Like the vast majority of all grand estates and even medium-sized garden plots on the landscape of the internet, most sites that offer writings about metal are captives of the culture of clickbait. They are honey traps for lazy flitting bees, offering precious little intellectual sustenance of any lasting value, or even much fleeting value. They mainly just make the frenetic buzzing of their visitors grow louder, but no more coherent.
But there are exceptions. The extraordinarily ambitious essay by R.M. Temin published by Toilet Ov Hell a few days ago is one of those. For most of its considerable length, it is a history of transgressive music, mainly focused on metal. It takes Black Sabbath as its starting point (after first drawing connections to the Beat Generation and “hippie counterculture”) and charts the course straight through to the present. Its overarching theme has to do with the connections between metal and politics, and ultimately about the rise and persistence of far-right politics within certain sectors of extreme music. It’s title is: “Rock Against Anything: How Metal Became So Fucking Reactionary and What To Do About It“. Continue reading »