Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A Very Scary Solstice

Buy here!

Damnation, this is just a bit too late (for this year) but I can now full-heartily recommend the HP Lovecraft Historical Society's masterful Christmas CD 'A Very Scary Solstice'. The samples available at their site are but a merest taster of the existential seasonal horror and utter christmassy madness contained within. Groups such as The Arkham Carolers, John Yelvington and the Shoggettes, Dunwich Childrens Chorale and the Choir of Former Altar Boys deliver seasonal classics such as 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth', 'Freddy the Red-Brained Mi-Go', 'Silent Night, Blasphemous Night', 'It's the Most Horrible Time of the Year', 'Little Rare Book Room' and 'Great Old Ones are Coming to Town'. Hilarious and heart-warming entertainment for all fans of the Macabre. It's hardly left my CD player.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Why I hate black metal fans.

It doesn't take more than about, say, thirty seconds on anus.com to inform the casual reader that a large majority of black metal fans are opinionated, pretentious, hypocritical, philosophically misguided, narrow-minded and often patently ridiculous. Now, I, myself, am a fan of the music that men call black metal: I rank many black metal bands as among my personal favourites and as some of the greatest bands of all time. I have the history and philosophy of this most morbid of genres at my fingertips. And I feel confidently in saying that most of the fans, and a pretty reasonable amount of the musicians as well, judging by some interviews I've seen, are complete and utter wankers.

This mainly arises from the utterly inflated view many black metal fans have of their own self-importance and self-worth, and the importance of black metal as a whole. Now, let's be frank: the idea that black metal actually matters, on a world scale, is utterly fucking ridiculous. Black metal is not a major cultural force, and it probably never will be. The only people in the world who care about black metal are its fans and some rather distraught, church-less vicars. However, many black metal fans view black metal as, literally, the most important thing in the universe. Based on this assumption, they judge themselves rightly superior to every other music consumer and indeed life-form on the earth, because they've heard Judas Iscariot.

And oh, will they snarl and bitch and fight and sneer over the purity of their precious black metal. Absolutely anything that does not fall within a random and arbitrary test of tr00ness will be branded 'faggoth' or 'norsecore'. The cardinal sin is having any influences whatsoever that fall outside the black metal genre, although bands who play too fast, or don't have enough gravitas to their lyrics are also doomed. Of course, you can write off all these sins by being Nazis: Nokturnal Mortum can get away with anything and the Tr00 grim kvlt elite will still felate them. The amusing thing about this is that they will then complain, at length, about the stagnation of the scene. The scene is, of course, not stagnant at all, it's merely that progressive artists such as Borknagar, Arcturus, Sigh, ...And Oceans and so forth have been dismissed as 'un-true'. The hypocrisy is occasionally compounded by claiming that the philosophy of black metal is it's defining element. But only, of course, if you present it in a suitably black metal manner. Thus originality in the black metal scene is confined to who can write the most necro riff, and it's more sorrow to the idiot fans, because these people never listen to anything else BUT black metal. They have actually lost touch with the whole idea behind liking music, again pushing forward the idea that black metal is somehow better than all other music. Of course, most of these black metal fans don't have the first idea about musical theory or history, or indeed much intelligence: they can't tell you WHY black metal is better than anything else. They don't have the wit or culture. They can tell you that other music is gay and that you're a Jewish poser for listening to it, but that's about it. They can tell you that allowing any sort of outside influence to 'corrupt' black metal (or, in some of the more hilarious cases, allowing posers to even listen to black metal) will destroy the 'purity' of black metal, but they cannot satisfactorily explain to you either what the purity of black metal is, or why you should give a flying fuck. Because they will never listen to anything but black metal, if they ever do start a band, it will be a poor clone of their favourite black metal bands, because they will bring no new influences and will never have stretched their musical abilities by playing anything except Deathcrush.

Coupled with this is a brand of philosophy so ridiculous and mal-informed that it can scarcely fail to make the educated man or woman chuckle. To see the spurious crap spewed up by people who have never read a single book on philsophy or theology and who do not undestand paganism, monotheism, racialism, romanticism, gothic tradition, satanism, the difference between patriotism and nationalism, and a whole score of other concepts, try and explain their mal-formed worldviews can be almost charming. To see a man complain at length about christian oppression then turn right round and say he's a national socialist? Classic. To see someone deny that they are a satanist then lengthily espouse satanic morality? Brilliant. To see some arrogant turd talk about 'God is Dead' having read only the Wikipedia article on Neitzsche, if that? Warms the cockles of my heart, it does. And if I had a pound for everyone who claims to be a pagan and can't name a single sabbat, or the name of a god beyond Thor? I'd be a rich man. Oh, and their espousing of an anti-humanist, individualist philosophy when they are worse sheep even than most goths, now that's classic. You hate me because I'm different, I hate you because you're all the same. Ahahahahahaha.

