Sadistic Metal Reviews: Metal Jihad Edition

Let us review how we got here, how things are going, and where we are going.

Heavy metal started when people became dissatisfied with the convergence of counterculture protest rock and the bourgeois mentality of treating everything but the day job and taxes as a type of ego decoration for the consumption by others.

Numerous threads converged. King Crimson and Jethro Tull wanted to make progressive rock apocalyptic, The Stooges desired a raw realistic sound against the gleaming chrome and slick production, and Cream and The Who among other heavy rock bands hoped for a more energetic sound.

These threads came together in Black Sabbath, which fused the progressive rock style of through-composition with power chord riffs and heavy jams that turned the blues and rock into a new art form which was darker and pulsing with feral energy.

Named after a horror film, Black Sabbath began with the notion that people might enjoy a darker experience than regular rock just like they appreciated horror movies instead of the usual happy egodrama stuff.

Their initial burst of creativity inspired others who wanted to bring rock back into the new form, causing bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin to get heavier and more morbid. This gave rise to a type of radio metal that was more rock than metal.

Already it had become clear that commercialized versions of metal would rise to the top of the charts, including the nascent “glam metal” movement that mixed in New Wave aesthetics with simple metal songs. Metal musicians began to fear bourgeois commercialization and loss of “soul.”

In response, an underground movement called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal began creating more aggressive, fantasy- and history-oriented songs which added back in some of the prog and outsiderness of punk music. This unleashed a race to make more intense metal that continues to this day.

From this movement, bands re-infused the punk heritage of metal — a cross between progressive rock, punk rock, cinematic soundtracks, and heavy rock — by incorporating hardcore punk techniques and instrumentation, giving rise to speed metal.

Popularized by Metallica, this subgenre featured apocalyptic warnings of the future, merging the punk world-consciousness with the historical-mythological awareness of traditional metal. Its fast, muted-strum riffs featured intricate patterns that built on some of the more elaborate Black Sabbath songs.

By the late 1980s, however, speed metal had been assimilated by the bourgeois machine as surely as 1960s rock, 1970s prog, and 1980s punk had been. This spurred bands to go even further outside of mainstream tastes to make alienated artforms geared toward what society at the time feared.

Bringing together morbidity, occultism, and civilization collapse in their lyrics, these bands looked at the dark underside of modern society, namely the rot and dysfunction under the gleaming chrome and slick pro-printed signs. They talked about what we feared was real, not what was coming.

Formed at first from hybrids of past genres, a new generation of bands such as Sodom, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Slayer, and Bathory created a minimalistic hardcore punk styled version of metal which embraced the distorted vocals from NWOBHM bands like Motorhead and Venom.

They incorporated the Satanic imagery of NWOBHM and post-NWOBHM bands like Mercyful Fate, Angel Witch, Venom, and Iron Maiden alongside a set of images which might have come from eighteenth century Romantic poetry, of decaying structures, disease, loss of inner spirit, and the downfall of empires.

This subgenre of hybrids gave rise to death metal and black metal at the same time that thrash, a cross between high-speed hardcore punk and metal riffing, rose in protest of the New World Order through bands such as DRI, COC, Cryptic Slaughter, Fearless Iranians From Hell, and Dead Horse.

Maturing death metal bands incorporated thrash, speed metal, and all previous metal genres into their new incarnation, which started quickly toward the progressive rock habit of discursive compositions that featured context-shifting allowing a prismatic development of theme.

Bands such as Morbid Angel, Incantation, Asphyx, Deicide, Massacra, Pestilence, Obituary, and Suffocation launched a new sound that featured incomprehensible distorted growling vocals, riff mazes, and “brutality” in the form of pounding drums, rapid tempi, and aggressive sawing riffing.

While death metal took the center stage, black metal developed in the wings, using the death metal technique but adding a sense of melody and an ambient style where the drums were backgrounded to the voice of the guitar.

New acts such as Immortal, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, Emperor, Burzum, Darkthrone, Enslaved, and Graveland created a type of flowing music based on shifting atmosphere and a nihilistic rejection of everything that the world above ground and in the light prized in its bourgeois complacency.

This genre peaked in the mid-1990s after a series of seminal works and faded away as it was widely emulated by bands trying to inject more rock and rap into the equation, creating nü-metal, deathcore, metalcore, alternative metal (alternative rock with metal riffs), and postmodern metal.

Inspired by large commercial successes of bands that produced rock-format versions of speed metal like Pantera, and surface progressive rock stylings from Tool and other alternative metal bands, these new genres returned metal to levels of marketability not seen since glam metal in the 1980s.

