The future of this blogzine

I have been pondering about what to do with this webzine for a long time. Partially I just don’t want to let it go but on the other side I see little use for a blogzine that just files album reviews in a strictly structured fashion today. Let’s be honest: things have changed enormously in the last 13 years, when the first Internet become a commonly known technology and MySpace and Napster begun circulating again older music. Up to 2000, things were just happening in waves. There was the so called old school DM sound, which at first was the crossbreed of a dying Thrash Metal scene (have a look at earlier Death Metal zines, to see what I mean) and then we got shitty second generation “cold” black metal and that horrible thing that is the so called gothic metal, and the whole Machine Head/late Sepultura “department store metal” which somehow went hand in hand with grunge, when everybody was considering himself an alternative guy. Each of these eras were able to dig a grave for the previous ones. Yet in 2000 information started to circulate unbelievably fast and the alternative guys who were into mass market music (the same that today is embodied by all those 3-part-names bands with funny haircuts and colorful tattoos) began to fracture in smaller groups and all kind of old genres have been exhumed and created their own brand new ecosystems. My guess is that at the time some older guys finally got their chances to shine, and they began drifting into these smaller ecosystems as micro-stars of the moment. Fast forward 10 years and all this has been staured to the point of no return. A million ecosystems exist today, every one of which aware of the other, some smaller and more elitaristic, others way more common (the sideburn/funny fringe haircut bands I was talking about beore). But yet, everything has been exploited at every possible level, incuding MY music. Thank you sirs. I really like to see Nihilist demos on Youtube and mega deluxe boxed sets pressed by labels that completely disregarded the genre in the middle ’90s, not to mention completely stop the production of vinyl records. In the beginning I was pissed off, very much. Someone once said “when everybody knows it, the magic is gone”. That was my feeling for a while. Lucklily, not anymore. It’s the progress baby, we have new challenges ahead. We can’t just grumble about the past. Things are like that today. This music has been spiled in every possible way – EXCEPT for one thing: the music has not been spoiled at all. The sound is exactly the same. So exactly, WHO has REALLY changed in all these years. Really, your dear records are not as good as they once were just because everybody in your building can listen to it in a couple of minutes with a broadband access and some electronic device? But let’s get back to the zine. I was writing my first reviews in 1993. 20 years ago. At the time, zines were a great work of love, the glue of the whole undergroudn movement as we understand it today. Zines were the essence of the underground, together with the letters we used to send and the talk out of the concert venues. But zines have drifted to the web, and even they look a bit faded to my eyes today. I have seen forums die in a few months when Social Networks became the new place to exchange informations. Today, we have Metal Archives for every kind metal reviews. You want to know about a band? You go straight there and read. Some of the reviews are even not total bullshit, I swear. And then there’s Youtube! Basically all the new records go straight up there is a nanosecond, oftentimes BEFORE the proper release date. And I’m not even starting with magnet links and torrents and all the shit that has been going in this business since the 00’s (Napster, Kazaa, DC++, Limewire, eMule etc.). And if you’re just straight lazy, there are a couple of rather good blogs around that offer direct downloads of albums, demo recordings, live shows and so on. The point is not anymore about crude information, we have plenty of that in our hands. And we have a shitload or records to hear, whenever we want, more than we can ever listen in our life. From a certain point of view, it is really not much different than what we did with tapetrading in 1990 – you sent out a 90 min TDK cassette to your pen pal filled with recordings and then wait patiently to have another tape back with other recordings you asked for, or just trusted your friend will choose well. Sometimes you just got the same record several times (I probably have 6 or 7 tapes with Suppurated Fetus, ah ah.). Things have just gotten lighting fast, and then you don’t even need to personally know whoever is sharing the songs.

The medium is gone, the music is still here, though.

I am not going to complain here, like I hear so often. I am not a Death Metal/Grindcore grognard, not anymore at least. I simply realized that while music was certainly and objectively better between the ’80s and the early ’90s due to reasons I might discuss one day here on Nuclear Abominations, the point is that I was also terrificly younger! My feelings for that music are inevitably connected to memories of a feeling of freshness and discovery that I used to have at the time. Everything was new ground, and completely undiscovered. Thanks list were the main source for knowing new bands for me! As time progressed, though, everything began taking form and structure. Man, I was already pissed of in 1992, ahah. Guess what.

I certainly don’t regret never having learnt how to play an instrument, that’s probably the only part of the whole extreme music ecosystem that I never got familiar with, and I am happy with that. Music still sounds like some weird magic to me, and I am grateful for that or else I’ll be just doing my stupid strongman routines with other bisons in the gym today. But, luckily, I can still put on records and note down some riffs and some nasty bridges, and thanks the gods below, I have no clue what’s really going on there. I completely ignore the technical name for that trick or that sound. Some time ago I read a line by a guy who said “Metal should not be self aware”. Well I don’t care much for Metal in general, but the guy was completely right. I hack systems for work, it’s my job. I wirk in IT. But this is a system I don’t want to know any more details about, I like it to be a black box.

