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Metal / Re: Immolation - Harnessing Ruin tour
« on: June 07, 2005, 10:27:08 PM »
6/22 in San Antonio... worth attending if you're in Texas.

Metal / Paul Speckmann
« on: June 07, 2005, 10:25:47 PM »

Metal / Re: Rigor Mortis
« on: June 07, 2005, 10:15:06 PM »
From Bruce Corbitt to all Rigor Mortis fans:

It has been a while since I heard from anyone on this list.  So thought I would see if anyone is alive out there.  This list has been dead for a while… but, I thought I would give a few updates and see if all of you would just join the Rigor page and fan group on myspace to keep up with any band updates or info.

I saw Harden for the first time in 10 years 2 weeks ago.  He is now in a new band called Mitra.  You can check out the band and hear some of their songs here.  http://www.myspace.com/mitramusic

Casey just won the best bass player in Dallas for the Dallas Observer Music Awards for his work with the Burden Brothers.  He now has some free time from the Burden Brothers and he is going to do some shows with some of his former bands.  He is going to do some shows with his Punk band The Hellions.  Their first show will be supporting GBH on July 19th at The Galaxy in Deep Ellum (Dallas).

Mike has been working on the Ministry anthology in El Paso and just moved there from California.  He is also in a new relationship and expecting another kid in September.  I think he is also going to get married sometime in the future.  He also has been talking with some other well-known musicians about a future project that would kick ass.

I have been spending a lot of time with my 4 year old daughter Chyna.  I just got to meet her for the first time last September.  But, we are already pretty close and she seems to love her dad.  I also am working on getting a T-shirt business going on the side.  I designed some Texas logos that I think will be some big sellers… at least I am hoping.

I have also been working on this different version of my book and it’s actually close to being finished.  Some of the stories I shared on this list are still in the book.  But, this version is concentrating on just the DFW Metal scene memories.  I separated all of my Aerosmith, life and fan stories from this version.  So this is a book strictly for metalheads now.  It will not be the complete history of the DFW Metal scene.  It is more of a tribute and about memories of some of those musicians and bands that have been a part of it over the years.  I have many of this areas past and! present metal bands contributing stories.  Besides the other bands that are contributing stories.  I now have our former A&R Rep (Rachel Matthews) that signed us to Capitol contributing.  Also, Rigor Mortis manager Charlie Brown has agreed to be a part of it.  So that will be cool to hear it from their business side of things.  I plan to have it finished by October and I plan to just print my own copies to sell at first until I find the right publisher.

I also have been talking with John Perez of Rotting Corpse/Solitude Aeturnus fame.  He is of course contributing stories for the book.  But, he wants to release the first edition of the book along with a new CD that he is preparing to release on his label (Brainticket) around the same time.  He is releasing a CD of previously unsigned old Texas bands… mainly bands before 1985.  So it would be released as a limited editing package deal with the book and CD.

I also got the see the reunion of Texas thrash legends Rotting Corpse last week.  Man, it felt like an old-school show and brought back a lot of memories.  www.rottingcorpse.net

In other news… Gammacide, another legendary Texas thrash band is also talking about doing some reunion shows soon to go along with the soon to be released CD.  www.gammacide.com

Now for some possible big news that some of you have waited to hear forever.  Casey recently announced that he has been talking to Mike and Harden about doing some possible Rigor Mortis shows around October.  The shows would be for sure in Dallas and Ft. Worth and they are also talking about doing some other shows around Texas… if there is enough interest.  This is not a serious or permanent reunion.  Just a chance to do some shows and have some fun and see what happens from there.

Before any of you ask me if I will be part of this reunion… I will let you know right now.  I have talked to both Casey and Mike about it and we all have agreed that if the shows do happen… that I will get up and sings some songs from the first album sometime during the show.  This would only be at the Dallas show and maybe the show in Ft. Worth too.  I wouldn’t be going on any small tour with them around Texas if they decide to do that.

Like I said… this isn’t an official reunion.  So this makes the most sense for me to just make a guest appearance or two and have some fun for old-time sake.  I think that is how they feel about it too.  I haven’t been onstage with Rigor Mortis in 17 years.  I will be happy just to get up there with them again and I am thankful we are still alive to be able to do it… even if it’s just one or two more times.

Of course this is all just a possibility and talk right now.  But, we should know soon if and when it will happen.  I am going to give some myspace links for you all to check out.  You should join up and add us as friends and join the groups if you want to be updated on the progress.

The Official Rigor Mortis Fan Group.  Casey just started this group and you will be able to keep up with the possible Rigor shows etc here.


My personal page...


The Rigor Mortis myspace page that I started…


Casey Orr’s personal myspace page…


Mitra’s myspace page… Harden’s new band.


The Hellions fan group that Casey started for updates on their shows…


My Dallas/Ft. Worth Metal group


My Texas Metal group…


My t-shirt myspace page for when and if I can ever get it going…


Gammacide Myspace page


Rotting Corpse myspace page…


Metal / The Burning Blade: Fireax Newsletter
« on: June 05, 2005, 04:59:22 PM »
Standing on top…

                       The Burning Blade

                Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 8.4

                         June 3, 2005


      "It is not possible to manage something you cannot define."
              - Alan Greenspan, referring to the money supply,
              and in essence stating that he cannot do the job that
              he was hired to do

             "But out of control and it swallows us whole.
              A ravenous abomination. A death machine."
                                      -Fireaxe "Death Machine"

