So, why metal, why underground music, why subversive sounds and vitriolic texts? Why do we listen to metal, why the extreme, why the dark, the unfathomable? Is it because we are all monsters trying to commune with other monstrosities, wanting to stare at our mirror image the way it reflects through the means of art? Does music reflect best and reveal our hidden faces, our true identities, something a regular mirror could never do? Why do we enjoy this punishing, vengeful, sad, cruel music? A deviation from the norm? A peeping hole into other, stranger dimensions perhaps?
I listen to this kind of music because it fills my soul with purpose and my being with a sense of value. It's being a part of an intangible counter-culture, an infrastructure, a network of collective hateful misfits, a growing movement of disillusioned souls who suffer from pop culture, the insane rat-race pursuing the ultimate goal which is money, the dumbing up and doping of a whole generation with commercials and brainwashing everybody into believing that consumption and mindless shopping are everything, the bringers of joy and happiness to our dull, dull life.
'They' keep us busy with hollow TV shows, reality shows, game shows and a whole arsenal of 'shows' that keep us entertained and oblivious. You think metal music is escapist? Ha, look around you and see who's trying to evade reality. If anything, metal music -- or any other form of extreme, harsh music -- mirrors reality better than most means of 'entertainment'.
If CoC has entertained you, well, good for you. I do hope it did more than this, like made you think or imagine or explore. For me it was a means to an end; a sink into which I could vomit all my thoughts and love for music, and where my own personal demons could find a resting place.
And they did, for a while. For eight years I have been writing for CoC (more accurately though, for myself), during which I have discovered some genuinely amazing music by incredible artists who have time and again tested and challenged my own writing skills. The worst thing that could happen to a music journalist is finding no words for describing said music. Many times words escaped me, so I improvised; I've dealt more with emotions provoked and vistas envisioned rather than describing the actual music, and it miraculously worked, somehow.
Frank Zappa is believed to have said: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture". I always feel like dancing about architecture, so-to-speak. The CoC experience has somewhat shaped this choreography into something more graceful than I could have imagined eight years ago.
I've written about subjects of music that have personally interested me; music that meant something, music that flirted with the fringes of darkness and sometimes beyond. I've cleansed myself by finding for my demons a perfect sonic match, where they could feed off the frequencies and be appeased for a while.
It's been a long, eight-year journey. CoC has always allowed me full freedom in what I write about and how I write it, no strings attached, no boundaries set. The reputation the 'zine had had and the clean, text-based, high quality of the publication itself encouraged me to give my best shot every single time I wrote something. I have always wanted my writings to be on par with the quality of this veteran platform of ideas, thoughts and passion for music. This very publication has driven my aspiration to become not-yet-another writer, but an extraordinaire. I hope I at least partially reached that goal; those who have read anything by me between the virtual pages of CoC should be the judges of that.
My own passion for music will not die out with the demise of CoC. Neither will my demons. I shall seek for other pastures where they could graze upon dirt and havoc and destruction and hate, leaving me be for a while.
I thank CoC for the opportunity and I mostly thank you. If even one single person out there has ever read anything I've ever written and been moved by it -- well, that's the greatest honor I could think of.
To CoC I say: so long, and thanks for all the fish!