It’s no secret at this point that the 2010s have found it’s ”trend genre”. What Glam Metal was to the 80s, Nu-Metal was to the 90s and Metalcore was to the 2000s, it’s clear that what can be referred to as “Hipster Metal” is this decade’s answer to all that. Is it a bad thing? Well, that’s what i’m here to discuss. There are two sides to this coin and in all honesty, I can see both of them. It’s a pretty complex issue that has it’s upside and it’s downside, but what effect will it ultimately have on Metal altogether?
I’m singling out Black Metal here because it’s the sub-genre that’s been effected the most by this phenomenon. It’s mostly been Black Metal that these Pompadour-haired, shitty IPA-consuming scoundrels have been injecting their Post-Shoegazey likeness into, just like the shitty tattooed, mallrat Metalcore miscreants did with Melodic Death Metal and Emo and Hardcore. It’s the same pattern we saw a decade ago when the mallrats reigned supreme on the mainstream side of the Metal spectrum and rubbed elbows with the likes of Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and Machine Head. (The only one I even remotely like out of those 4 is Opeth, by the way). It’s really no different here in that aspect. It’s really just another trendy sub-genre to serve as a verbal punching bag of ridicule from purists and elitists for years to come. At least for me, that’s what it boils down to. Just another invention by young nitwits for us to laugh at, with very few really good exceptions.
The thing that upsets and annoys people, however, myself included, when it comes to most of these bands, is that a lot of them are either wannabes or leeches. Wannabes because many of them are just dorks who heard A Blaze in the Northern Sky one day and decided the next day to make a Black Metal album, and leeches because some of them are just fair weather ”artists” looking for a genre that suits them best to suck a living out of until it’s time to move on to the next thing. Perfect example: The woman in the featured photo of this post; Amalie Bruun, better known as Myrkur. When I first found out about this project and found out she works with Ulver vocalist Kristoffer “Garm” Rygg and heard a couple of her songs, I thought it was okay and sounded like a weird mix of Ulver and Leaves Eyes. Meh, whatever. Then I noticed all this hate that was being rained down on her by a lot of fucking people; to the point where she was getting death threats and all kinds of other crazy shit. I was curious and wondering what that was all about.
So, I said “okay, fuck it” and looked her up. Turns out she was just some plastic, soulless, genre-hopping hack who latches onto whatever results in her receiving her next meal (which is probably not very much, judging by the looks of her. She looks like a fucking stick.) who has work in a multitude of genres, including a short-lives Indie Rock band called Ex Cop, a Grunge project supposedly that she played up all the way down to the flannel-laden style (25 years too late for that one) and even did some features for fucking RA the Rugged Man. What is life?
Then suddenly, she’s this:
Then, to make matters worse, she pulls the SJW card and blames all the hate and criticism on ”misogyny” and ”sexism” within the Metal community and claims that the only reason for this whole shitstorm is because she’s a woman, which then attracted a parade of fat, hairy neckbeard cucks and radical, self-flogging feminists flocking to her defense.
No. The real reason is because you’re the musical equivalent to bikini models trying to be WWE wrestlers. Your’re a passionless, depthless robot who just wants to latch on to whatever genre that suits you so you can leech a living off of it until it gets stale so you can move on to the next one, who somehow conned Garm from Ulver to produce your music and write most of it using mostly recycled Ulver riffs. There is no place for that kind of shit in any genre of Metal and certainly not Black Metal. If you choose to play this type of music, be real and have some sort of knowledge and passion for it. Or else, fuck right the fuck off and do something else. Be an anorexic model, which you certainly fit the criteria for or go back to being a plastic pop star. Black Metal isn’t the place for that garbage. Am I saying the death threats were warranted? No. That’s a little too far, but I do totally understand the hate and annoyance that you generate. I don’t give a flying fuck if you play anything on the side while playing Black Metal as well, but have a background and be real about it. Or else, you’re just trash. Plain and simple. I’m not going to sit here and say you’re “killing” the genre, that’s a stretch, it’s been around for decades and existed far before your kind came along and it will always have it’s place. You’re just one person and don’t have the power to kill it yourself, but I 100% agree with all the outrage.
Now, when it comes to bands like Deafheaven and Liturgy, I don’t know exactly what kind of backround they have with Black Metal, but they don’t seem to be as greedy and hacky as Myrkur. To me, these guys are more on the wannabe train trying to masquerade as something revolutionary and innovative within the genre when really their fairly new to it and don’t know enough about the style or aesthetic to properly create it. NOT to mention the lovely little ”manifesto” written by Liturgy frontman Hunter-Hunt-Hendrix (who’s name sounds like a rejected name Triple H was pitched before he became Hunter Hearst Helmsley) titled Transcendental Black Metal, which the band describes their style as, which from what I’ve seen, is just a bunch of collage-level philosophical jibbery-droo. So who cares. If you want to do something different, that’s fine, but don’t be a pretentious asswipe about it.
So, what i’m trying to say here is, when it comes to hipsters infiltrating Black Metal, or any kind of Metal, aside from a few really bad eggs with different agendas, it’s really not something to be worked up over. It’s just the latest sub-genre of miscreants who appeal to the younger, more naive crowd who either haven’t gotten into the good stuff yet or just don’t care. It isn’t going to kill anything except for a few elitist brain cells and it’s easy to make fun of. So there’s that. Am I saying all of it is bad? Not necessarily. I do think there are some diamonds in the pile of shit, like An Autumn for Crippled Children and Wolves in the Throne Room, but that’s about as far as I go. For now at least. So, just relax and let the fad pass and clown on it as it goes by. Even the money-grabbers like little miss Amalie don’t last too long.
*Listens to Blizzard Beasts once*
Now that that’s done, it’s time for an announcement. Now that i’m done discussing and ranting about Hipsters in Black Metal, i’m now going to suffer for your entertainment. All throughout the next week.
This week, i’m going to be listening to and reviewing these 5 notable albums by the 5 most notorious bands in of the Hipster Metal movement thus far. The 5 albums you see below.
Liturgy: The Ark Work
A Pregnant Light: My Game Doesn’t Have a Name
Ghost Bath: Moonlover
This week will be called Hipster Week.
I will be listening to these 5 albums and giving each of them an honest and non-biased review right after. I’m doing this just for shits and giggles and to see how much I can endure these bands and their style and tell you guys exactly what I think of them (except for Ghost Bath because I do like them, but they get put into the Hipster category too so why not). It should be fun… or not. Maybe i’ll end up liking some of it. Who knows.
So stay tuned this entire week as I will try to post these reviews as quickly as I can, and as I said on Instagram right before I listened to the new Danzig album (which a review of that will be coming next week), Pray for me.
Until next time.