Ice-T. Crossover. Thrash. Speed Metal. Rap Metal. Hardcore. Cop Killer. LA and California. Suicidal Tendencies. Bad Brains. Dirty Rotten Imbeciles.
I was giving one of my condensed and erratic histories of music to Gala when she was here, enthusing very hard about D.R.I. and their still fucking brilliant album Crossover and how important it was in this moment of punk getting harder and heavier and metal getting faster and thrashier and meeting in that album, playing her Five Year Plan, maybe from Live at the Ritz and Body Count was there in the sidebar. Body Count! There Goes The Neighbourhood. I have not listened to this goodness in years.
Coming back from my ride today, all along Columbiadamm and Flughafenstraße were billboards for their new album, Carnivore. They cover Motörhead. Fukken ??❌???.
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.
All nations hail the end of peace
New dawn inception of disease
Age of revenge has now been born
By the mother of all wars
Enemy of God
Purity and innocence is killed
Enemy of God
Peace died long ago when life stood still
Mongolian pride, speed metal, Gengis Khan all get together in Ulan Bataar’s hard-rockin’ band Hurd and their CD I was Born in Mongolia were in New York Times yesterday, and seen at China Digital News.
China built the Great Wall more than 2,000 years ago to keep out invaders from the north. But the Chinese are having a harder time repulsing modern interlopers like these: long-haired Mongolian men in black, whose office décor features a wolf pelt, a portrait of Genghis Khan and a music store poster of Eminem.
So the Chinese police got nervous when they heard that Hurd was crossing the Gobi Desert, coming down from Mongolia, 600 miles to the north. With their new hit CD, “I Was Born in Mongolia,” Hurd, a heavy metal, Mongolian-pride group, was coming for a three-day tour, culminating Nov. 1 with a performance in Hohhot, capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
“The morning we were to get on the train, the translator guy called and said ‘Your performances are cancelled,’ ” Damba Ganbayar, Hurd’s keyboardist and producer, said glumly as he lounged in a white plastic chair. “He said, ‘I will call with details.’ I never got the details.”