Feb 132014

NCS writer Andy Synn delivers a rant.  Discuss!

Have you ever noticed that some people just have better taste, and better opinions, than you do?

And no, I’m not just talking about the stunningly sexy, intellectually gifted übermensches who write for NCS.

I’m talking about that guy. You know that guy. No matter what you’re saying, or doing, or talking about, he’s always there, ready to jump in and tell you – in no uncertain terms – why your opinion, (cute though it is) is fundamentally wrong.

Now that guy comes in a lot of forms (the sniggering, puerile troll, the condescending “teacher”, the offensively arrogant “comic book guy”), but one thing’s always the same — he knows better than you do, he’s more “real”, and he knows a “sell-out” when he sees one!



What inspired this little look into the deep dark corners of the elitist mind? Well, a number of things, but the tipping point was a trend I’ve seen for people contrasting, comparing, and choosing sides, between the most recent Watain and Behemoth albums.

Now while I personally don’t really see much sonically/artistically to compare between the two, beyond some very general similarities (without criticising either I would say that one seems like a conscious move toward bigger, more mainstream horizons, while the other seems like a conscious step back into more underground, arty fare), the fact is that both are/were underground heroes who have — over the past several years — really started to break big.

There’s a few reasons for this, not least the fact that the metal scene has started to grab a (relatively) bigger slice of the pie as record sales in general decline, meaning that certain of “our” artists seem bigger by comparison than they were previously (Behemoth’s recently revealed chart position is a perfect example – it’s fantastic that the album has sold so many copies, and in no way indicates “selling out” or “dumbing down”, but not so long ago that number of albums wouldn’t even have grazed the lower echelons of the charts).

What I will say though, before going further, is that this idea that “selling more records =  selling out” holds no water with me. There might… might… be a correlation in many cases, but that definitely doesn’t imply causation. You only have to look at some of the surprisingly extreme and/or difficult records that have sold well over the years to be able to refute that argument.

I have, however, seen a lot of people decrying Watain’s new direction. I’m not one of them, even though I didn’t really like The Wild Hunt as much as I’d hoped to. To me, the branching out (which, let’s face it, began on Lawless Darkness) into a more Black Album-esque sound works impeccably well a lot of the time. My problem with it is how safe and lifeless the “stock” Watain songs sound in comparison. In many ways I’d have preferred a more varied (and yes, possibly even more consciously mainstream) record from the band. But don’t listen to me. I like Reinkaos

In all seriousness though, one particular accusation I’ve seen flying around pretty frequently (and it’s not exactly a new one) is that the band are, in some way, “posers” (always an amusing word to see thrown around on metal forums and comment threads… what exactly are they posing as, exactly?)

Calling someone a “poser” is one quick way to identify yourself as that guy. Calling someone a “poser” immediately implies that you know what “real” metal is (and, by coincidence, “real metal” just happens to be every band you like…) and that the artist in question has failed to live up to your lofty standards. It really is a very amusing word to see being thrown around wildly on metal forums and in comment threads… what exactly are they posing as, exactly?

You’ll often find that those quickest to throw around the “poser” accusation are the ones who cling tightest to the established “rules” and clichés of “being a metalhead” (with no awareness of the irony that entails). Nothing can be allowed to threaten the assumed, and homogenous, identity that they’ve adopted. And of course the best way to define yourself is by opposition to things that are “uncool” (or, of course, “too cool”… case law is still pretty unclear whether underground metal bands suffer most from being “uncool” or “too cool”…).

Here’s where things get interesting though.

The other common thread I’ve seen continuously popping up is one in which people have been saying things like “The Satanist was the record Watain wanted to make!” or something else to that effect. Ignoring the fact that the two records are sonically and stylistically dissimilar, and have clearly different goals in mind, it’s still funny to watch people desperately trying to choose a side. It may not even be their fight, but goddammit, they’re going to win!