      Many systems, political, economic, and religious, tend towards
greater and greater complexity as they are required to do more and more
things.  Examples are ever-present: the EU's proposed constitution with
hundreds of articles, the US's tax code with thousands of pages, and the
Catholic church's endless reams of doctrine.  All require experts to study
them for years to try to fathom out what they mean, and even then experts
often disagree.  And to make things even more difficult, when such codes
are enshrined into law they often have many problematic unintended
consequences which force politicians, lawyers, and priests to add yet
more rules in the hopes of fixing the system.  Over time, complex systems
grow beyond anyone's ability to understand them let alone control them,
and yet those systems are the ones that control our lives.  That's hardly
a comforting thought.
      Sitting at the top of each pile of doctrine we generally have a
person or persons who we regard as the masters of the system.  The
Pope presides over the Catholic church, the Supreme Court presides
over US law, and Alan Greenspan presides over the US dollar.  Each
wields great power over the system and speaks with great authority.  We
like to think that they can control the complex systems that we have
entrusted to them, but in truth each system has a great degree of
independence from its master.  At the core of each system lies a mass
of individuals each making independent decisions without necessarily
considering the impact of their decisions on the rest of the system.  If
only one or two people show poor judgment, or proceed in a novel and
potentially dangerous manner the system will usually manage just fine
with few disruptions.  If a larger number of people do the same, the
system can become destabilized, but it can usually be brought back under
control when the masters of the system create more laws, adjust certain
factors, or add more doctrine to the holy texts.  But if a large mass of
people test the very limits of a system, the results can be catastrophic.
It is at those times that the masters of the systems can only watch
helplessly as the system collapses.  Their control is not absolute.
      Throughout history this has happened over and over.  Each
time we come up with a new set of fixes to correct the failures of past
systems and everything seems to be working once more.  However, years
later the system inevitably fails once again, but this time in a new way
that no one could have predicted or prevented.  The pattern is cyclical
in nature.  After each major collapse, people behave conservatively for
fear that another collapse will happen again.  Slowly the new system
inspires confidence, and caution is set aside in favor of risk and novelty.
Stability gradually goes from being something that is cherished and
protected to being something that is taken for granted.  Eventually risk
and excesses rule the day and the system is ripped from its stable
moorings. Destabilization follows and there is no way back.  Despite
some often extreme attempts to save it, the system collapses, spreading
chaos on destruction in its wake.  Then the cycle begins anew.
      I see the current cycle coming to a close.  There are few who
are still alive during the economic collapse of the 1930's and the world
war that followed.  Not many are left in power who have lived through
that era and thus few truly understand that the stability that appears to
permeate our financial and political systems could suddenly disappear
and plunge the world into chaos.  Many simply take it for granted that
it could never happen again and that we're too smart to allow it to do so.
I see a number of leaders taking great risks and using their power in
ways that are destabilizing the current system.  It appears like a global
game of chicken, but there is a method to their madness of our leaders.
If you push farther than the other guy, but don't go too far yourself, you
win.  But how far is too far?  I think that we will find out soon enough.
      Speaking of new and destabilizing ideas, "Eternal Devotion
to the Dark Goddess" is slowly coming to fruition.  As my health is
improving, the tracks are forming, and the recording process may
be in full swing before the end of the year.  Of course, if the global
economy collapses this year or the next, all bets are off concerning
a release date, but as long as there is life within my body, there will
also exist the will to deliver the darkest Fireaxe CD of them all.
      A big ‘Hello’ to anyone receiving the Burning Blade for the
first time.  This is the Fireaxe newsletter.

Fireaxe salutes Wikipedia and Perry Grayson

      Only recently have I been made aware of Wikipedia, an
internet based encyclopedia, and I have to say that I am impressed
by what I've seen so far.  Unlike other internet encyclopedias, Wikipedia
is an open book, meaning that it allows anyone at all to add, update, or
correct information for any given entry.  This enables it to have hundreds
if not thousands of authors, each experts in their own field, adding to a
massive knowledge base which covers everything from history to science
to pop culture.  It also allows you to add external links to the pages so
that it can connect the entire internet to its knowledge base.  It's powerful
and its scope is vast.  Just search for "Where's the beef?" and you'll see
what I mean.


      I know what you're thinking, that having Wikipedia open so
that anyone can make changes is dangerous or ill-advised.  Anyone can
vandalize or delete anything that someone else has contributed, or simply
post a bunch of nonsense that sounds authoritative.  But Wikipedia also
stores the history of changes for every entry, so if you find a page that
has been vandalized you can easily roll it back to the unblemished
version.  It's not a perfect system, but I am surprised how good it is.
      One day I decided to do a search for Fireaxe and discovered
that there was no entry for my musical project.  No problem.  With just
a few clicks and I added the entry along with a link to the Fireaxe home
page and a brief description.  If anyone of you wants to add your two
cents to the entry go right ahead.  Learning the form is pretty easy.


      You can also search other entries just like any good search
engine and when I searched for Fireaxe I stumbled upon a very good
write-up of horror author Frank Belknap Long, one of H.P. Lovecraft's
circle of fellow pulp sci-fi/horror authors.  The Fireaxe song "Hounds of
Tindalos" was close enough to Long's vision to merit a reference on the
page.  I quickly added a link where Fireaxe was mentioned and wondered
who would have thought to include Fireaxe in the Frank Belknap Long


      Reading farther down the page I discovered that it was probably
my friend and fellow metal musician/Lovecraft enthusiast Perry Grayson.
He'd included a link to a biography that he'd written on Frank Belknap
Long which was too long to be included in Wikipedia, but which fits in
perfectly as an external link:


      If you're a Lovecraft/horror enthusiast, give his article a read.
And to Perry, if you were the one who wrote Fireaxe into the Frank
Belknap Long entry, a big thank you to you.  Wikipedia rocks.

Top of the Rock

      If you don't have your health, you have nothing.  Sure, it's a
tired old cliché, but there will very likely be a time in your life where
you realize that nothing is more true.  Protect your health, preserve it,
and when it tries to get away, fight as hard as you can to get it back.
I know that from experience.  I've written about my struggles with my
health over the past three years: about how a malignant tumor nearly
did me in and left me with only one kidney, and about how the sutures
from that operation caused me a lot of pain and prevented me from fully
healing the seven inch scar until I paid to have them removed.  Now I
have another chapter to add to the saga.  I'd like it to be the last.
      At the end of last year I had the sutures from my surgical scar
removed, which solved the problems I was having there completely.
Note that those were internal sutures.  They held the muscles together,
not the skin.  After six months of healing I didn't need them anymore,
but removing them would require another surgery, something that was
rarely ever done.  The sutures were meant to be permanent.  The trouble
was that the surgeon had sewn them in using an outdated technique.
As a result the sutures dug in and caused sharp stabbing pains whenever
I used my abdominal muscles.  It was frustrating, and what was worse
was that all the doctors and surgeons that I saw told me that the problem
was due to scar tissue, not the sutures, and that my troubles would slowly
go away over time.  They were all wrong, completely wrong.  But I still
had to pay to have the sutures removed.  My insurance wouldn't cover
the procedure.  The bastards.  But anyway, I'm just glad that I could
afford it.  It needed to be done.
      In the months that followed I found myself in a similar
situation once more.  My abdomen was fine, but my energy levels had
dropped again.  They'd been down ever since I first got cancer and
had been drifting between low and very low ever since.  Something
was wrong with me but all the blood tests and scans showed nothing.
My doctors had no idea what the problem was and told me that I
would either get better with time, or suggested that I was depressed
and needed something like Prozac to make me feel better.  I would have
been insulted by the idea that depression was causing my fatigue, but I
know that doctors sometimes get kickbacks for prescribing popular
drugs.  My doctors simply had no other answers for me.  So once
again I went back to the internet to try to figure out what was wrong
with me.
      I began to wonder if I was going to have to actually become a
doctor in order to find a cure.  I was already taking over part of the
job that my doctors and specialists were supposed to do.  They could
only give me fifteen minutes of their time every month and that is not
enough time to look into something that doesn't immediately show up
on the standard tests.  As a result, "Do no harm" became "Do nothing".
I was on my own.  Like it or not, that is the direction that our health
care system has gone in recent years.  If you have something that modern
medicine has identified, like cancer, you get prompt and powerful
treatment.  But if you have something that is unusual and difficult to
diagnose, you might have to do a lot of the legwork yourself, especially
if it is a chronic lack of energy.  Most people will write you off as
mentally ill, a malingerer, or a lazy slacker if you complain about
being fatigued all the time.
      None of those labels stick to me save for the "mentally ill"
one (he he).  And although I may be a number of things, depressed
isn't one of them.  Sure, I write depressing music and I may not have
a positive outlook on the future and the world, but I have always had a
strong drive to do my best with whatever hand I get dealt.  I look at it
very simply: there is no alternative, so always fight hard.
      I'd taken up cycling back in the late 90s.  That was when I
moved out to California and noticed that there were all these bike lanes
everywhere.  That was a huge change from Michigan, where your
only riding choices on city streets were an irregular sidewalk and a
pothole-ridden gap between speeding pickup trucks and the curb.
Once in California I broke out my old ten-speed and whipped myself
back into shape.  In time I fell in love with the sport and increased the
distances that I would go on my rides.  By mid-2001 I was able to ride
over a hundred miles in a single day and did that on most weekends
during the summer.  It was great.  In July I'd watch Lance ride live on
TV in the Tour de France in the morning, and then cruise up into the
hills for my own stage in the afternoon.  Lots of Fireaxe tracks got
written while I was out on those long rides, "The Citadel Must Fall"
and "River of Madness" being two of them.  During the summer of
2001 I rode long and I rode hard and I enjoyed every minute of it.
      That was when cancer struck.  No one knows how you get
kidney cancer, but I suspect that it was because I was drinking the
filthy California tap water and breathing filthy Saddleback Valley
air on those long rides.  The air is cleaner where I live now, but the
tap water is even worse.  The stuff tastes like jet fuel.  I'm not kidding.
I drink distilled water now exclusively and when I get a mouthful of
southern California tap water I want to spit it out.  It's disgusting.
      But along with cancer, something else struck me that year
and the next as I slowly lost my ability to ride long distances and then
lost the ability to ride at all.  My immune system was getting more
and more taxed by the cancer and ended up seriously weakened.  That's
never a good thing because there are dormant infections in our bodies
that are held in check by our immune systems.  When our immune
systems become weakened, those infections wake up and spread around,
making you sick and lethargic, and some of them have adapted to have
such survival mechanisms as triggering the hyper-coagulation of your
blood.  Hyper-coagulation is where your blood gets thicker and the walls
of your capillaries end up coated with a layer of fibrous tissue.  The
infections then hide in that layer which protects them from your
immune system.  The layer even protects the infections from antibiotics
and thus you relapse after taking courses of them.  It's nasty shit and I
had it bad.  But as I said, none of it showed up on the standard tests
my doctors performed.  Of course, neither does cancer until it is just
about to kill you.  So I wasn't going to wait around and do nothing.
I had to find out what was wrong with me.
      Without the internet there would be no Fireaxe.  And to be
honest, without the internet there might be no Brian Voth anymore.
I'm not sure if it has saved my life, but the internet has helped me
improve my health on numerous occasions.  This is another one of
those.  While searching for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the following
link came up:


