A new and comprehensive web-site dedicated to Norwegian Black Metal is now up and running. The site should allow the international adherents to the genre an unprecedented insight into the maze-like edifice that is Norwegian Black Metal.
A large part of the allure of this musical style has been the obscurities of its history and the myriad interrelations between its main personae, all of which themselves represent something more than mere musicians and rather function as a pantheon of living symbols of blackness and frosty tanatos. From the outside world, and even domestically in Norway, the entity of Norwegian Black Metal has always been notoriously difficult to dissect and overview. And that is indeed the point one could argue, if not consciously then still a function of the emotions and attitudes that go into this music; regarding both its protagonists and its fans. So in a way it is perhaps counterproductive to Norwegian Black Metal’s stature that it should now be exposed in its make-up and machinations. Still, it is undoubtedly true that a bit of transparency cannot harm an artistic expression, for it means simply that it is the music itself that becomes the centre of focus. And this is indeed also the expressed aim of the site. The conception of the scene known as “true Norwegian black metal” may be of interest but, as the site points out, the legends and rumours of the formative years in the early nineties are more about teenage bewilderment than anything else. Untangling the web of bands, projects, persons and the antagonisms between them makes the purely musical considerations; developments, influences and collaborations stand forth in new light. And from a musical standpoint this is more interesting than the obscurities of personal relations.
In line with this the site features categorical clarifications, lists of bands and records. The latter are organized subjectively, according to quality, it is stated, but despite this they constitute fairly comprehensive overview. Further the site is supposed to feature reviews of all new and recent releases, news and, not least, links and tools for further reading and indulgence in the music. For even though the tales of the scene’s conception and personae will perhaps become demystified, the site offers some discussion of the cultural and historical background that makes this genre a distinctly Norwegian phenomenon.
All in all the site must be said to contribute a very valuable source of information and insight into Norwegian Black Metal, something clearly in great demand among the many fans of this genre around the world who have for a long time been left in out in the dark, rather than invited into the dark, due to language barriers and the de facto lack of a comprehensive site as such. This is not to say, of course that it is not the music itself that constitutes the darkness, but sometimes one wants a little extra-musical flesh on the growling, screaming skeleton.