Detroit Metal City: True?

When television or movies takes on a particularly underground art form and tells a story about it, there’s one hell of a risk of getting everything wrong, or just plain looking stupid. That’s even worse when the art is as obsessed with authenticity as underground metal music. Metal has always in desperate fear of “poseurs,” and of the idea that anything with a hint of mainstream acceptance is the mark of “falsehood.” So it would seem that Detroit Metal City is a risky undertaking for its creators. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to validate — or invalidate — the pig-fucking antics of Krauser, the President, and all their evil cohorts. To rape your misconceptions, if you will.

What makes metal “true?”

Don’t fucking ask me. I think one of the greatest ironies in heavy metal is its ultimate desire to be “true,” since the very notion of claiming to be “true” can either (a) launch you to immortality or (b) totally invalidate your authenticity. Nowhere is this more the case than with black metal, the subgenre spawned in the sleepy frozen towns of Norway where some kids took a couple of silly old Venom records too seriously. Norway’s most (in)famous metal ambassador, Mayhem, even places “The True” over their logo.

The Look

Black Metal is a good place to start where Krauser is concerned. While DMC is touted as a “death metal” band, they seem to surround themselves with all the trappings of a black metal one. There’s the black and white “corpse paint” makeup (which was inspired by ’80s metaller King Diamond‘s KISS-meets-Satan look and adopted by almost all black metal bands in the 90s); the medieval armor probably inspired by Emperor (although no doubt with a little of Gwar‘s goofiness in there too); and the bondage look of the Pig that some of the modern black metal bands favor. Does it look good? Well, let’s just say Krauser does, because Camus’s Insane Clown Posse look is not quite up to snuff. And some bands are getting away from the theatrics in an effort to be more “true” — but to really capture black metal’s golden blackest years of the mid-90s, corpse paint and spiked armor is a must.

I opened up the gatefold to Mayhem’s debut Deathcrush, and the credits — especially bassist Necrobutcher, credited with “4 string Crushfuck” — made me smile and think of Krauser.

The Lyrics

Heavy metal has long been a media and parental target due to their fear of its supposedly satanic lyrics, and when death metal surfaced in the 80s, its proponents saught to make that fear a reality. Things stayed largely Satan-and-Lovecraft for a while. But British group Carcass got the gore-ball rolling in 1985 by opening up medical textbooks, closing their eyes, and pointing to random autopsy-related words. When American group Cannibal Corpse hit the scene a few years later, they took that gore to such a nonsensical extreme that squares tended to ban their albums and some metal fans actually found them to be too cartoony. Sound familiar? DMC and their music are shunned all over the place for their lyrics, and let’s face it — they are cartoons. Sounds like a match to me.

Let’s put DMC’s hit single, Satsugai:

Yesterday I raped my mom

Today I’ll carve up my dad

I don’t have friends or lovers

Because I killed them all

up against Cannibal Corpse’s classic ditty, “Hammer Smashed Face”:

There’s something inside me

It’s coming out

I feel like killing you

Let loose the anger, held back too long

My blood runs cold

Whatever connections Krauser’s lyrics have to reality, they’re meant to be both a parody and an homage, but not a strict representation. DMC is more like the embodiment of the parental fears that created death metal lyrics in the first place. You could argue that the Japanese tend to take things, especially music, to a crazed extreme (something probably gets lost in translation), so you could say that DMC is technically a possibility. Whichever way you see it, DMC’s lyrics are a fine reflection of death metal reality, and no less silly than some real ones. Score another point for Krauser. In thanks, he’ll rape you.

Satsugai

During Norwegian black metal’s peak of popularity, the mainstream media and audience knew very little about its actual sound. But they were well aware of the antics of its musicians. Accounts vary, but there are two pretty crazy defining moments in the scene:

  • Mayhem’s second (and some say best) singer, Dead, a really depressed kid by any stretch of the imagination, shot himself in the face while propped up in bed. His suicide note? “Sorry about the mess.” Guitarist Euronymous scraped up some of the bits of his brain and put them into a soup.
  • The original Norwegian scene ended with the murder of Euronymous by former friend and mastermind of the one-man band Burzum, Varg Vikernes aka Count Grishnak. He claims Euronymous was going to kill him, but he also claims Euronymous was a pussy, and besides, he’s a certifiable madman and a neo-nazi to boot. Whether it was over money, who was the bigger poseur, or some other petty nonsense, Vikernes stabbed Euronymous a few times in the back as he was running away.

Add to that a slew of assorted church burnings and a couple other murders, and Scandinavia in the 1990s seems like just the kind of place you could rape a tambourine and not seem like such a bad guy. Krauser would really have to step up his game, and I’m guessing he’d relish it.

The Verdict

Metal, as much as I love it, can be cartoony at times. Like anime, it’s an acquired and somewhat nerdy taste with a lot of trappings that go along with it. You have to willingly and purposefully suspend disbelief to a degree, as well as accept and even love things that regular people find creepy, perverted, or just plain stupid. So to be honest, metal and anime go together better than you think, and if you can find a better ambassador to bridge the two worlds than the mighty Krauser-san, I hereby order you to present him to me. Or at least his head on a stake.

