Archive for the black metal history Category

If there is an afterlife…

Posted in black metal, black metal history, dead, mayhem, memorial, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 10, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

…I can’t wait to spin old Venom records and have a beer with Dead. Twenty-five years is a long fucking time, and I never knew you, but I still think about you a lot.

Rest in peace.

dead

I got this image from Blogspot, and props to whoever cleaned it up enough that you can see that beginnings of that gigantic smile. 

-H

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Happy Belated 20th Birthday, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas!

Posted in 2014, black metal, black metal history, mayhem, norway, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , on June 4, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

I remember the first time I heard Mayhem. It was probably November of 2009, and I was sitting on the floor in my room in my home town, my laptop on the floor beside me, wrapping a Christmas gift for my mom (Yes, it was early. I was living at home that year and I wasn’t home when she wasn’t very often. I had to seize the moment). I had just begun to delve deeper into black metal that wouldn’t get me made fun of, and I’d been marveling at Marduk and jamming out to Immortal on Pandora all day. And I had heard about Mayhem (I’d heard PLENTY; 21 year old me was pretty squeamish, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about the whole thing), but I had a hard time imagining that they could really be all that good. After all, they were famous for dying prematurely, yes?

And then Funeral Fog came on my Pandora station. It was love at first blastbeat. I grabbed my laptop, and by the time the song was over, Amazon.com was processing my order of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.

Mayhem’s first full-length record has awed, inspired, and baffled metal fans the world over in its 20 year life span. While many aspects of the music are inexplicable (a friend of mine told me that he just couldn’t seem to figure out “what Attila was going for with those vocals” no matter how much he listens to it), huge swaths of the thing’s history are just flat out unsettling. For instance, DMDS remains, to this day, the only record on which a murderer plays alongside his victim. Not to mention the fact that the lyrics to Life Eternal are part of Dead’s suicide note (I’m still trying to decide if I find that inclusion sweet or creepy). But despite its struggles the little album that barely could has become an integral part of black metal history, and remains required listening for anyone remotely into extreme metal.

And while yes, I am sure, we would have all loved to hear Dead’s vocals on the album (or at least on a super-secret, previously unreleased version of it), I personally have always liked Attila’s vocal work on DMDS. Yes. It is weird. But who better to get to do vocals on songs written by a man who died in his “I Heart Transylvania” shirt than a brilliant Hungarian musician with an impressive track record (Tormentor was quite a big deal. That pesky Iron Curtain kept getting in the way, though)? The vocals are unconventional, yes, but they are creepy as hell, and considering the legacy that Attila was acting as a part of, creepy far outweighs traditional. Plus, his chanting on the title track is chill-inducing.

But vocals aren’t the only big deal with DMDS. We also must pay homage to the musical stylings of black metal’s godfather himself, Euronymous, whose intentionally-shitty-sounding tri-tone chord spawned an entire subgenre. De Mysteriis was dedicated to Euronymous,- who died before it was released- and rightfully so; while Deathcrush is absolutely fantastic, it doesn’t represent the second-wave that has, for the most part, become synonymous with the entire subgenre in the way that DMDS does.

And of course those drums. The thing that got me. Hellhammer is a god on the kit, and I am a firm believer in the suggestion that the album that became the defining line for black metal in the 90s would not have existed in the same form without Hellhammer’s musicianship. It certainly would have never seen the light of day without his determination to push through and get the damned thing done, despite the horrific hardships that plagued the band.

There are a million reasons why De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas deserves a birthday notice, even if it is a little bit late. That bass riff on Pagan Fears is simply one of them (I figured I’d throw a bass shoutout in there, even though I don’t have a very high opinion of Mr. Vikernes and Necrobutcher didn’t play on the album). However, perhaps it’s greatest accomplishment is its monumental status as a relic representing both the birth of a new era and the demise of an older one.

Well, that, and the fact that, despite two horrendously violent deaths, jail sentences, Iron Curtains, and enough disharmony to fuel the powder keg that was Mayhem in the late 80s and early 90s, we actually have an album like De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas to listen to.

-H

Fun Facts to Know and Share (Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult Edition)

Posted in black metal, black metal history, books, czech republic, finland, mayhem, norway, underground, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

So I have been reading Dayal Patterson’s Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult when I have downtime, which unfortunately is not often enough. It’s a fantastic book for a number of reasons, which I will go into when I do a review of it, which will happen when I’ve finished it. One of it’s greatest features, however, is how many bands it covers that don’t get talked about in these huge black metal compendiums (Gehenna, Lifelover, Graveland, and Von, to name a few). While I’m only about a quarter of the way through the book, I have already learned several things that I did not know before about bands that I either have come to realize I know very little about, or that I thought I knew everything about. For instance:

1) When Tom G. Warrior of Celtic Frost was growing up, his mother was a diamond smuggler and would leave him for weeks at a time when he was a small child. She later had a complete breakdown, and little Tom had to live in filth and destitution in a house with over 90 cats. There was no other family around for him to go to, and everyone in the town knew about his circumstances and did nothing. This living hell created the anger that fueled Hellhammer, and is a big part of why Tom G. Warrior doesn’t like to talk about his early band (36-37).

