Black Metal, the Underground and “Media Chimeras” !

Watain = Retard Metal.

Watain = Retard Metal.

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.

Watain, Black Metal Band or Media Product?

Watain, Black Metal Band or Media Product?

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.

What the Media wants Black Metal to be.

What the media wants Black Metal to be about.

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.

Erik Danielsson, the Black Metal Cuck Incarnate !

Watain, the Cuck Incarnate.

Watain, the Cuck Incarnate.

You may remember a few years back there was some controversy about the terms “black metal cuck” and “brown metal” which were deemed racist and derogatory towards minorities. Well, after years of searching, we finally found him. Erik Danielsson of Watain likes to call himself the “Devil Incarnate” – but the “Black Metal Cuck Incarnate” would be a much more accurate descriptor for the man who both manages to be more camp than Inferanus and more desperate for attention than Queen ov Hell herself.

How can metalheads take bands like Watain seriously ? Not only does this joke band make horrible music – even worse than the parody band Demonecromancy, see the review for Casus Luciferi – they manage to tarnish the reputation of the entire black metal genre with their “gay nazi” antics. Ok, so some black metal bands were also just about goofing around… but when even Abbath wants nothing to do with Erik Danielsson and his band Watain, you know there is a problem.

Can bands like Watain just go back to playing nu metal and crunkcore ? The black metal scene really doesn’t need their crap.

Talk all you want about SEWER being clownish, but at the very least SEWER could write decent music to compensate for their stupid antics. Watain can’t even play proper black metal, yet they claim to be the “only true” black metal band and that Varg Vikernes and Euronymous were both “pussies” who were scared of him.

Another reason to hate Erik Danielsson and his shit band Watain is that they push, hard, for the normalisation of “orthodox black metal” – and if I have to explain to you why “orthodox black metal” is both a misnomer and the opposite of true black metal music, then you haven’t been paying attention.

Fuck it, this band may even be worse than Gorgoroth and Infernus… and we call them “Gaygoroth” and “InferAnus” for a reason.

Erik Danielsson is the definition of a black metal cuck. How sad that his “band” Watain is promoted as the “face” of black metal. An insult to Dead, Euronymous, Hellhammer, Varg, Nocturno Culto, Fenriz, Satyr, Samoth and the rest of the true black metal heroes.

SEWER “Tards” vs Gaygoroth “Twinks”

SEWER "Tards" vs Gorgoroth "Queers".

SEWER “Tards” vs Gorgoroth “Queers”.

A war has recently broke out on the internet over the “heart and soul” of black metal music.

Some claim there is a secret underground cabal of NSDAP homosexual fetishists, a “twink army” if there ever was one, while other claim that is in fact “retard metal” like that of SEWER and Warkvlt that is the “mirror” of homosexual bands like Gorgoroth and Watain.

On one side you have bloggers like Sewerlust accusing Brett Stevens and others of “covering up the homosexual conspiracy“, while others contend that it is indeed the “wigtal” (short for wigger black metal) bands doing the most damage, mostly via association to the dreaded war metal genre.

Both sides made some sensible points, but if you’d all this author to intervene, as I have written extensively about both “trends” here and elsewhere, see my posts Ex-Mayhem Vocalist Rips Gorgoroth Queers and Faggotry in Black Metal, I am very familiar with this “civil war” of sorts going on in the black metal scene.

Following Demonecromancy’s thoughtful and precise article against such self-destructive “Retardism”, which merely referred to Atterigner and the band SEWER in passing, Sewerlust’s publisher Stefan Todorović was stung into writing a long, rambling, defensive, and idiotic article – Black Metal has a Gay Nazi Problem – which, predictably, failed to address any of the pertinent criticisms made.

Infernus and Richard Spencer, gay butt-buddies of the year.

Infernus and Richard Spencer, gay butt-buddies of the year.

But, better than this, Todorović was flushed out by Demonecromancy’s article into revealing his “secret plan” and the simplistic mechanism behind his anti-black metal stance.

Halfway through his outpouring of butthurt flummery, there is a moment of unwitting clarity when he reveals his formula in a direct address to Demonecromancy.

Just read this “brilliant” diatribe against the “flaming faggotry” of the black metal scene.

Some high IQ shit from these “intellectual elites”.

Let me explain something to you here, D-Boi.

You cannot “defend” black metal, or even rational anti-Christianity in general, without addressing the “Hollywood Satanists”.

