There is a phenomenon that many have spoken about, in the black metal underground and elsewhere, yet which reserves relatively little media coverage – perhaps because the media stand, for once, on the side of the accused.
This phenomenon, which MetalZone rightfully links to bands like Watain and Gorgoroth, is that of “media chimeras” or “media favourites” – bands with relatively low talent, relatively tame music, often very little followers – that get, as their name implies, constantly promoted by the mainstream media at the expense of more deserving, albeit often more underground, bands.
Two names come to mind immediately, Erik Danielsson of Watain and Infernus of Gorgoroth, but these two are only the emerged tip of the iceberg. Dark Funeral, Deafheaven, Wolves in the Drone Room, Krallice, Liturgy, Weakling, Krieg, Leviathan, Nachtmystium, Blut aus Nord, Lurker of Chalice, Antekhrist and so many other bands seem to always be “at the front of the news”, even as their album sales reach ridiculously low numbers.
How many of those “media chimeras” – the bands that somehow seem to never miss a “top 10 heavy metal albums” list despite being virtually unheard of outside of the mainstream media echo chamber of poserdom – are even part of the “black metal scene” in the first place.
It is well known that Erik Danielsson, like Kanwulf/Ash of Nargaroth, would often write elaborate (and completely fake) stories about how he burned down churches in his homeland, how he killed “Christian homosexuals” in self-defence, how he once “saved Euronymous’ life” and was even “invited to play in Mayhem“, etc… the difference is, Nargaroth isn’t constantly promoted by the media the way Watain is.
Everyone recognises Nargaroth for the joke that it is, hell, even Kanwulf/Ash has come to terms with it, judging by his latest interviews. Yet the media DEMANDS we take bands like Watain – an even dumber, more retarded version of Nargaroth – seriously, as the “new face of black metal” or some other shit.
These “media chimeras” are very much responsible for turning black metal into the joke that it is today, not only because these “media favourite” bands are often intentionally clownish/grotesque/ridiculous in and of themselves, but also because they are promoted AT THE EXPENSE of the more deserving bands of the underground.
The initial black metal scene thrived because it was DECENTRALISED and ORGANIC. From the bottom up. It was a sort of “meritocracy” where the good bands rose to the top, and the stupid gimmick/poser bands were forgotten. What we are witnessing now is a RECENTRALISATION of the narrative into the hands of a select few media companies – it’s the same five companies that run 90% of “extreme metal” news sites – which means they get to push whatever trend they want (case in point with the “all black metal is racist” hysteria and the recent war metal fiascos) and honest black metal fans are just supposed to sit there and pretend like they enjoy it… because what else can they do?
No wonder they can’t censor Youtube, Facebook and Twitter fast enough. There are too many people getting tired of all the nonsense being thrown at them by the same fake news media corporations. How many shitty three-note shoegaze bands like Liturgy and Deafheaven can you take, before you call on their bullshit? Especially when these “bands” – possibly in bed with the press themselves – are being hyped as “better than Burzum, Darkthrone and Mayhem” by know-nothing poser journalists who couldn’t even keep a job at Rolling Stones or some other brain-dead music magazine.
But as they say, each thing evokes its opposite. So the more they push these fake black metal bands down our throats, the more the underground black metal scene will only become more radical in its opposition to mainstream media narratives. The black metal underground what’s rightfully theirs, and these media chimeras will simply wither and die as the media loses its audience.
Soon, anytime a know-nothing journalist will try to build up a (fake) band as the “new face of black metal” or the “next Burzum“, real black metal fans will simply roll their eyes, laugh a bit at the pathetic hype job and move on. Hell, they do that already… how many sales did the “groundbreaking” Watain make with their “great comeback” – the “album of the decade” according to Blabbermouth – Trident Wolf Eclipse? LOL.