Monday, May 4, 2009

A Mass Hysteria Music Lesson

So let me introduce you to Mayhem.

Mayhem, a Norwegian-based black metal band, is notorious for two things: one, for being seminal musicians who defined the metal movement of the early '90s in Norway; and two, for being the kind of mind-blowingly arrogant, ferociously violent, and vengeful musicians that make Tupac Shakur's life look like an episode of Fresh Prince. Seriously, picture Tupac. Now picture Tupac brandishing a double-edged dagger the size of a car bumper while chucking severed pigs' heads into a crowd. You with me so far?

The band formed in 1984 and released their first album, Deathcrush, in 1987 following the success of their adorably-titled demo, Pure Fucking Armageddon. Unfortunately, their next release, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which is definitely about puppies and sunshine, was delayed until 1994 due to a number of unforeseen circumstances. First, the band's lead singer, Per Yngve Ohlin, who went by the charming moniker "Dead," went and offed himself. Funny, right? It seems the lad, convinced since childhood that he was actually the ghost of a living being doomed to wander the earth in worn-out jeans and a bad, stringy metal haircut, finally grew weary of this plane of existence... unfortunately, his attempts to slit his wrists in the band's house went awry, so he was forced to crawl, bleeding, to the mantel and shoot himself in the temple with a shotgun. Upon arrival at the death scene, guitarist Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth did what any grieving friend would do: he snapped pictures of Dead's bloody corpse and used them as the artwork for the band's next demo. (Click here if you feel the need to peep the album cover, you sick fuck.)

Bassist Jørn Stubberud, surprisingly affected by his bandmate's death for a guy who voluntarily went by "Necrobutcher," departed the band shortly thereafter... paving the way for the arrival of Varg Vikernes, a blue-eyed young Nazi with the easy-going nature of, oh, the Unibomber on a coke-and-Red Bull bender. After recording much of the bass work for De Mysteriis, Vikernes lost it one night and stabbed our sensitive friend Euronymous TWENTY-THREE TIMES... over, he alleged, a plot Euronymous had been hatching to torture him to death for, like, not trading him the Pogs he wanted. Or something. Anyway, Vikernes went to jail for a good long time. His murder sentence, as it turned out, was increased by the fact that he was also convicted of torching three historic churches. Sadly, he was later denied parole and moved to a maximum-security prison after he attempted to skip town while on leave from his low-security prison and was discovered fleeing in a stolen car accompanied by an assault rifle, a handgun, several hunting knives, a gas mask, camouflage clothing, a laptop, a GPS, and a fake passport. Come on, guys! Can't a guy get his Halloween costume shopping done early in peace?

Oh, and in case you were wondering: yes, De Mysteriis was eventually released, so you can actually hear Euronymous performing alongside his murderer. Own this fascinating piece of metal history today!

Why am I telling you this? Oh, right. Because it's way more fucking interesting than wasting my time or brain cells writing about a playoffs series against the goddamn Carolina Hurricanes. They took one from us, sure, and somehow we're all supposed to be really shaken up by this, or something. (Oh, and yes: the headline of that article is "Hurricanes produce wind shift." I could not possibly be happier that the Globe is on the verge of folding.) Look, Anaheim beat Detroit this weekend, too. In triple overtime. Thanks to a 59-save performance from Jonas Hiller. An impressive showing, sure, but it tells you all you need to know about the way this series is going to go: there's simply no way the Ducks' play in Game 2 is sustainable for a 7-game series, and it's about as likely as Varg Vikernes joining his local quilting society that Cam Ward will turn in 3 more shutout performances against the Eastern Conference's best offense.

Yeah, I was bothered by some aspects of last night's game: the Bruins' apparent total inability to strip the puck in the neutral zone, for example, as well as some mind-numbingly bad shooting (Memo to P.J. Axelsson: DO NOT SHOOT THE PUCK, EVER). But I'm not ready to freak out just yet. Carolina's not the pushover Montreal was; they fought back to win a vicious series against New Jersey (oh, I could watch the Brodeur meltdown in the final 1:30 of Game 7 on repeat for days) and are not a team to be dispatched with in an easy four. But still: this is Carolina. Ray Fucking Whitney is their leading scorer (I hear his whopping 55 points were a key part of the Hurricanes' Stanley Cup season back in 2006). They do have a Staal, but they've also got Notolli Jokinen and Notjarkko Ruutu. SERGEI SAMSONOV STILL SKATES FOR THEM. It's totally cool, though, because Rod Brind'Amour is definitely not a 'roided-up freak who probably masturbates to those campy Arnold Schwarzenegger workout videos. Not at all.

Here's the bottom line: Boston took 4 out of 4 games from Carolina this season -- the only conference opponent to sweep a season series with the 'Canes. Meanwhile, every dipshit you know from Connecticut is up your ass telling you how much they love the Hurricanes because they used to go to Whalers games all the time (right, jackass. If every polo-shirted dipshit from Old Lyme who claimed to have been a dedicated Whalers fan were actually a dedicated Whalers fan, the team wouldn't have had to move DUE TO ABYSMALLY LOW ATTENDANCE FIGURES) while the states of North Carolina and South Carolina frustratedly exist, two halves of one apparent "Carolina," and await the return of college football season. No one loves you, Hurricanes. Go home.

Is my hubris excessive? Perhaps. That's what happens when you listen to too much black metal with lyrics like

All that proceeds from weakness we loathe
We declare not peace but WAR
We shall be unleashed now
From darkness we create light
Beware decaying humans
For we shall destroy
We are the way of millennium to come.


HZMLS said...

Raquel, do I dare ask how the hell you have came across this band?

HZMLS said...

After recording much of the bass work for De Mysteriis, Vikernes lost it one night and stabbed our sensitive friend Euronymous TWENTY-THREE TIMESLast night I had this dream that APNDR did the same thing to GHABBY

A Pimp Named DaveR said...


Boatdrinks said...

I was waiting for the GHABBY tag until we got into the Hockey lovin'. So. Excelent confusion.
Also, Could swear I saw a similar statement as (Memo to P.J. Axelsson: DO NOT SHOOT THE PUCK, EVER) was in a recent GHABBY post regarding a "Tony Allen" and shooting.
Many similarities.
I seem to have missed this band, btw. Darn.

HZMLS said...

boatdrinks where the hell have you been?