Hidden in South Eastern Pennsylvania is an up and coming distributor, Pennsylvania Black Metal, or PABM for short. I spoke with one of the masterminds behind this about the genre and what this young organisation will do to carry on the torch.
What does black metal stand for to you?
Black Metal to us primarily represents complete, resolute rejection of the present state of humanity and culture. Further, Black Metal will always stand for the glorification of darkness, hatred, all that lies beyond the realm of our feeble enlightenment.
What has inspired the creation of PABM?
The Pennsylvania Black Metal cult was unified under a shared militant devotion to developing our craft, and a desire to build ourselves a platform to release as many of our projects as possible, on our own terms. The PABM sigil which emblazons the physical materials we produce has come encompass our intention to unify and align the very sparse scene of PA Black Metal musicians who identify with these principles.
Do you believe that black metal is becoming more mainstream or is the underground holding its own?
The Black Metal “scene” as a whole is of course full of frauds, theives, and clowns, but the underground retains a guard over the flames of tradition. The self-operated network of dedicated underground musicians, labels, and supporters is more than enough to keep real Black Metal lurking perpetually in the shadows for those worthy. The insularity of the true underground serves its function well.
Do depictions of black metal in popular culture impact you in a positive or negative way?
The perception of Black Metal in the eyes of the public is of no concern to us, but I can say that we consider both an outsider OR a traitor’s attempt to “capture” some editorially packaged semblance of Black Metal for the purpose of entertainment or education of the general public to be completely repulsive. Fuck your documentaries, fuck your movies, fuck your articles, FUCK OFF!!!
Cancellations seem to go hand in hand with black metal nowadays. Has this affected you at all?
Until recently, we had remained unscathed by bullshit, and we reject participating in any sort of inter-scene politicking, but recently we’ve had run-ins with censorship- or perhaps more accurately, misguided logistics and hesitant venue owners. We do not believe that Black Metal should expect a place or acceptance in mainstream or even “alternative” culture, nor should it want such. Underground Black Metal needs pull away from its reliance on social media, established venues, and parallel local scenes to facilitate gigs. Black Metal ought to operate proudly from the shadows.
Where do you hope to take the label?
At the moment, we are in the process of dubbing and distributing our first batch of PABM tapes, featuring the projects of the founding members of the group- Goathex, Silvanthrone and Trist Død, plus a side project called Deceashost. We are also working on the second batch of releases, featuring new material from the aforementioned projects, plus demos from new side projects and allied forces around the state. In the longer term, we hope to begin booking gigs, build our newsletter into a zine, and generally work to establish PA as a stronghold for blasphemy on the East Coast.
For more information, contact PABM.EVIL@GMAIL.COM to inquire/join the newsletter, and keep an eye on pennsylvaniablackmetal.bigcartel.com