I actually like black metal, honestly, I really do. What I don’t like however are people who define themselves by it, because it’s only marginally more cool than being a furry, LARPer or a cosplayer that’s still not very cool – the same stupid costume and make believe magical universe, only with the added bonus of being incredibly pretentious. Where else on earth do you get people professing deep, meaningful understanding of tedious wordsmiths Friedrich Nietzsche and HP Lovecraft because they’ve heard a band talking about them and scanned the Wiki?

Oh, university.

Obviously black metal gigs, sorry, esoteric black masses, in London are an absolute haven for these pancake-daubed wrongcocks and that’ll inevitably go double for the derivative, fruity and decidedly overhyped Watain, who have been proclaiming to represent the ‘rebirth of black metal’ for about eight months so far. In case you were wondering, black metal has been reborn as the sound of the mid-’90s, all glistening melodies and scowly Satanic posturing – perhaps a little bit too close to the guff peddled by major league parent-frighteners Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth for the liking of many real kvltists. Yeah, that’s right, I went there. Watain = Cradle Of Filth. Black metal has been STILLBORN moar like lol.

The first sign of laughable lunacy comes from merch as posturing, raven-haired sons of northern dorkness file solemnly past at least two pieces of Ortagos branded underwear, pulling their fruity Zoolander anus faces next to the most visible indicator that even the c-listers of this now far from controversial genre are more interested in unlocking your wallet clasp and plumbing new depths of shameless cross-promotion than rehearsing the Aramaic for ‘Hail Satan’.

“Well met brother Endless, did you attend the esoteric black mass last night?”

“That I did brother Suffering, verily it was blasphemous, I bought a thong.”

Riff-heavy Aussie meatheads Deströyer 666 seem to play exclusively Motörhead covers – it’s not very black metal really, but because most of the songs have ‘wolf’ in the title and people on the internet like to bash heads over whether or not they’re racist, everyone seems convinced they are – proving that the vast majority of ‘music fans’ don’t actually like music, they just like the idea of it. With all the vocal effects piled on like they’re Lady Gaga it’s difficult to work out if any of the stage banter is about wogs, abbos and homos, but realistically it’s probably not. Sorry.

Out come some dribbly candles from the local Wiccan 7-eleven and a smell that suggest some of the scenesters in attendance have actually soiled themselves with excitement, apparently that’s the blood hitting the nostrils as Watain then encourage their disciples to drink from the goblet of probable hepatitis. Obviously people do, it’s pretty clear that some people will do and believe any old crap if they’re told it’s black metal. Along with the fact that all hardcore is evil, which is bitterly ironic as Watain have some SWEEEEEET ASS breakdowns. I made slam hands and then got told I was spoiling it. What the fuck is ‘lawless darkness’ anyway? A risky alternative to the boring, staid darkness of your parents’ generation?

Black metal fans, Watain are laughing at you and I’m laughing at Watain. You are at the end of the great chain and your old pal Nietzsche, who you don’t really read or understand, had a word for you.

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