Oct 042015

Rearview Mirror


It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time for another glance into the past of metal. This week we’ve got songs from two bands, rather than one, but they’re pretty closely related — in addition to being tremendously influential in the development of both black metal and death metal.

The Swiss band Hellhammer was active from 1981 –1984. According to Metal Archives, they released three demos in 1983 leading up to the 1984 EP Apocalyptic Raids, which was later reissued in 1990 under the title Apocalyptic Raids 1990 A.D., along with two bonus tracks that had originally appeared on 1984’s Death Metal split, including “Messiah”. Continue reading »

Mar 272013

 (I wish I had thought of this cool idea for a post. But BadWolf beat me to it — and this is his piece.)

It’s not news to anyone reading this ( I hope) that heavy metal culture has an elitist streak. In fact, read enough comment threads on this blog and others, and you will notice a tiered system of elitism, false barricades that we, as fans, erect to keep ourselves distanced from a perceived wasteland that is ‘the mainstream.’ By virtue of reading a metal blog, I’d wager you’re already a step or two up on the elitism pyramid. By definition, as a metal blogger, I am MORE than a few steps up on the elitism pyramid. But I’m not far enough up to lose my sense of perspective.

There is an appropriate amount of ironic self-distancing when appreciating art. The top of the elitist pyramid? Probably black metal purists, and look how even the mainstream lambasts the true corpsepaint-set as clowns. Those folks would do well to remember that most of the Norwegian attack bands abandoned the strict black metal template quite rapidly. Ihsahn is in a prog band now. Mayhem put electronica all up in their second album.

But at the same time, from where I stand, the lowest rung of elitism is abjectly deserving of ridicule as well. And what constitutes that bottommost rung? Probably the bias against breakdown-centric bands. You can even see it on No Clean Singing—we’re covering a lot more black metal than deathcore these days. Continue reading »