      It was written by Dr. Holtorf who came to realize that
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was a very real and very devastating
syndrome when he came down with it many years ago.  I'm glad that
he did, in a way, since he has figured out a cause and treatment for
the syndrome.  His ideas are new, and not yet accepted, but I was
willing to try anything that was scientifically sound and his theory
certainly is.
      Of course, I don't believe without proof and neither does Dr.
Holtorf's clinic.  So we got proof.  Independently performed blood tests
showed that I was suffering from everything that his theory predicts:
hyper-coagulation of the blood, no less than five chronic infections,
high values of reverse T3 - a measure that escapes most thyroid
doctors, and a weakened but highly active immune system.  Dr. Holtorf
has his shit together.  The best proof of all has come recently after
several months of treatment.  My energy is coming back and I'm back
on my bike.
      I'm not all the way back.  Maybe I'll get there.  Dr. Holtorf
doesn't guarantee 100% recovery.  I think that's because once the
infections get into your system you can never completely get rid of
them.  So you need some kind of continuing maintenance.  It's also
possible that Dr. Holtorf is holding back on the final piece of the
cure so that he can rake in extra cash in treatment.  I don't really
know.  But a few weeks ago I was feeling good and so I set my sights
on a milestone that I've wanted to achieve ever since I had cancer
surgery in March of 2003.
      There's a climb sixteen miles east of where I live.  The
road goes up for more than seven miles and the grade averages
about five and a half percent.  It's not quite an Alpine climb, but
it's long and nasty and takes about forty-five minutes to get to the top.
Of course, Lance could do it in twenty-five, but most people can't
even push a bike to the top let alone ride all the way up.  It's hard.
      After cancer surgery I had started riding again and I had tried
to get to the top of that climb.  I got close twice, but never all the way.
Then the Chronic Fatigue rose up and slowly shut down my ability to
exercise.  I had to stop trying and I wondered if I'd ever be able to
get to the top of that hill again.  I kept telling myself that I would.
I imagined myself at the top, holding my bike over my head and
shouting victoriously.  Getting to the top was going to be a symbol
of my victory over cancer.  But as the fatigue grew and grew, I began
to doubt if that would ever happen.
      Dr. Holtorf's treatment turned my body into a war zone.
I was taking a handful of pills every day.  I was taking drugs to tear
down the fibrin linings on my blood vessels, drugs to kill bacteria,
viruses, and fungi, drugs to strengthen my immune system, and a
whole gob of anti-oxidants and other pills to clean up the carnage.
The infections took their toll, but after weeks of struggling I was able
to exercise again without feeling like a basket case for days afterwards.
So I began to get myself back into shape.  My body was responding
once again and slowly I was getting stronger.  I took longer and longer
rides and one day I felt strong enough to climb a mile up that steep hill
to see if I could handle the strain.  I could, and so I decided that the
following week I would make another attempt at the ascent.
      Perhaps I wasn't ready.  Perhaps I was too ambitious.
Pushing myself is one of my faults and it may have contributed to
me getting cancer in the first place.  Still I had to try.  I loaded up
with gear, carbs, and clean water and headed towards the big hill.
It was more brutal than I remembered.  That was because I wasn't
in as good a shape as I had been years before.  But I took things slow
and kept telling myself that if I felt that I couldn't make it that I could
try again next weekend.  The sun was pounding and I was sweating
profusely.  By the time I got three-quarters of the way up there was no
dry spot on my shirt to clean my glasses.  I had to stop and rest and I
wondered if I could finish the climb.  I was tired, but I still felt like I
could go farther.  The last mile and a half of the climb was the hardest.
The grade there is seven percent and it doesn't let up.  I hadn't been
past that point since I got cancer.  But now I felt better, and so I went
for it.
      It was hot.  I had to go slow.  But my legs kept churning.
I kept waiting for my body to give up and tell me to stop but it
never did.  I didn't want to give up but I was ready to if I felt that
I had to.  I kept going.  I didn't need to get to the top that day, but
somehow I did.  Yes, I made it.  I had returned to a place where I
hadn't been for almost three years.  It felt fantastic.
      At first I was too tired to celebrate.  I had to wait a few
minutes before finally hoisting my bike aloft and screaming out
my victory over cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the doctors
who were wrong, and the many problems in our health care system.
I finally felt like I had won.  And as I came flying down out of the
mountains at a modest 30+ miles per hour with the wind rushing
past and my legs pushing me faster I began to remember who it
was that I used to be.  Victory at last.
      Maybe this is a short-lived recovery.  Maybe there's
something else inside me that I'm going to have to battle in the
near future.  Maybe the next time I have to fight I'm not going to
be able to win.  But there is one thing that I know for sure, that I
will always be fighting: fighting to stay alive, fighting to get what
I want, and fighting to be who I am.  And to be honest, I wouldn't
have it any other way.

