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27 July 2013 @ 10:37 pm
Western Legion: Pacific Mortem Eternal  
I feel like writing a bit about the newest bit of music I'm about to unleash, and figured, what better way than my bi-annual return to posting to LJ?

So first a bit of history, and the whole point of doing this particular musical project.

I love black metal. I really do. But a lot of the time I find myself rather disgusted with it. Most of my favorite black metal bands consist of people that I would find absolutely reprehensible in real life. I got into it with Emperor, who's drummer went to prison for killing a gay man. I love dissection, who's singer committed suicide in a satanic ritual. I'm ashamed at how much I like Burzum, given the fact that Varg is a white supremacist and murderer. My absolute favorite is Mayhem, who once had a singer kill himself. The guitarist of course took pictures of the corpse before the cops got there and that became the cover to an "unofficial" bootleg. That guitarist was later murdered. All of these people, by the way were involved in a string of church burnings and grave desecrations. There's also a hugely nationalistic, even jingoistic attitude in most black metal. "True Norwegian Black Metal!" "True Swedish Black Metal!" etc.

Now, black metal has grown to be one of the top forms of metal over the years, and is now often made by completely rational, sane and well adjusted people. Of course plenty of black metalers are still very problematic but you know. If any of the 2 people reading this are interested in knowing more about the ridiculous history of black metal I suggest the book Lords of Chaos or the documentary "Until the Light Takes Us".

Point being, as much as I love black metal, as much as it absolutely speaks to the parts of me that are angry and hateful, parts that I don't like to exhibit much but still definitely reside in me (and everyone, of course), I just have a hard time taking it overly seriously. So, I have a tendency to want to very lovingly poke fun at it. So of course, I came up with the idea of doing "HELLA TRUE CALIFORNIAN BLACK METAL!". Originally this band was gong to consist of myself on vocals, Mahon on guitars, john on keys, Christa on lame female vocals, and Nate on guitars. We hadn't found a drummer yet. The original name for the band was Excrutiator.

Now, just what is Hella True Black Metal? Well it's black metal, but with a californian twist. The sound is black metal for sure, but the lyrics parody black metal lyrics, as well as poking fun at certain aspects and real and imagined stereotypes of californians. we touch on surfing with the devil, destroying santa cruz with an army of demons, the shady business practices of a satanic pornographer from LA, etc. All of it woven with a satanic theme that just adds to the re-goddamn-diculousness of the lyrics.

Over time, just because I couldn't really get other people to do stuff it just became myself on vox/bass/drum programing and keys, and Mahon on guitars. We recorded most of 3 songs a year or two ago, and sort of kept talking about doing Excrutiator, but other things got in the way of our little joke side project and we never really finished solidifying that.

And now, today:

A few weeks ago Jess and I got robbed. Video game stuff, musical gear, cameras, random things and a whole fucking paycheck from Jess. All in all it's costing us a shit-ton of money. The worst part is that we had to cancel our Burning Man trip. There have been other things lately that have been bothering me, but this really pissed me off. This whole thing of not feeling like there's anything I can do, feeling invaded and violated, and not being able to play video games (which is something I usually do when life gets shitty) has really just set me on edge. So I decided it was time to visit that part of me that hates, the part of me that is angry and work some of this out. And of course, when I work things out I still have a natural tendancy towards humor. This means it's a perfect time to get back to Excrutiator..... except the name Excrutiator is already taken by a thrash band in portland. So we changed it to Western Legion, which I think is funnier but in a more subtle way. I think if you listen to black metal you'll get the humor even though it's vague. But legion is funny since there's 2 of us. But I will admit, Excrutiator is an openly ridiculous name that I thought was very funny. The fact that there's a serious band who named themselves that is hilarious.

The point is, we went back and finished what we'd been working on before, and recorded a few new tracks... enough for an EP!
So here is the basic information on the EP, which will be released VERY SOON!

Western Legion
Pacific Mortem Eternal

1. Where the Sun Dies
2. Red Tides Upon the Boardwalk
3. Blasphemous Beach Party
4. Starlets and Harlots
5. The Majesty of Smog Ridden Skies
6. Hang 666

Necrodæmon: vocals, bass, drums and keys
Masochisticator: guitar and more guitar

All lyrics and production by Necrodæmon
All music by Western Legion
Recorded in Non-Existent Studios, SF Bay Area, California.

Just in case you were wondering, I'm Necrodæmon and Mahon is Masochisticator

1. Where the Sun Dies.
This is an intro. It's just a keyboard instrumental. A kind of crappy spooky mid 90's keyboard instrumental, the kind often used by black metal bands during it's golden years.

