Friday, 24 September 2010


Never judge a book from its cover. Bullshit. I for one cannot stand a book with a cover that is misleading or not fitting to the content. Of course the importance of the general 'artwork' is next to non existent when talking about books. But what about records? It's often that bad artwork makes me avoid listening to a record especially when talking about black metal. I have debated before about the importance of the image in black metal. It is the image combined with the artwork and the music that create the whole atmosphere that is an integral part of this music. In that context it is often that a cover can draw me to a record without having any idea of its music's value. The artwork can be enough for me to give a chance to a bad and then decide how good it is. Disappointments are not rare in such cases but that doesn't mean that the visual aesthetics of an album are not essential and at least a first indication about about a band's seriousness and philosophy. 

There are also plenty of cases that bad artwork appalls me from certain releases or from the whole of a bands' work. I can't think of a better example than Maniac Butcher, a band that the underground deems as 'legendary' but whose record covers and their image could make clowns like Immortal look as serious as college professors. Until recently I hadn't heard not a single song of the band. How could one listen to a band that shows such a band taste (or a complete lack of it) by choosing to cover its work with 'art'work like this? Is it possible that good music could hide behind such hideous visual presentation? Furthermore there is also that legendary status given to the band. Usually the underground appoints such titles with great ease. Bands that exist for many years are automatically 'legends'. Whether this is the superficiality that characterizes the people or just bad use of language, I don't know. A band is legendary when it has to show exquisite work during its years of existence. A band that counts many years of life and nothing more, could be described as stubborn or persistent or plainly annoying in cases of completely worthless bands.

Stubborn could a description fitting to Maniac Butcher. After almost twenty years they managed to make a cover artwork that is half a step above their previous excrement, though it is still badly painted (if at all) and childish. This is their first record I listen to and it is pretty decent black metal but nothing above average. This is a universe away from being the work of a legendary band. Especially when one listens to the new Weapon that is expected soon - and will be possibly the second best black metal record of the year, after Deathspell Omega - the Maniac Butcher LP can become unbearably indifferent.   

On a (not so) different matter...What the fuck is wrong with all those so called modern thrash metal bands that are promoted by the mainstream press like Terrorizer and such magazines. Who told them that thrash metal was just about beers, supposedly funny poses and stupid grimaces? Suddenly the world of metal is full of Tankard lookalikes competing about the most stupid pose smiling or laughing like demented imbeciles.
To think that my generation grew up listening to thrash metal and thinking that thrash was Slayer, Exodus, Destruction, Sodom, Razor, Sacrifice, Assassin or Protector and 25 years later seeing this music being degenerated to harmless and mindless fun is a pity. But who are we to judge? Terrorizer knows best. Thrash metal is endless fun just as gothic is the garbage served in this lame insert called Dominion.

Fuck you.

Real butchers...
Procession - The Cult of Disease
Integrity - The Blackest Curse
Dead Congregation - Graves Of The Archangels 
Neil Young - Le Noise
Unholy Lust - Taste The Sin Through The Fire