call it the "left," there are bands who embrace the current era and its variant aesthetics, including the mainstream genres outside of metal; a good example here would be Ulver or Sigh, both of who create postmodern metal from fragments and samples of other genres arranged into pieces delineated by key or rhythm. On the right would be the classicists, the old-schoolers who either only support black metal in the established tradition or who embrace a "purity" of both musical rawness and ideological allusion to the Greco-Roman, Viking or fascist values. For all intents and purposes this split is permanent, with the sides diverging into assimilation on the left and obscurity on the right, yet somehow they keep attracting audience, albeit a degraded one.

Some would say that there was a mystique about black metal that took a long time to die; it didn't break in 1996, when The Abyss made an album so textbook Norwegian black metal that it provided a template for other bands to follow, and it didn't even break in 1998 when all but a handful of the original bands had moved on to making more contented music. The year after however appears to have brought the death of black metal in a form emerging from within, similar to the story of Baldr's death that conceptualizes a later Burzum album: betrayal from within. When the first of the more mainstream bands emerged, the underground took a clue from Darkthrone and it became de rigeur for the non-commercial bands to slap out albums with monochrome art and blindingly distorted, low-technicality music. As before however, this made it easy for further emulation to occur, diluting a genre with exactly what it opposed, and turning it from a movement where concept, music and action were joined into another form of entertainment for couchbound teenagers.

Black Metal Belief Systems
Conventional wisdom in the Judeo-Christian west holds that nature is lawless, dangerous and pointless; to give life meaning, there must be a moral goal, such as civilization itself: the conquering of natural frontiers and environments, taming of natural impulses in humans, and reduction of the law of the fittest - an equalization, as F.W. Nietzsche and later others pointed out. Nietzsche saw this equalization as a form of "revenge" on nature by depriving nature of what makes it threatening to the individual human, namely the potential imminent death - a form of judgment - for being less than capable in a situation calling for endurance and survival.

Sixty years after Nietzsche's most influential period of work, explosions on the Polish border awakened the globe to the second world war. In this war, a conflict between the most fundamental division of ideology was established: collectivism versus individualism, with the latter favoring the kind of product-oriented, technologically-based, container-logical lifestyles currently seen in the first world nations. It was those insular and self-pleasing ways of living that first irked black metallers, and demonstrated to them a social devolution: there was no longer any competence needed, only obliviousness. Many black metallers, like Nietzsche, found greater inspiration in nature than in post-Judeo-Christian western society, and identified what Christians find horrible - the bloody, competitive, anti-individualist character of nature - to be an example of the most sublime beauty.

The ideological inclination of black metal remains disturbing to most and illegal in many countries. Yet it is not unique to black metal; as history shifted in the 1960s from a predominantly conservative society to a liberal society, thanks to the counterculture, and its effects were only felt with the children growing up in the 1980s, their response mirrors that of some who rejected the flower powery view of the politics and society. Among the thinkers and dissidents now coming back into favor are ecological fascists like Pentti Linkola and Theodore Kaczynski, as well as various stripes of nationalist and racial separatist leaders. [The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish self-defense organization, claims that National Socialist and Neo-Nazi movements are increasing "worldwide."] It's hard to see what the future holds but this controversy remains in the forefront of not only black metal, but international politics, as shown by the amount of air time it is given by the entertainment industry, news media and American/U.N. politicians.

Interestingly, black metal joins not only the far right, but the far left, in many of its sentiments. As the world anti-globalist and anti-capitalist movement picks up speed, it echoes many of the ideals of black metal: natural ecosystems; ethnic uniqueness; population control; an end to technology-driven, product-oriented, convenience-based lifestyles. Protestors across the world in anti-war and anti-globalism protests would be shocked to know they have something in common with a group of bloodthirsty church-burning fascists who idealize the occult, but perhaps would be glad at least for a sympathetic ear. Interestingly also, the "modern primitives" movement as seen in events like the Burning Man festival and the survivalist trend around the time of Y2K align themselves in the same general direction these ideals seem to be taking, but the final synthesis has not yet been heard.

Subdivisions
After the initiation of modern black metal in the Scandinavian style, a fragmentation occurred along the general lines of techniques used to unify song composition, creating a number of subdivisions in the black metal subgenre [genre = metal, subgenre = black]. The following are general descriptions of these substyles and what they implied for changes in black metal as a whole.

Rock
The heavy metal style of black metal, descended directly from Venom and NWOBHM bands like Angel Witch who inspired them, is essentially rock music with some neoclassical influences in the loosest sense. Pentatonic, verse chorus music that stays within basic harmony, heavy metal/rock-styled black metal is recognizable for its radio friendly ways, redundant harmonic constructions and verse/chorus arrangements. Good examples include Venom of course, Dimmu Borgir albums after Stormblast, Cradle of Filth and Dissection.

Raw
Descended from Hellhammer and some early Bathory, this is mostly rhythm music which like hardcore punk is fashioned from the harmonic space of a basic interval between two anchoring notes, often a fifth. While this style is easy to do, it is difficult to do well, as the number of bands emulating Hellhammer and falling far short of what Hellhammer produced have found.

Epic
Symphonic styles and epic song structures often seem to go together, as seen in bands like Summoning, Graveland, Heidenreich and early Emperor. Where most bands indulge some complexity, these bands aspire to a demi-operatic state of unifying concept with staging, projecting a theatrical view of the action described in a song through the pure sound and arrangement of riffs. These bands are often the closest to classical music in types of melody and depth of layering, but it is important to note that epic is mainly a description of the complexity and arrangement of a band, not its techniques, so there is complete overlap with other styles mentioned here.

Trance
Music designed to utilize the undulating nature of the sweep picking of a guitar as suspended between unchanging percussion of a basic nature, this style is inspired by generations of metal with ambient experimentation, including Slayer, Von, Massacra, and Bathory. The most notorious band working in this group is Burzum, but other bands such as Nargaroth, I Shalt Become, Ildjarn and Darkthrone have created great works in this area.

Melodic
The oldest style of modern black metal, the melodic compositional approach was first utilized by Norwegian bands looking for a way to make simple power chord music more than thudding rhythm and chromatic patterns. Immortal's "Pure Holocaust" is the best example of this, with highspeed tremolo picking whipping distorted noise into a flood of searing yet beautiful sound, but there are also examples to be found in Behemoth, Darkthrone, Mayhem and Sacramentum.

© Written by: Spinoza Ray Prozak

http://www.antenna.nu/blackmetal_article.php

814
Metal / Relation between heavy metal and classical
« on: December 30, 2005, 02:41:03 AM »
Quote
I will go into detail about how two great musical styles-heavy metal and classical music (classical is refferring to music by Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and others) are much more closely related than meets the eye.

Both have strong passionate feelings within them when being played or listened to. These feelings include intensity, power, and musical complexity. When rockin out to heavy metal, one feels this glorifying passion, as if he wants everyone to feel his music with him. It is the same when playing or conducting a fast classical piece of music. It's like everything fits together in the song perfectly like pieces of a puzzle. These genres of music are so perfectly arranged. Every guitar solo and drum hit are placed accurately into the song so one can truly feel the intensity of it. It is the same in classical music. I myself have played many classical pieces on piano. I'm mostly reffering to the fast pieces when I say that it has the same feel as metal. The musical ideas in the song seem to build exactly when necessary, and they seem to flow together with all aspects of the chart. The power you feel when you're intensly playing a fast piece on piano is incredible. In heavy metal, the guitar solo's 16th note runs are strikingly similar in form to the lead runs in a classical piece. Take Bach's Concerto in A Minor for example. This piece is about 140 beats per minute, with a hell of a lot of notes. It's as if each note is exactly where it belongs, and not only that, the musical ideas are EXTREMELY clear in this song and I feel that this is very true for many heavy metal songs. The ideas in songs by bands such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Metallica, and Deep Purple, are fuckin loud and clear, and at the same time very musically talented. Both Classical music and Heavy Metal make you want to move fast to the pulse, while singing along or improvising lead riffs or runs that are the opitomy of pure intensity. Getting into the feel of Heavy Metal and Classical pieces is telling the whole world, "I'm blasting your mother fuckin head off with my music!" You know when metal comes around, its ass kicking time. Metal is for the warriors, and again, has part of its origin in classical music. One of the main ideas that links metal to classical is that both genres include songs that are built as one, well standing musical idea from start to finish, and on the inside of the song you have aspects of the musical world in every form imaginable: crescendos, accents, syncopation, melodies with counter melodies, scales, huge dynamic changes, the building of one idea into a huge one, the well blended transitions from one idea to the next, and more. If you have ever seen a conductor from the 1700's conduct, take Bach for example, you can see that he's working intensly, putting his heart and passion into his music with FURY, and putting his body and mind through a time of "ecstatic musical experience". I mean God look at how fast he moves his hands to conduct, and look at how he gets really into it and sweats and everything. Beside from both styles having the same feel to them, it's also true that when keyboards are used in heavy metal, talent is expressed perfectly well with exciting kick ass material that when you listen to it you think "God that is just fuckin incredible. I with that were me rockin out like a maniac on that keyboard." And this is why Heavy Metal has some of its origins in Classical Music. Now lets hear others opinions on this; I am eager to hear what other DIEHARD METALHEADS like myself have to say in repliance.


