Jan 012012

I’ve been spending more time than usual over the holidays with IntoTheDarkness, one of the two other people who were with me at NCS when we started this site, but one who has found many other things to do with his life than write for NCS, despite my nagging (yeah, amazingly, he has a life). I got an earful from him yesterday. He thinks I’ve become a “metal elitist”, that I’ve fallen sway to the influence of NCS readers, and spend too much of my time listening to things like . . . black metal.

In particular, he thinks I’ve completely turned my back on music I used to like (along with him), such as deathcore. He sends me band names every now and then, and has discovered that I don’t listen to them. I try to explain that my listening time just seems to evaporate. In general, this is the big problem with life: If you really try to live it, instead of letting it live you, there’s just not enough fucking time. This excuse fell on deaf ears.

Well, I’m going to prove him wrong soon. But not at the immediate moment. I’m afraid this post may simply reinforce his conclusions. Except, I do ask myself this: can you really call a mole who burrows deeper into the metal underground an elitist? That doesn’t sound right. There should be a different word for a burrowing metal mole (other than the obvious word — filthy). And besides, what is a metal elitist anyway? I’ve never thought of myself that way. After all, I pop wood for every metal band on the planet. Someone said that about me once.

Where was I?  Oh yeah. So yesterday, a friend asked me for recommendations about metal blogs to read. Two of the many names I gave him were The Living Doorway and From the Dust Returned. These are blogs I don’t read nearly as often as I’d like (see above about not enuf fucking time). They tend to cover metal that’s even deeper underground than my burrowing has yet taken me; I don’t recognize many of the bands they write about, but the writing is so damned good that I like to read them anyway.

I read them yesterday, for example. In doing so, I made two wicked discoveries which got me so enthused that I feel compelled to share: music from Wrathprayer and Antichrist. Mind you, I knew nothing about either of these bands before yesterday. I still don’t know much — except I know I like the music I’ve heard.


Wrathprayer is from Rancagua, Chile. This may be the first Chilean metal band I’ve heard. According to Metal Archives, they have two demo’s to their credit, from 2009 and 2010. JGD at The Living Doorway reviewed the 2009 demo. Here’s a few choice words:  “Sounds like they were born and raised in the basement of a heavy metal bar, or at least, you know, used it as a recording studio for this demo. Ominously lo-fi and dripping with disease . . .”

And then there was yesterday. It appears Wrathprayer is about to deliver an album, called The Son of Moloch, on the eminent Nuclear War Now label. Actually, that’s the short title. The full title is this:

The Son of Moloch: The Sublimation of Sulphur’s Essence Which Spawns Death and Life

I pondered briefly about what the essence of sulphur might be, knowing only that the sublimation of it spawns death and life. But I didn’t ponder too long, because Nuclear War Now has unleashed a song from the album on their Bandcamp page, which The Living Doorway featured, with these words: “We are fucking amped on this.” Having heard the song, I am fucking amped on this, too. Burrow down into the filth, with full ampage running through your primitive brainstems:


Antichrist is from Växjö, Sweden. As in the case of Wrathprayer, they’re a young band, with a debut album released in September on High Roller Records called Forbidden World. The master of From the Dust Returned, autothrall, wrote that listening to the album was “some of the most fun I’ve had all year” in the genre of blackened thrash. His verdict on the album was “Epic Win” with a rating of 9.75/10. Here’s an excerpt from the review:

Imagine if you might pick around in the time stream of the 80s and draw forth the very best elements of Destruction’s Sentence of Death, Kreator’s Pleasure to Kill, Slayer’s Hell Awaits, Bathory’s first few albums, vintage Possessed and Venom’s Welcome to Hell and then breed them together for several generations in some dank, forgotten kennel in a corner of Hell. About a century hence, or rather 20 years give or take, the offspring of their offspring finally emerge from some crack into the mortal purgatory and unleash the devil’s music upon the unsuspecting. Forbidden World is not ‘news’, perhaps, and hundreds of other bands have followed a similar path, but treacherously few with such ripping, diabolic finesse.

With words like that, I really couldn’t resist getting at least a taste of Forbidden World. Dayam-nation, was that a tasty taste! The infernal riffery! The echoing, ass-hair-on-fire vocals! The speeeeeeeed! Thank you mr. authothrall sir. Here are a couple of the songs that I heard last night before the demon alcohol got me in a crushing headlock:

“Sign of the Beast”

[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/08-Sign-of-the-Beast.mp3|titles=Antichrist – Sign of the Beast]


[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/05-Necropolis.mp3|titles=Antichrist – Necropolis]

So, about that metal elitist thing. Am I, or am I not? And what does it mean anyway? And what did you think of these bands? And what do you think will fix a thermonuclear hangover?


