16 years old when I went to war,
To fight for a land fit for heroes,
God on my side, and a gun in my hand,
Counting my days down to zero,
And I marched and I fought and I bled and I died,
And I never did get any older,
But I knew at the time that a year in the line,
Is a long enough life for a soldier,
We all volunteered, and we wrote down our names,
And we added two years to our ages,
Eager for life and ahead of the game,
Ready for history’s pages,
And we fought and we brawled and we whored ’til we stood,
Ten thousand shoulder to shoulder,
A thirst for the Hun, we were food for the gun,
And that’s what you are when you’re soldiers,
I heard my friend cry, and he sank to his knees,
Coughing blood as he screamed for his mother,
And I fell by his side, and that’s how we died,
Clinging like kids to each other,
And I lay in the mud and the guts and the blood,
And I wept as his body grew colder,
And I called for my mother and she never came,
Though it wasn’t my fault and I wasn’t to blame,
The day not half over and ten thousand slain,
And now there’s nobody remembers our names,
And that’s how it is for a soldier.
– Motorhead, 1916
For people that heard the Mexican Disgorge‘s Forensick fifteen years ago or Last Days Of Humanity‘s Putrefaction In Progress a little later on, for those weaned on a diet of Sore Throat and Fear Of God, the buttons that Tetragrammacide purports to push have already been pushed and with greater flair. What emanates from this camp today resembles little more than the obsolete clanking of peripherals fallen into disrepair and begging for an overhaul.
Tetragrammacide might object to being compared with the above grindcore luminaries and to that end they have divided their demo into two halves. The first half indeed contains a shapeless mass of grindcore-derived noise drenched in intentionally bad production, the random punctuation of staggered open chords about the only thing standing out in these sections. The second part is a dark ambient affair of ritual percussion set in a steady wash of amelodic fuzzed out bass. Neither contains any definition to the soundscapes within, but that does not appear to be the band’s MO to begin with.
Tetragrammacide call themselves martial, intolerant, occult black metal. The question I want to ask of them is this: just what the fuck does that mean? Forget the fact that this barely qualifies as black metal, but rather think on the martial, intolerant, occult bit for a moment. Are these guys coming back from the armed forces? Have they been arrested for hate speech? Are they practicing aghoris? Why do they pose in desaturated pictures holding knives and never looking at the camera? The question I want to ask is, what is the reason for their elitism?
This is not a tirade against the use of imagination in its various forms, far from it. The bane of many a modern extreme metal band, however, seems to be the blurring of lines between fantasy and real life. But not in the sense of going balls-out psycho or using fantasy to channel creativity, with creativity being the overriding concern. Rather, the mind is compartmentalized for the identity to buy somewhat into the fantasy, just enough for the person concerned to feel special and different, but not enough to inconvenience the ground beneath his feet. So you can be a fat fuck and be martial, and you can’t have the grain of an original thought and still get to call yourself an elitist. Are you actors or fucking musicians?
Style over content is the way of the world, something which underground forms of music aren’t exempt from after all. War, after childbirth, is perhaps the most religious activity that human beings indulge in; the cheapening of it through blatant stereotyping and ego-massaging is galling.