The really, brutally ironic thing is that all this idiocy is a pure invention of latter day social retards who take the whole thing as seriously as if they're in the Inner Circle, back in the day. They act every day like Varg Vikernes used to talk to the press (and it would really do a world of good if many of them understood that 95% of the interviews with him are fake. Do they really think people can just trot into the prison where he's held and have a chat with him?) and most of them are 15 years of age. I really, really, hate them. I could go on, and on, and on about the sheer retarded, brain dead, stupidity of them. But you know what? I won't fucking bother. I'm going to go off, brew a nice cup of tea, and listen to some poser faggoth gaycore shit like Current 93. Then I may come back and make a post about MUSIC.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Giftmas

Ho....ho........ho............

My personal Saturnalia mix this year looks something like this. I'd upload a megamix, but that sort of things apparently 'illegal', or something. Psht:

1. Danny Elfman - What's This?
2. King Diamond - No Presents For Christmas
3. Kevin Bloody Wilson - Hey Santa (You Fucking Cunt)
4. Tankard - Fuck Christmas
5. Current 93 - Happy Birthday Pigface Christus
6. The Ravers - Punk Rock Christmas
7. Spinal Tap - Christmas With The Devil
8. Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The March Of The Kings - Hark The Herald Angel [instrumental]
9. Tom Lehrer - A Christmas Carol
10. Type O Negative - Red Water (Christmas Mourning)
11. Blackmore's Night - Midwinters Night
12. The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York
13. The Vandals - Oi to the World
14. Inkubus Sukkubus - Hail The Holly King
15. X-Mas Project - Jingle Bells
16. Within Temptation - Gothic Christmas

Keep safe, dear readers, and keep close to your black hearts the greatest joys of the holiday season:



Remember, he was born in fucking August anyway!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Illuminenaughty

Official Site
Myspace

Illuminenaughty style themselves as 'Ritual Rock': eclectic hard rock with strong gothic and apocalyptic folk influences, as well as varied vocals. Lyrics seem to be mainly on Pagan and Thelemic lines, which is all very good in my book. I recommend 'Thelema' from their myspace page: a very nice little slow track.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Top 10 of 2005

Well, it's about that time of the year when it becomes necessary to rank the releases of the year, and I'm going to be bluntly honest here: from my perspective, this hasn't been the most amazing year. The mainstream has gone even more awful (Nizlopi!? Oh my fucking gods...) indie rock has got even more pretentious and boring and decent stuff has been relatively slow in coming from the normal avenues of good music. There's also of course the problem that I haven't actually got my hands on some of the big releases of this year yet (Haven't been able to whip up the enthusiasm to buy Ghost Reveries yet after burning out on Opeth earlier in the year and somewhat losing interest). That said, there has been some quality stuff out this year, so without further ado, my top 10:


1. Sigh - Gallows Gallery



Yes! Sigh return once again, and unlike this years other hope for psychedelic metal madness (see Ewigkeit) they deliver in full. Words aren't really an accurate descriptor for this mad conflagration of jazz, classic rock and black metal, but as any Sigh fan will tell you, you're in for a treat.

2. Bloodbath - Nightmares Made Flesh



Taking the progressive and melodic influences of their members (Hypcorisy, Katatonia, Edge of Sanity) into account whilst keeping everything relentlessly old-school, Bloodbath release one of the most enjoyable Scandinavian Death Metal albums in years, combining brutality and atmosphere to a polished peak betraying their combined years of experience. And lets be honest, Tagtren replacing Akerfeldt on vocals was a good thing.

3. Cryptic Wintermoon - Of Shadows...And the Dark Things You Fear



Cryptic Wintermoon are back, in a rocketing death machine of thrash and melodic black metal, slicing though bone and flesh at approximately 666 mph. An appalingly under-rated band in the metal community, CWM combine the atmsopherics of Graveworm, the ridiculous guitar-wankery of Children of Bodom and a whole ton of old-school class into an utterly enjoyable blend of dark metal that will have you gagging for more. Over the top (in more than one way) headbanging action.