Now that’s not a new thing, but what made it particularly amusing (and apropos for this little piece of pseudo-intellectual dead-horse-beating I’m doing) was that on the same day I saw a particular comment by that guy condescendingly referring to Behemoth as “pop metal”.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

Now referring to Behemoth as “pop metal” made me laugh (out loud) to myself, truth be told. It was just the sort of superior, snobby statement that those sort of self-proclaimed “elitists” always come out with, as if reading from a list of specifically approved phrases. It was clear from both the words and the context that the guy in question had never really bothered to give the band a fair hearing, or if he had, it had been “just to know what’s so bad about it”. Confirmation bias in action folks.

Calling something “pop metal” is akin to admitting you have no real way of backing up what you’re saying. It’s a purposeful attempt to characterise something a certain way in order to skew people’s perceptions and prove your own “argument” (and I use that term loosely here). It’s exactly the same as how people used to (and still do) throw around the terms “nu-metal” and “metalcore” toward anything that didn’t fit their narrow perception of what “real” metal was allowed to be.

The words became derisory terms hurled around by the metal “elite” to characterise anything they felt was beneath them – regardless of whether there was anything remotely “nu-metal” or “metalcore” about it.  Heck, you see it just as much these days with the terms “djent” and “deathcore”. If a band doesn’t fit into one of the “approved” styles, they must be “posers”, “sell-outs”, “hipsters”, etc.

Seriously, how often have you seen an album you like referred to disparagingly as “metalcore” by someone with no real knowledge of either the band in question, or what “metalcore” actually entails? How many new death metal bands have you seen get tagged as “Deathcore” by snobby elitists who think that music which doesn’t sound like Nile isn’t “real” death metal?

I mean, come on guys. I’m all for differing opinions, but at least try and provide a valid argument, it can’t be that hard!

Behemoth, for all their exposure, can hardly be called “pop metal”. They’re a Blackened Death Metal band ffs. Oh, they might be wilfully pompous and bombastic at times, and their profile might be “too big” for them to be considered underground or “cool” anymore, but these guys deal in riffs and blast beats and screaming, growling vocals that positively seethe with righteous, Satanic fury. They’re not “poppy” and they’re certainly not “posers”.

You don’t have to like it, but please, cut the bullshit.

So what to do? Ultimately the thing is, no matter what you like, there’s always going to be someone who (thinks he) knows better than you do, and – with his objectively superior opinions and higher standards – is willing to tell you why Band A is cooler/better/more “real” than Band B. Hell, I’ve been him myself more times than I’m happy to admit.

But, thank God/Buddha/Satan/The Flying Spaghetti Monster, it’s getting easier and easier to spot that guy and his bullshit superiority complex a mile away.

You’ll often be able to identify that guy and his ill-bred ilk by the condescending tone they take – superciliously arrogant, but with enough ground available for back-pedalling. They start their sentences with things like “It may be just me, but I’ve always thought of x as…” and somehow always manage to convey their own opinion with something of a sneering disregard for anyone who disagrees. They’re speaking from a position of assumed superiority – they know they’re right after all, so why shouldn’t everyone know that?

Truth be told, I often think of that guy as a confused rebel. A reactionary. He’s in an extreme music world, but he doesn’t know what the right sort of extreme is. In fact, he’s not even sure what he’s rebelling against… so he goes for the biggest, easiest target… and that, more than anything, is just lazy. It engenders a self-fulfilling, self-perpetuating cycle where that guy’s opinion (so vehemently defended) always seems to have come second or third hand from somewhere else – he’s heard that so-and-so are posers, metalcore, deathcore, etc, after all… so why bother even listening to them?


So next time you find yourself up in arms about a band, or an album, that seems to be getting what you consider unjustified praise, take a second to consider your argument, and where it comes from. A reasoned argument is worth a thousand apoplectic rants.

Because no person in their right mind wants to be that guy.


