Thursday, April 5, 2012

Moving forward (II)

We managed to extract some specimen of this new element called bergmetal. It seemd to "grow" in the mountains. At least we found it some few meters under the ground. It was practically new and so Olsdal and his fellows fetched some grams into their bags. Our man Nick was still with the doc and we tried to get some connection to the helicopter rescue yet haven't been successful so far. We keep trying. We keep holding contact to the injured and the doc.
As far as I can remember, I was fascinated at landscapes. How they fill horizons with a multitude of features. If we go back a few centuries, we come across the whole movement of Romanticism where the concept of elegy entered poetry and then later novel-writing too. Sublimity is the keyword in this context.
In metal music landscape is often understood as background for generic stories. You can go check these postings here and find your own theory. However, now with the discovery of the new element bergmetal, there arises the question if black metal and some pagan metal can only exist by the material they feed on. If a musical style goes under the title of black metal, maybe the reason is not only because black relates to satanic and primeval evil but because the matter black metal thrives on, is utterly black. Maybe even some space explorers among the music groups can simulate a black hole effect. Just in case ... I mean, it's all about speculation. Pondering over a music that I've been listening to for years now. Curiously enough, my taste is not strictly limited to these black metal eruptions. Maybe after all those decades of tradition it is time to venture to new territories? Don't you agree?

A breath-taking vantage point invites to new perspectives. Ever been to a mountain peak? Then enjoy the view and start to think the valley conditions over. To stand on a mountain and feeling like ... Emperor sending guitar hooks to the night sky. A blaze in the Northern sky. Ablaze flames growing higher. Sitting on the bergthron. The metaphors abound and by the course of time they will lose their grip. Grinning mouths lacking in teeth. Grown old and then the bodies just crumble and fall down to a hole six feet under. Earth claims her creatures again. Curtains closed. Thank you. Party's over.

So bergmetal as a new element to metal circuits can open our eyes for the materiality of the music. The melodies and the high-pitched guitars always seem so aetherial, only hard to grasp, flipping through our fingers. Yet without a body to inhabit, we cannot produce any music. We need bodies to receive and resonate to sound.
So, a repeating pattern helps to stabilize the black metal stereotype. A sub-genre to be easily recognized and labelled. Consumers will show grateful support. You won't be disappointed. Even more, you can be deadly sure about the results, if you want to spend your money. For proper accord with scene regulations, any metal release owns a rebellious touch to it and by being perceived as belonging to metal community, this music practices opposition to no-matter-what. This perception is rather incorrect as any music release appears in a certain context. By repeating patterns a sense of community can be sustained. Social groups with a definite set of values guarantee safety to a certain degree. Apart from those metal scene structures, if the explorer team we're following in this report decides to map new territory, we can easily guess that their mission might differ from the gros of metal scene activists. Following their trip to the mountains entails a degree of turbulence we should become accustomed to. It's not only for the thrill. You can limit your interest to new releases and gossip talk. You will certainly miss some underground movements in the material of metal music.
Now return to the exploration.

Is there a binding relation between scaling mountains and collecting grams of bergmetal?
The question is: at what places can we find bergmetal? In mountains? Most probably.
Yet, have you ever heard about a studio located on rocks? Mostly, we find them in cities and some in Sweden's countryside. So when Immortal stand high above valleys, they use their guitar-axes without any wires to electricity. Imagining, their guitars are fed by the atmosphere. Bergmetal appeals to a thematic approach: it is the lyrics that build up the phenomenon of bergmetal. If we experience sound on a mountain slope, sound can escape in any direction as there is apparently no "close room" where sound could be geborgen (past participle of German verb bergen which owns berg of bergmetal yet means to hold sth. or to recover respectively to rescue). There is no room to hold the sound. It can evade and fall down or rise up what- and where-ever it likes to. 

My argumentation holds the fact that there is a material aspect to music, too. I presented this approach at the Second BM Theory Symposium in London in January 2011 – so metal follows rock, in history of popular music and there is a material transformation process involved in this development. A country abundant with mountains might produce a high percentage of qualified black metal, doesn't it? I followed this question in another article (to be published sometime in 2012, keep you posted).
Bergmetal could also be a sort of black metal emulating the geological phenomenon of berge (read: mountains). How can mountains – accumulations of rock, ice, earth and grass – be put to sound? Tough question that needs some digression. Answering to that needs time, some detour.

"The fact that the universe is fundamentally alive, spontaneously self-ordering at all levels – from the very small to the very big – is a shock to those who thought it was based on a matter that was boring, determined and fundamentally dead." (Charles Jenks, 'The Post Modern Agenda', in The Post Modern Reader. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. 35)
Readers are fond of receiving shocking breaking-news from mountain trips: there were accidents, incidents or even casualties. Any serious explorer won't deliver that, only dime novelists find their pleasure in coming up to the expectations. The explorers won't deliver such items of news as they are naturally interested in the success of their endeavours. That's that. This exploration in search of the new element bergmetal proved to have been planned quite carefully. It saw years of advanced research before the actual start of the mountain conquest. That was due to the mission's delicacy. We effected several explosions in the mountainside and had only a half-hearted permission from the local authorities. Normally, they asked for a decision in parliament yet we directly addressed this concern to the Ministry of Energy and Resources and by sharing the exploits with the Ministry we could avoid a debate. They don't possess the capacities to exploit this new element themselves so they bought in our mission. Ph.D. Olsdal was not really fond of this peculiar loss of independence yet for the greater cause, he accepted. Without explosives we would haven't been able to discover the element as it needs a second glance beneath the surface to discover bergmetal. Putting it into the right angle and then still having enough time to take cover always verged on the brink of disaster. Fortunately, our specialist was able to put the explosives in safe places and the exploit of bergmetal was satisfying enough.
First explosion brought ---

again a disturbance of transmission. Excuses. We depend on some prototype wireless connections in high altitudes. Sometimes there is too much noise and distracting signals. In such cases we only receive fragmented texts, filled up with strangest characters. We're trying to fix that situation until next time.

Dominik Irtenkauf


  1. i suspect the only reason i am understanding this is due to a recent close encounter with a suspicious package of herbs

  2. The fact that you say this proves that you suspicion is false! ;-)

  3. Will you accept submissions for this blog?

    ...seing as though that the submission of the text can be a sacrament to the history of the stone and metal as a supplication to the alpine?

  4. Yes. Please do send along your contribution. Best, N

  5. Is there an email I can foward the piece to?

  6. O yes, that would be handy:

  7. right on...I'll have it to you by Sunday.