Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives

Heavy Metal Music, Culture and Philosophy FAQ (Metal as Concept 3/3 )

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Schools ]
Archive-name: heavy-metal/metal-as-concept-3
Posting-frequency: semimonthly
Last-Modified: 16-Mar-2006

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
      2.3.2 Influences

         In addition to having core tenets of belief, metal also has a
         long heritage of influences whose ideas or responses to the
         same have provided foundational, contextual material
         regarding the time and space of the genre's evolution

            Ideologies are united by a belief in the human ability to
            better its existence, and an understated logicality in
            which some form of rationalism is needed for coherence
            with the collective.


               Can be summed up easily with the idea that a systematic
               process of logical thought will provide the germinal
               material for a practical solution or creative
               contribution even in a lawless and chaotic natural
               context. Looming out of the advancements in theory of
               Europe after the Renaissance, Rationalism was a
               restatement of a historically consistent theme in human
               thought which underscored the Scientific Method, which
               had recently be used by the same European empires to
               provide the basis for an industrial revolution.


               Anarchy, or the political state in which there is no
               leadership and the ideological state in which no
               leadership is wanted, decayed from its own politicism
               and the inherent materialist, power-control structure
               to politics. Fading at the same time as punk rock,
               anarchist culture produced believers in autonomism, a
               philosophy in which the independence of all beings is
               the highest goal, and each being is seeking a way out
               of a natural state of confusion into a
               self-definitional state after which comes greater
               freedom of intellect.


               A very alcoholic writer once summed up Existentialism
               with the simple switch, "Existence before Essence";
               however, this provides a great place to start a context
               comparison between Existentialism and the prevailing
               flavor of Utilitarian logic prevailing at the time.
               Christianity and its forefather Judaism believed in an
               inherent and inexorable logic to a world controlled
               from another system of logic by an omnipotent "god", a
               situation in which one's moral "essence" would be
               connected to one's creation off-camera by an
               omnipresence. Existentialism freed the human to admit
               a developing consciousness, and thus to self-refine
               according to where one found joy. Existentialism was
               heavily influenced by transcendentalists who in turn
               had been inspired by the Romanticists before them, and
               carried with it the revolution of philosophy in the age
               of the twilit gods: a further science of spiritual
               insight so that a wide range of individuals could
               perceive and think dissimilarly but remain unified by
               abstract logical agreements.


               The evolution of eastern religion from a caste system
               into a peaceful, self-empowering religion, Buddhism is
               an example of intense "spiritual technology" from which
               participants find an increasing clarity in perception
               and valuation. Among its many core concepts are the
               ideas of meditative calm, enhanced perception,
               ego-reduction, self-abstraction and parallel views of


               Classicism is a study and belief in the older
               civilizations in the western world such as the Romans,
               Greeks, Scandinavians, Sumerians and Egyptians, all of
               whom had legal systems, some technology, learning, and
               a lack of morality in their belief structures. Their
               gods were personalities who represented recombinant
               elements in nature, combining in stories which
               displayed a patterning of the troubled souls of ancient
               peoples. These societies perished, some might say,
               from their own success: they got large without the
               ability to control that largeness, and so relapsed into
               anarchy and death.


               Structuralist philosophies have existed for some time
               but a recent resurgence came after the logical
               rejection in Dada and other collagist philosophies
               which sought to eliminate a meaning not inherent in
               life through a randomness calibrated to defeat
               intellectual analysis. Structuralism is an evolution
               of Rationalism to the next level, in a technological
               age where any problem is a design issue, to be solved
               by changing the structure of the object(s) or
               process(es) based on logical deductions and
               corresponding creative outpouring.


               Transcendentalist thought has been part of many
               philosophies and will hopefully never go away, because
               it's a positive and universal view of life. Such
               scientific mystics as Emerson who found a deeply
               personal connection to nature and a complex beauty in
               the larger system of life established Transcendentalism
               as an idea in art and philosophy, but transcendentalist
               ideals are also common to Buddhism, Romanticism and
               Existential thought.

            As influential as ideologies were and are, they often
            consist of choices made in thoughtful response to the
            ideas presented by any number of writers or thinkers or
            performers. Hence this listing.

    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

               Born into a religious family, young Nietzsche showed a
               gift for scholarship and became successful enough that,
               by his early twenties, he held a professorship at a
               prestigious university teaching philology, or the study
               of the evolution of meaning through language, and
               ancient Greek tragedic theatre. Over the course of the
               next thirty years he bashed out multiple treatises on
               philosophy which were innovative, forceful, articulate,
               artistic and honest, granting them eventual approval
               with a worldwide audience.

               Nietzsche's philosophies centered around existential
               valuation, objectivism, and freedom from the mental
               weakness of morality as expressed in Judaism and
               Christianity. His works as a result promoted the
               predator over the prey, rejected pity and guilt, and
               affirmed a physical existential experience as a
               fundamental anchor of the self to world. To this day
               he is not widely understood, and his works are known
               for having inaugurated in the postmodern era, a
               humanity after facing the stark naked empty reality of
               its existence.