  43 Responses to “THAT GUY

  1. I completely agree, selling more records isn’t selling out or devaluing yourself. Selling out is when you’re fronting an ad campaign for dish soap and toilet bowl cleaner.

    The best thing I’ve read about the whole “poser/elitism” deal was an interview with one of the guys who started St.Vitus;

    “DC: I think a lot of people fucking forget what it’s like to get into something: Listen, fucking asshole, you didn’t grow up just thinking that you came out of the womb and fucking Burzum and Joy Division were your favorite bands. Get the fuck out of here!

    I don’t care if you listen to a Metallica song once in your life and you just wanna understand something– that curiosity is fucking great! That’s the only way that things are gonna get bigger and improve. I really despise any sort of elitism. …”

    Honestly the best opinion I’ve heard on the subject.

    • I bump into self-proclaimed “elitists” all-too frequently. The sort whose opinions/musical tastes are defined by circular reasoning:

      “I only listen to elite music which makes me elite because I only listen to elite music which…”

      Ad nauseum.

      Ultimately though I think it’s totally fine to have high standards – subjectively (or possibly even objectively, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish) – but it’s when people start to think that their taste in music makes them themselves “better” than others I can’t stand. Maybe… maybe your “taste” is better (you could argue that some metalheads are more discerning than your average pop fan… “some”) but that doesn’t make YOU a superior person.

  2. I’m always amused when anybody goes all “sell out!” with regard to any extreme metal. As if somebody putting out an album called “The Satanist” or an album with a track called “The Children Must Die” are legitimately trying to get a performance spot with Miley Cyrus* at the next MTV music awards.

    Especially when you realize that, although Behemoth and Watain might have bigger numbers than most, any extreme metal act that “sells out” has the potential to increase their record sales from several hundred copies to several hundred + 3 copies. If a black/death/grind band really wanted to sell out, they’d change up their style to late-period Metallica or Nickelback, not just a slightly cleaner production on an album featuring insane meter changes and banshee screeching.

    *Yes, this is the second time I’ve mentioned Miley in a NCS comment. I’m just trying to dumb the place down.

    • There are a few rare examples, but I’m not going to *cough* The Haunted *cough* name any names.

      • I actually think The Haunted were just bored and didn’t know what to do with their sound.

        Though I’ve argued several times that The Haunted, in hindsight, didn’t ever fully establish a clear identity for themselves.

    • You know, it’s really tough to dumb this place down. There’s not much lower we can go. But you’re making a valiant effort, playing the Miley card twice.

    • It’s generally more about “selling-out” to the Metal Mainstream, which is its own little subdivision populated (seemingly) primarily by Five Finger Death Punch, “Hot Chicks In Metal” and an endless torrent of Christian metalcore acts… (ok, slightly exaggerating there maybe, but still…)

      That has its own demands and requirements, usually to do with what magazines you’re going to suck up to and what image you’re going to present – and how widely accessible you’re willing to make your sound.

  3. I think alot of us feel (I know I do) that a certain amount of “cache’ is taken away from a band when they suddenly become big/semi big/whatever you want to call it. Yeah, it makes no sense, and it’s completely silly when you think about it. But heck, it was the way I felt as a kid, and I didn’t even know or realize why.

    I remember DEF LEPPARD and “Photograph” came out and I liked it, then suddenly every Tom, Dick & Harry started liking it (including my sister and her friends who were complete Top 40 know nothings about music),so it bothered me, cause it wasn’t just MINE anymore. I guess I didn’t want to “share” with people I felt were fair weather fans/casual music listeners. And the same rule I think applies today.

    But back to Behemoth. I think most of the haters are from people who never really liked them in the first place. They become an easy lightning rod now. Anyone who has been a fan for at least the past few records (myself included) don’t rip them or are the least bit surprised by their increased popularity/hype. They toured their proverbial asses off and put out a string of fairly consistent high quality albums with some good “imagery”. It was just a matter of time. They deserve it. The music connoisseur in me (who doesn’t need to see a band live or in Terrorizer magazine to know who they are) does feel a little less “affinity” or “specialness” pending the release of the new album. But at the end of the day it won’t let it affect my opinion on the album or to overly praise or be uber critical of them to score some perceived “cred points”.

