Black Metal is an extreme music. It's performers wear corpse paint, worship Satan, strap on leather and spikes, and wreck havoc. Originally beginning in Europe in the mid-90's, it has garnered attention throughout the world. With musical themes that depict the very worst in human nature and views that are clearly anti-religious, it has become the premiere genre for underground music. The name itself actually comes from an album name from English extreme metal band, Venom.
The genre has had more than it's fair share of notoriety. From 1992-1996 arson was committed to over 50 churches in Norway. Suicide and murder have also been attributed to the genre.(Moynihan)
Popular Black metal bands include: Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor, and Behemoth. While once thought of as an obscure fad, the numbers of dedicated fans all over the globe speak for themselves.
In San Diego, Black Metal is definitely not the most popular musical genre. While eclipsed by the other more popular styles of pop, hip-hop, R&B, and others the style has yet to reach it's full market potential. Yet, there are others who reside there whose sole mission in life is to raise the flag of Black Metal high for all to see. Enter Chainsaw Carnage.
Formed in 2007 in San Diego, Chainsaw Carnage has made the cause of Metal and madness it's purest passion. Although considered by themselves to still be quite unknown, they feel it will only be a mater of time before their cause is known and understood by other like minded souls.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing frontman and bassist, Blasphemous.
DW: What are your main musical influences?
Blasphemous: Cannibal Corpse, Exhumed, Bestial Mockery, Venom. A little bit of everything when it comes to Metal.
DW: What influences the lyrics to your music?
Blasphemous: Satanism is a major influence. The Occult and Black magic as well. Blood. Gore. General Negativity.
DW: What is your stance on religion?
Blasphemous: It's fake. It does more harm than good. But, I just let it be. You can't really change it.
DW: What prompted you to form a Black Metal band?
Blasphemous: That was the ultimate form of my self-expression. It is my own red badge of honor, if you will. Nothing could ever give to me the satisfaction and drive that being involved in metal gives me.
DW: How many members are in your band and what instruments do they play?
Blasphemous: Let me see, there's Warssacre and Executioner on guitars, Pestilence on vocals, Arch Deceiver on drums, and of course, myself.
I play the bass.
DW: How many shows have you done in San Diego?
Blasphemous: 4-6. Plus, we've done a few shows south of the border as well.
DW: Do you feel that you have had a positive reaction to Black Metal fans in the San Diego area?
Blasphemous: Yes. When we have a show we get a very good reaction. The fans are usually pleased.
DW: Do you believe that Black Metal will become more popular, not only in San Diego, but the rest of the world as well?
Blasphemous: Around the world, it's growing at an alarming rate. However, in San Diego it seems as though it is stagnating.
DW: Do you see your band becoming more popular in the near-future?
Blasphemous: Definitely. We have played shows recently that are huge compared to when we started.
DW: Has your band produced any albums?
Blasphemous: Yes we have actually made two. The first was a 7 inch split with a Japanese band named 'Abigail'. The name of that one is 'Satan plays speed metal'. The second was another split we did with a band named 'Wargoatcult'. It's called 'War and Carnage'.
DW: How do you feel about some in the Black Metal community calling the Heavy Metal scene in San Diego 'Weak'?
Blasphemous: It's true to a degree. I mean, there are a few die hard fans here of course. But, the Metal scene is definitely underground.
DW: Most people view Heavy Metal, and Black Metal in particular, as an obscure and dying genre. How do you feel about that?
Blasphemous: Certain bands and certain individuals give the genre a bad name. What most people don't realize is how much talent and musical ability goes into making metal music.
DW: Thank you for your time.
Blasphemous: No problem, man. Long live Metal!