Archive for the state of the blog Category

An open post to the internet, because I ought to do this.

Posted in 2016, musings, state of the blog, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 12, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

I had other, fun stuff planned for today, but I should get this out of the way, because I should. I will be back with the fun stuff next week, because I decided I should talk about my favorite albums that came out last year, and the stuff I’ve done (because I have done stuff), and have not recorded here because I fail.

So this is the post about why I failed.

***

I went for a long time neglecting this blog. This is not good, because I love metal and this blog is one thing that has generally never failed to make me happy over the past few years. It’s also not good because it’s not like I haven’t been doing stuff, albeit more sporadically than in the past, and I should have been blogging about Hell’s Headbash last year, or how I went to see Mgła and Mortuary Drape in Chicago in November, of the brief time in which I was fascinated by crust punks and very quickly got so burned out on that business it is not even funny (your rebellion is pointless, keep your politics away from my black metal, and take a fucking shower).

However, a lot happened to drain me and make even the things I love not as much fun anymore. Primarily, depression. Depression is romanticized a lot in music and movies, and we tend to focus on how it can help to channel artists’ creative processes. Everyone knows Nine Inch Nails was at its best when Trent Reznor hated himself. But the worst part of depression, the unromantic part that never gets elaborated upon, is the ennui, the apathy, the absolute destruction of everything that you love. Nothing is fun anymore. The things that used to make you happy turn to ash in your mouth, and it’s hard to do anything that isn’t just going back to sleep because when you’re asleep things don’t hurt and also it’s a good way to just kill off the time because you can’t bring yourself to care. About anything. Couple this with anxiety and you end up with me, sitting at home, not doing anything and making excuses to not see my friends and not leave the house. I managed to keep going to Into the Void, our little local metal shop, may it rest in peace, once a week or so, but I was emotionally withdrawn from the scene in general.

Last spring, I decided to jump ship on my PhD and go to library school. This helped immensely, and last fall I actually was declared in partial remission from my major depressive disorder and went off my anti-depressants in October. So that is good. Things were looking up in general but there were still significant changes that I needed to make to my life and… to be short, I think I started filling up all those vacuous spaces with the wrong things, which resulted in about six months of me feeling afloat, anxious, unsure of who I was and what I wanted, and with no clue about what I needed. I was not in a good place, but I was operating under the assumption that I was. (I mean, I was off the pills, so that was good, yeah?) Which, of course, kept me from fixing it.

I went through a shift recently. March was a rough month for me this year, but I was slowly starting to pull myself back together. And then I went to see Abbath in early April, and about the time they started playing “Tyrants,” something clicked in my skull. While listening to some of my favorite songs, surrounded by some of my favorite people, it occurred to me that… I think I’m going to be okay. And I knew when I got home that I was going to make some changes.

First of all, this blog was getting restarted. Because, crazily enough, in my travels over the past couple of years, I have met people who recognized my Funeral Mist back patch and who talk to me about my blog. There are people out there who read this thing on occasion who aren’t just my friends or long-suffering family members. I owe it to those people who read my stuff (fist-bump, you guys are great), as well as to myself, to keep writing. This is what I do. I write and I analyze. Also, without the record store, I have no place to blather endlessly on about black metal to people.

Next, I need to take better care of myself. I have been trying to meditate, which is not easy because I live at a busy intersection and have a helpful cat who worries about me and bites at my elbows when I sit still too long because he thinks I am dead. But already I am able to get into a deeply relaxed state pretty quickly, even after just about four weeks of halting, often-frustrated meditation. I’m also reading a bunch of esoteric stuff and absorbing it like a sponge; I’ve always been interested in occult stuff because I am a (paraprofessional, not yet certified) librarian and an INTJ and a Ravenclaw and I LIKE TO KNOW THINGS, and while I don’t know how spiritual I’ll end up getting with it, I’m inspired by the individualism implicit in LHP and it seems like a good way to lend me strength and not make me feel like so broken and beaten of a person.

Last but certainly not least, I’ve gotta start being a better cat mom, and a better friend, and get my arse out of the house and remember that I LOVE GOING TO SHOWS and LIVE MUSIC IS MY JAM (I went to a pop concert last month. I didn’t know the band at all. I still had fun. What the hey.) and MY FRIENDS, ONLINE AND IN REAL LIFE, ARE AWESOME. I should be more present so that people stop asking me where I’ve been because I haven’t seen them in several months, and I need to make an effort to get out more and meet more people (I’ve met some super cool folks in the past month that I’ve been going to shows all the time).

