It should strike you as funny that humanity, Western Civilization, and metal face the same problem in parallel: steady decline from having lost of sense of goal because they lost a sense of the why behind the goal after the sense of the transcendent also eroded.23 Comments
Some will tell you that metal cannot sell out because metal is not a large financial enterprise. The question then is, “What is large?” because if a genre supports dozens of labels, has top-grossing tours, and tens of thousands of bands, it seems that someone is getting paid more than they would otherwise.
But don’t take it from us. Look at what commercialization has done to another genre:
I was so blown away by the first “Star Wars” film when I saw it in 1977, I went back two more times the same week to wallow in its space age fantasy. But here’s the thing: George Lucas’ creation, basically a blown-up Flash Gordon adventure with better special effects, has left all too many people thinking science fiction is some computer graphics-laden space opera/western filled with shootouts, territorial disputes, evil patriarchs and trusty mounts (like the Millennium Falcon).
“Star Wars” has corrupted people’s notion of a literary genre full of ideas, turning it into a Saturday afternoon serial. And that’s more than a shame — it’s an obscenity.
He has a point, and reveals a situation parallel to that of metal. Sci-fi was too hardcore and dry for most readers, but then if you add in princesses in skimpy costumes, wookies and light sabers, suddenly it’s… an action movie with soap opera aspects. The audience can tune into that, and so can all the basement greebos who will cosplay, imitate and nerd it to death.
Metal was also originally too hardcore and dense for most listeners, but then if you added in the drama of burning churches and murders, people could really get into that wacky far-out identity. Suddenly it’s hard rock with distorted vocals and Satan. The audience can tune into that, and so all the basement neckbeards emerge to record collect and/or emo it to death.
Two sides rapidly form in any debate: one side says we should have purity of essence of what is being done, and the other side thinks that this principle should be more malleable in order to support social popularity and commerce. I say stick with the purity of essence: metal was built on years of accumulated knowledge, and turning it into entertainment flushes that all down the drain.12 Comments
This morning I was flipping through the book Choosing Death and landed on an interview with commerce queen Angela Gossow detailing her opinion on Cannibal Corpse:
“I loved Cannibal Corpse’s Eaten Back To Life, because it was so extreme at the time when I was a kid, but I didn’t sing along with those lyrics.” Gossow admits. “It’s somehow just a bit intimidating. It’s so much about violence against women. It’s not a guy who’s being totally shredded—it’s always a woman. It’s usually a sexual thing too, like rape, then murder, and I don’t think you should promote that. You don’t wanna have your girlfriend raped, strangled and ripped apart when she was pregnant. I still don’t get it when so many of the people out there sing about that [subject matter] have girlfriends—I just don’t know how they can justify that.”
While she does have a valid point from a woman’s perspective, the dots didn’t connect that the main factor to their popularity is shock value. Cannibal Corpse have become the most popular death metal band for outraging people in a cartoonish manner. Most of their lyrics are so farfetched in its violence, sex and gore that it defies a sensible reality. They found a commercially viable formula and cater to people that seek music that doesn’t delve farther than the surface level. I can easily envision a teenager sitting at the dinner table wearing a Cannibal Corpse shirt for one sole purpose: to repudiate his parents and be “rebellious”.
Cheese: The nineteen nineties were besieged by an onslaught of second rate bands that were inspired by the shock value of Cannibal Corpse and took the concept even further. One such band that accelerated to popularity more than the others for being more extreme was Devourment. Instead of deriving their lyrical themes from fantasy and outlandish gore, they sought to bring a more shocking element by advocating the murder of babies. Their song Baby Killer quickly became a classic among those that needed something more edgy than their prized Cannibal Corpse.
Relapse Records recently picked up Devourment to cash in on this concept. Knowing that it wouldn’t be profitable advocating baby death, Devourment went the Cannibal Corpse route and devised their lyrical themes to be cartoons. Their popularity has already grown. The era of Cartoon Death Metal is overshadowing those who approach the genre as an art form.
Times are tough, and tobacco prices are going up, so again people turn to the idea of making homebrews because depending on what you need, these can be mostly as good as the commercial versions for often half of the cost.16 Comments
It probably ranks as one of the most enjoyable smokes of my life, but it started with primitive origins as many good things do. Some pipe-smokers noted that you could use a pasta press to make cake presses of your favorite tobaccos, so one was acquired and testing commenced.21 Comments
Alternative rock got a bad name in the US because it was basically not an alternative, and just mixed a little metal and punk into Morrissey and Bruce Springsteen, making the whiniest genre ever created. These days we laugh about “alternative facts,” but maybe alt-rock had something to do with this.136 Comments
We live in an inauthentic era because we have no reference points in common except mass culture, therefore most of what we do consists of throwing a dozen aesthetics in a blender, coming up with a unique combination, and using it as the basis for our careers, health of the genre be damned.80 Comments
One wonders why even try. It seems like everything in the world has gone into the abyss and is being sucked down by a human refusal to see the obvious. Left and Right, Christian and atheist, corporate stooge and basement NEET seem to agree. So why bother?50 Comments
We should talk about dark organization in metal: whenever humans set up something thriving, it dies from within because individuals defer to the will of the herd, and also, under cover of that, individuals act against the goals of the group in order to advance their personal power interests.119 Comments