The idea for Wrapped in a Sheet came when disgust for 2010’s X-Factor winner led me to see if one of the more well-known black metal bands were playing the UK at any point soon. I needed real music.
“Buy my shit,” moaned the moody, faux-everyman face of the Industry’s new bitch. How I hated him. What a sell-out. Good job I liked real music.
“Buy our shit,” screeched the splash page of the cream of the current black metal major-leaguers.
Something wasn’t quite right there…
Black metal, as with any other extreme metal subgenre, was supposed to fuck with people’s expectations. In the beginning, it did. When Norwegian black metal first reared its ugly head, the press was terrified, with a 1992 issue of Kerrang asking its buyers “Has heavy metal gone too far?” The answer: “Of course it has, it’s supposed to.” It’s supposed to be so raw as to be still twitching, and should make you feel like you’re approaching a crime scene. These days, you go to the black metal rack of a music shop, you feel like you’re in Edward fucking Scissorhands.
Of course, the press then were focussed far more on the violent activities of the musicians rather than their music. I’m not exonerating murder or – worse, in my opinion – any form of Nationalism or fundamentalism when I talk about the awesomnity of early black metal. I’m in this for the tunes and the tunes alone. However, I will moan about how monetised black metal has become. I won’t say commercial – if the black metal cream wanted to double their annual incomes, they could just play metalcore – but it has become another product. When once it was about creating the best, darkest, fucking evillest record you could, now it’s about shifting merch. If it was just about flogging CDs would be fine – not something I want to do primarily, but at least it’s music – but these days it’s the Deluxe Limited Editions of album, with the included picture book and plastic figurine, which get advertised. Worse- marketed. I hate marketeers, primarily because that’s my day job. So, a CD is a nice artefact to have – some of my rarer CDs have led to pretty savage arguments when mates have touched them – but the music should still be the magick it is, and readily available to everyone to listen to, whether they can afford a plastic disc or not?
Feeling this, I decided to take action. And instead of becoming yet another critic/cynic of my mother genre (and there are fuckloads of those) I decided to simply react by creating de-monetised black metal. I’m totally aware that I’ll never make records as good or as well received as De Mysteriis dom Sathanas, Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk or Cruelty and the Beast – they’ll never be bettered – but at least I could be making music as a protest rather than being another forum fanboy talking about how “it used to be so pure, man, so real…”.
Wrapped in a Sheet’s music is available for you to download right now, for free. And it always will be. If I can’t save the Industry (that would take cataclysmic delusions of grandeur) I can at least save my own soul.
Rant over. Enjoy the music…
Scarecrow is the pseudonym of a rather short young man currently living in the UK Midlands. He used to live in Cornwall. By day he works as a webmaster for a small business. He is currently writing in the third person.