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Messages - Dylar

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Metal / Re: What were the origins of death metal?
« on: November 21, 2006, 09:13:35 AM »
Now what? ;)

The project of metal has hitherto been the recovery of an ideal following the fragmentation of values in the modern age.  The next step is to take the recovered ideal and reintegrate it into a higher order - to give it a structure and a permanence beyond that of an infinite moment snatched from the void.  

That means a move away from albums loosely held together by a vaguely unifying concept with the song as their principle unit of construction and toward a more 'movement' oriented structural principle with aesthetic and conceptual idea-kernels as the elemental substance of a work.  This, I believe, is the direction Varg Vikernes was beginning to take the Burzum project, particularly with Hvis lyset tar oss and Hliðskjálf, and I think metal needs to move further down that road if it is to retain its relevance.

Metal / Re: Ego death, death metal and black metal
« on: November 19, 2006, 07:10:23 PM »
Puts me in mind of one of my favorite literary passages:

Tibetans try to see death for what it is.  It is the end of attachment to things.  This simple truth is hard to fathom.  But once we stop denying death, we can proceed calmly to die and then go on to experience uterine rebirth or Judeo-Christian afterlife or out-of-body-experience or a trip on a UFO or whatever we wish to call it.  We can do so with a clear vision, without awe or terror.  We don't have to cling to life artificially, or death for that matter.  Waves and radiation.  Look how well-lighted everything is.  The place is sealed off, self-contained.  It is timeless.  Another reason why I think of Tibet.  Dying is an art in Tibet.  A priset walks in, sits down, tell the weeping relatives to get out and has the room sealed.  Doors, windows sealed.  He has serious business to see to.  Chants, numerology, horoscopes, recitations.  Here we don't die, we shop.  But the difference is less marked than you think.

--Don DeLillo White Noise

I've always loved this passage because, despite its deliberate absurdity, it describes the way our society really works.  We have built a culture defined by its veneration of the supreme worth of the individual human being: its institutions, its corpus of myth, its art - all exist to exalt the Sovereign "I."  Death then becomes the great enemy, because Death makes "I" meaningless.  A more realistic culture would re-evaluate its position in the face of this truth (most ancient cultures evolved an epic tradition for this reason - to reconcile man to the reality of death), but our society has far too much invested (often quite literally) in the sacred individual.  So, instead, we engage in the Dance of Death Denied hoping that if we buy the right plastic shit, worship the properly complected Jesus and vote for the right politicians, somehow, the reality of Death will be dissipated.

The problem is that not everyone is dumb enough or deluded enough to buy into this crap.  Inevitably, there are people that see the truth for what it is.  Some are broken by it - they take themselves out with pills or heroin or just put a bullet in their brains.    Some become enraged and shoot up their high schools or hijack airliners and fly them into icons of world commerce or mail package bombs to biotech profiteers.  These people are dangerous to society, but only in a very limited sense.  They are easily marginalized - they're 'fascists' who 'hate freedom.'

Some, however, choose a different course.  Rather than burning out or blowing up, they speak up.  Artists.  Philosophers.  Leaders.  These are infinitely more dangerous to the social order, because they tell the truth when others regurgitate the lie, and truth, given substance by the weight of reality, becomes rather hard to ignore once the taboo against speaking it is broken.  Like the beached whale at the seaside resort (reality intrudes upon purchased fantasy), the longer it is ignored, the harder it becomes to ignore it.  Eventually, you're going to have to admit that something smells.

As a result, our society has a built in incentive to marginalize the truth tellers.  From the perspective of the Death Deniers, it is imperative that Slayer be meaningless - if they aren't, then Death is indeed real, and, oh by the way, this society is totally fucked.  So, first they turn to mockery:

"Ha ha!  It's just dorks singing about Satan!"  

"Ha ha!  Deathklok!"

When mockery proves insufficient, appropriation must suffice.  If Burzum or Mordid Angel or Nietzsche or Wagner or Dawn of the Dead cannot be mocked into silence, then the market must puke out something that apes the form but removes the truth-telling inner spirit, replacing it with something meaningless that can be mocked.  Thus, we end up with Cradle of Filth, Cannibal Corpse, Jaques Derrida, shitty film scores and Dawn of the Dead.  

It's all rather disheartening on the surface, but if you give it a deeper look, hope blossoms in the darkness: the Death Deniers are impotent.  They cannot silence truth, nor can they make reality go away.  All they can do is mock and copy, and, in the end, they are doomed to that they fear most.

Metal / Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
« on: November 19, 2006, 01:47:43 PM »
So, basically, leads and solos are great when they are rooted in the concept of a piece, but suck when they're there for vanity or 'just cuz, man'?

Do any of the rest of you feel the need to add any other blindingly obvious gibberish to this thread?

