Nihilism as has been popularly portrayed in punk music is passive nihilism, which is fatalism trying to disguise itself as something other than a personal disposition. In other words: nothing is of any value, so nothing is worthy of pursuit. This is not the idea of nihilism that is defined by the ANUS website as the more explicative definition of the term nihilism, and I say more explicative because the ANUSian definition of nihilism cannot be easily confused with fatalism. The only definition of nihilism the website provides is that the universe has no inherent values. Think about that for a moment; some values that human beings take for granted as inherent go far beyond religious values, but extend to things like the absolute good of the accrual of greater amount of resources provided by scientific research, the indisputable value of human life, and the categorizing of anything painful to the human experience as absolutely negative or a "problem" of reality. If we examine the universe, and not through the lens of "how does this play into my desire to achieve this or that", then we can easily see that nothing has an absolute value, because it does create a result that can be measured as "good" or "bad" in every single instance that it is interacted with.
Indeed, this clears up exactly what is meant by nihilism in the ANUS context. As an individualist though, I address the issue of a universal truth by equating it with my perception. Every instance that I am sentient, I experience existence through one lens. This lens is inescapable, the only thing I know to be true for sure. I do not necessarily believe there is an objective reality. I would imagine others have there own subjective realities, but since I can never experience them, I focus on my own. This does not mean I become a sociopath, hedonist, or non-theistic Satanist of some sort concerned only with his own pleasure; I have a personality that takes pleasure in watching those who are good in an apparent state of joy, and those who are bad in an apparent state of suffering. Good and bad are determined by myself, and this is not arrogant since I do not expect others to see themselves in any less of a state of judgment (if they judge differently, then prepare for battle), and I balance out my will to see justice with my hedonistic personal desires and seven deadly sins; I believe balance is pivotal, for me as an individual, to get what I want most out of life.
Even nihilism as defined by ANUS doesn't sit so well with me as a metal philosophy. I think a metalhead should be able to raise his fist in the air and say "I know that brotherhood and unity, truth and justice, and rocking as hard as you can is the best way to live; these are values that are absolutely true and good. If you disagree, then we might just meet in war." I do not like wishy washy there-is-no-absolute-right-and-wrong. I think metal gives off a stronger aura than that.
This leaves INFINITE space open for the interpretation of reality not as something we use only as an ends to alleviate our pain, which a nihilistic viewpoint realizes is only a human conception, but as something we can create, through a form of romanticism, into something worth living for. The website does advocate the idea of metal as romanticism, and very earnestly so. Metal is not meant to prove anything, like the worthlessness of pursuing anything because of the worthlessness of existence, that would be against a nihilistic perspective as defined by the website. Metal creates an experience, and through the value of that experience itself does one come to an appreciation of it. The removal of bias to pursue any means necessary to make existence worthwhile not in just the alleviation of pain, which eventually creates world-weariness, or weariness of the battle to alleviate pain, but worthwhile in the sense that it is a powerful, epic experience, much like those swords and sorcery books you like the influence of in metal so much, IS nihilism as supported by the website. The website feels that death and black metal, because the song-structure of these genres tends to be more epic and narrative, and tends to attempt the communication of experience without a moral "point" in the most vivid methods possible, is the height of this desire of removing personal bias to begin to worship the real, and not just gloomily accept it like a punk. The website also celebrates heavy metal groups that created the foundations for this sentiment, but I think it only finds them less communicative than death and black metal on the grounds that sometimes heavy metal can be little more than some slightly discursive verse-chorus songs with only the lyrical subject matter pointing towards something epic. This sort of creates the utilirianist idea that as long as you write lyrics about big battles, warriors, and being powerful that you must communicate the spirit of metal, and so it makes it possible for any band to make that sort of music and feel accomplished, instead of feeling accomplished for putting immense effort into a song that breathes that epic nature through the melodies and the placement of melodies itself. That shirking away from accomplishment in preference for "as long as you got songs about warriors, you're in" attitude, is NOT very metal, wouldn't you agree?
I define metal by its texture and riffing style, not necessarily by its lyrics. If a hiphop band sings about warriors, it is still not going to be metal, because sonically it just is not. What makes heavy metal special to me is that the music matches up perfectly with the atmosphere and attitude created by the lyrics. They go hand-in-hand. The verse-chorus format is one of my favorite song structures, a tradition that has stood the test of time for the reason that it best communicates anthemic feelings. A lot of times, heavy metal is a very simplistic art form, capturing raw human emotions in their natural state, celebrating their nostalgia for age-old traditions alongside rebellion and individuality; it warps the orthodox instead of creating a new one. That being said, I also love epic songs that take me on a journey, but life isn't about journeys. I like music that reflects my life, my feelings, and my fantasies; while I may go on journeys now and then, if all my music were a journey I would fail to celebrate myself in my entirety. A significant portion of my life consists of hanging out with friends, going to work, going to university, a party here and a camping trip there, and satiating natural human urges of hunger, thirst, lust, greed, and relaxation. Some of these things are far from journeys; they are the tedious, mundane, or at the very least formulaic ordeals of daily life, and I want art to be able to take snapshots of this. Epic song structures would be very inappropriate for this. Even epic lyrics would not work, which is why only some of the metal I listen to deals with it, although it is amongst my personal favorite subjects and takes up a huge chunk of my listening pleasure.
A lot of the heavy metal I listen to is not just sword and sorcery, but also as I said, denim and leather. They sing about falling in love and breaking up, riding down the highway, having sex or drinking a beer, etc. It is certainly not all epic, or a journey; still, it is exactly what I view as the pure, true metal spirit that is completely unadulterated.
Perhaps the ANUS philosophy is a hybrid of metallic romanticism with punkish "pseudo-nihilism" or fatalism (however you think of it). What I am confident in is that it is not the same as my philosophy, or the philosophy of heavy metal and its creators. I have seen ANUS be critical of rock music, which is absurd to me, because I am proud to shout out heavy metal as the greatest of all rock genres. There is a reason why so many metal bands sing about rocking out; how do you people want to distance yourselves from our respectable rock-and-roller ancestors who created us? Heavy metal is an amped up Little Richard song, to paraphrase Lemmy of Motorhead; that is a great compliment, because heavy metal amplifies the original rebellion and will to power of rock and roll and takes it a step further. It also, in addition, branches off into new and exciting grounds that ignite my wanderlust.