Black Metal: Fad or Fiction?
by: Adam Wasylyk
Hi there, and welcome to CoC''s newest column, Writer''s Wrath! I will be bitching about something that I''ve been noticing as of late, how black metal is becoming commercial and trendy. Before you say "What is this guy talking about?," here are a few things I''ve noticed that lead to where I''m coming from.

My first point comes from a media point of view, which I first discovered after purchasing an issue of a mag called Metal Hammer. Reading an article on Cradle of Filth, the accompanying photos had me thinking "What the hell is this?" Three photos in particular, shots of Dani (vocalist) washing dishes and sitting on the toilet, and another shot of the band standing beside a bathtub (of course all of them trying to look evil, but how evil could the drummer look with his feet dangling above the bath water?). I couldn''t believe that CoF agreed to do the photo shoot, and that Metal Hammer would commercially exploit the black metal image in this way. The popular alternative magazine Spin (this issue had Trent Reznor on the cover) did an article on the Norwegian black metal scene awhile back. The article was well written, but it was very much biased (the writer was Catholic/daughter of a minister), and to this day I still don''t know why they published the article in the first place. Oh I know, controversy sells magazines, right? What readers of Spin really cares about black metal? And how many articles do you think Spin have done since then on black metal and the number of talented bands within the scene?

My second point comes from a band point of view. What really bugs me is when bands transform from death metal to black metal. If the band is changing purely for the music itself, that''s acceptable, but when it comes to just doing it for monetary gain then that''s what I have a problem with. I do know that it''s going on out there, and all it''s accomplishing is in hurting the scene.

It''s sad to see black metal turning into an overpopulated (and in some cases undertalented) scene. Being at first amazed by some of the black metal bands (Enslaved, Emperor, etc.), a lot of what I hear now just doesn''t measure up. I take comfort in knowing that the copycat bands will eventually die off and the bands true to their roots will remain intact.

(article submitted 11/10/1996)


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