Friday, February 13, 2009

The Fourth Wave of Extreme Metal

I was listening to Blut Aus Nord's newest release - which is fantastic, by the way - earlier today and got to thinking about the differences between the current waves of extreme metal in Europe and the United States. While there are some points of commonality - perhaps enough to call this some sort of wave (like the Fourth Wave name that I arbitrarily stuck in the title) - here, bands like Nachtmystium, edit: Baroness, Krallice, and Wolves in the Throne Room are making sounds that are not only more or less recognizable as extreme metal (you might call some of them metalgaze; Seth, who loves the concept as a crossover point between the indie and metal portions of his musical soul, prefers "not metal") but also seem to use nihilism as a creative focal point: think Nachtmystium's Blake Judd screaming "We came from nothing/and are nothing" during "Assassins."

Meanwhile, over in Europe, while the aesthetic remains basically the same - and here I'm thinking of bands like Keep of Kalessin, Moonsorrow, and Blut Aus Nord - the focal point is more the enormity of external forces that shape our lives (or, as I put it recently, making me want to live in a hut in the wilderness) than the emptiness of existence. Frankly, I find the later concept more appealing; maybe I just like the idea of struggling fruitlessly against something more than I like the idea of struggling fruitlessly against nothing. Or I've just seen The Big Lebowski one too many times.

1 comment:

Seth said...

Baroness has one "N," Cheech. Don't make me confiscate your GI Joe's.