  42 Responses to “METAL ELITISM”

  1. You publish the crap I write. I think that makes you very much not elitist….

    I can see what IntoTheDarkness was saying…but I don’t think not taking time for deathcore is elitist, as long as you’re not avoiding it ONLY because it’s deathcore and you think that deathcore equals bad. If you said, “Oh, pish-posh, deathcore? Good heavens, my little peasant, don’t you know I only listen to [obscure genre],” then I might think you’re an elitist. Recently, there has been a lot of melodic death metal, black metal and djent being bandied about around here with almost not deathcore, but it’s always seemed more coincidental than intentional.

    Maybe he was just trying to say that you should spend more time listening to the recommendations your real life friends give you. And that’s something I can appreciate.

    On the other hand…maybe you ARE looking down on us peasants. All hail, the Glorious Leader Islander!!

    Just remember–the bourgeois always end up with dicks in their neck stumps.

    (Is it bourgeois to use the word “bourgeois”?)

    • You’re perceptive as well as insane. I think ITD does believe I haven’t been listening to or writing about deathcore because it’s uncool to do that — and that I should make more room for recommendations from people I’m close to. To be brutally honest, there’s some truth to those criticisms. This weekend I did spend time listening to 3 recommendations he gave me off the top of his head. More about that later . . .

      And yes, it’s bourgeois to use the word “bourgeois”. There’s a neck-stump-dick in your future.

  2. Deathcore is one of the most over populated genres right now. You have to get knee deep in the shit to find real treasure. Plus amazing music came out of 2011 that wasn’t deathcore while the “BR00talzz” kids filled deathcore with noise vomit.

    • This is one of the points/excuses I made in talking with ITD. There’s like thousands of deathcore bands who released some kind of music this year, and I have no good way to find out what’s worth hearing (I’m not interested in carving out the amount of time it would take to do the winnowing myself). This point didn’t carry me very far — all I really had to do was listen to the few albums ITD has passed my way this year.

      • Leave the burrowing for other people… and have them report back. Your the commander of NCS we can’t have you sifting thru shitty deathcore when you could be listening/reviewing something thats good.

  3. Why you no post about mathcore…ELITIST! Lol

  4. Hey Islander, thanks for the nod.

    Here’s my take: you are not an elitist until you develop disdain for people who are interested in (but not KNOWLEDGEABLE about) the music you like. Many black metal elitists, in particular, are fueled by overwhelming insecurity and are scared to death that a band that was once ‘kvlt safe’ might become popular with a crowd that is somehow unworthy of appreciating their music. Genre tourism is the scourge of corpsepainted teenage nerds everywhere, and the only thing that makes them feel good about themselves is calling people “posers/fags/etc …” in forums and blog comments, in the hopes of making people think they were born in a bullet belt and Beherit shirt. I get it over at The Living Doorway quite often, and it’s pretty adorable. It’s essentially that scene in ‘White Man Can’t Jump’ where Wesley Snipes tells Woody from Cheers that “he can listen to Jimmy Hendrix, but he can’t HEAR Jimmy Hendrix.”

    A lot of dudes HATE that I write about super “underground” black/death metal bands on one day, and the next I’m posting stuff by Liferuiner, Neutral Milk Hotel, or Joanna Newsom. It’s weird to me that anyone would be so worried about falling outside vague lines of what is ‘acceptable’ within a genre (can you imagine listening to nothing but raw, lo-fi black metal for you entire life?), but most normal human beings have enough balls to like what they like without having to consult the ‘Atilla the Hun’ blog (which is excellent, mind you).

    So anyway, you don’t strike me as that type of dude, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Cheers.

    • Hey, cool that you stopped by! I have a feeling that we also have readers here who are “purists” about specific genres of metal and disdain lots of the music we write about — because we do tend to bounce around a lot, as you do. But for the most part they tolerate the genre-jumping because they’re nice people . . . or because they feel sorry for me.

