Things We Lost in the Fire by orlandooom407

Few fascist administrations have proceeded without direct participation of the reigning religious authority. In Mein Kampf, one can find the sentiment, quite early into it, that “In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord”, and a phrase of related significance was emblazoned on the belt buckles of Hitler’s Wehrmacht: Gott mit uns, or, “God with us.” In return for the Fuhrer’s loyalty, the “Venerable” Pius XII managed to do as little as he could to help the wretched conditions and the systematic regime of murder taking place under his very holy jurisdiction. Even after the war, he still could not mention the killers by name, reciting a now-famous speech over the course of forty-five sanctimonious minutes exhorting “mankind” to protect the “hundreds of thousands” (oh, Pius!) from race-murder and oppression. His conduct during the Final Solution and his useless condemnation after the fact earn the pope rightful scorn at the Holocaust museum in Israel’s Yad Vashem, a slight that the current pope, himself a former member of the Nazi Youth, succeeded in protesting early last year, certainly earning his rodentine birth name Ratzinger.

In Simon Sebag-Montefiore’s redoubtable chronicle of poet and firebrand Joseph Djugashvili’s growth into the first Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Young Stalin, the fledgling revolutionary renounces religion as early as he is able to tell the difference. He later succeeds in leading at first groups of other young men on minor waves of terror, ripping off banks in Tbilisi and committing acts of arson, but is finally able to consolidate his influence through a surgical itinerary of internecine purges. These were usually overseen or carried out by a psychotic henchman nicknamed Kamo, with the clear intention of galvanizing the lazy proletariat into participating in a revolution allegedly unfolding on their behalf. This incidentally sounds like the retrospective mandate for the classic black metal scene, with an emphasis on tearing down much the same forces (greedy corporations, corrupt religious institutions) and through much the same means. This is how the tired hashing out of the Euronymous/Grishnackh feud assumes a new element of absurdity, as what has been traditionally understood as an ideological clash – with Aarseth supposedly on the far left and Vikernes very clearly and unapologetically on the right – has more in common with the early Marxists than with their religious contemporaries in Italy, Japan, and the Third Reich.

Vikernes has often admitted to being a religious man. It is only that his faith is largely unrecognizable to a majority of people and the caveat is that his gods have been recently played for camp on screen by the actors Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. In the documentary “Until the Light Takes Us”, he cutely posits that “everybody can relate” to the pagan gods; his writings on burzum.com intuit that the church fires he all but admitted to lighting were done to draw the line at the encroaching influence of Christianity. This is key to Stalinism, not Hitlerism, but Vikernes has embraced the latter (see his execrable anti-Jewish rant shortly after the terrorist attack of Anders Breivik in Oslo) even as he offensively pretends against his own neo-Naziism. Had Euronymous prevailed in 1993, the cult of personality would have centered around him, the busiest member of the “circle”, and it is not impossible to imagine black metal shifting leftward for the remainder of its golden years.

The few stated leftists in black metal have taken for their genre the mouthy “red and anarchist black metal”, a reworking of the official name of an anti-racist, anti-fascist skinhead group from New York. (The illustrious Aaron Weaver of Wolves in the Throne Room [no word on Nathan] definitely voted for Obama, and I don’t also doubt that the guys from Deafheaven or Liturgy did as well, but the kind of left-wing black metal I have in mind is more actionable.) RABM does not like to think of itself as a reaction to NSBM any more than Vikernes likes to think of himself as BM at all, but it cannot be easy to dent the triumphant paradigm of nationalism in black metal when every genre release sounds like the first take on a rejected demo. The most well-known RABM band is Jarost Marksa (“Fury of Marx”), and their EP is unlistenable and largely derivative of the usual long-form tropes. The void left by Euronymous and awkwardly filled by the square peg of Vikernes-esque conservatism has, if I may be allowed to breathe new life in that old cliche, produced music first as tragedy, then as farce. For those on the left inclined to the chilly strains of a tremolo pick, the stunted growth of socialist black metal is an unforgiveable loss.

It is a long-documented phenomenon that the most conservative states – those most opposed to institutional assistance – are ironically those most reliant on government intervention for their health and livelihood. And to ignite a church in service to another is not to tear down an institution, but to re-entrench oneself in it anew. RABM, if it ever gets off the ground, may be the last best opportunity for counterposing itself against the victorious trend. There was a familiar if faintly heard promise in the anti-church dictums of the original black metal scene, last perceived spoken into the yearning ears of Stalin’s and Mao’s proletariat – right before they were sent to the gulag. It is the same promise squandered in the vicious murders of Magne Andreassen and Sandro Beyer (the latter by a confessed neo-Nazi band). It would be nice to see that promise fulfilled in the reddened blush of a new age of black metal.

