22 February 2012

003 - Where the Hell do I begin?

Where the Hell do I begin, now I have set my mind to a task as impossible as this one? That was the first question following some lunatic idea I had in the summer of 2010; an idea either an epiphany or mad delirium. After years and years of observing, participating, and anticipating (and loving and hating) the movements in the global black metal scene as far as humanly possible, that day I felt the undeniable urge to contribute something more personal than another objective encyclopaedia. It suddenly unfolded in my mind, during my lunch break from work, as clear as everything else in the bright sunlight at the harbour of Rotterdam: I was to write a single review that would span the pages of a book. I felt destined to review the black metal scene as a whole, overflowing with bias and personal sentiment, decorated with a sarcastic sense of humour, and in that way being the fully flavoured counterpart-companion of my Encyclopedia; my first professional venture into the public metal domain on paper (not counting any lyrics used by bands I had joined or helped, or the issues of Black Art Magazine I contributed to – and no, that’s not some trendy webzine but an old-school Xeroxed paper product, dating back to the early 1990s).
     In a strange way this book started when a colleague from work and I were swapping music (the cd-r variant of good old tape trading), and I decided to burn him a compilation with a short history of black metal – a personal selection out of the many releases that (mis)shaped the scene.
     Fascinated with the musical and occult roots of the music I have been emerged in since I was about twelve years old, I began to compile a more extensive audible history for private pleasure. Of course, there is no logical step from a compilation playlist to writing a 120 page review. I can only say that my mind works in odd ways, and sometimes to my own chagrin, like in this obsessive case of determination, knowing it would consume lots of precious time and bother me on the most inappropriate moments. Strangely enough, I cannot resist it in any way! So a few days later the first words came oozing out of me, illustrating my playlist.

Also there is this delicious anecdote about the evil seduction of rock music that should make writing about rock (and metal even more so) obligatory:

Secular music isn’t as innocent and voluntary as it seems. An American missionary’s family took a leave from their village duties and acquired some rock and roll albums. Soon after their return, the village witchdoctor visited the father of the family. He wanted to know why the family had abandoned their God. The witchdoctor came to this conclusion after hearing the rhythmic beat music, which was the same beat he used to summon demonic spirits.
AGP Alive Bijbelstudie Site (Bible Study Site), chapter “8. Satan” (viewed July 22, 2010). Of course the original source of their quote remains conveniently hidden by the creators of the website.

To keep it short, I will only tell you that on this blog I have conjured up some of my old writings and essays on (black) metal, included elements from my encyclopaedia and its website, and threw them in a creative blender to produce something fresh and worthwhile to read. For lots of people it contains the same old information found everywhere else. I guess the internet ruined a lot for non-fiction writers. Others might discover something new or a fresh way of looking at it. In either case, you will definitely not have read that same-old-shit in the same-old-way as I present it to you in the coming pages.

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