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Messages - Dylar

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Metal / Re: Tolerance and science
« on: November 05, 2006, 09:08:48 PM »

Religion and Ethics are human inventions and have no bearing on reality beyond the human mind.

So is science.  Your point?

Metal / Re: Can improvised music ever match pre-written mu
« on: November 05, 2006, 08:05:22 PM »
Jazz style improvisation - basically, the jam session - isn't conducive to making meaningful music.  It's basically an exercise in muscle memory.

Improvisation built around a concept, on the other hand (as was common in much Baroque composition, for instance) is something else entirely.

Metal / Celtic Frost Show Review (Charlotte, NC 10/31/06)
« on: November 05, 2006, 03:09:31 AM »
Halloween night was a real treat for me.  It isn’t often that living legends grace the buckle of the Bible Belt with their presence, so when my girlfriend and I heard that Celtic Frost would be appearing Samhain night at Charlotte’s Tremont Music Hall, we fell over ourselves in our rush to snap up a couple of tickets.

The first band was scheduled to hit the stage at 8, but as this band was Intethod - ARE YOU TALKIN TO ME? clone, retarded, black bassist, Mk I – I arranged for a fashionably late arrival.  We entered the club a couple of songs into national opener Goatwhore’s set, but this timing would prove to be something of a disappointment.  If only I had lingered over dinner a little longer, I could have spared myself the irritation of listening to this band altogether.  Goatwhore’s fans and press releases tout them as a black/death metal hybrid made ‘unique’ by the incorporation of ‘sludge’ influences.  In actuality, their music comes across as an average of a thousand other bands playing similarly styled paint-by-the-numbers hardcore dressed up as extreme metal.  Not surprisingly, the tepid music was met with a tepid response from the crowd.  Apparently unaware that they were an opening act, Goatwhore’s singer and bassist bitched about the lack of crowd response.  Mercifully, the set ended relatively quickly.

Celtic Frost’s entrance was eagerly anticipated.  The band took the stage with fog and a light show, accompanied by the recorded strains of “Totengott” from the new album Monotheist (at least I THINK it was “Totengott”, it was hard to tell due to the drunk indie-fag in a Johnny Cash shirt yelling for “Mexican Radio”).  The band paused on stage, hands raised as if in invocation to the darkness.  It was a dramatic gesture, one that in the hands of a lesser band might have come across as cheap theater, but here, it fit the moment.  The band then launched into a punishingly downtuned rendition of “Procreation of the Wicked.”  

This set the tone for the set, which consisted almost entirely of tracks taken from Morbid Tales, Emperor’s Return and To Mega Therion (with only one song, “Mesmerized”, coming from Into the Pandemonium and three from Monotheist), all played with an updated, dense sound that added a fresh intensity to old classics.  The band exuded a commanding presence, demonstrating an absolute mastery of their art and of the space without needing to resort to flailing gestures or irritating banter.  Thomas Fischer, in particular, is an electric performer in brilliantly understated and sinister way (his corpse paint, which looked somewhat goofy in press pictures, was distinctly unsettling in the dim lighting of the club).  

While the set was jammed with classics (including a stellar performance of “Necromantical Screams), the absolute highlight of the show was the show closer, “Synagoga Satanae” which was also the best track on the band’s latest release.  When I first listened Monotheist, this song immediate jumped out as something special, a sequel of sorts to “Triumph of Death”.  Still, I wasn’t prepared for the live experience, which was nothing short of magical.  The brooding, esoteric, ritual power of “Synagoga Satanae” alone was worth the price of admission.

Set list:

Procreation (of the Wicked)
Visions of Mortality
Circle of the Tyrants
The Usurper
Je.wel Throne
Ain Elohim
Necromantical Screams
Dawn of Megiddo
Return to the Eve
Dethroned Emperor
Into the Crypts of Rays
Synogoga Satanae

Metal / Re: Music versus Message
« on: November 04, 2006, 09:29:41 PM »
In great artists, there's no way to really seperate the music from the message - the message conditions the music.

Metal / Re: Why did punk die?
« on: November 04, 2006, 03:35:49 PM »
Anarcho-punk died out because it was a one note musical temper tantrum with nowhere else to go the second the last chord of Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing was laid to wax.  And frankly, the idea that genre's cartoon leftism was 'threatening' to anyone is fucking ludicrous - it's worth noting that the major censorship efforts of the era were directed at metal, not punk.

Metal / Re: Subjectivism
« on: November 04, 2006, 12:18:59 PM »
I disagree with this entirely; it's not personal preference which accounts for fish being possessed of a greater vitamin content and inducing whatever other manner of documented biological mechanisms which ultimately render it a healthier option. There is a standard here upon which to deem fish 'better' than a Big Mac outside of taste: We value our lives, and if we wish to strive for some kind of physical perfection, we'll eschew the destroyers of our bodies for something which keeps us functioning at an optimum level.

But it's still fundamentally arbitrary to use the standard of 'health' rather than the standard of 'taste' or the standard of 'affordability' or the standard of 'popularity' etc.  You're still applying a 'subjective' standard.  Nonetheless, the intelligent people know which of these totally arbitrary standards is the best to use.

Call it the 'get it' factor.

Metal / Re: Subjectivism
« on: November 04, 2006, 12:13:37 PM »
1. "East" is a totally arbitrary concept.  It could just as easily be "brontosaurus" or "gliasbabble".

2. The sun doesn't 'RISE' at at all.  The notion of sun rise is itself a classic illustration of the totally subjective nature of even collective observation.

Metal / Re: Subjectivism
« on: November 03, 2006, 10:39:46 PM »
You're still not talking about 'objectivity' though.  When we see 'patterns' what we're doing is imposing a subjective interpretation on our subjective experience.  