      Thanks for the support. 🙂

      • Speaking as one of those purists..its because I honestly believe music is a personal choice. I may not like some of those bands, but who am I to tell someone else they shouldnt listen to them. I figure the best thing to do is give people options, and then let them change (or not) as they see fit

  5. Man, I feel your pain. I get in this same situation with some people on facebook from back in my Sumerian-whore phase. They link me to a bunch of stuff that sounds like The Faceless, and I listen to two notes and the damn compression filter just pisses me off so much I can’t listen. At the same time some of my IRL ‘hipster’ friends are down with talking about Mastodon, but make fun of people for mentioning The Black Dahlia Murder.

    Admittedly, I’ve adopted a no-core status personally as of late, just because I’ve had so many bad experiences with the kids and at shows that it turns me off the music itself. I’m not sure that makes me elitist so much as Jaded.

    Personally, Lander, you’re the only person I can think of with as varied taste in metal as I have. If right now you’re feeling more on the melo/tech side of things than the breakdown side of things, just like I’m feeling more on the black-doom side of things than the tech side of things… who cares? We can still talk about it. YOU STILL REPPED FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE MROE THAN EVERY OTHER BLOG ON THE INTERNET PUT TOGETHER.

    You’re not an Elitist, black Metal is having a very productive phase of re-discovery and re-invention. It’s a good wave to ride for the past 2-3 years and more ‘mainstream’ metalheads will appreciate that, eventually. So if your friend is hating on you for riding a good wave, then he’s a bad surfer.

    This is what we do–we get on jags, kicks, we explore trends, uncover things we didn’t have a good understanding of before. That’s the joy of being a music enthusiast. It’s like fight club, man–you decide your own level of involvement.

    • I look back at where and how I started my metal fandom and how far I’ve moved since then, and you’re absolutely right — I get on a particular kick and spend lots of time exploring a genre or sub-genre that’s intriguing, while still trying to stay in touch with what I liked before. Black metal has probably been that new kick for me over the last year, in part because it has been branching in so many interesting directions, though deathcore is one of my earlier kicks that I’ve largely failed to stay in touch with.

  6. I’ve been frequenting this blog for quite a while and I want to take a moment and say that this and The Living Doorway and a few others are the the very few blogs that champion ALL forms of extreme music. Deathcore, hardcore, death metal, et cetera. I haven’t noticed any amount of elitism on this blog. I’ve been into metal and extreme music since I was fifteen and the genre I always go back to is death metal. Just like in the black metal underground many believe that pre-1995 death metal is THE best. I would agree, yet I also enjoy the modern and highly polished stuff too. I enjoy me a large amount of deathcore also. People like what they like. Just as long as we’re carrying the torch onward for the music we love then all is good.

  7. “After all, I pop wood for every metal band on the planet. Someone said that about me once.” It has been said of you many a time, although not using the same words.

    The complaint that you don’t value the musical recommendations of your close friends as much as those of people you haven’t even met in real life may be a valid one. But, one is curious as to how that makes you an elitist – even if you are secretly ignoring his recommendations of deathcore bands simply because they’re deathcore (which one doubts is the case).
    Your taste in music is bound to evolve over time. And with all the amazing music out there waiting to be discovered, one thinks it’s alright if you just skip that run-of-the-mill death metal album or that re-thrash album after the third song if it means you’ve got something else to listen to that you think you will enjoy.

    Again, going by the “popping a boner to every metal band on the planet” description of your taste, one hardly thinks you’re a metal elitist.

  8. People talk shit about the music I like all the time. I don’t think that makes you an elitist until you start talking shit about ME for liking that kind of music. However if you and ITD got into deathcore (for example) together and built a bond through it, your distance from it might also be seen as a distance from that bond…especially if you are now into a “new scene”. If that “new scene” doesn’t include ITD, it excludes, and therefore you can be seen as elitist. Just two cents from someone who has been in this situation before.

  9. Whats wrong with being an elitist? I see people throw that term at other metalheads like its supposed to be hurtful or something. Its called having personal taste, and we all do it. I guarantee any person whose crying that the metalheads were mean to him for liking Whitechapel, is turning around and laughing at the guy who likes Disturbed. Meanwhile, that guy is laughing at the poor schmuck who listens to Nickelback. If someones music choices are so tied up in what others think, then what the hell are they doing listening to extreme metal anyway. Man up..know your shit…and walk your own path.
    For the record Islander…any blog that allows a guest post about Rose Funeral is not in danger of becoming a haven for elitist snobbery. You’re one of the more open minded dudes I know so dont sweat it..which is why you need me here to make sure the scene kids dont take over 🙂
    Also…I told you about Wrathprayer like a month ago you son of a bitch…why dont you pay attention to my every post. Now Im going to take credit for showing you:

    Doomslaughter – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBP4a3PAplk


    Temple Nightside – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TzjpnH_fJ8

    Happy New Year chief

    • ..this is not meant as a shot at your buddy ITD…its just a general comment on the elitist accusation that people tend to throw around

    • I have to show ITD this comment. It will prove that I overlook everyone’s recommendations in equal measure!

