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Metal and traditionalism?

Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 07:43:13 AM
Anothing thing I don't get about you traditionalist 'nihilists' is how your reconcile metal with traditionalism/perennialism.

Metal (black/death) is overtly Satanic. Most death metal bands you listen to hate God, and even get into rather new-atheist sounding arguments about all the 'lies' 'suffering' and 'shallowness'.

Some black metal bands might come close to constructing, rather than deconstructing. But even then it is rarely all about allegiance to something more trascendent than nature, mystery, ethnic solidarity, and the will to power (i.e. points of trascendence open to naturalists, atheists, libertarians, etc). Maybe i'm setting up a straw man. The argument, then, would be against traditionalists claiming metal 'as their own' as opposed to metal simply being compatible with traditionalism.

Perhaps the question is whether metal is incompatible with liberalism?

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 02:47:42 PM
Metal is incompatible with liberalism in many ways yes. As for the satanic content, I interpret some of that as thought daring to escape the Abrahamic dualist religion box.

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 04:15:40 PM
Despite all the song titles, the best metal doesn't "hate God."  That's childish.  When metal veers into "hate God" mode, it's for the worse.  When you see the best artists' evolution (Graveland, Burzum, Beherit) it's apparent that they moved on to different territory and the notion of "hating God and religion" hardly even entered their mind.

I was born into a Catholic family and that's that.  I also like metal.  And I'm not going to mope around my whole life "hating God."  I had a normal Catholic upbringing in the heartland of America (thank God) and I'm not going to act like some atheist/feminist/liberal because it's en vogue.  I am not fanatical about being pro-religion but my guess is it's here to stay.  Nature, mystery, ethnic solidarity, will to power - revering these things is revering God.  Metal is a different conception of God.

Catholicism and metal is probably about par for the course for many cool, intelligent white dudes born in the 80s such as myself.  Metal is incompatible with liberalism.  As is God, as is religion.  Nothing needs to be "reconciled." 

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 05:54:03 PM
Right, but apart from your family history you cited only three bands. Mostly NS bands who are not quite representative of metal you would have to admit. I can see how your argument works on the back of NS bands, but lets not take black metal with national socialist tinges as the culmination and 'true' representation of all Metal, please. Beherit, it's arguable whether they were, in fact, a reactionary band. There are, certainly, elements of embracing something spiritual at the end of their anti-christianity/'paganism'.

Metal can easily be seen as a rebellious movement, a reactionary movement. It's pretty obvious, at least prima facie. Satanism as a reaction against chritianity, 'Anti-god' rehtoric as a reaction to the authority of the day. There are many ways to see metal as a liberationist movement, arguiable more so than there are ways to view it is as a perennial movement. As, largely, seeking to throw off authority (a point of trascendence), not to embrace it.

Immolation, Deicide, Slayer, suffocation, mayhem are some that come to mind on the other side of the argument, just to start.

Quote
Nature, mystery, ethnic solidarity, will to power - revering these things is revering God.  Metal is a different conception of God.

It depends what you mean by God. Certainly not the god of the new testament.

I'm talking mainly on the level of lyrics and overt symbolism. The composition/structure of the music might be a different story. I'm not sold on the issue, i'm interested in counter arguments.

NHA

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 06:36:56 PM
Because people just make shit up so their perception of reality fits with whatever stupid ideas they've latched on to.

Havohej - Dethrone the son of god.


Also, lets not forget the amusing 1980s moral panic in the US related to satanic ritual abuse.

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 06:53:09 PM
Clearly many people are firmly rooted in the Abrahamic concept of Deity.  That is the "God" which is despised in Metal.  It is a false idol, representing a dead morality.  The true God - Reality - is always revered.

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 07:18:47 PM
Havohej - Dethrone the son of god.

But as Baudrillard correctly points out "One can see that the iconoclasts, whom one accuses of disdaining and negating images, were those who accorded them their true value, in contrast to the iconolaters who only saw reflections in them and were content to venerate a filigree God."

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 08:33:56 PM
Meister Eckhart made the claim that the more one blasphemes God the more honour they accord him.


Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 28, 2012, 08:44:55 PM
It honestly varies because there is so much of it. Thrash, speed, grindcore and some death metal are clearly reactionary. But then so many bands, particularly in black metal, will reference pre-christian mythology and the like. Others will be more vague and just hint at yearning for the past.

Black metal is the closet thing to creating a new ideology of some kind, but I think it's not so much about creating something new as re-discovering the old.

I think the reason for you seeing two sides of the argument is because there is no consensus for the whole metal culture.

Phoenix

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 29, 2012, 03:48:27 AM
The argument, then, would be against traditionalists claiming metal 'as their own' as opposed to metal simply being compatible with traditionalism.

I don't see how anyone could possibly disagree with this. I often praise black metal by saying, for instance, that "it can be very spiritually powerful", and that "can" is crucial. It's important not to overgeneralize when talking about metal. At the same time though, it's not necessary to bend over backwards and be thoroughly explicit in every single situation.

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 29, 2012, 05:12:22 AM
Some black metal bands might come close to constructing, rather than deconstructing. But even then it is rarely all about allegiance to something more trascendent than nature, mystery, ethnic solidarity, and the will to power (i.e. points of trascendence open to naturalists, atheists, libertarians, etc). Maybe i'm setting up a straw man. The argument, then, would be against traditionalists claiming metal 'as their own' as opposed to metal simply being compatible with traditionalism.

On the whole I'm inclined to agree with you. Metal seems an anachronistic footnote to the Romanticist genre--as certain writers here never tire of repeating--and so its scope of vision possesses definite limitations from the traditionalists' point of view. Even any alleged compatibility necessarily stands on shaky footing, and while one may be able to isolate shared points of discursive departure, it must be conceded that metal and tradition speak with disparate voices: the former a reaction to the ubiquitous malaise of modernity, the latter an integral weltanschauung.

Phoenix

Re: Metal and traditionalism?
May 29, 2012, 05:54:38 AM
Some black metal bands might come close to constructing, rather than deconstructing. But even then it is rarely all about allegiance to something more trascendent than nature, mystery, ethnic solidarity, and the will to power (i.e. points of trascendence open to naturalists, atheists, libertarians, etc). Maybe i'm setting up a straw man. The argument, then, would be against traditionalists claiming metal 'as their own' as opposed to metal simply being compatible with traditionalism.

On the whole I'm inclined to agree with you. Metal seems an anachronistic footnote to the Romanticist genre--as certain writers here never tire of repeating--and so its scope of vision possesses definite limitations from the traditionalists' point of view. Even any alleged compatibility necessarily stands on shaky footing, and while one may be able to isolate shared points of discursive departure, it must be conceded that metal and tradition speak with disparate voices: the former a reaction to the ubiquitous malaise of modernity, the latter an integral weltanschauung.

It's important to remember though that what voice a metal band speaks with is not always as important as what the listener takes from the music. I believe music can convey emotion and concepts in sophisticated ways, as the sound not only expresses emotion but expresses the transition between emotions, thereby defining the emotions more precisely by delineating their trajectories--for example anger can be fiery, mature and wise, but only when arising from just cause and stillness of mind.

In this vein I would say that metal musicians frequently create music that reaches in wisdom far beyond what they can consciously concretely grasp, beyond what they are aware of; I would also say that such genius in metal, as a result of being an almost exclusively unconscious phenomenon in the musician, is often riddled with imperfections, distracting intrusions of other melodies and instruments which must be tiresomely tuned out.

When the lyrics are unintelligible I generally don't care what the bands mean to say, and what I take from the music is generally extremely different from what the bands mean to say.