Black metal soul is not rock soul

From Non-Alignment Pact:

What we’re looking at here is a style that uses some of the techniques of extreme metal, but which applies them to an aesthetic philosophy and a worldview that are basically the exact opposite of what you would find in extreme metal and especially in black metal. Given the skill and veracity with which those techniques are executed, I don’t think it’s an option to put Liturgy’s music in a category like “false metal.” And yet, again, there’s nothing black about this music at all.

So I really think we ought to call this something else. Unfortunately, the appellation “white metal” has already been claimed for Christian metal- which, when it imitates black metal specifically, has been tagged with the topsy-turvy name “unblack metal.” So what do we call what Liturgy does? Gray metal? Bright metal? Perhaps, following the diction of frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, “transcendental metal.” I think here we can see how the world of black (or “black-esque”) metal and the world of NPR come to intersect: as metal critic Stefan Raduta noted last year, other bands that do this type of thing (specifically Wolves In The Throne Room) “[are] giving [black metal] back its soul, its integrity.” – Non-Alignment Pact

I forget how 20 years later, black metal is still alien to modern people. They want it to be just like rock music.

Liturgy isn’t giving black metal back its soul; as Mee admits above, it’s going in the opposite direction.

It’s putting rock soul into black metal.

Rock soul is the worksong of proles everywhere — life is bad, it ain’t my fault, let’s get drunk and screw, maybe lose ourselves in emotion, and we’ll feel it’s bigger than the whole world, until tomorrow of course when we get up and do it all again.

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False metal versus hipster metal

Daniel Mee over at Non-Alignment Pact had this to say about the hipster metal binge:

But one thing that I do not hold against The Sword is that they are a “hipster metal” band. Now, that’s not because I think that the tag is inaccurate. On the contrary, I think that it describes a real stylistic phenomenon in hard rock- music that has some superficial resemblance to metal, but actually has roots in some other kind of music. The “hipster metal” epithet emphasizes the “superficial” part of this formulation, implying that the music is intended for dilettantes who get their ideas about underground music from mainstream culture (i.e. think all metal is guys that look like KISS playing Sabbath songs) and basically don’t know actual heavy metal from a hole in the ground.

I don’t think this is necessarily the case, although music critics certainly have a tendency to turn into those idiots when they try to write about metal. I think that it’s possible to make non-metal music that sounds like metal for some reason, either intentional or unintentional, without having the end result be something that is itself superficial. Instead of “hipster metal,” call it “false metal.” – Non-Alignment Pact

I guess my question is this:

Why pretend to be something you are not?

You change on the surface, but not inside. It’s a costume.

While it might be an interesting experiment, once, it seems more like infiltration.

However, he raises an interesting point.

Hipster metal is not just a regular band making a metal or metal-ish record. Enough have done that successfully that the process should be viewed as metal influencing the wider spectrum of music.

Hipster metal is insincere metal. It’s hipsters — surface > form — creating metal, ironically, so they have some new and unique/different combination to show off.

It is whore, at its heart and in its soul, even if its skin is metal.

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Why do metal/rock bands get worse over time?

If you get stuck in an ivory tower then you’re kind of lost, and that’s what happens with some of the older bands; they sort of lose touch with what actually is reality. – Phil Cullen, Def Leppard

With a few exceptions like BEHERIT and ASPHYX, the nearly-universal rule is that metal (and other popular genres like rock, techno, etc) artists/bands get worse over time.

Usually, there’s an inspired but semi-incompetent first album.

Then an ambitious but half-complete second album.

Finally, the dreaded third album, which either makes the band or breaks them. They’re at their technical peak but losing vision.

After that, they’re re-interpreting their influences, being influenced by other bands they’ve toured with, etc.

They don’t seem to ever get it back.

Why is this?

Much like modern society itself, the music industry is a process of detachment. You detach into thinking about sales figures, being on tour all the time, trying to manage your money, wasting time with women and drugs/alcohol, etc.

Eventually, you’re living in a new place, practicing less like a passion and more like a job, and thinking about how to be popular.

Whatever inspiration you had is gone.

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Moar metal radio

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Overview of obscure Finnish death metal

The arch-wizards over at DEATHMETAL.ORG summon forth an article covering the breadth of Finnish underground metal, and cap it off with a hour of music in a compilation of Finnish bands both well-known, and totally unknown.

We are proud to present a sequence of tracks collected by Fenno-American Death Metal connoisseur Benjamin Tianen in tribute to Finland and its strain of artists and conjurers. This compilation of obscure quality Finnish Death Metal is recommended for listening in the twilit hours of day, preferably in rather uninhabited locations as most of Finland is. If there is one teaching one must bring home from Finnish artists and Finnish school of mental exploration, it is that one must not love happiness as much as one loves truth.

Forgotten Death Cults from Finland: an Overview

Includes all the classics: Demigod, Abhorrence, Beherit, Adramelech, Sentenced, Cartilage, Belial, Necropsy, Unholy, Phlegethon, and more.

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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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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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Vote for The Best Death Metal Album Of All Time

One of the other old school metal sites is Brian N. Russ’ BNRmetal.com. If you’ve read these pages for awhile, you know that Vijay Prozak and our other writers enjoy this site for its pithy characterizations of several generations of metal.

It’s a far better resource than Metal-Archives, who are so upset by old school sites that they censor both BNRmetal and anus.com on their forum, and the odious wikipedia which was clearly written by marketers and truly clueless “fans” of mainstream music that wants to be “bad” like that underground music. In fact, it’s where my research often starts for new bands, followed by going to a blogspot and downloading the damn thing.

