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Noise Maniakk's profile

Full name:
Favourite metal genre(s):
Oldschool, extreme, industrial 

I'm Noise Maniakk, mastermind of old school death/thrash/core project Rotgod.
I love all things fast, raw, ugly, noisy, chaotic, depraved, anti-social and anti-musical, as much as I also love melodic, epic, energetic, balls-to-the-wall metal.

Thrash (especially the fastest, rawest, most primitive kind, often bordering on proto-black/proto-death like the old German/Brazilian scenes) is probably the metal subgenre I feel the most at home with - with Sodom being my favorite extreme metal band ever - but I consider myself a fan of extreme metal and heavy metal as a whole, with a definite preference towards the 80's sound but also a lot of 90's stuff (especially up until 1994).
Black metal (both first and second wave), late-80's/early-90's death metal and good ol' raw grindcore are my bread-and-butter, of course along with the mandatory supply of classic 80's heavy/speed/punk metal of the Maiden (best band ever), Priest, Mercyful Fate, Manowar, Motorhead, Tank, Warfare, Grave Digger, Accept, Raven, Running Wild variety. At their best, melodic and progressive extreme metal (both death and black) can be godlike as well.

While my taste in metal definitely gravitates towards the old school, I don't consider myself a "defender" in the strict, literal sense of the word. Whatever kind of music I listen to, I need it to resonate with me at some deep, visceral level with the utmost intensity, beyond its mere surface traits; most music out there can't accomplish that, while old school metal usually can, but I'm also into other "alternative" genres such as industrial, hardcore, noise/alt-rock, some post-punk and some carefully selected modern, hybridized metal (the one where strong creative vision outweighs plasticity, trend-hopping and standardization).
As a general rule, I'm into genuine creativity, especially of the unconventional, genuinely twisted kind. I need more from music than just "having a good time" while listening to it: it needs to be more of an experience, and I need it to be *expressive* (whatever that term means in any given context) and have a strong emotional impact on me, be it uplifting or disturbing - the latter especially being appreciated. I'd rather take Today is the Day's "Sadness Will Prevail", Schizo's "Main Frame Collapse", Godflesh's "Streetcleaner" or Nuclear Death's whole catalog over a standard, modern, state-of-the-art extreme metal album coming from a big label. I'd rather take a bunch of deranged maniacs from South America (Mutilator, Sarcófago, Parabellum, I choose you!) over a generic albeit technically flawless Cannibal Corpse/Deicide clone.

So, in this regard, let's talk about what I don't like.

First: overt genericness (usually expressed in the most obvious and tired riff patterns) is a big no-no for me. We're all guilty of that at times as metal songwriters, but you should at least fucking try not to be: otherwise, it just shows you don't have that much to say in the first place.
This applies to a lot of plastic, standardized modern metal out there, but also to a fine amount of retro/old school acts who are only able to imitate the most surface traits of the 80's, and end up saturating the market with mostly interchangeable products.