http://s6.invisionfree.com/hmf/index.php?showtopic=3427

815
Audiofile / Incantation
« on: December 24, 2005, 07:30:24 PM »
Incantation
Incantation MP3s



Incantation

"Old-school death metal band takes one possible interpretation of the genre, which is using elements of the process of order to express simple but inevitable deconstruction."

Incantation - Onward To Golgotha (1992) [ CD $8 ]

Incantation - Onward To Golgotha (1992, SendItz)
Incantation - Onward To Golgotha (1992, Mega)

Incantation - Forsaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish (1997) [ CD $5 ]

Incantation - Forsaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish (1997, SendItz)

Incantation - Diabolical Conquest (1998) [ CD $9 ]

Incantation - Diabolical Conquest (1998, SendItz)
Incantation - Diabolical Conquest (1998, Mega)

816
Metal / Images of Violence album 2006
« on: December 24, 2005, 06:46:01 PM »
Texas guttural percussive death metal from ex-Acerbus drummer and tattoo artist Jonzig. If you're going to listen to this style, this band has more to offer than most.

http://www.imagesofviolence.com/erotically%20discolored.mp3
http://www.imagesofviolence.com/voracious%20devouring.MP3
http://www.imagesofviolence.com/wine%20like%20clotted%20blood.mp3
http://www.imagesofviolence.com/among%20the%20dead%20that%20seem%20living.mp3

Their website is a complete piece of shit however. Navigate in text only mode!

http://www.imagesofviolence.com/home.html

817
Metal / Ion Dissonance tour
« on: December 24, 2005, 06:13:03 PM »
Former Unquintessence (black metal, Quebec) members play in this technical metalcore hyperblast adjectival hybrid metal band.

http://www.id357.com/tour/

01/19/2006      Lubbock, TX @ Winchester Pavillion      w/ Dead To Fall, Jacknife.
01/20/2006      Wichita Falls, TX @ Brickhouse      w/ Dead To Fall, Scars Of Tomorrow, Jacknife.
01/21/2006      Dallas, TX @ Trees      w/ Dead To Fall, Jacknife.
01/22/2006      Houston, TX @ Walter's On Washington      w/ Dead To Fall, Jacknife .

mp3s:

http://www.id357.com/mp3s/Ion_Dissonance-101101110110001.mp3
http://www.id357.com/mp3s/Ion_Dissonance-the_death_of_one_man.mp3

818
Metal / Heritage of Metal
« on: December 23, 2005, 03:14:14 AM »

classical, rock, jazz, avantgarde
|
King Crimson  ---- Black Sabbath
|
heavy metal -- Discharge (1982)
|
| - Bathory
| - Sodom
| - Hellhammer
| - Slayer
==
| - Massacra
| - Sepultura
| - Possessed
| - Necrovore
==
| - Morbid Angel
| - Immolation
| - Incantation
| - Suffocation
| - Morpheus Descends

et al

819
Metal / 95% of black metal is "pure crap"
« on: December 21, 2005, 05:52:16 PM »
"I think that 95% is pure crap. That's how I look upon it. But it's not just black metal, it's death metal or whatever. I really like just a few bands. The music I like is not only death. It's the best of black, the best of death, classical music. People that really live for music, you need to feel that. People ask me how I have the energy to still do this after 15 years. I'm focused, I know what I want to do and that reflects in the music."

http://www.live4metal.com/marduk2005.htm

820
Metal / Top Ten Moron Metal of 2005
« on: December 21, 2005, 05:48:48 PM »
1) Opeth - Ghost Reveries
There are always high expectations for Opeth's albums, and they don't disappoint with their latest effort. It is unbelievably diverse, both musically and vocally. Heavy riffs, acoustic interludes, tempo and key changes, screaming and clean vocals, this album has it all. You'll hear something new every time you listen.