      But to avoid forgetting, as I did with your Wrathprayer rec, I just listened to those two new clips. First Doomslaughter rips like a school of sharks, then that groaning riff comes in (which was very cool), then more voracious ripping, then more meaty groaning, then a headbanging, galloping roll, then more stomping, then a flamethrower solo. Fuck, I like that shit.

      Temple Nightside: talk about lo-fi production! It’s like some kind of infernal shoegaze before a kind of beat finally appears after 2 mins. This is more kvlt than me I’m afraid. Listening to an album’s worth of this would cause me to either kill myself or someone else.

      • Bestail black metal takes some getting used to, The production values on it are almost non-existant. Im still very picky about which bands I listen to.

    • I recently had an email “conversation” about elitism in movies and Arthouse vs Blockbusters with an internet writer known as Film CritHulk, who writes thorough profeesor-like analysis of film culture in the voice of the Incredible Hulk. I told him how I lamented that “Cinephile Elitists and Art Snobs” think they are better than others and put people down for liking shit exploding on screen. His reply was:


      So after reflceting on that (one of the most surreal experiences of my life talking to a guy using Hulk-speak), I realised that it wasn’t the pursuit of higher art that bother’d me so much as it’s simply some people will be assholes about anything. As such, I think you’re spot on about that disturbed/nickelback fan comparison. As HULK relayed to me, the term elitism in the last few years has been skewed as simply a way to dismiss “smart-sounding things” so that others can induldge in foolishness without guilt.

      Having said all that, more and more Im feeling a good balance of high art and low brow seems to flow the best. Like…if the best yet somplicated somtimes difficult black metal was a 5-star gormet seafood dish, and the most agressively catchy tuffguy beatdown hardcore was a big greasy but delicious cheeseburger. I think its important that we have guys that can expound on the intracacies of a gourmet meal and tell you about resturants that serve such items you may not know, and at the same time have others who tell you where the best specialty burger joint is to get the best tasting half pounder with bacon and montery jack this side of the mississippi.

      i really believe there is equal artistic merit in the detailed analysis of both avant-garde extreme music and the most visceral ignorant slamz,. Butmore importantly than anything, one school of thought need not deride and insult the other. Being an Elitist doesnt mean having to be a snobby asshole, and you can be a raucous party animal having major ragers yet still party responsibly.

      *sorry this was so long, I reeally like all you guys’ insightful comments

      • I prefer to think that this actually IS the Incredible Hulk. The real one.

      • I like the gourmet meal / cheeseburger metaphor. There’s obviously talent involved in making a 5-star gourmet meal, but there’s also talent involved in making a great cheeseburger, and eating both can be a soul-satisfying experience. What’s interesting is listening to some deathcore bands (or bands whose music clearly incorporates some deathcore stylings) bringing in things like ambience, electronica, and/or prog metal — it’s like they’re cooking the burgers with some foie gras on top. 🙂

        • Heh foie gras…I like that one.

          I just realized half my comments involve hare-brained metaphors and analogies. Its not a schtick, im not doing it on purpose I promise!

          • I actually had a cheeseburger with foie gras on top on a vacation one time. I could feel my arteries hardening as I ate it, and it was probably a 5,000 calorie meal, but damn was it good.

  10. Well you can LISTEN to Immortal, but you can’t HEAR Immortal…

    “can you imagine listening to nothing but raw, lo-fi black metal for you entire life?”

    This brings me onto a point I’ve had for a while – I listen to metal as I feel it is, in many ways, the ideal form of MUSIC for me. I hate the manowar-esque concept of “metal is life” – it’s not, it’s just music. and MUSIC is more important than METAL, if that makes sense. I just happen to think that metal is the ideal form of music.

    It’s extremely wide ranging and does the most to cultivate actual artists – I particularly like when metal artists expand their repertoire and produce good non-metal music. Because I can TRUST that music. It comes from an artist I respect, someone who writes and composes music with depth and I feel that they will take this same level of quality and conviction to their non-metal projects.