2) Von was sort of more of a legend than a real band, as they were originally only around for about five years. They never had any real output during that time; their demo stuff was later leaked, and they had no idea they were huge celebrities in the underground. They have like three albums called Satanic Blood (113-115).

3) Beherit is from Lapland. They win the award for trvest place to live (117). Also, Nuklear Holocausto, Beherit’s vocalist, is really into Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies (121).

4) Master’s Hammer inverted an entire church on the front of their Finished demo (101)! Also, the title of their latest album, Vracejte konve na misto, was taken from a sign in a Czech graveyard and means “put watering cans back in their place.” Which means that J’s jokes about the album being about gardening are not entirely off the mark (106).

5) And last, but certainly not least, the thing that I, the fangirl who believed that she knew just about everything there is to know about Mayhem, learned is: Necrobutcher was responsible for the vocals on Pure Fucking Armageddon, not Euronymous (132). (Blown. Away. Bigger geeks than me have always thought it was Euronymous.)

***

That’s what I have for now. I’m incredibly excited to keep reading this book, and I will write a full review once I’ve done with it. In the meantime, I think it’s time to change up my blog tagline.

Ave.

-Hagalaz

Hey Dead

Posted in black metal, black metal history, dead, mayhem, memorial, norway, sweden with tags , , , , , , , on April 9, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

I didn’t forget you. I just got crazy busy and didn’t make a post in time. I’m sorry.

Keeping my reflections private this year, at least for now. Maybe I’ll spill later. Probably I will. But right now I can’t.

Suffice it to say that I haven’t forgotten you.

Hope your rest is peaceful.

-H

Happy Birthday, Dead!

Posted in black metal, black metal history, dead, mayhem, true norwegian black metal, videos with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Happy (would be, and slightly belated by about an hour and a half) 45th to Pelle Ohlin, one of black metal’s godfathers. In honor of this day, I’m linking to the following video, which you will probably recognize as the famous Mayhem rehearsal footage video, in glorious HD! This magically appeared on the internet, as far as I know, in the last couple of days. It is lovely.

LOOK AT THAT SMILE. LOOK AT IT. His smile makes me smile.

Happy Birthday, Dead. You had a lovely smile. May you rest in peace always.

-Hagalaz

2013: A Black Metal Year in Review

Posted in black metal, black metal history, concerts, DSBM, festivals, france, funeral mist, mayhem, memorial, musings, norway, sweden, true norwegian black metal, underground, united states with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

2013 was a year full of ups and downs for me, personally; this blog actually seems to be getting some attention, and I am getting to use it to help get the word out on some of my friends’ projects, which is cool. I have also been investigating the Twin Cities metal and punk scenes, which has made me lots of new friends and has ensured that I have seen a staggering amount of live music this year, particularly this summer. Burning Fist is publishing some of my reviews, which is totally amazing, and I still have other reviews on the table for other people, not to mention the ones I have yet to finish for this (Inquisition?). I have also finally melted down in pretty much the most awful anxiety-ridden puddle of despair that I’ve been in, which is impressive, considering the past couple of years, and I’m finally starting to claw my way out of that. That, mixed with taking on entirely too much this past semester because I might be an idiot, has ensured that I am way behind on updating, and that I have neglected this blog far more than I would have liked in the past year. But no more. I’m going to fix that. Next semester shall be less crazy, and I still have a pile of new albums I’d like to blather about.

Anyway, things have also been broiling in the black metal world lately. Between more run ins with the law, attention being paid to great underground bands, and the past rearing it’s head, a lot has happened in 2013. So without further ado, enough about me. Let’s talk about…

20 Year Album Anniversaries

This year contained the anniversary years of a lot of amazing albums. Some of the heaviest hitters, of course, being Immortal’s Pure Holocaust and Darkthrone’s A Blaze In the Northern Sky (the latter has been spinning in my car lately, it being Minnesota and winter and all). Next year, of course, will see the 20th anniversary of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. May have to get myself a vinyl of that to celebrate (and by may, I mean, will, of course).

Obscure, Fantastic Black Metal is Seeping Into the States

Maryland Deathfest has just been an absolute hotbed for great black metal lately, and obscure stuff, too. This past year saw Aosoth and Antaeus playing sets on the same day (poor guys must have been exhausted. I was exhausted, and I was just watching them), along with fellow countrymen Glorior Belli and the incredible Ascension, whom I had never before heard of and stand very much corrected. Upcoming in 2014, MDF has plans to host Mgla, Enthroned, and Taake, just to name a few. Hopefully Hoest can stay out of trouble for long enough to play a set in Baltimore, and hopefully he will have pants (dear god, let him have pants. I’ve already seen more of that guy than I want to).