BNRmetal.com is now holding a contest, “Vote for The Best Death Metal Album Of All Time,” which pairs some old favorites against each other:

versus


versus


If you have any strong opinions on this issue, go here to vote for BNRmetal.com’s best album of all time.

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Black metal as anti-modernism

From one of my favorite blogs, in the intersection between Men’s Feminism (sorry… men’s rights), right-wing futurist politics, and social mockery:

Metal is the modern music genre that is closest to classical music, capturing feelings of vastness, romanticism, and heroism that other genres simply don’t have. More importantly, metal is music with purpose. It’s music with a defined philosophy, an end goal, and a reason for existing – the exact opposite of pretentious avant-garde tunes that appropriate symbols, sounds and names for no other reason than to be “creative,” or because they’re “ironic”:

There are superficial reasons why metal compares so much to medieval music, to do with the lineage of the musical language it uses (metal started when Sabbath starting imitating horror movie music clichés – which themselves relied on a lot of ‘medievally’ sounding devices, because they sound ‘creepy’ to modern ears). More fundamentally, metal shares a dark but reverent worldview and mythic/allegoric way of describing life which is much more at home in the ancient world than it is modernity.

Metal’s sense of purpose makes it incomprehensible to superficial thinkers like hipsters, which is why when they try to make metal music, the results are beyond godawful.

[…]

Black metal first started in Norway in the late 80′s and early 90′s, roughly around the same time that new musical strains of youth in revolt were catching on in the U.S. The same era that gave us the misanthropic howls of Burzum and Mayhem also gave us Nirvana’s existential angst, Guns ‘N Roses’ violent machismo, and N.W.A.’s aggressive black ghetto pride. It was another great youth upheaval, not as big as the 60′s but still prominent in its own right. What’s the thin red thread connecting Kurt Cobain, Ice Cube and Varg Vikernes, and why isn’t black metal mentioned in the same breath as grunge and gangsta rap?

Answer – all these musical genres were pioneered by Generation X, the first generation to grow up in a world dominated by feminism, multiculturalism, consumerism and all the other lovely byproducts of the sixties. Feminism automatically made anyone with a Y chromosome an enemy of the state, tearing apart families and turning black America into a matriarchal hellhole, and anti-racism and multiculturalism made white men doubly marked for execution. Meanwhile, anything that was left of native American or Western culture was being crowded out by the consumerist cancer, its race to the bottom fostering nothing but cheap pop tunes, stupid movies and advertising. Gen X was born with one foot in the old world and the other in the new, giving them an acute sense that something was wrong with the world. Cobain’s singing about the pointlessness of life and Ice Cube’s rapping about getting revenge on the po-lice sprang from the same source – alienation from American society.

The same spirit of alienation fueled the birth of black metal, doubled in intensity because of the conformist nature of the society from which it sprang. We’re talking about Norway here, one of those Scandinavian countries that idiot liberals love to praise. “Oh yah, those Norwegians and Danes and Swedes are so happy. They’ve got paid daycare for working moms and they selflessly bring in hordes of refugees from the third world to give them better lives and they’re SO forward-thinking when it comes to women’s rights. How could anyone not love all that?” But while American GenXers were content to remain aimlessly raging against the Man, black metal musicians formulated an actual philosophy beyond fatalistic whining, and actually took steps to implement this philosophy. And thus, the people who claimed to be on the side of the “yoof” turned against an actual youth movement that rejected everything they held dear. – IMF

Black metal was the only outpouring of artistic or philosophical spirit in Generation X.

Everything else was a repeat of the past (Nirvana) or co-opted by commercial society, “canned rebellion” for teenagers thinking only of themselves and not about the consequences of their actions (all rap, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Ministry).

If the answer were as simple as repeat what the hippies endorsed in 1968, kids, we’d be there by now.

Instead, black metal went to the core of conservatism — a conservation of culture, heritage, and natural environment, for the purpose of giving meaning to the individual through participation in a abstract yet realistic ongoing goal.

Liberalism offers more direct participation, in individualism. You, by being a brave individual, do your own thing — like everyone else. As it turns out, there aren’t many different things to do, so you end up a job-enslaved media sheep like the rest. But at least you were able to raise your fist for — what? feminism, civil rights, the oppressed, gay rights; heck, anything not really related to changing the course of history and humanity’s future.

Generation X grew up in the old America. We saw what 1950s-1970s America was like: somewhat boring, but honest.

Post-1968, America turned toward liberalism of the hippie type. Everything fell apart. The Glorious People’s Revolution turned out to have boring, Soviet-like consequences: cities of uniform blocks, jobs of slavery to incompetents, a failing government, an official dogma (of diversity, equality and democracy) that doesn’t work in reality, and thus a system eating itself out from within.

The same people did it, in France, Russia and the USA. No, I don’t mean a specific ethnic group from the middle east — if only life were so easy and brainless (though they always make enemies for their high participation rate). I mean the Crowd. The underconfident, dumb but not stupid, clever but not smart, stuck in the middle and raging egomaniacs. They’re damaged by broken homes, confused by a world where they are not God, and they want to rage and make an official announcement that we are all equal, so that the rest of us must respect them instead of casting them aside like the nobodies they are.

Hipsters are the same phenomenon. Boring-ass normal people decide to be egodramatic, get some social attention, and use socialization as an alternate path around reality itself. Politics can be used to the same end, as can money. But at the end of the day, you are your character, and being a hipster does nothing for that.

Black metal was a drift back to reality, as was death metal (“Only Death is True”). They cut through the fantasy world of a modern time and forced us all to wake up for a few moments. It’s important not to let that legacy die.

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