   Immanuel Kant

               A strict and diligent philosopher, Kant was nonetheless
               marked by the inconsistency and often evasion of his
               thought; led by the developing ideas he had toward
               certain conclusions, he would equivocate where they
               conflicted with fundamental ideals of his Christianity,
               leading to some "hypothetical" conclusions used to wrap
               up the whole of his philosophy. That aside, Kant laid
               down the first epistemological view of modern
               philosophy and build a core structure of philosophical
               concepts and the boundaries of knowledge which remains
               useful today. His work in technical philosophy,
               especially moral philosophy, enabled him to clearly
               define the lines which would become battlefields in the
               future of 20th century philosophy. His importance to
               metal musicians comes mostly through his identification
               of the "perceptual filter," or a mask of association
               through memory which we as thinking beings use to
               reduce the complexity of external reality through
               tokenization. As metal journeys further into the
               postmodern, the model of strict consciousness which
               Kant developed becomes more and more useful in
               deconstructing reaction to limitless chaos.

   J.R.R. Tolkien

               John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was a professor of the
               English language at Oxford during the first half of the
               twentieth century, infusing his fascination with
               Germanic themes of honor and ancient mythology into a
               fantasy series involving a "middle earth" where magic
               and science were one. His works, which emphasized the
               journey over the end result, and a sense of personal
               integrity over external morality, are the third most
               popular cause of Hessianism, after Dungeons & Dragons
               and marijuana.

   Jim Morrison

               James Douglas Morrison was born to a father who was an
               Admiral in the U.S. Navy, served under a classicist
               society of the 1950s, and came into his own at film
               school in the early to middle 1960s in Los Angeles,
               California. His subsequent project, the Doors, became
               the first truly dark rock n roll/pop band and laid down
               many thematic and musical paradigms metal bands would
               later reference in their innovation.

   Adolf Hitler

               Like this man needs a biographical sketch - everyone
               knows the name "Hitler" and most are heavily
               indoctrinated to fear it, although few - even his
               celebrators - understand much of his philosophy. As an
               articulate and intelligent youth in Austria of the late
               1800s, Hitler declared his will to become an artist and
               set forth to become such, surviving rejection from
               various schools and eventually, from the monetary
               machine that was society. Lingering in the city where
               he had found himself first on that path, Hitler as an
               offshoot of his learning process became involved in
               politics, in which he cofounded the most extreme party
               ever to be popular in a European nation: the National
               Socialist Democractic Worker's Party, or NSDAP. His
               philosophies rested on a concept of fulfillment of
               will, finding meaning beyond nothingness, and an
               absolute sense of love for environment, history, and
               self. Even after the long-fought and bloody defeat of
               the German nation and Hitler's subsequent suicide and
               cremation, his legend lives on in several thousand
               National Socialist movements active worldwide, as well
               as in recent metal bands.

               Metal bands paying tribute (but not necessarily
               allegiance) to Hitler through use of symbols, lyrics
               and/or public statements:


               Metal bands identifying themselves as National

                  Legion of Doom

               This covers the "classic" era of black metal. For more
               information on Nazi metal bands, try:

                     Site devoted to Nazi metal.

                     Site devoted to hating Nazi metal.

   William S. Burroughs

               The infamous writer of "Naked Lunch," William S.
               Burroughs, is known as much for his heroin addiction as
               for his contributions to literature, including what
               might be called the first truly postmodern novel in
               "Naked Lunch."  However, his contributions were vast,
               starting with his "cut up" style of literature which
               would weave a complexity of connections between
               granular sections of text randomly recontextualized in
               a chronological narrative. The philosophies of
               individual freedom, control, darkness and politics
               contained within "Naked Lunch" and subsequent works
               ("The Nova Express","The Ticket that Exploded","Cities
               of the Red Night") provided an unfathomably
               universalist basis to metallion rejection of authority,
               conformity, and materialist aesthetics.

   William Blake

               One of the first transcendental poets to articulate his
               ideas in a structured metaphorology designed to
               transcend the calcification of Christianity, Blake
               spoke of sensual and intellectual excess as salvation
               for the soul and invented a form of morality based in
               joy which used its romanticism as a basis for its
               respect and fascination with life. Blake's detailed
               exposures of human reason and fear at its most primal
               and yet most symbolologic delivered a scientific
               mysticism to those who came after him (including Jim
               Morrison and William S Burroughs!) a shadow in which
               motion was possible, a darkness which mostly concealed
               a limitless beauty of freedom.

   Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft

               Writer of horror and other imaginative tales, the lurid
               and detail-oriented Poe captured complete control of
               the attention of his readers through shaped,
               articulated and very controlled words. Similarly,
               Lovecraft developed mythologies from simple brutality
               and built a spiritual structure of a phenomenology of
               evil from the myths of Ancient Sumeria combined with
               his perceptions of pre-religious darkness and fear.
               Together these writers contributed much of the basis of
               gore and horror and adventure in fantasy that pervades
               metal in the current time.

   Ralph Waldo Emerson

               An American thinker and writer, R.W. Emerson remains
               most famous for his philosophies surrounding
               transcendentalism, or the belief that one can overcome
               limitations and error in life through enlightened,
               spiritual, meta-conscious thinking. He asserted that
               redemption could be found only in one's own soul and
               intuition, and encouraged those who were inspired by
               his words to turn back toward nature and introspection
               instead of relying on an increasingly externalized

   John Milton

               An English minister and poet, John Milton conceived and
               wrote the epic poem, "Paradise Lost," in which Satan is
               portrayed as a beautiful angel who rejects servitude in
               heaven and is exiled in flame, only to learn how to
               love the barren but self-decisional realm of Hell.


               Historical list of bands important to ideological
               development of the genre as a whole, and why they were

               - Black Sabbath
               - Iron Maiden
               - Judas Priest
               - Motorhead
               - Metallica
               - Hellhammer
               - Bathory
               - Slayer
               - Morbid Angel
               - Suffocation
               - Entombed
               - Darkthrone
               - Burzum

            Starting in the late 40s American society slowly began to
            fragment after the pragmatism of focus on supremacy that
            had been the war effort which made the country a
            superpower had worn itself down in the contradiction of
            positivity and planning for nuclear warfare. Partially
            because of the intense political polarization along lines
            of materialistic duality (capitalist/communist) the social
            structure had become fascist and so dissenters were
            alienated, dropout characters who had to write their own
            book of survival.


               As Black Sabbath grew into what it would be the hippie
               movement was carrying through the aftermotions of
               flowering in order to fully sell out, having peaked at
               perhaps a 1967-68 frame in which it expressed its
               ideology and desires. Hippies were hedonistic,
               semi-naturalist, anti-material-value, open to dynamic
               or chaotic action and peaceful/stoned as a collective
               character trait.


               In the late 50s and early 60s as American culture
               ground itself further into commercial uniformity and
               categorical boundariededness another subculture grew up
               which addressed the existential loss of American
               culture with am embrace of the impermanent, the
               powerless, the divinely mundane, in an effort to spread
               the word of value in life. Their fascination with the
               distorted, macabre and placeless, drifting existence
               which metaphorizes the modern lack of groundedness
               expressed a subconscious fear of the times which would
               precipitate coming social unrest.


               As far as everyone can tell a universal culture, bikers
               are the Gypsys of the industrial age with a nomadic
               existence outside of economic planning and therefore
               responsibility and reactivity. The party keeps rolling
               and the nihilism of the road is welcomed as it keeps
               all things from having meaning and a debt associated
               with their maintenance.


               Punk culture rebelled against the status quo with a
               total rejection of value and a nihilistic embrace of
               all that is worthless or destructive. It rejected
               materialism with a pragmatism of homelessness. A sense
               of romanticism founded a wandering nihilism, a violent
               pointlessness and a refusal to accept anything at face
               value. Since it had been taken to such extremes, it
               had become a characterizable appearance and sound which
               was soon cloned, promoted, budgeted, destroyed.

   Horror Films

               The genre of horror films, despite on its commercial
               end having some of the stupidest material ever produced
               on celluloid calling it home, also communicates deeply
               with the unconscious mind through imagery of possession
               and entrapment by an unidentifiable but pervasive evil.
               Its description of evil, and its portrayal of human
               panic in reaction to it, won the horror film genre a
               place in the hearts of many Hessians.


               No study of counterculture is complete without drug
               culture, which by its absence of any fundamental
               ideology guarantees its perpetuation through
               generations of thought and flesh, to illustrate how
               power and authority move through a simple model of
               supply and demand. We can blame W.S. Burroughs and
               Aldous Huxley for this. Once again, however, a
               metaphorology of connections between the physical and
               the mental.


               Extreme thought of all kinds has left an impression on
               metal intellectuals, but none have had quite the
               enduring effect or effective symbology of fascism,
               especially the subset emerging in the emerging
               German-Austrian blood nation of the early 1940s. Its
               dedication to ideology, its naturalism, but most of all
               - its design sensibilities, structural fluency, and
               extreme goals - appeal to the sentiment which arises
               from seeing freedom possible in a world of people who
               would rather be trapped; from this anger arises. The
               predominant icon of self-entrapment would be
               Judeo-Christianity, the materialist philosophy behind
               western morality and law that many blame for recurring
               problems with social honesty and self-articulation.