    Oh and one final point, NILE sucks ass 🙂 (a few albums ago people talked about them as if they INVENTED death metal)

    • I just want to agree with you that although it is indeed silly, “a certain amount of “cache’ is taken away from a band when they suddenly become big/semi big/whatever you want to call it.” I’ve seen it happen too many times. And in fact, although I know you’re no fan of Deafheaven, I think they’re another prime example. Their music hasn’t undergone any big transformation in style since they were playing in basements, but now they’ve become favorite whipping boys because their popularity has mushroomed.

    • “I think alot of us feel (I know I do) that a certain amount of “cache’ is taken away from a band when they suddenly become big/semi big/whatever you want to call it. Yeah, it makes no sense, and it’s completely silly when you think about it. But heck, it was the way I felt as a kid, and I didn’t even know or realize why.”

      Actually dude that makes perfect sense. I think we all feel a bit like this, as privileged knowledge of something (in this case a band) always makes us feel a bit special. So when that specialness is tarnished a bit I think we take it out on the band! It’s not right, of course, but it is (unfortunately) pretty natural!

      “But back to Behemoth. I think most of the haters are from people who never really liked them in the first place. They become an easy lightning rod now. ”

      Pretty much. It’s an easy way to seize some sort of “prophetic” identity, where a band you never liked is now an easy target, so you can say you “knew they were shit” before anyone else.

  4. Well said. I also think that often That Guy is attempting to gather self-affirming accolades for his blustering. Sometimes it seems like he hasn’t even listened to the album (Literally… “I couldn’t make it past the first song but instantly knew this album was a huge disappointment”). I’ve noticed a trend that bashing established bands seems almost fashionable as well. People don’t want the new album or any attempt at growth, they want a clone of their favorite release; however, if they do get that, they proclaim the band stale and unimaginative.

    Along with poser, I tend to curl my lip at the terms “false metal”, and tire of open- closed- and narrow-minded. Sure, without question I have a favorite subgenre, black metal, but my music collection includes both the super-obscure and more well known bands as well as a healthy dose of non-metal, particularly classical and Native American.

    Still, most consider me an elitist, and I think it’s a necessary evil. Eat the weak.

    • Thank you for our new blog sub-header.

    • “self-affirming accolades” is a very good way of putting it. Particularly when they’re trawling a vast internet community. they’re bound to find other people like them (unfortunately).

      “I have a favorite subgenre, black metal, but my music collection includes both the super-obscure and more well known bands”

      Black Metal is my bread and butter, and has been ever since a friend of mine introduced me to Emperor and Satyricon many, many, many years ago. But MAN is it a sub-culture full of elitist bastards.

      Yes. I like Dimmu Borgir. Yes, I also like Sargeist. No, the two are not mutually exclusive.

  5. Very well said! I completely agree.

    One well-known music writer can’t let go of The Wild Hunt (first it was “Phoenix” > “They Rode On” and now it’s The Satanist > The Wild Hunt). The subtext is clear: he resents a band being more popular than he thinks they deserve. I happen to agree with both assertions, but I still despise the comparisons.

    Besides, in my view “The Child Must Die” is better than anything on Satyricon. And I say that meaning “better suited to my tastes”, not better qualitatively. Because qualitative comparisons outside of performances of classical music are largely irrelevant. It’s all about what you like. And if what you like varies based on what other people like, you may actually be the very definition of a poser.

    • “Besides, in my view “The Child Must Die” is better than anything on Satyricon. And I say that meaning “better suited to my tastes”, not better qualitatively.”

      Grrrr… ok, you saved it with that last part!

