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Literary influences on metal

Literary influences on metal
December 07, 2009, 12:10:41 AM
I know the subject has been discussed before on this board, but a quick browse of older topics didn't bring up any threads specifically dedicated to it. Metalheads read a lot of the same stuff. Here are two writers that should be obvious:

* J.R.R. Tolkien
* H.P. Lovecraft

The former's influence can be seen in band names like Gorgoroth, Uruk-Hai, Ohtar, and Isengard while lyrically and thematically, he has influenced bands like Summoning and Burzum (also a somewhat indirect name reference). The latter has influenced artists like Morbid Angel, Therion, and Samael, as well as even the most mainstream of all, Metallica; there are also tons of bands out there with names like "Cthulhu" and "Shoggoth."

I've noticed that Tolkien gets a warm reception from both power metal and black metal while Lovecraft seems to be beloved mainly by death metal. Tolkien's stories are the closest thing the West has to a modern mythology and I think power metal bands use them for cheesy heroic effect while black metal bands (usually) use them for their emphasis on a pre-industrial (and fundamentally anti-liberal) world. Lovecraft, on the other hand, was the master of indescribable horror removed from morality; entities and concepts outside of humanity's normal frame of reference are right at home with death metal.

At the risk of turning into this, who are some other fiction writers that have had a direct and perceivable influence on the development of metal and why?

Re: Literary influences on metal
December 07, 2009, 04:58:44 PM
Spotted in the wild through similar topics or direct reference:

* William Blake
* John Milton
* Samuel Taylor Coleridge
* Edgar Allen Poe
* Bram Stoker
* Mary Shelley

I also see a fair amount of Burroughs references.

In addition, there's traditional stuff like the Eddas and for some bands (Rudra), the Mahabarata and other texts.

Re: Literary influences on metal
December 26, 2009, 05:58:27 PM
Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard?

Two of the big ones for me!

Also a lot of science fiction. Voivod is like Asimov's Foundation series meets the apocalyptic visions of Blade Runner and Neuromancer.

Same influences on the movie Repo Man.

Speaking of movies, T.S. Eliot and Joseph Conrad also fit in.

Re: Literary influences on metal
December 26, 2009, 10:19:05 PM
Robert E. Howard is the biggest one for me. Every Conan story just screams metal.

Can't forget Herman Melville either. His short story Barnaby the Scrivener is ridden with nihilism in a hopeless world, and in Moby Dick there's too many metal concepts to name.

Re: Literary influences on metal
December 26, 2009, 11:30:58 PM
Andre Norton ?


Re: Literary influences on metal
December 27, 2009, 06:41:50 PM
Going back to more direct references, Dante Alighieri is up there with Lovecraft, Milton and Stoker.

Re: Literary influences on metal
January 03, 2010, 09:02:24 PM
A glance on this lists of authors: romanticism and pop culture (fantasy and SF), all of them being very appealing to teenagers.

Re: Literary influences on metal
January 08, 2010, 10:35:12 PM
Celine's influence was indirect, through the Doors, but most metal bands seem to tolerate or like The Doors.

Re: Literary influences on metal
January 09, 2010, 12:12:35 AM
I'd argue that there's a strong correspondence between literary postmodernism (Pynchon, DeLillo, Eco, and Neal Stephenson, in particular) and death and black metal.  You see similar thematic concerns, a "paranoid style," deliberate obscurantism, an abiding sense of alienation from Modern society and its myths, an apocalyptic tone and a sense that violence is both fundamental to life and a purifying force which strips away artifice to reveal, if not direct "truth" than at least a truer reflection of nature and reality.  You see structural similarities as well, the use of non-linear narrative, a relatively complex artistic "lexicon" that slowly decodes itself over the course of a given work and a structural sensibility that prizes depth and completeness of vision over accessibility and initial clarity.

I mean, what is the implication of White Noise if it isn't the idea that, "Only death is real"?

Re: Literary influences on metal
January 11, 2010, 07:59:04 AM
@Dylar

Correspondence is not influence. I'm pretty sure for example that no genre defining black metal artist went into those authors for themes.
But there may be similarities.

... and "white noise" is not metal. Maybe the similarities you seek are to be found in noise/avantgarde scene.


Re: Literary influences on metal
January 11, 2010, 01:34:29 PM
...all of them being very appealing to teenagers.

are you trying to say something?  please articulate it.


Re: Literary influences on metal
January 11, 2010, 01:39:35 PM
...all of them being very appealing to teenagers.

are you trying to say something?  please articulate it.



or you're gonna smack me? :))

.. as metal music's largest audience is made of teenagers and young people also it seams the literary influences on metal follows this "rule".

Re: Literary influences on metal
January 11, 2010, 01:49:34 PM
...all of them being very appealing to teenagers.

are you trying to say something?  please articulate it.



or you're gonna smack me? :))

.. as metal music's largest audience is made of teenagers and young people also it seams the literary influences on metal follows this "rule".


Romantic literature's largest audience is teenagers and young people?  that's quite the claim!

Re: Literary influences on metal
January 11, 2010, 04:15:06 PM
Jack London

Quote
Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean toward each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness - a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozenhearted Northland Wild.

Re: Literary influences on metal
January 11, 2010, 05:50:30 PM
@Dylar

Correspondence is not influence. I'm pretty sure for example that no genre defining black metal artist went into those authors for themes.
But there may be similarities.

... and "white noise" is not metal. Maybe the similarities you seek are to be found in noise/avantgarde scene.



White Noise is a novel.