Metal remains stranded in this era, although new iterations and recombinations of these styles continue to come out at an alarmingly fast rate.

~~~

For us to go further, we must ask what metal is within itself. It is easy to describe metal by technique — muted strum, tremolo, distortion, vocals, pacing, cadence, through-composed — but harder to say why these are used.

To understand any genre of music, one must understand what it hopes to express, because only that unites the techniques and compositions into a coherent whole. Metal has always been music of rebellion against rebellion and bourgeois normalcy alike, a type of elective outsider movement.

A spirit unites metal and separates it from all else. It expresses a morbidity and nihilistic realism that rejects all the fond Utopian dreams of humanity, and forces a confrontation with as much reality as possible, in the name of discovering what is possible but ignored.

Ultimately a realist genre, metal incorporates a sense of futurism as well, a type of almost sci-fi looking toward what we could do if we were not constantly fighting over money, inequality, religious symbols, and systems of control. It is a revolution against revolutions and the complacency they bring.

For this reason, metal embraces a type of naturalism that prizes the tempestuous amorality of nature over the human desire for peace, unity, and mutual non-aggression via methods of control. It rebels against humanity and embraces the world of nature that terrifies normies.

It also worships power. Metal adores that which is powerful and hates that which is weak. It seeks the human experience not through individualism, but like the Romantic poets, being lost in a storm or the tectonic conflicts of history, spirituality, and natural selection.

Metal, like hardcore punk, could be seen as the first anti-normie music in that it rejects the desire of the normal autodomesticated democratic citizen for a world without conflict. Metal embraces conflict, death, loss, disease, and horror as a means of waking up to the possibilities of existence.

One reason that emulations of metal fail so hard is that tying together metal techniques without this spirit of escaping humanism tends to make very loud normie rock. The music that ordinary people desire is an escape from conflict into the desires of the flesh and social impulse toward enforced unity.

For this reason, metal serves as an opposite to rock, blues, jazz, and other forms of popular music. These aspire to a social function of bringing people together; metal separates people from society and connects them to a primitive lawless nature that is nonetheless more real than human projections.

Whenever metal falls from this spirit, as with glam metal and alternative metal, it becomes weak and fails to hold together. Metal rejects the productification of art as well as the manipulative and passive spirit of the equal importance of all humans in rejection of natural selection.

From a distant view, metal like its riffs embraces the variety of patterns, and how from the simplest elements new worlds can be fashioned. It finds beauty in darkness, distortion, terror, disease, horror, and warfare. It accepts death so that it can discover life.

~~~

Metal has strayed from its spirit of asserting nothingness against false somethings comprised of human desires for an end to the conflict inherent to life. Other than a few standouts, most of what comes out now could be given The Standard Review:

Like most other bands, this release features circular songs but uses a slightly different technique, suite of imagery, or theater of production values. There is some loudness and aggression then some other parts that are softer that make it seem different right now. It’s okay if you like that kind of thing.

As warned years ago, it has been assimilated by rock, and now exists as an ingredient for rock bands to throw into their mix, sort of like adding trumpets or a chorus of eunuchs. Metal has become a symbol, like how characters in movies drive motorcycles to show that they are edgy.

Most likely, the genre begun with Black Sabbath culminated in black metal, at which point all of the devices of advanced music were at hand, including melody, and the next step involved moving to something more like classical or jazz, advanced instrumental music.

At that moment, however, the audience was already shifting to the angsty teen types who used to frequent Hot Topic, and they had no interest in anything more than edgier rock. The support that metal needed to go to the next level no longer existed because the hipsters and normies had taken over.

For so long as metal remains popular, this condition will continue; the music industry is a pyramid scheme where bands throw in money for minimal gain, and fans buy uncritically for whatever is new, and this fuels the substitute faux metal that dominates these days.

If heavy metal wishes to return, it must first become outsider again, sort of like Donald Trump with his mugshot or Robert Downey Jr after his jail sentence. It must no longer be safe enough to be edgy but saleable, and become unsaleable through extremity.

The real “culling of the weak” that is needed here is the rejection of the audience that currently favors metal by creating music that they cannot follow. In short, metal must pick up where it left off, recognizing that it will take a decade before what it is doing catches on.

There is no money in this and minimal glory, nor are there the industry positions that go to those who have bands that get listed on the big internet sites. For this reason, it will remain a labor of love and art, and be entirely alienated from anything in the mainstream.

Luckily for metal, the time for such a move is now ripe. Trust in institutions, including media, has hit historic lows. Nothing that the normal bourgeois crowd is doing is working well, and almost everything that supports their worldview is failing like a second collapse of the Roman Empire.

