Friday, October 21, 2016

Berserker Bonfire Songs

My love for you is like a truck, Berserker....
Would you like some making f**k, Berserker”

“Did he just say making fuck?”.... Berserker, the song that Olaf (Silent Bob's metal head cousin from Moscow) uses to serenade Veronica Loughran (played by Marilyn Ghigliotti) was an actual song that appears on the official Clerks movie soundtrack album, performed by Love Among Freaks. “Girls think sexy” Olaf and his fictional band, Fuck Your Yankee Bluejeans were hardly Death metal... a closer approximation would be early Judas Priest. Death metal is considered a sub-genre of heavy metal music, though over the years, it's morphed into any number of sub-genres of its own. The style evolved from thrash metal (Metallica, Megadeath, Slayer) and black metal (Emperor, Mayhem, Burzum) The style further developed and spread with the relative success of bands such as Death w/ Chuck Schuldiner (not the Detroit band) Venom, Celtic Frost, Slayer and Kreator.

Death metal is much maligned, due mostly to its inherent preoccupation with subject matter such as; death, suffering, destruction and mayhem..... did I mention death and suffering? The primary characteristic of Death metal that sets it apart from other sub-genres are the vocals. Typically, lead singers will employ a hoarse roaring grunt, sometimes referred to as death growls, which should never be confused with vocal fry, a technique used in other forms of black metal. “The vocal fry register (also known as pulse register, laryngealisation, pulse phonation, creak, croak, popcorning, glottal fry, glottal rattle, glottal scrape, or strohbass) is the lowest vocal register and is produced through a loose glottal closure which will permit air to bubble through slowly with a popping or rattling sound of a very low frequency” Though unproven, growled vocals may have been a part of Viking music.

Death growls are also referred to as “cookie monster” vocals, due to its vocal similarity to that of the Sesame Street character. Regardless of what you prefer to call this mutated vocal style, it's nearly unintelligible to all but the most harden fanatics. “However, the harshness of death growls is in keeping with death metal's abrasive music style and often dark and obscene subject matter” The opposite of this vocal style would be the screamo/crunk pig squeal which is a squealing vocal technique resembling that of a pig. Another quirk that sets Death metal apart from the rest is the use of Death metal English. The ponderous diction accents the ominous music. It's a lyrical style designed to give Death metal lyrics a sheen of intelligentsia. Which is totally lost on the listener unless you can decipher the death growls delivering the message. The music website, Invisible Oranges does a bang-up job of identifying some common traits of Death metal English, albeit... tongue in cheek:
  • Big, polysyllabic words: You don’t have to use them correctly; you just have to use them. These words don’t even have to be real.
  • Adjectives: In Death Metal English, they’re like guitar solos. You aren’t using enough. Add more.
  • Prepositional phrases: Same is true here, too — the more prepositional phrases, the better.
  • Progressive tense: Especially useful for song titles
  • Passive voice: Active verbs aren’t brutal. Passive voice is useful when you need to add more syllables to a line to make it fit the riff.
  • Archaic or pseudo-Biblical verbiage: If you write like you are some kind of ancient, ageless force who is unfamiliar with modern grammatical conventions, you are probably pretty evil. Bonus points for using constructions that evoke the King James Bible, which is ironically among the most metal texts in the English canon.
  • Grandiloquent metaphor: This is death metal. Make whatever you’re talking about sound really big and important.

The difference between the genres is in the details. What primarily separates Black metal from Death metal is the former's adherence to ideological Satanism (not necessarily practical Satanism) Defining the term 'black metal', Euronymous (a founder and central figure in the Norwegian black metal scene) said that it applies to any heavy metal band who are theistic Satanists and write Satanic lyrics. Such extreme ideas repeated by other scene members, eventually caused it to implode upon itself. Not all the musicians and fans were mother loving Satan worshipers, many were bandwagon believers who dropped all pretenses of allegiance to Beelzebub once the shit hit the fan with a pair of highly publicized gristly murders involving key figures in the Norwegian black metal scene.

A wave of church fires preceded Bård Guldvik "Faust" Eithun (drummer for black metal band, Emperor) stabbing a gay man, Magne Andreassen to death near Lillehammer. Faust later confessed that he encountered Andreassen at Olympic Park “this man approached me, he was obviously drunk and obviously a faggot” the two went into nearby woods, Faust confessed: “I had decided that I wanted to kill him, which was very weird because I'm not like this” Faust was armed with a knife because “It's better to have a knife you don't need than to not have one when you need it” He stabbed Magne Andreassen 37 times and kicked him in the head repeatedly. It would later be revealed that, all three men, Faust, Euronymous (Mayhem) and Varg Vikernes (Burzum) were present at the burning of Fantoft Stave Church and Holmenkollen Chapel.

After Varg Vikernes, a protegee of Euronymous formed Burzum, animosity arose between the two men. The motives for what would follow are shrouded in mystery.... a power struggle, a financial dispute or a need by Vikernes to outdo the murder of Magne Andreassen by committing an even more hideous murder of his own. Whatever the reasons, “on the night of 10 August 1993, Vikernes and Snorre 'Blackthorn' Ruch drove from Bergen to Euronymous's apartment in Oslo. When they arrived there was a confrontation and Vikernes stabbed Euronymous to death. His body was found outside the apartment with 23 cut wounds” Vikernes claimed he killed Euronymous in self-defense, having been lured to the Oslo apartment under the pretense of meeting to iron out details of an unsigned contract. Varg claimed that Euronymous planned to ambush him using a tazer and torture him to death while “filming the event”

"There are very few bands in the history of rock & roll that are undeniable as genuine innovators, Mayhem is one of them." writes Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) in the afterword for The Death Archives: Mayhem 1984-94. (co-authored by Jørn “Necrobutcher” Stubberud) Formed in Norway in 1984 and recognized as the most influential black metal band in the world, they are a group whose story has, over the years, grown so big, so notorious, it often seemed in danger of swallowing them up entirely. Arson and extremism; exploiting the grusome suicide of corpse-paint wearing singer Pelle "Dead" Ohlin and murder of guitarist Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth by then bassist Varg "Count Grishnak" Vikernes Today, Norwegian Black Metal is one of the most distinct and controversial subcultures in the music world, its popularity spanning globally to Europe, the UK, the U.S. , Mexico and Brazil.