I believe in metal; I believe it’s a form of art, and like all respectable forms of art, has something important to communicate. In the case of metal, it’s worship of feared things. metal finds beauty in darkness, and morality in power. It discovers meaning beyond the realms of mortality, both by taking a “larger picture” than the life of the individual, and by exploring the questions of metaphysics and religion. It sanctifies violence, disease and horror as essential to not just the experience but the meaning of life. It reminds us that daily we’re in an existential struggle, but also a Darwinistic one. Mocking us like the voice of Satan, it also points out that meaning exists in life and it’s there if we want to reach out to it, and if we’re not, it’s a choice we made to back down. Even more, metal gives people reason to want to live and fight again. Most popular music isolates people in themselves, and tells them meaning in life is found in external pleasures. Metal opens up the scope beyond the human social scene and the ego-drama of modern people, and shows us a world of adventure. To dystopia it says “Do your worst!” and makes us feel like knights of a new regime waging war to civilize the land of rust and decay. It embraces space exploration, post-humanist morality, denial of the self (ego death), and the possibility of mythic imagination. It is an antidote to the me-culture, television-watching, consumer-oriented brain death of this modern time. Metal is the genre that brings us ideas that can liberate us from the failings of this time and help see the next, in contrast to most “art” (actually: entertainment, a way to pass the time without challenging yourself) which tries to find ways to glorify this time or join in its sick habit of protesting itself and then going home to eat cheeseburgers and watch Netflix. I believe metal is worth believing in. Underground metal — death metal and black metal — are also the only real artistic expression of Generation X, who themselves were the children of the postwar children and those who grew up under the height of the Cold War. Metal is history, metal is philosophy, and metal is ultimately pragmatic. It is a way for people to feel the pointlessness of this modern world, its ugliness and repetitiveness, and its complete lack of soul, and the empathic tension of billions of people locked in existential misery and too afraid to admit they want out; when they feel it, it galvanizes them to act instead of hiding behind ego-drama and underconfidence. Metal takes children who feel defeated by their suburbs, their dysfunctional families, the broken nature of the adult world, the failure of history, the complete crassness of consumer society and the utter inability to have values of a pluralistic industrial world, and gives them instead of a view of life from outside that narrow intellectual ghetto. It liberates us not by “equality,” but by adventure. Metal is life. It has things to teach us that have barely been explored. Also, it’s killer music.
Interview with Vijay "SHEEP ANUS NOW" Prozak
Some good stuff on why metal's metal, the founding of ANUS, etc. Probably only useful if you're bored, drunk and pooping.