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About Amebix

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  1. You didn't really respond to my point, which is that the term "proto-black metal" would be more appropriate. Again, while those bands had elements of black metal, it's quite a stretch to say that Celtic Frost or Mercyful Fate are black metal. The difference between calling them black metal and calling Death death metal is that Death actually sounds like death metal. From the instrumentation, to the vocals, to the subject matter, Death were playing death metal. The same cannot be said of Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, or Venom. They are better defined as playing something else that influenced black metal. The exception is Bathory, who I do think can justifiably be considered black metal in their own right. As for who should be compared to who, I strongly disagree with you. It seems obvious to me that the bands that really define the black metal sound are those "second wave" black metal bands, like Darkthrone and Mayhem. They had all the qualities of the genre, including the trebly guitars, the shrieking vocals, the dark lo-fi atmosphere, and the demonic subject matter. If I want to determine whether or not a band is black metal, I compare them to bands like Mayhem, NOT Venom. The only first wave band that is really a good representation of black metal is Bathory. As for Venom's visual style, yes there are plenty of other black metal bands with a lot of visual flair. The visuals are still one of the defining characteristics of black metal. But what Venom was doing only vaguely resembled how later black metal bands would act, even if it was an obvious influence. The whole presentation makes more sense when you compare them to what other British metal bands of the time were doing. The British bands of the time were the NWOBHM bands. I don't think Venom was really a NWOBHM band, but that was still their cultural landscape, and there is clear visual resemblance between Venom and the NWOBHM bands.
  2. I disagree with the term "first wave black metal." The appropriate term would be "proto-black metal," because the bands that are referred to as the first wave are the bands that influenced the genre and laid out its different elements. But these bands had pretty much nothing to do with each other, and while Bathory did have the basic black metal sound down and Sarcofago were halfway there, bands like Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, and Venom sound almost nothing like black metal (and I say that as a huge Celtic Frost fan). I advocate for the term "proto-black metal" because their relationship with black metal almost perfectly mirrors the relationship between punk and "proto-punk" bands like The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, MC5, New York Dolls, etc. - the elements were there, but it took bands like Darkthrone and Mayhem to put them together. One big issue with the term is that it takes these bands out of their cultural/artistic context. The most obvious victim of this is Venom. The first two Venom albums are awesomely raw and cathartic, but if you see their antics and visuals, they look ridiculous in an almost Spinal Tap-like way. This becomes even more glaring when you compare them to bands like Celtic Frost or Bathory. But doing so is unfair, because those aren't really their contemporaries. Venom came out of Britain at the same time as NWOBHM bands like Saxon, who were visually and theatrically every bit as ridiculous as Venom, if not moreso. Compare Venom to those bands, and they're actually notably less bloated and more raw.
  3. I wonder if RATM got their sound from this band:
  4. I'm not really a fan of the track you posted, but as has been said, industrial metal is probably the closest thing. Another genre to consider is digital hardcore, which is basically a cross between hardcore punk and breakbeat/rave:
  5. Amebix


    His past work contributes to the interest in his work too, but doing a project called Abbath at least appears to be a vanity project, and I think a vanity project can be a hard sell if people aren't interested in the person behind it. It's obviously less than ideal for people to follow something for such a superficial reason, but it stands to reason that the more interested people are in an artist, the more likely they are to follow what they do. The most obvious comparison might be the KISS solo albums - the cartoonish imagery of KISS is obviously made to appeal to a younger audience, but when I was 12 I thought Ace Frehley was pretty cool, so naturally his solo album is the one I checked out.
  6. Amebix


    I prefer Immortal, but from a capitalistic standpoint I actually think making an Abbath album was a good idea, for the simple fact that Abbath himself is one of the most charismatic, instantly likable people in metal. It may not be nearly as good as Immortal, but it's something people are interested in hearing for the simple fact that they're interested in, and like Abbath as a figure.
  7. Thoughts on bands like Deafheaven and Liturgy, and "hipster black metal" more generally? I personally don't like either of these bands, but I can respect what they're doing. Atmospheric black metal has such a unique and powerful sound that it almost seems inevitable that it would have an influence outside the metal world. One thing I think gives me a little more patience with these bands is that they're not entirely dissimilar from a band I love, Oathbreaker, which is basically an indie/hardcore/black metal fusion. Between Deafheaven and Liturgy, Deafheaven is the one I like less, but they're probably the stronger of the two. A lot of the time they sound like pretty straightforward black metal, but it's actually where they branch away from black metal that they lose me, with the sunnier parts and guitar noodling. I've heard some people say they're a screamo band, but that claim is patently absurd - their sound is much more black metal, and they barely resemble screamo in any way. Frankly, Liturgy is pretty clearly black metal made for an indie audience. They have all these electronic and weird, but not particularly intense noise elements that sound geared for Pitchfork-type bands and audiences. That said, I do find them the more interesting and compelling of the two, even though they miss way more often than Deafheaven. Every once in a while they hit on something interesting. Overall, I don't think I'm going to spend any more time on these bands, but it is interesting how atmospheric black metal is starting to branch out in different directions.
  8. Amebix


    Limbs is a great opener.
  9. Amebix


    Just to follow up, despite all my BS criticisms about the overly glossy production, I've been listening to this album constantly lately. Those solos still make me feel a little funny, but I love this record.
  10. Orion (Behemoth), Charles Mingus, Paul Simonon (The Clash), John Entwistle (The Who), Lemmy, Joe Lally (Fugazi), Mike Watt (Minutemen), Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies/Metallica) I don't like RHCP or Korn, but damn they have great bassists
  11. For sure... Crust Punk: Tragedy, Sarabante Folk Punk: Days N Daze, Rail Yard Ghosts Pop Punk: The Menzingers, PUP Post-Hardcore: Planes Mistaken for Stars, Touché Amoré, Have Heart, Cerce
  12. Let's have a thread for newer punk bands. Punk bands still put on some of the best live shows. What bands do you like?
  13. I pretty much despise this genre, except for Twisted Sister. Dee Snider is awesome. WASP are kinda fun, too, as are Hanoi Rocks and Mother Love Bone. And I have to admit, Mark Slaughter has a great voice... I just wish he was involved in a different genre. If you want to see something cringingly hilarious, check out the hair metal periods of Celtic Frost, TSOL, Discharge, and Pantera.
  14. The band Despise You is decent. I think it might be helpful to approach the genre from more of a hardcore angle than a metal one - it's been said that powerviolence is to punk what gangsta rap is to hip-hop - basically an intense, gritty, realist take to the whole thing. The early powerviolence bands were basically made up of poor Californians. To be honest, I don't like most of the genre. To me a lot of it sounds like a less experimental, less intelligent, and more thuggish version of grindcore. However, I do like a fusion genre called emoviolence, which is a combination of screamo and powerviolence. Orchid is the buzz band of the genre, but to me the best band in the entire movement is Ampere. However, bands like this are pretty much all punk, with only vague hints of metal: And yes, I realize the last post is from over a year ago.
  15. I've been getting really into bebop. Some favorites: Charles Mingus - Let My Children Hear Music, Blues & Roots Wayne Shorter - Juju, Speak No Evil Pete La Roca - Basra Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder Art Blakey - Moanin'