FADastic: Just Because It's Black Metal It Doesn't Mean You Have To Suck On Purpose

(image source: tumblr.com)
So, I've been kicking around a while and thinking of a few things to post on Dire Notes. I mean, I got a list of topics but I really want to get to the meat of some issues I personally have in music - or, in this case those that hit me by surprise like a wild fart in a crowd. Now, I know that Black Metal is one of those 'everyone gets a chance' types of genres. I mean, Black Metal is so niche that their crowds can't wait to get their hands on the next grimy budget-ridden release. And I like grimy, I like dirty, and I like mean but I do not like some of the shit I've been hearing under the guise of 'classic'.

When it comes to Black Metal, Classic is like comparing a Macbook to a Compass. You just aren't getting much of anything, that or something completely useless. There are some people out there that like things at their purest and rawest roots - the ones that like any other Hellhammer song but 'Messiah' or those who frequently talk about the importance of groups like Old Funeral. But, I'm going to tell you the nitty gritty about that right now you purists - those people had no idea how to mix and master, they had no money, no crowd, no scene, and they just flat out had no idea what they were doing. Black Metal, as a sum, was a product of chance and its forefathers have more then often admitted that they didn't know shit about anything to do with music - some of them just wanted to copy other bands, some of them just wanted to scare, some wanted to express themselves in the most blistering way possible. And, you know, a genre based on that is one I can give a little leniency to. But man, what I've heard from this little band, I'm sure Black Metal fans have heard of, called Necromantia is just... shit.

Something is up with those boobs...
(image source: kvlt.fi)
My god, at first listening to this was something of a pleasure. I've been hearing way too many high-profile bands as of late, with their fancy effort and care when it comes to production (who would have such things in music? I never heard of such sell-outs!), so I was digging the rather experimental and amateurish riffs. I mean, sure, it was bad but I still like hearing people express their ideas and enjoy it on almost any medium (I liked Cripple and Casino). However, the vocals began - giving me a sort of narration over the music rather than any attempt at real vocals. And, it just kept on. It never stopped. One song gave me nothing but narration and endless 'GWARGGEH!.' Okay, I don't want that. I don't even care what is being said. How is this even Black Metal? How is it any metal?

Now, I can't complain entirely about the release I'm mentioning as it is actually a split with Necromancy called 'A Collection Of Arcane Hexes' and I really like Necromancy. But, including the both together is almost surely going to make people like me draw up the stark differences between the two. Sure, they have similar names and Necromancy is way lower budget as well as way less talented at the mixing desk (you can literally hear the mic being hit and touched as some songs begin and end) but my god, there is so much more effort put into Necromancy that it isn't even funny. Sometimes, you can even sort of tell they were learning how to put their shit together along the way while Necromantia just does a whole lot of jack and shit. Man, its black metal - I don't even get a wild senseless scream or something? I can't help but feel that Necromantia simply didn't see the need to try simply because, hey, its Black Metal and some labels will just put out anything with a little KVLT sprayed on.

This is a shameful release, I can't even believe the vastly superior Necromancy would associate themselves with this sort of crap. Also, why the hell aren't they the first half of this split? I'll be surprised if anyone can survive the first bit to make it to the second bit. Whats worse? I now also have to put some extra time into writing a full review on Metal-Temple for this split. But, I thought you'd all like to experience my completely humble opinion on bands like Necromantia beforehand.

Now, let me go in peace before I start talking about shit like 5 Finger Death Punch.

FADastic: Sex Appeal Doesn't Really 'Appeal' Anymore

Real Classy...
(image source: http://radiocontraband.com/)
Out there in the vast wasteland of popular culture Sex Appeal is almost strictly the main selling point. I wouldn't be too shy claiming, without knowing, that more then likely more money is spent on outfits and photography then the music itself. Hell, some artists don't even really rap or sing anymore and instead opt for whispering or talking through a song. There are tracks out there that have absolutely no chorus - not even for 'experimental sake' (as in the case with a lot of metal tracks) but instead for some lazy screeching computer nonsense. And, okay, there are exceptions where this works but in most cases it doesn't really. Instead, your real treat is within CD books (or online images and videos) full of nothing buy gawking material. I absolutely don't get when music shifted from a auditory to a visual medium at all.

