Transitions MMXVIII

Death Metal Underground wishes to announce a constructive change in editorship, in which the present author comes to complement rather than replace the current leadership. We have a great team of writers, ever too few but still dedicated and talented enough that the last few months have seen a non-stop inflow of high quality and insightful content on a variety of metal-related topics. Although our primary job as Traditionalists is to somewhat mirror the Conservative effort of preserving what is good and shedding what is detrimental, it must be stated that this is done through an organic development of vision. And so, an editor, writer, thinker or artist can only do his best by upholding his ideals or vision through his work, at the risk of coming into conflict with the more conventional views and tastes on metal music.

The ebb and flow of the tides in a larger cosmic order forces Death Metal Underground to adapt and evolve to maintain its supremacy as the ultimate source on metal music as living art and philosophy. An intermediate period of transformation now begins. And although we will not be missing the intellectual contributions and versatile notions on content management that Brock Dorsey brought to DMU, a sinister influence will come to gradually displace the hitherto cultural-political overtones in place. Instead of utilizing metal to signify ideological stances, we will retake the more organic and timeless approach of metal as a foreboding, an intimation, into raw reality experienced directly, and through that, a realization of humans as material to be shaped.

This sinister influence implies a re-taking of the esoteric artistic philosophy of metal within its highest and purest point of evolution: black metal. There are ample rational, philosophical, as well as artistic, reasons for this conscious shift to occur. Nevertheless, the vestigial archaisms of metal our talented writers may still wish to entertain will enrich the historical aisle of Death Metal Underground’s archives, and so will in due manner be welcomed. But against that impulse, we will be moving upwards towards unknown planes, rather than producing more of the same about the same old and irrelevant “art” that pleases but is ultimately harmless. Instead of having metal serve as a conduit for mythic imagination and inspiration resulting in mere idle chatter, we shall uphold the potential of black metal as a mind-warping gateway onto a cosmic, wordless path to the stars that is only possible through tangible action.

Gradually but decidedly, we will reap the very real fruits of patience and devotion. The transition into a cosmic and futuristic take on the potential of metal through black metal shall not mean an ensconcement around the black metal cliche as a fashion. Neither will we embrace so-called progressive trends of flowing, modern, dissonant or melody-over-chord drum-groove black metal which are but stale reformulations of the past or hipster dead ends propelled by an obsession with innovation alone. As has been stated before, in order for metal to thrive, it must leave its infancy behind and mature consciously and, in this maturing, coming to terms with its raw, phrasal, motific nature. In short, this is a stage which cannot be ignored at all, at least if further development is sought: it requires a descent to draw out the obscure.

Evolution is always a willing towards a higher state, but it is not to be thought in the abstract or through the archetype as mere symbol, but should be rather acted upon, that the archetype is brought to life consciously in an initiation to the the full potential of what metal, and hence the individual, can become. It is not a return to roots that we seek, but a return to essence, & thus to facilitate an awakening of those who have the necessary spiritual earth in which seeds for the future may be planted, which seeds are served by the blood of the living shed in effort, shocking or traumatic experience, & so transformation and insight thereof. The characteristic sign that a dark (in that it is part of the nightside, the unpleasant, and the very real) discovery is taking place is the presentiment being under threat by something beyond the confines of relative normalcy and what is accepted in your accustomed space. The methods which can revive metal, the forces which possessed an evil T. Warrior, an entranced Trey Azagthoth or a demented Paul Ledney are those that create madness, and which open a gateway to the abyss. Herein, and nowhere else, lies the key to the gate.

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30 thoughts on “Transitions MMXVIII”

  1. listen to Demilich says:

    Good. That xtian band sucked and the excuses made for its creation were even worse.

    1. Pontius Pilate says:

      Jesus was arrested for solicitation.

    2. butfuckked without any effort says:

      Chad Christian nationalism vs. virgin Nietzsche-namedropping new age mumbly esotericism

      1. fenrir says:

        Self-projection of ignorance-fueled cynicism and neurotic sexual frustration is obvious.

      2. Spreading Disease Since 1870 says:

        Dont be talkin shit about everyones favorite dead syphilitic, busta.

      3. NWN War Metal Tranny Rapist says:

        Christianity is a shemale religion! Most of the trannies I rape have a Only God Can Judge Me tattoo. My rape campaign is the ultimate judgment upon the trannies! Death to the shemale! Rape the transsexual ass! I am the rapist! Only war and rape is real!

  2. Privilege of Evil and Goatlord says:

    Obscura was a mistake.

  3. Contrarian says:

    I’m new to this site, so DMU is becoming BMU?

  4. Contrarian says:

    I’m new to this site, is it DMU or BMU?

  5. 12Tonehead says:

    The error in the system is what defines genius

  6. Sardonic Webmaster says:

    This idea is bad, but people only look at this website because it’s funny how bad all the posts are so maybe it’ll work out.

