Reading: Dayal Patterson — Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult

Oh fucking yes!

What am I supposed to say? Graaah! Hail Satan! I was waiting for this book for so long. As soon as I found out about it I had it on order, and it was months away, and when it was finally published, I was already in Bologna. Which meant my first trip of the year to St George’s had this utterly fucking fantastic book waiting for me.

The cover! I am so happy I will have that cover between my fingers for the next weeks, and that when I fly to Zürich on the weekend whoever sits next to me will see it. It’s a big book too, big, heavy, nearly 500 pages, stacks of images, colour plates in the middle! And not just a couple, 64 pages of colour! Venom! Bathory! Celtic Frost! Mayhem! (that little Nazi Burzum also.) Gorgoroth! Gaahl! Attila Csihar! And that’s just the old stuff!

I’m not even a hundred pages in and already I’ve learned so much about the history of black metal, putting bands and connections in place and together, influences, who was where when and with whom, who came from where. I read Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground (also from Feral House) a long time ago, a friend had it and for whatever its real worth, it’s essential introductory reading. Dayal Patterson’s Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult is much better. Of course the subject matter isn’t identical, it covers a greater timespan, from the early ’80s (late ’70s even) following bands and people up till today; also a wider geographic spread, from Brazil and Canada to Greece as well as the more usual black metal Scandinavian countries. It’s the book you read if you want thirty years of black metal in all its forms without the church-burning sensationalism.

What’s missing? Well, an index would be good. Chapters for the most part are one per band, occasionally one per genre, location, or timespan, but being able to look up everywhere Gaahl turns up would be very useful (for example). Or a bibliography or chronology of recordings cited — and there are a lot. If I was to be especially avaricious, this book should come with all that music, one or two tracks from every important recording, it would be fucking diabolical.

I forget how much this cost; it doesn’t matter it’s worth it. It’s worth it for seeing so clearly documented the crossover between early black metal, punk, and hardcore. Also for – especially with the European people – a clear political or moral philosophy, almost as if those who were more of an overt political philosophy went toward punk while those who considered a moral philosophy went toward metal, but both were part of the same sphere.

Yes, so, Black Metal. The goats are happy. It needs its own bookshelf.

slow southern steel

Waking up without coffee at the moment, and of course breakfast reading starts with Ideologic, and so I find myself late leaving as I watch the 2 minutes and 9 seconds of Slow Southern Steel over and over. Oh this is a film I want to see. Metal south of the Mason Dixon line, southern trash, Weedeater, Dixie Witch… more! more!

岭南启示录 Apocalypse PRD

We are performing 岭南启示录 Apocalypse PRD at Park19 next Sunday night. I’ll be trying to blog about it every day til then. In the meantime, here’s the details:

Apocalypse PRD 岭南启示录

Canton demon nightmare in Liwan
Death metal pornographic Chungongtu
Zhuangyuanfang acid-dipped showgirls
Going upriver and out of your mind

Frances d’Ath, Paul Emmanuel and Emile Zile would like to invite you to Apocalypse PRD, a Death Metal Cantonese Opera performance at Park19.

地点:
海珠区江南大道南
南泰路168号
南泰百货批发中心2号楼
8楼 PARK19艺术空间

时间:
5月 14日晚 8点

联系方式:
+86 (0) 20 2228 5151
Park19@park19.com
www.park19.com

where:
Park19 Artists Studios
8th Floor, 2nd Building
168 Nantai Rd
Jiangnan Dadao Nan
Haizhu District
Guangzhou
China

when:
8:00pm
Sunday 14th May

contact:
+86 (0) 20 2228 5151
park19@park19.com
www.park19.com

Apocalypse PRD
+86 1353 9849 666
frances@supernaut.info
supernaut.info
www.francesdath.info

eurodisney@emilezile.com
www.emilezile.com

peammanuel@yahoo.co.uk

Supported by Australia-China Council and Wales Arts International

angel of death meets C64 & NES

Most people who know me a bit understand I love metal. In all it’s forms, from the original heavy stuff of Sabbath and Motörhead, through the crossover decade of speed metal when I was confused if I should like Slayer, coz they sounded awesome, but weren’t punk, and DRI who are the hugely unacknowledged missing link, all the way to this year’s introduction by Emile Zile (who has a birthday tomorrow) of Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Sunn O))), like Depeche Mode say, “I just can’t get enough”. harhar.

And it was Emile again, when we did a sharing of blogs we read, who turned me on to { { { { – – Sky Noise — >>>, who became a daily read in mere seconds, and is one of my favourite sites of computer/art/technology/stuff. (Emile and I have talked about the flabbiness of the term “new media arts” that through its attempts to be all-inclusive becomes both meaningless and exclusionary).

The point to all this is today there was a meeting of some of my favourite things, Slayer covers using C64 & NES, available for download in juicy MP3 goodness.

