Archive for April, 2013

Support Musicians – Buy Music – Black Dahlia Murder Rant

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Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder is not happy. He recently made a rant about fans and the music industry. Basically, TMDM has more than a million likes on Facebook. Yet their music sales are barely enough to keep the band in business. The music industry does not care about people’s feelings. A Record Label will only keep a band if that band is making money. If the band tips below a certain margin of profit – all those things fans love, the albums, the songs, the tours – all that will be gone.

Ever since digital downloads started taking off in the 90’s, the music industry has been going further and further down the tubes financially. Gone are the days of Rock Star Luxury. These days most bands eat Taco Bell three times a day and sleep in their touring van after shows. I’d say 99% of musicians also have another job – a crappy part time job at McDonalds or Five Guys – just to the pay the bills.

I’m sure there are other reasons for the industry going down hill, such as the promotion of terrible pop music and so on. Yet I think the decline in album sales has a correlation to the production of a crappier sound and a harder lifestyle for musicians who actually are talented.

So if you like a band – please buy their music! I know the economy is bad. I know some of you are struggling. But even buying one or two songs on itunes can help. Thanks

Here’s Trevor’s Rant:

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“HOW IT IS: We have almost 1,000,000 likes on here. Will we sell 1,000,000 copies of Everblack? Fuck no! The reality is that 98% of you ‘fans’ are going to be content to steal the album and in turn we get nothing… a laughable fragment of the ‘likers’ will actually be cool and pick it up.


It’s not about the money, the reality is that we get chump change for CD (and digital) sales BUT WE NEED TO SELL THEM TO EXIST! If there are no record sales the music industry will stomp us out like a bug and it’ll be completely over… the sales show them ‘how relevant’ we are.
If you don’t buy the albums they’ll determine that there is no demand for TBDM, and there won’t be any more awesome concerts, tours, dvds nor new music. Sure we understand you may really love our tunes, but if you haven’t paid for them, it’s a total loss to us… all the love in the world isn’t going to mean shit in the end. We need your support and every two years I am going to ask the same thing of you and make the same goddamn argument.

Think of it like a vote… If you’d like to see us continue our reign of terror over the metal world, you’ll pick up a copy of “Everblack”. It’s as simple as that. – Trevor on behalf of The Black Dahlia Murder”

The Black Dahlia Murder “Into the Everblack”

Videos Promote Bands, But Buying Their Music is Even Better!


Earth Day Tips Followed up by Some “Environ-Metal”

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Happy Earth Day Everyone! Go outside and enjoy yourself some nature. But don’t forget, every day is Earth Day. Every day of life, ever breathe of clean air, every morsel of food we eat, or glass of water we drink is a precious gift from the Earth. Let’s think of things we can do to give our thanks and give back.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AS AN INDIVIDUAL?

  • Plant a tree 
  • Get together with some people and clean a park or pick up other litter.
  • Make a greater commitment to recycle
  • Shop at a local farmers market
  • Try to cut down on your carbon emissions by biking or taking the bus when you can.

WHAT CAN SOCIETY DO? 

  • Small scale tasks in our day to day lives are noble gestures, but ultimately, it is large scale government policies that are needed to get this planet back on track. So what government policies are needed? 
  • Cuts to carbon emissions.
  • More funding for Renewable Energy Technology such as Solar and Wind energy. Fracking and Natural Gas are not realistic alternatives.
  • More funding for public transportation projects, since these give out less pollution than cars.
  • A firm commitment to protect what is left of the world’s rain forests and other natural landscapes.

Of course these solutions won’t completely save the day, but it’s a start. In the meantime, enjoy some environ-metal…hurhurhur.

Ozzy Osbourne – Revelation (Mother Earth)


Black Sabbath – Hole in the Sky 


Testament – Green House Effect 


Cattle Decapitation – Regret and The Grave


Two Steps From Hell – Protectors of the Earth 


Zombie Metal Playlist

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Hungry for horror? Looking for some brutal, metal tunes to crank as you bash open zombie brains? Look no further. We got what you need.


Ramesses – Baptism of the Walking Dead

Genre: Death/Doom Metal.

Review: Erie, haunting and infused with droning horror. I give this song 7 zombie brains out of 10.


Nile – Eat of the Dead 

Genre: Brutal Technical Death Metal

Review: How can you not love this deliciously brutal song? It punches you in the face with riffs that are both powerful and technically written. The vocals are guttural and grotesque – like the excruciating cries of a man being mummified alive. I give this song 8 rotting corpses out of 10.


