From one of my favorite blogs, in the intersection between Men’s Feminism (sorry… men’s rights), right-wing futurist politics, and social mockery:
Metal is the modern music genre that is closest to classical music, capturing feelings of vastness, romanticism, and heroism that other genres simply don’t have. More importantly, metal is music with purpose. It’s music with a defined philosophy, an end goal, and a reason for existing – the exact opposite of pretentious avant-garde tunes that appropriate symbols, sounds and names for no other reason than to be “creative,” or because they’re “ironic”:
There are superficial reasons why metal compares so much to medieval music, to do with the lineage of the musical language it uses (metal started when Sabbath starting imitating horror movie music clichés – which themselves relied on a lot of ‘medievally’ sounding devices, because they sound ‘creepy’ to modern ears). More fundamentally, metal shares a dark but reverent worldview and mythic/allegoric way of describing life which is much more at home in the ancient world than it is modernity.
Metal’s sense of purpose makes it incomprehensible to superficial thinkers like hipsters, which is why when they try to make metal music, the results are beyond godawful.
Black metal first started in Norway in the late 80′s and early 90′s, roughly around the same time that new musical strains of youth in revolt were catching on in the U.S. The same era that gave us the misanthropic howls of Burzum and Mayhem also gave us Nirvana’s existential angst, Guns ‘N Roses’ violent machismo, and N.W.A.’s aggressive black ghetto pride. It was another great youth upheaval, not as big as the 60′s but still prominent in its own right. What’s the thin red thread connecting Kurt Cobain, Ice Cube and Varg Vikernes, and why isn’t black metal mentioned in the same breath as grunge and gangsta rap?
Answer – all these musical genres were pioneered by Generation X, the first generation to grow up in a world dominated by feminism, multiculturalism, consumerism and all the other lovely byproducts of the sixties. Feminism automatically made anyone with a Y chromosome an enemy of the state, tearing apart families and turning black America into a matriarchal hellhole, and anti-racism and multiculturalism made white men doubly marked for execution. Meanwhile, anything that was left of native American or Western culture was being crowded out by the consumerist cancer, its race to the bottom fostering nothing but cheap pop tunes, stupid movies and advertising. Gen X was born with one foot in the old world and the other in the new, giving them an acute sense that something was wrong with the world. Cobain’s singing about the pointlessness of life and Ice Cube’s rapping about getting revenge on the po-lice sprang from the same source – alienation from American society.
The same spirit of alienation fueled the birth of black metal, doubled in intensity because of the conformist nature of the society from which it sprang. We’re talking about Norway here, one of those Scandinavian countries that idiot liberals love to praise. “Oh yah, those Norwegians and Danes and Swedes are so happy. They’ve got paid daycare for working moms and they selflessly bring in hordes of refugees from the third world to give them better lives and they’re SO forward-thinking when it comes to women’s rights. How could anyone not love all that?” But while American GenXers were content to remain aimlessly raging against the Man, black metal musicians formulated an actual philosophy beyond fatalistic whining, and actually took steps to implement this philosophy. And thus, the people who claimed to be on the side of the “yoof” turned against an actual youth movement that rejected everything they held dear. – IMF
Black metal was the only outpouring of artistic or philosophical spirit in Generation X.
Everything else was a repeat of the past (Nirvana) or co-opted by commercial society, “canned rebellion” for teenagers thinking only of themselves and not about the consequences of their actions (all rap, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Ministry).
If the answer were as simple as repeat what the hippies endorsed in 1968, kids, we’d be there by now.
Instead, black metal went to the core of conservatism — a conservation of culture, heritage, and natural environment, for the purpose of giving meaning to the individual through participation in a abstract yet realistic ongoing goal.
Liberalism offers more direct participation, in individualism. You, by being a brave individual, do your own thing — like everyone else. As it turns out, there aren’t many different things to do, so you end up a job-enslaved media sheep like the rest. But at least you were able to raise your fist for — what? feminism, civil rights, the oppressed, gay rights; heck, anything not really related to changing the course of history and humanity’s future.
Generation X grew up in the old America. We saw what 1950s-1970s America was like: somewhat boring, but honest.
Post-1968, America turned toward liberalism of the hippie type. Everything fell apart. The Glorious People’s Revolution turned out to have boring, Soviet-like consequences: cities of uniform blocks, jobs of slavery to incompetents, a failing government, an official dogma (of diversity, equality and democracy) that doesn’t work in reality, and thus a system eating itself out from within.
The same people did it, in France, Russia and the USA. No, I don’t mean a specific ethnic group from the middle east — if only life were so easy and brainless (though they always make enemies for their high participation rate). I mean the Crowd. The underconfident, dumb but not stupid, clever but not smart, stuck in the middle and raging egomaniacs. They’re damaged by broken homes, confused by a world where they are not God, and they want to rage and make an official announcement that we are all equal, so that the rest of us must respect them instead of casting them aside like the nobodies they are.
Hipsters are the same phenomenon. Boring-ass normal people decide to be egodramatic, get some social attention, and use socialization as an alternate path around reality itself. Politics can be used to the same end, as can money. But at the end of the day, you are your character, and being a hipster does nothing for that.
Black metal was a drift back to reality, as was death metal (“Only Death is True”). They cut through the fantasy world of a modern time and forced us all to wake up for a few moments. It’s important not to let that legacy die.