The Fireaxe theory - Outline

I. Basics - well established theories

1. Emergent systems - that complex systems can arise from the
interactions of simple things
2. Natural selection - that organisms mutate, proliferate, and compete,
with the "losers" becoming extinct
3. Behavioral science - that neurological systems, at their core, function
according to the rules of conditioning
4. Entropy - that within a closed system, entropy always increases,
which limits the amount of transformation that can occur

II. Extensions

1. That consciousness is an emergent system: a complex system arising
in the human mind from the interaction of simple neurons.
2. That civilizations are emergent systems arising from the physical
interactions of humans whether conscious or not.
3. That ideologies are emergent systems arising from the psychological
interactions of conscious humans
4. That emergent systems follow the laws of natural selection in much
the same way that organisms do
5. That the universe is, by definition, a closed system

III. Contentions regarding consciousness

1. That consciousness is a survival advantage
2. That being a member of an ideology is a survival advantage
3. That making its members conscious is a necessary part of an
ideology's survival
4. That consciousness is created by instilling within a person a
permanent sense of inadequacy - in essence a state of constant fear
5. That the deeper the sense of inadequacy, the stronger the person
is motivated  - generally to serve their ideology

IV. Contentions regarding ideological struggle

1. That ideologies fight for survival using many methods including,
but not limited to, war and enslavement
2. That aggression is a survival advantage
3. That aggressive ideologies make members of rival ideologies
feel afraid and inadequate which in response become more aggressive,
thus creating a vicious circle
4. That aggressive ideologies must continue to grow or face internal
strife as their aggressive members will feed on each other to satisfy
their needs
5. That internal struggle results in ideological mutation

V. Contentions regarding the future

1. That internal strife is inevitable since the laws of entropy imply
that continuous growth is not sustainable
2. That the abstract bases for ideologies transcend mortality and thus
suicidal aggression is not restrained by fear of death
3. That ideological mutation will eventually result in the creation of
a suicidal ideology which will attempt to save the human race by
destroying it

How to order Fireaxe CDs:

      Ordering Fireaxe CD's is an informal process as I am selling
them personally out of my apartment. Simply mail me a letter which
contains the following:

1. The names of the CDs that you want to buy.
2. The address where you want the CDs sent.
3. Cash, a check, or a money order for the total cost.

      Here is a price list.  The first number is the cost for U.S.
based customers, the second is for outside the U.S.  The prices
include shipping and handling.

Food for the Gods:      $12     $14
Victory or Death        $5      $7
Lovecraftian Nightmares $5      $7 - Sold out
A Dream of Death        $3      $5 - slim only - booklet out of print

      Send everything to:

      Brian Voth
      1301 Medical Center Dr. #415
      Chula Vista, CA 91911    USA

      If you review CDs on a website or in a magazine, any one
of the single CDs (Not "Food for the Gods") is free of charge in
exchange for the review.  In this case all I need is a request by
e-mail.  Please send me the URL of your review site or copy of your
magazine with the review in it when it is done.  If you want to
exchange CDs, tapes, or stuff of equivalent value, make these
requests via e-mail and we'll arrange a trade.
      The CDs come with a booklet filled with awesome art, a
letter about the project, and some information about the CD which
can also be found on the Fireaxe site.
      Lastly, if you want to print and distribute Fireaxe CDs I
can send you an additional CD which contains tiff files for all the
booklets, tray cards, and labels for each project.  The tiff disk is free
so just say the word.

The Future

      I’ve been focusing so hard on “Food for the Gods” that I’ve
had little time to think about what I’d like to record next.  Over the
past few months I’ve tossed around some ideas and have come up
with a working title and theme.  The next Fireaxe work will dig even
deeper into the dark crevices of our society and our minds, pull forth
the myths that we cling to and hold dear, and expose them all for what
they are.  While “A Dream of Death” explored the madness of dreams,
and “Food for the Gods” described the chaos wrought upon the earth
by ideologies, “Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess” will depict the
psychological enslavement of the individual in modern times.  It will
be the darkest Fireaxe work ever.  But don’t put your order in just yet.
After wrapping up “Food for the Gods” I’ll need a while to rest and
upgrade my studio.  I’m spent.
      My goal is to deliver music to whoever wants to hear it in
whatever way is necessary.  Whatever the market demands, I will supply,
but I do want to avoid the mass marketing channel.  Exposure is fine, but
in the modern business, the substance of the music must be altered to
match the demands of the marketplace.  This would totally defeat the
purpose of why I write music in the first place.  I write music because it
is a way to express my emotions.  What I both think and feel goes into
the songs.  That is the power, Fireaxe is the channel, and any diversion
diminishes the emotive effect.  Thus I try to avoid such diversions.
That is how art should be.

Rights to duplicate Fireaxe materials

      Currently Fireaxe is not for profit.  I sell the single CDs for
$5, $12 for "Food for the Gods" since it is three CDs, which covers
the production and mailing costs.  For CDs sent out of the country,
I'll have to charge an extra $2 per disk to cover the additional mailing
cost. If you write reviews or put samples on your website I'll give you a
CD for free.  Since I am not making any money with the current
recordings, you are free to make duplicates of them to distribute as
long as you obey the following guidelines:

1. You can only sell the duplications for the price of the medium or
      less, plus any delivery cost.  You are not allowed to make any
      profit with the music.
2. You should tell me how many copies you gave out and who got them so
      I can keep track.  Also, if they have an e-mail address I'd
      like that as well so I can add them to the mailing list.
3. You are likewise free to adorn any webpages or duplications with the
      gifs and jpgs on my website as long as you include an obvious
      link back to my website.  This includes putting Fireaxe song
      samples on your site as well.
4. You are free to play any Fireaxe songs (in unaltered form) provided
      you are an unsigned band without a marketing tie-in.  You are
      not allowed to record those songs onto anything that you will sell.
5. You are food for the gods.
6. You are required to crank the song "Hounds of Tindalos" as loud
      as you can as often as you can.  It’s your only defense against
      THEM.  Be warned, they come through angles.  Note that the
      CD is round.  Are your speaker cabinets square?
7. Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, Hastur the Unspeakable, and all other
      mythos creatures are purely the inventions of Lovecraft and
      other fiction authors.  None of it is real, at least that’s what
      I’m going to say in court if you try to sue me for destruction
      of your property, house, city, or soul as a result of listening
      to the “Lovecraftian Nightmares” CD too much.
8.  You are free to play "The Rack" in school or church or any other
      institution bent on crushing your will and turning you into a
      mindless zombie slave of the corporate dominated world.
      Try not to develop a bad attitude about it.
9. You are not free to commit suicide while listening to any Fireaxe
      song.  I'm sorry, I'll have to prosecute.  On a serious note,
      if you are thinking about doing it, please e-mail or call me
      if you have no one else to talk to.  When I was in my teens
      the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd used to really get to me.
      Just hearing songs like "Comfortably Numb", and "Hey You"
      would get me pretty depressed and mildly suicidal.  I'm just
      trying to say that I've been there. If my music is having that
      effect on you, please get in touch.  You aren't alone.