2) Children Of Bodom - Are You Dead Yet?
3) God Forbid - IV: Constiution Of Treason
4) Exodus - Shovel Headed Kill Machine
5) Hypocrisy - Virus
6) Akercocke - Words That Go Unspoken , Deeds That Go Undone
7) Primal Fear - Seven Seals
8) Meshuggah - Catch Thirty Three
Every release by the Swedish band is unique and different, and this is no exception. Strange rhythms, complex riffs and heaviness mixed with some mellow interludes makes for an unusual album. It's one long track broken up into 13 sections of interesting and unique technical death metal. It's refreshing to hear a group that continues to push the musical boundaries and break new ground.

9) Arch Enemy - Doomsday Machine
10) Symphorce - Godspeed

http://heavymetal.about.com/od/toppicks/tp/top_bestof2005.htm

(I left the more mainstream ideas in as quoted. If you want a reason why not to use idiot terms like "thrash metal" it's so you don't become this...)


821
Metal / Youth culture FAILS
« on: December 21, 2005, 04:38:54 PM »
This article examines an enduring question raised by subcultural studies: how youth culture can be challenging and transgressive, yet ‘fail’ to  produce wider social change. This question is addressed through a case study of the black metal music scene. The black metal scene flirts with violent racism, yet has   resisted embracing outright fascism. The article argues that this is due to the way in which music is ‘reflexively antireflexively’ constructed as a depoliticizing category. It is argued that an investigation of such forms of reflexivity might explain the enduring ‘failure’ of youth   cultures to change more than their immediate surroundings.

(Translation: youth culture always becomes more about socialization and buying products to socialize about, thus loses all impetus. Punk. Hippies. Death metal. Black metal. Techno. All failed, all for the same reason: popularity became greater than ideology. The crowd took over.)

Full PDF text:
http://ecs.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/7/1/95.pdf

822
Metal / Eyes of Ligeia
« on: December 21, 2005, 04:25:42 PM »
We are proud to announce our latest signing in the cult ambient doom act Eyes of Ligeia. One of the most unique bands to come out of the Doom circle in quite sometime. The band themselves combine droning ambient, eerie keyboardlines, funeral doom, and minamalist black metal. Their new album will see the light of day in spring of 2006.A MP3 from their last album, What The Moon Brings.

"Polaris" - MP3

http://www.paragonrecords.net/
http://www.dimentianon.com/

823
Metal / Rigor Mortis news
« on: December 21, 2005, 01:21:06 PM »
RIGOR MORTIS Frontman Talks About His Brother's Death, Upcoming Tour - Dec. 19, 2005

Vocalist Bruce Corbitt of the reunited Texas thrashers RIGOR MORTIS has issued the following update:

"I just wanted to give everyone some updates on how I am doing after the loss of my brother and also mention some of our plans for RIGOR MORTIS in 2006.

"As many of you in the metal world already know, my older brother, Jeff Corbitt (RIP), took his own life on November 10. That was the day after I got home from the RIGOR MORTIS reunion tour. So I went from an emotional high after a successful, fun, memorable and satisfying tour… to an all-time low. He was the person I was closest to my entire life. So this is easily the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with.

"I want to thank everyone that has supported me and my family during this grieving period. I have received so many e-mails, messages and calls from people all over the World. All of them sending their prayers, condolences and offering to help in any way they can. It has helped me to know there are so many people out there that actually care. I am convinced that metalheads have some of the biggest hearts in the world and we are all like a big family when it comes right down to it.

"Jeff Corbitt was always my hero my entire life. He was the person that thought of my name Bruce… after Bruce Wayne of 'Batman'. He was the reason I got so into music as a kid. He was 6 years older than I was… so as kids I always looked up to him. When we became adults… the age difference was just enough for him to be able to always warn me of the pitfalls in life ahead of time. It was like he was always driving a few miles up the road ahead of me and was able to tell me what to expect before I got there.

"My brother had a successful career in the sound and lighting business for over 25 years, doing shows all over Texas and on the Las Vegas Strip. In the late 90s he worked with KISS… doing their 'Psycho Circus' 3-D Video and live 3-D for part of that tour.

"RIGOR MORTIS and our road crew all had stayed at his house just a couple of weeks earlier after we played a show in San Antonio. So that is what has made this even more of a shock to all of us. But, I am going to make sure he is not forgotten and use it as motivation to improve my own life to be more like he was.

"The rest of the guys in RIGOR MORTIS told me that we are going to dedicate our entire new RIGOR MORTIS CD to my brother. So I know we are all going to put our lives into this new CD.

"I want people to remember Jeff Corbitt (RIP) for the way he lived his life. Those of us that loved him are going to miss him forever. There is always going to be a void inside of us without him in our lives. But that is because he made our lives so much more meaningful while he was on this Earth. His death is simply a reminder for us that really knew him that we were privileged enough to have known such a great man during our own lifetime.

