Every Record I Own - Day 266: Craft Void
Guilty admission: as much as I like heavy metal and writing about music, I don’t actually enjoy writing about heavy metal. I’ve been lumbering around the apartment all morning trying to think of something interesting to say about the fourth album by Swedish black metallurgists Craft, and while I love this record and consider it to be a prime example of black metal artists staying true to their primitive, caustic roots while progressing musically, I’m drawing a blank for any greater insights.
I don’t think I’m alone here. Looking at the big music press outlets like Pitchfork, one quickly notices that their protracted album reviews tend to focus on artist backstory, cultural context, and high-brow concepts rather than addressing the actual musical compositions. And that’s because it’s much easier (and perhaps more interesting) to write about people, places, and things rather than how the careful construction of certain frequencies creates an emotional resonance. Or in other words, it’s easier to write about Father John Misty’s latest ironic shenanigans than it is to find a new way to describe what a distorted guitar sounds like. And given that metal artists like Craft shy away from the public, eschew topical context, and forego any concepts more sophisticated than general misanthropy, all that’s left to write about is their music. Where’s the fun in that?
I enjoy Craft because there really is no context—they just write really good riffs and string them together into really good songs. And while that’s not particularly interesting to write about, it’s certainly way more exhilarating to listen to than whatever Conde Nast is currently peddling for page hits.