Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Global Black Metal Sub-Domination

This story will follow a winding path, although perhaps the winding path is the story itself.

Iranian Depressive Black Metal (or Persian as the people involved seem to prefer) actually exists. I first heard about it on a site that I later figured out specialized in National Socialist Black Metal. Ewww...

Depressive Rebellion
See, the original roots of True Norwegian Black Metal were paganist and anti-Christianity, opposing the meekness of northern European Lutheranism in favor of the old gods of cruel nature and warrior vengeance. (And burning down historic churches...) Some will say True Scandinavian Black Metal, but how purist can you get over Scandinavia? Well, that focus on old ways and heritage would lead later acts to referencing local folklore and culture in their own Black Metal. And in Europe, seems like just a hop, skip, and a jump from incorporating regional folk songs to espousing nationalism - and thus to Fourth Reich xenophobia.

So we're up from True Norwegian Black Metal, with USBM (America will not stand idle!), and now NSBM. Which we'll not dwell on beyond noting the irony in its connection with my discovery of Iranian Depressive Black Metal. See, Depressive Black Metal (or the sub-sub-sub-genre of Suicidal BM) had been around for awhile. Ironically, early Burzum is at the roots of SDBM, then he went folkloric, and while serving time for the murder of Euronymous (he was also suspected in the church-burnings)... Wait, too winding!! While in Norway's grim and frostbitten prison system, Burzum (Varg Vikernes) came out as a white supremacist too. I guess maybe there's a USDBM, because the most well-known Depressive figure is currently the one-man band Xasthur (that man being "Malefic"). But I don't think Burzum alone can fully explain any overlap in serious fandom of both NSBM and Persia's finest.

Tribute to her tears...
Anyway, there I was - mouth agape. There's not only a metal scene in Iran, not only Black Metal, but a Depressive Black Metal scene. In Iran!! Let it sink in... Okay, on with the show.

"Depressive Rebellion" by Aras, from Depressive Rebellion (2007)

At the center of the Iranian Depressive Black Metal phenomenon stands Aras (one-man band of Ehsan K., "Lord Aras"). He seems to appear on many acts' releases, or on split cd's with others, or just involved in some way. Here's another one from the same record:
"The Last Drop of Holy Blood." Pretty good stuff, huh? Overall, he does seem to have the best combination of recording quality and songcraft.

"Life Is Vain" [pt. 2] by Nazhand, from Life Ruins (2009)

One album I've heard is this year's from Nazhand, another one-man outfit. With even crustier production and almost retro-'90s sound, it's worth checking out. And there are like three whole albums in this guy's collection (you can search uploads for Nazhand). All these guys appear to be home-recording and self-releasing, and they seem to put out almost everything committed to tape.

"Fall in the Heart of No One" by Taabut, from Lost in Nought (2009)

And yet another one from this year: Taabut is distinguished by the distorted splash of his crappy tape deck, which becomes a signature sound! He also does more slow, ambient parts and/or foregrounds lizardly, hissing vocals. Respectively, on "Death in a Dream" and "Peace in Suffer." He also has one of the few songs I've encountered to bring traditional Persian music at all into the Black Metal, specifically on "Rive the Darkness."

Lost in Nought 2009
Oops! Forgot another good one that I'd been saving... Don't have any info about the band/person, and the only song I know by Daamoon:

"Smell of Fall" by Daamoon, 2008 single

Pretty crazy, huh? And I don't mean the whole depressive/suicidal thing either...

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