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It’s Almost the 50th Anniversary of Beatlemania: Metalheads, Be Wary of Posers! by orlandooom407

When I was purchasing my tickets for the upcoming Kvelertak concert on the respective online box office for the tour, I found myself slightly amused to discover that, along with Converge, the Norwegian howlers had been labeled simply “hard rock/metal”, defining them in the effective subgenre shared by both Nickelback and Nirvana. But the brief thought also conjured up another name, on the occasion of its first single’s golden jubilee this month, from which a band being in that category places it only just two degrees of separation away. There is rather a significant overlap between consumers of “hard rock/metal” and fans of the Fab Four, and even those who find the Beatles too mawkish, meager, or otherwise lightweight – for a palette, anyway, that has currently expanded to include the exalted flavors of deathgrind, blackened troll metal, and powerviolence, which is apparently a type of music, now – must concede at least a primordial debt owed to them. We have, in any event, been entreated to the idea whether asked for or not.

The more mediocre commentators have always invariably pointed to “Helter Skelter” as the grandfather of metal (“I’ve got blisters on my fingers!”) but an imaginative sort can usually cite less obvious tracks, like the handful I recently saw nominated for this distinction by the author of a Top-100 list in Rolling Stone. “Ticket to Ride” seemed to be the most unexpected choice, and after a repeated listen, one may start to imagine something not completely dissimilar to Black Sabbath. The songs “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide But Me and My Monkey”, “Birthday”, and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” have also popped up in similar compendia, purporting to discover that missing link.

This is serious musical genealogy, but it’s being offered to you by fabulists. The familiar framework of the Beatles catalogue is precisely why “Helter Skelter” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” are as jarring as they are. The metal connection is piecemeal and elemental, owing to the fair-mindedness of John and Paul in inventing or popularizing the use of fuzz effects and rollicking solos. I would like to now suggest the possibility that the indiscernable bridge is a consequence of something approaching impotency. After all, Slayer’s encomium to Holocaust terror has been available for the entertainment of would-be mass killers for three decades, but the White Album inspired racist violence almost immediately. The kind of metal being said to have its roots in Beatlemania has had comparably little success in putting actions to its words at all.  The Beatles attracted more international scorn for claiming to be bigger than Jesus than did the early scene arsonists when they upped that ante at the stave churches in Skjold and Fantoft. But structurally, semantically, and aurally, the case simply cannot be made.

(Not unrelated but somehow more excruciating are those same critics who are still insisting that “Black Metal” should be credited with inspiring the music that bears its name just because Varg Vikernes got caught wearing a Venom tee shirt on his way to prison. Has anyone who makes this claim actually listened to the eponymous album? It is no more likely to have spawned Darkthrone and Gorgoroth than Iron Maiden. Remember, black metal was not even called that until death metal became too trendy a wagon to hitch on to, and now we are asked to believe that a band as bovine and effete as one that would write “possessed by the soul of the gods’ rock-and-roll” in its most famous song inspired our most benighted exemplar of nihilism in music?)

But I have made no secret of my partisan leanings and have had to catch myself in loosely insisting that a black metal element necessarily improves a track. And if we can believe that the Beatles at least inspired the music that inspired the punk that inspired the thrash that inspired the black metal, then let us be clear about what that means. The road from Lennon to, at least, Schuldiner is built on the latter’s unique attentiveness to riffage and picking, and paved with magnitudinal shifts in chord structure and percussion, but black metal managed to evolve divergently and in spite of the trends of either artist. The Beatles, for all their innovations and achievements, remain a manufactured product of capitalist industry, while black metal that is not an expression of working class angst can scarcely be graded pure at all. Your humble servant hastens to inform you that even a musician as prolific and illustrious as Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg was compelled to take a night watchmen’s job just to make rent. The latter-day Beatles came to be defined in opposition to the promiscuous conceit of the Johnson doctrine in Vietnam and within the overall movement toward civil rights and equality, but black metal has only recently developed a stomach for social consciousness that isn’t retrograde and nationalist.

