Ah, yes. Once again the time has arrived for the wonderful U.S. and A to stop and reflect on what we are grateful for through overindulging. While I support showing gratitude through gluttony as much as the next jabroni, the concept of our Thanksgiving has always fascinated me. Maybe it’s the celebration of our conquering another’s land without any sense of morality. Maybe it’s our tradition of immediately following our day of giving thanks for what we have with a day of pathetic, obsessive, mindless consumption of material goods nobody needs or really even wants. Either way, it can be complicated. Regardless, we celebrate Thanksgiving. And while the practices of many will continue to exasperate me on this particular holiday, the fact is there are countless things that we should all be thankful for. And here at Nine Circles, we want to share some of those things with you. Over the next two days, our amazing, brilliant, creative writers will share everything they are thankful for in the metal world. Allow me to kick us off…
First and foremost, I want to give a shout out to our Nine Circles team. Each and every one of our writers contributes immensely to the product we are so proud to present to the world daily. The level of appreciation I have for them is infinite. Without our amazing writers, I would be in an eternal pit of self-loathing, completely void of purpose. Some have been around since the beginning, some have only recently joined our force, but they are appreciated all the same. So a huge thank you is due to everyone that makes Nine Circles what it is today. Especially one Dan Kaplan, who is solely responsible for the endlessly amusing Nine Circles Podcast and who was the original visionary of our blog. But just as importantly, I am thankful for Manny-O-War. As my partner in this daily project that is our blog, he has been my muse over the past year or so and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him, share ideas, and build out the content you all see now. As thankful as I am for him, you should all be even more thankful that our friendship exists. How else would you be entertained?
Anyway, it’s time for me to share what I’m thankful for in METAL. And after the last few yeas, and specifically the last few months, my personal choice has to be the one and only Abbath.
Musically, it goes without saying. From the recent (and most likely final work) of Immortal to the recent emergence of his solo work, anything he has ever touched artistically has been gold. His guttural growls, the infamous crab walks, and the incredibly impressive black metal… it’s all reason to love everything he does musically. Of course, I am curious to see how Immortal carries on without him. But let’s be real, Abbath is what made Immortal. I love Horgh and Demonaz as much as anyone, but I will never look at the band the same without their vocalist. Fortunately, Abbath will be headlining Decibel Magazine Tour 2016 and you can bet your ass I’m going to be there.
But let’s not stop there. Before rounding things off, let’s take a moment to look at everything else Abbath has done to make our (metal) lives so much better. For one, do you guys remember this incredible interview with Reality Check TV? Maybe it was an outtake as captioned, sure. But regardless of that, everything Abbath says is both cleverly entertaining, but also legitimately thought provoking. From corpse paint to the burning of churches, he discusses everything with such an amusing level of logic. And this is just one example. And his charisma goes far beyond interviews. How about those photo shoots in London and Sydney? Do you have any idea how much I would love to travel the world in corpse paint and document it exactly as he has? Whatever form of media you choose, Abbath has a presence, and a good one. But more important than anything, he reminds us everyday that nothing is worth taking too seriously. No matter how dark, how grim, or how kvlt, at the end of the day it’s all about entertainment in expression, and it’s something we all need to keep in mind. To get super weird on you, life should be treated the same. Take it seriously, but keep a sense of perspective.
For all these reasons and more, Abbath is what I am thankful for in metal this Thanksgiving. And I can’t wait to finally see him in person in 2016.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”