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exploring the edges of the musical universe

The Soft Pink Truth - Why Do The Heathen Rage

Thrill Jockey Records 7/10

Every once in a while an album is released that pisses off the metal community, remember Morbid Angels Illud Divinum Insanus? The disgusted headbangers flood the internet with reactions as ‘they sold out’, ‘they are untrue’ or, as the most intelligent fans say ‘they fucking suck’. Now The Soft Pink Truth spawns his album Why Do The Heathen Rage upon the world. He covers classic black metal songs from Venom, Darkthrone, Mayhem and so on. Even the slightly hilarious Impaled Northern Moonforest is covered. The result is extremely amusing.


Even before you can actually listen to the album you’re confronted with a drawing of a whole bunch of black metallers doing very gay and morbid things to themselves and each other. When you’re finally past this mental image you get a very grim and frostbitten pink colored vinyl record, truly a gadget for the dark legions of our lord Satan. So the tone is set, we’re off to a very fun and haunting ride with Mr. Drew Daniel.


The most recognizable cover is Venoms 'Black Metal', the mother of an entire genre. Apart from being completely electronic this isn’t very different from the original. Daniels seems to hold on to the Venom track, albeit pretty tongue-in-cheek. Most of the other tracks sound like proper IDM and lo-fi electronics with some Satanic grimmness thrown in. The original riffs are garbled and there's few to no blast beats. Musically the album is pretty good, borrowing from dubstep, breakcore, techno, noise and all kinds of very nervous sounding electronics. It's entertaining and varied to say the least.


So basically there are two kinds of people who might like this album. First, there's the quite open minded (former) metalheads with a decent sense of humour. Second, there's the Soft Pink Truth and IDM fans, because let's face it, this album has absolutely nothing to do with black metal. Maybe Daniel actually likes the music he covered or he just discovered a very good marketing stunt. The Pitch Black truth is: the album is mostly a collector's item, a novelty, not to be taken seriously. But fun? Oh yes, it's fun...