The rise of “cute metal”

July 15, 2014 –

It happened in the mid-1970s, then the early 1980s, then the early 1990s, and now it’s happening again: underground metal is splitting away from what the mainstream will tolerate. Except that now the window has moved so that mainstream metal includes many things once reserved to the underground. The rise of “cute metal” exemplifies this…

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5 albums that invented underground metal

July 14, 2014 –

Before there were names for styles like death metal and black metal, and before anyone beyond a handful of people knew of these genres, pioneers created the groundwork for both genres and influences on several others. They had little at their disposal besides primitive recording and photocopied zines, but somehow these founders established the basis…

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5 thrash albums that you must hear

July 11, 2014 –

Image from Thrasher Magazine. Thrasher music deserves its own category. It spans three genres and gave its name to one. It also plays by entirely distinct rules that place it in both metal and punk camps, but not exclusively in either. Despite the attempts of both genres to claim it, it has weaseled free by…

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World’s first headbanger in chief elected in Indonesia

July 10, 2014 –

Indonesia has elected the first presidential candidate to openly endorse heavy metal music in a heavily contested election. The candidate, Joko Widodo or “Jokowi” to his fans, lists Napalm Death, Lamb of God and Megadeth among his favorite metal acts. Widodo, who grew up poor and ended up in politics after starting his own furniture…

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Emptiness – Nothing but the Whole

July 9, 2014 –

Belgian death metallers Emptiness return with Nothing but the Whole which combines death/black metal intensity with the brooding ambiance of dark ambient similar to Desiderii Marginis. The result creates a dark, visceral experience. The album exudes a deeply haunting and nightmarish feel which the band expands with its knowledge and application of melodic development. Songs…

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Varg Vikernes (Burzum) facing legal troubles in France and Russia

July 8, 2014 –

Varg Vikernes founded Burzum and contributed heavily to the black metal movement before being jailed in Norway in 1993 for murder and possible church arson, then on his release in the 2000s began releasing the continuation of his prison-years ambient soundscape albums, most recently with Sôl austan, Mâni vestan and The Ways of Yore. Now…

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Society wants to scare you into quitting headbanging

July 7, 2014 –

The relationship between heavy metal and mainstream society, with the burst of popularity of metal among those who seem to accept society at face value and like, has come to resemble a bad relationship. It reminds me of the girl who dates a rocker and starts making suggestions: wash those jeans, cut your hair, stop…

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Extremity Retained: Notes From the Death Metal Underground by Jason Netherton

Jason Netherton (Dying Fetus, Misery Index) created his history of death metal called Extremity Retained: Notes From the Death Metal Underground by letting members of the community tell their stories. This book compiles interviews with death metal bands, artists, writers and label owners. It organizes these into five topic areas which makes it easier to…

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New “Hanneman-class” metal stars discovered

July 6, 2014 –

According to a recent survey, one in ten thousand stars may be made of metal. This information was derived by examining the process of star formation. Those of who are metalheads may find it relevant to suggest a new name for these stars: Hanneman-class stars. For if anything was ever made completely of metal, it…

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Cosmic metal-influenced ambient band Khand releases new interview

July 4, 2014 –

Cosmic ambient band Khand keeps deep roots in the metal community. Unknown to most of its fans, the compositional power of Khand was forged long before the first synthesizer tracks worked their way into the minds of listeners. Like most things related to this mysterious project, these metal roots remain incognito. The band first emerged…

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