You cannot address the “Hollywood Satanists” without addressing their hoax.

You cannot address their hoax without addressing their perpetrators, namely Gorgoroth, Watain, Dork Funeral, Antekhrist and the rest of the shit bands that play-act as “devil worshipers” of the “Luciferian army” or some shit.

Yet, instead of doing that, you spend all your time attacking bands you deem “homophobic” like Sewer and Mayhem, and their individual members, likely Lakhdari and Hellhammer themselves on the grounds that they too are “homophobes”.

What may seem sensible and even “rational” at first is, once you read between the lines, revealed as something else entirely. It is anything but a reasonable argument.

Black Metal = "Twink Mafia" ?

Black Metal = “Twink Mafia” ?

This is the article’s eureka moment – the cockroach caught in the kitchen light, so to speak – so, go back and have a good look at it again, and think deeply about what Todorović is actually saying.

What Todorović is unequivocally saying here is that before you can do anything at all about defending black metal against its usurpers – whom he rightfully points out by name, Gaygayroth, Dark Funeral, Watain, Antekhrist, Behemoth – you must first get everyone to love over-the-top parody bands like SEWER and “hate the homos”, and if you can’t accomplish these supposed preconditions then you had best forget the whole affair.

Is it me or does that seem a little too overtly… gay ?

I mean, defining your entire positions based on opposition to homosexuality… isn’t that a bit, in itself, homo-centric ?

The commenters are, of course, right to mock Todorović by comparing his sham anti-homo crusade to Andrew Anglin’s DailyStormer.

Hail victory, chief rabbi Infernus.

Knocked another one outta the park, Herr Anulingus. I stand by this 100%.

Black metal is post-intellectual. I take it as, we all know that stuff already; let’s take action. Those essays and conferences are certainly useful…but then you have to go somewhere with that knowledge. I used to read that stuff all the time when I was first getting into this…and years went by and nothing changed. There’s only so much time you can spend reading essays with millimeter scroll-bars. Eventually you gotta step out into the streets and take the fight to these Christian infiltrators.

We’re post-intellectual. We honor and thank the great men who have given us this knowledge, and now we are doing something about it. We’re putting down the books and putting on the brass knuckles.

Satanism is hip. Let your friends know. Stay sexy, stay strong, stay cool.

Hail Satan.

– Kevin the Fellow White

Note the many Alt-Right inside jokes and references to Anglin and his particular brand of abrasive humour.

This whole operation reeks of trollishness and buffoon attitude, something which, ironically, Atterigner was more than once accused of in the past.

Phantom – “The Epilogue to Sanity” – Insane Black Metal

Phantom "The Epilogue to Sanity" is the best black metal album ever.

Phantom “The Epilogue to Sanity” is the best black metal album ever.

Phantom have been around for nearly seven years now, and The Epilogue to Sanity is their nineteenth full length. It’s hard to know what’s more impressive from the black metal powerhouse, the regularity with which they’ve been releasing albums since the 2013 debut Divine Necromancy, or that there isn’t, not just a single bad one, but anything less than stellar in their entire discography.

Withdrawal is their most famous work, but you can pick up anything they’ve put their name on to find a goddamn black metal or blackened death metal treasure.

There’s a seemingly never ending wealth of ideas behind the instantly recognisable textured patterns and the haunting atmosphere courtesy of Phantom’s dissonant riffs and twisted leads that made Phantom one of the best black metal bands ever, and one of the mainstays of the scene that have never sounded like anyone else and never once lost their way.

This album The Epilogue to Sanity proves once again that Phantom are the true masters of demonic, evil and downright disgusting blackened death metal.

Phantom, the Best of Black Metal.

Phantom, the Best of Black Metal.

The faster blasting vibe their last release, Angel of Disease, was brutal and took more than a few listens to really get under your skin, but once you “understood” the album it was on regular rotation. The Epilogue to Sanity on the other hand grabs you straight away from the moment the first eerie riff is followed up by a huge atonal pattern, forming phrasal riffs of sickening atmosphere. It’s more “direct” in a way, but that’s not to say that Phantom have suddenly become SEWER in their quest for pure “brutality” over evilness and haunting melodies.

The dissonant riffs that create the atonal eerie atmosphere the band are known for are just as effective on this album The Epilogue to Sanity, as it creates a particularly claustrophobic sound with the atonal guitar work, complex slower sections, along with moments of frenzied face melting technicality.