2. Red Tides Upon the Boardwalk
This one is about raising an army of demons from hell to destroy Santa Cruz and it's theme park. I think it contains many of my favorite lines from the album, such as "Blood flavored cotton candy, it tastes much better this way. I laugh as you gasp for breath. I feast upon hot dogs and your pain!"
This is a typical black metal song. It's lightning fast at the start with lots of speedpicking, then slows down for a bit, then gets really fast again. I have an EXCELLENT black scream at the end.

3. Blasphemous Beach Party
This one is pretty self explanatory. It's about a satanic beach party. How would you like your sacrificial goat? I suggest medium rare. Don't forget your black leather bikinis! One fun thing about this song is that we did include a chorus with a very catchy riff in 5/4 ala Deathcrush by Mayhem. I actually think it's one of the catchiest riffs I've ever come up with. I think it's actually my favorite track on the record.

4. Starlets and Harlots
This one I was actually apprehensive to release. Mostly because the lyrics, if you take them to be from my point of view, are pretty misogynistic. If there's 3 things I don't ever want to be thought of it's racist, homophobic or misogynist. Unfortunately it does seem to me that people can always see the joke until you make a crack involving something that is sensitive especially to them. I could easily see people thinking that this song is actually me hating on women. In an idea world we'd never run into something where someone manages to look at a song in an obvious joke album and decide it's the one song that is serious just because it seems to hit a bit close to home, but this is not an ideal world and I wouldn't be surprised if someone got butthurt about this one. Anyway, the song is about a satanic pornographer. He tricks actresses and wannabe actresses into "auditioning" for him on a cursed leather couch and puts the auditions on a website. He then draws dark, evil energy from the actresses misery. Although I can't say I'm specifically anti-pornography, I can say I'm anti-treating people like shit and not into those sorts of practices by pornographers, although they are sadly common. Then again, I'm not into satanism, or any of the other things I sing about on this album (except I do like parties, and goat is one of my favorite meats), so even though I am a bit nervous about the song, I also think anyone who takes it seriously is an idiot and I would have a good cause to explain the concept of humor to them before telling them to go to hell.

Musically speaking this one is really fun. I have a fucking KILLER 3 track scream pretty early on. The music has more parts and changes than any other track, ranging from blistering fast to mid tempo and from cacophonous to rather catchy. Mahon, I mean Masochisticator, came up with some excellent guitar work on this one. It also is really the first track where we make use of keyboards since the intro. Originally I was planning on this song sort of poking fun at Cradle of Filth, but really we ended up not taking it into enough of a gothy extreme to be relevant to them. Also, I'm not sure they really sound like black metal any more. Either way, this is probably my second favorite track.

Also, I don't know why, but my vocals sound processed on this one. They're not. They have the same compression/reverb/delay/eq combo as all the other tracks.

5. The Majesty of Smog Ridden Skies
This one was mostly inspired by Burzum's Dunkelheit. It's slow and ambient with very, very sparse keyboards. Lyrically it's probably the most ludicrous. Many old school black metal bands used to sing about things like beautiful mountains and skies and forests and other things like that in between lyrics about evil and Satan, death and war. For Example Emperor's "Beyond the Great Vast Forest" or Carpathian Forest's "Lunar Nights". So I wanted to write some lyrics with Western Legion's take on this type of black metal song. This one is about pollution and loving the smog in the sky, and driving around in an SUV to cause more pollution. Lots of references to "skies of yellow and green" and the like.

6. Hang 666.
It's about surfing with the devil. Simple as that. And the music is.... well... awesome. You just have to hear it


And yes, for those of you who know black metal, we did go for a necro sound. not so necro as to be unlistenable, but don't expect good production.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, necro = a production style common in black metal where the production is VERY raw, often aspiring to be purposefully bad. This is done as a rebellion to the slick high value production of mainstream music.

So the actual recording is done. We're just getting some pictures and art together and then we'll be releasing it. I expect it'll be primarily an online release with a name your own price system. We suggest $6.66 or $666. We may also do a limited CD run. I'm not sure if these will be hand burned or manufactured. We shall see.

Anyway, keep an eye out! It should be out within the next few weeks and it'll be a fun record. 
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on July 28th, 2013 05:50 pm (UTC)
your post
So, I guess I need to tell you that "Sinister Minister" is hella funny and so you!
I am very sorry to hear of your burglary and loss.