As a genre less defined aesthetically than on terms of propaganda, NSBM bears the mark of Cain that stigmatizes bands that express a certain ideology. On the basis that music is pure Will, this article focuses on contrasting a split by Der Sturmer, Malsaint and Blutkult with Spear of Longinus on the grounds of understanding and conviction to their ideas, or, to be less dramatic, on how the need to express grander statements creates grander music.70 Comments
As with anything labeled “USBM,” it is an inevitable that an experienced metal fan will approach this release with caution regarding just how flannelly, how post rock, how try-hard and yet how vulnerable it is. With a cliched moniker that clashes together a couple of clumsy tropes to echo the oil and water mixture that Americans and black metal suspend as, Wolvhammer presents itself and its material as confidently confrontational so the saccharine despair of modern takes on the vulturized genre are initially somewhat absent, but the juvenile approach does not in its stead give credence to the overbearing impudence on display.1 Comment
Modern metal bands will often add all sorts of odd and extraneous elements to the music. What is most curious and notable, even as one cringes to the sounds of flutes or children’s choirs and such, is not what is in the music but what is lacking in the music: an aggressive, adventurous, feral spirit that is the common element of all metal music. While experimentation, new ideas, and new textures and elements are not in and of themselves bad things, most bands, being the crowdists they are, get the horses of the apocalypse before the meat wagon. As Socrates so sagely reckoned all those years ago, the spirit informs the final shape that the physical body will take – to build the creation without spirit is, in essence, to create something that lacks shape and indeed lacks the very essence of being.No Comments
Article Contributed by Salustiano Ferdinand
tl;dr: Despite controversy surrounding the indie pedigree of Weakling’s musicians and their musical descendants, Dead as Dreams remains, as described by none other than Fenriz, an “odd masterpiece” on its musical merits and should be a part of any serious underground metal fan’s collection. The album, for a number of reasons, is currently something of a locus of blame for whatever particular sins people ascribe to west coast black metal. Some people point to Weakling as the origin point of indie creep into US black metal due to the supposed indie credibility of its members in particular as well as to a lesser extent the trend of questionable publicity stunts engaged in by mediocre bands from Velvet Cocoon to Ghost Bath (although in Weakling’s case this should be blamed on the label, not the band). As a result of these complaints, Dead As Dreams has over time become something of an Emmanuel Goldstein for black metal fans, and the album some people are critiquing when they say “Dead as Dreams” (such as the time DMU’s most alpha editor described it as “shoegaze black metal”) bears little resemblance to the actual album Dead As Dreams.8 Comments
For centuries Italian engineers were valued throughout the western world for their skill in both destruction and construction. The great Imperial warlord Albrecht Wallenstein, who exhibited a keen eye for excellence, had Italian mercenaries in his army and Italian architects for his for his manors. With their relatively recent split release with German band Gorrenje, the Italian black metal band Infamous carry on this tradition of dual excellence.5 Comments
I originally got this album as a promo when it first came out about ten years ago. I enjoyed it enough to purchase a copy and to look forward to future releases by the band. Xerion hails from Silesia in NW Spain, the same region that birthed General Francisco Franco. Xerion prefers simple, rugged, durable riffs and songs that assemble into a solid, functional album.12 Comments
At first glance, this album boasts a cool cover and impressively long song lengths, making a strong first impression. Then I hit play. It didn’t take long to realize this is really, really bad live album. It is not tightly played at all. The two guitars are not in sync and neither are the drums. You have to suffer through really bad lyrics like: “Onward to the sun” and “Destiny is calling!”. Everything is really bad waltzy Sabbath imitation but really boring. I can fairly say that this album qualifies as epic German cheese. So of course it will be popular. The singer sounds like the guy who sang those Budweiser ads Real Men of Genius.
There won’t be a challenging listen anytime soon from millennial metal bands. The best we can hope for is something engaging, because given how neutered the general public is today, most things, “underground” or not, will be geared with mass appeal in mind. When we as seasoned listeners encounter a new metal band we approach their newest release with the hope that they at least have some framework of metal history at hand to draw from in order to at least give their inherently gimped effort a palette of direction that resembles metal. But with that mass appeal looming in the back of the creator’s mind, that history may be utilized as a checklist for social acclaim to adorn empty musical gestures instead of a well to draw inspiration to guide a commanding voice. Those type of Frankenmetal releases are easily dismissed as a series of “Ta-da!” moments wrapped around a rancid kernel, but by blunting the confrontational elements of disjunct pieces you can somewhat pull the wool over the listener’s eyes as if you are more steadfast in your artistic message than you actually are.8 Comments
Hipster celebrity and accused tattoo gun rapist Wrest from Leviathan returns with a new sidekick in an attempt to restore some underground credibility. This is a common gimmick used in rap music whenever an artist has faded from the mainstream but wants to continue making money off the young kids consuming the underground’s newest flavors. Unfortunately for Leviathan, they were never respected in the underground and Crawl displays very little potential to make any sort of impact. The split is one twelve minute song from each artist that both manage to be terrible but for very different reasons. Wrest promised “Aural Mizery” and has ironically maintained that promise.6 Comments
Bought an EP of Cold Dark Place by Mastadon, since the album cover looked cool, like a classic Aeternus. To my dismay, as I started track one, some horrible over-produced folk-rock attempt came blaring through my headphones, complete with horrible synced male and female off-pitched vocals. Another track has a weird, crappy beat and Jane’s addiction styled vocals. These songs are so bad that its hard to listen to more than fifteen seconds of each song before feeling violently ripped-off.