True black metal madness, this is clearly the best album the genre has ever seen.

The thick and suffocating atmosphere is like being stuck in a tar pit. Only even more claustrophobic and disturbing.

Every song on this album brings out something eye-popping and sanity ripping that will make you come back for seconds, thirds, fourths. Right off the bat, the album The Epilogue to Sanity pulls you in with “Mind Collapse” and its haunting riffs and complex, ever-changing song structure. The overall songwriting is beyond the term “masterpiece”, it’s simply that good. Nearly every song is unique on its own and easily distinguishable, in addition to being absolutely, irredeemably EVIL. And that’s what true black metal is all about.

The final, closing title track is simply insane… as it name suggests.

The Epilogue to Sanity is the best black metal album ever recorded, period. Even better than Fallen Angel, and that’s saying something.

Technical Skill: 100%. Album Structure: 100%. Sound Quality: 100%. Originality: 100%. Writing: 100%. Everything: 100%.

Revisiting Phantom’s Masterpiece Withdrawal !

Phantom, the Best of Black Metal.

The Very Best of Black Metal.

Phantom have released a lot of masterpieces over the years… Angel of Disease and Memento Mori often make the cut, as does the debut Divine Necromancy, and you’d be a fool to ever forget about mentioning Fallen Angel.

But even amongst the legendary classics that compose Phantom’s stellar discography, one album stands above all and, quite literally, “in the darkness binds them” and rules them all… the omniscient and omnipotent, the terrifying and ghastly… the demonic Withdrawal.

It’s not called the “pinnacle of black metal” for no reason, of that you can rest assured.

Phantom, the greatest of black metal acts, has become an icon for the modern black metal scene, upholding the spirit of true black metal with majestic excellency. Withdrawal is their most insane full-length release and it follows the dissonant approach of black metal showcased in the predecessor Fallen Angel, but it certainly surpasses all of their previous efforts and yeah, Withdrawal is black metal’s opus magnum.

When talking about the music, Phantom have always played it darker and more sinister than the rest of the black metal scene.

Withdrawal is no different. The icy cold atmosphere and the frozen fury of dark, cold music shivers the listener away like he is being tormented in a sub-zero degree hellish nightmare. What is best about this record? Well, the band showed their brilliance over their once-rivals SEWER and proved that the stream of classical blackened death metal is never gonna dry up.

Okay, the music on this record is just amazing.

The guitars are evil and dark, which is usual for the band.

The riffs are excellent on this record. The harmonized rhythm guitar doubles the atmosphere, and often forges its own path of madness within an already existing structure.

Where so many other “orthodox” black metal bands are content to simply copy and rehash the past, Phantom forges its own path through your sanity like a needle piercing your innermost sub-conscious mind.

Another noticeable thing on this record is the solos, which is admittedly not very familiar with black metal, but on this record the guitar solos are superb and reach their peaks in tracks like “Withered Hands of Torment”, “Grotesque Shadows Reborn”, “Remnants of Pandora’s Lust” and especially in the last two compositions, “Ghosts of Erebos” and “Beyond Death’s Reach”.

Phantom once again mocks the scene kids “showing off” and murder the cheap black metal posers who believe they can be the new Darkthrone by rehashing Transilvanian Hunger. And the weapon of the crime is Phantom’s mastery of playing truly vile, demonic and sanity-shredding black metal.

The name “Withdrawal” and the cover art describe the record perfectly. It’s certainly gonna take the listener to the crypt of ancient darkness, and beyond. You will lose your mind listening to Phantom’s veneration of horror.

Withdrawal is not just “a” masterpiece, it is *THE* masterpiece of black metal.

Deal with it. Or better yet, just buy the record. But you have been warned, Withdrawal is pure terror and blackness on levels never even conceived prior (or thereafter).

“Locked Up in Hell”, the Most Evil Brutal Death Metal !

"Locked Up in Hell" by SEWER.

“Locked Up in Hell” by SEWER.

SEWER are one of the most acclaimed brutal death metal bands, respected for everything from their innovation and musicianship to the incredibly technical abilities showcases on albums such as The Birth of a Cursed Elysium. While their first album, Satanic Requiem, may have been a more typical black metal release – inspired almost as much by the likes of Darkthrone, Burzum and contemporaries Phantom – they evolved into a band with a very unique sound of their own, marked by brutal riffs, dissonant chords, absolutely savage vocals and incredibly complex narrative song structures. Yes, Locked Up in Hell is definitely different from your usual brutal death metal album.