So to start wwrapping things up – what am I going to do with this blogzine? I have some dozens, probably one or two hundred, records in queue to be reviewed. And I have some (hopefully) interesting ideas for non-conventional articles and interviews and maybe even a report or a retrospective that I have been wanting to write for a while. How am I going to do all this shit, I am not sure, though. What I perfectly know is what this zine can’t be about: it can’t be about news. You got all the web for news, the whole world. And it can’t be about technical, objective, politically correct reviews. You got plenty of those too and so called “metal journalists” (AH AH AH AH AH) today grab the virtual pen very prepared about what’s going in the underground music movement which is something I am generally uninterested in. It certainly can’t be about stricly old school death metal. I love that music and is probably my main interest even today, but right now the market bubble is at its height, it’s a style that (understandably, while definitely unexpected from me) is hugely popular today and its aesthetics are being drained to the point of spoling the ground of all life (how ironic). It can’t be about goregrind only either. Goregrind as I mean it is probably not as fucked up as grindcore today (and conceptually my vision of true grindcore is not far for my vision of pure goregrind but that’s another story), but the abundance of comic reliefs and spineless pornogrind is getting always more boring and sterile by the day.

What to do then? Well, I have more or less this idea:

I have no clue.

The draft for this post is originally dated a few years ago, At the time the sewage sound of decrepit metal and grind was relegated mostly in the past. Thats why I didn’t regret losing touch with basically everything released in the last 10 years. But that’s not true anymore, not strictly at least. I have managed to be good terms with the whole “system” today (I am not going to call that scene. I am referring to the whole ecosystem, not just the interpersonal blabbermouth relationships). There is some good shit under all these layers of boring derivative, boneless garbage, actually.

What I will probably do is going very unstructured. I’ll probably post rants like this, and opinions, very personal opinions. And memories and maybe some unrelated shit as well. I am just not interested in going on the same way as I always did. That stuff I have done so far, you can read that basically everywhere. I might probably mix old and new and maybe just grumble about some things that still manage to piss me off.

Who knows. Stay tuned and you’ll see what happens next.

MURDER INTENTIONS (Bel): “A Prelude to Total Decay” full-length Cd 2009 Soulflesh Collector

Murder Intentions - A Prelude To Total DecayThis might not be the latest work by Murder Intentions from Belgium. According to what I read, they also released an EP last year even though it doesn’t sound radically different from this album, what I write here can also be said for this new work (but thank you Soulflesh Collector for the promo). I might be particularily uninspired today but even after a second listen, I can’t but state that… they sound to me likewise uninspired. The very first thing that blossoms in my mind right now is that these guys must probably be quite young, the kind of young that makes you consider Pantera a strongly influencing band for Death Metal, you know. They certainly have a lot, and I mean a lot, of tempo changes and riffs and growls and screams and what have you, with a super-thick, massive sound which perfectly suits the crushing mid tempos and occasionals slam beats, yet they seem to be missing the non-stop barrage sound of more established names like famous neighbors Pyaemia or Disavowed). This is a band that probably focused its efforts on variety and complexity. and mind me, they are probably doing it properly too, but I am probably not going to pick this record up for the next car trip. This is the problem with 5th generation Death Metal: it might sound technically perfect,, but missing a spark of either energy, or utter brutality. The sound is thick and very metallic, with the distorted bass giving an extra layer of thickness to the overall heavy groove, almost Skinless-like when the singer growls during the heavies breakdowns. Yet, generally speaking sometimes less is more. In any case, good product, but won’t take place in my shelf. Good work with the booklet, even though I have seen this layout of work ever since the times of Corpse Gristle and Ablated, maybe it is time to level up here as well? Lyrics are not written in the booklet, but generally deal with the complete unleashing of energy and fury into destructive force. It’s undeniable that Murder Intentions have a good deal of blasting energy, it just sometimes fall in unexpected directions.

MURDER INTENTIONS (Bel): “A Prelude to Total Decay” full-length Cd 2009 Soulflesh Collector

Murder Intentions - A Prelude To Total DecayThis might not be the latest work by Murder Intentions from Belgium. According to what I read, they also released an EP last year even though it doesn’t sound radically different from this album, what I write here can also be said for this new work (but thank you Soulflesh Collector for the promo). I might be particularily uninspired today but even after a second listen, I can’t but state that… they sound to me likewise uninspired. The very first thing that blossoms in my mind right now is that these guys must probably be quite young, the kind of young that makes you consider Pantera a strongly influencing band for Death Metal, you know.

They certainly have a lot, and I mean a lot, of tempo changes and riffs and growls and screams and what have you, with a super-thick, massive sound which perfectly suits the crushing mid tempos and occasionals slam beats, yet they seem to be missing the non-stop barrage sound of more established names like famous neighbors Pyaemia or Disavowed). This is a band that probably focused its efforts on variety and complexity. and mind me, they are probably doing it properly too, but I am probably not going to pick this record up for the next car trip. This is the problem with 5th generation Death Metal: it might sound technically perfect,, but missing a spark of either energy, or utter brutality. The sound is thick and very metallic, with the distorted bass giving an extra layer of thickness to the overall heavy groove, almost Skinless-like when the singer growls during the heavies breakdowns. Yet, generally speaking sometimes less is more. In any case, good product, but won’t take place in my shelf.

Good work with the booklet, even though I have seen this layout of work ever since the times of Corpse Gristle and Ablated, maybe it is time to level up here as well? Lyrics are not written in the booklet, but generally deal with the complete unleashing of energy and fury into destructive force. It’s undeniable that Murder Intentions have a good deal of blasting energy, it just sometimes fall in unexpected directions.