Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Protection from the plague of the masses

If everything is on schedule, today sees the release of the Katharsis/Antaeus split EP. Hopefully it will keep the black metal poser kiddies away, as the new Funeral Mist did (more on this in the near future, as Maranatha's listening is a growing and maturing process).

To see Norma Evangelium Diaboli work in full force is encouranging for the quality of dark and malevolent music that is to come.


Saturday, 21 February 2009

About Black Metal (back to orthodoxy)

There have been many attempts to define what the essence of black metal is and the definitions that came out of it, were probably as many as the persons participating in such debates.

It is obvious though that black metal is not a genre that can be classified according just to the sound or the way the instruments are played. The lyrical content is the most important factor here. Equally important is the whole atmosphere the music evokes. The image (when there is one) plays a great role in this atmosphere. One could never accept a band wearing baseball caps or budgie pants for instance, claiming to play black metal, regardless their musical abilities or the way the music sounds.I would also go as far as to claim that the image could be almost worthless when talking about a genre that is not "live concert friendly", as black metal is. There are plenty of one man bands or regular bands that choose not to perform live, that the point of taking pictures and releasing them seems to be in vain. I think it would be interesting to mention the example of Deathspell Omega, that have created an image of their own based just on the abcense of an actuall "image".
Would it be "heretical" to claim that the least important factor that defines black metal is the actual "sound"? Such was the situation in mid 80's when genre progenitors like Mercyfull Fate, Bathory, Venom, Celtic Frost, Mayhem or Sarcofago had little in common regarding their sound yet noone thought to distiguish them in the core of their music.

Euronymous used to say that the bands he liked were the ones capable to send chills down his spine upon listening to their music. His wider view on black metal reflects also on Mayhem's music and to his "policy" regarding the bands he sponsored and those he aimed to sign on his record label. Thus he never hid his admiration for the darkness of the southern american bands, released the debut album from Japan's Sigh and also aimed to sign Greece's Rotting Christ or Italy's Monumentum.

It is of course no coincidence that the scene Euronymous created, lost it's orientation and focus after his murder. Inferior successors narrowed the horizons of the whole genre both geographically and musically. The latter would be the unavoidable conclusion of the former, but narrow minded (or no minded) people brought both consequences at once. "De Mysteriis dom Sathanas" acted as the cornerstone for the norwegian black metal foundation but the creation that came out of it would put Euronymous to shame. "De Mysteriis..." is probably the best black metal record of all time and it's misuse by the "true" norwegian black metal clique was a pity. This record alone should be enough to kick start a worldwide tsunami of truly dark and satanic music, yet the norwegians managed to limit its potential to a tiny wave in a (norwegian) lake.

The genre lost the point moving the lyrical content from satanic-theological-spiritual issues to an infertile heathenism, pointless viking worship and regional folklore. Of course the criminal acts that took place offered the utmost assistance in order to draw the people's attention to Norway. They also offered the opportunity to infinite bandwagon jumpers that lacked the talent, potential or true spiritual devotion, to tag themselves as "true", usurp the bm name and create a hype that only led black metal to stagnation. As time is the ultimate judge, the "true norwegian black metal" tag sounds comical today, as the bands that once used it have nothing to do with bm today and tend to denounce their past.

It took almost a decade and the strengthening of the orthodox black metal movement, to put the genre back on track in all aspects (stylistically, spiritually, musically and lyrically). I believe that as long as the same mistakes won't happen again Euronymous' legacy would be much safer this time.



Post mortem reference to an Australian band whose work came to my knowledge when they didn't exist anymore.

Atomizer was a thrash/black metal band that was active from 1998 untill 2008, recorded 3 LP's and several EP's. Personaly, although I was aware of their existence, I didn't show any interest to them because of my general dislike to the thrash/black metal idiom. It was only a couple of weeks ago that their swansong Caustic Music For The Spiritually Bankrupt came into my attention and left me stunned.