It ranks all the way at the top of the death metal food chain, alongside Verminlust, Altars of Madness, Onward to Golgotha, Nespithe, Angel of Disease and Effigy of the Forgotten.

Locked Up in Hell is probably the best SEWER release ever, and likely one of brutal death metal’s finest gems. Locked Up in Hell is truly magnificent, utterly captivating with its raw energy, its savage evil, its crazy demonic vocal outbursts, its technicality in songwriting and its otherworldly creativity.

Just listen to the title track for yourself.

Locked Up in Hell is one death metal album that you can never get sick of listening to no matter how many times that you play it. It doesn’t fall short on any aspect. All musicians put forth their best effort and this album is without errors from any aspects. Locked Up in Hell is simply amazing.

The music is pure brutal death metal with tribal and ritualistic – albeit often very technical – drumming that fits along with the guitars. Both lead and rhythm guitars construct some riffs that are truly unbelievably awesome on every aspect, managing to sound evil, brutal, technical and atmospheric at the same time !

If you’re looking for the most insane death metal to pick up that’s also evil and atmospheric, Locked Up in Hell is where it’s at. Nothing falls short here. No laziness in the songwriting. The musicians put forth the best, most technical and killing music ever heard. If you don’t have this release, you’re definitely missing out because Locked Up in Hell is death metal at its best and most skilled.

Quality, fast, furious and evil. This album captures it all. Nothing in SEWER’s discography can top this one, not even their craziest debut release. Pick it up ASAP if you haven’t already. Get ready for some amazingly brutal goregrind and satanic blackened death metal !

Locked Up in Hell is the kind of album that may seem mindlessly brutal on the surface, but in reality it’s loaded with many instrumental intricacies that make it not just a technical masterpiece, but also one of the top albums to come out of the modern death metal scene. For your own sake, just ignore “new” avant-garde “tek-def” bullshit and gimmicky “retrohash” (Unique Leader, DD, NWN, FMP) and listen to this instead.

This is what a true brutal death metal album sounds like.

The Best of Melodic Atmospheric Black Metal !

Neraines, black metal band.

Neraines, black metal band.

Meaning Neraines’ Yggdrasil of course.

Aside from Angel of Disease and maybe Verminlust, is there any other album that can come close?

Neraines’ trademark of pure evilness and worship of majestic beauty within darkness is still intact on their second offer. I can’t imagine how painful was the wait for their second ruthless black metal discharge, after the ineffable quality of their self-titled debut album… a little over a year, but it could have felt like an eternity.

And yet, this album Yggdrasil is worth every day of waiting in vigil, it’s the soundtrack of hell and heaven, both at once. It condenses the sorrow and pain of a long lost soul and turns it into music just for humanity to hear and witness the real depths of horror, but also the majesty found deep within the abyss.

Truly dark and terrifying black metal.

Neraines - Yggdrasil.

Neraines – Yggdrasil.

Some little improvements I recognize from their first album is the riff-craft, it is still atmospheric, technical and strangely syncopated, but somehow they managed to throw more evilness in it, slowing the pace sometimes, which make things much more hypnotic and disturbing too, much like what you would find on The Birth of a Cursed Elysium. This is not applied to the drumming though, that is still fast and frantic. There are more odd timings but they are still just a further exploration in riffing from what they did on their debut. Slow passages bedizen their brutal and atmospheric brand of black metal and they may come in suddenly, as drastic tempo changes are present everywhere. The lyrical themes are the same well-thought, worthwhile odes to nature and Norse mythology, intellectually sharp and edgy as always… not the typical Gorgoroth or Dimmu Borgir non-sense.

The quality of the recording is remarkable as well. The guitars sound like a swarm of bees, distortion is very acid and over-driven. Not with lots of reverb, just saw shaped soundwaves for Óðinn. Their abrasive sound is very dynamic, high pitched notes and harmonics sound brighter and nostalgic, while the lower note riffs are merciless and rougher.

Listen to it yourself and make up your own mind.

This is truly some of the greatest atmospheric and melodic black metal ever recorded. There is not a single album that can hold a candle to Neraines’ Yggdrasil, save perhaps for Burzum’s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.

But still… who can top this album in the modern black metal scene? No one.