               The average person is degenerated by the same
               Judeo-Christianity leaving him incapable of reasoning
               on a higher level at all. If anybody talks bad about
               the Jews, our world's prejudiced sub-humanity
               automatically stamp him as the "Nazi-scum" or a
               "prejudiced-fuck" and a "racist." The average person
               does not even realize what the Jews are up to. Simply
               read the bible (2 Mos 19:5, 5 Mos 6:10-19; 1-3,
               16-24;20:10-17) and see for yourselves. What is more
               racial than to claim to be "God's chosen people"? So
               who is the real racists?  
                  - Varg Vikernes,

      2.3.4 Methods

         What differentiates art from most normal forms of
         communication is that art is not a referential causality
         structure but a disconnected, purely abstract form of
         expression in which reality is left as interpretation and
         knowledge of the reader. It is a form of immortality not for
         the author but for the experiential language with which it
         expresses its time, place, and transcendence thereof. Some
         argue that art can possibly be dogmatic, but for that to
         occur, art loses its elegance as a metaphor and becomes a
         command, which inevitably boils it down to someone telling
         someone else "to be" something. Control. Art is
         anti-control. Throughout the ages it has led the evolution
         of society with visions of new ideas that appeal more to the
         subconscious mind than the constant flow of ideas from the
         articulative/conscious mind, allowing it to transcend time
         and place and circumstance to communicate an ideal. Pure
         aesthetics leads to almost instant boredom in that it has no
         placement beyond the immediacy and thus creates a void in
         time in which amusement was achieved, rather than a transfer
         of data; this is solipsistic to both parties and results in
         an expectation of null communication, a broken connection
         rather than some new idea/creation.

            "How do you account for the vision of the man possessed on
            stage, and the man sitting before me?

            We are quite the opposite to what is personified on stage.
            Every band has it's own way of dealing with shit and if
            they play this kind of music, or even just any extreme
            music, maybe they are like that full time, maybe not. Like
            we always say, people like Rick Astley are probably the
            biggest wankers in the world.

            They probably come off stage, and wanna kill kids. With
            us, its the contrary, on stage we are executing the whole
            other persona, in regular social conditions we are pretty
            straight forward."
               - Lemmy Kilmister, Motorhead

         As much as any other form of expression has a purpose, art
         does: to communicate that which is out of range for other
         forms of known interaction. In art the surreal can be real
         and the unstated the visually unavoidable, so there is a
         tendency to explore our minds with a rendering engine of
         mnetal projection. Metal uses this projection to communicate
         a bond to existence outside of social conditioning and
         materialism, creating an ideology of freedom and chaotic
         possibility which by accepting death instills more hope than
         those who deny darkness.

         After the industrial age, we in the information age look to
         the next age, when we've as a species had some time to play
         with our new toys. In the information age, the
         highly-trained are valued; in the post-information age, the
         highly intuitive and powerfully analytic at an organic level
         are intensely valued. When machines have handled the
         mundane, pure thought will reign, if humanity does not
         suicide first.

            Metaphor is the primary expression of abstract
            communication, by demanding that the user inference a
            commonality between two events and by that, to understand
            the "device" of the metaphor: how it functions as a truth
            for a wide variety of input or context, and can take on an
            ironic meaning the closer one comes to a full expression
            of understanding its "truths": where its implication of
            correspondence between two objects events methods is an
            abstract match and there is information created by
            knowledge of the similar workings of both entities.

   metapatterning: comparing event to whole

               Metaphor expands a mundane thing into a much larger
               one, in many usages. Such a thing happens in metal,
               where some of the most mundane activities on earth -
               partying, mass slaughter - stand as metaphor for
               existential doubt and resurrection overside the void.
               These metaphors work both ways and so often in metal an
               ancient legend is a form of diagnosis for the current
               context of a work's reception. (Artists live two
               lives; before they are discovered, they are able to
               create and project, and, when they are known: when they
               address a waiting audience with an evolving concept of
               worldview and intellectual language.)

   subconscious communication

               Metaphor often "feels" right to individuals because
               what it expresses is beneath the level visible by their
               articulative mind, thus can be more complex than what
               ordinary language, visual information or sound can
               possess. The metaphorology of journeys, death, decay,
               apocalypse, winter, death, war, and genocide in metal
               are subconscious manipulations of our sense of reality
               and the future it holds.

   Post-quantitative Symbology

               The Judeo-Christian revolution in western thought
               brought with it great power because its theology and
               worldview/theodicy supported the idea of quantitative
               symbology, which worked around ages-old prohibitions on
               division of existence. However, the tradition of
               morality and character from which Judeo-Christianity
               descended is fundamentally material, and so it is no
               surprise that this foundational religious theory of
               western thought after its invasion in 1100 AD has
               supported the largest expansion in material wealth and
               mechanical structure in history. As anything ages
               however it approaches the time in which its
               foundational principles need expansion and as such this
               age is approaching for material aesthetics (morality)
               as a philosophical doctrine, with whatever replaces it
               facing a need for coherence in chaos and post-dystopic
               society. Metaphor provides an insight to this kind of
               thinking by associating a matrix of ideas with a
               central narrative as a method of explaining options and
               situational function to anyone willing to accept an
               idea and manipulate it.
 Metacognitive thinking

               The ideology and metaphorology of metal stresses a
               larger view of existence than the immediate and as such
               produces thinking about the nature of thinking as a
               means of interpreting the highly abstract.