12min.max – hell

Continuing my playtime in Zürich, I forgot to mention Tanzhaus Wasserwerk offered me a place in 12min.max, which is on from November 11th to 13th. So there’ll be lots of fun things happening for my last month in Zürich.

Emile is still here so he’ll be doing satanic video and audio, and romping around like a despot in corpsepaint, noise from Agoraphobic Nosebleed, video from Rosemary’s Baby, and Cornelia who I danced with in Mercy45 is turning up to get into a bikini and ritually sacrifice a few babies or something…

Actually the work is two intertwined texts, the first Dante’s Inferno, and the second Jean Baudrillard’s essay on death in Symbolic Exchange and Death, then there’s a host of Chinese Door Gods and demons, and plenty of death metal, fast dancing and more of the same.

-edit- for those who like this kind of stuff, this entry is incidently the 666th post I’ve made. (all hail … etc etc …)

Gallery

exterminate!!! exterminate!!!

Last Friday night down at the bar of Park19, a bunch of us got together to drink beer and eat lychees and watch, for the first time outside of a computer screen, the film of extermination. It’s been a long time coming, and it still a little way off being finished, but I thought it really needed to be seen, or maybe I just wanted to see it. Either way, it’s fucking gorgeous, beautiful, depraved, more very metal than Lemmy, and I’ll shut up now and show some stills.

music non-stop

I paid a visit to 這牆 The Wall on Saturday night. Well only got as far as the record shops after gorging myself insensate on yangrouchuan and other staffs of life. My aim was to buy Impiety’s album Paramount Evil … Damn I love Death Metal sometimes. But my desires were thwarted by Hell Ambassador, who did not have it.

But 閃靈 Chthonic, who have had a truly satanic year have just released their single Satan’s Horns, which is the theme for the Mandarin version of Freddy vs Jason.

I got no further than 小白兔橘子 White Wabbit records. Finding most of the back-catalogue of Swans, and a bunch of Sonic Youth on vinyl was just too much. This is one of those shops that anything you buy will be good. What I wanted though was Taiwan bands, and I found enough of them on 蘿蔔一代 Lobo One and 蘿蔔二代 Lobo 2 to keep me happy all week.

金屬永生 satanic beast spawn

This one’s for you, Emile.

What I really needed to do was get out and bang my head, and last night 這牆 The Wall provided the opportunity with six satanic metal bands and earth-shaking noise at Metal Immortal VII 金屬永生. All metal; death, black, speed, satanic, hair and all heavy. I can’t remember all of them because of one truly awesome metal outfit from Singapore.

I walked in on the last song from Infernal Chaos, who do a solid line in American heavy metal, lots of guitar duels and long hair. There was the Iron Maiden impersonators, Eternal who rode the line between horrible and solid metal riffing, sometimes going between the two in a single solo. Tight jeans, pouting and more hair. Both I’d pay to see again.

Soon after, there was the utterly crap Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Machine Head posers (I think 犬儒). Boys, aggro political metal came and went 10 years ago. Also overdriving all your effects until the (very good) sound system has a permanent mid-frequency hum does not make you sound good, or impress any political message. It just makes you sound like mediocre amateurs. I saved my ears for Satan.

But who cares? I came for the face paint and Mongolian throat singing, and I don’t mind a bit of Death Metal er-hu either. 閃靈CthoniC as evil as they are cute. The lead singer looks like the creature from Alien, and does a fearsome black metal scream. Plenty of make-up, big demonic costumes, and blasting drums and guitars. But it was a sad night because their drummer is leaving (to play jazz, spawn of the devil), and he left the room surfing the arms of the crowd while their new drummer took over.

As if it couldn’t get any better. This is hard: Impiety. How can Singapore produce such an evil, demonic group? These guys were fucking aswesome. Two shaved-headed clones who hacked away at their speed-metal riffs in perfect time, swinging their heads like Regan from The Exorcist, and in the middle, the cleaver of goats himself. If Lemmy had an evil twin brother, this is him. Even the head of his bass, permanently pointing to the ceiling was doing a satanic salute. These guys were huge and scary and didn’t fuck around. This is the hardest, blackest hell-metal I’ve ever seen. Half the room bailed out in terror, the other half went nuts, and by the time they’d finished the whole room was shaking and everyone was screaming like maniacs.

We didn’t stay around for the final act, because Impiety slayed us. Whatever followed would either have to be so good we’d drop dead in awe, or wouldn’t cut it. Anyway, Emile, Impiety and 閃靈 CthoniC, check it out and let Morloch reign.

bubotic

I got an email from someone about extermination, who had come along on word-of-mouth and got a kick out of the blood and gore and slayer. It turned out to be Emile Zile, who had an installation in the window of the subway under Degraves St in Melbourne during the Next Wave Festival this year. Emile’s website bubotic.net is a beautiful sprawl of net art, video, installations and other wonders of art, including the narrowband-reaming video for DAS BUTCHER.