(Our ardent supporter and occasional guest contributor Utmu wants to introduce you to two other blogs. Surprisingly, our feelings are not hurt.)
I suppose you might be aware of the existence of websites often called metal blogs. There are a few reasons I think you would be. For example, you’re on a metal blog right now. But I have a couple of blogs I want to talk about because they’re doing something really cool; they are called Metal Band Art and Poetry of Subculture. One focuses on artwork related to heavy metal (as if you couldn’t tell), and the other reflects on metal subculture and music.
METAL BAND ART
I’m sure if you’re interested in metal music and/or metal subculture to the extent of taking time out of your day (or work day) to visit a metal blog, the chances are high that you also enjoy the artwork that adorns your album covers and band merchandise. If you do like to look at pretty things, or not-so-pretty things, in this case, Metal Band Art is for you–especially if you’re an artist yourself! I’ll tell you why in a moment, but first things first.
Metal Band Art is owned by Vertebrae33, also known as Rodney Githens. As you may know, he is an artist himself and has made artwork for bands ranging from Skeletonwitch and Heaven Shall Burn to Kylesa and Slayer, and has also done work for other bands outside of metal such as Nirvana (post-breakup). He has also created artwork for B.C. Rich as well as full-time bloggers, Metal Sucks. He also has a partner in crime at Metal Band Art, Matt S., who seems to have had a hand in playing music for several metal and hardcore bands in the past.
The site itself is practically a buffet of artwork as well as information about the artists themselves–the latter of which is largely presented in interview format with the artists themselves being the interviewees. The interviews are, in my opinion, somewhat lengthy, but whether it’s a question about the artist’s style, the artist’s studio, or even whether he or she listens to his or her clients’ music when creating the artwork, it’s always interesting if you are an artist yourself or even if you just want to know more about the person behind, say, the album cover of Relentless Retribution by Death Angel. Also included is advice from the artist to aspiring artists who wish to work with bands, and much more.
Additionally there is a Hall of Immortals, reserved for big names in metal artwork. To give you some perspective, one person already inducted into the H.o.I. is Joe Petagno, the man who created Snaggletooth. Plus there are links to the websites of many a canvas splasher and digital demon, so if you’re looking for some inspiration or trying to kill time, you can look at some grand displays of artistsic talent.
POETRY OF SUBCULTURE
The second blog that I’m writing about is owned by a metalhead named Helm. I remember Helm used to post comments on Invisible Oranges, and I vaguely remember them being out of my league, at least when comprehension of what he meant was at a low. So, wanting to find this thoughtful metalhead, I decided to look for this blog (which I think another Invisible Oranges reader said he had at one point), and I found Poetry of Subculture.
Poetry of Subculture examines the subculture and music, and often references philosophy, psychology, and art/aesthetics. And I’m sure you can guess, based on past posts of mine, that I like a metal blog that talks about sociology. However, PoS isn’t necessarily scientific in its executions, that is to say, it doesn’t use facts and figures; it’s more like a collection of musings from an experienced metal connoisseur.
The blog is overwhelmingly opinionated–it is a blog, after all–but at the same time, it is thoughtful. It seems Helm puts time into thinking about metal music and the related subculture, and the result is spectacular. I think he has unique opinions that most metalheads do not share, or even surmise, and I think he has many points that should be noted, regardless of whether we agree or disagree.
Helm comes from a point of view where heavy metal is made great by its romantic and modernist attributes; in a discussion I had with him, he said that those terms are what best describes heavy metal, and that people find difficulty describing the point of metal. I do happen to agree with this, assuming I understand what he means, haha!
Here’s an excerpt from his blog, it’s a portion of a post called “Totalitarianism in Heavy Metal” from late 2010:
“Heavy Metal indeed speaks often of willpower and personal triumph. Misconstruing slightly Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical output, most of (especially ’80s) Heavy Metal seems to promote a ‘Noble Savage‘ ideal, where a man may achieve grace unhindered by the moral dictum of society, somehow inside it (sometimes) but above it (always). Heavy Metal loathes the idea that society must be obeyed, that the Other should be the master. One should burn themselves pure and strong as steel and withstand the outside forces of the world. Anyone introverted enough, and anyone with romance beating in their hearts finds that conception pleasing on some level regardless of its practical impossibility.”
I really enjoy Poetry of Subculture, and while there are large gaps of time between each post (he’s only posted two write-ups this year thus far) it’s well worth the read, you just have to check up on it every once in a while.
Poetry of Subculture can be found here. Also, for the readers who appreciate artwork, Helm has a second blog that focuses on his career as an artist, which is here. His comics are in Greek, as he is Greek and lives in Greece, but check it out anyway!