And yet … “Let It Be”, for all its cloying sentiment, really does appear to contain a downtempo precursor to the Discharge-beat. And there is that riff, just buzzing enough, in the chorus of “Come Together” that one can imagine extended, through eight or sixteen more bars, and ruminatively re-expressed over a blast beat and a ghoulish shriek, that, maybe, streamed through a tinny amp and recorded in a basement, hints at the possibilities of black metal. But don’t expect any peace and love in the forests of poverty and decay.

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– Zack Sigel



Behexen – Nightside Emanations by orlandooom407
October 16, 2012, 7:43 pm
Filed under: Black Metal | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I was dead set on making it to Maryland Deathfest this year for my virgin extreme metal festival experience. I’m glad I did because I had the pleasure of zoning out to Horna and their tortured sentiments they’d sought to share. This infatuation led me to explore deeper into the raw black metal underground (of this week’s new releases). I discovered  this beautiful midnight polished gem, and regretfully have to accept a late pass since it’s technically been out for two weeks in everywhere but North America. Behexen and Horna share a common member in guitarist Shatraug, and his filthy forlorn guitar rings to a similar tinge. For a band with over ten physical releases spanning more than a decade Nightside Emanations does not stray from the scalding satanic chafes of traditional rugged black metal. Scourges of melancholy wash each track yielding a wretched tone sure to elevate the hairs upon the ears. Solid veteran effort to say the least, and you can enjoy it for free thanks to Spotify:

– Jared Oates Haggard



METH DRINKER LP & BOTTOM FEEDER 7″ REPRESS by orlandooom407

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Happy Monday one and all. Got two new releases that are sure to slow you down to a cool simmer this afternoon. Meth Drinker and Bottom Feeder of Raw Birth Records have two upcoming releases planned for November 1st. If you’re hankerin’ for a couple more sludge metal nuggets for the day, stop here because there’s no need to blog surf further. Each band has been kind enough to share a preview track from each release which I’ve linked below:

After you’re done cleaning the sludge juice from your ears you can click below to pre-order either release:

– Jared Oates Haggard



Swamp Abyss Sorcery Fest – Saturday 10/13 @ BACKBOOTH by orlandooom407

Salutations readers. Our inactivity ends today. I went over to the fuse box this morning, flipped the switch and proceeded to breath in the gaseous dusty internet tumbling through the air. Not only has the blog been resuscitated, but we plan to begin hosting shows in Central Florida once again starting in December. I think all ya’ll will find yourselves presently surprised at the lineup for our comeback show.

But, before we get ahead of ourselves here’s a much more immediate means to satisfy the heavy appetite. This year, and month in particular, have been rife with new releases from the likes of big leaguers like Converge, Trash Talk and even those sci-fi dorks Between the Buried and Me. I’ve had the pleasure of attending three delicious festivals myself: Maryland Deathfest X, 305 Fest and Scion Rock Fest 2012. If you buy all this apocalypse garbage I’d say this year would qualify as a grand finale for any heavy enthusiast. Now, Orlando, yet again, gets to throw in to this gargantuan pile thanks to Ninety Proof Productions. Hopefully this next image jogs some memories:

If you haven’t snagged this yet, do your ears the favor. This compilation offers tracks from the best in Floridian extreme metal bar none. While the upcoming fest doesn’t feature every single band included there’s inarguable representation. Fast, slow, you name it you’ll hear it. Orlando’s representation includes the blackened humidity of Fire In The Cave, the tombstone ridden deathdoom hypnosis of Druid Lord and the apocalyptic doom country anthems of Hollow Leg. The Miami hat trick of Shroud Eater, Holly Hunt, and Orbweaver stand to stake their claim as our unconditionally loved cousins of the glades. Don’t forget St. Petersburg and Gainesville either, represented by the drunken metal punks flyingsnakes and midnight (pun intended) riders Hot Graves. Click the flier above for more details and some gut busting comments.

Now, one last order of business. We are actively accepting sample submissions for writers who want to contribute. If that sounds like you please contact Orlandooom407@gmail.com for more details.

Don’t forget you can always keep up with us on FACESPACE and TWATTER (@Orlandooom).

See ya’ll Saturday.

– Jared Oates Haggard