  7. Reduced Without Any Effort says:

    Getting rid of the politics is a definite plus, but if it’s replaced with mouth-breathing O9A dogwhistling, it’s honestly just as bad. Enough of this bullshit worldview first, music second loser mentality. The strength of your own stupid views can’t be proved by co-opting and ascribing false characteristics to the work of others. Let strong music speak for itself!

    1. D.A.R.G. says:

      All music without worldview always turns out to be garbage.
      Here we put music quality first, as always, but with the realist observation that it needs a deeper connection.

      Besides, you are making ideological/worldview connections here on your own, without any reference to reality.
      If you want to make the case for a Communist, O9A, Esoteric Hitlerist, New Atheist, Catholic or whatever other institution you want to cite, then go ahead, but I do not see any evidence.

      We are explicitely stating that we are leaving religious and political ideologies behind.
      It should be clear enough.

      ONLY DEATH IS REAL!

      1. Reduced Without Any Effort says:

        It’s not the job of secondary writers to cram other people’s metal into their own individual worldviews. Doing so sacrifices the individual nuance that makes great metal worthwhile. Suggest possible paths forward for inspiration, but there is not and will never be no one correct dogma.

        1. D.A.R.G. says:

          It’s not the job of secondary writers to cram other people’s metal into their own individual worldviews

          Well, for one, it’s good we do not have “secondary writers”, whatever those are.
          Secondly, is it the “job” of writers to do anything in particular except express ideas?

          Doing so sacrifices the individual nuance that makes great metal worthwhile. Suggest possible paths forward for inspiration, but there is not and will never be no one correct dogma.

          I see that we are on the same page here.

      2. Reduced Without Any Effort says:

        Regarding the O9A accusation: you claim to be leaving political and religious ideology behind, but you refer to “our primary job as Traditionalists” and then proceed to project a series of left-hand path assumptions onto the nature of metal using the language that O9A types tend to use. The “cosmic order”, “sinister influence”, humans as “material to be shaped”, the “cosmic path” requiring “direct action” instead of mythic imagination, “which seeds are served by the blood of the living”, that “madness” and the “abyss” is the way forward, this is all left-hand path/crypto-fascist fusion language as used by O9A. I doubt I’m the only one who picked up on it.

        1. D.A.R.G. says:

          Regarding Traditionalism : this is not a political or religious ideology, it is rather a very general position/worldview that attempts to find something in roots.

          Regarding your interesting, somewhat perplexing conclusion about this “O9A” connection, please feel free to submit your full lexical analysis thesis. It sounds like it would be an interesting study on the far-reaching influences that some thinker or underground movement can have over a larger community without the majority of those influenced being even aware of it.

          However, with respect to the accusation itself: I am not sure the usage of a few fairly common and widespread terms in black metal and esotericism, and perhaps even newer strands of traditionalsim, qualifies as us being part of some conspiracy.

      3. Cynical says:

        “Here we put music quality first, as always, but with the realist observation that it needs a deeper connection.” This is somewhat in error — music is non-representational, and as such, its form is will in and of itself. Treating musical quality and utility/correctness of expression as to separate things is therefore incorrect. Furthermore, as ideologies, worldviews, and even conscious thought, are linguistic themselves, and thus representational, and as such, music cannot be seen as expressions of these things; only the will behind them. Since will cannot be written about directly, our primary criticism of music therefore MUST be aesthetic (using the term “aesthetic” in its proper sense, to include all aspects of composition and structure, not in the narrow since of timbre and production).

        1. D.A.R.G. says:

          Treating musical quality and utility/correctness of expression as to separate things is therefore incorrect.

          Agreed, and we are not doing that.

          The realist observation that good music —or art in general— needs a deeper connection in no way implies a separation of those things.

          Said realist observation is made regarding the strong presence throughout history of an involved, usually ‘divinely’ inspired worldview in music of aesthetic quality.

          However, and this is very important, the presence of an apparent deeper connection does not ensure aesthetic quality.
          But the absence of this involved, usually ‘divinely’ inspired worldview does seem preclude aesthetic quality.

          1. Cynical says:

            “But the absence of this involved, usually ‘divinely’ inspired worldview does seem preclude aesthetic quality.”

            Then how do you explain albums like “Unquestionable Presence”, “Path of the Weakening”, “Effigy of the Forgotten”, “Ride the Lightning”, and even things like AC/DC’s classic material? Or even Katharsis’s discography, given that their main songwriter turned out to be a leftist PC sociology professor?

            1. D.A.R.G. says:

              These two qualify as deeply involved, and although not ‘divinely inspired’ in the strictest sense, they all seem to hold on to a metaphysical longing or obsession. Even when ranting against religion (which is not coeval with ‘divinely inspired’), they show a rougue metaphysical involvement, difficult to articulate, full of presentiment of ‘what is’.

