Metal “journalism”: incoherent garbage

This reviewer noted something many of us have seen — that of the multitude of blogs, sites, magazines, etc. no one actually knows much about the music. They take two lines and a concept from the press release, and then blow that into a chatty review, in the meantime missing the point.

Here’s Ray Miller from Metal Curse on the incompetence of metal journalists:

I am fucking sick of reading bullshit reviews of this album written by clueless dickholes who all seem to think that this is the first time Cianide has ever played at a pace any faster than Godzilla’s slow march to Toyko to rape the Diet building. Satan’s speed is Cianide’s speed, you hydrocephalic living abortions! Go listen to “Human Cesspool” or anything from 1996’s Rage War (I don’t think anything here is faster than “Deadly Spawn”) onward for examples of Chicago’s Most Brutal kicking 666 spectrums of ass at whatever tempos they see fit. Almost all of the band’s previous album, 2005’s Hell’s Rebirth, is this fast or beyond. – Cianide – Gods of Death

This is him writing about the new Cianide (which is great) that has gone over the heads of most reviewers who have no idea why it’s (a) good and (b) deserves attention, but most of all are easily distracted and so have wandered over to the metalcore band that uses a harp and a female vocalist and are gushing over its mediocre music (but excellent production! ironic instrumentation! groovy name! good back-story!) instead.

Metal journalism is incompetent because record labels simply imported a new audience — hipsters — to replace metalheads. The new people have no clue and so they gush, drool, and gibber excitedly over trivial stuff. The labels don’t care — they just want a nice easy extension of their press releases. They might have had opposition back when metalheads chose magazines carefully, and read informative websites only; now, the endless sea of blogs is excited chatter with no substance, and that’s perfect for marketing.

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Blaspherian – Infernal Warriors of Death (Limited Edition)

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the regular edition of this album, either aesthetically or technically. Deathgasm Records did an excellent job. But along came Die Todesrune/Deathrune/Death To Mankind Records with a limited edition, “300 copies,” art direction inspired version of this new classic, so who are we to say no?

Both cover and booklet are stunning in their integration of old school death metal art conventions, and newer stylings that simply look good and portray this album in the best possible light. The digipack — normally I dislike these fragile things — is as well put-together as you’ll find in this format, and its elegant matte surface conveys a richness of color impossible on slicker releases. The result is a whole package: music, idea, image and persona.

If you haven’t heard this might slab of putrescent occult death metal, it’s like old Incantation executed by Deicide at the pace of Obituary. The result is a brooding, expansive and otherworldly catacomb of doubt, violence and despair that is alluring in its promise of a world more interesting than our current utilitarian/moralist one. For those who love death metal, or just intense music that is not pure uptempo distraction, Infernal Warriors of Death delivers a crushing blow.

01. The Disgrace of God

02. Desecration Eternal

03. Sworn to Death and Evil

04. Lies of the Cross

06. In the Shadow of His Blasphemous Glory

07. Invoking Abomination

08. Exalted in Unspeakable Evil

Deathrune has also released a regular CD edition in Europe, and by the end of the August will release a gatefold vinyl edition as well. You now have no excuses not to own this crushing release if you want it.

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Metal is heroism, punk is victimhood

From a reputable source, contrasting that which inspires us with that which makes us pity ourselves:

In the movie [The Matrix], the protagonist discovers not only the awful truth about the world, that it is a living nightmare where computers use humans as batteries to power their mechanized metropolis, but that he has powers beyond that of which he has ever dreamed, eventually destroying the matrix and becoming the savior of all humankind.

Thus the truth, while awful, gives the protagonist something wonderful in return: a cause that turns his dreary existence into a glorious fight for freedom against a merciless robotic enemy. This is the notion into which philosophical references to the red pill/blue pill analogy try to tap, the idea that while the truth makes the world seem to be a frightening and draconian place, that the cause of revealing the truth will take on noble characteristics and transform the reader into a persecuted hero. I’ve referred to this idea as a “persecution paradigm” and went into describing it at length in The Burning Blade 13.5.