Don't get me wrong though, I love metal and we all know it has its vast share of culprits that rely on visual goods. Heck, Black Metal - the so-called KVLT genre - is so reliant on visual shock that its almost just a shade of what popular culture represents, only with more clothes and makeup.  However I'm not going to bash down on Black Metal too much - everyone knows what goes on there (or you should). What I am going to go on about is the vast stupidity that is trying to pull people closer to metal bands through sex appeal.

Recently I saw a video by Butcher Babies called 'Mr. Slowdeath' where the, already over-sexualized, dual-leads opt or pointlessly having their breasts out with tape on their nipples. Why. Why is that there at all? The lyrics don't pertain to this at all. Actually, some of their songs deal with people like that being refereed to as filth and scum. And it isn't ironic, the rest of their attire is just sundresses and odd makeup. This was clearly a decision to rake in a bit of a 'Bro' audience. Especially considering the two singers arch down and rub their legs and thighs - again, pointlessly.

The most upsetting example i can think of is In The Moment. Once, back in the day, me and my wife had taken a liking to the small 'metalcore' group. Maria Brink had edge and power. Her hurt within lyrics made sense and she could actually back up what she was talking about (having had a son while young and expressing a lot of her emotional traumas and desires through her lyrics). Every album brought something seriously new to the table - until 'Blood'. And, it wasn't even the album that made everything go sour. it was the fact that the band totally pushed Maria Brink to be portrayed as basically a massive whore. I'm not even kidding, her live shows resorted to her wearing a dunce cap with the bold letters 'WHORE' on it. In This Moments videos from there ranged from her basically having orgies on screen all the way to her being part of a drug induced peep show. Wonderful.  It didn't even stop there. Brink went on to further enforce this by appearing on the front cover of several magazines completely nude - with her 'WHORE' dunce cap.

So my question is: how is this appealing? Metal, to me at least, was about strength and basically laying life's problems out flat. I'd expect the women to convey at least a bit of strength or, anything. And, if this is done strictly to draw in a audience - isn't there so many better ways to do it with Metal? Bands like Lordi rely on grotesque monster costumes like the infamous GWAR. Within Temptation, Nightwish, Delain, Leaves' Eyes, and countless other bands have their women in elaborite and beautiful attire. What is going on out there? I certainly hope that this 'skimp' phase doesn't last for my beloved genre. Then again, maybe its been here the whole time and I just never realized it at all.

FADastic: David Brockie Was Not Your Friend


It sort of sickens me these days when a celebrity, even of minor fame, dies. It seems that afterwards, a million and ten people claim they knew this person. They claim the tallest of tales and expect you to believe the boldest of lies strictly due to the fact that this person was a celebrity - never considering that they were also a regular person as well.

I've been to my fair share of shows and I've met a decent amount of underground celebrities. I might not have the look but I've been behind the scenes quite a bit and even helped some bands garner a slight amount of success in their time. So, believe me or not - I know how these people work. They work like... well... people! The only difference between us and them is that they had the balls to go after their dreams and take every possible risk to get there. They mustered what confidence and funds they had (or built it through their dreams) to achieve the creative lifestyle they desired.

So, color me surprised when I'm on my Twitter (@kham8811) and I see several shameless posts stating, because they were too ignorant to read the actual press releases, that David Brockie had died on Sunday, the 20th of April 2014 and not March 23rd. Why was this mistake made? As I said, they took the date on a Press Release as the date he died rather then read it and get their facts straight.


And the offense doesn't stop there. Some of these individuals (whom I won't name out of the fact that they'd try to garner even more attention) claim that they knew the man personally. Funny thing is that a couple even state that he was the creative force behind GWAR but not actually in GWAR... He was the lead singer guys, he was Oderus Urungus. A fact that could have been so easily Goggled that you'd not even have to click on any of the links because most of Brockies facts turn up in the sidebar. Really, seriously? That is true laziness.
Okay, this is a little epic.

It reminds me of a story my Ex-Girlfriends mother told me. How she apparently was walking down the road when a unmarked limo picked her up and all of a sudden Elvis Presly was aboard. He apparently had a root-beer dispenser in this limo and gave her and her friend, whom suddenly appeared in the story, a glass. Afterwards, for no apparent reason - he pulled off his underwear and signed them for her, dropped her off on the side of the road and that was that. Of course, the barn at her home got burned down years later with the apparent underwear in it - and everything else that pertained to her far-fetched tales. I mean, really. Just because someone is dead and a celebrity, you can't just go making up these stories to hurry yourself into some momentary state of attention. Humanity, you find newer and more offensive ways to surprise me almost daily.

-KEITH J HAM-