Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Much in the way hardcore punk music has crews / scenes as identifiers for a group of bands from the same place and features the same members, black metal has collectives. Three famous examples of black metal collectives are Blazebirth Hall, Ross Bay Cult and Les Legions Noires. Blazebirth Hall is a collective of NSBM (national socialist black metal; read: Nazi) bands from Russia. Ross Bay Cult is a collective of bestial, war black metal bands from western Canada. Les Legion Noires is a collective of black metal bands from Brest, France. In the last six years, the USA has seen the rise of a black metal collective based out of southern California known as the Black Twilight Circle.

The Black Twilight Circle is a group of people from the greater Los Angeles area who started a group of black metal bands while releasing their own content through the label Crepusculo Negro. The label / collective is headed by Eddie Volahn. Along with Volahn, the BTC also features/d: Ashdautas, Arizmenda, Axeman, Dolovotre, Muknal, The Haunting Presence, Blue Hummingbird On Left, Kuxan Suum, and Kallathon. Obviously, there is a great deal of commentary about the quality of the bands listed above. The vanguard of this group is Volahn, Arizmenda, and Ashdautas (RIP).

Like most black metal bands, Volahn / BTC has a guiding ideology. In the vein of Xibalba (read: the early 90s black metal act from Mexico), Volahn has adopted traditional Aztec imagery and preached an agenda of Mexican / Latino Power. In 2011 Eddie Volahn conducted an interview with the Boston culture rag The Phoenix about his beliefs. In the interview Eddie Volahn (as well as other BTC member Kallathon) discussed how Los Angeles was a land held long ago by their brown ancestors and was now under an oppressive white occupation. Kallathon's comments in the interview glimpsed a neo-Blood and Soil perspective to BTC's views and aesthetics. Here is where the interview becomes disheartening: Ashdautas (the person who fronts the band Ashdautas) is white. He took exception to the comments. When I say took exception, I am actually cleaning it up nicely. He came out on the Nuclear War Now Productions forum and denounced all of the BTC and threatened bodily harm against its members. He broke up Ashdautas on the spot.

Volahn's music is heavily influenced by the likes of Darkthrone. Eddie Volahn is a hardcore kid, much like Fenriz. Eddie has a hardcore band called Zoloa from Los Angeles that is excellent. Volahn aesthetically and acoustically is a great modern black metal band from the USA. One of the biggest misnomers about the USBM scene is that there aren't a lot of good bands. In a USA that features "transcendental black metal: symposiums, laughable documentaries ala Until The Light Takes Us, and pitiable Varg Vierkenes worship, it is easy to see how that claim could have merit. However bands like Volahn / the BTC continue to produce quality black metal from the USA that is provoking and excellent. Included is Volahn's debut album and split with Kallathon.


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