But for now, we soldier on here, separating the wheat from the chaff. And the chaff is quite prodigious.

~~~

Carthus – Images of Tyranny: rather bouncy galloping speed metal with mixed in deathcore and metalcore influences, this band injects “folk” via mid-paced passages that emphasize harmony with the theme, but really is just very energetic heavy metal that sticks to a theme and hammers it, which makes it easy to listen to but very hard to reach for again since none of these ideas or presentation are new or particular to this band.

Marduk – Memento Mori: this album demonstrates human projection, namely that if you listen to it, the songs are not badly constructed and show some creativity in playing with old metal tropes in new forms, although they are a bit circular, but when you walk away from it, it never enters your head despite the catchy riffs, simply because it is an arithmetic variation on a known quantity and therefore has no known use when you can just listen to the early albums from the Big Eight black metal bands instead.

Alkaloid – Numen: mix some Voivod into your Pantera, update it with tropes from alternative rock and nü-metal, and you get this band which ultimately goes nowhere despite some impressive technical chops mainly because these songs stay stuck in the rock world of basic harmonies and minimal conflict, at which point they start to sound like a rather lengthy commercial for electric SUVs.

La Menade – Reversum: this entire pseudogenre sounds the same, namely alternative rock songs dressed up with some metal riffs that depend on stop-start rhythms to keep your attention, while the vocals drive the entire song in a circular pattern with offbeat interruptions, leading to a sense of having been submerged in a giant vat of normie culture masquerading as some kind of edgy posture like using hard rock in movies to show a character might be more likely to say something controversial.

Incantation – Unholy Deification: when people refer to “filler” riffs, they mean that a band created a big fat riff they liked and then strung it together with fairly predictable riffs or genre convention riff types, and so you get a few moments of clarity with the big riff then a muddle of other stuff that is just there as connective tissue, which is the case in this album of fairly obvious but well-crafted riffs swimming in a sea of ChatGPT-generated Incantation riffs, which makes it a solid B but probably not enduring, sadly.

Car Bomb – Meta: this type of band, as it has been around for a long time, always feels like it is designed for scenes in a movie rather than in-depth listening because so much of it is just stunts and tricks to be ironic and contrarian vis-a-vis what would be expected from a big obvious riff, so time signatures flick around all over the place, “unexpected” stops and starts crash in, with odd noises and goofy solos, sort of like 1920s “futuristic” housing that just made everything out of boxes but in an odd order.

Krieg – Ruiner: the power of black metal was in the contrast it established within an atmosphere to reveal a hopeful emptiness within, which makes sense in a time where everything is basically a lie that must be destroyed, but instead here we get a crossover of Darkthrone and late model Finnish black metal that has almost zero internal contrast but instead seems to be a delivery vehicle for blarting vocals and furious drums, leading to the atmosphere of a waiting room at a Memphis HIV clinic when the power browns out.

Abyss of Hel – “YRU”: this starts with a hybrid between Venom and basic death metal, then transitions into melodic metal, making for a song that is half waiting for something to happen like watching a millennial horror film and half some initially exciting melodic material that fails to develop much, leading to a sense of confusion and entropy, but the full album may have more to it, since sometimes tracks like this are kick-starters for a sequence of tracks that play with the mood.

Cloak – Black Flame Eternal: people who never experienced the classic underground metal years of 1983-1993 find themselves thirsting for it, so you get this band of assembled black metal techniques mixed in with some bluesy heavy metal and influences from Rammstein and Tool, but the songs are only catchy and never go anywhere else, nor do their parts relate enough to make them memorable, so like all psotmodern things, this is hollow and fruitlessly adorned endlessly.

Fury of a Dying Planet – “Repetition to Extinction”: big-concept metal has always been popular but now seems to exclusively repeat media tropes handed down by six corporations, which makes it fall flatter than a Voivod album, and this combination of metalcore and heavy metal works on the level of a catchy song but still operates on the principle of loops with layers of different vocals, making it fall even flatter about halfway through when nothing has emerged from the basic pattern.

Beneath The Hollow – Misery Loves You: throw Pantera, emo, and alternative rock into a blender and you get this rather screamy and bouncy music which is short on riff forms but long on “atmosphere” which is developed mostly through the vocals over background music that sounds like the “Forensic Files” theme given a bit more downstroke, although the quality of melodic riffing is higher than the norm.

Wrack – Altäre der Vergänglichkeit: DSBM was enough of a scam, but now you get “atmospheric black metal” that is basically Venom and Dimmu Borgir riffs set to post-metal pacing and chord progressions, with lots of dramatic vocals to distract you from the fact that the core of this release is just slow heavy metal that is not particularly interesting or relevant.

Antirope – Amnesia: labels keep talking about bands as the future, but this music sounds very 1950s to me, with crooner vocals over metalcore and the same song patterns that were probably around when Otzi the Iceman took his first steps; the vocals are the lead instrument and the guitars, drums, and bass provide background which is somewhat interesting in the moment but does not add up to much over time, leaving a profound feeling of plastic emptiness.

Hail Conjurer & Absolute Key – Trident and Vision: while the crossover of metal and ambient industrial has been around for some time, these two bands do a track each and then collaborate on three, with lots of Godflesh influence and an attempt to make a kind of post-metal version of primal black metal, even though most of that was borrowed from the back tracks of Streetcleaner without the aggro parts, making a pleasant listen of disjointed parts melding together like a drive through an abandoned city.

