Demoncy, who released one of the few USBM releases worth mentioning, 1999's Joined in Darkness, will release their newest CD entitled Enthroned is the Night shortly. In the meantime, we get a sample track (link below). If you are tired of overhyped and cynical musicians releasing cash-ins, try this instead:
We have made contact with a professor in the University of Texas library system, which has a 200,000 record archive of popular music recordings. They are kept under museum conditions in a climate/humidity controlled building on the UT Austin campus, and digital copies are made of each recording so they are available to academics.
They lack death metal and black metal, but they keep any other kind of underground, ethnic, mainstream or classical music. They need you to send them original recordings of death metal and black metal, especially rarities which will be kept in perpetuity in a safe environment.
I think this is worthy. If you're serious about what you say/sing/play, it's worth having others try to understand it in context. Hopefully someone has already hit them with a wad of The Wild Rag and maybe a copy of Until the Light Takes Us or Glorious Times.
With luck, you can hear the samples above, and draw your own conclusions. Mine are: Varg correctly understands the new black metal audience, which is to say he recognizes that they cannot tell the difference between three random droning chords and well-composed music. So he's cashing in, because he just got out of jail and needs some way to pay for himself and his future. Unfortunately, in doing so, he has done something very stupid, which is let a highly visible minority (black metal fans) speak for his entire potential audience (all who like good music) and by doing so, he has let his bitterness obliterate his talent and instead of making a series of quality albums that will sell for decades, he has pumped out the droning crap and now has ruined the Burzum name and will find that people ignore this stuff after another few years. Short-term thinking at work. Sorry to hear life is so bad for you, Varg. Maybe you should reconsider who you consider your friends.
We finally got our hands on a review copy of Glorious Times here at the HQ, and the verdict is in: much improved over version 1.0, but still a niche product, so those of you who want Death Metal History for Dummies will need to go elsewhere.
Glorious Times does a supreme job of immersing you in the culture, the music and the feel of the era without having to shape your mind with a narrative. This is both its strength and weakness. Compiled entirely of first-hand statements from musicians and writers from the era, the book lets you make up your mind and read for whatever interests you. This was I think a mature decision, because the writers recognized the niche nature of this material.
My co-editor, Kontinual, and I differ on the importance of this book. I see it as a compilation of primary sources; he, rightly, points out that it's for a niche and not ready for mainstream consumption. I don't see these two views as incompatible. Glorious Times is a primary source, and will be in for future academics and journalists, but right now it's us nostalgia freaks who are checking it out.
And therein lies its strength. While the editors could have conducted interviews and comped statements together into a summary, imposing order and assessing data, that would have produced a linear perspective. Instead here you get the history told by as many people as wrote in for the book, which shows us how people differed in their approaches to this music, and yet also, where they converged. No linear narrative can show the same breadth.
Fans of the music, as opposed to academics and journalists, will find that like other legendary metal docs like Are You Morbid?, Lords of Chaos and Until the Light Takes Us, this book enmeshes us in the atmosphere of the time. You get to hear all about tape-trading, the personal lives of musicians, how people got into the music, and the decisions they made with their bands and lives. You don't get the kind of clear but oversimplified summary that Sam Dunn peddles in his Global Metal (my personal favorite of his movies); instead you stagger into this strange land where gnarled figures emerge from the mist and tell you their story in riddle and rhyme, then leave you to drift onward along a hazy road. If you want to know what it was "like" back then, this type of book is your best guide.
Detrators will point out the weaknesses that correspond to this strength. They will also say that the layout is amateurish, which was true on 1.0 but is mostly fixed for 2.0, at least to mainstream rock book standards. Detractors will say that the lack of an editorial voice means that the contribution from band members are somewhat random, and that depending on this volunteerist attitude among subjects means that the bands that didn't make it outnumber the important ones. While these criticisms, as are those of my co-editor Kontinual, are valid, they miss the point: this book is not here to offer an overview, a history or an ideological statement. It's here to give you the feel for the time, and to provide rich primary source material for those who will research it in the future. I hope someday someone makes the sequel to this, in which they interview all of these bands for two hours each and then assemble the statements, but that would lose much of the atmosphere and require a larger staff and budget than any old-schoolers have at this time.
When we look back on any time, we tend to measure its information by what it would mean to us now. We are looking at single facts at a time, and we interpret them as they would fit into our current lives and technology. When we look at ancient Sparta, we are repulsed by aspects of their warrior culture that in our society, would be cruel and unusual. To them, these "repulsive" aspects were a matter of pride, and what shaped them as much as we are shaped by our pride in not being like Sparta. Understanding early death metal is a similar matter, in that our technology and society was so different back then that we cannot place many of these "facts" into context. We need to see them in their original context, and by seeing that social backdrop, understand the atmosphere before we start trying to pull facts out of it. Glorious Times keeps this atmosphere intact and, while it may be a niche for death metal nostalgia buffs at this point, for the future it is the first serious record of the early years of death metal's genesis.
This is the 'Bare Bones' template for
It's not much to look at, but it's a good start to
write your own templates. It contains most of the usual tags you'd like to
have in a template, with a minimum of CSS/HTML.
You can change this text by editing the file '_sub_about.tpl'
in your pivotx/templates/bare_bones/ folder. You can do this by directly editing the file,
or you can go to 'Manage Media' » 'Templates' in the PivotX interface.
To change the links in this list, edit the file '_sub_link_list.html' in
your PivotX's templates folder. You can do this by directly editing the file, or
you can go to 'Manage Media' » 'Templates' in the PivotX interface.