01 April 2007
"All of these goats are retarded."
I'm not the slightest bit kvlt and I hate to admit that I do find "true" black metal culture more than a little bit campy. However, the idea of an ironic, neo-black metal band to me is simply abhorrent. A brutal, fast, grimy black metal record is, plain and simple, a true pleasure. So when I get "black metal" records like Striborg (see my recent review) it really, really pisses me off. Black metal is supposed to make me want to drink blood, sodomize creatures and smash brittle things. I don't want to hear some weak, experimental garbage from some talentless misanthrope in a basement somewhere. Now I'm all for keeping alive the DIY spirit, but just because a record is poorly recorded and hateful doesn't make it "black metal," it just makes it a bunch of unlistenable crap.
If you want a unhealthy dose of negativity and bloody satan worship then I seriously suggest Urgehal's Goatcraft Torment. This is the first I've heard of these guys, though they've been around since the early '90s (I told you I wasn't kvlt), so I have 4 other albums and other demo stuff to track down now. Carpal-tunnel guitars and battering-ram drums; lyrics in English and Norwegian; sentiments of death and ritual sacrifice. Hell, they start the album by proclaiming, "This is satanic black metal!" Urgehal understands the the basic elements of a great black metal record, only with the added bonus of listenable production. Gee, what a concept! I absolutely hate overproduced albums (particularly metal albums) that strip the songs of their raw energy and emotion. But I also hate poorly produced works that fail to demonstrate the full potential of a band. Goatcraft Torment is a great example of an face-knifing black metal record that actually sounds amazing. It's another one from Southern Lord, so go find it. I might have to do that because my promo copy is fucked up, though the headache stutter would probably be appreciated by the artists.