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Primitive North America
January 12, 2010 4:14 PM   Subscribe

"When the car would stop and the engine would cease, the player would also die away. The tape of the cassette motionless. [...] Stationary and in silence, we saw black. The world as it was. Nothing." A collection of early American black metal, including Haxan, Akitsa, and Ancestors. Compiled from tapes, hiss and all.

The 20th of Type Records' series of mixes - please do peruse the archives
posted by thedaniel (16 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is really great. Thanks thedaniel.

I actually saw a very good American black metal band this weekend in Raleigh. Really, honestly. Lightning Swords of Death. With a name like that, they have to be great. Stripped down and raw, very early '90s.
posted by NoMich at 4:26 PM on January 12, 2010


This mix sound better than any of my tapes. Magnetic tapes wear out, and I remember some tapes, specifically my CCR tape, eventually sounded like a smear of poop with a few flecks of music.
posted by fuq at 4:32 PM on January 12, 2010


Actually—while this is totally awesome—most of these bands are contemporary. Early American Black Metal only kind of exists, as Black Metal is really a Euro thing (Americans do Death Metal, mostly), and bands like Wolves in the Throne Room are only now bringing Black Metal over.

But again, this is totally sweet stuff. Bone Awl is a great band. I just don't want people thinking this is from some mystic past when they can actually see these bands out touring right now.
posted by klangklangston at 5:44 PM on January 12, 2010


Black Metal Theory Symposium I.

one of the recordings features Hunter Hunt-Hendrix of Liturgy - a guy with some pretty interesting ideas about metal.

"One thought I have is that black metal is absolutely pure, and yet at the same time it is absolutely corrupt. It is a space for honoring heritage and tradition, and also for the obliteration of all culture. For me the meaning of black metal has something to do with a longing for ecstatic annihilation, a perfect void. An obliteration that brings about purity. The absolute, impossible, contradictory limit. Whether this transcendent realm is a cosmic unity or a silent void, and whether those things are different, I’m not sure."

Did metafilter talk about Varg Vikernes' release from prison?
posted by dubold at 7:40 PM on January 12, 2010


that description of driving around with the windows up and the volume maxed out is exactly EXACLY how I would describe my late teen and early 20's to the likes of Sabbath and Zeppelin. Then Van Halen and Motley Crue. Then the early punk stuff and garage tapes of Metalica. I taped underground radio shows at two in the morning with music I couldn't find in the stores in my town. Muddy and full of F.M. hiss, but still priceless to our rolling church. The insulation of glass and metal, the like-minded friends, the wordless head banging worship. Now I am old and ground up by my time spent here. My neck hurts too much to metronone my balding head. But in retrospect, the finest hours were in the car, and cassettes were in the deck. I love all shades of metal. Black has no unique hold on this mindset.
posted by Redhush at 7:59 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Unconditional love only happens for me in two situations: petting a kitty cat and listening to awesome metal. Thank you.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:07 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Surely I’m not the only one who took initially took this to be about metal made by black Americans.
posted by stilist at 9:32 PM on January 12, 2010


Early American Black Metal only kind of exists, as Black Metal is really a Euro thing (Americans do Death Metal, mostly), and bands like Wolves in the Throne Room are only now bringing Black Metal over.

This is wrong. Bands like Krieg, Judas Iscariot, Demoncy, and Black Witchery triggered a USBM movement starting in the late 90s, and that's not even mentioning really early bands like VON, Absu, and Havohej, who were putting out American black metal in 92 and 93. Check the USBM list... there are quite a few US black metal bands that have been around for fifteen years or more.

Then again, they were playing metal, not shoegaze drenched in "heavy" guitar, which is probably why nobody noticed.

Surely I’m not the only one who took initially took this to be about metal made by black Americans.

Check out Iron Man. Slough Feg has a black guy on the drums now, also...
posted by vorfeed at 11:37 PM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also check out The Lord Weird Slough Feg because they are awesome.

Furthermore:
they were playing metal, not shoegaze drenched in "heavy" guitar, which is probably why nobody noticed
= LOL
posted by thedaniel at 1:36 AM on January 13, 2010


Did metafilter talk about Varg Vikernes' release from prison?

Yes.
posted by NoMich at 4:34 AM on January 13, 2010


This is wrong. Bands like Krieg, Judas Iscariot, Demoncy, and Black Witchery triggered a USBM movement starting in the late 90s...

Yeah, Bloodstorm started in '94, out of the remains of Philly area death metal band Goreaphobia, an early Relapse band whose heroin and coke addicted psychopath guitar player was my best friend in high school.
posted by The Straightener at 6:17 AM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


i'd like to say that being "the first US band to totally rip off the scandinavian scene" is a sort of dubious distinction. at the time i'd have considered a US band adopting the mayhem/darkthrone/immortal sound as biting their style and not very cool.

it took a little while for american black metal to distinguish itself without being derided as an imitation.

feeling Very Metal i followed up this "cassette mix" with weakling's 2xLP DEAD AS DREAMS from 1998. first US black metal record i remember that really made me say "oh fuck"
posted by Hammond Rye at 10:08 AM on January 13, 2010


i'd like to say that being "the first US band to totally rip off the scandinavian scene" is a sort of dubious distinction. at the time i'd have considered a US band adopting the mayhem/darkthrone/immortal sound as biting their style and not very cool.

it took a little while for american black metal to distinguish itself without being derided as an imitation.


This is quite true, but IMHO this perception has always been more about national chauvinism than quality. There were some very good USBM records in the late 90s. It's not popular to admit it anymore, but Judas Iscariot's Heaven In Flames stands up to just about any other record released at the time. So does Demoncy's Joined In Darkness. And the Conqueror/Black Witchery split pretty much started the current trend toward bestial Blasphemy-influenced black metal... which completes the circle, as bands from Europe are now jumping on a North American black metal bandwagon.

Besides, being a French or German band that "totally rips off the scandinavian scene" is no worse or better than being an American band which does... except the former didn't have the same national stigma, despite having tons of ripoff bands.
posted by vorfeed at 11:19 AM on January 13, 2010


Thank you for posting this.

I don't know very much about the USBM scene, but this music is outstanding!
posted by spinifex23 at 11:53 AM on January 13, 2010


This is a great list, but I don't see how it is "early american" black metal. Shit, a lot of this stuff is still fairly new. Posts above do a good job of mentioned a lot of the older bands.

The US is starting to get a nice underground black metal scene - but the term "black" is starting to evolve into something much, much different that the early original Norwegian scene. To me, it really signifies something really raw, filled with emotion and heartfelt - and of course, dark.

Another scene that is interesting to be is the Canadian scene. There is some really interesting stuff coming our of Canada.
posted by punkrockrat at 12:06 PM on January 13, 2010


Happy to be corrected—I always thought of bands like Absu as still out of the death metal scene, but hey, glad to learn more about metal I missed! I still think of Black Metal as more a movement, and a Euro movement at that, but that'll probably change as I hunt down these bands.
posted by klangklangston at 7:10 PM on January 13, 2010


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