Fuck these (19) Comments.

  1. lolikitsune says:

    In only one out of eight mentions of Krauser-san’s name did you add keep the honorific. HE’S GOING TO DEVOUR YOU!!

  2. otou-san says:

    and what an honor it would be.

  3. coburn says:

    For some reason “stabbed Euronymous a few times in the back as he was running away” struck me more than the brain soup bit. Damn Scandinavians. They could do with watching some cartoons.

    I suppose the joy of DMC is that it doesn’t just bridge the gap between anime and metal, but also potentially the gaps between these two hobbies and anyone in the world with an appreciation for rape-based witticisms.

  4. 21stcenturydigitalboy says:

    I have only skimmed through it so far, but this is the best post ever by default for black-metal discussion from a sourse that seems to know what it’s talking about. You are my hero.

  5. schneider says:

    The only thing I found weird about DMC was that kids were allowed anywhere near the concerts. Not that I’m complaining.

  6. ghostlightning says:

    Having ‘only’ listened to Slayer and a few 80’s-90’s acts that do the Satan bit, I can’t really comment on the authenticity of DMC vis-a-vis metal, the love for the music/scene is obvious.

    It’s almost the same way Gundam fans celebrate their love for the franchise by trolling the shit out of it. DMC just murders you with awesome…

    …and when you think you’re dead and there’s nothing more it can do to you, Krauser just rapes you some more.

  7. Lbrevis says:

    This post was pretty awesome got me totally fucking wet. It taught me things I didn’t know, it amused me and it was about the funniest show of the year. The only thing you didn’t address (although I can guess already) is how true to life the over-the-top Krauser worshipping fans are.

  8. digitalboy says:

    having now actually read the post, I give it two flaming devil horns in the air. This post is a fucking masterpiece. I will suck your fucking dick if you so wish it.

    I only hope people take this and get interested in Black Metal. Come to me, all, for a list of great bands!

  9. Funeral says:

    Epic post, great comparison of two of the finer things in life. Also if anyone is interested in learning more about Black Metal come to me as well.

  10. choujin1 says:

    Awesome post. It gets my endorsement (for whatever that’s worth).

    I think “Fucked with a Knife” or “I Cum Blood” would be more suitable companions for Satsugai. And wasn’t there something about Dead’s skull fragments being collected and strung together for necklaces? I can’t remember if that was Euronymous or not. Maybe it’s just “urban legend”.

    Hmm… I think I hear Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk calling to me…

  11. lelangir says:

    Is it just me or is there no bass in DMC’s OP?

  12. otou-san says:

    @coburn

    I love hearing a phrase that quite possibly has never been written/uttered before. For instance, “rape-based witticisms.”

    @digitalboy

    At first I regretted killing you in ghostlightning’s game, but if you’re that metal then obviously it’s the road to Valhalla and glory. Then again, with a standing offer for a blowjob, what a waste that would be.

    @schneider

    But if kids weren’t allowed near the shows, we wouldn’t have Krauser-tan, pretty much the best child-based invention ever.

    @ghostlightning

    Totally, the love is there, and I think that’s the reason more than any other why it projects an image of authenticity. And there has to be something to the fact that Negishi’s solo music sucks so bad.

    @Lbrevis

    Nice, can I call you “President” now? FUCK! Some fans are crazy, it’s true, but I haven’t heard any great stories of that in a while. The book where I got a lot of the black metal stuff, Lords of Chaos, has some crazy accounts of church burnings and other assorted nonsense.

    @Funeral

    finer things indeed, made all the more fine by the fact that relatively few of us in this world appreciate either, let alone both.

    @lelangir

    Not sure, I’m going to have to go listen to it again.

    @choujin

    When I think of metal, I think of you. So your endorsement is worth one of those pentagrams that you make with your hands that I can’t do. I actually considered using “Fucked with a Knife” in my example.

    As for the necklace, Euronymous actually said later that the soup thing was an urban legend (even though he said he did it), but quite a few people still have the necklaces and he never denied that. So yeah, it’s for real.

    And I’m a Nightside Eclipse person myself, if I had to choose… but why choose.

  13. And I thought they werent true.

  14. Hoshi says:

    Haha, the tambourine, but of course, don’t leave out Tokyo Tower. ;]

    Can’t really say much about black or death metal cause I don’t really listen to those genres, but I’ve enjoyed DMC so far.

  15. TheBigN says:

    lelangir: There’s a bass, but it’s not prevalent. Which seems kind of sad when you think about it.

    otou-san: Rock on. \m/-_-\m/

  16. Baka-Raptor says:

    I had no idea this stuff actually existed, and in Scandinavia of all places.

    Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of rape.

  17. Funeral says:

    @thebign: i think he was referring to the fact that black metal turns the bass down to the point of inaudibility in the event that they even include a bassist at all.

  18. Pingback: Reading it later 3 at Otakurean?

  19. Pingback: Welcome Tourney jockeys » Shameful Otaku Secret!