      The gist of it is that you can do just about anything with the
music as long as you don't profit from it and that I get some sort of
credit for having written it.  I'm open to any methods of distributing
my music, such as compilation tapes or CDs, radio play, or recording
label distribution.  However, you will need my direct permission to
do so or some kind of legal agreement.

Ending Comments

      Any comments or questions are welcome.  If anyone has any
updates on their projects, I'd like to hear from you.  I know there
are a few people out there working on some cool things that I haven't
heard from in a while.  Drop me an e-mail regarding how you're
getting along.


"Maybe God wants us to fight.
To spill each other's blood and take our brothers' lives.
Sitting there in heaven with a smile on his face.
Our wars are his sport as we kill in his name."

                                      - Fireaxe "River of Madness"


Metal / new Severance album
« on: June 03, 2005, 12:08:07 AM »
Just wanted to let you know Severance new CD entitled Suffering Inhumanity will be out soon.

We have a new website, check it out and tell us what you think.


Metal / Master news
« on: June 02, 2005, 11:21:16 PM »
New Master merch is available for anyone
interested at http://www.speckmann.tk/

Master will be recording a new full length cd in the fall followed by a tour with Gorefest and Entombed in the spring of 2006.

Metal / Images of Violence
« on: June 02, 2005, 10:55:31 PM »

Metal / Immolation - Harnessing Ruin tour
« on: May 24, 2005, 01:57:09 AM »
IMMOLATION [http://www.immolation.info]:

IMMOLATION have been assaulting God?s black earth for the past 17 years. They have long been a thorn in Christ?s crown and have no intention of fading away. As one of the founders of the genre, they have always progressed and stayed vital. Now, with Harnessing Ruin, IMMOLATION once again delivers a record that is truly a necessary evil! Not only has the band developed their musical capabilities over the years, but they?ve also become one of the most intense live acts in the industry. Powerful, yet emotional, IMMOLATION is a force to be reckoned with. Harnessing Ruin features the recording debut of drummer Steve Shalaty, and the band?s most crushing yet clear production to date, compliments of longtime producer Paul Orofino.

We are very proud to announce IMMOLATION as direct support to Deicide on their tour happening in late May/June. When asked about the tour and the release of the group's latest masterpiece Harnessing Ruin, the band could hardly hide their enthusiasm.

05/26 Mavericks-Ottawa, ON

05/27 Penny Arcade-Rochester, NY

05/28 Albie?s Bar-Utica, NY

05/29 House of Rock-Baltimore, MD (Maryland Death Fest)

w/ Deicide, Skinless, Despised Icon and With Passion

05/30 BB King?s-New York, NY

05/31 Jaxx-West Springfield, VA

06/01 Saratoga Winners-Cohoes, NY

06/02 L?Imperial-Quebec City, QUE

06/03 Club Soda-Montreal, QUE

06/04 The Opera House-Toronto, ONT

06/05 Joe?s on Weed St-Chicago, IL

06/06 Ranch Bowl-Omaha, NE

06/07 Ascot Room-Minneapolis, MN

06/08 Pyramid-Winnipeg, MB

06/09 Riddel Center-Regina, SK

06/10 Starlite Room-Edmonton, AB

06/11 MacEwan Hall Ballroom(University of Calgary)-Calgary, AB

06/13 Commodore Ballroom-Vancouver, BC

06/14 Studio Seven-Seattle, WA

06/15 Roseland Theater-Portland, OR

06/16 The Boardwalk-Orangevale, CA

06/17 The Pound at Pier 96-San Francisco, CA

06/18 Galaxy Theatre-Santa Ana, CA

06/19 Key Club-West Hollywood, CA

06/20 Marquee Theater-Tempe, AZ

06/21 Sunshine Theater-Albuquerque, NM

06/22 Sanctuary-San Antonio, TX

Harnessing Ruin has been receiving rave reviews in the international press receiving 9/10 in Blabbermouth, 5/5 K's in Kerrang!, 8/10 in Decibel and 9/10 in Terrorizer. T

Metal / Black Metal Discovered by News
« on: May 22, 2005, 11:38:48 PM »
       In the face of death

Ten years ago, Norway was rocked by a brutal murder and a string of arson attacks linked to the Black Metal band Mayhem. Now, on tour with the group, Chris Campion asks what really happened - and finds that even the darkest Satanists have a human side

Sunday February 20, 2005
The Observer

Backstage after the first show of a whistle-stop winter tour of Norway, Necro Butcher, bassist with Norwegian Black Metal band Mayhem, is already a bit tipsy. He is gleefully reading back his own words from an article about the band in the local newspaper. 'I promise not to throw animal heads at the audience in Bergen,' he preens.

The last time the band played in the city, a sheep's head thrown from the stage smashed into the skull of an audience member. 'He wasn't watching the band,' shrugs Necro Butcher. 'He was talking to a girl,' he says, implying that the man should have known better. Animal heads speared on microphone stands are de rigueur for a Mayhem show. 'We usually use pigs' heads but we couldn't get one that night. We like to throw them to the audience at the end of the show so they can, y'know, play around with them.'

He returns his attention to the double page spread, holding it aloft with outstretched arms. 'Fuckin' excellent!' he slurs. 'This 'is the first positive article ever written about Mayhem in Norway.'

To put that in context, the band have been around for more than 20 years. Their peers acknowledge them as the originators of Norwegian Black Metal (often referred to as its country's biggest cultural export), defining both its antagonistic sound and attitude. Black Metal relishes its position as the most extreme form of music imaginable.

In the early Nineties, a spate of church burnings and three grisly deaths stoked blazing headlines that described the nihilistic rampage of the satanically-minded youth. The limits of tolerance in this largely secular society were sorely tested by sensational stories centred not on the music's fans but the bands themselves. And, as far as the Norwegian media are concerned, when it comes to Black Metal all roads lead to Mayhem, whose terrible and bloody history eclipses the debauchery of even the most hardened rock bands.

Before Mayhem had even released their first studio album in 1993, a creepy masterpiece called De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, singer Dead had committed suicide and founding guitarist Euronymous had been brutally murdered by session bassist Count Grishnackh (with second guitarist, Snorre Ruch, acting as his accomplice). Grishnackh was already suspected of initiating the church burnings that began in 1992.

'We couldn't really buy better publicity,' Necro Butcher acknowledges sagely. 'But every time we lost a member we had to find somebody else to replace them and start the whole rehearsing process again. We suffered in that way as a band.'

Gnomic and gnome-like (the band's road crew affectionately refer to him as 'Micro Butcher'), Mayhem's 36-year old bassist is in some ways Norway's answer to Lemmy; a stoic veteran who has helped steer the band he co-founded in 1984 through personal tragedy and public vilification.

