A tiny avant-garde metal manifesto – post the banalization of genre blending
I. What the fuck is «avant-garde metal»? The term has been subject to much debate. Is it just another subgenre of metal? If so, «avant-garde metal» is a contradiction in terms. Tails are getting increasingly longer, and insufficient taxonomies do not serve our common understanding of the complexity of phenomena.
II. Avant-garde metal is a strategy. It stems from genuine love for metal music and culture. We who love metal, do not want our metal stale – bereft of vision, ambition, hope, reflection, craftsmanship and imagination. And we certainly do not want it to be impotent or infertile!
III. Blending genres is so fucking nineties. It takes a dimwit to be impressed today with the concept of mixing progressive rock, psychedelia, jazz and black metal. SERIOUSLY! Fleurety did that in 1995, and we were influenced by among others Celtic Frost's 1987 (!) album «Into the Pandemonium». (Note: This does not entail that those who mix progressive rock, psychedelia, jazz and black metal (or whatever) do not sometimes achieve stunning results even today. Examples abound.)
IV. Knowing that genre blending is the new mundane, we must search for other ways to implement our avant-garde metal strategies.
V. Metal – as all forms of music – is wrapped in plastic. That is the way we love it. Thus the physical format is a Gesamtkunstwerk spanning text, images, music, production, typography, design and most certainly many other branches of the arts. This is assumed to be taken as granted. We must therefore seek to holistically integrate every possible parameter in our artworks to make sure the total is qualified «avant-garde» – and that it may justly be categorized as such.
VI. Clearly the parameters in the most dire crisis with regards to metal today are text and visual presentation. The musical parameter is in a crisis too, but there appears to be little to be done with it. With no wars of relevance in our time, we are not able to reap the benefits of arms race. (Yes, I am talking about the amplification of the guitar and the propagation of tape recorders – to name just a few examples.) The technological progress in the field of sculpting new sounds is painstakingly slow, and we cannot allow ourselves to wait for researchers and venture capitalists to catch up with us.
VII: The so-called Web 2.0 has revealed a shocking lack of ambition among younger artists. We, the veterans, the adults, must take responsibility when the new generation fails our proud tradition of incessantly working for the vigour of (extreme) metal!
VIII: The new generation must strive to prove the falsity of point VII.
IX: We must look to reinvent what concepts may be expressed through metal. We must be willing to go to great lenghts to do so. We must be prepared to try every possible style, method and personal degradation to further the progress of the music we so deeply love. If admitting that Jesus Christ was a pretty awesome dude serves our purpose, we must never hesitate to do so.
X: A good manisto is always cocky and ballsy. Cock And Ball Torture is a mediocre grindcore band. Literal cock and ball worship, however, is the superhighway to the future.