So I guess what I came here to say is that it’s been a rough year and half, and this blog has suffered because of it, and I’m sorry about that. It’s going to get better, I promise. It already has, I think. And I fully intend to update at least every Thursday. I’m still in school, because I’m… a glutton for punishment, I guess, and so it’s hard for me to promise more than that, but every Thursday, at least, I’ll be here. I’m going to try to post up a list of albums that came out last year that I liked a lot, as well as a brief overview of the cool stuff I’ve done that didn’t make it up here because I have been busy hating myself. Once again, music has been the thing that has lit a fire under my ass, has pulled me out of the dreadful funk I have been in, has inspired me to keep going and realize that I am stronger than all of this. Like Watain says, WE ARE WOLVES. And wolves fight back.

I feel like hanging a sign out like Granny Weatherwax’s from Discworld, the one that she puts up when she’s out of her body borrowing an animal’s mind that says “I ATEN’T DEAD.” Because I aten’t. Not yet.

-H

 

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Catch Up Post! Burning Fist Reviews, Black Metal Summer Camp, and More!

Posted in black metal summer camp 15, burning fist reviews, state of the blog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2015 by blackmetallurgy

It has been a very busy, stressful, and agonizing past several months, but things are really looking up for me as of now, and I’m finally getting to dedicate some time to things that I love that aren’t school, like this blog. Really. I need to get out more. I mean, the cat likes the new Shining, too, but it’s good for me to talk with other bipeds on occasion.

I haven’t been completely MIA, as I have done some posts over at Burning Fist! over the past few months.

First of all, I did a (MUCH overdue) review of 1349’s Massive Cauldron of Chaos, which should have been sitting pretty near the top of my best of list last year, but wasn’t because I hadn’t heard it much yet and also I’m an idiot. I just picked up a physical copy yesterday (to get it signed. That falls under the “More!” category up there. I’ll get to that), and, in the words of the immortal Toki Wartooth, Wowee! It’s a pretty thing.

I also did a review of the Inquisition re-release of Invoking the Majestic Throne of Satan. Scary goat-priests and all.

I did a review of an underground band called Askrinn, whose new album is more proof that France is where it’s at for inventive new black metal. I like just telling Jason to pick me a band I don’t know. He knows my tastes well.

I did a review of the newest King Diamond compilation Dreams of Horror. And I didn’t go see him live because I would have had to drive 7 hours one way on a school night. Did I mention that I’m an idiot?

I feel like I surely must have shared my year-end post from over at Burning Fist, which was metal in general and not just black metal (but still mostly black metal because that’s my jam). But here it is in case I didn’t.

And Black Anvil’s Hail Death.

And also, and this makes me SUPER EXCITED, I did an email interview with Steingrim of Vried/Windir/Ulcus! So here that is.

And despite all of that, it still feels like I haven’t done a lot. This past semester, I saw Mayhem/Watain/Revenge, Behemoth, Electric Wizard, and 1349. And I think that’s it. It’s been taking more and more these days to get me out of the house for anything short of black metal. I wanted to see Napalm Death, but then I had just had my wisdom teeth out and my face exploded and that was a no.

Speaking of black metal, however, A and I are participating in what we have lovingly dubbed “Black Metal Summer Camp” this year (I guess if you retroactively count Behexen/Sargeist for last year this could be the second year). We have this summer: 1349 (last Friday); Taake (6/20); Goatwhore (6/26- I don’t care if they’re not trve enough for you or whatever, they are fun live, and Ringworm and Black Breath are playing); False record release show (6/27); Kult ov Azazel (8/5); and HELL’S HEADBASH (9/3-6)! That’s right folks, Satanic Warmaster, Sacrocurse, Acid Witch, Midnight, Archgoat, Profanatica (!!!!!!!! I seriously may be more excited about Profanatica than Satanic Warmaster. Don’t tell anyone), and SO much more. Much excite.

As far as what “More!” entails, I will be posting all about the in-store that 1349 did for Into the Void Records, I am planning a passionate defense of Dissection’s Reinkaos, and I am accumulating a whole lot of trivia from reading Dayal Patterson’s books (I got the box set of the new one. More on that as well). For instance, I bet you’ve always wondered who exactly Euronymous was complaining about when he was talking about death metal guys who wear track shoes and sneakers. Well, you’ll just have to check back here to find out (alternatively, you could just go read Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult. Which you should, because it’s brilliant. So go do that. I’ll wait).

So farewell for the moment. I will be around. In the meantime, here is a picture of my cat doing his best Portal impression.

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– H