Super-Duper Serious Black Metal Band Teratism Refuses to Play with “Joke Band” Neckbeard Deathcamp
Did you ever read that manifesto written by Hunter Hunt-Hendrix from Liturgy and think, “Hm, I wonder if it would be possible to write something so preposterously po-faced that even the author of this document would roll his eyes and groan?”
Ladies and gentlemen, that sound you hear is Mr. Hunt-Hendrix groaning.
Minneapolis black metal band Teratism have removed themselves from the bill for this summer’s fifth annual Stygian Rights festival in South Dakota. The reason? According to a novella-length Facebook post by bassist Gilles de Rais (he takes his stage name from an infamous 15th century serial killer of children), it’s because they don’t want to be on a bill with bands that play “incompatible subgenres” (i.e., anything other than super-duper extra-serious black metal). In this specific instance, that means they will not play with Neckbeard Deathcamp, the self-proclaimed “parody band” whose music is “explicitly antiracist and antisexist.”
With all the levity of a burn victim unit, de Rais explains that his/Teratism’s refusal to play with Neckbeard Deathcamp is because, in so many words, they need absolute silence while they fall into character:
“Black metal, as we understand it, create it, and perform it, is the purest and most distilled manifestation of Satanism possible within the genre of metal music. This soul of black metal as a genre exists, however in a historical and musical context, lending its various iterations the tradition of a particular atmosphere and musical ethos. Therefore, in order to present a convincing performance when we play live, Teratism, and other sincere, practicing bands in this genre, must create an atmosphere of, if not *true believers*, then sympathetic participants in the audience. Through our history, we have tried whenever possible to book, and accept when invited, shows where the lineup consisted only of other sincere bands, preferably of the same rarefied genre, whose contribution to the music was being made seriously and in good faith.”
Gilles goes on to say that such a “sympathetic audience” is “the difference between experiencing a moment of profound and terrifying conviction of the presence of real diabolical power, and a bunch of drunk frat boys laughing at guys in Halloween costumes and raccoon makeup.” This being the case, Neckbeard Deathcamp’s willingness to be less serious than Sophie’s Choice disqualifies them from ever sharing the stage with Teratism:
“I have no opinion for or against joke bands per se, but, as I have just elaborated, this kind of fast and loose mixing of incompatible subgenres on a lineup is antithetical to creating and sustaining the particular atmosphere we need to pull off a convincing live performance. Few people would try and invite a comedian to do a bunch of toilet jokes as the eulogy at a funeral; to expect us to attempt to ply our solemn craft following a satire band is equally unworkable.”
Gilles then makes efforts to distance himself from both sides of the political spectrum, because, again, this is allegedly not about what Neckbeard Deathcamp believe, but, rather, what they do not believe:
“To make matters even more absurd, I have since heard that this band are in fact Antifa trolls. I can’t speak to that rumor because I don’t know. What I do know is, whether they have a partisan agenda underlying their trolling or not, I was just not interested in flying halfway across the country, donning full ritual garb, lighting candles and incense and then attempting to convince an audience of strangers of the palpable presence of a terrifying spirit of cosmic evil indwelling the world, after waiting for the the fake-black-metal scene’s equivalent of Weird Al Yankovic to clear their rubber chickens off the stage.
“For those looking to use us as pawns in some cynical power game you’re playing because our decision is politically expedient to you, I’m afraid, sadly, you will have to go fuck yourself. This includes the white supremacists, who, I am informed, are currently on our Facebook page claiming that one cancellation is somehow a “victory for the white race.” It also includes the masked brick throwers among you who are using the same decision to hoist us on a petard as your Bugaboo du jour with accusations that we are fascist sympathizers because we’re not keen on being used as a prop in a stunt orchestrated by cynical actors with an agenda that has nothing to do with furthering the music itself.”
So, maybe I’m just one of those “drunk frat boys laughing at guys in Halloween costumes and raccoon makeup,” but I mean, in the name of the Dark Lord, LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP, dude. The other members of Teratism use stage names like ‘Desekrator’ and ‘V. Wrath.’ How did you think anyone was going to take that 100% seriously? How do you take that 100% seriously? Nobody’s mommy and daddy gives them those names, and I don’t see any reason why Satan should have a preference for someone who thinks it’s cool to use Ks where Cs belong and not just, like, some dude named Ralph or whatever.
There are so few things in life worth taking this seriously. This is not one of those things. You can love metal and have a sense of humor about it.
You can read Gilles’ entire post below if you have 12-15 free hours and a strong stomach. Someone call me if Teratism ever do manage to conjure the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or whatever and I’ll print an apology for being so flip.
Thanks: Ben F.