4. Scum - Gospels For the Sick



This group was always an awesome idea. Take Casey Chaos, Faust and Samoth, Cosmocrator and a dude from Turbonegro. Have them make brutal face-stomping punk rock with an 80's black metal attitude and just a dash of classic Crossover. Couldn't go wrong, and it didn't. The album is fast and intense, a succint musical lesson for any misguided individual thinking that Hatebreed represent the pinnacle of modern Hardcore. The single, 'Protest Life', is the greatest punk anthem since The Anti-Nowhere League penned 'So What?'*.

5. Sol Invictus - The Devils Steed



You cannot go wrong with Sol Invictus. Fact. I will however, venture to say that Sol Invictus should maybe tone their experimentation down. They are one of a few bands (such as Inkubus Sukkubus) who I find are actually much better when they go for a straight-forward version of their sound. The most dissapointing thing about this album for me though is that they beat me to recording a Neo-Folk rendition of Twa Corbies. They suck less than me though, so huzzah for them.

6. Nile - Annihilation of the Wicked



Annihilation indeed! Along with Behemoth, Nile are at the forefront of modern technical death, with crushing riffs, pinpoint drumming and mind-flaying solos. As always, the quality of music, lyrics, production and concept is exceptionally high: copious liner notes provide yet another potted lesson in Egyptian history and mythology and, a juicy tidbit for all fans of the macabre, a very nice Lovecraft themed closer.

7. Ewigkeit - Conspiritus



I would like to point out immediately that this is not a bad album. It's a bad Ewigkeit album though. Especially after 'Radio Ixtlan', which still flies high in my 20 favourite albums of all time. There are some snatches of the old brilliance: the satanic gospel number 'How to Conquer the World [Live at Bohemian Grove]' and the mournful, Aztec-sounding title track, but all in all this release is just too samey, too weak to really capture the force and sheer psychedelic madness of previous efforts. Still, as I said, this is not a bad album. Genre-wise it's hard to describe: some sort of trippped-out dance metal for the most part, a blurring of the lines between old Pink Floyd, The Prodigy, Rammstein and Dark Tranquillity. It's good music, somewhat catchy, and the concept is genius, but it's still not up to form.

8. VNV Nation - Matter + Form



This album feels almost...progressive. And that's a good thing. I personally enjoy EBM and Futurepop a lot, but would be the first to admit that the scene isn't exactly brimming with creativity and inviduality. VNV Nation manage to craft an enjoyable, unique sounding record here: very spacey, and rather warm at points, which is unusual for an EBM record. Goofy film quotes are sadly a bit lacking, and there are a few moments where unmistakable 8-Bit influence shines through, and all in all, this is no :wumpscut:, but still, a fun dance record.


9. Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutation



The thrash is dead. Long live the thrash.


10. Boris & Merzbow - Sun Baked Snow Cave



I have to admit, one of my failings as a consumer of alternative music is that I've never really got to like structureless stuff. It's not that I find noise music unpleasant, it's just that after ten minutes of it, I feel like there's probably something more interesting I could be doing rather than listening to the distant sound of screaming on a broken radio. That all said, I do rather like this. This isn't a collaboration, more a transition between the two artists, but when they come together...aaah. Drone heaven.


Honourable mentions:

Inkubus Sukkubus - Witch Queen (Might have been on if it was a full album. Still quality.)
Wednesday 13 - Transylvania 90210: Songs of Death, Dying and the Dead (Still sounds like Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13. Still not a bad thing.)
Vashti Bunyan - Lookaftering (Worth the wait)

Dishonourable mentions:

System of a Down - Mesmerize/Hypnotize (Never let your guitarist near a word processor again.)
The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute (This is modern prog? I weep.)
Bright Eyes - Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (Just DIE Conor)

And pretty much everything that hit the charts. Especially from the Dogs Die in Kaiser Ferdinands Hot Hot Car Park Party scene.

Things I just wasn't interested in:

Rammstein - Rosenrot (SOMEONE'S run out of creativity. Glad I saw them when they were touring off Reise, Reise)

*Not of course, wanting to suggest that Animal was EVER sober enough to hold a pen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Crimson Altar

Official Site
Myspace

A really nice goth metal band from the UK. I got my first exposure when they were included on one of Terrorizer's 'Fear Candy' compilations for unsigned bands, and I was struck both by their high quality and interesting sound: unlike many other goth metal bands, Crimson Altar actually take the time to be heavy, with obvious Black Sabbath influence worn proudly on their velvet sleeve. One band that definitely deserves more exposure in a world of tired Nightwish clones and Theatre of Tragedy wannabes. Great female vocals, and a full four downloads up at their myspace.

Hail, one and all, and welcome...

To this, the new mp3 blog for those with a passion for something a little more interesting and engaging than the same old tired indie rock.