Where does comradery end and a clique begin? The heart of any clique seems to be cliché. Its members are unaware that they are the joke that everyone’s in on but them. Maybe it’s because I grew up after the inception of black metal, after the inception of goth, during the height of emo, but to me, “alternative” music (here meaning an attempt to collectivize all of the fringe scenes, not Mumford & Sons), will always be inseparable from misanthropy. I have always used music to cope with being painfully shy and getting called an ugly cum dumpster 200 times a day. I’m aware of my personal biases, and if you have any familiarity with my column, you know that I believe they should be fully embraced instead of pretending like they don’t exist. In fact, I don’t believe much of anything is inherent or inevitable. And that is exactly why I will not hesitate to say that I refuse to stand with this clique of people’s children collectively circle jerking to a roast of G.L.O.S.S. God fucking forbid someone makes the subject matter of their art relevant to their own very personal and highly formative experiences. Nope, just gotta keep recycling the same three themes from the bands on your back patches over and over again and try to feel superior about the fact that you and everyone else on your super edgy Facebook page finally get to feel like the cool crowd.
But, since at the end of the day my two cents, or anyone else’s, about drama shitstorms doesn’t fucking matter, I’d like this not to serve solely as a worthless rant. I prefer to piss with a purpose. That’s why this week, I’d like to provide you with the true rejection of the clique and the embracing of the grips of our darkest hours alone, aka true gems from the depressive suicidal black metal YouTube hole. And what a time to be sucked into such a cavity. After all, what breathes more life into the misanthrope than the rite of fall?
I was exposed to DSBM exactly at this time two years ago and was instantly hooked. Audible despair certainly resonated with where I was at at the time and I took an odd comfort in being able to weakly trudge across an overcast campus to a Xasthur soundtrack. But even beyond the emotional connection, I was very much appreciative of the fact that I had stumbled upon something truly different from anything else I heard before. Being a metal fan has been quite the journey over the last twelve years of my life, and I finally feel like I have reached a point where I’m coming to terms with the fact that I don’t care for the old war horses. I can’t fully connect with anything that isn’t a dirge, and perhaps even more importantly, isn’t atmospheric. I suppose that’s why despite my thrill that doom is finally having its day, I’m running low on the capacity to go pay 12 bucks to politely nod my head to another Primitive Man knock-off.
So, here is where I currently find myself; where isolation breads innovation, in every stage of the season:
For the September you’ll always remember but would rather forget:
Xasthur (California) – Subliminal Genocide (2006)
There are no words, but I’ll try to find some. You’ve hung on for so long but now your spirit is slowly running out of light. You pretend like you don’t notice. At first. But then the descent into darkness becomes part of your evening routine, hiding at home in the absence of the old.
For the spirit of Samhain
Prosternatur (Idk maybe Europe/no one fucking knows) – Abyssus Abyssum Invocat (2016)
I woke up from a dream the other night. I’ll give you three guesses at what time, first two don’t count. 3:00 AM. I still had visions that I couldn’t escape. The woman in robes, tied to a chair, wailing in tongues. For the first time in ages, I was so unnerved by a nightmare that it took hours to lull back to sleep.
For November, the grey shroud
I’m in a Coffin (Texas) – One Final Action (2008)
It’s like a switch flips and suddenly everything’s clouded. Many get to slip gracefully into death’s arms, yet some aren’t us lucky. Suicide, execution. You depart from the world with a hyperawareness of your own mortality…a fate worse than death itself.
For a melancholy quieter than the first snow
Melankoli (Moscow) – Wind (2012)
There’s a certain magic of the cusp that engulfs you right before the let down of reality. It can gently lift the spirit, like a fragile snowflake in the wind. Perhaps there is one inevitability – the fall to the forest floor.