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On the Absurdity of Human Cognizance
by Noctir (Apr. 2018)

This fake, empty age of Political Correctness is utterly disgusting. Nearly everything is sterile and plastic. When noticing how most people react to musical criticisms, it becomes apparent that the ideology of the PC cult has permeated even those groups who may be completely unaware of its effects. Every mediocre effort has to be praised because so many are raised with the idea that everyone is a winner; everyone gets a gold star, a blue ribbon or an 'A for effort'. Such dimwitted human scum then assume that anyone that offers any sort of honest criticism must be doing it merely for the sake of being different or disagreeable. I cannot count the number of times that some idiot has called me 'edgy' because I had the nerve to express dislike of something. Often, the majority go out of their way to suffocate any worthwhile debate, casting dissenters as mere antagonists. In their minds, it cannot possibly be because some people have their own opinions, rather, it is simply some effort to stand out or to 'look cool'. They fail to notice that, if that was the case, then it doesn't seem to work out too well, since all that is accomplished is getting heat with the rest of the herd. No one is allowed to dislike anything that the masses see fit for praise. Likewise, if you appreciate something that they hate, you must just be trying to impress others (again, this sort of logic is lost on me, as the thing that they assume is done only for show actually has the opposite effect, thus it would make sense that the only way to gain acceptance would be to follow the rest). Again, this idea of trying to gain acceptance from strangers through the internet is completely baffling.

The reviews that I have written are honest expressions of how I think or feel about these albums. There is no pretense, no falsehood of any kind. In fact, the mere insinuation of such is asinine and clearly the product of inferior minds. It was brought to my attention some time ago, that there existed a thread on a lame forum where several people were bashing my reviews. They were weeping over the fact that I criticized certain albums that they held in high esteem, as if those recordings were somehow beyond criticism. The disagreement, in itself, is fine. I do not really care whether or not people agree with what I write. I write to express my views on various things, without claiming to be the best or that these reviews are the definitive and final words on the matter. I said, several years ago, that I am well aware that my own reviews are not the most comprehensive or well-written. I just wanted to give my own perspective, which I rarely saw articulated by others. Art is something that is always open to interpretation, and varying opinions can lead to interesting discussions. 

However, what is extremely moronic is when a handful of imbeciles gather to cry about someone's opinion on something and then, rather than arguing against the ideas that were put forth, fall into the typical and dull ad hominem attacks. People that know nothing more about me than that I write reviews and have some bands of my own start making foolish assumptions and then attacking this straw man that they have created. One savage in particular showed his own very questionable taste by attacking me for not liking some false folkish “Black Metal” garbage, then implied that I was only pretending to like a band that I had reviewed quite favourably, because (in his mind) no one could actually like Moonblood unless they were just attempting to look cool.... Look cool to whom, I should ask, since clearly the crowd on that site have no respect for a true Black Metal band like Moonblood in the first place. Never mind that I have written extensive reviews for that band, clearly stating precisely why I like their recordings and find them to be exceptionally good. Then again, the chimp probably only looked at the scores that I gave, without reading what I actually wrote. He then went on to write a spiteful review, complete with extremely low score, for an album from one of my own bands. After realizing what kind of braindead sheep populate the site, I very rarely contributed anything else there, preferring to keep my writings here. As for the scoring system, just a few words...

If you have seen my reviews on Metal Archives, then you are aware that they require some sort of score to be attributed to each album. I actually dislike this. There is no way that I am going to come up with some system of scientifically analyzing the near-700 album reviews that I have written in order to come up with a fair and comprehensive score for each one. Any scores that I have given were quite arbitrary, to be honest. For example, if I gave one album 85%, that is not to say that it is better or worse than an album that I gave a higher score to, at a different time. I may have been comparing only to other works from that specific band, or I might have just given a higher or lower score based on what the existing average was at the time of my submission. If I wrote a negative review for an album and it had a score that I felt was misrepresenting its actual quality (say, a mediocre album with a bunch of 100% scores), I might have gotten more extreme with the number, so that it would reflect more on the overall average. At any rate, those who put too much meaning on the numerical values assigned to each album, rather than the content of the reviews that I have written have completely missed the point. I remember old 'zines that I used to read in the '90s, some would have a 5-point rating system (or use stars or skulls or whatever), which would amount to something of this sort:

5 – Excellent, essential, as near to perfection as possible, a must-have!
4 – Great album, small nitpicks, but overall worthwhile. Definitely check this out!
3 – Average. It has its moments, but needs improvement. Worth a listen.  
2 – Not the worst thing ever, has some positive qualities, but needs a ton of work. Pass. 
1 – Utter trash, worthless and shouldn't have been released. Avoid this like the plague!

In my eyes, a system such as this would be a lot easier to manage and would offer less confusion than trying to assign some numerical value, especially when there are no strict guidelines. Someone gets excited about a new album, reviews it after two listens and gives it 98%, then forgets the thing exists a few weeks later. Is it really a classic, as they implied, or was it merely that they were caught up in the moment and were not objective enough? My vote would be for the latter. 

Nevertheless, this random writing was not purely about refuting some annoying attacks made nearly five years ago, but just expressing my disgust for this type of mentality in the first place, as well as offering some explanation for how I have rated things elsewhere. It still blows my mind that such people have anything to do with Black or Death Metal, as if this is some boys' club that is for everyone, a tidy little 'safe space' where no one should ever be offended or even disagreed with. Hell, I even had a run-in with some supposed 'evil' band of Satanists, because I dared to criticize them for believing the Great Lie of Judeo-Christian mythology, despite siding up with the 'bad guy', and actually believing in the existence of their 'god'. They were angry at me for criticizing their so-called spiritual beliefs, even though they themselves pushed their personal beliefs as part of their gimmick. Is this what Black Metal has come to??! The same could be said of politics, religion, etc. The mentality of the masses these days is a sickening thing, as they seem to be little more than simpleminded apes that struggle to do more than scroll and click. It is so difficult to relate to most people, as they have no comprehension of the bubble of lies and propaganda that they've been born into. Trying to reason with them is much like smashing my head into a brick wall, over and over. So, I remain alone.

Copyright 2006-2018, Noctir