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Metal / Heritage of Metal
« on: December 22, 2005, 07:14:14 PM »

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

Metal / Re: Youth culture FAILS
« on: December 22, 2005, 06:54:04 PM »
Achievement versus Failure

The Baby Boomers, born during and after WWII, will be the wealthiest generation to ever exist in America and Europe. When people criticize the boomers, they generally do so on the basis of their selfishness. Unlike any other generation, the Baby Boomers - the "Me generation" - were the most focused on themselves and their personal wants. They were also the most politically active in recent memory, although all of their political impetus was directed at achieving more individual "freedom."

This "freedom" came in the form of an individualism that said collectivity and a shared goal should be forgotten and replaced by the pursuit of happiness of the individual, which rapidly translated into the pursuit of unique and individualized experience. This included a large amount of personal conceit, being the construction of a novel personality-object reinforced through purchases of art, daily objects and literature that together were taken as a construction of the values of the individual. Universal or objective truth was out; personal identity and the ego were in.

It is no surprise then that the Boomers chased egalitarianism and "freedom," because their goal was ultimately one of selfishness: they wanted to be able to construct whatever identities they desired and in order to do this, they needed to remove any external standards which might point out that egomania is not productive and does not help society as a whole. "Freedom," sensu Boomer, is an antidote to having any kind of goal to civilization against which individual actions can be compared and found wanting.

For all the protesting and drama that the hippie era generated, it produced few lasting changes. There were civil rights revolutions, more "freedom" for blacks and women. Public standards of behavior and appearance were relaxed. Even marijuana is now more socially accepted. But did the overall course of society change? We're still wage-slaves overpopulating a planet and thus committing a profound ecocide, but the Boomers only gave this lip service, since to stop ecocide requires we lose our selfish "freedom" and start having standards in common against which egomania can be compared and found wanting.

Keith Kahn-Harris, an academic writer who studies among other things heavy metal music, wrote a paper in which he tried to answer the question "Why do subcultures and youth culture make a lot of noise, but ultimately, produce no lasting changes?" He might as well have been writing about the hippies/Boomers. Here is his abstract:

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. - Keith Kahn-Harris

Poor Keith has to labor under the behavioral constraints of academia, and thus there's a lot of what appears to be doublespeak in the above excerpt; in fact, it is manipulation of symbols carefully coded by academics to represent behavior. When he speaks of "reflexive" behavior, he means a rejection of social constraints, and with that in mind, we can see that what he is saying is that youth culture is too selfish to embrace a plan that requires actual effort and accomplishment of its goals. The unstated meta-goal of youth cultures is egomania, and this translates well into a kind of anarchy that accepts the idea "I don't want other races near me" but will never accept the burden of collective responsibility.

His point is well taken, especially now that black metal has wound down into a three quality bands surrounded by 30,000 imitators and generic mediocre ones. The original artists had a conception of what values were higher than a society they found wanting, in part because it is so selfish it has banished reality in favor of personal novelty and other egomaniacal pursuits. The artists who follow are in it for the popularity, even if in a tiny subculture, and the sense of "belonging" rather than making waves. Like the Boomers, they have confused dislike of society's poor choices with being "oppressed" by the fact of having to make values choices at all, and thus for the most part have cast aside value choices and instead trumpet what personal accoutrements they desire.

For most black metallers, nationalism and a better form of society are inaccessible ideas. To understand nationalism, one has to look at the pattern of society as a whole and thus conjecture a better design of civilization. It is not a personal pursuit or conceit, but a question of doing what is best for everyone, at the cost of some personal sacrifice. While black metallers recognize that our society is dooming itself by its lack of vision and divorce from reality, they fail to escape the same mental trap that got it there, and therefore only think of their own wants and desires. This is the nature of youth culture: shallow, selfish and impotent.

Does anyone remember Ritual? They were one of the first black metal bands from the United States after the surge of great work from Europe. Their music was wholly derivative, as was their image, and to those who were black metal fans at the time, what Ritual recorded was downright stupid and a dumbing-down of the black metal idea to make it more like rock and radio metal (Metallica). To a fan today, Ritual is not as offensively terrible. Standards have relaxed, and the mediocre has supplanted the great, because black metal today is a selfish popularity cult based on belonging. Because of this, any "ideology" it has is purely personal and reflects lifestyle choices, not a widescale idea of what a better world might be like. People adopt "ideology" as part of their self-image, to justify themselves or to have a place with others, and have no intention of working on achieving it.

It is for this reason that the press and academics consider black metal to have "failed." It did not achieve its goals. In fact, it became absorbed by the same forces it detested. Where it could have found a sensible philosophy, derived from the Romantic/Gothic beliefs of the original black metal bands which include nationalism, instead it opted for the selfish, which resembles anarchy, self-pity and bigotry. Black metal has failed, just like the hippies before it, because it became a popularity contest instead of an ideological movement. The next time someone tells you to be tolerant of the stupid ideas of other people because "it's just their own way of life, and it doesn't affect you," remember that they're wrong and the failure of black metal is proof of their delusion.


Metal / 95% of black metal is "pure crap"
« on: December 21, 2005, 09:52:16 AM »
"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."


Metal / Top Ten Moron Metal of 2005
« on: December 21, 2005, 09:48:48 AM »
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


(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...)

Metal / Youth culture FAILS
« on: December 21, 2005, 08:38:54 AM »
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:

Metal / Eyes of Ligeia
« on: December 21, 2005, 08:25:42 AM »
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


Metal / Rigor Mortis news
« on: December 21, 2005, 05:21:06 AM »
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 brucecorbitt@yahoo.com and caseyorr13@hotmail.com."


Metal / Re: Doom Metal and its presence in BM and Death Me
« on: December 18, 2005, 05:15:50 PM »
Doom metal = an aesthetic, not a genre. Therefore, any type of metal - death, black, heavy, speed - can be "doom metal."

Much like Venom and COF aren't black metal.

Metal / Re: Morbid Angel
« on: December 18, 2005, 05:13:22 PM »
I like these user reviews.

Here's another:


Metal / Re: How to be a Black Metal Fan in 2005
« on: December 18, 2005, 11:13:38 AM »
It seems to me his problem with Euronymous was straightforward: as the genre grew quickly, Euronymous delayed releasing Burzum albums, giving the Count fear that he would not become recognized as part of the movement he had helped create. Thus he murdered Euronymous, and sure enough, the album came out quickly!

Metal / The Underground (No Longer Exists)
« on: December 18, 2005, 11:12:04 AM »
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.)


Metal / Re: Literature: post reviews of your favorite book
« on: December 18, 2005, 11:10:31 AM »
Most metal book ever:
"Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad

Are you an antisocial metalhead? This book explains how society, by fleeing what it fears, creates its own darkness and parasitizes itself. KVLT!

Metal / Re: Wikipedia's Death Metal page
« on: December 18, 2005, 11:03:42 AM »
I think it's fair to link the genre pages from anus.com on any metal-related article that's relevant (death, black metal). We're the oldest metal site on the net and one of the most popular, by statistics. What could they (rationally) have against us?

Metal / Re: what is still underground these days
« on: December 11, 2005, 05:51:57 PM »
There is no underground.

"Underground" existed when there were only mainstream labels.

Now anything can get published, and the problem isn't aboveground/underground but that the quality stuff gets drowned out.

Fuck the Underground... it serves no purpose, and destroys a lot of good things.

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