Drummer Hellhammer is the next longest-standing member of Mayhem. He's also the quietest. A compact figure with darkly handsome (but distinctly un-Scandinavian) features which are immaculately groomed, he always seems to be at the centre of his own party backstage. 'He may look quiet,' says one member of the crew, 'but he's the most twisted of the lot.'

Euronymous's replacement is a tightly wired guitarist by the name of Blasphemer. With his long, dyed black hair and a tuft of beard that curls underneath his chin which he is for ever absent-mindedly stroking, he looks like a Black Metal dandy. He also has a rapier wit and a refined taste for red wine, amphetamines and sweet revenge.

One hapless journalist who had the knives out for Mayhem every time they played Bergen found this out the hard way. 'One time he made some personal comments about myself and Hellhammer,' says the guitarist, 'so after the show, we drove to a slaughterhouse, picked up a pig's head and dropped it off at his house with a dagger stuck between its eyes. 'We never heard from him again,' he says, pursing his lips with pleasure.

Despite the tour schedule - four dates in four days, requiring them to cover more than 1,200 miles of treacherous mountain road up and down the country in a cramped 16-seater mini-van - spirits in the band are high. It's the first time they have toured with Hungarian singer Attila Csihar (his real name), a surprisingly mellow guy who comes across like a stoned Bela Lugosi. Recruited after Dead's suicide to record vocals for the Dom Mysteriis album, Attila lent his own touch of madness to the project with a possessed vocal style that swings from the operatic to a bestial growl. At its grotesque best, his singing sounds like vomit. Attila's initial tenure with the band was cut short by Euronymous's death.

Another frontman, called Maniac, left the band in 2004 through mutual consent. But not before Blasphemer had made his displeasure known, at what he felt was Maniac's lack of commitment, by kicking him down a flight of stairs as they came off stage - and twice slamming his head facefirst into a wall. 'Blasphemer actually came and asked my permission beforehand,' an amused Necro Butcher confides. 'Maniac had terrible stage fright. He'd get so drunk beforehand that he couldn't remember the words.' Perhaps not surprisingly, that was his last show.

In the insular world of Norwegian metal, Attila's return to Mayhem is a major event. The Bergen show has brought some local heavyweights out to see the band. They include a bellowing man mountain called Abbath, guitarist with Black Metal stalwarts Immortal, and Gaahl, 28-year old vocalist with Gorgoroth, a tall, thin fellow with piercing eyes and a wizard-like beard tightly plaited at its tail.

Although exceedingly polite and softspoken, Gaahl has a history of arrests for violence that would make any gangsta rapper blush with shame. He's currently awaiting sentencing on charges of torture and committing ritual acts. It is alleged he beat his victim - a man who had turned up uninvited and inebriated to an after-hours party at his house - threatened to sacrifice him and gave him a cup into which to bleed. Acting as his own defence, Gaahl claimed in court that he had been attacked first and his assailant was only provided with a cup 'so that he wouldn't make such a mess in my house'. The singer refuses to discuss his version of events in detail now for fear of prejudicing the outcome of the trial, but insists he was attacked as part of a hit organised by a man with whom he had a prior dispute.

The use of violence, according to Gaahl, is only necessary when people cross his clearly defined borders. 'Everything deals with respect. The way I think of it is that you have to punish ... or teach,' he corrects himself, 'anyone that crosses your borders so that they won't do it again.'

Gaahl's ethical code derives from Odinism, the pagan religion of the Vikings that predates Christianity in Norway and is also the occult philosophy that underpins Black Metal. Many in the scene have adopted or adapted names from Norse mythology.

'Black Metal was never meant to reach an audience,' Gaahl says. 'It was purely for our own satisfaction. Something entirely selfcentred. The shared goal was to become the true Satan; the elite human, basically. The elite are above rules. So people did what they wanted to do. And they had a common enemy which was, of course, Christianity, socialism and everything that democracy stands for, especially this idea that every man is alike and equal to his neighbour. That, of course, is a fake.'

Gaahl's extremist outlook is undoubtedly influenced by his surroundings. He lives on a farm three hours outside of Bergen, isolated from the mass of humanity. 'My family owns three mountains,' he says. 'There's not much else around there. Love of nature is a big part of Black Metal. It's easy to feel isolated in nature. And solitude and distance from everyone else is very important to us.'

As Mayhem's tour bus winds through plateaus and fjords for hundreds of miles on its way from Bergen (a western port town) to Kristiansand in the south, it's easy to see what he means. Norway is a country in which nature has the upper hand. At times blizzards make it impossible to see more than a couple of metres in front of the van. When the skies clear, the awesome landscape communicates its majesty through an eerie silence. Trees laden with snow are contorted into obsequious poses, as if compelled to bow down by forces beyond their control. And with the onset of dusk, the craggy profiles of the black mountains take on a malefic aspect, casting a dark shadow across the land.

This epic geography bleeds unabated into the harsh, cold and unforgiving mood of Black Metal. It's hard to think of a music that sounds more appropriate to the environment from which it emerged. Its chief characteristic is a chilling vibrato guitar style developed by Mayhem's Euronymous and Snorre Ruch that provides an oddly harmonious counterpoint to the stark brutality of the rhythm section.

Fenriz, the anaemic-looking drummer and lyricist for Darkthrone, has a wealth of opinions about what constitutes the true Norwegian Black Metal sound. A self-deprecating music geek whose arms are covered with intentionally bad heavy metal tattoos, Fenriz can sometimes be found, beer and fag in hand, lodged behind a table at Oslo's Elm Street Cafe, a drinking den popular with metal musicians.

He is obsessed with maintaining the rawness and purity of early Black Metal. To that end, he is endlessly compiling mixtapes that seek to define its influences. The first was released on CD through British label Peaceville as Fenriz Presents ... The Best Of Old School Black Metal.

'There wasn't a generic sound back then,' he explains. 'We had to decide ourselves what we deemed worthy of the Black Metal stamp. There were many "Thrash" releases with a lot of "Black" in them, whereas others had no "Black" at all. This is not maths, so I can't say one plus one equals 30. It had something to do with production, lyrics, the way they dressed and a commitment to making ugly, raw, grim stuff.

'I started out with a simple kit: just one snare, a floor tom and a couple of cymbals. But then, I've been pushing the envelope for years. I work in the post office,' he deadpans. Despite having an extensive back catalogue - 'We're currently working on our "difficult" 13th album,' he says - and selling several thousand copies of each new release, Fenriz, like many of Black Metal's leading lights, still holds down a regular job. (When he's not touring or recording with Mayhem, Hellhammer also works; as a night watchman in a mental hospital.)

'Before the whole Black Metal thing blew up in 93/94, it was all very DIY,' says Fenriz, who decries the watered-down approach ofcommercial Black Metal. 'After that you could just call up [German metal label] Nuclear Blast and get a deal. It was very underground before then. We could walk the streets looking like insane motherfuckers and no-one knew what the hell was going on. We just looked like freaks. But then the media got hold of it and suddenly everyone knew what we'd been up to ... unfortunately.' He laughs.