Metal / Re: Scales (and the lack thereof) in metal.
« on: November 19, 2006, 01:33:36 PM »
The major point of convergence between the better metal and 'classical' music is that of concept or spirit.  They share a way of looking at the world.  Both forms are expressions of structuralist (to show the world as it is) and idealist (to show the world as it could be) impulses, and both at their cores celebrate a sort of heroic order.

The structuralist aspect creates divergence, however, and outer form is in a sense a product of its era.  Metal reflects in its sound the disintegration of the old heroic order celebrated by the classical tradition prior to Beethoven.   That death was foretold by Nietzsche, Wagner and the other Romantics (listen to the last act of Götterdämmerung and you'll hear a lot of the same tonal and melodic tendencies one finds in the best death and black metal), and is now in the process of consumation.  In metal, the use of chromaticism, serialism, and ambiguous resolutions express the death of order from which a new (old) order must rise.

The irony is that modern popular music (and inauthentic metal) has retained the outer form of traditional melody, but having long since jettisoned the inner content and ideal, is unable to make any sort of meaningful expression from these bones.  The end result in entertainment in the place of art and nostalgia where remembrance should be.

Metal / Re: Bands better than icons in a style
« on: November 18, 2006, 07:14:55 PM »
In my opinion Deeds of Flesh is better than Suffocation

Morpheus (Descends) likewise...

Another great example is first album Seance - who pull off the Entombed/Grave end of the Swedish style with a lot more aplomb than either of those bands.

Gutted and Mortuary easily surpass Obituary or Massacre.

Metal / Re: Bands better than icons in a style
« on: November 18, 2006, 07:11:29 PM »
I yell about SACRAMENTUM to people whenever I have the opportunity to do so.  Your example in this case is clearly correct - much more often than not, those touting DISSECTION as the primary example of well-crafted "melodic black/death metal" have had limited or zero exposure to SACRAMENTUM, including those well-versed in the underground in general in my experience.  I think SACRAMENTUM, or possibly Adipocere Records, failed themselves somewhat by making some unfortunate marketing decisions that obscured them through genericism in presentation.

The Necrolord coverart for Far Away From the Sun was, in retrospect, an unfortunate decision.  

The bigger handicap they faced was being on Adipocere in the first place.  Their distribution on the Continent was okay, but they didn't have much penetration of the North American and British markets - which is where the big, taste-making metal rags are located.  Besides, Dissection's take on the style was much more obvious and far more pleasingly referrential of first generation heavy metal (accessible to the burnouts).

Metal / Re: Revisionist History.
« on: November 15, 2006, 01:10:10 PM »
Wrong again, as you see that review is markedly different than it was about a year ago when it claimed that Von was designed as a mockery of Bathory.  

Some of the content is quite old however - and the last year has seen significant tweaking by multiple hands.

The point is fairly irrelevant - Venom's contribution was tiny no matter how you slice it.

Metal / Re: Revisionist History.
« on: November 15, 2006, 10:07:07 AM »

Hmm, actually Falcy, looks like the DLA has written Venom into the history of BM for extactly what it is.


"Much in the way Venom functioned a generation earlier to liberate the aesthetic of metal at the time, Von broke through barriers in conceptions of songwriting and what constitutes a song, and in doing so gave place to the next generation more inclined to develop musicality within those frameworks."

Old review - view in the same jaundiced light that you would the formerly positive review of Storm of the Light's Bane that once graced the pages of the DLA.

Metal / Re: Revisionist History.
« on: November 14, 2006, 07:09:16 PM »
Of course. The real question here is why we have wasted so much time debating the flagrantly obvious.

Because you have some desperate need to take the DLA to task for failing to write an artistic non-entity like Venom into the history of black metal?

Metal / Re: Revisionist History.
« on: November 14, 2006, 05:56:25 PM »
Anni, all of the things you mention are not the exclusive province of Venom - in fact, the vocal style and rhythmic patterns one finds on the early Venom releases are pretty patently cribbed from Motorhead - and it's pretty obvious given the chronology (Slayer's early style was already coalescing before Black Metal was widely available in the US) that Motorhead, not Venom, were the big influence on the early US speed metal bands.

Metal / Re: Tritones
« on: November 12, 2006, 05:20:16 PM »
I think the penatonic scale is very interesting.  I love it in relation with Enka music, but you probably find that boring as well.

It's certainly more interesting than most of the popular music to emerge from Japan.  Some of it is truly haunting.

Metal / Re: Classical/metal and rock are different worlds
« on: November 08, 2006, 05:05:47 PM »
It's always good to be reminded that the world is not only full of morons - but the morons occupy positions of trust.

Metal / Re: Tolerance and science
« on: November 07, 2006, 12:31:17 PM »

And you still don't need religion for this!


Based on the purpose most of the world's greatest edifices, it sure seems to help.

Metal / Re: Tolerance and science
« on: November 07, 2006, 08:13:21 AM »
The power of myth lies in its beauty, and this has a value all its own.

And really, what drives home the reality of evolution better: reading Darwin or watching 2001: A Space Odyssey?

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