Thursday, June 23, 2011

The metal nerd's collection (Part 2 of 3)

We're back for the second installment of the metal nerd's collection, a look into the minds of the pretentious cred-hungry cretins who are increasingly infesting the metal scene lately, desperate to soak up any praise for their taste for being different if not actually good. Here's another five bands that are essential to such a character's collection.

1. Gorguts - Much like Immolation, this is shooting fish in a barrel. Just about any pre-'98 tech death band is a good choice for the metal nerd, but Gorguts' extra-abstract and atonal style in their later career makes them perfect fodder for someone seeking to flatter their own sense of taste and style. It goes without saying that the nerd will emphasize the latter two albums in the band's catalog, but he'll probably mention the early two in some capacity- maybe to refer to them as "minor Gorguts." Favorite album: "Obscura," undoubtedly. The sheer Immolation-style nerd cred of that album is unbeatable. For bonus points, the nerd might say they have a particular soft spot for "Considered Dead," but NOT the sophomore release.

2. Darkthrone - This is actually a very specific case. The ONLY album appropriate to reference by the nerd from Darkthrone's extensive catalog is, of course, "Soulside Journey." To discount the entirety of Darkthrone's seminal career as a black metal one is a daring and clever move on the part of the nerd, and harping on the technicality and compositional elegance of the band's first death metal work is a quick ticket to get noticed in a world where that album is mostly forgotten. Ignore the fact that "Soulside Journey" is mostly forgotten because it's just not that amazing an album: this is about appearances, not logic. Favorite album: "Soulside Journey" with an entirely random mid-era album like "Total Death" as a backup.

3. Incantation - Not much is better for the nerd than oldschool, doomy death metal, and what's more oldschool, doomy, and deathy than Incantation, who sucks up all the interesting elements of the oldschool NYDM scene and regurgitates them with all the fun and enthusiasm entirely stripped away. The reams of identical albums the band has released allow, similar to Angelcorpse, the nerd to impress his personality on them, making the actual CHOICE of album almost totally irrelevant. Saying that you enjoy Incantation is a positional statement in and of itself- any conversation beyond that is just meaningless detail. Favorite album: the metal nerd cannot actually name an Incantation album, but they will say "I'm a big fan of their slower work."

4. Demigod - We can't ignore the Finnish scene, can we? Demilich is an obvious contender but simply too many people actually enjoy them for it to be feasible. Adramelech is another good choice but doesn't have the sheer namedrop factor necessary. Demigod, on the other hand, is in just the perfect niche: no one's heard them even though everyone knows their name and history, their primarily lauded release for a long time required a ton of money to acquire on Ebay, and they're still kinda-sorta active which keeps them in the public's mind. Favorite album: "Slumber of Sullen Eyes," simply because claiming another would be so implausible.

5. Tiamat - So the metal nerd needs a classic doom/death band from the more romantic side of the equation to hang his hat on, but the Peaceville 3 are just too straightforward. What should he do? Step sideways and go for Tiamat, who no one really listens to but are revered by many people pretending to listen to their copy of "Clouds." Tiamat's music isn't as openly weepy and cloying as My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost, but the real advantage these guys have is how they totally fell off the map when they turned into a rock band. Favorite album: some transitional work between their rock and metal eras, in order to talk about the "amazing synergy within."

Check back tomorrow for the final installment. Don't get into the pit, though; you might tear your bootleg Electric Wizard shirt!


  1. this is too good. oh also: the really cool Tiamat is Sumerian Cry.

  2. Seconding the Sumerian Cry praise. That album is legitimately evil-sounding. I just wish they didn't go to shit immediately after releasing it. Also, the Soulside-Journey-only people are a bunch of wieners, and I actually enjoy that album a lot. Gorguts is cool as well, but I definitely think that a lot of people pretend to like them to sound smart. The worst metal nerds say that they like later Deathspell Omega because it's like "black metal Gorguts." Can't stand those fucks.

  3. It's really weird how so many people see Incantation as a doom/death band. I never really thought of them that way, but then all of these neo-oldschool people show up a couple years ago talking like Onward to Golgotha is the same thing as Asphyx or something.

  4. It just seems so stupid to only like "Soulside Journey." Its an enjoyable album, but absolutely pales in comparison to "A Blaze In The Northern Sky." The songwriting on "Blaze" is so strong, the atmosphere so perfect, its impossible not to love.

  5. Also, I think that the "Swedish" production values hamper Soulside quite a bit. The Cromlech, Thulcandra, and New Dimension demos, as well as the Goatlord rehearsals provide a much more interesting picture of early Darkthrone. I feel that there is potential for a new style of death metal hidden somewhere in those hoary tapes.

  6. Ooh, let me guess the last five...

    1.) Voivod
    2.) The Chasm
    3.) Hooded Menace
    4.) something on NoEvDia
    5.) Archgoat

    Haha, spot on with the Demigod description though.

  7. these posts seem to be attracting cool commenters! anon 2, agree that there really isn't anything doom-death about Incantation, they're just death metal that's usually slow. but to the nerd they're interesting because they're so "doomy." anon 3, totally with you about goatlord, and now want to check out those demos.

  8. none of those b, but voivod and the chasm are fantastic choices that i wish i thought up myself. hooded menace is too contemporary, noevdia is more straight-up pretentious metalhead and less "appraising critic," and archgoat is just a generic replacement for any band from the same general scene.

  9. No Bolt Thrower? Disappoint.

  10. bolt thrower has no cred because literally every person likes bolt thrower. my parents probably own realms of chaos somewhere.

  11. whatever, mine have an original vinyl copy of "in battle there is no law."

  12. Those Darkthrone demos are really interesting. Mostly instrumental and musically very twisting and difficult. The way they are putting together riffs and tempo changes is almost jarring. The "Frostland Tapes" collection has everything, so it's recommended. I agree that there Darkthrone's early take on death metal is quite distinctive and challenging. But you can also hear flourishes of there eventual decent into chaotic black metal.