      • To be clear, I love Satyricon, so it’s not at all meant as a diss. It’s just that I think “The Child Must Die” is a phenomenal song.

  6. Good article, I agree with all points made. This exact thing has been happening a lot lately with “The Satanist”, of which I am most definitely sure Andy has seen me spamming lately, so he knows my high opinion of it.

    Ironically I did draw connections to the “The Wild Hunt”, not in a songwriting sense but the atmosphere just had that feeling, combine it with the artwork and it came to mind after a few listens. They don’t sound alike, but it caused me to revisit the album, and I liked it a bit more than I did on its release. It’s still not as good as the previous two, but I took for it was, a good album.

  7. I saw one of those low budget Bill Zebub doc’s with Watain a few years ago, and they are actual satanists in the Anton Lavey sense – they acknowledge the inherent paradox in Satanists being as beholden to Judeo-Christian mythology, (no offense to Full Metal Attorney or other Christian readers, I’m just paraphrasing what they said) and follow Satanism more as a hedonistic form of Atheism. Point being, they are spiritually and philosophically nihlistic and hedonistic, so it makes sense that they would want to sell as many records as possible and make more money to get more drugs, sex etc. “Selling out” is philosophically aligned with Satanism. Plus as a 35 yr old musician I find it harder each day to give half a fuck if someone even older than me figures out a way to make a few dollars playing music, crying sellout is the privilege of young dudes who more likely than not are still living with their parents.

    • I’ve always found it funny because Watain are one of the few bands I do think of as ACTUAL practicing Satansists – in the Lavey sense, as you said.

      The way they act and portray themselves is totally in line with the tenets they claim. In truth the only reputable accounts of Erik I’ve heard don’t call him a “poser”, they just say he’s pretentious and a bit of a prick… which is TOTALLY FINE in Laveyan Satanism!

  8. I don’t think “pop metal” has to be a derisive term, and there are certainly bands that could fit the bill. Volbeat immediately pops into mind, and I loved them right up until their most recent record.

    As I was growing into metal nearly 20 years ago, I would pop onto chat rooms (remember those?) or occasionally talk to people in person who would look down on what I was listening to and say derisive things about them. So, as long as I’ve dedicated my blog (mostly) to metal, I have consciously and philosophically avoided being “that guy,” and even written about it on occasion, most specifically right here. Maybe I haven’t always succeeded. I do occasionally say something has a “metalcore” sound to my ears, but I deliberately phrase that in a way that just means “I don’t care for it, but that’s OK if you do.”

    So, anyway, two quick stories on “selling out” and “that guy.”

    When I was in undergrad, I took a voice class. On the first day our instructor asked us what kind of music we like. I told her I like metal and wanted to expand my horizons, and she offhandedly remarked, “Oh, we’re not here for that, we’re here to make [singsong-voice] music!” I completely checked out of that class, and it’s the only thing I’ve ever failed.

    Around 2000, I was working retail, and trying to make the argument that Metallica had not sold out. (I have since changed my mind.) Some decidedly non-metalhead girl protested against the other person, “I like Metallica,” as if he had no right to insult them. Without missing a beat I told her, “You’re not helping.”

    • Good stories. Woefully familiar too. Though, I think that the first one is much less common these days (a surprising amount of other publications and stuff have done a lot to “redeem” the image of metal and its musicality in the eyes of many trained musicians).

      I was trying for a while to think of a band who’d been egregiously mis-labelled as “nu-metal” or “metalcore” by someone, but decided against it in the end. I do recall hearing Slaughter of the Soul referred to as “metalcore” once though.

  9. I am one of those people who said that Behemoth succeeded where Watain failed. But by that I only mean that when Erik and co went outside their comfort zone with They rider on, they also lost what made Watain so captivating to begin with. Behemoth on the other hand managed to keep the essence and honesty of being Behemoth while experimenting wildly. It’s not about comparing sounds, because God knows they aren’t similar style wise, but rather comparing successful experimental outcomes. My two cents.

