With his eyewitness coverage of the extreme metal scene, my favorite actual reporter-journalist Shawn Macomber raises Radar‘s intellectual heft by a good 10 kilotons:
At its best, extreme metal is music for those who—to adopt the parlance of Black Flag—would rather rise above than skip along. Clocking in at less than two seconds, the classic Napalm Death Scum track “You Suffer” holds the Guinness World Record for shortest song. We shake our heads. We grin at the novelty. There is, however, an admirable economy of thought there. “You suffer, but why?” Nic Bullen bellows. What else is there to say, really? Not exactly a message destined to gain widespread popularity in our emasculated crybaby society, which is probably why the most fully realized extreme-music communities I’ve visited have not been in the United States, but in cities like Riga, Latvia, and Caracas, Venezuela, where the realities of life are a little meaner and more immediate.
“We understand why so feeble a culture hates true art,” Nietzche wrote in The Birth of Tragedy. “It fears destruction thereby.” The feeble can have their pretty, polished strains. I’ll take apotheosis and guided tours of hell over that any day.