Vader – God is Dead 

Genre: Death Metal/ Thrash

Review: You say this isn’t a zombie song? I thought Jesus was a zombie. Doesn’t he come back from the dead? Also, I love Vader and wanted an excuse to post one of their songs. Their vocals are so diabolically dark and evil – the vocalist sounds like he gargles glass and bat’s blood for breakfast. This song definitely gets 8 upside down crosses out of 10.


Kataklysm – The Night They Returned

Genre: Death Metal/Melodic Death

Review: Gotta love those Kataklysm drums. Their drummer is a beast. This song is a good balance of brutality and ominous dread. It gets 7 decayed tomb stones out of 10 from me.


Cannibal Corpse – Hammer Smashed Face 

Genre: Classic Death Metal

Review: Any self respecting metal head who is not familiar with this song should get their face smashed in by a hammer. This is a classic Death Metal hit. I give this 9 skulls out of 10. Yes, I’m biased for classics.

Fun Facts: This song made a short appearance in Jim Carrey’s “Ace Ventura Pet Detective” Film.


Judas Priest – Night Crawler 

Genre: Heavy Metal

Review: Holy shit I love me some priest! This is probably my favorite zombie song hands down. Chock full of punching riffs, great melodies and dynamic-chilling Halford Vocals. If I were stuck in a zombie apocalypse, I would love nothing better than to kill the living dead with priest blasting out of my speakers. Than I would ride away with Halford on his motorcycle and we’d have a fun platonic time (since he plays for the other team so to speak). This song gets 10 blood soaked axes out of 10 baby!


Eliwagar – Haaleygirland

Norse Romantic Pagan Folk Metal

This video captures both the beauty of the Norwegian Landscape and Spirit. Eliwagar is a band that honors the forefathers and folk tales of Norway. However, Eliwagar is different from many Norse Folk bands in that they are discussing a tradition in Norway that existed BEFORE the Germanic influenced Thor and Odin came to Norse lands.

This is the original Norse Religion of Ullr “Father Sky” and Njarthar “Mother Earth.” Much like the rivers that flow from the beginning of the world, the music of Eliwagar seeks to flow from the ancient and original source of Norse Tradition.

According to ancient Norse Lore, in the beginning there was only fire and ice. When the two met together, they created the first 11 rivers, known as Eliwagar: The rivers that existed at the beginning of the world.

The meaning and existence of Eliwagar is very much connected to the idea of living close to the land and nature. In their songs you can hear the hardanger fiddle, cello, flute and praises sung to Ullr and Njarthar, along with some guitar playing.  Check out the links below for more information about Eliwagar and the Old Ways.

LINKS

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Official Eliwagar Site

Eliwagar Facebook

Runahild Interview On Paganland Fanzine


You Metal – The Metal YouTube

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I just discovered today that there is a YouTube type video streaming site that ONLY plays Metal

It’s called “You Metal”

Check it Out 


Sava – Wylde Hunt

Genre: Medieval, Folk Music.

Location: Artists are from Germany.

About: The impressive musicians in this band seem to have a wide and worldly scope of musical training. The violinist, Thomas, studied folk music in Ireland and Sweden. The drummer, Benjamin, studied in India. Four out of the five musicians in this band are approved ensemble directors. With that aside, this is some intense bagpipe and flute action that you can definitely rock out to.

LINKS

Sava Homepage

Sava Facebook


Black Magic

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Disclaimer: This post is not an endorsement nor a rejection of the practice. It is an attempt to have an open and intelligent discussion about the subject of Black Magic: a highly controversial and misunderstood concept. 

Let me start off by saying that this is an incredibly difficult subject to research. In searching for “Black Magic” on google, I was bombarded by a horde of terrible “spell” sales schemes, “professionals” who practiced the dark arts – which were handed down by family members for “centuries” and could perform a powerful get rich spell for only “$9.99.” It’s this kind of “used car salesman” approach to magic polluting the internet that drives people away from witchcraft altogether.

But here is the most accurate summary I can offer: 

Much of what we think of as “black” or “white” magic is a product of New Age invention mixed with Christian influence. Much of what we think of as “black magic” is often a result of demonizing that which we don’t understand. After all, the polarization of “good” and “evil” itself is a Christian concept that has seeped into Pagan Practice.