    • As I think I said above, my reaction is (I think) kind of opposite to yours, as I actually liked what Watain were doing stepping outside their usual sound – it was the “stock” Watain songs that really bored me.

  10. I was just wondering could some of the hate against Behemoth’s new album be because it’s the first one out since Nergal was a judge in The Voice of Poland? And also, he was in a relationship with a pop singer? Either way, they aren’t legitimate reasons, but thought maybe it contributes to the ‘it’s not kvlt enough for me now!’ attitude.

    I honestly don’t own any Behemoth or Watain albums, so am thoroughly unable to comment on either, but thanks for the read.

    • Possibly yeah. The Voice-thing was an ODD decision really. Not one I would have made personally, but I have read and given credence to his reasoning for doing it.

      • Actually I think it’s fucken awesome that an artist like Nergal can be on a show like that. Helps break down the whole ‘metal musicians/fans are weird/scary’ attitude that a lot of people seem to have who have never been exposed to this kind of music. He probably did the wider metal scene a big favour, but I guess maybe he wouldn’t have been on the show if Poland wasn’t already open minded enough.

        That reminds of a funny incident lately – my mum sings in a choir, so I played her a few tracks from Chaostar thinking it might tickle her fancy. She was watching the ‘behind the scenes’ making-of video on youtube for their latest album and said something like ‘you know it’s interesting seeing the musicians, because the music is quite weird, but they look like quite normal people’. Cue me spilt between exploding in an angry rant or breaking out laughing. I think I just settled with ‘yes, they are people too!’. Since I’ve been listening to metal since I was around 13-14 I would’ve thought she’d have realized that by now, but I guess that cultural misunderstanding runs deep… wait, maybe she just thinks I’m not normal 😉

        • Yeah, my family still gives me alien looks and “your metal people” utterances when it comes to the subject. I’ve tried many a time to get them into some stuff, like soft Opeth, to little avail.

  11. Serpents from a virgin’s vagoo. Dead children. Satan. Yep, totally all pop subjects. Might as well break out some Spice Girls and give this farce up.

  12. some of my favorite examples of “that guy” ridiculousness; using the phrase “real metalhead” in a way such as “no real metalhead would listen to…”. the old standard, “the only people that would listen to (insert band) are..” and follow it up with something along the lines of “twelve year olds”, “coffee shop hipsters”, “emo/metalcore/numetal fags”, or my absolute favorite “someone with no taste in music”.
    then there’s the more childish, but equally frustrating examples of band bashing/hating. i’m referring to comments along the lines of “this band/artist should kill themselves”, or “this band/artist’s fans should kill themselves”, etc. i’m sure we’ve all seen many examples of this particularly disgusting brand of dialogue.
    of course there’s the tired old arguments of how this bands sucks because some other band did it better 20 years before them. yawn. how did people that were once upon time cool, open minded, easy going young metalheads turn into such grumpy, pretentious, close minded old pricks?

  13. I feel like, in some ways, the “that guy” sentiment can set on much like conservatism on a once-liberal in politics. When someone is young, they tend to be more impulsive, and more open to progress and exploration. That turns to a keeping of the status quo and general distaste for the new as time goes on. This isn’t an iron law, obviously, just a decent parallel.

    • That’s an interesting thought. I find it sometimes goes in the opposite order for music elitism, with people being more conservative when they’re teens, and more accepting once they grow up and realize they were acting like an ass. That’s the order it went in for me. I think I owe an apology to everyone who knew me when I was 15.

      • I was thinking of “that guy” in terms of the guy who doesn’t think there’s been a good death metal album since 1995.

  14. Oh my, how many times I’ve met that guy. Even been called names by that guy. Sure calling Behemoth (not my cup of tea, but who cares) pop metal is a pinnacle of comedy. But where’s the “only their first hand-made cassette was good” card?

