I love MP3s
MP3s are an invitation to try before you buy. If you’re like me, and everyone I deem to be a good person and so desire as a friend, you listen for months or years and then you buy the CD when you can — if it’s available, which in metal is far from guaranteed.
Periodically, on a rainy afternoon, I go through the music as I do mindless tasks like fixing scripts and HTML. These mindless tasks are perfect because they put me in an ornery mood, at which point I have no tolerance for music that is more annoyance than beauty. Even ugliness can be beautiful in the hands of an artist — watch Apocalypse Now if you don’t believe me, or listen to the “defeat” sections of Beethoven’s third symphony. I’m not responsible for your tears that make you look like a girly man.
But it’s the right mood to consider something you might listen to for years in the context of a high annoyance situation like mindless tasks. It’s like being tired at the end of a day: you say exactly what you mean, uncensored. With music, you get in touch with exactly how little you care about stuff far from what you want, even if normally you’d be feeling obligated to listen to it because it’s musically advanced, some critic likes it, all your friends like it, etc.
I’ve been rooting out some turds. I take no joy in this, but I take great joy in having them gone. That’s less of my time thrown down a black hole of dysfunction and disorganization, the two creators of really bad music or worse — music that is halfway to bad, so completely ambiguous in its presentation. Most people are so cowed by the social factors mentioned above that they keep listening, bovine erotic, and never manage to articulate their own voice or even a moment’s sense and say, “Actually, this doesn’t suck, but it’s not good enough to fascinate me, so why not throw it out, with last year’s failed relationship and my old textbooks from classes I hated and my tax documents?” Get the crap out of your life and you have space for new things to do.
Arsis – A Diamond for Disease
Oh no, it’s the whisper-voiced rushing death/black assault. After a promising intro, and forty seconds of two-chord jazz-inspired rhythm riffing, suddenly we get the synthesized whisper and a break to a guitar fill that sounds like it’s from the book of minor pentatonic scale variations commonly used by jazz/fusion bands to distract audiences from that moment when an overblown, pretentious song really begins to fuckin’ drag… and that’s what this EP does, except at high speed. The problem is that there’s no concentration on songs or ideas as a whole, so you get these budget riffs made all technical and then little diversions, but nothing ever comes into its own. Nice try guys, but next time, use notecards to organize and concentrate on having a song make a difference to the listener, not just teach them fret muting technique.