Tuesday, November 16, 2010
NPR Discovers Black Metal
My biggest beef with public radio's forays into pop music has been that their efforts simply create a new kind of easy listening -- music inoffensive to the ears of well-to-do thirty-somethings who like to donate money to lefty arts concerns. But the whole point of using public or donated money to fund the arts isn't to produce pablum, but to challenge, enrich and maybe even enrage.
So I'm very pleased that NPR has followed the lead of the New York Times (and a growing legion of hipsters) in exploring more challenging, noisy fare.
Hence this first listen of the new record from Agalloch, who aren't black metal in the truest sense -- some say only Norwegians hold claim to that label. No they're part of the new wave of American black metal (U.S.B.M, lol) that frequently melds elements of indie friendly post-rock (like Godspeed You! Black Emperor) and progressive with the traditional shrieked vocals and punishing rhythms of the genre.
For many Agalloch's latest, on the boutique label Profound Lore, is the metal album of the year.
Listen to the record in its entirety at NPR.
This is winter music.
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