              Unquestionable Presence

              ‘Cause you can never understand
              My life in space
              Our visits here
              Have gone untraced for years
              So easy to create
              A shell like you
              I must leave now and return
              Our presence is unquestionable
              We cannot be seen for this long
              Now look at what you’ve done
              Created such a stir
              If only you had kept to yourself
              You might have known for sure
              Proof of life in outer space

              Effigy of the Forgotten

              Torn away from my state of being
              Chosen to be forgotten
              Unspeakable pain as I leave this solid structure
              As the earth becomes smaller, I reach a new plan
              One so distant from where I was conceived

              A heaping mass of fear is what we hold dear
              For our loved ones who go to this heaven
              Thrown away even by god
              Sentenced to this celestial cell
              ….
              How can life after death be more serene than life itself?

              Path of the Weakening is very limited, second-tier enjoyable imitation material.
              Ride the Lightning is OK, not great. Music for truckers.
              AC/DC never produced great music, if popular.

              Finally, regarding Katharsis’ main songwriter, the fact that he apaprently turned out to be X, does not mean that he was not Y, before. Nor does the fact that he may have become something exclude the fact he was in fact deeply involved and held a kind of divine (if dark) conception of reality. There might be much more of an enigma here than you think.

              1. butfuckked without any effort says:

                “Ride the Lightning is OK, not great. Music for truckers.”

                This isn’t any sort of argument relevant to the music, you’re just trying to handwave it away with an irrelevant classist jeer. Weak stuff. What do you think precludes truckers or manual labor workers or people otherwise lumped into this “dirty redneck” category from “the divine”?

                1. D.A.R.G. says:

                  The trailing comment is just that: a remark.
                  I am not, at the present, developing the reasons why I think Ride the Lightning is not great music.

                  Barring that aside, this Metallica album falls within the description of “deeply involved”, and in the same category as the rest as inspired by a metaphysical motivation and sentiment: read the lyrics.

                  That said: South of Heaven is a much better form of that line of thought.

              2. Jerry Hauppa says:

                What is Path of the Weakening imitating? It’s easily Deeds of Flesh at their most realized form and doesn’t seem to be directly ripping anything off. They trimmed the fat that was on Inbreeding and in its place utilized a melodic structuring that was never saccharine and the music actually sounded like the subjects discussed- such as the title track which very successfully emulates freezing to death. As for it being limited, it’s the only record of theirs with functional harmony for added depth and certain tracks, like “Summarily Killed” showcase a sinister melodic slant that is more aligned with the spirit of bands like Demilich than the “brutal death metal” sound that plagued their label at the time. it were any more diverse, it would have lacked the authoritative punch of a holistic record. I think it’s a great album that still holds up.

                1. D.A.R.G. says:

                  It’s easily Deeds of Flesh at their most realized form …

                  Which isn’t saying much.

                  It’s like a fammished take on preceding classic-period bands which are now tagged as “brutal” [Edit: or “piercing” and accumulating quantities of riffs as a streamline of ideas, but there is nothing more besides].
                  Bands like Deeds of Flesh make themselves all about being “brutal”, and this is the mistake of the masses who do not seem to comprehend the full spectrum of excellence of old Suffocation, Morbid Angel, At the Gates, etc. in each of their respective areas of strength.

                  This is why no “polyphonic” or “melodic” death metal ever lives up to The Red in the Sky is Ours, because the album is not about melody, and it is not about the scant harmonizing and even scantier polyphony in it.

                  The greatness of Suffocation lies embedded in between rhythm and phrase, beyond “brutality”, and includes a variety which Deeds of Flesh cuts away dimensions from this kind of music.
                  The greatness of Morbid Angel lies in its Mozartean structures and tyrannical adherence to motifs as the basis for nonetheless wild expressions and rhythmic contrasts.
                  The greatness of At the Gates lies in the combination of rhythmic and implied harmonic awareness throughout and between riffs, motific cleverness and again, in the emphasis of structural fullness (not complicatedness nor stale formality).

                  1. Svmmoned says:

                    Bands like Deeds of Flesh aren’t Deeds of Flesh. The same applies when people say bands like Suffocation, when in fact there isn’t even one really comparable.

                    Path of the Weakening is good but Inbreeding of Anthropophagi is simply amazing at times. It isn’t even what you would want to call brutal, but rather fluidly classical. The rest of their albums are also of quality (despite of idiotic production), but there I can agree with you, that they are just a standard death metal job.

                  2. Jerry Hauppa says:

                    I’m not really comparing Deeds of Flesh with the other bands being discussed and I’m aware of what makes those bands great, but I think there is more going on in Path and Inbreeding than most people give Deeds credit for. True, they aren’t landmark pieces like the records you mentioned but are about as developed as you can be with their style. They shit the bed pretty hard afterwards, though.

                2. NWN War Metal Tranny Rapist says:

                  Deeds of Flesh never raped a tranny and have revealed their true colors: shemale music! Everything on Unique Leader is shemale music!

  8. neutronhammer says:

    Is it too much to ask to have NWN War Metal Tranny Rapist inducted into the DMU editorial board?

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