Saturday, February 8, 2014

Norwegian Black Metal (yes, again)

Neseblod records of Oslo Norway recently moved from their original spot to the former locale of Euronymous' infamous Helvete shop.  Over the years Neseblod has become something of a museum of Norwegian black metal and finding a new home right where it all began is a very interesting turn of events if you ask me.  I've been perusing the online museum on their site as well on instagram, and it got me thinking about the notoriety that this scene continues to get 20 years after the fact due to books, movies, and news articles.  I realized that at times its embarrassing to me that the music I devote a major part of my life to, is known largely for the actions of some ridiculous teenagers back in 1993.  A great deal of this notoriety is due to the constant rehashing of the story of Euronymous and Varg Vikernes, Dead's suicide, and Varg's burning of 13 churches.  This behavior not only takes attention away from the amazing and timeless albums that this scene produced during those times, but it also disregards a great deal of what has happened in the international black metal scene since then.

There have been a dozen or so times where I've met someone who has this limited knowledge of what black metal is as "this is Ben, he's a huuuuuuge black metal fan" and I can just hear them saying in their head "oh, that's the angry music where everyone kills each other" as if black metal could be equated with a murderous rap scene in Miami or something.  Well, I would argue that in a lot of ways it could, so I really wouldn't blame anyone for thinking that way, and its because of the fact that media, and metal-heads alike have focused so much attention on these arguably historical (or even "legendary" as some people put it) actions in the early 90's.  I really wish that when a social situation like this arose, the person I am meeting would be thinking "Oh, black metal, that's the atmospheric music where they sing about forests and vikings and stuff."