               Romanticism in metal stresses fantasies not of the
               sexual but mythological or mystical nature, an emphasis
               on creativity through a journey whose structure is
               known. A greater metaphor is seen for existence in
               which creativity and adventurousness are the traits
               which survive the filtering of reality's demands.


               Fundamentally based in melody rather than harmony as
               most rock music is and interpreting that idea through
               multiple metacognitive
               worldviews/metaphysics/generations allows metal to
               express structure


               Since a metaphor is abstract, it must be interpreted
               personally and in context, a case in which it will
               apply objectively as it always has through a
               translation of one's application of the idea to
               circumstance. GIGO.


               To explore a metaphor, one must will to do so. It is
               not an accidental process. There are more metalbands
               with complex mythologies than one might expect; some
               highlights: Morbid Angel, Immortal, Darkthrone.


               A martial art is the study of converting energy from an
               intended percussive move to a continuous kinetic move,
               deflecting violence while tiring the opponent while
               ready to strike.

            A movement of reflection for society as it entered its
            twentieth century development phase of technological
            industrialism, a method of analysis known as postmodernism
            arose as a new style of modernism which reaffirmed
            traditional goals of rationalism, structuralism, and
            transcendental metaphysics but to this added the
            realizations of new interpretations in philosophy and
            physics (Nietzsche and Einstein) as a means of explaining
            the seeming isolation of being human when one is caught in
            a matrix of powerful information which is dead to the
            artificial arbitrary network of values society imposes for
            the sake of control. Postmodernism emphasizes an
            intergration of many different ideas into one,
            articulation of the subjective persona behind authorship,
            an aesthetic which in order to keep itself pure inverts
            itself into the unmanageable, and an emphasis on structure
            behind events rather than events themselves. Metal
            manifests this to an absurd degree with its paranoid
            obsession with the occult and the fundamental alignment of
            different personalities of power.


               The constant distortion, grittiness, and organic
               structures of death metal and black metal would appeal
               to many postmodernists, as would the comedic antics of
               exaggeratedly "evil" black metallers who are reflected
               back to their audience a mockery of evil to illustrate
               how the dichotomy is false, that there is only thought
               and chaos. Taming chaos is a mystical science, so
               mysticism is portrayed through minimalistic structures
               which shift dynamically to demonstrate a nihilistic yet
               existential worldview of exploration and growth (as
               patterns in the music modulate into structures of great

               Bands that are evidently postmodern: Morbid Angel,
               Darkthrone, Suffocation, Slayer, Demilich, Entombed,
               Hellhammer, Burzum.

               Bands that are evidently modern: Metallica, Testament,
               Exodus, DRI, COC.

               Bands that are romantics: Therion, Celtic Frost,
               Cemetary, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden.


               Structural emphasis in metal reflects a design that is
               aware of chaos and how to channel it, indicating a
               larger awareness than categorical or fixed data
               structures which deliberately finds ways to articulate
               musical ideas at more abstract, nihilistic, and
               minimalistic levels. It removes metal from the
               recombinant world of rock, based around the scale of
               fixed intervals, and allows chromatic experimentation
               for true pantonality.


               Usage of the techniques of art to new dimensions of
               nihilistic exploration, even addressing the
               relationship of art to viewer/hearer, postmodern works
               often experiment with gritty production values, strange
               or surreal tones, absurdist and extremist
               structuralism. All of these apply to metal from Slayer
               onwards; black metal and death metal owe their origin
               to this idea break, which moved metal from its
               classicist hearbroken nihilist motivations to a more
               scientific and abstract, dissonant response to the
               decay of human society into suicide.


               A pervasive doubt and feeling of human helplessness
               against the limits of perception permeated the
               atmosphere that birthed postmodernism, in which a
               morbid fascination with the conventionalized
               implications of Nietzsche had the bean-counting sheep
               of society in terror.

               He removed a structure they found reasonable, and as a
               result, the trauma resulted in much dramatics before
               postmodernists explained the more positive side of
               Nietzsche: if one understands him as a whole, not much
               has changed in his view of existence from the status
               quo, but a method of perceiving truth - a clearer one.

               His innovations, like those of the Buddhists, were
               primarily used to invent a spiritual technology for
               perceiving the nihilistic roots of a chaotic nature,
               avoiding superstition and seeking a mysticism rooted in
               the logic of existential value.

               Second-level interpretations of Nietzschean morality
               analysis, power ethics and the resulting desire for
               existential meaning can be found in such works as
               "Naked Lunch" by William S. Burroughs, Ulysses by James
               Joyce (who is arguably a modern), The Sound and the
               Fury from William Faulkner and "Hell Awaits" by Slayer
               - and all metal afterwards.


