(In this review Andy Synn turns his attention to the new album by Illinois-based Pan-Amerikan Native Front, which was released earlier this month.)
The more I think about Black Metal (and, trust me, I spend a lot of time thinking about Black Metal) the more it occurs to me just what an astounding paradox the genre is.
Founded by a bunch of no-good Norwegian punks (though if you called them “punks” to their faces you probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the response) whose back-story has since been retold and mythologised almost beyond recognition, Black Metal was originally just one big “fuck you” to the rest of the world, a purposefully introverted and isolationist rejection of ideas such as popularity, normality, and musicianship.
And yet, somehow, despite this – or, perhaps, because of this – it’s gone on to become not only a global phenomenon, but one of the most artistically adventurous and progressive genres in all of Metal.
How did this happen? Well, for me, it’s the underlying primitivism of Black Metal which makes it such an unexpectedly universal musical language.
Whether they knew it or not, those crazy kids somehow managed to tap into something truly primal and innately human with those ramshackle early recordings, something which connected with people all around the world and which they could then use as the foundation of their own art, and as a way to tell their own stories.
Stories like Little Turtle’s War.