What is it about winter that makes me suddenly need to hear metal? Especially black metal? I don't get it. For the last year or so I have been sorta subconsciously distancing myself from the metal. I still would listen to it when the mood struck me, but I was concentrating my musical tastes elsewhere. Yet as I type this the world outside is an ice covered mess of shit and all I want to do is listen to Immortal's "Sons of Northern Darkness" album. It's a strange phenomenon.
In college, all I would listen to was obscure metal. Mostly from Scandinavia. Now why would I enjoy such a thing? Because I don't care what happens in music, death/black metal will never ever be cool to listen to. Or so I thought. More on this later. In my senior year of high school, there was a radio show that ran out of WestConn on Sunday nights. They played a lot of underground metal and hardcore. I was tired of hardcore at this point in my life. This was the era of Botch and bands that wanted to be Poison the Well. The era of breakdowns every 12 seconds and good cop/bad cop vocals. Boring. Of course, I wasn't astute enough to look in the indie rock direction for solace. Not yet. Also, hardcore became a hipster cool guy thing to listen to. This seemed wrong then and it is still wrong now. So one night, I was listening to this radio show while doing my math homework and I hear something fucking scary come out of the speakers. It was a song by a death metal band called Incantation. It was fucking evil, and heavy, and definitely not cool. I loved it. I then went on a 5 year spree of buying cd's from any extreme metal band that caught my fancy. I still love the old classic death metal albums I obtained then. For a long time, there were no bands obscure ENOUGH for me. Not only did no human ever hear of the bands, they couldn't spell or pronounce their names either. Now I listened to other stuff, but this was a priority.
Then something happened. I would see death metal shows and...I would leave bored. Before this I would see metal shows and it would be fun just to figure out what the logos on the shirts in the crowd were. Then one day I would see the same thing that disgusted me about modern hardcore creep its way into metal. In fact, by this time there wasn't much of a difference. It became an At the Gates rip off fest every night. A lot of younger bands just simply copied and pasted their sound. At this point I also read a book about black metal that made me lose my taste for the genre. I knew the Mayhem/Burzum story beforehand(if you don't know what I'm talking about it's kind of a long story. And I don't have time. Sorry.), but the weird line between black metal and Nazi stuff was a bit much to take. I don't want to have to worry about that shit when I pick out my music. Then came the fake grindcore bands like the Red Chord and Job for a Cowboy and all that myspace shit. And then suddenly, the hipster Botch crowd started to get into black metal, something that still makes no sense to me. This is evidenced by Hydra Head records signing black metal bands to be part of their history of price gouging their records. So in essence, metal and me didn't get along so well anymore.
Then last week it snowed like a bastard, and I found myself uploading every single metal album I had back on my itunes. It was a strange compulsion. I forgot how much I really like this crap. Metal isn't political, or uplifting. You can't listen to it when your girlfriend dumps you. You can't wear death metal shirts to a bar and expect ladies to be lining up to be your future child support recipients. But despite all this, metal is undeniably entertaining. Songs about vikings and battles are nothing if they're not funny unintentionally. Bands that sing about satan? Come on you know that's funny. And sometimes, the music fucking shreds. A good metal song will make you set permanent appointments to a chiropractor. I may have lost the faith once, but I'm back. Now I have to catch up on all the good shit I missed. And it's all because it snows like a bastard in New York. Go figure.