There are many reasons to start a blog about something you care about. I’ve been passionate about music ever since I could remember myself. When I was a toddler, I would listen to Patricia Kaas and Deep Purple with my parents. The House of Blue Light by the latter was my favourite record until about the age of 9. Then, during car rides, we would listen to Scorpions, Queen, Cinderella and even Madonna.
After some time our tastes started to diverge a bit as I was getting into some heavier stuff like Metallica, The Offspring and Sepultura. I still remember the day when, as a fifth grader, I purchased a pirated ‘Best of’ Metallica tape at the local market and hid it from my parent for a few days before even giving it a listen. Once I was mentally ready, I put it in the player and The Four Horsemen came on. After about 10 seconds I pressed the pause button and looked around the living room to make sure I was still at home because what I’ve heard then was a sonic equivalent of hell erupting all around me. Even though the music wasn’t much heavier than some of the Scorpions stuff I listened to on a regular basis, there was an unmistakable evil feeling to that song. Having zero English at the time, I couldn’t discern any of the lyrics, but the sound that Metallica put together was spot on to create the right atmosphere.
The Horsemen are drawing nearer
On leather steeds they ride
They’ve come to take your life
On through the dead of night
With the Four Horsemen ride
Or choose your fate and die
After hesitating for an instant I pressed resume and went on with the song. This appears to have been a point of no return; I’ve consciously chosen to stray from the beaten path and embrace something that was more extreme than most of the people I knew would appreciate or tolerate. This brings us to an important point.
There are many reasons NOT to start a blog about Hardcore and Metal music. There are just not that many like-minded people that would appreciate this. There is also the judgement that comes from friends and family where you are viewed as someone abnormal or disturbed. The Satanic imagery and lyrics that come with Black Metal don’t help the case at all. Though I find it amusing that even secular folks get queasy when they hear the dreaded ‘S’ word.
Well, the first ‘issue’ is not exactly an issue at all, for Metal and Hardcore are meant to stay underground. This kind of music experienced a sharp decline recently in terms of quality and creativity. Metal has been stale for more-or-less 20 years now. Hardcore has gone through a bit of a revival between late 90-s and mid 2000-s with acts like Hatebreed, All Shall Perish, xMaroonx and Despised Icon adding a bit of life to the scene. However, nowadays the creativity mostly comes from fringe acts with roots in D-beat and Crust – more on that later. My conjecture is that popularity and accessibility are at fault for this stagnation. Yes, it is entirely possible for a musical genre to be at the peak of creativity and not be very popular among the general public. Perfect examples are Hardcore and Metal in the 80-s . I am yet to work out a rigorous argument for this, but that is what my intuition is telling me.
The other objection is slightly harder to work out – why not just keep to yourself? Where does the desire to post private thoughts in a public place come from? The answer lies in the purpose of the blog, and that is to document the evolution of my personal tastes and mention notable artists as I go along. It’s just a fun process and also musical preferences are very private; even people that have mostly similar tastes can disagree on at least a couple of songs or artists. So if it’s practically impossible to find someone with the same preferences as yours, why worry about what other people think of your music? What is important is that the stuff you listen to is enjoyable to you. People like to listen to music that matches their mood. It has been shown that listening to sad music when a person is struggling emotionally helps them feel better. One person might reach for Adele’s Hello, another for Evanescence’s My Immortal and I will always go to Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger. What matters is the end result, so listen to whatever energizes, inspires and otherwise makes you feel good.
This blog is dedicated to music that I have and still do find enjoyable and worthwhile.