Friday, July 17, 2015

Room to Improve (Unblack) Part 2

With all glory to God, I just remembered one more thing I wanted to add to the first "Room to Improve" post. And remember, these two posts are directed to the unblack scene specifically, so this may not apply to everyone.

I feel we should stop lumping certain secular projects into the scope of unblack metal. This isn't about the people, but bearing in mind that "unblack" is an ideology, and not an actual genre of music, we should stop associating certain bands with unblack metal music. Gaoth Anair isn't a Christian project. Taur Nar Fuin isn't a Christian project. Wapenveld isn't a Christian project. I won't actually tell you to stop listening to such bands, and this isn't meant at all to be a diss to anyone -- although from past experiences I've extensively gone into here before, I do personally recommend you limit your exposure to secular music -- but it's just a matter of associating the music with unblack.

Also, there's just something off about bands that were specifically signed to E.E.E. for any period of time; there's an inner darkness that I just feel. E.E.E. was, apparently, never meant to be a "Christian" label, though they did release a couple Christian bands' albums over the years. One album; eh, whatever. Even Elgibbor and Requiem Eternam each had an album released by them, and those two bands are awesome, and still Christian today. But there are a lot of "Christian" bands that were signed to that label for a longer period of time, that turned out to be from various false converts who fell away, and there's a lot of darkness in their music. Again, not that I think at all that we should just throw people aside or something, quite the contrary, I've had a very friendly conversation once with one of the guys who runs that label when I was fixing data for him on Metal Archives, and for all I know, he might even be reading this right now. I invited him to some time ago; I don't know if he's still reading the blog today. Does this blog actually have regular "readers" in the first place? With how sporadic views are, I'm not sure if it actually has any or not.

I would like to repeat, yet again, that I'm not writing this out of hard feelings for any secular artist. This is very important. We're meant to follow Jesus, who did not come into the world to condemn, but to save, so when we discuss things like this, it should be out of devotion to God, and love for others. I'm NOT saying we need to kick anyone out of some special unblack metal club. I'm not saying we're all going to a party somewhere, and just not inviting certain people because they won't make for fun company, or something. (Many people are invited, they just decline the invitations.) I'm saying the scene just needs to make this one distinction, between what's Christian music, and what isn't. We're specifically called not to be conformed to the world, and to distinguish God's will, and the unblack metal scene is a great way for those of us who like extreme music, and for those of us who were once in darkness, and for those who are still learning to leave the darkness today, to still fulfill this verse in Romans. In this regard only should we stop associating some music with the scene.

This is partially why I like the South American unblack scene so much. Many of the bands there are very outspoken in their extreme sound and lyrics, but it's out of true devotion to God, and there's such a sense of community there, and those two things are ideally what I think (based on the Bible) God wants out of the entire unblack scene. There are churches in South America based on Christian metal. For those who don't have that, we still have the scene online; we can still talk to each other and listen to music that lacks the darkness many of us once felt so deeply while worshiping our Creator.

If you're truly someone who can listen to darker music and not be affected by it, go ahead, I suppose, though I do warn you, I used to think the same thing and I ended up in a very bad place as a result; I wouldn't take chances. Ever. But what I'm saying is that we have a responsibility to care for this scene we have here, for and through God's glory and grace, and as such, the scene needs to make this distinction. I, personally, don't listen to bands that have since fallen away - I can't stand the darkness I always feel in that music. Again, not out of disrespect, but out of spiritual need. I listen to some bands whose members began in darkness, but righteousness was sown in their hearts and they now serve God with their music instead (Malakh, Elgibbor, Edificador, and many more). Thus, I won't listen to a band that fell away, where darkness was planted, but just hadn't grown yet. This scene has yielded so much good for so many people... So many who were into that very darkness, making music about it even, have come to God and have been saved through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross because of the invitation this scene extended to them. Let's continue it now, let's keep making the scene even better for God's glory and purposes, and, if God will allow it, do these things for a long, long time to come. Amen.

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