               In much the same way as its invocation of the author
               removes a barrier imposed by a media society,
               postmodernism's presence as dogma (post-dogma?
               meta-dogma?) in the active lives of its adherents
               contributes to a trickle-down effect not only through
               the politics and personal choices of that individual,
               but through the lives of others who look up to that
               individual if that individual "succeeds" in some
               appreciable way.
 Cultural individualism

            One theory of self-identity suggests that one's self
            identity should be relegated to those things literally
            which are pleasures of the earth and her diversity itself,
            but this leads to an unsettling suggestion of wholesome
            values unless you couple it with intense drug use.
            Especially in the last decade, intense culturalism has
            permeated metal, some of it celebrating the cultures now
            scorned for previous decades of nationalist activity.


               In a Hessian ideological state, identity is relegated
               to a simple statement of function that is unconnected
               to being. Most normals will say, "I am a fry cook," or
               whatever the occurrence of employment might be, but a
               Hessian would probably say, "I'm here... I was
               somewhere else, but now I'm here, and I'm thinking
               about..." in an encounter that might likely end up
               involving drug use.


               The concept of ideology as a product of individual
               differentiation, e.g. according to most psychological
               models as a level of development of personality and
               intellect, is taken for granted in the Hessian
               community. Where in mainstream society to have
               political values other than "don't rock the boat" is as
               it has been through all of history taboo, Hessians
               carry a variety of extremisms, but any Hessian who has
               been thinking about the music for a while and letting
               it get into his/her blood will see the presence of
               ideological values in the discipline, compassion and
               personal relevance of such music. It's interpretive
               artistic spirituality as culture.


               Politics are the physical incarnation of one's
               metaphysical and/or ideological structure. So one acts
               out what one feels. Extremist politics in the
               postmodern society reject society, conventional values,
               morality, and ideas of punitivism, control, authority
               and hierarchy. Most Hessian are anti-capital, but most
               are also anti-communistic. They are pro-"A really new
               way of doing things" in a world that promises new
               innovation and delivers it under the same old terms.


               Through its metaphorical and systemic qualities, metal
               is mystically inclined as much as it is by its romantic
               qualities, if not more. The connection is a pragmatic
               attitude to life as something that is beautiful not
               through mystery but experience, the evolving construct
               of information that is one's life. Such a metaphysical
               view often requires an address of spiritualism to
               explain its back-end significance, e.g. why such a
               discipline was conceived. In the age of the end of
               history, however, any source of hope is viewed
               suspiciously as spiritual, since spiritualism remains
               one of the few unquantified and hence vastly oversold
               commodities on the planet.


               With Black Sabbath, a postmodernist inversion was
               reified as the subtle contextual morbidity and paranoid
               fear of an increasingly technological society. The
               bomb - and then, computers - 1984?  Terror in the minds
               of the people at this, as transmuted through music,
               became a powerful method of channeling alienation. The
               morbidity within was expressed without, allowing the
               within to leave what was external there and to move on
               its own, creating a space of inner peace in which
               ambition could foment. Henceforth there have been
               plenty of morbid metal bands, from Hellhammer to Morbid
               Angel to Darkthrone to Ildjarn.

      2.3.5 Events Atomic bomb

   In 1945, two atomic weapons were detonated over
            large Japanese cities, ending WWII in the pacific, setting
            the stage for the evolution of human power structures
            after the war ended. The next forty-five years were a
            precarious balance between two warriors nations who fought
            only through proxy, never quite willing to invoke their
            main means of defense, the nuclear weapon. True paranoia
            sunk into a populace too patriotic to admit it, giving the
            1950s a quaint appearance to us now.
 Viet Nam

            When Black Sabbath laid down the foundations for metal in
            1969, not only was the world still at nuclear standoff but
            also, the war in Viet Nam was going badly for the
            Amerikans. Instability was present but not discussed as
            to do so was to undermine the war effort which had never
            ended. For some, the corporate thematics to the execution
            and bureaucratic nature of the war in Viet Nam raised the
            disturbing notion that underneath the "reasons why" for
            the war which people acknowledged at a surface level of
            social interaction, there was an insidious, materialistic
            truth. In 1972, Thomas Pynchon wrote a book called
            "Gravity's Rainbow" centered around this idea.

