Black metal died the same way civilizations die: it replaced those who could understand it with those who could imitate it. That however was the end result of an earlier process, which was the displacement of the good with the mediocre.
It is instructive to any movement, for example the Alt Right, to see how quickly a thriving genre was eliminated.
First, like a virus moving close to its prey, the attackers made themselves seem to be part of the genre. The clones came out from the people who wanted to take part but would have had no idea how to invent the music in the first place. These were at first faithful, and then started edging toward the mediocre default of all music, the rock/pop styles.
Next, it was time for “progress.” People who could not have either invented the genre, or cloned it, began making spacey rock music that used some black metal technique. This seduced most of the audience because it was similar to what they already listened to and what their friends listened to. Boundaries eroded.
Then, the media assault began. Sites like Wikipedia and Metal Archives started publishing articles about the music that were wrong from the original perspective of the genre, but certainly fit the new rock hybrids that were the result of the “progress.” Original ideas were forgotten, replaced by convenient fictions.
Finally, the invading army arrived. At first hipsters, and then SJWs, began adopting the imagery and personal appearance styles of the genre. They bought some of the classic albums, but then switched to the new rock hybrids and talked those up on popular music sites.
At this point, the genre lost integrity. The original bands saw they had a chance to make some money and retire and so started pumping out the rock hybrids, giving perceived legitimacy to the new style. New bands cropped up, one every month, who made “great, revolutionary” albums that no one kept for more than a few years.
And throughout it all, the older music was ignored by the press, but enjoyed by the fans, many of whom found themselves casting aside the newer imitations once they discovered the roots. This caused consternation among the invaders, who began advancing the narrative that the old was bad, “racist” and outdated.
What can a movement that does not wish to be assimilated, or converted into the same average gunk it was trying to escape from, do to avoid this? A few points:
Your strongest supporters may be entryists.
When the clones of the original ideas appear and seem to be faithfully repeating those ideas like dogma, stop and think. Entryism never announces itself. It camouflages itself instead, appearing to be the real deal, and slowly chips away from the inside.
The enemy is decentralized.
The problem is not shadowy powers manipulating you, but the weakness of individual humans. People want to be popular, and so they follow trends, but in the process make whatever they are doing into the same old thing because their mentality has not changed.
Avoiding the mainstream does not help.
The same behavior and thought process that exists in the mainstream exists everywhere, because people are weak and follow social cues more than, say, the ideals and concepts of a genre. They seek out niches to be different, then make them into the same.
Beware of those who simplify and make “authoritative” statements.
Attackers attempt to assert strong borders around the genre, but these only make it easier to be ironic and rebellious and violate them. The die-hards and the “progressives” are in cahoots, unintentionally perhaps.
As popularity increases, quality decreases.
The short-term good is the opposite of the long-term good. What you tolerate, you get more of. Without strong spokespeople to assert the original ideas, these ideas become adulterated as the franchise expands.
In a realistic view of life, success is downfall because that which rises must fall. The only way to stay in flight is to avoid formalizing the genre or movement, and to keep internal dialogue high with clearly recognized leaders who keep the original principles alive and are not swayed by popularity. Ideally, these people need to be independently wealthy so they do not alter their ideas to fit the audience, instead of selecting the audience by who understands the ideas.
To celebrate the years of underground metal, we present The Meek Shall Inherit Death Compilation (117mb). This memorializes many of the best (lost) ideas of a genre that informed the Alt Right and the modern counter-revolution which desires a better future through understanding the past.