"You can view the obituary and see a slideshow/movie that was played at Jeff Corbitt's funeral at [this location]. Once you are on the site just click on 'Biography' and 'Play Movie' on the right to view this…

"2006 will be the 20th Anniversary of the original RIGOR MORTIS lineup of Bruce Corbitt, Mike Scaccia (MINISTRY, REVOLTING COCKS), Casey Orr (GWAR, X-COPS, THE HELLIONS, THE BURDEN BROTHERS), and Harden Harrison (PERVIS, SPEEDEALER, MITRA). We have confirmed that they will record a new RIGOR MORTIS CD with this lineup and we are currently setting up 20th Anniversary tours for 2006.

"Casey Orr has been working on setting up a West Coast tour that will start January 14th and should hopefully reach states like Oklahoma, Arizona, California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada. RIGOR MORTIS will also be attending the the NAMM show in Anaheim this year. The tour will conclude back in Dallas/Ft. Worth on February 4th and 5th when RIGOR MORTIS plays at the biggest horror movie convention in Texas history… Texas Frightmare Weekend.

Here are some early confirmed dates with more to be announced soon…

Jan. 14 - El Paso, Texas @ Murphys Cantina
Jan. 15 - Phoenix, Arizona @ Metal Devastatoin II
Jan. 16 - Silverlake, California @ Zen Sushi
Jan. 18 - San Marcos, California @ The Jumping Turtle
Feb. 4-5 - Grapevine, TX @ Texas Frightmare Weekend (Grapevine Convention Center)

Other tours for 2006 are also in the works. RIGOR MORTIS is also about to start writing new songs for the new RIGOR MORTIS CD. This will be the first CD released by RIGOR MORTIS in 15 years. We have had some offers from labels during our reunion tour. But, we are just now spreading the word that we are ready to talk with any record labels, management or booking agents that are interested in us. Also, due to overwhelming demand, Casey Orr is re-releasing a limited run 'Freaks' re-issue CD will be available in mid January. No extra tracks but it will have the lyrics. I have also managed to put all the pics that I have received so far from our reunion tour all together on one site. So if you wanna check out almost 350 pics from many of the shows on our tour… check out [this link]. Anyone else that has pictures or live video footage from the tour… please send them to [email protected] and [email protected]"

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=45781

825
Metal / The Underground (No Longer Exists)
« on: December 18, 2005, 07:12:04 PM »
The Underground
No Longer Exists

As metal music has further slid into an abyss of genericism and meaningless sound and fury, the bleating of "Support the Underground!" has intensified to the point where its cliche is expected as if a test of allegiance. What none will say is that the underground does not exist, and even were someone to construct it, it would no longer be relevant, as the circumstances which made "underground" metal important are long departed.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, it was more difficult to get one's music published than today. There were few labels, and putting out releases was expensive. A few gigantic companies controlled what most people see and hear (and still do, because only they can afford the advertising). Consequently, small underground labels popped up and tended to put out a couple CDs a year and sell them for reasonably high prices.

When one said "support the underground" back then, it meant going the extra mile to get the quality releases from these off-broadway sources. Because pressure on the underground was high, most of its releases were meaningful art even if not as slick as the major label stuff, and it was not a terrible idea to support the underground as an agenda.

The current decade is a different story entirely. First it is important to note that despite thousands of people chanting in unison how we should support the underground, it has been nearly ten years since the underground produced excellent art in any numbers. Sure, there are some good bands around, like Averse Sefira or Demoncy, but they're the exception and they are not getting the reception one could expect when the underground was vibrant and any band of high quality was immediately recognized widely.

In fact, when an outsider says that all of the current metal bands sound the same, he or she is not entirely inaccurate. The radical differences in music between bands like Emperor and Morbid Angel, or Deicide and Burzum, no longer exist; metal, like a product, has come to sound very similar because the same assumptions propel its creation. Much like in the 1970s, when stadium metal turned the entire genre into cliche, almost all of the bands today operate within the same narrow band of technique, artistic idea, song structure and aesthetic. If you miss one this week, there will be a nearly-identical one next week which will be just as good - or bad, if you're feeling realistic.

While the degree of instrumental ability and production quality has risen, the variation of metal bands from a tedious norm has declined alarmingly. There is an endless procession of bands that people talk about as "the next big thing," but it has been many years since there have been true greats: bands that express something profoundly and well so exactly that a selection of intelligent fans will find it universal.