My first notice on the record would be that the thrash/black metal tag is very restrictive to their music and doesn't do them justice. Thrash metal is the base on which Atomizer build their sonicscsapes but the ingridients they use vary and are cleverly blent together to create a dark, thoughtful and esoteric result that is trully amazing. The weirdness of mid era Voivod, the darkness of early 80's new wave-post punk-gothic rock and an aura of Into the Pandemonium lead to an amazing result and form one of the best records I've listened for the last couple of years. I can't recomend this album enough.

It is always sad when worthy artists end their career, when on their creative peack and with such a promising work of art, but at least they choose to close the chapter with a really fitting and glorious epitaph. For me this a chance to dive into their previous works.

Glory to thee, mighty Atomizer.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


Fighting against weary thoughts...again
Sleeples, futile night...again
Longing for the abyss has it's price to pay

O liberating light...for once I welcome you

Friday, 13 February 2009

Our Lord has Come

New Funeral Mist album coming at 23rd February. Nothing else matters untill then.

Quote from Norma Evangelium Diaboli:

Funeral Mist manifests rarely but when it does, then it is in exceptional glory. While the taint of the pandemonium that was "Salvation" is to never disappear, for it undeniably set new standards within Black Metal and beyond in terms of musical violence, chaos and the channelling of ominous spiritual energies, "Maranatha" materializes like the unadulterated omen of the end of times, like a glowing pitch black pit to whose appeal to jump within nothing can resist. The violence and the musically bizarre are still there, displayed with a rare mastery but a thorough work on atmospheres and structures and the addition of complex layers of ill sounds make this new album by Funeral Mist a renewed challenging experience, as perilous for your mind's sanity as it is for your soul's deliverance. Unique, unmistakable for anything else, Funeral Mist stands with splendour as the epitome of extremism. It is only way beyond one's limits that an encounter with the dimension summoned by "Maranatha" is made possible, an encounter as perilous as this work is cruel.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Contradictory Light

It is a sunny day today, yet I found a fitting "music" backdrop in Aghast's Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis. It seemed strange at first but as I continued listening, the whole thing started to make sence to me. A sunny day during the winter offers a contrast by itself. The utterly dark, haunting and ritualistic chanting of Aghast just completes the picture.

After all the light of the sun is as blinding as Der Finsternis.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The burning moon

Although it is the ending of winter (and this one has proven to be a pretty snowy one) the fullmoon in Hellas is still burning like the flames of inferno. The norsemen seem to have persuaded everyone that hell is kind of a fridge, briging their climate condition to the forefront of the lyrical content of black metal (the weather forecast black metal). To my eyes black metal has allways been a nexus to enter the abyss. The themes about the frost and snow didn't help the cause, although there has been serious posting (mainly on the fabulous surreal documents blog) in order to analyze the thematology of the norwegian bands. My opinion is that it was too much depth given to an issue that does not deserve it. I seriously doubt that any of those bands had anything in mind other than the easy solution of writing about their physical surroundings adding a flavour of nationalistic suppremacy (just because it's cold up there?). Don't get me wrong, I love scadinavian black metal but I would pick the roaring flames of hell to paint the canvas of black metal, anytime. Ultimately we are fire and they are ice and probably there is no winner between those two.

I was lucky enough to witness a spectacular fullmoon last night that really haunted me. I found a wonderfull company to Colombia's Reencarnacion's 888 Metal. It is a 1988 record, typical of south american black/thrash of this period. Burning, sick music that sounds like echoing from the tomb. Pitty that the spirit of those bands seems to be missing from today's black metal. This reminds me to dig through my old tapes to find my favorite Genicidio's EP from 1987.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Complete and utter spiritual death

When everyday routine threatens to destroy creativity and imagination.
When every petty aspect of life that the flock considers as obligation (because they cannot face their miserable life and their incompetence to change it), threatens to consume every fertile and meaningful part of life.
Hail to all those who follow their own path. Hail to those possessed by the spirit of the wolf. May fate brings our paths to cross.