  15. Good point, well made. I used to think like this (Paradise Lost being the band that “sold out”) but eventually I just decided that bands would do what they wanted to do, be that for commercial or artistic reasons, and my opinion would be restricted to whether I liked the music or not.

    Also, why the fuck had I never heard of Living Sacrifice before. That was a great song.

    PS It eventually turned out that Paradise Lost actually recorded some decent material between Draconian Times and the eponymous album, to the point where I consider Symbol of Life to be one of their best. But that’s just me.

  16. It really pisses me off when people call bands ‘sell-outs’ because they didn’t like the last album. There certainly seems to be a lot of closed-mindedness among metal fans. Arrogant elitists who claim (explicitly or implicitly) to be smarter than everyone else are no smarter than the ‘average fan.’ There is a universally accepted truth in artistic expression: You either like it or you don’t. If you don’t, then don’t bag on the artist and/or other fans who happen to think the piece in question is great.

  17. This new interview of Nergal contains the following quote, which seems an appropriate addition to Andy’s post:


    “One of the factors that makes this record so different, and also I really hope it’s something that distances our new record from the majority of extreme metal albums in the market these days, is that most of the music that is offered by so-called extreme metal bands is not extreme. The paradox is that the average extreme metal band these days is just another friendly band, which actually pisses me off, because that’s not how ‘extreme metal’ — black metal, death metal — was meant to be. This is why I don’t listen to them. If I want to listen to some extreme metal, I go to the niche of the genre where bands don’t give a fuck because there’s no money and no business involved, there is no compromise. I’m very much inspired by bands that don’t give a fuck, so you could also call ‘The Satanist’ an ‘I don’t give a fuck’ album! What I’m missing with these ‘extreme metal’ bands is the danger factor in these bands; they try to be friends with everyone, they play blasts all over the place, playing blasts for 45 minutes is just dull, it’s boring. ‘The Satanist’ is about dynamics, and it’s a very diverse record. On one hand, you can say that it’s totally the most sinister album that we’ve ever put out, but at the same time, it’s flirting with genres. There’s a lot of traditional stuff going on, there’s classical hard rock, you can hear it in the leads and some of the riffing and the grooves. It’s not a typical death metal record. I like to think of this album as something very unique. So on one hand, yes, we are part of the genre, we are an integral part of the black metal tradition, and we know where we come from, we have so much respect for our roots, but on the other hand, it’s more than that…”

    • I actually think he goes too far there though, to be compeltely frank, and edges towards the “extreme music is onkly extreme if you live an extreme lifestyle!” kind of bullshit that leads to copy-cat black metal stabbings and other general idiocy.

      Though there’s a lot in there that’s good, this bit sticks in my craw:

      “The paradox is that the average extreme metal band these days is just another friendly band, which actually pisses me off, because that’s not how ‘extreme metal’ — black metal, death metal — was meant to be.”

      Meant to be? Yes, some people live it like a “lifestyle”… good for them. But some people are just fucking musicians ok, who make the music they want to and don’t pretend to be anything otherwise. The music itself can STILL be fucking extreme, and can still deal with the extremes of the human mind and the human condition.

      Heck, I think in all honesty he’s confusing/conflating “being extreme” with “being artistic” – and I’d argue (as he himself seems to say) that The Satanist is not all that extreme some times, but is perhaps their most artistically rewarding album.

      There are however albums which are just as artistically inclined, but ALSO more extreme, out there. And that’s not a criticism of The Satanist, just a caveat to his heavy-handed pronouncements here.

      I think he really meant to say (or should have said) is that too much extreme metal isn’t creative enough (and he seems to touch on that with his comments about blast beats everywhere).

  18. ‘That guy’ is being disdainfully disparaging to someone!
    What should we do?
    I know, lets be disdainfully disparaging to them!

    You guys 🙂

  19. The author was the first to jump to mind. How poetic.

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