Our problem now is abundance. Where in the 1980s, getting a CD out was so difficult that there were few bands and few labels, we now have thousands upon thousands of bands, labels, zines, websites and concert festivals. Everyone can record, and everyone does, which generates a flood of mediocre metal.

The problem with this flood isn't its quality in itself. The problem is that when there is a flood of undistinctive material, (a) anything that does not conform to the pattern is not recognized and (b) the information overload is so great than any excellent band that does rise will be ignored. In essence, the underground has replicated the errors made by gigantic record labels in the 1980s!

For this reason, those who might make excellent art are staying away from metal. They know that their chances of success are slim, and that then they will be one voice among millions, with whatever unique or personal qualities they put into the art ignored. For this reason, the fans start to look toward external traits: slick playing over profound songwriting, quality of production, technical concerns like instrumental precision, the novelty of aesthetic and/or band origin, and most of all, whether or not the band has networked socially among what we call "the underground" but is in fact a very accessible fanbase that is no different than the mainstream in how it rewards trends, group favorites, sycophants and the well-financed.

Why play in a metal band if everything excellent that you do goes unrecognized? The crowd of imitators and fools will look over your best work and nod, but they will not give it wings to rise above the others. After all, they each have their own bands and labels and zines to promote, so why defer their own success and participate in yours, even if your work is better? Social favorites dominate over quality. Consequently, the best people go elsewhere, where they can be recognized for what they do well, and where they are not doomed to being one of a crowd which, by its size, will never get anywhere.

If you start a black metal band today, and are as good as Emperor were on their demos, you will first face censure from others who fear that you will "get ahead" of their own mediocre bands without having "paid your dues," which translated into realistic terms means participation in the society of fans. Both of these factors have nothing to do with your demo, or your music.

Such a hypothetical band can expect that, once it has decided to socialize and become popular enough to be recognized, it will become flavor of the week, because there are so many bands that there is no time or energy to single out some excellent ones. Even more, the fanbase is numb to quality, and therefore will rank an excellent band on par with mediocre ones. The end result is that our hypothetical excellent band will get an equal share of the metal pie, but will never rise above that, even if its quality is far above that of all others.

This means the band members will have to content themselves with an endless series of day jobs, the praise of idiots, and a lack of recognition that means when it is all over, their excellent work will be forgotten, buried beneath a landfill of the mediocre. Any artist who is not strictly a hobbyist is going to avoid this genre, because the crowd has taken over and will not recognize quality, thus there is no way to make a name for oneself.

Interestingly, the same thing happened in hardcore music in the 1980s when it became cheap and easy to release seven-inch records. Suddenly, there were no "fans": everyone had a band, zine, label or distro. Consequently, quality went down, because no leaders were picked, and a great averaging occurred. Everyone could participate, but because there was no specialized fanbase, the farthest they got was participation, getting their share. No one great rose above and therefore, the great people stopped trying. There was no direction.

Analogous to the effects of democracy and consumerism on the quality of people in society as a whole? You bet it was. Analogy to egocentricism of the west, and its own cultural failings? You bet: the same mechanism was in effect: a lack of appreciation for quality because popularity/social pressures dictated participation, an external factor, not hierarchy, which requires a measurement of amorphous qualities such as "artistic worth" which are unrecognizable to most people in the crowd. Consequently, hardcore declined to the point where, in 1985, all the bands sounded exactly the same and there were no leaders.

The underground is dead, and if it shows signs of reviving, shoot it. It no longer has meaning and thus has become a way to sell music, a brand name even, not a distinction in quality or attitude. "Underground" metal is marketed exactly the same way mainstream music is, on a smaller scale, and while it does hard to hide this fact behind angry album covers, bad sound quality, and sociopathic topics, the lack of quality reveals what a lie its "underground" status is.

To use the occult terms, our current view of metal is exoteric: show up, participate, and you'll get your equal share. The best years of metal came about when it was esoteric, or rewarded the best among its members, and had a community in place that could tell the difference. Consider it a form of evolution. When such conditions are again in place, quality metal on a broad scale will return.

If there is something to replace the underground, it is the dissidents who choose music based on artistic quality alone. They don't care about the album covers, who the band knows, or how well its production makes it sound. They look for quality art of the poetic but aggressive nature found in early 1990s blackmetal, and when the horde of imitators stops flooding the market with crap, they stand a chance in hell of finding it - if any remains.

(For J. and N., with whom this was discussed extensively.)

http://www.anus.com/metal/about/metal/underground/

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