after two and a half weeks on the road with jenn and no death metal, disturbing films, or satanic literature, i’m very happy to spend this nice sunday morning listening to mayhem’s a grand declaration of war while doing housework.
i got into this album almost 10 years ago. i liked it right away not because it was extreme or anti-christian or had black metal elements (although i was quite happy with all of those things), but because it was very fucking weird. the short songs, some long silences, the spoken word parts, the nietzche recitations, the lone electronic song with vocoder vocals…very interesting.
i was no stranger to mayhem when i heard this album, of course. everyone knows they are the storied norwegian black metal band who ate the brain of their lead singer who had committed suicide via a shotgun blast to the head.i was familiar with their history and their crude early recordings, of which i was never a fan. i find their early works one dimensional and boring. but a grand declaration of war was totally different. although much more straightforward, i also like the subsequent album, chimera. but guess what, i hate everything they’ve done since.
while washing colanders and cutting boards and listening to mayhem this morning, it occurred to me how glad i am that i got into mayhem when i did, and that i got into the stuff of theirs i did. if i had listened to a bunch of wannabe elite metal fuckwads 15 years ago who told me how killer deathcrush was, i would have tried to choke it down, hated it, given up on mayhem, and missed out on two albums that i really dig.
then i realized i had the same relationship with the viking metal band, enslaved.
i got into them on their mardraum album. it’s heavy as fuck but super psychedelic. i also love the next few albums that followed it, monumension and below the lights, for the same reasons. but then they got this shitty boring drummer and lost the extreme shit like blast beats and brutal heavy parts. now it’s more like psychedelic hard rock, like TOOL or something. i hate that. and their early shit has tons of blast beats but it’s really juvenile, so i don’t like it either. incredibly though, i’ve found almost no one shares my enthusiasm for their middle era. virtually ever enslaved fan i’ve talked to prefers their extreme, poorly executed early shit or their boring hard rock late shit. well, FUCK THEM.
it’s been many years since i got into mayhem and enslaved, and i still have the same feelings on both of them. it makes me feel good to review these feelings and confirm ‘yup, that stuff still sucks/this stuff is still awesome.’ i like that i can trust my taste, even years after the fact. it makes me feel confident in my discerning nature.
so i’m going to recede even deeper into isolation now. i like my taste so much that i want other views and opinions to have even less effect on me — i want to achieve the purest distillation of my personal tastes. so ta ta, everyone. it’s been a slice.