Thoughts of a Metal Hipster

If you don’t like CYNIC, you’re homophobic.

If you don’t like ARCH ENEMY, you’re misogynistic.

If you don’t like GOJIRA, you’re racist.

If you don’t like NILE, you’re Anti-Semitic.

If you don’t like SUFFOCATION, you’re classist.

If you don’t like LAMB OF GOD, you’re religiously intolerant.

If you don’t like CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, you’re elitist.

If you don’t like CRADLE OF FILTH, you’re closed-minded.

If you don’t like OPETH, you’re not intellectual.

If you don’t like MESHUGGAH, you’re not one of the good guitarists.

If you don’t like DEVIN TOWNSEND, you’re arbitrary.

If you don’t like JIMI HENDRIX, you’re uncultured.

If you don’t like SIX FEET UNDER, you’re not in touch with the common man.

If you don’t like BORIS, you’re unimaginative.

If you don’t like JESU, you’re insensitive.

If you don’t like ANIMALS AS LEADERS, you’re unintelligent.

If you don’t like MASTODON, you’re unartistic.

If you don’t like BARONESS, you’re uptight.

If you don’t like THE SWORD, you’re celibate.

If you don’t like WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, you’re just no fun.

If you don’t like ULVER, you’re uneducated.

If you don’t like ISIS, you’re illiterate.

If you don’t like BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, you’re shortsighted.

If you don’t like KVERTELAK, you’re antiquated.

If you don’t like SUNN O))), you’re obsolete.

If you don’t like AGALLOCH, you’re one-dimensional.

People like you who sit around listening to classics like DEMILICH, INCANTATION, MASSACRA, OBITUARY, INFESTER, DEMIGOD, IMMOLATION, ATHEIST, THERION, HELLHAMMER, BATHORY, SLAYER, DISCHARGE, AMEBIX, DARKTHRONE, BURZUM, EMPEROR, IMMORTAL, ENSLAVED, GORGOROTH, RIGOR MORTIS, MAYHEM, MERCILESS, BOLT THROWER, SUFFOCATION, NIHILIST, CARNAGE, AT THE GATES, SKEPTICISM, WINTER, DISEMBOWELMENT, MORBID ANGEL, POSSESSED, NECROVORE, MASSACRE, GROTESQUE, DISSECTION, ILDJARN, BLOOD, MASTER, CIANIDE, BAPHOMET, BEHERIT, SUMMONING, BELIAL, DBC, COC, DRI, FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL, DEAD HORSE, LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, MALEVOLENT CREATION, GEHENNA, FRANZ SCHUBERT, ANGEL WITCH, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, BLITZKRIEG, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, EXODUS, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, ASSASSIN, CORONER, SAMAEL, FALLEN CHRIST, ANTON BRUCKNER, OBLIVEON, GORGUTS, SUPURATION, LOUDBLAST, KONG, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART, NUNSLAUGHTER, NUM SKULL, SEPULTURA, SARCOFAGO, MOTORHEAD, PRONG, ROBERT SCHUMANN, IMPRECATION, BLASPHEMY, NUCLEAR DEATH, MOLESTED and UNLEASHED are just bitter, old, gray, ugly, failed, burnt-out, dumb, uneducated, trailer-dwelling, smelly, unsociable people that no one really likes and no one will have sex with, so you’ll die alone in the stench of your own waste.

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Participation

A followup to the much-hated Half a mind

When people say they detest elitism, it’s easy to show them that this is not the case.

Slocrates: Tell me, Thrashmyasscus, why do you think elitism is wrong?

Thrashmyasscus: Clearly, it prioritizes some people above others.

Slocrates: But were you not opining that Justin Bieber sucked cock earlier?

Thrashmyasscus: Yes, but that’s Bieber. His music is beyond bad.

Slocrates: Ah! So we agree that some music is good, and some music is bad.

Thrashmyasscus: Yes, but —

Slocrates: And so we also fuckin’ agree that it’s just a matter of degree between hating Bieber because he’s a useless talentless faggot, and hating “Radikult” because it’s a moronic Marilyn Manson ripoff fifteen years too late?

Thrashmyasscus: Of course. Both of those are worthless.

Slocrates: So then it is only a matter of degree when I say that Necrophagist, Cannibal Corpse, Cradle of Filth, Pantera, Meshuggah and Craft are douchebag low-IQ trailer-dwelling shit, and that Demigod’s Slumber of Sullen Eyes is a work beyond compare?

Thrashmyasscus: That’s not the point. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

Slocrates: Fine, then. What about if I say that black metal from 1990-1994 produced many great bands, but that since 1994, black metal has produced very few?

Thrashmyasscus: Then I’d say you are being judgmental.

Slocrates: And yet when we pointed out that Cannibal Corpse was whale dreck, and Bieber was shit, and yet praised Demigod, you did not mind?