I'm not saying that this has no value - just that it isn't really 'objective' in the sense of getting beyond our personal perceptive/interpretive space.

Metal / Re: Subjectivism
« on: November 03, 2006, 05:50:47 PM »
You're missing the point.  Our entire experience of reality is inherently subjective - there is no such thing as objectivity in a world perceived entirely through the senses of individuals.  The error you continue to fall into is drawing a distinction between the 'subjective' (which you systematically devalue) and the 'objective' (which doesn't exist).

It is, at its base, fundamentally arbitrary to say that a piece of fresh, wild caught salmon makes for a 'better' meal than a Big Mac, but you're still not going to find a wise man at MacDonald's.

Metal / Re: Subjectivism
« on: November 03, 2006, 04:26:22 PM »
Aesthetic form is the outward expression of inner concept.  You can't seperate the musical content of, say, Burzum, from its conceptual and metaphysical basis.

Music is more than sound.

Metal / Re: The Final Burzum Albums
« on: November 03, 2006, 03:53:23 AM »
Dauđi Baldrs is good, but by far the weakest release of Varg's career.  It suffers from the soundtrack syndrome that undermines a lot of keyboard based music: the execution is obvious, somewhat saccharine in its use of overly consonant resolutions and basically backgroundy in every way.

Hliđskjálf is a lot more complex, subtle, textured and dissonant.  It's not only a lot better, it also displays a certain continuity with the earlier albums that simply isn't present on Dauđi Baldrs.  Hliđskjálf fits logically within the historical arc of Burzum's art, while Dauđi Baldrs is something of a half failed diversion.

Metal / Re: Subjectivism
« on: November 02, 2006, 03:34:39 AM »
In response to My Man Mahmoud:

So, if it is only possible to subjectively perceive metal, how can it be factually true that it is a superior work? How did you even come upon the knowledge that it is factually true when all you have are your tools of subjective perception?

How do you know the sky is blue?  Observation - objectivity - is itself inherently subjective.  Anti-foundationalism is something to keep in mind, but if it becomes a paralyzing fatalism, it has lost its utility.  Can we absolutely know with certainty?  Of course not.  But better minds aren't troubled by this - they understand that reality is out there and that we can observe its edges even if we cannot know the whole.  If you prefer to sit in the darkness and complain about the lack of proof, that's your option.  But don't complain when other people leave you behind.

You said that "In Burzum, there is a close relationship between the subject matter and its manner of presentation".

This is exactly the case in almost every idiot-pop band I've ever heard- Whether expressing hedonism through bubble-gum vocals, or every other imaginably trivial contemporary motif through equally uninspired work, there is a close link between their subject matter and deliverance.

And you're missing the obvious here: a work will only be as good as the ideas it expresses.   Burzum has good ideas, Britney Spears has shit ideas.  Duh.

Metal / Re: Subjectivism
« on: November 02, 2006, 02:55:06 AM »
Have you considered, even for a moment, that there are many things that are factually true but can only be subjectively perceived?

Metal / Re: Why did punk die?
« on: November 02, 2006, 02:02:32 AM »
When it came about, it was the most vital genre. Rock had turned into disco and flogging prog like later Yes, which was just terrible. Punk was a breath of fresh air. Five years later, it all sounded alike and people stopped caring at all. It's like a cycle that repeats through history... an idea occurs, then people imitate, then it loses value and all the fans run on to something else.

There's an interesting comparison and contrast with metal to be seen here.  Punk went through four major iterations in 13 years (punk, hardcore, crust/thrash, grindcore) and was completely spent by 1989.  Metal managed to reinvent itself and remain vital for approximately twice that long, which is interesting, because punk and metal both emerged from a similar cultural milieu and initially expressed roughly similar ideas.

The difference, I think, is that among the punks, anger consumed any larger sense of ideal and became, in the end, despair.  So while both punk and metal saw that this society was failing, the Hessians sought instinctively after some sort of solution, while the punks yielded to impotent rage.  In this, I think metal benefited from its emergence from the counterculture, with a connection to the Romantic past - punk emerged from what was in essence the culture of street gangs, and unfortunately embraced the sort of blighted thinking of its thuggish origins.

Punk was ultimately undermined by its own planned obsolesence.  The genre's stripped down anti-aesthetic left little room for development, it's message of fatalism ("No future for you!") meant that it's attraction was largely for dead enders and do nothings, and the insane DIY ethos ultimately encouraged every idiot with a guitar and a bad haircut to participate, innundating the scene with sub-mediocrity.

In other words, punk was exactly like the present day black metal scene.

Metal / Re: Early Scandinavian metal
« on: October 30, 2006, 11:50:18 PM »
Several reasons:

1. Scandinavia's heavily secularized societies and lack of substantial established Church influence helped to establish a vocal neopagan/neoheathen presence from a relatively early date.

2. The Christian presence in Scandinavia is overwhelmingly Lutheran.  The history of the Reformation, which pitted the protestant reformers against the syncretistic Roman Church (with it's thinly papered over pagan rituals) left Lutheranism with a heritage of virulently anti-pagan sentiment.  In Catholic Europe and places where Catholic theology still had influence if not power (i.e. England), the bogeyman remained Satan.

3. The Scandinavian education system is better, so it produced a more literate run of rebels.

4. Scandinavia was on the fringe of Europe during the heyday of Christian art.  Most of Scandinavia's literary and cultural traditions date either to the pre-Christian period or to the pagan-friendly Romantic revival.  So the cultural 'classics' children were exposed to in school by and large reflected a pagan worldview.

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