"Awful, and not entirely in a good way."
"Avoid this unless you love only the superficial “kvlt” aspects of black metal and ignore musical integrity."
After reading those quotes, one might think, "Wow, this is going to be one scathing article, I wonder what Jon hates," and, yes, these truly are some angry and hateful remarks...but I'm not here to hate on anything. No, these comments are all concerning the newly revitalized "noise black metal" scene, and I'm here to give you a little history lesson.
Now, to fully understand what this "black noise" phenomenon is, we must look back at the history of noise. Noise, as defined by ever-trusty Wikipedia, is "a term used to describe varieties of avant-garde music and sound art that may use elements such as cacophony,dissonance, atonality, noise, indeterminacy, and repetition in their realization." (read more here). Having its roots with futurist Luigi Russolo and moving throughout the years with musique concrète and avant-garde composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, and eventually hitting the mainstream in the 80s and 90s with Masami Akita (who you might know as Japanese noisemonger Merzbow) and various "noise pop" bands, the most notable being The Jesus and Mary Chain.
|Exmortes logo ca. 1988|
So, why the hate? Well, I mean, "black noise" is just what the genre says it is, it's black metal with elements of noise (or the other way around). Not many people can handle or really "get" noise OR black metal for that reason. This style of music's fierce, texture-oriented approach to a now-tired genre (which can be attributed to both sides) is a breath of fresh air, or smog, if you want to get technical. Yes, it is definitely a daunting and difficult listen, but, if you find enjoyment in experimentation and aren't one for production, black noise can be a rather rewarding listen.
Some "black noise" bands to look into, if you're interested:
|Read as "Altars" - can you see it?|
|Yorkshire's White Medal|
|Dom Fernow performing as Prurient|
Pennsylvania's enigmatic T.O.M.B. is an entity all it's own in the genre. While others spend time crafting their horrible atmospheres in the studio, this anonymous musician trespasses onto various fabled haunted places and makes field recordings of himself drumming on various surfaces. Full of machine sounds, noise, metallic clanging, and other otherworldly sounds, T.O.M.B.'s music is just as haunted as the legends that surround his recording locations. A quick YouTube search will yield various self-made documentaries surrounding the creation of various releases - be sure to check them out. T.O.M.B.'s magnum opus "Macabre Noize Royale" was released on Todestrieb Records in 2008.
I've been meaning to do an essay-type thing for The Inarguable. This seems sort of fun.
EDITED March 29, 2011, T.O.M.B. added.
I got quoted! I just hate listening to things that sound as though anyone could do it.ReplyDelete
not that easy mate i do it my self i haven't even finished itReplyDelete
Thanks for the writeup! Very interesting genre.ReplyDelete