Black metal may have been birthed within the frozen Nordic winter landscapes, but it only took a blink of an evil eye before it traveled, both physically and stylistically, light years from the crucible of its infancy. The sound soon found itself igniting the hearts and minds of a new generation musicians. These artists may have been brash and completely against the conventions of society, but it also became evident that they possessed a high degree of musical acumen. So much so that the aural templates they laid down, contained within it the potential for so much more than just hell-fire and damnation guitars.
Out of this cauldron of conflicting intent and militant individualism, arose some of the most adventurous and boundary pushing artists and bands the world had yet seen. Among them, the award winning Los Angeles band Luna 13 whose distinctive template is described as being ‘full bass music with black metal electronica drums’. Dr. Luna and Lilith Bathory, core members of Luna 13, have been searing their brutal, groove-based spirits into the minds of new fans, melting eardrums and setting new standards of mystery and zeitgeist, since their outset.
Now the band releases its brand new video single, entitled “Upside Down”. When this beast of a single roars up on its legs to devour everything and everyone, you know you are in for some exceptional black metal. Interlaced with barbwire, razor sharp synths, Bathory’s scorn-filled, evocative rasps, and Dr. Luna’s controlled-chaos production, this track is haunting, grim, beautiful, terrifying, violent, epic, spiritual, and angry.
And though Luna 13 are using drum machines and injecting the electronic element into black metal’s frosty guts, they are at the same time truly laying down the gauntlet for the genre as we head towards the 22nd century. This is black metal for the modern world, distilled through the lens of modern computerized instruments, with a human touch of course. Luna 13’s goal is to keep metal alive and force the EDM world to expand their genre in new ways.
The journey that black metal undertook from its raw, primitive beginnings through to its many modern day manifestations displays a level of growth that just isn’t seen in other sub-genres of heavy metal music, and Luna 13 are front-runners in this voyage, forging their own bass-driven pathway. “Upside Down” is their latest malevolent harbor, but not their final destination, as they make their way through the vicious valley of darkness.