Let’s ruminate on the primitive future: N.M.E. and Merciless

By the late 1980s the homogenous blob that was known as extreme metal was slowly coming apart, with journalists and commentators forming and moulding the separate camps that were to define the following decades. There were artists however, that still resisted this trend, and played a form of hard thrash still lacking certain features that … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on the primitive future: N.M.E. and Merciless

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Let’s ruminate on the real masters of thrash: Sadus and Coroner

Thrash is probably one of the heaviest forms of music to penetrate the mainstream psyche in any significant way. But this has so coloured the history of thrash that it tends to overstate the significance of artists like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and yes, even Slayer at times. The lesser known Teutonic scene defined by the … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on the real masters of thrash: Sadus and Coroner

Ildjarn – The black sheep of black metal (a word on the namesake)

In order to build something new, sometimes it is necessary to destroy that which is old. If black metal destroyed the mores of production values, song structures, crumbs of appeal for the listener, then the work of Ildjarn was undoubtedly the logical conclusion to this project. Talentless hack to some, misunderstood genius to others (me), … Continue reading Ildjarn – The black sheep of black metal (a word on the namesake)

Let’s ruminate on the also-rans: Sarcofago and Blasphemy

In the 1980s heavy metal in all its weird and wonderful forms morphed into a genuinely international phenomenon. This was true of artists making inroads into mainstream charts and hearts, and of the underground movement, which propagated itself through tape-trading and word of mouth. Sarcofago, a little known metal outfit from Brazil were to gain … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on the also-rans: Sarcofago and Blasphemy

And who will shape the legacy? Burzum and Decapitated: a case study

After a gruelling few months of speculation, all charges of rape and kidnapping against Decapitated have been dropped without prejudice. This means the case could be resurrected at any time if new evidence comes to light. The case never made it to trial, but the build up was set to a backdrop of sexual harassment … Continue reading And who will shape the legacy? Burzum and Decapitated: a case study

Let’s ruminate on when thrash got subversive: Voivod and Carnivore

By the mid-1980s thrash metal had captured the hearts and minds of the metal community, it had established itself as a legitimate musical variation on heavy guitar music with many of the originators achieving legitimate mainstream success. The lyrics were typically obsessed with justice, comments on the threat of nuclear war and the coming apocalypse, … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on when thrash got subversive: Voivod and Carnivore

Let’s ruminate on extreme metal’s coming of age: Bathory and Celtic Frost

Disparate artists across Europe and the Americas, growing up on a strict diet of Motorhead, punk, NWOBHM, and even some classical music, were in turn picking up guitars themselves (often for the first time) to emulate these musicians and hopefully surpass them, pushing the boundaries of just how noisy guitar music could be. This abrasive … Continue reading Let’s ruminate on extreme metal’s coming of age: Bathory and Celtic Frost

The purpose of myth, secular Protestantism, and the deification of tools

It took Cervantes 327,360 satirical words to thoroughly dispense with the notion of chivalry. A modern writer could do so within 1000 words. Cervantes was writing at a time when points were proved – or rather made digestible for the populous – through the power of the fable. Through a series of amusing tales and situations, … Continue reading The purpose of myth, secular Protestantism, and the deification of tools