Blood Fire Death: The Swedish Metal Story
by Ika Johannesson and Jon Jefferson Klingberg
240 pages, Feral House, $19
As we get past the glory years of underground metal — roughly 1987 to 1994 — more histories are emerging such as Blood Fire Death: The Swedish Metal Story which came out two years ago and presented itself as a history of Swedish underground metal. It achieves that and more, but falls short of its ultimate mission, which is to explain Swedish death metal and black metal, world-renowned for their intelligence and intensity.
For the low price of only $129.99, you can acquire the 25th anniversary box set release of Mayhem Me Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, a five-LP release including all versions of the best-known Mayhem album and the one that, as digestible black metal with throwbacks to heavy metal, inspired many to undertake the genre.
O Mars! God of War! Infernal battles and bestial devastation have ensued on this week’s Sadistik Metal Reviews! Unholy wars between the true and the pretenders, the golden race and the plastic one. Which shall prevail?
The picture above is the Lascaux cave, a beautiful piece of prehistoric art. The text below is just some random thoughts on innate violence, its sonic counterpart, animals and technology, but the purpose is not to elaborate on them. Rather, the purpose is mere curiosity and exploration.
Let us momentarily forget the ridiculous circus act that surrounds the legacy of Mayhem at this time and focus on what earned the band all the praise they deserve. “Life Eternal” provides a particularly interesting example composition because it consists of a collaboration between multiple musicians during the long creative process that led to the release of the album. Featuring the final lyrics Dead ever wrote as a parting gift and some incredible ideas from Varg Vikernes and a large number of ideas from so many other musicians, it encapsulates the original vision that the Norwegian Black metal originally possessed in its purest form.
In an industry crammed with anti-hero biopics, Lords of Chaos follows the self-destructive rock star trope while sensationalizing the events that occurred during the black metal movement in Norway. Instead of simplifying the story to tell a more accurate tale of actual events, it adopts the more complex and clunky Hollywood cliché of the anti-hero rockstar who must “confront his own demons” instead of the more interesting story, as happened in real life, of a clash over artistic, philosophical, and personal differences. (more…)
Zloslut is a Serbian Black metal that initially consisted of sole founding member Agnarion who had produced all the records by himself but here on Sahar, Agnarion is joined by a full band that changes the dynamic of this album compared to previous works. All the previous rough edges have been rounded out from the production all the way to the riffs themselves. While this does create a certain amount of sterility, it also allows the band the freedom to explore and to develop their own style.
On the Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch, the young programmer protagonist, under the instructions of an Aldous Huxley inspired game developer, has the option of picking up a record by Tangerine Dream – Phaedra. As the young programmer and the viewer struggle with paradox in order to finish his game, we find a chance to do a casual DMU reflection on the parallels between metal and game programming, madness and the collapse of western civilization by substituting learning for entertainment.
The consensus seems to be that Christ does not belong in metal. Well, neither does Satan. Rigid patterns of thought are not conductive to the creation of transcendental metal music. The failure of NSBM stems from the rigid ideology into which the music was forced like a Procrustean bed. The two Christian metal bands worth a shit have been covered on this site: Paramaecium and Antestor. The only NSBM bands that are not terrible are the bands, like Graveland, that preceeded the creation of the subgenre and were only lumped in with the scene later… Gontyna Kry seems to be the sole exception to NSBM sucking.