What do you love?

I love death metal.

Checking out this latest Google project. They’re determined to create a social network to trump Twitter and Facebook.

This seems like a good way to capture idle consumer cycles as they deskwarm their make-work jobs.

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More music good out of context

Metallica – Orion

If words convey meaning, matter takes form, bodies are avatars and truth can never be held, perhaps a tune is the same way.

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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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Differences in execution

While a piece of music remains great independent of production, great execution can bring out the best in it.

It’s kind of like how you are born with intelligence, and can either develop it, or sabotage it. What you cannot do is change the amount you are born with.

This is why classical people are diehards about not just composer, but conductor and orchestra. All of these influence the interpretation of the music.

Since it’s Sunday and you’re high/drunk/covered in whale semen already, check these out and appreciate their differences:

Beethoven Symphony 7, movement II, conducted by Leonard Bernstein

Beethoven Symphony 7, movement II, conducted by Herbert von Karajan

Beethoven Symphony 7, movement II, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwangler

Beethoven Symphony 7, movement II, conducted by Bernard Haitink


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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Aesthetics is not composition

We have long said on this site that aesthetics and composition, while they can aid each other (particularly aesthetics enhancing presentation of composition), are not the same and aesthetics — on the whole — is disposable. A great symphony played by a metal band would still be good music, and a great metal song played on kazoo would still be a great song.

Exhibit 1: Angel of Death (Soft Rock Version)

Although this is sacrilege and the person who committed it should be raped to death by pigs, it’s not only hilarious but, in comparison to all other soft rock ever created, total genius.

Exhibit 2: Hipster music

Note how brilliantly contrived the aesthetic is — and how empty, pointless, binary and unexceptional the underlying composition is. If you played this on an acoustic guitar, it would put you to sleep.

Like all hipster music, it’s a surface treatment. Death to all hipsters — well, that’s true, but the bigger point is: the song is not the production, the imagery, the performance or the weird little artists statements these grebo queerballs make in their album liners. It’s the composition.

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True Cult Heavy Metal has posted a poll asking who should be the next BIG FOUR of “THRASH,” by which they mean everything from DRI to DESTRUCTION.

Unintentionally, for sure, they forgot to add motherfucking Birth A.D.

It would be great if others joined me in going to the True Cult Heavy Metal Thrash Poll and commenting to this effect:

Great list! You might also enjoy a crossover thrash band from Texas, Birth A.D.!


You can also send email to the author directly with words to that effect.

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Aurora Borealis makes full discography free download

Aurora Borealis define “melodic death metal” in the best tradition of the old school: it’s death metal, but it makes use of melody.

It has nothing in common with the new pseudo-genre “melodic death metal” which sounds like a power-metal/metalcore crossover with an emphasis on frilly melodic fills. You and your rape rump roast can go enjoy that elsewhere.

Instead, it sounds like Fallen Christ crossed with Luciferion. It’s good stuff:

Scenes from the making of the new Aurora Borealis album:

And some classic material from early in their career:

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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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Classic reviews: