Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring bleak

Posted By on Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge BLACK LIKE ME: Darkthrone
  • BLACK LIKE ME: Darkthrone

Black metal and hardcore punk have been annoyingly flirting with each other for years. Recently, however, a new generation of Tolkien inspired cretins are ready to take the relationship to the next level.

Though typically conjuring up images of frosty forests, corpse paint and those ridiculously branchy Norse band names, black metal actually shares many sonic similarities with hardcore. Hallmarks of both of these violent styles include brutal lyrics, agonized vocals, no-fidelity production and relentless tempos. With a subculture that is constantly referring to itself as "true," BM's emphasis on honesty — somewhat ironic considering all the face painting and chain mail — fits in well with the DIY aesthetic of the punk community.

Think you’re ready to dip your toe in the freezing putrid lake of raw Dark Metal? You wouldn't go into the sewer without a flash light, would you? Let's take a look at some of the finer examples, both past and present. I'll be your Gandalf...

Darkthrone, Transilvanian Hunger — Entry level raw black metal. This is arguably the finest example of true/cold darkness.

Ildjarn, 1992-1995 — Remember those one-man-band street performers with the banjos and the crazy cymbals they play with their feet? This is the opposite of that. Drum machines, ice cold keyboards, brutal washed out guitar violence, and that trademark shriek. Seems like a nice guy.

Bone Awl, Meaning Less, Leaning Mess — These guys skew more to the punk side with their Oi oompa-oompa drums and crusty guitars.

Grinning Death's Head, No Afterlife — If you can get past the really thin, boom box production, you'll discover a bunch of challenging, textured darkness from this Alpharetta, Ga. two-piece.

Test your skills out with this black metal or Ikea furniture quiz:

MÖRKER

CIRITH GORGOR

GOSA VÄDD

EMPEROR

HIMINBJORG

RINGSKÄR

ASPLENIUM

AMESTIGON

FALKENBACH

TROFAST

ENGER

NACHTFALKE

(GOSA VÄDD, ASPLENIUM, MÖRKER, TROFAST, ENGER, RINGSKÄR are all names of Ikea products)

You decide who's the truest. I'll leave that to the experts. Stay Cold.

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