Black Metal Pop Culture Is At Its Height

Black metal is gaining popularity outside the underground, for better or worse (hipsters are the new core kids, I ‘spose). However, this is not always a bad thing. Vegan Black Metal Chef, for instance, is working on a cookbook, and metal cookbooks are the best. Likewise, we got a multi-part web documentary on one man black metal projects that was quite illuminating. While the fascination of those whom Nathan Explosion would refer to as “regular jackoffs” has resulted in such happenings as the short film on black metal that aired early this year that I ultimately decided I couldn’t be okay with, this interest in black metal has also resulted in such awesomeness as the brand spanking new book, Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult. My copy just arrived in my hot little hands today, and my, if it doesn’t seem like a treasure trove. Have already heard great reviews from a trusted source on the Mayhem bits, and anyone who actually sees fit to provide Funeral Mist with their deserved place in the canon has my full attention. Looking forward to devouring this thing in the time left before school starts. And speaking of Funeral Mist…

Funeral Mist is Alive

It lives! Arioch has seen fit to bless his followers with a box set that is pretty much of epic proportions. I am going to do an actual in depth review of the thing soon, but for the time being, suffice it to say that it is an extremely nice edition, and the sound is much improved, at least from the CDs that I have. Trisagion is a beautiful thing, not least of all because it is proof that Funeral Mist is still alive and kicking, at least for a while longer.

Varg Gets, Predictably, and Actually Seemingly Unfairly, Arrested. Again.

Back in July of this year, infamous murdering racist creepy DnD-picture-staging weirdo Varg Vikernes was arrested, again, along with his wife. Vikernes was stockpiling guns, apparently, and was, predictably, taken into custody because when you’re a famous, high profile criminal, and you’re stockpiling weapons, that’s what happens. From the reports that I’ve read, however, it seems to me that Vargy Varg is actually innocent of doing anything wrong this time. Nevertheless, Varg now has one more arrest on his record. Wonder what the French black metal guys think of him?

Varg Quits Black Metal. Again.

Apparently everyone’s favorite church arsonist is also throwing in the towel in terms of composing black metal, again. As anyone who’s followed Burzum for longer than twenty minutes can tell you, this is not an uncommon occurrence. He’ll probably be back. But just in case he’s not, Varg’s played himself out with this little ditty, which is, once again, quite lovely.

The Lid Finally Blows Off on Blake Judd’s Shenanigans

Blake Judd, notorious frontman of Nachtmystium, found himself having a very bad year indeed despite an apparently successful comeback last year that I actually blogged about. Silencing Machine made it onto my list of best albums for 2012, utilizing an original approach that blended black metal and industrial music, Mr. Judd got married, and everyone was so happy to hear that he was finally recovering from his legendary drug addiction. This year, Nachtmystium has been put on indefinite hiatus, rumors are circulating that Judd stole the name and project behind Hate Meditation (whose new release, Scars, is not bad at all), apparently his wife divorced him, and last I heard, he was behind bars in Cook County jail for ripping off countless people who never got the merch and stuff that he’d promised them, having tied up all of their money in… something. Projects. Drugs. Who knows. I don’t. All I know is that I met the guy last year, and he was really cheerful and nice to me and J, and I am sad to hear about all this, because it always sucks to find that people are not as nice as you thought they were.

Kim Carlsson Dyes Hypothermia Shirts With His Own Blood

Yeah. So that happened early in the year. Fascinating stuff; I decided, however, that Kim and I are just not close enough yet for me to feel comfortable owning a shirt that’s been mixed in his blood. And by that I mean that I don’t know him at all. They are one of a kind anyway. (And there aren’t any more available. Kim has, obviously, a limited amount of materials to work with).

Watain Writes A Ballad

And it’s pretty damned good, I think.

Rest in Peace, Euronymous

I didn’t do a special post in his honor like I do normally, probably because August 10th was about the epicenter of my depressive meltdown that had been oncoming for about a year and a half. Nevertheless, we should always strive to remember our fallen brothers. Hail, Euronymous. Rest in peace.

***

And yes, actually, I’m listening through the new Horna right now, trying to scramble to hear as much new black metal as I can to draft your best of list. (Why does this track sound like Watain?)

-Hagalaz

R.I.C., Jon Nödtveidt

Posted in black metal, black metal history, memorial, sweden with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

June 28, 1975- August 13, 2006

Reign in Chaos, brother.

Picture from Encyclopedia Metallum.