Hey kids, it’s Weird Wednesday! Wait, it’s Thursday? Man, I really should write my Weird Band of the Week posts before I start drinking.
Anyways…this week’s weird band was suggested to us by a reader named Samuel, who noted that we had omitted the world’s first and greatest acoustic black metal band, Impaled Northern Moonforest. INM was started around 1997 as a joke by members of the band (and I’m really sorry for having to type this name) Anal Cunt, a grindcore group from Massachusetts. To the untrained ear, grindcore and black metal sound pretty similar, but the grindcore kids hate the black metal kids as only siblings can—especially when one of those siblings (black metal) is really into facepaint and Satanic imagery.
According to Impaled Northern Moonforest lore, the band was originally meant to be a full-blown black metal project, but it turned into an acoustic deal because another of the Anal Cunt (sorry!) guys was sleeping nearby and they didn’t want to wake him. We’re pretty sure INM’s lo-fi, acoustic approach—generally speaking, all their songs feature a single acoustic guitar, some knee-slap percussion and whispered/growled unintelligible vocals—is all part of the joke, but we’ll buy into the origin story, if only because it makes the guys responsible for such Anal Cunt (sorry!) classics as “Recycling Is Gay” and “You’re Old (Fuck You)” sound touchingly concerned for the well-being of their bandmates.
Impaled Northern Moonforest played only a handful of live shows, and won’t play any more, because Seth Putnam, lead singer for both INM and AxCx (which, it turns out, is the polite way to type “Anal Cunt”—wish I’d known that two paragraphs ago), died last year of an apparent heart attack at the age of 43. They seem to have recorded only one record, variously referred to as an album or demo, that exists in very limited quantities (that’s the cover above—yes, all their artwork is as primitive as their music). Most of their songs are barely a minute long, although it sometimes takes longer than that just to say their titles: “Bloodlustfully Praising Satan’s Unholy Allmightyness in the Woods at Midnight,” “Summoning the Unholy Frozen Winterdemons to the Grimmest and Most Frostbitten Inverted Forest of Abazagorath,” and my personal favorite, “Grim and Frostbitten Gay Bar.”
Maybe the greatest thing about Impaled Northern Moonforest is that a whole fan-driven mythology of “acoustic black metal” has sprung up in their wake. There are discussion forums, Last.fm genre memes, and even a bunch of other acoustic black metal acts like Sodomized by Satan, Nyhetsvarsel and Severed Colon. For some folks, acoustic black metal is a joke that never gets old.
There are also a handful of fan-made INM videos, of which this is the best, in our not-so-humble opinions. Seth Putnam, your legacy lives on.