102 Rules of Black Metal, Revised for 2011

I first read the original list of rules back in 2004, and as far as I can tell, the Google searches date it back as early as February 2002. Before that, it most likely circulated the internet via email chains (remember that shit?). So it’s probable that the original 101 Rules of Black Metal is nearing its 10-year anniversary (or perhaps recently passed it). What better way to commemorate it than debunking the whole thing and re-writing it for today’s black metal fanatics? As contradictory as it seems to “remaster” a work in the name of black metal, here it is:

1. Don’t be gay. Since Gaahl emerged from the proverbial closet, this rule has been since shattered.

2. Sing about things you will never do or don’t believe in. This includes burning churches and wizard magic.

3. All people who don’t replace the letter “U” with the letter “V” can’t be “True”.

4. Fuck, I mean “Trve”

5. Trve, or false.

6. Never be happy.

7. Break things while being grim and necro. What is this, Beavis and Butthead? Just stand to the side and talk about breaking things. You’re too depressed to muster the energy to actually break them.

8. meh…

9. Repeat all above while denouncing organized religion in any form. Denounce all religion except for paganism and religions which you’ve made up yourself or based off the Harry Potter universe.

10. Never ever, EVER under ANY circumstances…

11. …Listen to Peccatum. Nobody knows who Peccatum is anymore, and have therefore achieved “kvlt” status.

12. When someone asks you if you enjoy the music of Mayhem, point out that
you only enjoy the music of “the true” Mayhem. Maniac is gay. that album that had the murders and stuff.

13. Don’t be a hipster.

14. Don’t be Satyricon.

15. Make fun of hipsters.

16. But only when you’re drinking PBR and smoking a cigarette.

17. When your mom tells you to take out the garbage, tell her that you’re too
metal to remove refuse. do it. You learned from the first list that she’ll kick your ass out, since you’re 34.

18. Do a ritual about it!

19. Make fun of Wolves in the Throne Room, even though you’ve never heard or seen them before.

20. Claim it’s because you’re anti-PC, even though you don’t know what that means.

21. Make sure your album goes out of print about 3 years after its
release… so it becomes ‘cult’. Never release your album, but tell everyone you’re going to.

22. Claim your music is about your Norse heritage.

23. Tell people about your Norse heritage whenever possible, especially if you have absolutely no Scandinavian ancestors, and especially especially if your family is heavily inbred.

24. Turn any cross you find upside-down. It was eventually discovered by Black Metal experts that the inverted cross was the holy symbol of saint peter. So, crap…

25. I guess just purposely misspell xtianity whenever possible. (and never capitalize the names of saints)

26. Always capitalize Black Metal, even when your editor tells you otherwise.

27. Never ever, EVER, EVER be open-minded. Unfortunately, every trve black metal song has already been written, so it’s either be open-minded or play in a tribute band.

28. Name your band “Hellspawn Warhammers of the Nordic Wind.”

29. a) paint face. b) go in woods onto metal forum. c) act like troll.

30. Don’t be Mortiis (or any of the guys from Satyricon).

31. Don’t go to weddings.

32. Don’t go to parties.

33. Never start a band with more than one band member.

34. When in doubt, add more blast beats to your drum machine mix.

35. Don’t eat Marshmellow Peeps. They taste like shit.

36. To producers of Black Metal albums: remember…no low end! If it doesn’t
hurt to listen to, it can’t be “true”. Use as little effort as possible. Nowadays, this means using pirated digital audio workstations which will give you high-quality recordings with superior production value.

37. Remix your high-quality CD and transfer it to cassette via a Fisher Price tape recorder and a large metal garbage can.

38. Repeat this process 6-7 times until the recording is no longer audible.

39. Always record in your bedroom.

40. When getting ready to go to a show, completely forget that the other
people there are not going to the show to look at you. Never go to shows. Too many kids ruining the scene.

41. This has nothing to do with you being the oldest person there.

42. When asked by a non trve BMer what BM is, say something like, “BM is the
raw essence of pure black evil in man”, in any case, make sure that by the
conversations end, the other person still has no idea what black metal is. This no longer works because everyone has Wikipedia on their iPhone.

43. Instead, tell them Black Metal is dead, even though your three bands are all hinged on the belief that it is not.

44. Reform with “old members” and release an album intended to produce
commercial success. heh heh… old “members”

45. When it flops say that you meant it to fail cause anything less wouldn’t
be “true”. hee hee… when it “flops”

46. Have a side project. Ensure that all other members of your band also
have side projects. your drummer has at least six side projects.

47. Make sure your band is the least important of your drummer’s side projects. This will help ensure “kvlt” status.

48. Never be in a band for more than 6 months.

49. Always screen print your album and package it in a wooden box even though it costs you a fucking fortune.

50. Claim it was hand-crafted in the pagan forests of Transylvania.

51. Never wear hats.

52. Unless you’re a keyboardist (top hat), or you are in Immortal (witch’s hat)

53. Never say “frackin” unless referencing Battlestar Galactica.

54. Never finish anything you

55. The word “Hail” is the only appropriate greeting whenever greeting
someone “trve”. Begin all documents, personal and business, with the salutation “hails”.

