The Black Dall-E-a Minis
Hurry! There are only (probably) seconds left∗ before the New York Times e-gentrifies DALL⋅E mini and exclusively uses it to generate NFTs for Ennui Monkey Boat Disco dweebs or whatever. (Its creators have already been forced to rebrand, and they chose craiyon—a charmless, Palo Alto-ass name that gives me no hope for its longevity.) For those living with Shinedown under a hard rock, DALL⋅E mini is an AI model that creates images based on any supplied text. Metal is no stranger to the concept of artificial intelligence; killbot lyrics and artwork are a dime a dozen, and how else do you think tech death lyrics are written?
In this brief, shining moment, I asked our writers to gaze into that bottomless well. These brave souls supplied their usernames to see what the void would show them, and paired these virtual visages with a fitting metal track. Behold.
Dinbethes – “Geboren”
I don’t know what this is, but I do know that it is a merciless tyrant. Maybe a Kernel in the army of the Corn Empire. Maybe a bearded tentacle that has dragged many a sailor to drown. Blood had to be shed for this thing to be born (aka geboren). So I’ve chosen a release that crawled out of the black waters of Zwolle to be birthed into the Dutch raw black metal scene. “Geboren” is a sinister, up-tempo tune whose main riff could serve as a leitmotif for this monster in a movie about whatever horrors it has no doubt committed. The choral vocals that accompany the standard raw shrieks in the song’s refrain give it a bit of an epic, progressive feel, in addition to the jauntiness of the main riff. Odysseus wouldn’t have stood a chance against this motherfucker.
Lord ov Bork
Bekor Qilish – “Wretched Dawn”
Apparently “Lord ov Bork” really stumps the AI, despite its apparent facility for images involving muppets. Looking at this man is better than seeing the Swedish Chef in British judge’s robes, though. This is the gnarled, old-timey face of every evil creep who’s ever walked this planet.
My mind immediately shot to the new release by Bekor Qilish, Throes of Death from the Dreamed Nihilism. The closer, “Wretched Dawn,” sounds like every miserable action any old distorted white guy has unleashed upon us as a species. The throbbing, off-kilter rhythms of the first half give way to peaceful atmospherics that close out the track—screams giving way to silence. Even still, the memory of what came before remains. Those riffs will stay stabbing into your frontal lobe long after the last note fades away, just as will the actions of our AI-summoned Lord ov Bork.
Gaze on the face ov evil and despair, you wretched of the earth.
A Spooky Mansion
Mercyful Fate – “The Jackal of Salzburg”
Have you seen the housing market lately? Even the most dilapidated colonial wreck, half-shrouded in mossy thicket and sagging with spiteful age, is drawing hopeful glances from proprietors with avaricious eyes, naïve to the furtive and loathsome wraiths that abound within. No crypt is too cobwebbed and no grave too shallow to seek out promising, overlooked heirlooms. In a spot of good fortune that warms my ice-cold hearth, my distant namesake and spiritual liege King Diamond has reclaimed his roost at the provincial estate of Mercyful Fate, bestowing all us sinners with a live debut of “The Jackal Of Salzburg”, some 20 years since their last release. Though the windows are cracked and the falsetto more abraded (lifelong smoking and triple-bypass surgery will do that to a body), eerie light still bathes us from the inner sanctum, a spirit undisturbed in decades and now roused to haunt the grounds again. Long live the King.
Truent – “Usurpers of the Sky”
I won’t lie, I was thinking I’d be represented as another sort of winged creature, not sure what though. Anyhoot, beetles have been close to my heart ever since I absolutely trounced my dad about them as a child (Dad: “That’s the beetle’s tummy.” Li’l Rold: “It’s called the abdomen,” lol #REKT). The species above vaguely resembles the predatory Tiger Beetle, known for running so fast it blinds itself, instead using its antennae to detect its place in the world.
“But what does this have to do with Truent?” nobody asks. I thought you’d never ask. Being the first flying organisms on the planet, insects literally usurped the sky from its previous masters: rain, wind, the odd fireball or two in the good old eras. Palm-muted tremolos and double bass skitter through the track, and delicate melodies lay nestled below the armored elytra. A stunted, off-kilter breakdown ends the song with an evocation of crippled prey; a limping gait. We all know what happens next.
Disqus, I call on you to submit your usernames to DALL⋅E and post your favorite images below!
∗Call that the HALad days.