Thrashmyasscus: Slocrates, these are night and day differences. You’re splitting hairs.

Slocrates: To someone who disliked all metal, the differences might not appear so great.

Thrashmyasscus: Well, that’s true, but the point is that elitists are too discerning.

Slocrates: In your view, elitists are not wrong because they choose good music over bad, but because they raise the bar too much?

Thrashmyasscus: That’s not what I mean at all, — but I take your point. Music is subjective, Slocrates. You can’t judge it.

Slocrates: It seems we are having a different debate. If music is subjective, why are any bands at all popular?

Thrashmyasscus: It’s purely random.

Slocrates: And yet both of us agree that Justin Bieber is a cock-horfing turd of a musician. How do we know this?

Thrashmyasscus: The simplistic songs… the moronic lyrics… his wailing voice… I must rape…

Slocrates: As you say, it’s then a matter of degree. Much as from a distance a man and a dog appear closer in height, from a distance “Radikult” and “Chapel of Ghouls” appear closer in quality. Then what you think is wrong with the elitist is that he is too close to the music at hand.

Thrashmyasscus: Fuck you!

They have no idea why they detest elitism. At first, it just seems unfair; next, the standards are too high; finally, they accuse you of being an elitist so you sound cool to the kids at school. They will probably do this while holding an Opeth or Obscura record, which they will just have finished beating about the heads of their friend group, telling them how enlightened and musically proficient it is in contrast to whatever crap those morons are listening to.

I have a different supposition: they hate elitism because it says participation alone is not enough.

The participation alone people want to believe that all music is basically the same, and if you learn to play guitar and make some songs, then record them, you’re part of the club.

Elitists say “not so fast” and demand instead that you do all of the above, and also make quality music.

For an elitist, the focus is on the music; it’s on the end results. Who cares about the rest?

The problem with this of course is that it means participation is not enough. One has to get good. That requires that one have certain innate talents, and apply oneself.

Naturally, this isn’t popular with the Crowd. They’d rather hear that you can get out there with a guitar, record whatever sloppy and incoherent crap runs through your mind, and then be part of the club. Everyone else then owes it to you to support you, because you tried. Everyone is equal on the level of participation.

What irks such people is that to history, and any sane observers, participation is nothing. Achievement is all. And not all can achieve, and this upsets them to learn, because they came to metal to get away from the achievement-requiring standards of (life|school|social groups above 105 average IQ|the Dayton-Hudson Corporation employee handbook).

Metal is their escape, and you’re ruining it for them.

But if you don’t, they’ll ruin your metal by inundating the scene with low quality music.

When that happens, no one will find the good stuff, and good musicians will go elsewhere. Why work hard to make good music so a bunch of participation-is-everything fans can blow it off?

Participation is nothing; the end result is all.

If you were playing basketball, you wouldn’t want a guy on your team who thought “trying” to get the ball in the hoop was enough. No; you want the guy who gets it in there.

When someone fixes your roof, you don’t want some guy who “tries” to do it right. You want someone who succeeds.

Music is no different, and it’s a secret hidden in plain sight that this is true, because there are so many participants (who have nothing else in life but a job making sandwiches, a dingy apartment and a string of failed relationships) who want to force us all to believe that participation is equal to achievement.

It sounds like they have a mental health problem, doesn’t it?

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Sorcier des Glaces – Snowland Reprise MMXI

You could be dicking around with:

  • Faux old school death metal
  • Metalcore
  • Necrophagist style random “tech death” that is metalcore
  • Deathcore
  • “Open minded” black metal that sounds like REM on a banjo

Or, this track from Sorcier des Glaces’ re-envisioning of their aetheric black metal opus, “Snowland.”

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New reviews: BEHERIT, CIANIDE and Ejacula radio

Some new reading for y’all:

  • Beherit – At the Devil’s Studio 1990: more like the later EPs, a sonically-experimental take on these songs that were more Blasphemy like on The Oath of Black Blood but gained some power in their austere, minimal, aloof presentation on the second album.
  • Cianide – Gods of Death: A big improvement over Hell’s Rebirth; a more self-conscious album, this one deliberately merges their Motorhead, Celtic Frost and Master origins in a new, streamlined form of the oldest of old school.
  • Ejacula radio on KPFT 90.1: for those of you in Houston and awake from 3 am – 6 am on Friday mornings, this is the dark and shadowy metal show that has stalked this realm for 19 years.

These made it to Examiner to keep that source alive; despite having terrible software, distant editors and mostly celebrity content, Examiner is a great place to promote metal and make it into mainstream news.

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Half a mind

We live in a world that preaches dumbing down: be equal, be safe and mediocre, pander to others by making everything very, very simple and similar to the other stuff they like.

If you can imagine a long line of sheep, chasing each other through the night, and as the night goes on and starlight flickers across them, you see in their faces the features of wolves…

But one thing that cracks me up: the notion of quality.