This brings us to the second point: overt simple-mindedness in songwriting, which doesn't have to be mistaken for mere minimalism. Minimalism is cool as fuck. "In the Sign of Evil", "Transylvanian Hunger", "Kings of Punk", "Scum", "Apocalyptic Raids" and "Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing" are not simple-minded: they just operate within a minimalistic framework, while taking its potential to incredible heights by means of good, memorable songwriting. What I don't like is bands pandering to their audiences with the most predictable, trite, overused cliches, as long as they sound "easy listening" and "good for moshing bruh".
This especially applies to the overuse of groove, which is a very touchy, iffy subject for me: I find groove to be one of the most abused tropes in metal since the early/mid-90's, but I don't entirely condemn its use. Let's just say that I tend to prefer "groove metal" when it breaks out of the standard "slowed down, groovy version of thrash metal" formula codified by Pantera (which is not the most interesting thing in the world if you ask me), adding more non-metal, experimental, preferably "noisy/psychedelic" touches in the Godflesh/Helmet/Prong fashion. As absurd and paradoxical as it may seem coming from an old school maniac like me, I tend to prefer a "Burn My Eyes", a "Meantime", a "Cleansing", a "Point Blank", a "Chaos A.D." or even a "Roots" (along with Fudge Tunnel's whole catalog for that matter) over a "Vulgar Display of Power", a "Far Beyond Driven" or any generic, basic Pantera clone which infested the scene in the 90's and 00's. It may not be "pure metal" (and I'm still not OK with bands such as Korn and Slipknot being falsely advertised as "quintessential metal bands" to clueless kids), but at least it's potentially interesting music with strong ties to other non-metal genres I like, such as noise rock and industrial music.
Digressions aside, simple-minded songwriting has generally bled into any metal subgenre, bringing more standardization than ever and attracting the trendiest, most shallow fanbases. Subgenres and trends I especially hate: generic pizza thrash with trite riffing and "just drink beer 'n' mosh" attitude, poppy/breakdown-centric metalcore/deathcore, awful redneck groove metal in the Hellyeah vein, wigger-minded slam, faux-OSDM in the Maggot Stomp fashion (basically a re-branding of wigger slam with a slightly more retro aesthetic), overproduced grindcore/powerviolence that sounds more like deathcore/beatdown HC (who said Nails?), retro-nu/core in the Tetrarch/Lost Society vein (i.e. just pure, unadulterated pop music sucking from the Linkin Park/BMTH tit), mediocre war metal copycats (you know, the meme-based Blasphemy/Revenge clones that would make Axis of Advance turn in their graves), and of course any obvious, plastic, cliché-dependant mainstream act such as Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth and latter-day era Kreator.

But there's a third, more insidious factor, which stands as a polar opposite to the previous two: blatant pretentiousness, not backed up by any substance, is an instant turnoff for me. By that I mean, bands who try to stand out from the crowd by seeking originality at all costs, usually only in the most surface-oriented way possible, often projecting a sense of fake depth to the music.
By doing that, bands either fall in the "progsnob" or "hipster" category. The former is represented by the typical wanky pseudo-prog bands, especially in the ultra-fast tech-death subgenre (Rings of Saturn and Archspire being the most obvious examples); the latter, more interestingly and insidiously, is represented by all those pretentious faux-avantgarde black/death metal acts with big intellectual concepts that just end up being boring as fuck. I'm referring to the modern dissodeath/drone/"ritualistic" black metal/wannabe-Mgła bands that, in an attempt to convey some semblance of "hermeticism", "dissonance" and "atonality" to the listener, just end up killing any trace of dynamics and intensity, sounding as plain and snore-inducing as extreme metal can ever get. There are examples of dissonant/ritualistic elements put to good use in recent extreme metal bands, but they are getting increasingly harder to find.

Some young bands that are doing things right imho, regardless of genre and status: Obsolete (US), Demoniac (Chile), Sacral Rage, Chapel of Disease, Morgal, Blasphamagoatachrist, Vultures Vengeance, Bütcher, Devil Master, Miscreance, Ice War, Reek Minds, Modorra, Pharmacist, Eraser, Abatuar, Desecresy, VoidCeremony, Ævangelist, Orbyssmal, Blattaria, Nyogthaeblisz, Concrete Winds, Imperium (US black/death metal), Trenchant, Pestilentor, Tomb Mold, Ancient Death, Horrendous, Miasmal Sabbath, Filthdigger, Bastard Priest, Astrophobos, In Aphelion, Grandeur, Véhémence, Groza, Havukruunu, Besieged, Warchest, Oath of Cruelty, Ravager, Hellripper, Bloody Vengeance (Ger), Violentor, Nerocapra, Satanic Ripper, Significant Point, Haunter, Okkultokrati, Sterilizer, Chat Pile, Harakiri for the Sky,, Telluric Necro-Parasites.