Not to say that Pagans don’t have any distinction between just and unjust, moral or immoral behavior. That would really depend on the Pagan and the practice. But, I’m saying that this distinction is more polarized in the Christian World – to the extent that much spirituality outside of the Christian Veil gets demonized as Black Magic.

If something is considered “Black Magic,” it isn’t necessarily evil, but perhaps something to broach with caution.

So here are the definitions I scraped together:

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Drains Life Force: A type of magical energy that drains the life force from others in order to make the practitioner stronger. In some countries, it is still common to drink the blood of an animal in order to gain their life force. For example, drinking a goat’s blood in some countries. Many Christian Europeans who witnessed this practice demonized it as “Black Magic” or “Satanism.” However, the idea of drawing strength and power by drinking the “blood of Christ” may not be that different (although drinking wine is certainly a difference from drinking goat’s blood).

There is a more nefarious use for Life Draining magic though, where the practitioner will drain human victims of their life energy in order to make themselves stronger. Magic works in principle by drawing energy from different sources – whether that source be the sun, the moon, the stars, plants or just positive energy in general. Life draining magic centers around its ability to draw energy from either a living or sacrificed life form. Hence an explanation for the existence of animal and human sacrifice in ancient times.

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The Control of Spirits: This refers to Black Magic as being a powerful energy where you summon and control spirits to do your bidding. The most notorious example in popular culture of someone doing this kind of work is when Aleister Crowley summoned spirits into the House of Boleskine. Or at least…he was in the middle of a spirit summoning ritual when he was interrupted. As a result, some people believe that the Boleskine House is haunted today.

Controlling Someone’s Free Will: By this definition, even a seemingly harmless love spell could be a form of black magic – since it bends someone’s will against their natural inclinations. Some modern witches try to ask someone’s permission before they cast a spell for them.

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A Rebellion Against the Christian, i.e. Satanism: Sometimes Satan magic is considered a form of Black Magic. Some Satanists agree with this definition while others vehemently refute the notion. This comes from the age-old Christian Practice of denouncing anything non-christian as “Black Magic.” Some Satanists have embraced this definition and try to make their rituals as anti-christian as possible: wear upside crosses, tattoo crosses on the feet, read prayers backwards, etc.

Of course this is not a representation of all Satanism. Just a commentary on those Satanists who do embrace Black Magic as a rebellion – even a mockery – against Christian Ritual.

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The Mislabeling of Another Culture’s Practice: Aside from many Satanists and witches alike, another group that largely gets accused of practicing “Black Magic” are practitioners of the Haitian/West African tradition of “Voodoo.” For example, when the slaves in Haiti rebelled against their slave owners, many performed Voodoo rituals in the tradition of their ancient African beliefs in order to gain strength. This could involve appealing to ancestors or other spirits for power. Since the Haitians won, there are many Christian leaders who claimed that the Haitians made a contract with the devil. This is still a completely ridiculous misconception that some Americans and Political Leaders believe today.

Voodoo in itself is too complex to convey in this post alone. However, I will say that there are many varieties of Voodoo – so the practice really shouldn’t be generalized as “good” or “bad.” Some Voodoo practitioners are healers – like the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans –  Marie LaVeau. She was so famous, that Catholic priests even let her practice in the church.

There are other Voodoo sorcerers called “bokor” who practice a dark punitive magic. They act as a type of religious policemen and curse bad people.

Santeria is another African Religious tradition that gets mislabeled as “Black Magic” for its tendency to conjure spirits called Orishas who control human destiny. Some summon these spirits by committing an animal sacrifice.

Animal Sacrifice may offend modern sensibilities , but if we examine history we will find that all peoples from all corners of the Earth practiced animal sacrifice at one point. It is even documented among Hebrews in the bible.

(To be honest, I’m glad we don’t do animal sacrifice anymore. But that is just my personal opinion).

In Summary: The reason why it is so hard to research and understand what ACTUALLY constitutes black magic, is because the definition is either misunderstood, derogatory, ironic, rebellious, mysterious or powerful. It’s up to you to form your own definition. Magic is ultimately the control of life energy. It is a struggle for power – as are all things in nature. It doesn’t necessarily fit into a nice neat label like color coordinated postage stamps. But be weary of what type of energy you are sending out. If you want to sew the wind, be prepared to reap the whirlwind.