56. Sign all documents, personal and business, with the salutation “hails”.

57. Fill your album covers with WWII/Axis-related imagery and later claim you hate Nazis and that you’re just “interested” in WWII.

58. Reference inside jokes you and your metal chat forum friends came up with only to people who wouldn’t get them.

59. Design complex logo for your grim black metal band on binder paper in
the middle of math class. using Adobe Photoshop on your lunch break.

60. Accept every interview you’re offered… then pretend that you really
don’t enjoy being interviewed. but never go through with them because that would reveal that you know how to Skype, and therefore contradicting your primitivist beliefs.

616. Thoroughly enjoy Star Trek: The Next Generation.

62. Wait… scratch that last one. (See rule 1) And Deep Space Nine.

63. The original Black Metallers played Dungeons & Dragons, therefore you should, too.

64. Design at least one album cover with a visual reference to Dungeons & Dragons.

65. If you ever find that you have somehow become a member of Hecate
Enthroned, be sure to piece together a music video of scrap footage of
yourself walking around in the woods at night looking evil. Only, instead of
being night make sure it’s the middle of the @#%$ day, and instead of
looking evil, look dorky instead. (See also: rule 1) Never censor swear words, you fucking pussy.

66. Own hundreds of black metal albums, demos and bootlegs. Listen to
approximately 8 of them regularly. Only listen to MP3s which you downloaded from Blogspot.

67. En taro Adun!

68. Refrain from using keyboard smilies when communicating via the Internet.
Single acceptable smiley: -( Ensure your Facebook account uses a pseudonym. Fans must never know you know how to communicate via the internet.

69. Your band or album name should be titled in a foreign language and must contain at least one grammatical error (examples: Blut Aus Nord, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas).

70. Spelling things correctly is neither grim nor necro. See rule #25.

71. Norsk Arysk Blak Metal! Rahhh!! Keep your day job.

72. If at all possible, work at a post office.

73. And write a song about it. Also, don’t be Satyricon.

74. Go on a Heathen Hike.

75. Write a song about that, too.

76. Then do a ritual.

77. Only do interviews when you’re piss drunk.

78. This will ensure that everything you say will sound grim and trve (at least from your perspective).

80. Never, ever, ever, EVER be in the band Liturgy.

81. Accuse hipsters of being pretentious.

82. Use a thesaurus when writing your songs to ensure that every other word is one that nobody knows the definition of. Only the image of intelligence is important in Black Metal.

83. Never end a sentence with a preposition.

84. If you’re afraid to write songs about negativity, write a 100-page dissertation which “proves” that positive attitudes somehow belong in Black Metal.

85. This won’t make you “trve”, but it will give the rest of us someone to laugh at incessantly on metal chat forums.

86. When asked if you’ve heard a certain obscure Black Metal band, instead of saying yes or no, simply say “They’re nice guys.”

87. If possible, design the title of your album so that it consists of three
completely unrelated words. Dimmu Borgir are the master of this (i.e.
Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, Spiritual Black Dimensions, Puritanical
Euphoric Misanthropia, Godless Savage Garden) but you may also want to refer
to Immortal’s “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism”. Don’t listen to Dimmu Borgir.

88. As we all know, women have no place in the homoerotic world of black
metal, but if your girl friend still won’t stop bugging you about wanting to
be involved in your band, give her a lame spoken word part or something. In the rare chance that you actually have a girlfriend, she won’t want to have anything to do with your dumb Black Metal band.

89. Make your online username a clever combination of your first name and your band name.

90. Always play Angry Birds on your phone when taking a shit at work.

91. If it’s rare, it must be good. Order it immediately. Hipster.

92. If you’re from anywhere but Scandinavia, sing about Scandinavia. If you’re from Scandinavia, sing about Transylvania.

93. Listen to Svartblod Forest.

94. Own every Darkthrone release. Listen to exactly none of them. When someone asks you if you like Darkthrone’s Black Metal phase, tell them you prefer their death metal phase. If asked if you like their death metal phase, say you prefer their crust punk phase.

95. Own cult-as-@#%$ shirts of bands you not only own no releases of, but
also haven’t even heard. Wear only hand screen-printed Nåthruzym shirts. Shamelessly self-promote your band on the internet whenever possible.

96. Use the phrase “cult-as-@#%$” whenever possible. See rule #65. Pussy.

97. Attempt to randomly throw the word “@#%$” during random segments of your
songs. (Kindly refer to Attilla’s work on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.) Turns out, he was just saying “fog” this whole time.

98. In order to make your recording more incomprehensible and therefore more
“cult”, be sure to either select a singer who has only a tenuous grasp on
the language to be sung. (Acceptable languages: Norwegian, Latin, Orcish.) Don’t have any vocals on your album.

99. Only release your album on vinyl or cassette. These are the only trve audio formats because they are raw and pure. Never mind that it was recorded using the free version of Cubase that came with your cheap computer audio interface.

100. Okay, so I did make up the band in rule #93. But I still stand by that rule.

101. Take everything seriously and never try to be funny. This will confirm that other people will not take you or your band seriously.

102. You mean you’ve been reading these rules when you could be outside running around with an ax? Well, good for you. I’m too misanthropically depressed to care.

~Breath of Mozym

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