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– Zack Sigel


Code Orange Kids – Love is Love // Return to Dust by orlandooom407

If you’ve been paying attention to my Last.fm page, which I hope you haven’t, you’ll notice this record has become part of my permanent musical furniture arrangement. The social media savvy Code Orange Kids are a band that does every single thing a (metallic) hardcore band should in that they keep the listener grooving without compromising the caustic power of a jarring arrangement or spontaneous drum solo to reconstruct as song that had already been blown apart by writhing words and/or dispatched by a wayward calm. What struck me as most fascinating was the kids emphasis for bizarre dichotomies separated by punctuation (like this) // or this. Some songs boast two entirely different sides as they progress, so each song in a way represents a split within itself. Two songs in each song. Regardless of how you like to organize your breakfast on the plate the kids will still cram it all down the back of your throat clutching fork, fist and all. Comparisons to Loma Prieta or Birds in Row need not be taken into account for an apt and optimal listening experience. Even if you’re one of those metal folks that ‘doesn’t do hardcore’, probably because you happened to listen to Confide before discovering Cursed, I would highly suggest clicking play below. If ‘Flowermouth (The Leech)’ doesn’t hook your head into a perpetual bang by the second riff then it just wasn’t meant to be. That said, I feel that this LP wins Album of the Year in my heart so kudos to the band and Deathwish Inc for making it all come together.

Code Orange Kids Merch Store

Also, you can catch ‘dem kidz on tour with pro-thought terrors Gaza and A389 Records’ Full of Hell on tour this winter!

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– Jared Oates Haggard

Hellbastard / Dresden – 12″ Split by orlandooom407
November 12, 2012, 6:43 pm
Filed under: Crust Punk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Hellbastard has been a heavy metal crust favorite of mine for a bit now. However, there’s nothing special about their 3 songed side. I’m not saying it’s bad by any means, just a tad bit generic. It’s as if Axegrinder was over produced in the studio and had guitar lessons. The songs are good, but it sounds too good of a quality to be “ripper crust,” at least in my opinion. Call me a crusty elitist, but you listen to it and let me know if I’m wrong. The Dresden side is where the magic happens. Sounding like an unwashed love child from Tragedy and His Hero is Gone, this side sounds raw worn and pissed. Perhaps that’s why it seems like Hellbastard lost their edge on this split. The entirety of side B, or Dresden’s side, is like a look back in the days of late 90’s/early 2000’s hardcore crust punk, the heavy and angry years. Overall this is a pretty rippin’ split. The Hellbastard side is good, and the Dresden Side is even better. If you get the chance to get your hands on one of these highly limited Vinyls, limited to only 100, I would definitely suggest snagging it while you can. It can only sound better on 12″ of blue and black vinyl.

The split drops tomorrow, and you can order it by clicking here from IL Distro.

– Handsome Jake

Catch Fire in the Cave For FREE Tonight After Earth! by orlandooom407

Don’t forget that TONIGHT you can catch Fire in the Cave for FREE with a valid wristband and/or ticket stub from the Earth show happening at Will’s Pub!

Last I heard there are still tickets available for the show at Will’s tonight featuring Earth, Stebmo, and Holly Hunt. 


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– Jared Oates Haggard

Galvano – Two Titans by orlandooom407

How fitting that I’d receive an album titled ‘Two Titans’ just days before America elects it’s new sovereign monarch president. Galvano of Gothenburg sounds exactly like it’s album title which is the sonic equivalent of two massive bipeds in all out brawl somewhere in the farthest reaches of space. Or, a more pragmatic allusion to the band’s admiration for duo farmed fervor. Their moods elicit a temporal feeling that the songs each spawn their own bottomless reality filled with uncertainty and equally maligned aggression. Fanatics will immediately notice similarities to bands like Dark Castle or Kylesa, but the key difference calling the shots is the attention balance of psychedelic patience and unbridled beat down arrangements. An assortment of moth-eaten howls accompany the cosmic thunder harnessed by two titans. I couldn’t resist. The whole whopper is available for stream below, so show your thanks to Galvano and smash that play button!

Double ‘Black Grape’ transparent LP available!

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– Jared Oates Haggard

Earth Joined By Holly Hunt For Only Florida Show In 2012 by orlandooom407

My excitement has been in the red zone since I heard Earth was playing a Florida show, and in my own town none the less. The god fathers, hallmarked and validated by Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain, have undergone a myriad of musical journeys through the catch all classification of ‘drone’. Whether you like your entrancing to be malevolent or more mystical there’s probably something in an Earth set for your ears. The show’s support includes the wacky piano enthralled jazz music of Steve Moore under the moniker Stebmo and the tectonic refrains of Miami’s loudest (drone) duo Holly Hunt. To help better explain the importance of this head hammering hat trick billing I spoke candidly to Holly Hunt earlier this afternoon. For those unaware of the pulverizing power of Holly Hunt their presence on stage is nothing short of sonic savagery akin to an eternal over exposure to CO2. Holly Hunt attributes their attention ‘riff length’ to “…a feel. Instinct.”. Gavin elaborated saying that “some deliberation occurs sometimes with some riff/tracks/compositions, mostly though it’s a gut feeling. We try and stay as present and aware as possible when writing.”

It’s no secret that Gavin and Betty are proud mega fans about Earth’s music. Gavin claims that their attractions to the band are the “…raw, mediated energy. The tone is sick, dark, entropic. The slow tempo perfectly illustrates the grind of life.” When asked them both what their favorite song was, they both simultaneously answered with ‘Ouroboros Is Broken’ (which you can jam below).

Make sure to grab your ticket now, because I hear they’re going fast and this show should be a sell out. You can purchase ticket by clicking here.

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– Jared Oates Haggard