Mike Riddick Interview

29 06 08 - 12:00



Experienced underground metal guru Mike Riddick (Yamatu, Equimanthorn, The Soil Bleeds Black) has launched a for-profit MP3-based label that sells MP3s, and sends promotional MP3s to zines and radio shows -- but somehow, he's not worried about MP3s "ruining the music business."

Mike Riddick Interview
 

Natural Selection(tm) Reviews

28 06 08 - 15:57

Ajattara - Itse, Aepere and Kalmanto: this is like metal bands who have failed since time immemorial (or 1970, take your pick). It's a bunch of well-known riff forms stitched together with rhythm, and skinned in lush layered vocals, keyboards and samples. Musically, indistinguishable from 1970s heavy metal, even if it has a black metal and doom aesthetic. Reminds me of later Cemetary. I can't listen to this shit.

Anti - The Insignificance of Life: Great name, great album name, more black metal/rock combo. They have Gorgoroth-ish technique, but all polished and bouncy like later Ancient. It's hard to argue against as music, but as art, no presence and no direction.

Bergraven - Dodsvisioner: It's like Comecon mixed with later Samael, lots of interesting background noises, and stompy riffs. It's catchy but it has no soul. I am worried that all the metal with balls has died. Take Vicodin, relax. Bergraven still sucks.

Fanisk - Noontide: These guys get the Hitler sample in early, so you might feel obligated to keep listening. Like Dimmu Borgir, the best part is the keyboards between black metal parts, which remind me of Gorgoroth's "Under the Sign of Hell" -- a lot of blatant chromatics and basic melodic minor noodling. Do I fucking care? delete, delete

Forefather - Steadfast: Vikingish metal that reveals its roots in power metal. Lots of cool guitar parts that don't add up to much, a very cheesy aesthetic, and a style of fast flexible lead rhythm shifts that reminds me of Enslaved, In Battle and Kvist. More organized than most, musically the most impressive thing I've heard recently, but it adds up to an aesthetic pile of confusion that narrates itself on a wander and then comes back to safe ground, only to effectively trail off.

Gorath - Misotheism: How do they keep coming up with these plastic bands? They have no souls. This is paint-by-numbers rock-blackmetal, with lots of frilly adornments and absolutely no direction. Also sounds very emo-influenced, musically. It's like a carnival of distraction with a plodding heartbeat and an IQ test with more red ink than black on it. Yuck.
 

Ludwig van Beethoven

13 06 08 - 04:24


Then, brothers, it came. O bliss, bliss and heaven, oh it was gorgeousness and georgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gulliver the trumpets three-wise, silver-flamed and there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again, crunched like candy thunder. It was like a bird of rarest spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a space ship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures. There were veeks and ptitsas laying on the ground screaming for mercy and I was smecking all over my rot and grinding my boot into their tortured litsos and there were naked devotchkas ripped and creeching against walls and I plunging like a shlaga into them. -- from A Clockwork Orange


The spirit of Beethoven is the Faustian: the beautiful emerging from the tormented, warlike and aggressive human soul that wants to make beautiful by imposing itself on life.

It's an impulse balanced by a detailed understanding of both life, and humans. It's as if the human is a computer, intaking life, and returning to life an answer it needs: an enhancement of beauty through exactly placed effort.

Like a partial redesign in each interaction.

Some will attribute this spirit to specific groups, times or ideologies, but the fact remains that it is what motivates all of us who want more out of life. We want more beauty, and to that end, we struggle. We are never satisfied. We do not want comfort, we want greatness.

Metal has this contemplative spirit. Unlike rock music, which focuses on the karmic drama of the individual, it focuses on the whole of life as a large design made by blind watchmakers. It is a spirit of freedom from mental neurosis, a lack of fascination with the karmic, and a focus on order and beauty.

It is a form of worship for life; metal is perhaps the most religious popular music gets. It inherits the spirit of Ludwig van Beethoven and others like him, which is one where stillness of the soul is only found in Faustian rage for order.
 