    There’s been a lot of weird semi-elitism around lately that makes NO sense to me. We all know the strange anti-BDM theme that features in a lot of fans of “real” death metal, but there are lots of examples of things like that that continue to make no sense. There are more bands in the world than Cannibal Corpse. And I hope that there’s more to you than the part of you that likes Cannibal Corpse – music can (should?) reflect all aspects of you as a person, listening to the same artist over and over is ultimately quite stunting, as is confining yourself to the same sub-genre. For me metal’s strength is the sheer breadth and variety of things it can cover and incorporate. I’m always impressed by bands who are still noticeably “metal” but also remarkably soft. It’s probably harder to make “real” metal that isn’t “super-brootal” than it is just to crank everything up and fake it.

    • “This brings me onto a point I’ve had for a while – I listen to metal as I feel it is, in many ways, the ideal form of MUSIC for me. I hate the manowar-esque concept of “metal is life” – it’s not, it’s just music. and MUSIC is more important than METAL, if that makes sense. I just happen to think that metal is the ideal form of music.”

      ^ That +1000000000

      To me being an elitist is openly shit talking, and finding reasons to shit talk other bands, just because they aren’t crustedanalseepagetentaclegrinddoomcore.

      You could also look at it like deathcore is kinda a starting point, if I showed young me what I listen to now I’d run away with ears bleeding. An old extreme becomes your new zero point and you keep progressing kinda thing.

      • “To me being an elitist is openly shit talking, and finding reasons to shit talk other bands, just because they aren’t crustedanalseepagetentaclegrinddoomcore.”

        Theres probably some of that, but Ive known enough old school metalheads to know thats not the whole reason. Many of these guys have been around for awhile. Theyve been defending metal from people who have been shit talking it for years. So when they see a fad pop up that draws in a bunch of kids who merely want to be part of a trendy scene they push back. One sides sees it as elitism, the other side sees it as keeping out the people who arent passionate about the music

    • Your whole post…

      May the grass on your grave grow to show off the Tauroctony eternally.
      [One apologizes if you sympathize with cattle.]

      • So, I know what the Tauroctony is…but I’m not sure what it’s supposed to symbolize in this context?

        Killing metal to save it by sacrificing stringent conformity to genre?

  11. While the elitism that degrades others for personal choice is obviously shitty, there’s is something to be said for having certain standards or even just well defined preferences.

    (I hate when people say they like “everything”.)

    For example, I got into metal after a guitar playing cook mocked me for listening to radio rock and not exploring more diverse music in university. It wasn’t the mocking that compelled me so much as the realization that I had been lazy and was missing out on something great. a few years later, I saw him again and actually got to thank him, and he responded by saying, “Nice suffocation shirt.”

    So, like the Brute, I don’t think ALL elitism is bad.

    • Okay, I finally did the unthinkable and resorted to the dictionary. I think this definition of “elitism” fits the sense in which the term is used in referring to metal elitism (a term generally used pejoratively): “the superior attitude or behaviour associated with an elite”.

      I think someone can have standards, as we all should, without being an elitist, i.e., without coming off as superior in our attitude and behavior. At the same time, it’s also wrong to call someone an elitist simply because they do have standards, or even worse, when they simply express their liking for one kind of metal and their personal disliking for another kind.

      Now I’m gonna have to go to the dictionary again and try to figure out what the fuck Tauroctony is.

      • It’s the name of a scene associated with the Mithraic Mysteries (a mystery religion from the Roman Empire), depicting the god Mithras slaying a sacred bull.

      • One is surprised you didn’t look up the word in the dictionary earlier though. One looked it up the moment Ziltoid got called an elitist in one of the MetalSucks comment threads. 😛

        • I thought I knew what it meant, but when I saw it getting used in different ways in some of the comments, I thought I ought to double-check. Besides, I find it easier to guess at meanings or make them up than to do actual research. 🙂

  12. If your music makes you feel the way my music makes me feel, then whatever it is you listen to is just fine.

  13. (Don’t ask me how I came across this post, 7 years later after it was posted xD) – I’m a relatively ‘inexperienced’ metalhead (I know, kill me now ), I was a bit shocked when I learnt about these ‘metal elitists’ the comments describe in such detail . Why are people so worried about others’ tastes in music?
    The band that introduced me metal was Tool – I never really cared about how obscure the band is, why shoud you if the music is good? Heck, I listen to all sorts of genres – which depends on my mood. Now come at me! xD

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