Most people, dumbed down by this society and perhaps by their genetic code, can understand quality of tangible substance. For example, a jazzy beat. Good guitar tone. High speed chaotic songs. Really sick vocals.

They can even identify that it’s harder to play than average, or that it has “different parts,” like a melodic slow part and then an acoustic part, then some high-speed guitar, etc.

What they can’t do is string any of this together.

To them, a band like Necrophagist that plays fast riffs in a random order, and whose songs literally signify nothing, is just as good as a band like Camel who carefully string together melodies to tell a tale — and make sure it’s a tale that draws us in, has emotional and intellectual substance, as well as a good rippin’ gut-hitting theme, like the battle for independence or to find a holy grail of some sort or another.

These people literally cannot tell the difference between random riffs bands (Cradle of Filth, Cannibal Corpse) and well-architected, sensible patterns that tell a story (Massacra, Atheist, Incantation). To them it’s all the same, because the parts are the same.

It’s as if I build two structures out of plywood:

  1. A reproduction of the Palace at Versailles
  2. A standard suburban home

These people will walk up to them and say something like, “Well, that first one’s bigger, but they’re both made out of plywood. Over here, I’ve got a house I made from sugarcubes. That’s totally unique, dude!”

When we talk about modernity as a time of shallow thinkers…

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Thrashing Rage speed metal compilation

The lads over at A FIST IN THE ASS OF GOD have put together a compilation of undernoticed speed metal bands from the 1980s and 1990s. If you love this stuff, it’s quite good; if you don’t, it’s some of the more interesting edges of the genre so you can finally get “For Whom the Bell Tolls” out of your head.

Here’s the god-ass-packing tracklist:

1. Protector (Germany) “Protector of Death” (1986)
2. Morbid Saint (USA) “Assassin” (1988)
3. Soothsayer (Canada) “Build the Terrorism” (1986)
4. Burnt Offering (USA) “Power of Death” (1989)
5. Hobbs’ Angel Of Death (Australia) “Cold Steel” (1988)
6. Toxodeth (Mexico) “Black Doom” (1988)
7. Dolmen (USA) “The Ritual Night” (1989)
8. Pentagram [Mezarkabul] (Turkey) “Intro (Wreck)/Rotten Dogs” (1990)
9. Messiah (Switzerland) “Hyper Borea” (1987)
10. Ulysses Siren (USA) “Above the Ashes” (1987)
11. Infernäl Mäjesty (Canada) “Into the Unknown” (1988)
12. Sindrome (USA) “Rapture in Blood” (1987)
13. Anacrusis (USA) “Imprisoned” (1988)
14. Sacred Reich (USA) “No Believers” (1987)
15. Nasty Savage (USA) “Fear Beyond the Vision” (1985)
16. Lääz Rockit (USA) “Last Breath” (1987)
17. Demonax (USA) “Evil’s Cast Aside” (1984)
18. Holy Terror (USA) “Debt of Pain” (1988)

Download at this Mediafire link or visit the original blog post for more information.

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Metal contributes to language

Radikult, v., to engage in any grossly directionless, phenomenally incompetent and cosmically purposeless activity. For example: “We got there late, and at that point the only people there were fat neckbeards Radikulting on Segways, so we left.”

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Cianide – Gods of Death (2011)

We who still love metal walk a fine line between the sold out nu-hardcore stylings of metalcore, and the tendency to hop on the bandwagon of the old school too much; the previous Cianide, Hell’s Rebirth, walked too far on the old school side — when a band loses direction, they imitate successful techniques and patterns from the past without knowing what those patterns evoked in the listeners.

Despite pretending the contrary is true, Cianide is intensely emotional music. It brings on the spirit of doom and fate from old Celtic Frost, the fire-blooded desire to seize life by the throat and live the hell out of it of Motörhead, and from ancient death metal and doom metal a contemplative inner sense, a wondering where we fit in this big picture.

Hell’s Rebirth skipped the emotion for the equivalent of lots of songs about being in a death metal. Gods of Death, despite the less-than-promising self-referential title, is a quality mature effort from these veterans. It is not a concept album but a collection of songs that somewhat self-consciously attempt greater internal variation than previous albums, evenly mixing the “Metal Never Bends” style of bounding, energetic death metal of the type early Master did well, and the brooding drone of Hellhammer and the doom-death style it influenced. The songs are still simple; the solos still squiggles of graffiti on walls of unyielding tone.

If anything, this album reverts to the hardcore roots of death metal and eschews the “nu-hardcore” post-1980s prog-punk and pop-punk styles that are so popular in metal now. In both style and substance, Gods of Death is an affirmation of the past and a recognition that style alone did not define it; the spirit and the soul of the artist made 1990s death metal what it was, and they not only live on but move forward on this chunk of oxidizing steel.

-Brett Stevens-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUxpsvOtlEE&feature=fvst

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