            A return to the righteousness of the 1950s, in which a
            justification of threat had been replaced by
            ultrasimplification of politics in which material ethics
            prevailed over ideology which was by its nature perverse,
            since it did not accept the bounty of material as its
            ideological goal. This was probably the most destructive
            period in American history: when she highjacked her own
            standards to push brutally forward in a political struggle
            with no clear outcome. However, the social changes
            brought about in this era were, like everything else in
            the 1980s, a trend and so they flitted through the
            viewfinder of history for several seconds before being
            replaced by the newest morph.
 End of Cold War

            After the cold war ended, a great relief permeated the
            period of instability following the interruption of the
            balance of hegemony while inside itself, the politicized
            portion of western thought forgot about most foreign
            policy decisions. The warfront excess flooded society and
            soon social control turned inward during an inreasing war
            on drugs and a paranoid age of technological integration
            of citizenship information. However, the main delineation
            for this period is the vast apathy. There is nothing left
            to prove, or do. We're out of the hot water but we're
            still insane. So the greatest tension here is the entropy
            of humanity slowing down for death.

            When the Internet connected the world, what we saw was
            that technology was making our lives remarkably similar in
            different parts of the world. The unification of
            information also gave one a greater view of the human
            behavioral spectrum as a whole, revealing some of the
            greatest insanity. Also, the Internet is living proof of
            the postmodern theory of subtext, since the faceplate
            always talks about customer service but the reality is
            that everyone wants to download porn discretely.

            The coming of hte millenial change has forced neurosis
            into apathy, creating a tension of unreality as the date
            hovers near. Mass destruction fear is our public terror,
            but our private fear is that it will not occur - thus
            dooming us to the same apathetic existence we have known
            in the presence of technology, where all basic problems
            are solved and the consequent need for further space has
            us feeding on ourselves. This illusionary cycle weighs
            heavily on our minds as the guilt of our lack of
            achievement weighs heavily at the second millenium marker.

   2.4 Applicability

      "And so what the hell does any of this have to do with
      anything?"  Well I'll tell ya. Subculture is important, because
      originally it was the resistance to a dominant attitude that
      determined reality through the expectancy in the human factors
      at all levels, and because as Amerikan advertising agencies have
      increasing pitched the hipness of the subculture, subculture
      itself has moved away because of its ideological separation from
      the main culture. In the age of ideas, we're seeing a
      philosophical split and in the case of metal, a consistent one,
      which makes it worth observing.

      2.4.1 Musically

         The influence of metal mainly spread to rock music, where its
         techniques and tones are being practiced in other packaging.
 Heavy music

            The principles of detuning and using low E power chords
            have made it into maistream music, a Black Sabbath
            innovation worn into mainstream culture by countless doom
            and speed metal bands.

            The sense of melody, and the breakdown of melody into
            technologically specialized pieces, is something shared
            between metal music and ambient/electronica, and
            psychedelic music shares with metal its epic structures
            and demanding melodic regimen.
 Experimental violent

            The rhythms and power chord geometries of metal have
            fascinated many experimental musicians who have used them
            to create extreme influences in varying genres.

            The basic model patterns of grunge are based on the work
            of Black Sabbath in re-arranging the pentatonic scale for
            their own usage.

      2.4.2 Aesthetically

            In the abstract, aesthetics have as a whole been
            influenced by the ideas in metal: distortion, dirt,
            ambiguity, nihilism. Other systems of people were at work
            on similar ideas as well, but this area is where metal,
            through its network of fans from whom the intelligent are
            often successful, distributed valuable information and

            The abraded or washed-out textures of jeans in the 80s
            were a precursor to the higher-grade graphics of the next
            generation, where worn-out or grainy, gritty surfaces were
            part of the aesthetic that inverted the conditions of its
            own slick, context-less appearance.

            The dynamicism inherent in the presence of metal, and its
            structural coherence, demonstrate a stark or shocking
            aesthetic which also is at work with current designers of
            visual media.

            When an aesthetic seeks to outdo itself, it goes to the
            next level: intense structuralism, which such as the kind
            used in metal can be used to create a vaster depth of
            emotional connection through its literality and
            universality. Metal's structuralism has influenced radio
            rock in the 90s more than any other attribute of any other

         2.4.3 Philosophically

            Philosophically metal has been the only major underground
            movement to tackle a technical philosophy of existence and
            spirituality, and has contributed through its public image
            an association with hedonism and spirited off-the-cuff


               The excesses of metal players and fans are well known,
               spreading the virus of divisiveness between drug takers
               and others.


               The cold-eyed stare with which metal reduces the
               negative or ambiguous in life to null or little value
               gives it the same epic power as the raw literality of
               its characters during a journey.


               The daring Romeo and Juliet style rapiership with the
               darkness of reality and its intensity gives metal a
               powerful Romantic background.


               Politically more people are electing to follow metal
               lifestyles, meaning that fewer moral and more logical
               decisions are going into politics.

   evil mysticism

               As the public forefront of popular culture's
               fascination with evil, metal music is almost an ikon
               for Satan himself.

