Saturday, February 23, 2013
Black Metal History Week
It's a grim mood to sit in silence typing up a blog about black metal with none to listen to thanks to Mercury in retrograde frying my iPod, I did get to listen to the new Rotting Christ this morning, but now silence until I take a trip to the frosty wasteland of best buy. So in honor of black history month I have been having black metal history the least black metal band I have listened was Sabbath, but if we are going into the history of it all goes back to Them, despite their now being apologetic toward their nefarious imagery.
When black metal came into my consciousness I was in the sixth grade and associated the term with bands like venom and Slayer, Bathory I only knew by the one promo shot I saw all the time and of course King Diamon. I thought Satan was the only thing that tied them together and knew Slayer was also thought of as thrash, though they sounded more evil than other thrash bands like Overkill and Testament. I think the sound of evil is a good defining point , the black metal which we think of now days by way of Norway , has the dirty chords which have a dissonant drone to them , more often than not tremelo picked has this sound of evil. I have covered Von on this blog and think they play an important role of pushing what we consider black metal today forward though their part was contributed at the time y underground tape trading.
Not unlike the occult black metal has both flourished and been diluted by the Internet. Occult ,exams hidden , it's the searching which plays the most important role in the path rather than the destination.the factso,Rome is striking out on a path for themselves, with out seeking the aide of others is what makes it the most misanthropic of the spiritual paths. The same principle can be applie to black metal. On metal forums and Facebook you hear people lament how black metal is now too mainstream. This was said years ago when "Until the light takes us" came out and before that when the "Lords of Chaos" book came out.
Granted it has become a fixture in pop culture imagery, the Rob Zombie movie " Lords of Salem " even features corpse paint clad Villians, but it's more about the look than the evil sound as how many black meta
Bands todayfuck with corpse paint? Even Behemoth has toned down that element. Sure there's few legit black metal bands who still carry that torch...Watain, Inquistion, and Merrimack, but beard and t shirt is more common spiked gauntlet and bulletbelt optional. But really there's no corpse paint on my iPod...not will there be any on the new one there will only be music and I will want it to sound evil.
Black metal has evolved beyond Satan, it always held a lord of the rings quality to it after all Bruzum comes from Orc tongue and Tolkien narrowed heavily from the Norse eddas , and I personally don't believe in evil or morality , but rather effective and ineffective , so evil could mean dark , so what I look for in black metal is a dark resonance. the new Von captures this well, the Darkthrone is a great album but not dark, more epic, which I reserve for power metal. Inquistion I think has a perfect black metal guitar sound, but isnt blinding fast, yet their are distinct differences in their sound than Burzum or Mayhem.
I remember at one time wasn't into the second wave bands because everything I had heard sounded like shit , and I said to my friend Brann , I like black metal in theory but have a hard time with it because the production sounds so shitty, he told me to check out Enslaved. I did and it clicked in place for me after them Dimmu, Darkthrone, Agalloch and Dissection. Now I listen to PlagueWeilder to go to sleep. If you asked last fm who were my top ten most listened to post-metal bands it would tell you.
4- Dimmu Borgir
So maybe not the most kvlt list ever, there are bands bubbling under or around those that aren't black metal any more like Autumn for Crippled Children and Shining and even on that list how black metal are Darkthrone or Dimmu now? Dimmu being symphonic metal more than anything and even Atriarch almost equal parts death rock and doom with their black metal, but that what I like about black metal is aside from Funeral Doom the only sub genre where there's enoug room to experiment , where what it is allows it's self to be expansive enough for growth.
I read a post on fet-life asking if black metal is dead, and I think the hipness of it has worn off so it will now expand and contract , ebb and flow, solve and coagulate, like most good art forms should,the trends have come and gone , black gaze, pagan black metal, suicidal black metal, post- black metal all looked to be the next big thing and the bands which could have taken them to that level in turn modulated into something beyond that label, but taking your own is what the genre is about. What black metal release am I looking forward to this year ? Well in no particular order