Other point I'd like to stress: production tends to be secondary in my judgement.
Of course I have some kind of preferred production style for certain music genres, which I believe complements those styles and fits them like a glove, giving them some extra bite, but I don't let a suboptimal production (i.e. too slick or too amateurish) ruin a good listening experience, nor I let a cool production enhance the value of a mediocre product. For instance, I worship "Blessed Are the Sick", while still loathing its rubbery, toothless guitar tone. Ideally, I think old school metal should at least always be a bit "rough around the edges" (with raw, sharp-as-fuck guitar distortion), and for standard extreme metal I think lo-fi is generally the way to go, but of course there are peculiar exceptions which require a smoother, more bombastic production style, depending on specific artistic requirements. I find hard to think of Fear Factory's sound without that clean, precise, machine-like production heard on "Demanufacture".
Anyway, I think the ultra-plastic, overly clean, uber-triggered production style of bands like Archspire or Lorna Shore is NEVER a good choice. Things have gone too far for sure, and many people are starting to realize that. Even underground labels nowadays are too preoccupied with making everything smooth and safe-sounding. Honestly, I'd be curious to hear some of my favorite records of the latest two decades with a rougher, noisier production.

And another thing: I COULDN'T GIVE TWO FLYING FUCKS ABOUT POLITICAL VIEWS EXPRESSED THROUGH MUSIC. If a band espouses far-right, far-left or even bourgeois centrist views, that won't make 'em any better or worse musically. No place for whining about how black metal band X are "a bunch of hateful fascist pigs" or grindcore band Y are "a bunch of degenerate commie/libtard cucks". Go elsewhere for that kind of terminally-online Reddit scuffle. Riff good = I like.
For instance: Arghoslent and Grand Belial's Key are just as good as Summoning, while Neckbeard Deathcamp sucks just about as much as your average bedroom-NSBM cringefest.

With all that out of the way, here's my ultra-subjective, ultra-arbitrary, based-on-fuck-knows-what scoring system:

100% [maxima cum laude]: godlike, out-of-this-world perfection. Only "Powerslave" will ever deserve such a score.
99-95% [10]: a near-flawless masterpiece, and an essential piece of my musical background regardless of its fame or status among metalheads.
94% [9,5]: slightly inferior, but still stellar and essential.
93-90% [9]: on the verge of being essential, still excellent and mandatory in my opinion.
89-85% [8,5]: so damn close to excellence, just lacks that X-factor of absolute fucking awesomeness.
84-80% [8]: really great, rock-solid album, definitely recommended.
79-75% [7,5]: really good, not always consistently memorable but still solid.
74-70% [7]: pretty good, but not particularly memorable most of the time. Buy only if cheap.
69-65% [6,5]: some good ideas, yet not fully formed in a consistent product. Approach with caution.
64-60% [6]: pretty meh, listenable but not memorable.
59-55% [5,5]: pretty mediocre, with sparks of inspiration here and there.
54-50% [5]: about as mediocre and plain as it gets. Typical Arch Enemy / Amon Amarth territory.
49-45% [4,5]: mediocre, sometimes *offensively* mediocre. Still typical Arch Enemy / Amon Amarth territory. Also, the post-prison Dissection album that never should have been made.
44-40% [4]: not "offensively mediocre" anymore, just "offensively bad". Basically, "Thornography" territory.
39-30% [3,5]: so bad it makes me angry.
29-20% [3]: horrible. Just horrible.
19-15% [2,5]: we're entering the "is it a joke?" / "St. Anger" / "All For You" / "Virtual XI" territory.
14-10% [2]: so poor it's laughable.
9-5% [1,5]: I'll admit it takes some balls to record shit like that and release it to the public.
1-4% [1]: more stinky than Dino Cazares' farts, or Max Cavalera's armpits when he didn't shower during the entire Sepultura/Sodom tour back in 1989.
0% [0]: an absolutely worthless fucking turd, without any redeemable quality.

In this current age of TikTok scenesters and trendy subpar acts, talking and writing about metal is just as important as creating metal. I'm trying to give my honest contribution in both areas, as a humble servant of the "underground resistance".

Check out my main project ROTGOD if you're into fast, lo-fi, deranged late-80's shit with tons of ultra-sharp riffs and a batshit crazy, noisy edge.
Also check out the only song I've made with my one-shot side-project THE INEFFABLE if you want some elegant melodic black metal in the classic Swedish vein.