True to the blog’s stylized name, I think I will start things off with some crazy metal. Above is the video for Altar of Plague’s “God Alone”, off their new release Teethed Glory and Injury. I have never been an Altar of Plagues fan, but this album is one of the most intriguing/oppressive/experimental things I’ve heard this year. They make their mark combining black metal with dark electronic soundscapes and weird sounds from other genres like noise rock, all of which is on display on this track–just listen to the almost impossibly deep hum that comes in at 3:00 and reverberates your body.
The video itself is bound to stir up some controversy in the metal world because of its apparent pretensions to “art”. Bands like Sunn o))), Liturgy, and others have recently aspired to bring artistic legitimacy to metal, with varying degrees of success. I actually enjoy this so-called “hipster metal”–the name detractors have bequeathed upon bands that eschew some of the norms of “pure” black metal and thus gain crossover appeal with the Pitchfork crowd (ironically enough, Pitchfork uploaded the “God Alone” video). I have to admit, however, that even I was turned off a bit by this video. I suppose the contorted bodies cast in black & white and the flashes that synchronize with the blast beats fit the mood of the song well, but the whole “interpretive dance” idea can’t help but feel a bit contrived. I wonder if Altar of Plagues simply intended to polarize with this video.
Song and album still kill, however. Highly recommended if you enjoy this type of stuff.