               People often ask why metal is fascinated with evil and
               has been since its inception in Black Sabbath, who were
               formed partially to enable their occult beliefs a
               forum. The answers perhaps lie in the definitions of
               romanticism and nihilism coming together for a dark but
               empowering worldwide: as if inspired by Dionysius, the
               crafty god of wine of the Greek era, or by Fenris, the
               wolf of apocalypse of the Norse, metal bands have
               rejected order in favor of chaos and hedonism. The
               hedonism is explainable to the materialistic
               parametrics of nihilism combined with the passion and
               life-seeking sensuality of romanticism, and the chaos
               is the midnight tempest which buffets away the weak and
               encourages autonomy and independent direction in those
               who would survive. Humanity's path toward apocalypse
               has made even more trenchant these views, and
               consequently varying interpretations of evil exist in
               metal today.

               Some have even taken this farther, to associate the
               Bacchus/Dionysius spirit of mind with its Nietzschean
               metaphor of the brave, independent, and analytical yet
               impassioned artist struggling in a world of sleepers.
               I have said too much and will leave it there.

               "Watch as flowers decay
               On cryptic life that died
               The wisdom of the wizards
               Is only a neurtured lie
               Black knights of Hell's domain
               Walk upon the dead
               Satanas sits upon
               The blood on which he feeds"
                  - Slayer, "Die by the Sword" (Show No Mercy)


                  To discuss the topic as briefly as possible,
                  several  popular types of satanists and their
                  beliefs include:

                   - LaVey satanists: They use The_Satanic_Bible
                   as an inspiration or basis for their belief system,
                   which is closely related to humanism. They do not
                   necessarily believe in the existance of
                   supernatural figures, including god and satan, and
                   believe that worshipping these imaginary figures
                   does no good and is degrading.

                   A good reference on this Satanism is
                   The_Satanic_Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey.

                   - "Hollywood" Satanists: This group uses a
                   combination of the name Satan, Satanic worship,
                   Satanic rituals, and Satanic references to shock
                   and offend those who buy into the "Satan is evil"
                   that mainstream groups/cults have propagated. They
                   often are poorly educated in the occult and more
                   well studied occultists will reveal errors and lack
                   of knowledge in their statements on Satanism.

                   - Devil-worshippers: There are few, if any, of
                   these groups in Satanism. Christians and Jews
                   would like you to believe otherwise. You are
                   advised to not take statements from their religious
                   opposition as truth, when it is far more likely to
                   be a "straw man" argument, where a biased mockup of
                   your beliefs is created and then skewered for its
                   artificial extremity.

                  - Gnostic/Transcendental Satanists: These apply the
                  principles of "evil" in a very distributed and
                  analytical, abstract method, coming up with a
                  peaceful but nihilistic philosophy that is
                  terrifying to normal people but highly sensible.

                  "It's a concept album about what once was before the
                  light took us and we rode into the castle of the
                  dream. Into emptiness. It's something like; beware
                  the Christian light, it will take you away into
                  degeneracy and nothingness. What others call light
                  I call darkness. Seek the darkness and hell and you
                  will find nothing but evolution."
                     - Varg Vikernes,

                   Black magic night
                   We've been struck down
                   Down in this Hell
                   Spells surround me day and night
                   Stricken by the force of evil light
                   The force of evil light"
                     - Slayer, "Black Magic" (Show No Mercy)

         2.4.4 Decryptically

            Metal, like most Postmodern art, is an experience and not
            a medium. Hence there are several layers which must be
            removed from their compacted form, "decrypted" and served
            up to the reader by some part of the inner brain. This
            enables the music to survive longer before being
            aesthetically ripped off.

   Experiential Conception of Art

               The lyrics, culture and music of heavy metal warriors
               is heavily encrypted within experiential reference and
               heavily technological language, but like many other
               genres from this period it does provide a literal
               level, and a meta-level, to all three facets of its

   Existential Gateway to Darkness

               To decrypt it is to understand it and be open to virus

                  Metal's virus comes wrapped in the appearance of
                  death, meaning that where there is a weakness to
                  death, it equalizes and penetrates. The morbidity,
                  paranoia, passion and politics of metal over the
                  years has shown a passage by which one accepts
                  death, and the nihilistic chaos of material reality,
                  and in doing so lays down the foundation for
                  transcending it.

               To do that is to become a gleeful nihilist; a
               postmodern nihilist is a "post-nihilist"

                  One would transcend material with nihilism, and then
                  transcend nihilism with its natural self-reduction:
                  a "post-nihilist" would be one who could
                  nihilistically view human existence and see within
                  it a space for creativity, joyful in the emptiness
                  and impermanence of reality. Metal, by introducing
                  structure and spirituality and Romanticist
                  individualism and nihilism, issues to its listeners
                  a challenge to explore it deeper and bond with what
                  causes it to be, rather than what it "is."

                  "Falsified Spirits Farther They Fall
                   Soon They Will Join Us In Hell
                   See The Sky Burning The Gates Are Ablaze
                   Satan Waits Eager To Merge."
                     - Slayer


(c) Copyright 1994-2006 Hessian Studies Center @ www.hessian.or

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:


[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:
The Hessian Studies Center <>

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM