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.8 Comments
The end of the year for some people is a time where they participate in debauchery and related idiocy as they are convinced that the arbitrary beginning of a calendar year absolves them of past mistakes and gives them the possibility to renew themselves without the burden of accepting reality. Those who don’t hide behind such comforting fallacies accept that this is a day like no other and that no actual changes will occur except for remembering to write 19 instead of 18 when it comes to paperwork. Metal has continued its sad and hilarious explosion to the top of the mainstream while pushing out less and less meaningful art. Rather than go ever end of the year lists as they are just useless and contain mostly salvaged junk with the occasional pearl. Here at DMU we shall analyse new compositional tools we would like to see implemented and which ones should be discarded.
Tags: Antichrist, behemoth, Black Metal, Boethiah, Dawnbreaker, death metal, disma, dissection, ectovoid, entombed, gorgoroth, Intestine Baalism, Join US, judas priest, massacra, MetalSucks, Necromaniac, necromantia, Nihilist, rotting christ, sacramentum, sammath, suffocation, Thin Lizzy, varathron
A trio of Australian PhD researchers recently shared the results of an ambitious case study on death metal listeners. The project, titled “Who Enjoys Listening to Violent Music and Why?” (Thompson et al., 2018), aimed to determine if there were personality differences in fans who enjoyed death metal and if lyrical content that involved inducing harm or death to individuals had any effect on the listener’s experience. Examined were possible differences in emotional stimuli between death metal fans and non fans, genders, and participants who either were or weren’t given a lyric sheet. The publication indicates findings similar to earlier studies that measured emotional reaction of music and personality bias as stated:
These findings are consistent with evidence that personality mediates preferences for music (Rentfrow & Gosling, 2003; Vuoskoski & Eerola, 2011a, 2011b) and that, conversely, music preferences communicate information about one’s personality (Rentfrow & Gosling, 2006). Rentfrow and Gosling (2003) examined the structure of music preferences, as well as the association between personality and music preferences. They used exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to reveal that music preferences revolved around four major types of music: Reflective and complex (classical, jazz, blues); intense and rebellious (alternative, rock, heavy metal), upbeat and conventional (country, pop, religious), and energetic and rhythmic (hip-hop, rap, soul, funk, electronic, dance). Preferences were also dependent on personality variables. For example, people who preferred intense and rebellious music – including heavy metal – tended to be open to new experiences, considered themselves to be intelligent and athletic, and showed no signs of neuroticism or disagreeableness.
“Dude, their demos were so much better” is one of the most obnoxious cliches of underground metal. Usually a sign of virtue signaling used to mask one’s insecurities about their knowledge or taste, many lost souls of a nostalgia-obsessed age will use this one as a pale attempt to one up their brethren. However in many cases within metal’s sonic sphere, bands that were truly fantastic on their early demos left much to be desired and ultimately left listeners unfulfilled. Whether it be a record company’s influence, a change in heart or band members, or a touch of genius quickly fumbled away, may bands throughout the history of metal have never quite been able to match the quality of their demo recordings.
With death metal built on an entire sub culture of tape trading, demos were more than a proverbial foot-in-the-door to a potential record deal. For musicians of the genre’s early days, the demo was the equivalent to having your record in the store- it was being shipped all around the world to fans desperate for something they couldn’t find in shops and to musicians hungry for new ideas. Furthermore, a band’s demo was untainted by the direction and input of record labels who, in those days, quite often suppressed what was deemed “too weird” or “too extreme” as death metal was often determined by the suits of those days. Tape trading death metal demos was an underground of its own, and your band’s demo tape wasn’t just a pathway to commercialization or musical success- but a often the start of new friendships in a rapidly globalizing world. Given all of these unique factors, it’s no surprise death metal was full of bands who could never quite capture the magic of their demos.
To offer a complete list would be a dishonor and disservice to the legions of quality works that fall under this umbrella. Therefore in today’s editorial, I will briefly offer a handful of my personal favorite death metal demos from bands that could never quite capture the magic. Though I pay little mind to what happens in our comment sections, this will mark a special occurrence where I’d be delighted to know what DMU’s readers would have on this list.50 Comments
Tags: At the Gates, celtic frost, death, death metal, Death Metal Demos, Demilich, demo, Editorial, entombed, Heavy Metal, hellhammer, my dying bride, necrophagia, Nihilist, Proto-Death Metal, Swedish Death Metal, Therion, vader
Original Entombed vocalist Lars-Göran Petrov insists he still has a right to use the Entombed name as an original member of the band despite losing a trademark despite in Swedish court to lead guitarist Alex Hellid and the other original members according to a Swedish press release translated by Blabbermouth. Petrov insists that the court said the rights to the name and trademark due not just reside with Hellid (the only original member to never leave Entombed) or himself (the only original member still regularly touring as Entombed A.D.) but belong to all of the original members of Entombed in common.16 Comments
The three musicians from Entombed‘s classic Left Hand Path lineup, Nicke Anderssen, Alex Hellid, and Uffe Cederlund, won their trademark dispute against Left Hand Path vocalist Lars-Goran “L.G.” Petrov’s Entombed A. D. project in the Swedish Court of First Instance (Patent and Market Court [PMD] at Stockholm District Court). Petrov has used the Entombed A.D. moniker to release lame death ‘n’ roll to tour behind long after the rest of Entombed hung in the towel and admitted they would never be rock stars.No Comments
Tags: Black Metal, Centinex, death metal, entombed, festivals, General Surgery, god macabre, grave, interment, Left Hand Path, merciless, necrophobic, news, Speed Metal, Swedeath, Sweden, Swedish Black Metal, Swedish Death Metal, Unleashed