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What is black metal, as art?

What is black metal, as art?
October 14, 2004, 07:39:25 PM
 I defined it like this earlier: "Emotional detachment without apathy." Sounds a bit like nihilism, doesn't it?

Add to this an obsession with the occult, which in a historical view is a term applied to any belief system in which both good and evil can be used to further one's aims. That sounds like emotional detachment without apathy.

But is there a way to summarize it, in the abstract and not 100% exact, in a paragraph?

http://www.burzum.com/forum/YaBB.cgi?board=Sound;action=display;num=1097793463

Re: What is black metal, as art?
October 14, 2004, 08:34:31 PM
My opinion.

I disagree, if anything it is emotional engagement, but towards the mystical-- hence the theme of the occult. There is an emphasis of transcendence from the mundane world (rejection of the modern world) and a grasping of ideas that are powerful and timeless, and cannot easily be described.

Even the most blatant anti-christian satanist lyrics have a sense of romanticism about them when we deal with Black Metal, and if this sense is not evoked directly from the lyrics themselves, it flows forth from fusion with the music.

I think I see where you are coming from when you talk about "emotional detachment without apathy". But could this not be as a result of this rejection of modernity? I don't think it is (or should be) an end in itself with Black Metal-- those bands who do are misguided in my opinion and constitute more towards the "first wave" then towards what the majority of us now see as representative when we talk of the genre.

Re: What is black metal, as art?
October 15, 2004, 02:52:50 AM
Really, I see some BM as going both ways as far as "emotional detachment without apathy"- I'd hardly call Burzum emotionally detached, however I'd say that "Under a Funeral Moon" or "Transilvanian Hunger" fit that definition fairly well.

Personally, I would consider BM as music that evokes a world outside of the current order- whether this is a celebration of "evil" such as early Mayhem or Darkthrone's first BM album, or whether it sorrowfully looks on this world in a "what could have been" situation, such as Burzum does, just to name two possible examples.

Re: What is black metal, as art?
October 19, 2004, 07:26:29 PM
I do not think Black Metal is an art. It is music created by pure hate which is good to me.

Re: What is black metal, as art?
October 19, 2004, 10:25:05 PM
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I do not think Black Metal is an art. It is music created by pure hate which is good to me.


   I disagree with you on all points.  Black metal is not pure hate nor is it void of being art, in fact it’s a very pure art when expressed properly.  I’ll focus on why it’s art later but first I’m going to focus on your assumption that black metal is pure hate (pure hate by the way does constitute means of artistic expression but I’ll get into that later).  When I reference black metal in the following paragraphs forget about bands like Venom who stand purely for beer drinking, heavy metal aesthetic not black metal aesthetic, instead think of bands like Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Bathory, Samael, Varathron, Burzum, Darkthrone and the other bands and people who were leaders and seminal forces of this art.  

   If you wonder why I make this distinction and how I make this distinction then look at it from the perspective of attitude and emotions rather than from the perspective of the physical aesthetic of the band itself because from the physical standpoint Venom would represent more of the black metal aesthetic; we must distinguish between emotional aesthetic and physical aesthetic because they are very different, though they can seem very much the same and this is why Venom is sometimes called black metal and to me this is an error.  

   I do grant that emotional aesthetic can influence physical aesthetic, this is when you get Burzum and Summoning and when practiced vice versa you get Venom.  The ability to make this distinction is essential when we look at black metal as an art form and when we look at it from the perspective of being based around hate of some sort.  One side is a social commentary and emotional commentary the other side is a joke, follow the leaders not the jokes and followers.  You mention that black metal is based upon “pure hate” but pure hate is self destructive and it feasts upon itself, and while black metal circulates around the premise of hate (in many cases) it's used as a foundation and message for positive cathartic output, it's not pure hate, to think so is an error in my opinion and I think the music itself would support my conclusion.  

   I will use Varg to emphasize my point above (notice I chose a leader, not a follower, this is essential).  Varg is an example of how the paradox of hate in black metal can exist.  Varg is obviously rage filled and hate filled towards the Abrahamic plague and this emotion fills into the aesthetic of his music but it’s not the conclusion of his music and it’s not the only elemental emotion that constructs his music (his response to his initial response of hate, his meta-response, takes things into new realms that you have neglected to acknowledge it seems).  Varg’s meta-response to his hate is one of positive output.  He sees the possibility of transcendental values and of an optimistic breakthrough; this is why he chose to go and take action the way he did because he saw it bringing about a positive change.  If Varg were full of pure hate I don’t think he would take the time to do anything with positive change in mind.  

   There is one example and then there is also an example provided in the abundance of references to nature in black metal music.  Nature lyrics and inspiration is pure beauty in both its light and dark forms, it’s a potent metaphor for many expressions of rage and transcendence that are used in black metal.  The cold, feral landscapes express deep raw emotions that transcend the boundaries of hate even though hate for society and current dogma may have been the guide to peruse the route into this artistic expression we call black metal.  Sometimes a cold attitude is warmest of all.  I think it’s wise to look at hate in another light and see it in terms of response/meta-response in order to better assess it.

   Now let’s get into why black metal is in art.  First I think it’s potent to explain generally what art is as art has had so many faces and definitions through centuries.  “Perhaps the most concise definition is its broadest—art refers to all creative human endeavors, excluding actions directly related to survival and reproduction. From a wide perspective, art is simply a generic term for the creative impulse, out of which sprang all other human pursuits such as science via alchemy, and religion via shamanism (1).”  From this definition we can see that black metal is deffinitly art at least in the broadest sense, but the question is what kind of art?  The question is how potent is this art…how strong is it?  Well I can go off and write long essays about it but I will not.  There are many roads and paths for discussion here that I will not dive into, I will only skim around the surface for now.  At this point I’m goint to fade into the overall topic, so my focus on Inferno’s quote is over now.