Thornafire – Leprosario Lazareto: there is no way that you can make carnival music into metal and this release operates too much on contrast and deliberate ironism or doing the unexpected relative to the first step, which makes for a release of disjointed parts that do not talk to each other, therefore never coalesces into much of a listening experience despite a few creative riffs.

Kill Cømmand – Hostile Takeover: this is not so much a band as an impression of the favorite albums of those in the band, and songs move between the right types of riff and lead guitar to maintain an atmosphere, and if nothing ever develops, you are expected to like this tribute to the past for its revival of the 1980s spirit, which it does admirably but outside of nostalgia (a spirit killer) this has little appeal to the current listener.

Algebra – Pulse?: this band tries to make faithful late 1980s aggressive speed metal while mixing in a bit of melody and slightly more complex riff layering, achieving a more listenable version of this ancient genre despite being reliant mostly on riff and vocal tropes from before they were born, but without the riff dialogue expanding context that death metal brought to the picture this feels more like a warm bath of nostalgia than something one can move forward with.

Orbit Culture – Descent: did you want your Pantera style angry frat boy ranting hidden in the midst of melodic post-metal and a power metal slash emo crossover? Then you will love this, despite it repeating patterns we have heard since the early noughts with simply a little more panache and ability to tie together simplistic melodies into a good pop tune, although the Ministry influence on percussion is sort of fun. I fell asleep harder than during the first season of CSI: Miami (this show sucks ass).

Akurion – Come Forth to Me: the problem with modern metal is that it is based on distraction not continuity through changing context, therefore like a postmodern novel all the fireworks are at the surface and the inner theme is simplified to the point of incoherence, which means you get lots of showoff riffs and sudden tempo changes, but it does not add up to much, and so listening is both exhausting and tedious without much inspiration.

Sylosis – A Sign Of Things To Come: this feels straight of the 1970s but updated with modern rap-vocals and Pantera bounce riffs, falling into old patterns that would have been about hot chicks and drinking whisky but now have some kind of profundity that no one cares about except as a personal ego-decoration, in some with emo choruses and basically circular structures that aim for repetition so you can get full value for these sick dope riffs, but really this appeals only to the MTV continuation/legacy audience.

My Lament – The Season Came Undone: the latest trend in metal is normal person music pretending to be metal, and this nearly riffless material shows us why this produces unsatisfying music, because other than a few brief passages of guitar the instrument is used to accompany a fairly normal bittersweet pop song that is driven by the vocals and repeats themes in a big circle, leading to what we might call quasi-gothic chill out music with slow heavy metal riffs.

Dragonheart – The Dragonheart’s Tale: if you want Iron Maiden influenced power metal that seems to like sea shanties and “pirate metal,” cobbled together in the type of overly-emotional vocal music that serves as “churn,” or working off a common theme with typical reactions to it, which then develops to nowhere but a vocal swell and then a repetition of the major theme of each song, sort of like the music on children’s television programs.

Antania – “The God Complex”: our gimmick is using electronic samples to emulate stringed instruments, but the song is the same old alt-rock nu-mu jive that bored us to death in the past, with those lumbering gorilla grooves and jump scares to keep the Hot Topic kids masturbating while the video distracts them from the utter failure of everything and their future as assistant vice managers at a CVS store in Rest Area, WI.

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122 thoughts on “Sadistic Metal Reviews: Metal Jihad Edition”

  1. Politburo says:

    the Big Eight black metal bands

    Burzum, Darkthrone, Emperor, Enslaved, Graveland, Ildjarn, Immortal… and then toss-ups between Bathory, Beherit, Gorgoroth and Summoning?

    1. No point splitting too many hairs, since it is clear that the greats of black metal stand far above the rest. Impaled Nazarene was important too, and transitional acts like Sarcofago and Blasphemy belong in there as well. The first Profanatica is important, so are the middle Demoncy releases. The Nordic pantheon — Burzum, Emperor, Ancient, Darkthrone, Immoral, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, and Enslaved — will always be important. Ildjarn is great of course but was not widely known. People used to talk up Dissection a lot but like Sacramentum they kind of folded into the “Iron Maiden influenced” death metal category for me.

      1. Linda says:

        Speaking of Sacramentum, I saw them live in August in Atlanta. One of the best metal shows I’ve ever seen. They had a better performance than Immolation when I saw them about a year ago. Sacramentum played all the classics and their stage presence was brilliant. I love those guys.

        1. Gnarly Metal Jihadist says:

          The original bands were professionals in the truest sense of the word. They wanted to deliver an experience, not pose around. They have been replaced by the professional hipster who seeks to make himself appear to be a glowing idol of vague wisdom.

    2. Ever notice how adamant normies are that Venom _must_ be the first black metal band? Then they count Mercyful Fate and Death SS as the second generation. It’s like the low IQ herd just can’t see past the optics, imagery, categories, tokens, idols, ikons, symbols, and narratives.

      1. Venom just sounds like a Motorhead and Diamond Head crossover to me.

      2. Venom feels like NWOBHM with more of a lean on the punk side to me. Part of this is just the, uh, instrumental struggles of the band.

    3. Sandy Loam says:

      Shouldn’t forget Varathron and the first couple Dimmu Borgirs

      1. Fistula Christii says:

        Everyone always forgets Belial and Masacre

  2. the truth as usual says:

    What a bunch of pedo bullshit. You only think black metal is metal’s peak because of the church burnings. If power metal burned a bunch of mosques you’d be sucking its dick.

    1. Letting go says:

      Someone finally figured it out. I’ve been waiting for over three decades.

      1. DISK MUNCHER ][ says:

        The music was great, the church burnings and murders were the message. 88!

    2. No, because it was the musical peak of metal and integrated all of the elements of composition. Proof: nothing since has touched it.

      While I look forward to the decline of all organized religion and Utopian ideology, that does not factor into the decision. Power metal is still irritating music for WhatsApp addicts.

      1. the truth as usual says:

        Power metal/NWOTHM is the real wheat and you know it. And don’t give me this “unsaleable crap.” Birmingham musicians would have laughed at your faggoty “make music but still have a real job.” They created heavy metal to get away from having a real job. You just want people to go back to the factory. Fuck the factory and fuck your website that should have been drone striked decades ago.

        1. Anal Wars says:

          Gay! Power metal is faggot anal fag music! Gay homo!

          1. Unregulated Abortions and Firearms says:

            The future is faggotry. Hetero untermenschen are obsolete.

            1. I think homosexuals and heterosexuals can coexist, but only when they start by admitting that the sexual practices of the other group disgust each group.

        2. Anal Wars says:

          Your anal hole needs a penis shaped drone strike with huge globs of jizz creampie style! Homo fag dick lover!

          1. love is free says:

            that sounds kinda gay

            1. This site is 100% gay.

              1. Brett stevens admits to loving faggots says:

                You got that right.

                1. I am 100% gay. Homosexuals get a bad rap but in my view most of them just want to live normal lives. They are outside the biological world, which makes them tend to be Leftist, but I think the only sane policy is to leave them alone and be skeptical of those who scapegoat them. Bigotry is dysfunctional thinking. Recognizing the failure of one-size-fits-all humanism is sanity.

          2. the truth as always says:

            Go give a cubscout a blumpkin with a gerbil you AIDS lesion

            1. Gerbil Blumpkin says:

              Tell your momma — nevermind, I’ll tell her myself that her son is actually a midget-size anal power bottom getting railed in a bus stop outside Portland surrounded by xylazine zombies and two peso prostitutes.

              1. Dad? says:

                You should do stand up, you’re pretty clever

        3. RRTS 6 Special Ops says:

          Power metal is alt rock for crossfitters

          1. Power metal reeks of gospel music to me. It is like metal went back to the roots of blues, which is Scots-Irish (ethnic Scots) church music.

            1. The irony here is that the blues and the Murkan national anthem have the same roots. Blues, rock, etc. — it was all a forgery and a product, always. This is why “authenticity” is so important for metal and punk, but most punk is boring and most metal is moronic, so you have a few artists among the stumbling fools.

        4. They created music because they wanted to create music. Musicians drift toward what they are best at. Jobs get in the way.

      2. Prolapsed Anus says:

        USPM is pretty solid tbf.
        Nothing comparable to the death and black metal greats but has its moments nonetheless.

        1. Power metal does not strike me as terrible, but neither as particularly listenable. It is warmed-over speed metal.

          1. hot warts says:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq-gF6o7nTw this was some good USPM, the vocalist wrecked his motorcycle driving too fast before they could do an album, which is pretty awesome

            1. If you gotta go out as a USPM musician, that’s pretty epic, although the Iced Earth guy getting jailed for the J6 riot was pretty epic too.

              1. Different age says:

                No that was fuckin retarded

                Not hatin tho if that’s your conviction then whatever not my shit

          2. so you like it then says:

            the best of “Power Metal” is still just gayer more melodic speed metal mixed with Manowar

            1. Orthogonal Bix Nood says:

              Or we could see it as glam recapturing speed metal with an extra dose of Judas Priest’s “Painkiller,” arguably the foundations of the fake news subgenre Power Metal. Unfortunately Pantera gave it its name en route to giving metal AIDS and MmmPox with their whining self-pity music for frat bros who were too drunk to even sexually assault vapid coeds on their way to becomine middle managers for midwestern grocery chains.

              1. worms says:

                Metallica used the name king before Pantera

                1. Didn’t they name a demo after it or something? I think I have a b00tleg of it somewhere.

            2. It is important to remember the Manowar influence. A lot of it sounds like faster glam metal to me with a heavy Iron Maiden and Judas Priest influence.

    3. hot diarrhea as usual says:

      How original and insightful. Truly we are enlightened by the totally not gay and trolling comments here.

      1. Gay Troll With Diarrhea says:

        No one is fully sincere. All people are part troll. Also all trolls are full of people, at least after a good meal.

      2. This site is 100% gay and advocates 100% homosexuality.

  3. Crionics says:

    The first two Stooges are more visceral than any early metal. Volatile, decadent, fucking brilliant like a morphine dream. What do you think, Mr. Brett? In fact give us your general thoughts on Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe, acid, and music like The (early) Moody Blues (a far more sophisticated band than The Beatles IMO) and Hawkwind. Was it all boomer fluff divorced from reality or was there a half-articulated kernel of hope and truth in there somewhere?

    1. c-weed says:

      There’s a lot of good shit there. But I kind of hate the Beatles.

      1. Death to the Boomers says:

        1960’s rock was vapid in its total pretense of enlightenment and i’m like lol that shit failed before Calvin

        1. Rock was always vapid, blues was always vapid. It is music about drinking, having sexing, smoking weed, and feeling sorry for yourself so you do not feel guilty for being selfish. There is a reason most people do not engage with it heavily. Metal took the opposite approach: embrace power, feel no pity, rise to intensity, worship potential and infinity, piss all over the rockers because they are untermenschen.