The basic idea expressed there is that these persecution paradigms play to feelings of alienation and exclusion in the potential convert, making them believe that their suffering has a mysterious and nefarious external cause, and that by defeating those responsible that all can be made well again. The paradigms give the downtrodden convert a sense of purpose, transforming their suffering and other negative feelings into hope and positive feelings. Furthermore, the paradigms make belief systems self reinforcing by bringing the believer into conflict with the world, encouraging them to fight with righteous anger, and confirming their belief that the world is aligned against them when they encounter resistance.

Such persecution paradigms have been wildly successful on the internet in convincing people of all sorts of conspiracy theories and other wild ideas. People seem to love a good secret and long to share it with others, oftentimes arguing vehemently in support of those ideas in chat rooms, forums, and anywhere else they can.

I would like to compare this aspect of the movie “The Matrix” with another movie about a protagonist who is also being crushed by the machinery of an uncaring world: “Brazil,” which I highly recommend. In “Brazil”, the hapless protagonist daydreams that he is a valiant warrior: complete with wings and a sword and shining armor; and in those dreams he fights numerous villains in his quest to rescue his angelic dream girl, who, by contrast in real life, is a lowly and somewhat butch delivery woman. His daydreams make his life more interesting and serve as an escape from his difficult and mind-numbing job, but the protagonist isn’t content to merely just dream about such things, and he tries to make his dreams come true, chasing after his reluctant dream girl and battling real life “villains” in the process.

I won’t spoil the ending, but the contrast between the two movies is quite stark. In “The Matrix”, reality is the dream and the dream is reality and the protagonist is able to escape the bonds of what he thought was real to become something much more than what he was. In “Brazil” the dream is just a dream which the protagonist tries so very hard to make real so that he can escape from the drudgery of his existence, which seems to me to be a more apt analogy for what “Matrix” style allegories and ideologies in general do for people. The way I see it, “The Matrix” is entertainment in the form of a persecution paradigm while “Brazil” is social commentary on what effects such paradigms can have on people. – The Burning Blade

Do you want to create, or try to dominate what already exists?

Do you seek something better, or merely to exclude current problems?

Do you pity yourself, or use yourself as a means to greater ends?

Mr Cameron will attempt to rise above the row, offering a damning analysis of Britain’s moral decline and promising a raft of reforms in response.

Ministers began to set out some of those changes yesterday, signalling moves to end legal anonymity for under-18s accused of rioting. Tougher enforcement would “make life hell” for gang leaders, the Government promised. – The Telegraph

All politics aside, that seems to me the wrong path. You are following the path of victimhood that way, like punk bands complaining about low salaries at their grocery-store jobs.

Your society lacks a direction. You can’t control/discipline/propagandize people who are essentially rotting in disuse.

Metal is the solution to all problems, including shitty movies like The Matrix and boring riots like these Brokeback Islanders torching their local malls. It’s an antidote to a boring, purposeless world.

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The Lodge Fifth Edition

The new – and fifth – version of The Lodge webzine is finally online!

Version 5.0

After 4 years, it was high time to do an overhaul update: not only to keep it interesting for the reader,
both also to myself, as a motivational tool.

As you will see, I decided to set the new structure in a similar pattern to my homepage’s,
as the webzine is but a division of it to begin with: pursuing minimalism and simplicity ad aeternum!

Apart from this new version, there are also some goodies left:
an interview with singer-songwriter David Ferreira,
and 4 new reviews from the likes of 1349,
Nachtmystium, Pantheon I and Veil.

Also, bands, labels and promotional entities: should you like to get in touch or send some news, please update your address books with my new e-mail address: webb@webbworks.org.

To wrap things up, I hope you all enjoy this new update as much as me.

Keep it real,
Rui Webb

Webb Works
P.O. Box 87, 2796-901 Linda-a-Velha, Portugal
webb@webbworks.org | http://www.webbworks.org | http://www.facebook.com/webbworks

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All that’s old is new again

I’ve been listening quite a bit to the new BEHERIT. I’m on an oil rig, have almost none of my belongings (this is a rush job), and need desperately to entertain myself. For music, all I’ve got are the speakers on my netbook and two albums:

  • Beherit – At the Devil’s Studio 1990
  • A random death metal comp I made a few years ago

I made the death metal comp to try to explain to other people why I — normally a classical listener, around 75% of my listening, with another 15% being Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Lord Wind — love this music. It captures the (cough) true diversity of this music and its imagination. It also captures what the music tries to embody: many different views of the same spirit, a feral but principled aggression that seeks to like a warbound king set all that’s wrong to right and to smite the weak, sniveling, boring, pointless, craven and ugly from this earth.

This brings me to the new old Beherit: I’ve come to love this thing. It has what The Oath of Black Blood has, which is reckless noise and pure energy. It also has what the following album brought, which is a sense of evil not as some stumbling error, but as a deliberate force — a conniving, undermining, dark and pervasive force that seeks to overthrow the light which converts the rich diversity of life into simple symbols and moral concepts.

As the gunfire in Norway fades, and the crumbling of the USA’s rotting edifice of spoiled entitlement brats begins, this is the appropriate soundtrack: all that in the cosmos which we have banished because it is disturbing returning with sublime intent, overthrowing our oblivious pleasant notions and anthrocentric delusions, and replacing them with the savage but ultimately logical order of the primordial forest at dawn.

KILL

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Cianide “Dead and Rotting” from “Gods of Death”

CIANIDE premiere track from new album, their first in six years, set for release tomorrow!

Widely revered Chicago death metal cult CIANIDE are premiering a new track, “Dead and Rotting,” today at Metal-Army.com alongside an interview with the band. “Dead and Rotting” comes from CIANIDE’s brand-new album on HELLS HEADBANGERS, the appropriately titled Gods of Death, set for release tomorrow worldwide. The link to the track premiere can be found here: http://www.metal-army.com/?p=22698.

Already, CIANIDE’s Gods of Death is being hailed by the international metal press, even landing the band a covetted feature in next month’s issue of Decibel. Here are some snippets of the buzz currently circulating around Gods of Death:

• “Will make peers like NUNSLAUGHTER or JUNGLE ROT weep” – Terrorizer [4/5 rating]
• “Death metal at its most primitive, primeval, and downright punishing, ugly as sin and reassuringly predictable. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – Decibel
• “Exactly what it is intended to be: a well-done homage to early Celtic Frost” – About.com [B+ rating]
• “Comes from the oldest style of death metal…will confirm that the underground isn’t dead; it’s just overshadowed by the drama of the emotional-like-emo people” – Examiner.com
• “Cianide stay the course and leave an even longer trail of corpses” – Blabbermouth.net [8/10 rating]
• “Monstrous” – Popdose [10/11 rating]
• “Death metal as it should be, at its ferocious, bestial zenith” – Metalcurse.com [10/10 rating]
• “Proves that Cianide still has what it takes to be one of the more important driving forces of the underground metal world to date” – Apochs.net [9.5/10 rating]
• “For those who prefer their metal keeping its direct link and inspiration all the way to the glory ’80s, Cianide is one of the most obvious answers” – Dead Void Dreams webzine [9/10 rating]
• “A worthy effort from a band whose return is most welcome” – Metalreviews.com
• “Lots of bands are now jumping on the bandwagon, but these guys have been doing old-school since old-school wasn’t cool” – Wormwoodchronicles.com
• “This is the way death metal was meant to be: thick, groovin’ and brutal” – Brutal Control webzine
• “A superb death metal album that delivers exactly what you want: no-frills deathliness with no fancy trickery on the production or mix” – MetalTeamUK.net
• “Operate in a space between BOLT THROWER’s chugging surety and the more ominous, cavernous resonance of INCANTATION…one of our most devout, unsung US death veterans, and worth experiencing if you want nothing more than to ball your fists up and feast on human misery like a streetfightin’ troglodyte” – From the Dust Returned webzine

About Metal Army: Metal-Army.com is the new number-one online destination for the metal community! Featuring all of metal’s latest news, reviews, etc and guest writers that include Oderus Urungus (GWAR), Rob Dukes (EXODUS) and UFC fighter Dan Hardy (amongst others), Metal-Army.com is home to the best that metal has to offer. Metal-Army.com also hosts monthly bar nights across the country where metalheads can go to hang out with fellow metalheads, have some drinks, and see some of their favorite musicians spin their favorite metal songs during special DJ sets. Past DJs have included members of White Zombie, Exodus, Testament, The Cult, Neurosis and more! The next Metal Army Night is scheduled for August 9th at Idle Hands Bar in New York City at 9PM!

CIANIDE – “Dead and Rotting” by MetalArmyUSA

For more info, consult www.hellsheadbangers.com and www.myspace.com/cianidekills.

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Fiscal Christ versus sculptor Satan

Someone else attempts to explain Satanism in metal:

To quote Beauvoir on Hegel, followed by a Hegel quotation found in DsO’s lyrics: “Hegel tells us in the last part of The Phenomenology of Mind that moral consciousness can exist only to the extent that there is disagreement between nature and morality. It would disappear if the ethical law became the natural law.”

“Death is the most terrible of all things; and to maintain its works is what requires the greatest of all strength.”

Perhaps, then, Satan is the terrible marriage between natural and ethical law. Such might explain DsO’s utter lack of moral consciousness. The only conclusion that can be soundly drawn, without their peculiar cacophony of influences to draw upon, is that Deathspell Omega’s metaphysical take on black metal has eclipsed their grim-and-gore-obsessed predecessors along with 99% of everyone else claiming to be in it for the music or the message. They remains true to the core of the black metal ethos — a notoriously difficult task — while simultaneously repurposing traditional black metal structures to their own end (anathema to black metal on paper, epitome of black metal and AMSG in practice), almost sidestepping into an alternate reality where Satan reigns, bleeding their world into our own until it’s hard to tell which is which. – Tiny Mix tapes

All of humanity has since the rise of liberalism, and before it populist Christianity, been attempting to reconcile natural law with social law (morality).

Social law says that everyone is equal, and that only this order makes sense.

In dramatic contrast to the above article, most thinkers do not see nature as chaos or chaos as a lack of order. They see it as an order beyond human comprehension, but nonetheless, perfectly rational.

The difference? It’s not biased toward the human equation.

“Good” and “evil” create reality, which is a “meta-good” — it is a good thing, borne of both good and bad things.

The human definition of “good” means what is safe for humans; what denies reality, in other words.

Evil is the insurgent reminder that this simplistic viewpoint is incorrect and therefore, will bring us into collision with reality. Like peak oil, economic crashes, constant statist-versus-nationalist warfare, and social decay.

For too many years, we have let the herd rule. Their doctrine: every person is equal and important.

Our rule: natural law and its order are important, and everything else is human wishful thinking.

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Culture or decoration

Heavy metal is a culture because heavy metal is a unique spirit: a warlike desire for adventure and meaning, not safety and egodrama.

No mosh! No core! No trends! No “fun”!

Idiots continue to want to make heavy metal into rock music.

Rock music is based on individual drama — the same thing that makes people feel it’s OK to litter, vote for manipulators and then blame others, buy McDonald’s and then bemoan corporate domination. People are the problem. Not institutions.

We like to think we’re all equally capable, and so if something went wrong, it was a misfortune/victimhood. The truth is that most people cannot balance a budget, shop for good food, or avoid repeatedly doing self-destructive and pointless actions. Humanity is overrated.

Now we have idiots who want us to think that if we just relax our standards, everything will turn out just fine — like that worked for the hippies, Romans or other groups of deathbound fools:

A YouTube user named “iAMVyt” has posted a video clip online discussing the idea that metal elitism is causing the downfall of the entire genre, and that there cannot truly be an “underground” scene in the age of Facebook. Take a gander at the video clip, and feel free to share your thoughts on metal elitism and what it means to be “underground” in the comments section below. “iAMVyt” also commented on the clip:

“This is just a short video covering a couple of my beliefs about metal elitists. No, this is not criticizing everyone who enjoys metal. It is not criticizing everyone who identifies themselves as a ‘metalhead.’ It is not criticizing everyone who has a strong belief in anything involving music or metal.

“It is criticizing what I believe to be foolish views and opinions. If you do not agree with my opinions, that is FINE. If you are a metalhead and find that this video does not describe you… You are not a metal elitist.”

Metal Funderground

Elitism is the one thing that saved metal.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, metal was a scornful, fascist genre.

These bands knew they did not want to end up like the just-sold-out speed metal (Metallica, Testament, Anthrax, Exodus, Megadeth) and the mainstream heavy metal of the time, which was laughably bad hair metal and beginnings of industrial and alternative metal (Ministry, Faith No More).They had just seen metal get popular in the late 1970s only to die, then come back in the early 1980s, then start to die again.

The black metal bands were even more extreme. They realized that as long as they made music for beer-swilling know-nothings to tap their toes to, the genre would go nowhere. It would get re-absorbed by the mainstream and turn into the same horrible shit that infested both the radio and (in goofier, hipster form) the indie charts.

Elitism is the cornerstone of quality metal. When they abandoned it in 1994, a dearth of quality music resulted, with a few exceptions (later albums from BEHERIT, CIANIDE, ASPHYX, DEMONCY, AVERSE SEFIRA, SUMMONING and a few others). Those bands rose against the grain because they believed in quality over quantity. Whether they would call it “elitism” or not, it’s roughly the same animal: we want quality music, so we push away from the pointless, commercial or derivative.

Now this idiot tells us elitism is killing metal?

More like he means poseurdom is killing metal, as it always has. Poseurs are people who want to use the music to make themselves look cool.

Opeth listeners who want to show you how “open-minded” they are, Primus listeners who want to talk about how technical their music is, self-righteous Rage Against the Machine and punk rockers talking politics, and metalcore devotees who embrace the combined hipster/bohemian bourgeois lifestyle of over-emotionality and self-righteous moral indignation… these people then are the faux elitists — the poseurs — who are ruining metal.

Did he think of that?

No, because that would require him to admit that heavy metal is truly a different view of the world.

Although I listen to many different musical styles, including classical, jazz, blues and even bluegrass, my contemporary tastes lean toward heavy metal, hard rock and alternative. In other words, loud, aggressive songs with ear-piercing vocals, massive guitar solos and heavy bass and drums. The musical talent of these artists is undeniable, but the appeal is definitely an acquired taste.

Long story short, this isn’t your parents’ music. Unless your parents were long-haired, headbanging types who wore copious amounts of black clothing and makeup, that is.- National Post

We are a new generation that pisses all over the old. 1968 was hippies telling us the same crap that metalcore bands tell us today. If you want to be the musical inheritor of your parents’ or grandparents’ failed and stupid political projection, be my guest. You’ve just admitted you want to repeat the dysfunction of the past. Sounds like what an abuse victim would do.

For 2,000 years now we’ve had helpful morons to tell us that “all we need is love.” If it were that easy, it would have happened millennia ago. “All we need is asparagus” has similar relevance to the morally complex problems we face. In addition, unless you have your head up your ass, you can see how the human individual acting selfishly is a much bigger problem than whatever failings our institutions have had. We just like to blame the institutions so we can keep being selfish.

