Interlude With Black Metal

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes.  Here is what I came up with.  I hope you like it.

Høygaffel were considered the most extreme Norwegian black metal band in all of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Rising like a demon out of the remains of Starch, a youth crew hardcore band, Høygaffel enthusiastically embraced the tenets of the dank, sinister European music.  Their local notoriety came from the degree to which they amplified the implicit malice, creating something unique.

The members communicated with each other, and, indeed, to everyone outside the band, in a form of pidgin Norwegian.  None of them spoke Norwegian, nor made any effort to learn Norwegian, so their argot evoked to outsiders – and to certain members of the band, itself – a combination of the rasping fiend from The Exorcist and The Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show.

Corpsepaint, a ghoulish make-up style favored by many black metal bands, one intended to evoke the grim pallor of death, was incorporated into Høygaffel’s daily existence.  Members wore the chilling masquerades to their day jobs at Carpet King, Chuck E Cheese and, most alarmingly, The Holiday Nursing Home.  When other bands began appropriating the distinctive look, the members Høygaffel took to applying a second coat of corpsepaint over the already existing layer.  This practice was quickly abandoned after rumors circulated that the band had taken to performing in blackface.

Høygaffel’s legend is built not on their linguistic or cosmetic innovations, but upon their infamous composition, ‘Her Kommer Djevelen,’ a song so terrifying that the band was unable to play it all the way through in one sitting.

Translated as “Here Comes The Devil!”, “Her Kommer Djevelen” was intended to be a 25-minute exercise in pure metal obliteration.  Unfortunately, it so upset the members as they were performing it that they were required to take breaks in order to calm down.  At least three bass players quit the band rather than face even rehearsing the piece.

Fragments of the song have surfaced on the Internet over the years.  One recording, a performance at Joker’s in New Bedford, is known among collectors as the “I’m Shitting In My Pants!” tape, due to the drummer’s repeated exclamations of panic and unease.

Other bands, such as Haunted Afro and The Scandinavian Untouchables, have tried to cover the song, such as it is, with little success.  In order for “Her Kommer Djevelen” to truly work its magic, the 11 men of Høygaffel must perform it.

Høygaffel occasionally reunite to perform in New England clubs, most recently with Rentagram, a Pentagram tribute band.  They still have yet to play “Her Kommer Djevelen” in its entirety.

2 thoughts on “Interlude With Black Metal

  1. I saw Hoygefell and thought oy gevalt which of course is the Yiddish black metal group. This Short journey was so complete and brilliant and hilarious.


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