          1. Church of Burt Steamingturdz says:

            I listen to metal EXACTLY to escape reality, responsibility and morality, and rock music is not far from that, except metal is better written. So when will you stop contradicting yourself by sounding like a preacher trying to put a chain on people? I mean you bash the fuck out of Christianity, but you have ridiculous levels in common with it.

            1. In 1992, I fully supported the motherfucking Christian Holocaust. As a perennialist, I have now mellowed somewhat on that, but still point out the flaws of Abrahamic religions and Judeo-Christianity:

              1. Written/Exoteric
              2. Dualistic (Earth vs Heaven/Hell)
              3. Individualistic/Bourgeois
              4. Foreign

              In my view, Christianity is winding down in the West for these reasons.

      2. The problem with the Beatles is the beta-man mentality and tendency to try to make sadness into happiness. It’s a bad psychology. Their only real artist was Harrison who came up with the exceptions.

        1. Beatle-Jews says:

          Harrison’s looser style of composition caught my interest, but at the end of the day he was less able than Lennon/McCartney to tie a song together. I think he had some pretty compelling whims that ultimately resulted in bewildered half-songs (as befits the wannabe mystic he was?). Perhaps he just needed a songwriting partner.

    2. Tom Wolfe of course is an important influence, like Michael Crichton and a handful of other modern realistic thinkers (even if anti-realist in their style of writing). Kesey was a beat more than a hippie. Acid is inferior to psilocybin, and none of this stuff should be viewed as entertainment, including strong weed. It is there to open doors, like meditation or warfare. I admire the early Stooges but was grateful when music became more complex than loops. I will have to check out the Moody Blues. Hawkwind was an interesting act, kind of like progressive rock trying to escape the fruity idealistic era, but then getting dragged back down into the 1960s jive. The Beatles were good but their melancholic-depressive attitude made them cultural blight.

  4. Sammi Curr says:

    Hi Brett,
    If circular riff structures are bad and riff salads are also bad, what is the answer to good song writing? Is it a matter of riffs evolving organically within the song (ex. Gorgoroth’s “MĂ„neskyggens Slave”)? What do you think of using textural layering and counterpoint to compensate for otherwise simple riffs? Any examples are appreciated.

    1. Most metal seems to come from a bunch of immature people drinking beer and/or smoking weed (i.e. in a dreamlike state) who come up with a cool riff, say “man that sounds like a guy attacking a castle,” then come up with some riffs that tie together the experience, so there is some conflict that makes him approach the castle, his doubt as he approaches the castle, his will returning, then him entering the castle and coming to a point of conflict, then a clash of themes, followed by the story continuing in a way that feels powerful, which is either him victorious or the forces of death victorious. Textural layering is a great technique for intensifying riffs, but if you use it alone, you end up with a linear song. Those can be really good as a first track on an album. Counterpoint in the primitive sense is just related themes that go another direction and therefore bring out conflict with a path to resolution. Most of black metal wrote songs around a riff, but took their time getting there, and brought out its inner ambiguity in doing so.

  5. Jew of Negro Blood says:

    But why do we do it? Why do we crawl to the altar of a dead genre, in a dying civilization, when all the people who can tell the difference between good and bad are dead or have given up?

    1. doing things that artists do says:

      cuz thats where the ass is

    2. Never Say Die says:

      You either figure it out, you keep shuffling along to the beat without knowing why, or you implode.

      Keep staring into the abyss to speed up the process on either end of the spectrum. Asking a bunch of anal enthusiasts on a dead website might even help.

      You can do it!

      1. Catholic Hottentot says:

        We are standing up for principle against the waves of time and human stupidity. God help us all.

      2. We do it because we believe in it. There is still good left in it and we want to maximize that against the flood of imitators, clones, and assimilated rockstar bands.

    3. Because we believe in it because it was relevant and realistic as well as inspiring. The meaning of life is to live.

  6. Confusion prevails, unsure which way to move says:

    The metal history part is a bit confusing to me. It’s like every transition is “but then, they added even more punk” and I wonder what actually changed since the last time they added punk. :/

    1. Psychedelic jungle says:

      Extreme metal is pretty fucking punk rock if you ask me

      The good shit anyway

      1. Punk nailed the basic techniques, and metal expanded on it, but has had to go back to one of the sources — prog, punk, rock — periodically to avoid getting too far enmeshed in the other two.

        1. Cheater says:

          Yeah it’s its own thing you are correct sir

    2. Punk restores the minimalism, but it makes sense to work in other elements. Metal does what punk does not, which is shift the melodic lead exclusively to guitar riffs. When metal drifts too far into rock, it needs a hardcore element (not so much “punk rock,” which was basically simple powerchord pop like the Ramones).

    3. the truth as always. says:

      Fuck punk. Metal came before punk. Punk ruined metal and has never recovered from it. Steve Harris was right. Go back to sucking off Randy Blythe.

      1. Cumstains addiction says:

        Fuck off pussy

        1. Only Ass Is True says:

          Serious party foul bruv. So what if he is a “pussy”? It’s like calling people “fags” in elementary school. Maybe he has a point, or maybe he’s a total fucking nitwit. Either way, debate the argument, not whether or not he is a pussy, weenie, or fag.

          1. nothings shocking says:

            fuck off nerd

            1. Only Ass Is True says:

              Erudite. Articulate. Germaine. Relevant.

              1. bite it says:

                dont care

      2. Punk Means Power Bottom says:

        Punk was great at its best but it’s too simple to listen to over time. Metal gave it the riff and the riff gave rise to the structure, then Black Metal brought in the motherfucking melody and the package was complete, but glam-addicted vegisexuals keep fruiting it up with boring bourgeois normie rock n roll so we need more punk or really hardcore to keep it from going full hipster. Ya dig?

      3. The Stooges were basically everything punk rock was going to be with some overtones of hardcore and they were not alone in that era. The late 1960s birthed a lot of bands experimenting in this area but most never stuck with it long enough to put out full albums. In the 1970s bands picked up on that and stylized it, making punk rock, and then hardcore rebirthed out of that. Hardcore was really the influence on metal, especially Discharge and the Exploited, but including edgier acts like the Cro-Mags and Amebix.

      4. So back to the FAQ, metal had three ingredients: prog, heavy rock, and proto-punk, with an aesthetic influence from horror movie music, itself a ripoff of Wagner and Bruckner, maybe Sibelius, back in the late 1960s. That was the proto-metal formula since it was still uneven in its combination of those; NWOBHM and speed metal fixed that with some influence from thrash, death metal really took it outside of normiedom, and then black metal added back in melody. Whenever any one of the founding elements gets mixed back in in raw form, it assimilates metal, so you get metal-flavored rock (“alternative metal”), metal-flavored punk (“sludge”), or metal-flavored fake prog (“tek def”). There is also the ongoing attempt by moronic music labels to mix in rap although it is incompatible with metal, leading to later Pantera and deathcore, metalcore, and all of that jazz.

        1. Arggghhhh says:

          Fuckin SIBELIUS

          1. We are talking modernists? Saint-Saens, Respighi, Bruckner, Wagner also go on the list.

            1. Hoodoo blow balls says:

              My man

    4. Punk kept metal going back to the guitars and away from the vocals. The vocals ruin metal when they become dominant because then you have some guy singing over background riffs, and composition shifts from making riffs tell a story to make the vocal harmonies match up in a bittersweet way like in all rock songs.

      1. I dunno says:

        “Metal does what punk does not, which is shift the melodic lead exclusively to guitar riffs.”

        “Punk kept metal going back to the guitars and away from the vocals.”

        So, punk made metal guitar-centric, yet metal “itself” (or one of its non-punk ingredients?) made it even more so?

        1. Give beer to your alcoholic friends says:

          This is Brett’s version of noodling

          He does write some good riffs sometimes

          1. Someone needs to translate death metal into literature.

  7. Nigel Igger says:

    Brett (or David Rosales?) do you know if Avzhia have a different ethnic heritage than most Mexicans? I thought Mexicans were all about the cholo white socks thing, but here’s a band making romantic black metal music.

    1. Linda says:

      Great question. I’ve always been curious about Mexican black metal bands like Avzhia. Even Xibalba…although you can hear the Inca/Aztecian influence, it still baffles me that great black metal can come from such a shit hole country. The Chasm are from there, too, originally.

      1. Mexico produces a shitload of great metal bands. Cenotaph, Toxodeath, Remains, etc.

        1. Linda says:

          Oh, I know. It’s just shocking to me that “cultured” metal bands can come from such a low IQ, degenerate country. Most metal bands that come from Latin countries are typical Satan worshipping bands with poorly written lyrics. Their music is primitive and amazing, as expected, but bands that have a better presentation and aesthetic is out of the norm. I’m mainly thinking of Avzhia in this instance.

          1. Taco Whisperer says:

            I think a messy country with fairly low average smarts means they probably won’t birth a genre like black metal, but their finer specimens will pick up on the imported ideas and, sometimes, make something worthwhile themselves.

            1. Cynical says:

              Ambient/”second wave” black metal and death metal were arguably both born in South American shitholes (Sarcofago, Seplutra, Pentagram)…

              1. Taco Whisperer says:

                Man, don’t ruin my perfectly logical armchair theory, I just wanna make friends. I’ll give you a pass next time, okay? Okay.

                1. Wolf dude says:

                  You’re all assholes

                  1. Fisting Expert says:

                    “Assholes” is not really a clear term. All people are self-interested, genau, and they rationalize whatever they need with whatever sounds good to their peer group and ego at the time, nu? So all people are part asshole, and some are full-blown assholes like the guy who keeps parking his shitbox next to the stop sign. But even he probably has some decent attributes.

                    1. nevermind says:

                      an asshole is full of shit

                2. Brett's Bleeding Heart says:

                  I just want all of humanity to live in contentment. But we do not get there with peace, altruism, Jesus, socialism, diversity, Islam, rent control, welfare, patriotism, Zionism, equality, republicans, foreign aid, empathy, tolerance, inclusion, or money. We get there by accepting each other and letting nature sort us out. The return of natural selection is nigh.

              2. Negro of Jew Blood says:

                They saw the disaster coming first before the “first world problems” crowd.

                1. Gay Troll With Diarrhea says:

                  First world people suffer from a different kind of complacency. In the third world, everyone is too dumb or insane to notice anything. In the first world, they are too busy manipulating each other. Guess democracy and equality were mistakes after all.

              3. Yes but… as always. Sepultura and Sarcofago had the same root, which seems to be a European-descended guy who is now a professor of economics.

            2. Richard Lynn says:

              Low smarts countries also have a tendency to squash any good idea before it gains momentum, but these are also the places that really love Iron Maiden and Slayer, so there’s fertile ground for growth if they have enough high smarts people remaining to do it.

              1. Hurdle says:

                “Low smarts countries also have a tendency to squash any good idea before it gains momentum”

                For example…?

            3. He must be talking about the USA as well. Other than Profanatica and Demoncy, or niche bands like Averse Sefira, its output seems… limited.

              1. Doug says:

                Slayer, Possessed, Necrovore, Profanatica, Demoncy, a short list but some influential humdingers! (esp. #1 and #5). But there is no denying Europe, it’s as if they saw black metal as a prime opportunity to reassert the continent (except U.K. for whatever reason).

          2. You make a good point. South and Central America produce an absolute ton of bands, but very few have the vision that Sepultura did, for example. There are some exceptional individuals who stand out, in the same way that a handful of people in Greece produced a few great bands, and everything else from there seems like a plodding hybrid of death, black, speed, and heavy metal with hardcore riffs and shouts thrown in.

        2. Brown metalhead says:

          Some of my favorite shit

          1. I throw on the first Cenotaph album on a regular basis. Avzhia features heavily as well.

    2. You have asked a very complex question about a very complex country. Mexico is a diversity nation, with a Spanish-descended ruling caste and varying degrees of hybridization with Mongolians/Amerinds of several different types, with the indios who were the slave peoples of the Maya and Aztec at the very bottom economically and in terms of average IQ. What most Americans think of as a “Mexican” is one of these. In addition, there are remnants of the ruling groups of those Aztec and Maya empires, who seem to have been quite astute. I know nothing of the ethnic derivation of Avzhia members, but in my experience, smarter people of any type tend toward liking the Romantic, epic, mythological-historical, and epic side of metal.

      There are nice parts of Mexico; the country as a whole is blighted by corruption, but there are some competent people there. Still it seems to me that after ethnic hybridization, whether in Spain or Mexico, a nation never really rises again. We might compare to Italy and Greece which had a similar experience after their classical eras.

  8. Gaydolf Shitler says:

    I know Watchtower is well regarded around here, but what about Spastic Ink, especially their second album?

    1. Interesting fusion of thrash, speed metal, and progressive touches. Is there a Mike Watt influence here? Sounds like they listened to some DBC. I can appreciate it, but like Sadus or Coroner, it wears a little thin. I might listen to Supuration or Psychotic Waltz instead, but there is nothing wrong with it. Really good prog is like Mozart: a very clear theme with everything else branching from that in tuples or triads.

      1. Gaydolf Shitler says:

        Appreciate the thoughts. Spastic Ink is made up of essentially the same personnel as Watchtower.

        Speaking of quality Texas speed metal, would you rate Helstar with Coroner and Sadus or Supuration and Psychotic Waltz?

        1. Early Helstar was really something great. I would rank it more up there with Sadus, which was a great band in its own right although a bit too much in love with the speed metal aesthetic.

          1. Gaydolf Shitler says:

            I’d rate Hexenhaus up there with these great bands as well.

            1. I cannot do so. While there are lots of neat ideas here that lived on in other metal, this is basically a speed metal band using death metal rhythms along with a lot of hard rock and glam structures, adding in enough “prog” (really: technical) playing to keep it interesting. However, this cannot conceal the bouncy, distraction-oriented roots of speed metal of this style, and this makes me want to run for the hills.

  9. I have question says:

    Why brad stevens is a FAGGOT some explain this please

    1. I can confirm that I am 100% homosexual.

  10. I am sick of diversity to many bean breaths

    But I wanna bang mixed chicks
    And will slayer put out another album?

    Anybody like you Brett know any puertowaiian women who look good?

    And why not send blacks to latin countries like Haiti or Jamaica

    Don’t you think Jamaica death metal rap would be good Brett?

    1. In my view, diversity is enough of a shitshow between “white” ethnics that we should be very careful of it. Africa is huge and wealthy. I welcome it as a new rising world power.

  11. Cynical says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH2X8VSGNGw

    New Profanatica is up. A kind of surprising move from the band into the Havohej direction, with a lot of rhythm noise ambient worked in with the traditional “stringy” tremolo picked Profanatica riffs. It’s better than I thought it would be from the singles — in another nod to Havohej, the whole thing is something of a mood piece that needs to be experienced together.

  12. Utra Bomber says:

    Great article and interesting thoughts. Please note that Car Bomb are in it for the love of the art, are rejected by most metal fans and probably never made much money out of it. At some point they were about to quit. So bash them all you want, they still are some of the true guys out there.

    1. Weekly weakling says:

      Sounds like the fate of your average garage band, only these guys seem more convinced of their own importance.

      1. Fight slug says:

        Sounds like something someone lacking in social intelligence would say

      2. An artist must balance dedication against dedication to quality control.

        1. Weekly weakling says:

          Good bands seem to figure that out during their demo years, resulting in a good debut album where they’ve killed some darlings but overthinking it hasn’t yet killed their passion.

          1. Seems true. In my view, what separates an A-level band from a B-level band is quality control based in an enjoyment of the music and a desire to make something that cool without lying to themselves to make the mediocre seem epic. Perpetual local bands however love whatever they write so much that they fall in a rut and never focus on improvement.

  13. Iggy Shlock says:

    What’s visceral about the Stooges? Sounds like Velvet Underground and other quirky proto hipster stuff. “I wanna be your dog”. Do ya?

    1. Wimpdick says:

      Fuck around and find out

    2. Like most of those bands, they were born out of multiple influences and shuttle between them when they lose direction, so they are a mixed bag, but classic songs like “Search and Destroy” opened up a new way of looking at topics to fit the sound these bands were playing/experimenting with.

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