Trust nature instead:

Every sensible swimmer knows that avoiding a school of bait fish or immediately leaving the water if a cut started to bleed is ‘best practice’ when attempting to avoid a meeting with a shark.

But Eyre Peninsula’s Matt Waller has added another tip to the ‘don’t get eaten’ handbook with his discovery that Great White’s are much less aggressive when listening to ACDC – particularly ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’.

{…}

“I started going through my albums and ACDC was something that really hit the mark.

“Their behaviour was more investigative, more inquisitive and a lot less aggressive – they actually came past in a couple of occasions when we had the speaker in the water and rubbed their face along the speaker which was really bizarre.” – ABCA

We’d love to know what the sharks think of DEICIDE and INCANTATION.

The self-obsessed rhythms and whining, self-pitying hooks of pop music would probably just make them attack the boat.

Similarly, poseur bands like MASTODON, KYLESA, GOJIRA, OPETH, etc. would have the same effect.

Lack of elitism is killing metal.

Elitism means tolerating only quality music. It’s like natural selection for heavy metal: keep the good, throw out the shit.

Metal is dying because it is flooded with insincere hipster bands, commercial trash and pointless rehashing of underground styles.

The only force that opposes that are the people who insist on quality control, a/k/a the elitists.

The opposite of an elitist is a poseur. Poseurs want to use the music to make themselves look smart, unique, interesting, different, etc.

When those people started infesting metal in 1994 or so, the downward spiral began. Now there’s only a few acts that aren’t as abysmally bad as the stuff on mainstream radio.
– Comment on the above “elitist bashing” article

Nature knows metal is a path of its own. It’s only selfish humans who keep trying to neuter it, so they can stop fearing it. Hail elitism!

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Exmortis – Darkened Path Revealed demos compilation

A MUST HAVE for any collector.

Songs featured on this release are as follows:

1. Winds of Hell ———————– Descent Into Chaos demo 1988
2. Lords of Abomination —————- Descent Into Chaos demo 1988
3. Exmortis —————————- Descent Into Chaos demo 1988
4. Pathogenic Silence —————— Descent Into Chaos demo 1988
5. Intermission One ——————– Darkened Path Revealed CD 2010
6. Immortality’s End ——————- Immortality’s End demo 1989
7. The Resurrection ——————– Immortality’s End demo 1989
8. Beyond the Realms of Madness ——– Immortality’s End demo 1989
9. Casual Killing ———————- Immortality’s End demo 1989
10. Immortal Outro ———————- Immortality’s End demo 1989
11. Intermission Two ——————– Darkened Path Revealed CD 2010
12. Dreams of the Dead —————— Fade From Reality 7 inch EP 1991
13. The Unforbidden ——————— Never Released Song 1991
14. Fade From Reality ——————- Fade From Reality 7 inch EP 1991
15. Intermission Three —————— Darkened Path Revealed CD 2010
16. Necrotic Visions ——- History of Things to Come – Underground Compilation CD 1994
17. Silence of Darkness —— History of Things to Come – Underground Compilation CD 1994
18. Lamenting the Flesh —————- Darkened Path Revealed CD 2010

* Orders are being accepted via PayPal from http://www.exmortis.us/darkenedpath.htm
.
* Shipping rates and postage are included:
* If you don’t have a PayPal account you can pay via credit card by clicking the “Pay with debit or credit card” beneath the “Log In” button on the PayPal site.
* Postal money orders are accepted but you must send a memo for detailed instructions on how to send it.
* All studio songs recorded by the band will be included on this release. It can’t get any better than this. Juan “Punchy” Gonzalez re-mastered this collection of songs.
* The Butchers of the Urban Frontier demo from 1993 is not included on this release because the owner of its content wanted it removed.

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