   Black metal was a potent art form and now it’s a fading art form.  Once, when it had direction and leaders amongst it, it had artistic potency and longevity, now it seems to only have stagnation and degeneracy.  It’s still an art form, it’s just a weak one it seems.

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I defined it like this earlier: "Emotional detachment without apathy."
   

   At first read I disagreed with this as I don’t think it’s emotionally detached in the purest sense but after finishing the post I can see where you are coming from.  I think black metal (the black metal foundation that was laid by the seminal artists mentioned throughout my post) is void of empathy for man and is a syntheseis of those elements “good” and “evil” (which negates each one being solitary of the other and essentially makes them one), this makes it emotionally detached and non-apathetic in that it takes command of itself and doesn’t adhere to fatalism (aka. Apathy) or sentimentalism.  But I think that black metal, good black metal, is full of potent, transcendental emotion and passion and that is where it’s emotionally connected.  The emotional bond that some bands had for their passions and music is fully expressed in the music when you turn it on and it comes out your speakers.  

   Black metal lacks any leadership these days, it consists solely of individuals who lack a synthesis of emotion, this is why black metal has gone from strong art to weak art in my opinion.  There are too many Venoms out there who bleed the physical aesthetic into the emotional aesthetic and not the other way around which is what is essential to great art in my opinion.

Notes:

1. taken from www.wikipedia.com/wiki/art

Re: What is black metal, as art?
October 20, 2004, 06:39:58 PM
Very respectful poin of view. Good statement , man.

Re: What is black metal, as art?
October 21, 2004, 04:47:13 AM
black metal in true spirit is anti-hype, anti-popularism and anti christian, so shut this site down

euronymous

Re: What is black metal, as art?
October 24, 2004, 10:23:38 AM
It is a classic and romantic renewal with an inmense instinct of unhallowed transgression.

::)


Re: What is black metal, as art?
October 24, 2004, 08:27:05 PM
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black metal in true spirit is anti-hype, anti-popularism and anti christian, so shut this site down


No, it's simply anti-Christian. All common themes in black metal have evolved from the single core value that Christianity harms our world and should thus be disposed of. Being "anti-populism" is basically anti-Christianity anyway, seeing as in a society based on Christian values everything that's 'popular' is so due to a collective Christian mindset.

Re: What is black metal, as art?
November 03, 2004, 10:46:21 PM
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I do not think Black Metal is an art. It is music created by pure hate which is good to me.



1.Define art.

secondly, what hate? It's religious music! They have nothing to be angry about! They just preach all about satan, which is stupid but hey there must be art.

Re: What is black metal, as art?
November 03, 2004, 10:47:41 PM
By the way, don't make any arguments about me not including anti-christianity, I know all that.

Re: What is black metal, as art?
November 03, 2004, 11:55:06 PM
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secondly, what hate? It's religious music! They have nothing to be angry about! They just preach all about satan, which is stupid but hey there must be art.


Ehh, "satan" is a part of christianity. Just a made up being to scare people, but still a part of it. So if BM is anti-christian, logically, it must also be anti-satan. I think references to satan are merely symbolism.

Re: What is black metal, as art?
November 05, 2004, 12:40:31 AM
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Ehh, "satan" is a part of christianity. Just a made up being to scare people, but still a part of it. So if BM is anti-christian, logically, it must also be anti-satan. I think references to satan are merely symbolism.


I disagree ten fold. Read the book of the law. The name will appear as beezlebub.

Death

Re: What is black metal, as art?
November 07, 2004, 02:40:24 AM
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I disagree ten fold. Read the book of the law. The name will appear as beezlebub.


What are you trying to say by this? That "Satan" is not an invention of Christianity, but the religion it is derived from, Judaism, because he appears under a different pseudonym?  What does it matter who invented him, if he is acknowledged by both religions thousands of years after Christianity's inception? If you are disagreeing with the "Satan as metaphor vs. entity" concept, although the intent of the creators of the concepts behind the bible may have been to communicate that the "supreme evil" is manifested as a physical entity (which is absurd), a(n equally absurd) metaphorical aspect to "Satan" still exists as that which encapsulates every "evil" into one, making him the direct adversary (which is what, as far as I know, his name means in Hebrew) of "god". In any event, this issue is not related to the (much greater) scope of the original thread.

Regarding the original post, my thoughts have already been expressed in earlier posts, but I have the following to ask:

What did Death Metal mean? The phrase "emotional detachment without apathy" seems equally, if not moreso, descriptive of what Death Metal creates, only I would expand it by substituting "objectiveness" for "emotional detachment" if that is not already implied, and appending "coupled with an impetus that is unrelenting, destructive and apocalyptic". This is what I consider essential to the music of Death Metal, the expression of which bands take many variations on (try comparing Demilich to Arghoslent to Infester to Nihilist to Demigod).

am i on board? i like sodom
November 19, 2004, 04:19:22 AM
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Really, I see some BM as going both ways as far as "emotional detachment without apathy"- I'd hardly call Burzum emotionally detached, however I'd say that "Under a Funeral Moon" or "Transilvanian Hunger" fit that definition fairly well.

Personally, I would consider BM as music that evokes a world outside of the current order- whether this is a celebration of "evil" such as early Mayhem or Darkthrone's first BM album, or whether it sorrowfully looks on this world in a "what could have been" situation, such as Burzum does, just to name two possible examples.