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Friday, September 26, 2008

DVD Review: Black Metal Satanica

Black Metal Satanica
2008 MVD Visual
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

When it comes to black metal, the subgenre is so deeply intense one cannot help but stake some sort of emotion to it, be it embracement or revulsion. I, for one, neither support nor condemn the practitioners of dark arts and satanism. Live and let live, say I, particularly since my path of spirituality has been undeniably revealed to my eyes and I have chosen my course of action accordingly. I have many friends claiming to be satanists and atheists, and part of our harmony as human beings is to simply not "go there" with each other and to respect one another's private essence and belief systems. If there's one principle to black metal I salute, it's that.

Despite certain aversions, I do hold a bit of fondness for black metal, at least the instrumentation part of it all. Outside of Black Flag, I don't think I've heard anything so deliberately hateful and angry in my 38 years, which makes it dangerous as much as terribly liberating. The no rules aspect to black metal (which is beginning to become a point of contention between purists and those trying to push the genre into the mainstream) appeals to me, however, this comes with a deadly price if you take it too much to heart. The form's messages can be as corruptive as any capitalist regime. Lyrically, black metal has nothing to offer me on a personal level, however this site is not a forum of ideology, even if the new DVD Black Metal Satanica is very much about ideology.

As the parting shot in Black Metal Satanica states, black metal isn't for everyone. It also leaves in its tenebrous wake the statement that black metal, as practiced with the most far-flung commitment, goes beyond than just the music. Whether you're in deep with the lyrical bond to Satan or you take the blasphemous creeds of war against Christianity to a higher level with desecration, black metal has various tiers of duty and obligation that can transcend into hedonism, self mutilation and a profession (and sometimes execution) of murder.

One can take the stance that black metal is a joke in the way Venom and Slayer have posited their deliberately over-the-top devil hucksterism throughout their careers, however, most people who dive headfirst into black metal take it very seriously, practically to the point of it being a twisted form of the fundamentalism they seek to reject from Christianity.

Black Metal Satanica stakes its fiery inverted cross into the cold mountainous terrain of Scandinavia where the purest form of black metal is largely thought to have originated. The narration outlying the origins of black metal treads dreadfully close to Mike Moore's overcooked propaganda spiels by noting that force-fed Christianity in the Scandinavian regions is so oppressive it is the fuel of the black metal counterculture. Using historical points of references of paganism and the Vikings' sometimes bloody lore, the turnaround "crusade" from tormenting Christians upon an afflicted Scandinavia is embellished to the tee on Black Metal Satanica. In fact, this pinpointed Christian hypocrisy (which is accurate to certain points) is the instigation effect for Satanism, much less a modern-day crusade of its own to corrupt the world through scathing music and scourging ideals.

Black Metal Satanica takes you as far as you can stomach into a world you're likely best to avoid, because to understand the motives of Watain, Vreid or Shining is to propel yourself beyond every manmade scruple you've had inscribed yourself. You will assuredly need to prepare yourself for the sheer confrontationalism of Shining's body cutting, violent "purification" modes and sheer revulsion for women, much less the human race at-large. In turn, you will need to accept the fact that the haughtiest black metal devotion calls for absolute delineation from the mortal plane. In other words, if that doesn't appeal to you, steer clear with a 180 degree turn.

These practitioners, whether they've burned churches, tipped over gravestones, carved themselves to ribbons or submitted their entire beings to a base form of ethics, are to be heeded. If you want to understand where black metallers come from mentally, be ready to trade in your personal comfort zone. Black metal artists of the most extreme nature don't want your empathy, nor do they wish to be understood. It's amazing Black Metal Satanica excavates as much as it does, considering most who practice it will not talk about it, except maybe to spit on the ground in contempt for ordinary citizenry, and especially those who have tried to twist the form into what is idiotically called "Christian Black Metal." One can see their point in the latter's case.

As the DVD outlines the genre's history from Bathory's reign of musical terror to the most guttural of crimes such as those perpetrated by Emperor's Faust, Black Metal Satanica is full of sadness and loss of its most notable characters, however, it is a very frightening look into an underground you're most likely unprepared for. Caveat emptor, to say the least...

Rating: ***1/2


Sweemoo said...

Thanks for the review. I got a lot out of it. Personally, I fucking love Black Metal and am excited to watch this documentary.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Does anybody know the track 7 minutes before the end of the DVD? It's a melodic black metal song.
Thanks. \m/

varanus said...

your afraid ov blackmetal but u claim deftones to b a metal band i would b to if i was u i guess deftones is definatly for the bible thumpers my friend

Anonymous said...

does anyone knows the name of the song in the main menu just before you press play

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