We apologize in advance for the following post. It’s the latest bizarro episode in the long-running soap opera that Gorgoroth has become. We can’t think of why it would have any redeeming value for you. But the story is just so fucking ridiculous that we couldn’t resist.
The immediate controversy concerns the release by Swedish label Regain Records of a live performance by black-metal legends Gorgoroth and a resulting lawsuit brought against Regain by former Gorgoroth members Gaahl and King ov Hell. Over the last week, Gaahl and King, on the one hand, and Regain, on the other, have engaged in a MySpace exchange over the resolution of that legal case — and someone is either lying or deeply confused.
Just in case you might not find this as funny as we do, we’ll give you the Cliff Notes version of the exchange first — but to appreciate the full, whacked-out hilarity you would need to read the details supplied after the jump. Cliff Notes version:
Gaahl/King opening salvo: Fuck you Regain Records!
Rejoinder by Regain: No, fuck you, you corpse-painted morons!
Reply by Gaahl/King: I beg to differ — fuck you, you pencil-necked bean-counters!
Now, the details . . . (after the jump)
Last December we wrote a post called Black Metal Navel-Gazing, which was some generally disrespectful commentary about a six-hour symposium on black metal held earlier that month at a bar and nigthtclub in Brooklyn. The symposium, called “Hideous Gnosis,” was attended by an odd combination of academics (including two who traveled from England for the event), music critics, and at least one actual black metal musician, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, the frontman and guitarist from Liturgy.
In response to our sarcastic rant, we got some thoughtful, temperate comments (and some info from the symposium organizers), which prompted us to generate some somewhat less sarcastic follow-up posts here and here.
Having had some fun at the expense of “Hideous Gnosis,” it’s only fair that we do ‘em a solid by informing you that the symposium’s contents and related documents (including photos) have now been published in hard-copy form. For details and info about how to buy the book, go here.
But don’t expect to see a book review here at NCS. Our brains are too small to understand this stuff. We’re more suited to listening to black metal than reading about its theoretical underpinnings and implications. In fact, we think we’ll listen to Valkyrja right now. Join in if the spirit moves you:
On December 15, the New York Times ran a story about an academic symposium held in Brooklyn called “Hideous Gnosis,” which explored intellectual aspects of black metal. We posted some generally disrespectful commentary about the event, and got some thought-provoking reactions. We posted a follow-up piece earlier this week about one of the papers delivered at “Hideous Gnosis,” which analyzed whether it’s even possible for someone who buys into a black-metal worldview to talk about black metal. Today we’re continuing the discussion – but this time with a surprise contributor.
NCS welcomes, as our first guest writer, our favorite metal blogger from New Zealand — Steff from STEFF METAL. We’ve already written about her blog, which you owe it to yourself to check out, and she kindly accepted our invitation to add her wit and wisdom to NCS (because we could definitely use more of both). And unlike your NCS Authors, Steff is a black metal maven.
To set the stage, we got this comment on our original rant about “Hideous Gnosis” from a writer named Shinjuku Thief:
“I would disagree with your assertion that metal, particularly black metal, is about expressing emotion. What characterises a lot of BM, for me, is the absence of emotion . . . . I think although you scoff at anything remotely ‘intellectual’ you’re espousing a theory of your own . . . . That is the contradiction of metal, it claims to be primal, atavistic, earthy, of the body, but in reality it is so controlled, has so many codes, rules and boundaries that the fans in a supposedly unthinking manner enforce at every level. . . . [I]ts not spontaneous or relying on our innermost urges, its a well honed aesthetic and conscious action that is very much thought about.”
So, with that intro, here are Steff’s thoughts (after the jump):
Back on December 15, the New York Times ran a story about an academic symposium held in Brooklyn called “Hideous Gnosis,” which explored intellectual aspects of black metal. We posted some commentary about the event that basically made fun of the whole thing. We threw around words and phrases such as “pointy headed academics,” “fucking pretentious,” and “blather.” I think we also implied that all the participants were douchebags.
Hey, it was easy to do. Sort of like clubbing baby harp seals, except without the back-splatter. And what did you expect? We’re an extreme metal site, which by definition means we pretty much disrespect everyone except the bands who work their asses off making the music we live by, and a few metalhead writers who do what we’re trying to do, except do it a lot better. And we never feel guilty about it.
Well, almost never.
We got a couple of comments on our bushwhackery that have at least given us pause — one from the “Hideous Gnosis” symposium group itself and one from Shinjuku Thief. We’ll talk about the first one today and the second one soon after. And for musical accompaniment, we’ll stream some new black metal that will core out your skull. Read on after the jump.
I don’t read The New York Times regularly. I’ll make a wild guess: I bet most visitors to this site don’t read it either. If you do, you need to rearrange your priorities. There are only so many hours in the day, and you’d be happier if you spent more time here at NO CLEAN SINGING, or any of the linked sites over to the right, and less on The New York Times. But though I don’t read that paper regularly, I’ve got friends who do, and three of them e-mailed me about an article that appeared there today entitled “Thank You Professor, That Was Putrid.”
The word that first came to mind after I read it was “bizarre.” The second word was “fucking pretentious.” The article describes a six-hour symposium on black metal held last Saturday afternoon at Public Assembly, a bar and nigthtclub in Brooklyn. The symposium, called “Hideous Gnosis,” was attended by an odd combination of pointy-headed academics (including two who traveled from England for the event), music critics, and at least one actual black metal musician, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, the frontman and guitarist from Liturgy. (That can’t possibly be his real name, can it? Gotta be a black metal stage-name.)
The academics presented papers with such mouth-watering titles as “The Counter-Reformation in Stone and Metal: Spiritual Substances,” “Anti-Cosmosis: Black Mahapralaya,” and “Perpetual Rot: Obsessive Cycles of Deterioration.” I can sum up my reaction like this: “Reading About Hideous Gnosis: Regurgitating in My Lap.”