Saturday, August 27, 2011

Manifesto Part II, and New Writers

Trial By Ordeal has come a long way since mid-April, and for that we have to thank our readers. It's been very cool to see a sort of TBO community develop, with a core group of people leaving long and thoughtful comments. We wanted this blog to be a space where like-minded readers could have serious discussions about music, rather than just namedropping or arguing, and so far it's been more successful than we could have hoped for. Cheers, dudes!

We started Trial By Ordeal with rather lofty ambitions, and we haven't abandoned them. Indeed, as we've been doing it we've gotten a better idea of what it is we actually do, and where we want it to go. I see TBO less as a clearinghouse for opinions or a source for "new bands," and more as a kind of curatorial project, an effort by Noktorn and myself to promote a particular set of ideals for extreme music. We do this, of course, by sharing bands we love and pissing on those we despise. But there's a theoretical side to it, too. In our reviews and features, we're not just telling you what we think of a band, we're trying to reveal a little bit about how music works and what it means (or how it should work and what it should mean).

But as you've probably seen, we're not just about music, strictly speaking. Extreme metal and hardcore punk--as well as the goth and the neofolk and the who knows what else--come with their own ways of seeing the world and living in it, and we're interested in trying to articulate our own takes on the ethos that ties us to the music we love. We do our best to live it, and we want y'all to live it too. And to call bullshit on us if you see fit. Ultimately, we want this site to be not just about extreme music, but about extreme living. We want TBO to be a resource and a rallying place for people who really feel this shit. In that spirit, we hope to continue diversifying the kind of stuff we post, and the kinds of art and culture we cover. And sometime this fall I will start putting on TBO showcases in Brooklyn, booking the sort of gnarly underground bands we rep on the site.

As for the near term: Noktorn and I have been giving it our all for the past few months, and it's been pretty fucking tiring. There've been times when work and personal things have made it hard for us to post as much as we'd like, especially since we take this writing seriously and do our best to bring you well-written, thoughtful posts. If this were just about us sharing our thoughts, that might be ok, but as I've said above, this is about championing sick new sounds and, above all, changing the way people think about underground extreme music. We want to take over, and then reign with a fucking iron first. And to do that, we need help.

So, we're bringing on some new writers who are committed to the TBO project. Noktorn has reached out to one of his trusty metal comrades, who's just written his first post as TheCount. And I've already started getting in touch with some regular commenters who seem to be on our wavelength. I can say now that the mysterious commenter known as B is down to write, but I have a few other emails to send. And if you want to get involved, by all means get in touch. You're even welcome to send us one-off contributions, though we can't guarantee we'll accept them. Noktorn and I will keep posting regularly, around 3 times a week each, and we'll retain some sort of loose editorial authority (at least for now).

Hail brothers! Onward into countless battles!


  1. I think this has become my favorite metal blog (and believe me, I've followed a lot of 'em, so I know what's out there.) One of the highlights of my day is to see a new TBO post or two (this may be evidence of how lame my life is right now but, IMO, that does not tend to undermine the notion that this is a great blog.) I agree that this shouldn't be a clearinghouse for opinions; Noktorn's got his M-A reviews (which I'm a big fan of, btw), and there are guys like autothrall who post reviews roughly every five seconds, so it's definitely a good idea to take this in a different direction. But it's still okay to see reviews on here. Try to strike a balance.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what your new writers have to present. The new guy's review of whatever-the-fuck-it-is was not bad at all. Keep up the good work. You've got yourselves a faithful reader.

    Also, I love the ridiculous tags you guys come up with. Keep that shit up. I'm actually kind of disappointed when I don't see a ridiculous and long-winded tag at the end of a post.

  2. Thanks dude, really appreciate your sticking with us! You're definitely part of the original TBO crew. I actually didn't mean to suggest that we'd cut back on reviews, just that I see those reviews as part of a larger project, rather than as a mere buyers' guide or a navel-gazing exercise in expressing our "taste."

    And having some more people on board will help Noktorn and I spend more time on our own reviews, develop new ideas for content, and get back to doing the Hypehammer and Demo-lition features, which we'd sort of dropped for a while.

    I can say that at some point in the not so far future I will be doing an interview with either Stig or the Baron from Amebix.

    And I'm glad somebody's noticed the tags. I thought I had a good one for this post, though it's not long-winded...

  3. Too bad you faggots write about horrible shit.

  4. i admire your dedication. most people would leave it at a single comment, but you've shown loyalty by coming back again and again. the devotion you manage to express in your unswerving fury at this blog is impressive.

  5. Why don't you leave your name faggot. So i can fucking rape you.

  6. Bitch. Stick to your shitty band and not getting raped in a Sheriff Joe Gulag.