The event that brought black to the world occurred on Saturday, 6 June 1992. On that day, the Fantoft Stave Church near Bergen, a magnificent 12th-century gothic structure made of wood and acknowledged as a historical landmark, was razed. Lightning strikes and electrical failures rather than foul play were thought to be the chief suspects. But in January 1993 Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh, summoned a journalist from a local paper, Bergens Tidendes, to a loft apartment decorated with 'Nazi paraphernalia, weapons and Satanic symbols'. The windows were blacked out with carpet. Vikernes gave a gloating interview in which he claimed that the Black Metal scene, having effectively declared war on Christianity and Norwegian society, was responsible for some eight church burnings so far and intended to continue its campaign of terror.

No physical evidence ever emerged to connect Vikernes to the crime, but he brazenly used a photo of the church's charred remains to promote Askes (Norwegian for 'ashes'), an album by his solo recording project, Burzum. Despite repeatedly denying his involvement, he is widely believed to have taken the photo himself.

In one fell swoop, he also brought the full force of the Norwegian authorities down on the Black Metal scene. Mayhem, their associates, and members of other bands were rounded up and arrested for questioning. A special police intelligence unit was set up to investigate criminal happenings within the scene.

'The threat was that we were organising a lot of loonies with this type of music,' says Necro Butcher. 'You could also say that the church burnings were a sort of attack on homeland security. I was against the church burning and so was Hellhammer.'

Nevertheless, Necro Butcher was initially blamed for two of the attacks by police. 'Soon after, I met this chick at a party and ended up taking her back to my place,' he recalls. 'The next morning, she told me that she'd burnt those churches. I said, "That's good because I was framed for your crime but it was nice to meet you anyway. And nice to fuck you too!" She was a Black Metal girl. Now she's a Nazi girl. She was the daughter of another loony. Her mother was involved in one of those women's groups that storms into stores and throws out the pornos. So you can see the type of insanity that was around.'

Once the spotlight was cast on the scene, it never left. Necro Butcher's family farm outside Oslo was raided just three years ago. Police discovered a stash of weed and an assault rifle fitted with a sniper's scope and a silencer. When asked why he had it, he grins, 'Boys like their toys, y'know. I've always collected any kind of weapon that came my way.'

A further search of the farm revealed a hoard of hand grenades and tear gas canisters. 'My grandfather and uncle stole them from the army,' he claims. 'But the police tried to pin that on me also. They wanted to throw the book at me.' He ended up serving a year in prison.

'The secret police actually called me up three months ago,' he continues. 'They said, we want to have a talk with you. But they didn't really have anything to say. I think they just wanted to check up on me.' The stakes were never so high back in the early days, when Necro Butcher says that the impetus to form Mayhem was 'just a stupid boy fantasy'. He and Euronymous met in 1983, They lived in the same Oslo suburb and bonded over their shared love of Motörhead and Venom (a Satanic-themed group from Newcastle with a punk-metal sound who coined the term 'Black Metal' in 1982).

'We just decided immediately that we were going to start a band. But it was always a cat and dog thing between me and Øystein,' he says, referring to Euronymous by his familiar, first name. 'We had one similar interest - the band - but everything else was different. While I was out raising hell with all my drug friends, he was home writing letters. He was the quiet type with all the strange friends, listening to Brian Eno and all this "bing, bong, bing bong" music. I didn't have time to fuck around with all of that.'

Ever-shifting line-ups meant that Mayhem rarely played live. Instead they recorded cassette demos, which they traded with other bands and sold by mail order through fanzines. 'That's how we corresponded with our audience,' says Necro Butcher. 'It was the way of the times. This type of music didn't have a stage to play on. So we got it out by dividing the world between us. I had Australia and America. Øystein had everything that was obscure, like Russia and China.'

As well as being an ardent music fan, Euronymous was an enthusiastic adherent of communism and was once a member of a local Marxist-Leninist youth organisation; adirection that created an uneasy tension with his band-mates.

'Any correspondence with Euronymous quickly escalated into very long letters,' says Bård Eithin, former drummer with another early Black Metal band called Emperor. Eithin was just 13 years old and living in almost cultural isolation in a town of 500 people, 400 miles from Oslo, when he first became pen-pals with Euronymous in 1987. 'He was very enthusiastic about the idea of releasing music to people in countries that otherwise wouldn't have the ability to hear it, especially in the East.'

The letter-writing also brought Mayhem into contact with Dead, a Swede who joined Mayhem when his band Morbid folded in 1988. Serious illness as a child and a near death experience convinced him that he had died and was now a being from another world. His beliefs are preserved in the vampiric lyrics he wrote for De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Dead reputedly carried around the carcass of a crow in a jar and would inhale fumes from it before taking the stage so he could perform with the stench of death in his nostrils. He also took to donning a white greasepaint visage, designed to mimic the pallor of 13th-century plague victims.

'It wasn't anything to do with the way Kiss and Alice Cooper used make-up,' says Necro Butcher. 'Dead actually wanted to look like a corpse. He didn't do it to look cool. He would draw snot dripping out of his nose. That doesn't look cool. He called it corpse-paint.

'When Dead first arrived in Norway, Necro Butcher took it upon himself to make sure their new singer had somewhere to live and was looked after. Euronymous, on the other hand, apparently did his best to make him feel uncomfortable. 'He tried to psych him out,' says Necro Butcher. 'He would tell Dead, "We don't like you. You should just kill yourself." Stuff like that.'

And then, one day in the spring of 1991, Dead did just that. Euronymous came back to their house to discover his body slumped against a wall. He had slashed his wrists with a butcher's knife and blown his brains out with a shotgun. His suicide note had a morbid humour . It read, 'Excuse all the blood. Let the party begin.' For reasons best known to himself, Euronymous took pictures of Dead's remains before notifying the police.

'Øystein called me up the next day,' recalls Necro Butcher, 'and says, "Dead has done something really cool! He killed himself." I thought, have you lost it? What do you mean cool? He says, "Relax, I have photos of everything." I was in shock and grief. He was just thinking how to exploit it. So I told him, "OK. Don't even fucking call me before you destroy those pictures."'

Several years later a lurid photo of Dead, lying in a shabby room in which the only splash of colour was provided by his blood, somehow found its way onto the cover of a Mayhem bootleg produced in South America. By resigning as bassist of Mayhem, Necro Butcher fatefully left his position open for Varg Vikernes, Euronymous's eventual killer, to enter the picture.

'In retrospect,' Butcher muses. 'I think Øystein was shocked by Dead's suicide. And taking the photograph was the only way he could cope with it, like, "if I have to see this, then everybody else has to see it too".'

'Afterwards, there was a change in mentality,' says Bård Eithin, who believes that Dead's suicide marked the point at which, under Euronymous's direction, the Black Metal scene began its obsession with all things satanic and evil. Two months later,

Euronymous moved to Oslo. He opened a shop called Helvete ('Hell'), from which he also ran his own label, Deathlike Silence Productions. The walls of the shop were painted black and hung with medieval weapons, pictures discs and band posters. In the window was a tombstone crafted from polystyrene. Euronymous began to create a persona as the embodiment of an ancient evil. Promo photos from the time show him dressed in a black cloak holding a rapier. The corpse-paint has become more stylised; his gaze, distant and remote. He looks like a character from a German expressionist movie.

