21 February 2012

002 - Myself

The next question is: “who am I and why metal?”
     Well, you might have spotted my name somewhere. I was born October 1974 and grew up, most of my life, in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. In this no-bullshit-attitude, down-to-earth, love-it-and-hate-it metropolis my fascination with metal started after seeing the four painted faces of Kiss on television in the late 1970s (never remembered any of their music though, except I Was Made for Loving You and Christine Sixteen; my mom will tell anyone that asks that as a small toddler only Kiss and Blondie always managed to keep me glued to the tube). The hard rock of Status Quo (Whatever You Want), Queen (Live Killers), and Deep Purple (In Rock) were among the things I liked while growing up. It was in 1986 (for sure, but it could easily be 1985) that my older nephew Arthur got me hooked on real metal, starting with Venom’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Slayer’s Reign in Blood, followed by their other albums and Carnivore, Kreator, and Onslaught. I actually skipped the section of heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, Manowar, and Black Sabbath, which I discovered later on (with the exception of a few tracks I put on compilations during my first steps)… From all those fine thrash metal albums, my attraction to and interest in extreme music grew rapidly. It was boosted a few years later with my discovery of the death metal debuts of Death, Obituary, Autopsy, Pestilence, and Morbid Angel, and the musical extremes of Napalm Death’s Scum and Carcass’s Reek of Putrefaction (to name the most vivid examples). Still, they were a relatively long step away from black metal.
     Since the first years in the 1990s, when legendary albums by Samael, Blasphemy, Beherit, Darkthrone, and Deicide (yes, they deserved to be among them!) were released, the new wave of black metal immediately caught my main interest, and I started investigating the music, ideology, and history of that particular segment. This lead to a renewed exploration in metal releases of the past, where I discovered many of the music gems I will highlight in the coming pages. I also saw a growing Dutch underground I could roam around in, with dark acts like Funeral Winds, Apator, Countess, Inverted Pentagram, and Bestial Summoning. Black metal evolved into an ever-present passion since then. In 1995, after three years of aimless experimentation with my bass guitar in- and outside of bands, my fascination made me team up with the commercially inclined black metal band Liar Of Golgotha, in which I played guitar for almost four years and wrote lots of lyrics. From there on, I moved to more extreme and obscure things with four years of old-school black metal in Funeral Winds (still a highlight; a full 100% my kind of music), four years of more contemporary black metal in Israthoum, and finally laying low (note: not retiring!) with the Coldeemstorft and Veghe projects (which are still part of my life; as a matter of fact, Coldeemstorft recorded its debut release during the creation of the book that gave birth to this blog).
     With the academic skills I picked up in the marginal section Cultural Sciences of the Rotterdam University, where I graduated early 2003, I began exploring the internet, interviewing people around me, purposefully expanding my social network, and combining heaps of research material, just so I could bring you my debut book The Encyclopedia of Dutch Black Metal. But since writing one book is the same as writing nothing at all, here I am again marking a bit of metal territory (even though it’s a blog to begin with!)…

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