The Soft Pink Truth, a.k.a. Drew Daniel of Matmos, returns with a brand new album this year — an album that entirely comprises black metal covers (and an introductory invocation by Daniel and Antony Hegarty, which is a reading of a Radical Faerie poem). It’s called Why Do the Heathen Rage? and it will be released June 17 via Thrill Jockey. It’s Daniel’s first album under the name in 10 years, and The Soft Pink Truth black metal extravaganza looks like it’s going to be a doozy. The album contains covers of classic black metal songs by black metal bands, including Venom, Mayhem, Sarcofago, Darkthrone, Hellhammer and Beherit.
Daniel also included a disclaimer with the album, which both highlights and condemns some of the objectionable behavior by a handful of black metal musicians in the past:
Disclaimer: Aesthetics and Politics are neither equivalent nor separable. Black metal fandom all too often entails a tacit endorsement or strategic looking-the-other-way with regards to the racist, anti-Semitic, sexist and homophobic bullshit politics that (still) pervade the scene, on behalf of either escapist fantasy talk, shaky invocations of art as a crypto-religious path to transcendence, or–the oldest cop out in the book–the quietist declaration that “I just like how it sounds.” Just as blasphemy both affirms and assaults the sacred powers it invokes and inverts, so too this record celebrates black metal and offers queer critique / mockery / profanation of its ideological morass in equal measure. Mixed emotions about a murky, diverse and self-differential scene are all very well, but, as Barack Obama is so fond of saying at press conferences just before legitimizing drone warfare, let’s be clear: No apologies, no excuses, and no escape clauses are hereby offered. Murderers are murderers. No safe space for fascist garbage. The Soft Pink Truth hereby abjures black metal homophobes, racists, and Nazis categorically and absolutely: MAY THIS CURSE BIND! Remember Magne Andreassen!
Listen to The Soft Pink Truth’s cover of Venom’s “Black Metal” below, and check out the tracklist.
The Soft Pink Truth Why Do the Heathen Rage?:
01 Invocation for Strength
02 Black Metal (Venom)
03 Sadomatic Rites (Beherit)
04 Ready to Fuck (Sarcofago)
05 Stanic Black Devotion (Sargeist)
06 Beholding the Throne of Might (Darkthrone)
07 Let There Be Ebola Frost (AN)
08 Buried by Time and Dust (Mayhem)
09 Maniac (Hellhammer)
10 Grim and Frostbitten Gay Bar (Impaled Northern Moonforest)
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.