'I think it was then that Euronymous discovered he had the power to influence people in any way he wanted,' says Eithin, who worked in the store for the year that it was open for business and lived in an apartment at the back. 'If you have a group of people like that who are very close, they start to create their own rules, their own morals and, at the end of the day, end up with a twisted philosophy built on hatred and frustration towards the rest of society. It's the archetypal way to create mass psychosis. A lot of people say it must have been the desire to rebel against Christianity and conformity in Norway. But I think it was just coincidence, people meeting each other at the right or wrong time.'

The catalyst was the introduction of Varg Vikernes into the mix of characters. 'No one knew who he was when he first came to Helvete,' Eithin says. 'He came out of nowhere, this serious-looking guy from Bergen who doesn't drink alcohol but milk. He would always be drinking from cartons of milk whereas a lot of the others were almost alcoholics. It was a party scene. And he stood out from the crowd.' (Butcher claims that Euronymous was also not much of a drinker until he moved to Oslo: 'At the age 24, he discovered that beer was actually pretty good.')

Euronymous took Vikernes, who was five years younger than him, under his wing: inviting him to play bass with Mayhem and offering to release his music as Burzum. 'Vikernes was a very productive guy and also very enthusiastic like Euronymous,' says Eithin. 'He was able to record two albums a year while Euronymous was struggling to finish his first full album with Mayhem.'

Predictably, their friendship turned to rivalry. The newspaper interview in which Vikernes took credit for the burning of the Fantoft church gave him extra kudos in his struggle for position as leader of the scene. 'It's sounds really silly,' Eithin says, but I think there was a little bit of a contest between them to see who could be more evil. It created a very difficult situation, especially for Euronymous, who wanted the glamour and the showbiz. With him, there was a lot of smoke but not so much fire.'

But it was Eithin who raised the stakes for transgressive behaviour. In August 1992, while visiting his parents in Lillehammer, he killed a man who had propositioned him in the Winter Olympic Park, stabbing him 37 times with a pocket knife. The body was discovered the next day. Eithin was not caught for a year, despite his guilt being an open secret within the crowd at Helvete; no doubt, this contributed to the feeling that they were now able to do anything with impunity.

'The destructive side of the scene encouraged the criminal happenings,' says Eithin, who served eight years in prison for the killing. 'It became very difficult for Euronymous. I think he felt he had to prove that he could be a part of it and not just in the background.' Euronymous reacted to the insecurity he felt about his position in the scene by resorting to the tactics he had used on Dead. 'Øystein was always sending death threats to people,' says Necro Butcher. 'It was his reaction to everything. But he didn't put so much into it. And then when he met you, he was like, "OK. You're cool!". Then you were best friends. So when eventually he got to be unfriendly with Varg, he threatened him like he did everyone else. Øystein told him, "I'm going to send some people to torture you. Until you die." But Varg Vikernes saw this as a real threat. He probably thought, "better him than me. I'll just go down and do him".'

Although this last statement is purely speculation by Butcher, it tallies with Vikernes's claims that he killed Euronymous in self-defence. Euronymous was in his underwear when he answered the door to Vikernes at his Oslo apartment at 4am on 10 August 1993. In the melee, Vikernes chased Euronymous through the stairwell stabbing him 24 times in the chest, back and head.

Again the police arrested Vikernes and he was charged in September following a confession by his accomplice, Snorre Ruch. The darkly charismatic and articulate Vikernes commanded the front pages during his spring 1994 trial for murder, arson and possession of illegal weapons (police found 150 kilos of explosives at his home). 'The Count', as he was known, quickly became Norway's answer to Charles Manson.

Sentenced to 21 years in prison, the maximum term under Norwegian law, Vikernes soon renounced Black Metal and embraced his own heathen neo-Nazi philosophy. Recent photos show him sporting a blond Hitler haircut. In November 2003, just six months before he was due to be released, he absconded during weekend leave. Police arrested him two days later in Oslo.

'I think that as events rolled on, it became evident that people wanted it to go as far as possible,' says Eithin, who now works as a driver for a recycling company. 'It was hopeless for everyone as the crimes carried on. We all realised it had to end sometime. It was probably a good thing that a lot of us were taken out of the scene when we were.'

Mayhem, though, refused to bow to destiny. 'Me and Hellhammer got together at Øystein's funeral and decided to carry on with the band,' says Necro Butcher. Their first order of business was to release the almost-completed De Mysteriis album.

'Because Vikernes played bass on it, Øystein's parents didn't want it to come out.' says Hellhammer. 'I thought it was appropriate that the murderer and victim were on the same record. I put word out that I was re-recording the bass parts. But I never did .

'With Attila's return, the band's fortune seems to have come full circle. The last date on the tour (Trondheim) feels eerily appropriate. Mayhem are due to play in a labyrinthine student building that sits directly opposite Nidaros-Domen, the grand cathedral whose silhouette graces the cover of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. ('We used it because it was one of the most beautiful churches in Norway,' says Hellhammer. 'And Vikernes, of course, had planned to blow it up.')

Two crew members emerge from behind a long red curtain and theatrically hold up the pigs' heads before impaling them on microphone stands lined up at the front of the stage. As they do so, 1,000 wild-eyed metal fans, fuelled by 96 per cent proof home-made moonshine (the preferred drink of Norwegians up north) and drunk on blood lust, let out a delighted roar. When the curtain rises, the stage looks like a slaughterhouse. Another 16 slack-jawed pigs heads leer out from atop the amps. Attila stands front and centre, wearing his own take on the corpse-paint; an abstraction of the satanic goat of Mendes design transposed onto his features, distorting his face in a serpentine fashion. Black horns jut out from heavily shadowed eyes and up into his temples. He holds aloft a fearsome double-bladed dagger that looks like it could disembowel a horse; his lyrics emerge in an incomprehensible stream as a moaning death rattle. Behind him Mayhem sound like a band at war with the world. And possibly even themselves.

At the close of the show, Blasphemer puts down his guitar and furiously hurls a pig's head into the audience. Backstage he spits bile at his bandmates: the performance hasn't lived up to his exacting standards. Out front though, the crowd seem calm, satiated. One lucky teenage fan has secured a trophy. Girls surround the tall, handsome youth, cooing at the pig's head that hangs his side, as he grips it by the ear like a cherished toy animal.


Metal / Re: Metal Future
« on: May 12, 2005, 11:31:51 AM »
Abyssic Hate, on the other hand... black metal for slugs.

I object to your bigotry toward slugs. These noble creatures would have nothing to do with that shit!

Metal / Bekhira - L'elu du mal CD
« on: May 12, 2005, 11:26:15 AM »

"L'elu du mal" CD / LP


The following to their '96 demo !

BEKHIRA plays nothing else than BLACK METAL !

Gatefold LP, ltd to 666 copies, comes with different artwork

Track list:
I-Send me these evil words
II-Forgotten nazarene
III-Medieval Deathcamps
IV-The devil and the sorcerer
V-Impure blood shall flow
VI-Children of all that is evil
VII-A thousand demons
IIX-From the most devastated lands
IX-L'ère noire


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