Vikernes not getting out of prison

11 06 08 - 15:36


Convicted murderer Varg Vikernes is too dangerous to be released into society, according to justice officials. Government critics fear that his background as an ideologically motivated church-burning arsonist, and his connections with neo-Nazi groups, are making it impossible for him to get a fair parole hearing.

"I can't understand it. They want me to make arrangements with social services, even though this is unnecessary. Must I be on welfare in order to be released? I have a house, a job and a family waiting for me," Vikernes told daily newspaper VG.

Vikernes denied parole


If they were metalheads, they'd see that an institutional appraoch to life doesn't work because we don't fit into neat and easy categories like "good" or "bad." Smarter kids like Vikernes especially. Considering his stated goal is making music and writing books, we have to view this as an act of censorship against metal.
 

National Day of Slayer - June 6

05 06 08 - 18:49

June 6 is a perfect day for Hessians across the country to come together and engage in something upon which we can all agree - listening to Slayer! Also, do you really want those evangelical Neo-Cons to have all the fun with their "National Day of Prayer"? Enjoy a "National Day of Slayer" instead:

National Day of Slayer

* Listen to Slayer at full blast in your car.
* Listen to Slayer at full blast in your home.
* Listen to Slayer at full blast at your place of employment.
* Listen to Slayer at full blast in any public place you prefer.

Download Slayer's 1986 Demo with songs from "Reign in Blood"

Then you can take that participation to a problematic level:

* Stage a "Slay-out." Don't go to work. Listen to Slayer.
* Spray paint Slayer logos on churches, synagogues, or cemeteries.
* Play Slayer covers with your own band (since 99% of your riffs are stolen from Slayer anyway).
* Kill the neighbor's dog and blame it on Slayer.<

National Day of Slayer

Sponsored by:

The Hessian Studies Center and
The Dark Legions Archive
 

Dissenter, Eldrig, Cauterizer

05 06 08 - 08:28

Cauterizer - Then the Snow Fell

This band made the classic mistake of trying to make death metal a bouncy, jaunty, ironic hard rock genre at the time it was moving away from all that garbage. Had they tried it eight years later, they would have been Slipknot, but instead, they're mostly forgotten. Sound is like old Therion and old Entombed played by Motley Crue.

Dissenter - Apocalypse of the Damned

We put Behemoth and Hate Eternal into a blender and got a highly competent effort that's painful to listen to. Repetition of themes is aggressive, as is mirroring of similar rhythms throughout each piece, and like all metal made after 1995, there's zero sense of dynamic, just a constant high-volume assault -- a lot like hip-hop. A shame since these musicians are clearly above average in proficiency.

Eldrig - Kali

I wanted to like this. As atmosphere, it's well-done; note choice is good, rhythm is good, dynamics are well done. As art, it's a non-entity because there's almost no change. It's like Hindu-themed apocalyptic wallpaper.

Black Funeral - Vampyr: Throne of the Beast

This is an inverse review: all the Black Funeral albums other than this one are lesser. Vampyr is the peak. Seek Vampyr if you like Black Funeral.
 

Deicide - Till Death Do Us Part

03 06 08 - 12:37



This is a good effort: they got themselves in better physical shape, focused their energies, and made a record better than anything afterSerpents of the Light. In form, it shows both a convergence to a mean (return to heavy metal influences of youth, mixed in a salad shooter and made generic by need of compromise) as well as a yearning for New York death metal like Immolation, whose internal rhythms and melodic rhythmic leads are borrowed here. Much of it sounds like more primitive versions of the rhythms behind Once Upon the Cross and Serpents of the Light, as played by a hybrid between Angelcorpse, Dream Theatre and Immolation. As a result they've thrown in some fairly advanced playing, but it is as an adornment, and not central to any message conveyed, which is the boiled-down version of the past mentioned above. It's a good effort; it may not be good enough to stay on our playlists for long, but it exceeds expectations based on past works and levels a groundwork for future works.
 

Autopsia

03 06 08 - 07:35



Autopsia sent in a link to their demo recordings. They play a style of old school gore death metal in the nexus between Impetigo, Suffocation, Carcass and Malevolent Creation. For more information, contact them at their email.