I do this for the most selfish reasons: I like to write and I like music. Whatever I know about metal is mostly from some fortunate opportunities to tour in the U.S. and Canada. After a couple of tour blogs, I thought there had to be something more interesting to write about. If I have learned anything through my experiences, it is that a sort of feedback loop should be sought out, whether it’s on a website or at a show. In theory, people get to discover something new and bands get to share their music.
That being said, every show and every article can be positive or enlightening through that common experience the performer and the listener share: the music. For me, it’s less about how true or blackened something is but more about what makes it exciting and unique. Something a writer might be able to do is provide bands with exposure that they might otherwise never receive. In an era when it costs nothing to host music online, there is a tremendous amount of new music emerging all the time in the underground.
The artwork, merchandise, awesome DIY tactics, and the ethos of a band can be as energizing as their music. I’ll always prefer a band that tours, works hard, and that I can go see live than a band who releases records but never appears. A band with awesome art and independent or limited vinyl releases, for example, creates a different aesthetic than one that only releases CDs through something like retail or record label distribution.
In 2012, with a plethora of websites promoting, streaming, sharing, stealing, or begging about music it’s the vintage, “complete” experience of the combination of music, album art, a tangible product, and the live show that I find the most exciting. Thus, my favorite of the year so far: Black Breath‘s “Sentenced To Life“: