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Heavy Metal Music, Culture and Philosophy FAQ (Virtual Community)

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Archive-name: heavy-metal/virtual-community
Posting-frequency: semimonthly
Last-Modified: 16-Mar-2006

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Part IV       :: Metal as virtual community

{ IV. Metal as virtual community
   I. Newsgroups
   II. Email Lists
   IV. People
   V. AE's           }

IV. Metal as virtual community

      Though some may laugh at the idea of this biting, hissing,
      spitting, kicking, shitting and screaming mass of boiling animal
      hatred as a community, it really is a place in which people
      live, exchange ideas, form bonds and enemities.

      I find "shape" a word that only applies to three dimensions...
      Again, we need a new vocabulary. And some pot.
         - Annatar Gorthaur,

      4.1 Newsgroups

         USENET provides the easiest access to most metalheads;
         however, it is also the most annoying, given the high
         prevalence of noise to signal from personality disorders
         rendered into text.

         4.1.1 extant groups

            Metal groups at the time of this writing:

            alt.rock-n-roll.metal - commercial metal
            alt.rock-n-roll.metal.heavy - commercial metal/grunge
            alt.rock-n-roll.metal.death - death metal
   - black metal
            alt.rock-n-roll.metal.metallica - fan group
            alt.rock-n-roll.metal.ironmaiden - fan group
   - black metal
   - nazi black metal
   - fan group
   - metal fan social group
   - fan group
   - fan group
   - prog heavy metal
            alt.rock-n-roll.metal.doom - doom/commercial metal
            alt.thrash - thrash music
   - grindcore music
   - underground metal/crossover
   - underground death

         4.1.2 history

            One of USENET's earliest hierarchies was the
            alt.rock-n-roll hierarchy, started to complement .sex and
            .drugs in the middle eighties. By the next decade, a
            .metal had been added and by the early nineties a new
            group, .metal.heavy was added to accomodate "heavier"
            metal, not knowing that "heavy metal" is a keyword for
            more commercial, rock-based offerings.

            Somewhere in this time alt.thrash was created for
            skateboarders and taken over by crossover music fans.

            In order to advance this hierarchy to a contemporary
            state of metal knowledge, in 1993 I created the newsgroup
            alt.rock-n-roll.metal.death, which was followed by
            .progressive, .doom, and the newer hierarchy of
   in the middle 1990s.

            "I've been around since the dawn of time when we created
            the death metal newsgroup, and all that I can tell is
            endless flamewars, Christians falling in fire and battle,
            and conquest of various other territories with forward
            logic and relentless aggression."

         4.1.3 suggested futures

            Metal newsgroups should function to empower the most
            possible users both as reference and interactive medium.
            Thus the best way to split their identities is to divide
            them according to musical genre tree and history, as that
            is how they are marketed and how people will know to find

               alt.rock-n-roll.metal - general commercial metal
               alt.rock-n-roll.metal.heavy - "heavy metal"
               alt.rock-n-roll.metal.doom - doom metal

      - grindcore
      - death metal
      - black metal
      - thrash music

      - metal lifestyle
               alt.rock-n-roll.metal.commercial - product ads

         4.1.4 etiquette/ethos

            Unlike most of the rest of the net, the metal zones are
            not based on morality or material aesthetics; therefore,
            nothing is taboo and anything not expressly permitted is
            completely legal. People fire flame and fist across text
            that is in the end to all of us completely meaningless,
            and so Hessians do not worry about rules, only keeping the
            content meaningful.

            Metalheads are naturally anarchistic, and so there is no
            need for rules. A few good ideas:

            1 - Look to see if someone has asked/answered your
            questions by scanning the Subject: lines of your news
            messages, and then by using or
   or to
            find older messages on that topic.

            2 - Avoid taking USENET seriously; it is a playground
            for minds and personalities, and much of what goes on is
            not "serious" in that it is not "real," but is serious in
            that someone is attempting to communicate something, even
            quite possibly something of which they are not yet fully

            3 - To avoid getting unwanted commercial email from bulk
            marketers gathering lists out of USENET databases, enter

            From: line as shown below:


         4.1.5 Objective Communication

            This paragraph is written in a persona as interpretation
            of the metal subcultural ethos, in order to establish the
            strong polarity which is felt by most of those making the
            metal that matters, if not by all the imitators and
            clueless fans.

            Hence, while this inclination might seem ultra-subjective,
            one must consider that in an objective data reading from a
            physical system, what an individual will tell you
            subjectively may constitute in the abstract form a part of
            a heuristic tree of knowledge that provides for the
            differentiation of belief, .: beliefs originate in
            different methods of approaching a situation/object, and
            in differentiation open themselves to evolution, or
            selection of the superior strains of idea while allowing
            the weaker to lapse.

   Scientific method

            Scientific method - the formation of hypotheses in
            response to testing as a means of testing accepted
            hypotheses as well as new, in an ever changing system of
            cross-indexed knowledge - is the basis of any kind of
            deconstruction, backward engineering, or analysis of how
            something previously unknown works.

            This is also the basis of communication, where as in
            digital protocols there is a handshaking phase of
            equalization of symbolic (quantitative) tokens, and where
            interpretation uses logical constraints to narrow a search
            to a reasonable set of answer data. When analyzing music,
            a similar set of requirements exists: that one use
            rigorously objectivist means of finding
            publically-referentiable data.

            So when objective terms are used to describe music or
            musical movements, it is structurally necessary for
            coherence that objective experiments and scientific theory
            underly such language. As it is, here, we attempt to
            document much of this from a thinking Hessian's view.

            Many people believe objectivism, or the science of a
            shared space which really is consistent despite our varied
            perceptions of it, is something a few of us would rather
            call subjectivism, or solipsism: the belief that the world
            is formed of one's perceptions.

            Objectivism however is the study of consistency. Of
            constantly verifying one's worldview with experiments in
            every possible area, to find consistencies in behavior and
            to use abstract principle to deduct structure from a
            number of these consistencies.

            It's science. The core of it. How we inference our way
            to technology as intelligent apes.

            It does not assert that all things are the same, or that
            we are controlled by an external force. No: only that
            there is an external reality which is consistent, and
            provable as such with repeated demonstration from any
            number of angles.

            This is how we have come from clothing ourselves with mud
            and boar carcass to having intercontinental ballistic
            missiles. Repeated provability = cornerstone of theory.
            What we in the outside-the-box school of objective
            analysis call, "the back end."

            The back end is what gives certainty of placement to any
            thought - a known truth at which to begin decoding the
            interaction of the unknown with the known. It's like
            plugging known data into weird math equations to try to
            figure out what's going on in the equation by how the
            numbers change.

            Inference, or inductive reasoning based on abstract
            similarity ("resonance") of patterns, without a back end
            to begin with is a form of "deep" or "mystic" inference,
            in that it rests upon a collection of basic principles
            interpreted in the deep abstract with tokens of the same
            in such a way that none of it is _provable_, only

            An example of such a theory would be Christianity: one is
            asked to presuppose a god-being, and take it on faith that
            it exists and is omnipotent and wants you to do what you
            are told through its book. Buddhism, as it claims to be,
            is not: all things are verifiable through its only "true"
            method, meditation. All else is "untrue" and therefore
            has no necessary logical value.

                  Some kind of work producer channeled through an

                  An object or idea which converts energy.

                  A structure of tokens to have adaptive description
                  as a function of their recombinant structure, so
                  that they favor encapsulation in levels of

   Artistic relevance

               One asks, what is art?, because art seems different
               from other forms of media, or works of communication.
               It does not tell you what it is telling you to think;
               it tells you what it is thinking, and requires you meet
               it half way. It is the high abstract, and functions by
               metaphor: jarring as if through drunkenness windows of
               physical confinement to reveal similarity in event,
               object, and ideal.

               Understanding the related nature of structure brings an
               understanding of the function of nature, and in doing
               so, can address the pain and suffering and more
               importantly, the fear thereof that cripples before the
               disease hits, and bring a calm and peace to human

               The varied reactions people have to art confirms this.
               Despite a storm of protest, the only coherent comments
               are usually those who originate from the people who
               have identified with the art - who find ideas in the
               art or metaphorically similar ideas in the art that are
               constructive to their own.

               Don't get us wrong - the tools of art are always
               abused. Advertising, as an industry of convincing
               people to give up their own free will, uses artistry to
               convey simple messages. Political propaganda does the
               same, wrapping a bundle of thoughts around a single
               spindle and firing them off wildly in an emotional
               reaction. But art does not stoop this low.

               And what is amazing?  Metal fans at least can tell the
               difference. Consistently the albums that are pure
               cheese are popular for a few years, and fade, where the
               creations of the distinctive and bold and intelligent
               stand forth as classics for years. The ones that fade
               have a material significance: at that time they were
               new, and fulfilled a need for music with something

               And so the fan base with the widest variance, who are
               always looking for something new and different-looking
               to stand out from the rest, seize it as a commodity:
               something with consistent effect and function toward
               improvement of physical being. Others look back on a
               definition of a time through a cultural, metaphorical,
               metaphysical interpretation of how it was lived, and
               reference an oft-quoted list of "classics" with reasons
               why ranging from articulate philosophical appreciation
               to intoxicated nostalgia.

               Products work toward consistency; art works toward
               opening spaces. New ideas build space not by being
               "new," or previously unseen, but by developing an
               unknown method of executing the current objective
               through a development of its concept. A postmodernist
               might argue that "all history is but a struggle for a
               point of view to share," but quite often, the
               postmodernist might "be" right.

               Art functions by introducing new ideas for the listener
               to appreciate. It anticipates their... how does it do
               this?  Through using the scientific method: the artist
               decodes world, and interpreting the universalism of its
               methods, builds a simple virus to speak its own
               contents. A language of characters which put together
               resemble views of the experience; a series of slices of
               crystal ball.

               Art is the science of understanding what it is to be
               intelligent, and in manipulating its symbology,
               expressing its relevance and structure as spiritual
               events rather than physical confrontations. The path
               of intelligent abstract reasoning has so far led
               humanity away from chaos and destruction into
               organization and reasonable living; is it possible that
               now it is in the hands of chaos again?

               Yes - in that with art we have a back-end inference, in
               that we are comparing its pieces as those who see them
               and have no knowledge of the background of their
               production. But based on the common intellectual
               properties of artist and viewer, the art is created to
               put into sight some very abstract and often emotional
               ideas; the viewer will then interpret these, especially
               as relevant to his or her own life.

               In short, art is different from "normal" communication
               in that it doesn't hope for change in the physical
               world, e.g. buy this tampon/car. It is about the
               transaction of ideas in a scientific sense: passing on
               the abstract so that others may test their own theories
               against it, and emerge with their own placement of its
               value. Call it client-server psychology.

   What Does Art Address

               The amazing thing about art is its universality. The
               artist will make it; many will comment. The artist
               will speak. Usually many are disappointed, as their
               interpretations were insane, but quite a few are
               pleased in that their view is ratified by the artist's
               words. This is where human psychology comes into
               interpretation: "art" is both "subjective" and

                     A rehash from above: art manipulates life to
                     speak an idea in the abstract so humans can place
                     it, based on a reality we both can sense and test
                     with the scientific method.
                     Different people have different responses, but
                     this doesn't mean that they're all "right".

               If I play a Darkthrone record to a random audience, and
               the Priest says, "it's the work of the devil," the
               Buddhist monk says "it seems to express the simplicity
               and loneliness of structure", the prescient junior high
               math whiz says it reminds him of matrices, the
               politician says he hears loose morals in the "dissonant
               chords and malevolent pauses", a limbless retarded
               midget quadraplegic leper might call it "drool pain
               sound car crash foofth gurshs", but the first is insane
               but correct, the second sane and correct on levels of
               both abstraction and literality (making him the only
               sane analyst of art here), the junior high math whiz is
               sane and correct in a way that even he can't yet
               understand, the politician does not care about his
               answer only the votes it generates so why do we listen,
               and the midget is only there for late night sexual
               abuse, is insane, and incorrect.

            Concepts on art:

               - Art has no teleological objective, or physical and
               conclusive end, but expresses an idea in a non-literal
               way. Why would it be non-literal?

               - Art is interpretive, and never forces itself upon the
               reader. Does this mean it has no effect?  No - on the
               contrary, the reader comes back for more because it has
               an effect upon him or her.

               - Language, despite being quantitative, can cover
               almost any range of situations with its capability for
               fuzzy logic allowing abstract similarities between
               concepts to stand for physical scenarios. For example,
               we call a certain kind of grenade a "potato masher"
               because that is what the grenade resembles in shape.
               Art arranges quantitative elements in a way that they
               imply and manipulate a greater structure; therefore it
               is in the range of the metaphysical: the abstract
               interpretation of existence and the metaphysical.

               - "Art states what is invisible."  In any everyday
               situation there are many truths evident in that people
               share a belief and therefore act in accordance and
               expectation of its fulfillment. Hence, art sometimes
               wakes people up about commonsense ideas.

               - Aesthetic or material valuation, the process of
               assigning value to objects in a subjective sense based
               on appearance or physical value, end thought processes
               when an action is complete, but art seems to deal with
               the moments before an action, or understanding that
               action later.

               - Art does not confuse value with relevance. Art
               manipulates its objects unkindly often, and does not
               hesitate to create imaginary worlds where doom may
               prevail. But these characters and objects, while
               imaginary, do have life: they are similar intelligences
               to human, and therefore can be identified with by the

               - Art is beyond politics. Politics uses linear power
               structures; x = value and y = value and if x is good
               and y is bad then y is to blame for the continuing
               failure of human interaction. Art, by being
               interpretive, is meta-democractic: those who can
               understand can use these ideas and implement them, but
               those who can't can only see a confusing appearance.
               Art is self-filtering for the kind of symbolism that
               becomes dogmatism in Christianity, or National

            Music, by those people who enjoy it enough that they wish
            to understand it after dissecting it musically and
            conceptually, is analyzed as art, and as art an expression
            of a level of some universality through its
            conceptualization of awareness. There are other stages of
            its appreciation, including:

---   tangible    I. Aesthetic Fascination
               II. Sentimental Self-Identification
               III. Technical Appreciation
               IV. Heuristic Comparison/Academicism
---- logical      V. Abstract Analysis
---- mystical     VI. Artistic Conception
               VII. Spiritual Immersion

            The three stages expressed on the left are also stages of
            the development of a human child; it first appreciates
            objects it can hold, and then learns to render/model them
            in its own head, so that it can compare situations and
            learn to interpret and react to its world. Eventually it
            becomes self-aware, and from that shock goes on to seek a
            meaning in existence, a study which leads one beyond the
            directly scientific to the mystical, a deep-end
            interpretation of tendencies in the universe as
            metaphysical suggestions toward the structure of its
            non-visible, abstract structural and original elements.

            What Separates Art from Non-Art?

            Art is interpretive. Anything that tells you what to do,
            or demonstrates something with obvious symbols of
            emotional manipulation, is probably propaganda and not
            art. Hint: One rarely finds metal bands singing "KILL FOR
            SATAN" but many metal bands use Satanic imagery. Is this
            the face of metaphor?

            Art is not accepted on faith. If it doesn't work for you,
            you abandon it. Propaganda only wishes your assent,
            however you justify it. Art allows you to develop for
            yourself, using art and other forms of perception as
            reference materials.

            Art has no material objective. It is about abstract
            communication and nothing more. Propaganda is always
            directing different interests in a linear path to a
            physical world accomplishment.

            Art is not entertainment or propaganda; both are
            neutralizers of the perceptive and inference faculties, as
            both aim at consistency and stability over-riding
            existential value in the unfolding paradox of being.

            Art is a science self-refining enough to tackle the
            spiritual realm, where strict discipline is necessary for
            the lack of direct back-end inferential centers to not
            prevent discovery.

            Where most political or religious endeavors require a
            "leap of faith" employing what to a highly-ordered thinker
            is meta-logical but in the average interpretation is a
            "blind" but dogmatically-justified inference, art is
            self-interpretive by the user and is only a continuing
            process as long as it is interactive. Art requires user
            interpretation constantly and, since it often builds
            layers of ideas on top of basic concepts, requires
            "correct" interpretation of the general idea of what the
            artist is addressing and trying to convey. "Correct" is
            however made loose by the layers of initial meaning,
            repetition, and other factors designed to let the user
            misinterpret most of the message but still understand on
            some level the ideas of art.

               Levels of Communication
                  I. Aesthetic
                     - What it "sounds like" or "looks like" tells you
                     the mood and object of the piece.
                  II. Structural
                     - How it puts itself together musically posits
                     and emotional and academic meaning.
                  III. Meta-Structural
                     - What type of theory for music as a whole via
                     the interpretation of a "next generation" mind is
                     suggested by the work.
                  IV. Inferential
                     - Deep interpretation of the presentation of
                     ideas reveals a spiritual or philological
                     interpretation of the ideas addressed, or a
                     statement of ambiguity revealing the confusion of
                     art or user.

               We are lucky that art generally does not have a
               material objective, except when it's sold out, of
               course (Yes, argue with me all day - to your loss.
               Metallica's first three albums have a quality what came
               after did _not_ in common observation: a passion from
               an emergent conception of existence and a fluidity of
               acceptance of its darkness).

               Art, functioning on the highly abstract level, can only
               utilize highly abstract concepts of learning and
               through that, initiate a heuristic tree of learning
               where similar ideas are filed, allowing the user to
               "understand" the material first and then to appreciate
               an internal decision on how to analyze it for relevance
               without the preaching of a dogmatic teleology to the
               work shadowing any interpretation with a disbelief in
               individual interpretation itself.

               As often happens, we resort to metaphor when talking
               about art itself. We could call it the science of
               metaphorical epistemology, e.g. how to give lyrical
               significance to a world by symbolizing interpretation
               on top of mundane description, but more likely we could
               simply borrow Count Grishnack's phrase, "to stimulate
               the fantasy of mortals."

               Role of the Postmodern in Art of the late 20th Century

               It's a ludicrous thing to attempt to communicate using
               a word as charged as "Postmodernism," since most of
               what that did mean, or could have meant, or might have
               meant, is enmeshed in the entropic chaos emerging from
               the polemic of the new freedom to do what looks like
               stripping all structure from reality.

               To explore postmodernism as an idea, it is best to
               return to its origins. After the rise of industry and
               the philosophy of Nietzsche, the world was a nihilistic
               place caught in the quandary of that philosopher's most
               famous statement "God is dead - and we have killed
               him."  Aware of its lack of values but unable to
               divorce itself from a commercial path, the world was
               settling into a lifestyle of emptiness and commercial
               vapidity yet to come. And awaiting two world wars.

               Writers such as James Joyce and William Faulkner
               demonstrated a new method of thinking in their
               contorted and highly technical novels, showing the
               underlying human consciousness unexpressed in the
               socialized self-justifying "self" used to survive a
               brutal and often bitter world.

               With its intense power of analysis and metaphorical
               connection, postmodernist writers also tackled history,
               reinterpreting it as a study for worldview, as Joyce
               did in "Ulysses" with a technical re-articulation of
               language through the ages and its evolving meaning.
               Similarly Nietzsche, a renowned philologist (one who
               studies the interpretation of history through
               linguistic analysis), used words carefully to trace and
               revive meaning in otherwise placeless events or
               traditions, interpretations.

               Postmodernism's basically positive outlook carried an
               underlying shriek born of understanding the
               metaprinciples of several sciences: to murder the
               organic cycles of life by imposing an artificial and
               simplistic "order" of material consumption is an error
               indicating our refusal to accept the weight of making
               decisions in an increasingly overwhelmingly complex
               world. Joyce likened the everyday man to a great and
               mythologically complex hero Odysseus, whose ten year
               journey from a distant moronic war (an early Viet Nam
               style "police action" no doubt) back home is marked at
               every step by a cretinous evil opposing a natural ally
               through mutual respect.

               In a Joycean interpretation of the mundane, the
               external world has significance in its symbology of
               where we place our lives and expectations as a global
               organism, and if our communication decays from language
               into granular symbology (ikons) decisions will no
               longer carry any differentiating value to their varied
               outcomes, leading to an aimless nihilism and spiritual
               darkness. Further writers such as William S Burroughs,
               Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLilo confirmed a growing
               horizon of massed uncertainty: the age of information
               overload resulting in meaninglessness.

               It's as if Dada, in its "reaction" to Modernism, had
               created the babble that interpreted an unawareness of
               the same babble, and this was integrated into a logical
               system such as the structuralist nihilism and systemic
               analysis of the Postmoderns. Postmodernism is not an
               "answer" to modernism; it is a meta-modernism: an
               interpretation of modernist principles in a data
               structure spanning the highest abstract to the most
               granular, earthy detail.

               So now we consider the value that Postmodernism would
               have to progressive industrial rock, aka heavy metal
               and associated movements, in the time after hope?  We
               can see in metal movements a mirror of the history of
               humanity, from the strict romanticism of Black Sabbath,
               to the modernist righteousness of a moral authority
               Metallica, to the darkness and existential nihilism of
               a fiery fury of hatred Slayer, and from this
               progression we can interpret the history of humanity
               "as we know it" as a global maturation of the human
               consciousness for artificial information and the need
               for abstract comprehension and most of all, coherent
               order, that comes with the communicative complexity of
               a modern age.

               Now in the spirit of both the Modern and the
               Postmodern, let us interpret the history of human
               philosophical systems until the present time as the
               struggle for worldview that they have been, and then
               project a series of futures and how metal music, as an
               evolving philosophy, addresses them.

               Classic history is all we've got so far that can give
               us a start, but the facts being in it's reasonable to
               say most of this stuff comes from a more innocent age
               and is mostly not forged - something we can rarely say
               about data from the twentieth century, when politicized
               media portrayals have functioned powerfully to bias our
               perception. In this view of social evolution, the
               first written legal code addressing societal issues was
               written by a king in the decayed remains of Sumeria
               after the Akkadians (Semites from the Arabian/Israeli
               area) invaded and absorbed what culture they did not

               Hammurabbi's code was a material interpretation of law.
               If you killed another man's wife by accident, you could
               "recompense" him by paying him a certain part of your
               income. If another injured you, you were "owed" an
               amount of money to justify the intrusion. The later
               evolution of "an eye for an eye" truisms was based in
               this idea, as, eventually, was the Christian protestant
               concept of divine grace, where those who did as the
               will of God was were rewarded materially.

               During the millenium following the age of Hammurabbi,
               Judaism became the primary religion of the Middle East
               to oppose the more Western thoughts of the Roman and
               Greek empires, as well as the evolving Indo-European
               civilization stretching from Scandinavia to
               Afghanistan. Its insistence upon divine
               "righteousness" or correctness to behavior made it a
               natural philosophical system for understanding the
               material tokens of a technological realm: money.

               In this age, money was at a low stage of evolution and
               so there were none of the resources for making and
               losing imaginary fortunes that there are today. And
               for most, it was a mundane concept - money was only
               useful to have things to live. But newer thinkers saw
               that putting together resources allowed technology to
               propagate, and, in doing so, generated its own consumer
               base. Various societies enduring varying periods of
               adaptation to this idea.

               When the peak of Judaism's influence rose, a
               counter-movement rose from its orthodoxy, in which a
               liberal interpretation might be taken at an abstract
               level in order to escape adaptations to the past.
               Jesus Christ, as a reasonably intelligent Hebrew
               prophet, sought to liberate the soul of his religion
               from form and in doing so, hoped to translate
               spirituality to an articulation not found in symbols
               but personal connection to the absolute.

               Interestingly, the extremity and quantitative nature of
               the conception behind what becomes a very organic
               proposition is based in the logical systems of the
               Roman and the conquered Greeks whose knowledge was
               absorbed, some through Macedonian and Arabian
               connections whose portrayal of Sumerian _gnostics_
               brought ideas from the Quabbalah and other pagan
               spiritual technology into the mixture.

               Christianity, as the fusion of Greco-Roman culture and
               Judaism, has an interesting abstraction behind all of
               its technology, where the duality of mind and body is
               portrayed in a denial of self in favor of symbologic
               victory "for the next life."  This removes the more
               organic reality of the Jews, whose pragmatic belief was
               for action in the current life, but whose abstract
               basis of comprehension still rested in an absolute God
               whose favor determined success or failure,

               We imagine the past happened in black and white, or
               cave paintings. But more likely it was as flavorful as
               time is now, with humans with a similar if not
               comparable intelligence, trapped in the impotence of a
               pretechnological age but also free from the rigors of
               human neurosis in an age when symbols dominate. As
               scientistis discover ancient cave paintings of great
               complexity (32,000 years ago) and American land
               dwellers of multiracial complexity (8,000-12,000 years
               ago), it becomes apparent that ages before our own
               existed in greatness and health.

               Indeed, in the western hemisphere we are used to this:
               the great Aztec, Maya (Toltec, Olmec), Inca, Cherokee,
               Sioux, Comanche and Apache once walked our shores.
               Most perished for the material value of their religious
               idols; it seems most of these societies banished
               personal materialism with a religion glorifying
               sacrifice of the absolute but meaningless to abstract
               gods. But these changes helped "finance" the discovery
               of a new world for resource exploitation as the
               religion behind its impetus justified it.

               Industry moved toward social domination during a time
               when poverty struck many parts of Europe, and so worker
               domination was not unheard of. Karl Marx (1818-1883)
               reflected on this a generation later, but the peak
               occurred as the last of the idle wealthy as a social
               class reflected in romantic poetry upon the beauty and
               potential of life. In the moralistic public conscience
               of Christian politics, the spreading of this wealth to
               all was the idea, and to do so in any way possible was
               the only path to righteousness.

               It was seen as following justice, mercy and compassion
               to be democratic, and to enforce equality where not
               possessive. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) addressed
               this tendency in his _The Genealogy of Morals_, which
               suggested that the quest for character and morality to
               life was an avoidance of the question as individuals of
               how we want to spent our time, and, behind that
               question, what it is that we value. Nietzsche's work
               suggested the most of social justification and stronger
               was, quite frankly, a scam which covered up the real
               agenda, or subtext, of profit-making and power-dealing
               as ways of denying mortality and doubt.

               Charles Darwin (1809-1882) stated his case in _On the
               Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection_, in
               which what was first interpreted as a rebuke to
               Christian theology but later assimilated as its
               pseudoscientific justification, an articulation of the
               process of evolution, made the backbone of a scientific
               description of the world's occurrence.

               After the hysteria, Christians and Jews alike began to
               accept the ideas - could these not be the meachanisms
               of an all-powerful deity?  Indeed: if one
               backward-interprets Darwinian logic from the present
               time, any of one's successes or failures are judged to
               be "decisions" in an evolutionary tree of a perfected
               world. If reward for being one of God's allies comes
               in material form, would it not be fair to say that
               material favor constitutes success - _evolutionary_
               success as part of the plan of God?

               With this morality entered its final stage of
               development where, with its basis in an actual process
               of "God" rendered incoherent, faith became an
               interpretation based in the evolutionary process as a
               perfection. Interpreted in a social pattern, as it was
               as soon as 95% of the working population were
               accustomed to hourly wages and an hour-value for their
               time, social Darwinism became an explanation for
               success or failure as external to human control: divine
               choice through earthly method.

               This assaulted the older ideal of Platonic separation
               between abstract and real, claiming that the abstract
               existed only in the significance of the real, where not
               totally inapplicable. Morality was inherent in what
               the result was, and not the intent or significance of
               the action. Hence even reprehensible criminality
               became accepted in a commercial society. This theory
               was in its nascent formation at the time of Nietzsche,
               and growing toward a dogma during the nihilistic shock
               of the age of Joyce and Faulkner.

               Since the time of these thinkers, society has become
               more technologically-empowered than ever before, and
               Judeo-Christianity remains the dominant philosophical
               justification behind the great empires of North
               America, Europe, and the Middle East. However, in
               America, the rate of dissenters has risen dramatically
               since the focused public intent reacting to the
               monolithic violence of imminent WWII.

               Our counterculture, or "sub-culture", reacted
               powerfully against the rising of an empire whose goals
               betrayed their justification. The degradation of the
               beatnik 1950s and the instability of a peacenik late
               1960s are testimonies to the demographic influence of
               rebellion, but the question has always been, where to?

               A successful rebellion is not possible without either
               solving or finding an adaptation to the conditions
               suggesting impulse to rebel, and so far social
               rebellions have most commonly remained part of the same
               thought process of the mainstream society: a
               morality-based, modernist politicism based in the
               materialism of Judeo-Christianity as interpreted
               through socially accepted science. Many movements have
               decayed in their age into a parody of their former
               selves; having lost passion, their only option is the
               same materialism they once rebuked.

               Generation X, a maturing crop of technologically- savvy
               children, found the inversion of values in their
               parents to be a sickening symbol of the death of hope.
               Their parents, who were around in the late 1960s,
               survived the same instability that prompted a
               hyper-activism on the part of music: Black Sabbath
               invented a spiritual approach toward complex modern
               issues, and cloaked it in the machine-like sounds of
               logical structures shaped from basic chords and
               classically-influenced melody. Heavy metal was born
               from that fusion of future and past, expressing a new
               interpretation of an older order through the coming
               darkness of the current order's technology.

               Several generations later, metal remains strong, mostly
               through a rigorous ideology which dictates what is
               "true" and what is not; that which is "true" has a
               consistent belief structurally evident that the
               principles of nihilism, existentialism, and
               anarchism/Satanism are reconciliable with ancient
               concepts of honor and value, a tradition leading
               through both Judeo-Christianity and pagan
               (Asatru/Greco-Roman) interpretations of the Sumerian
               gnostic ideal. (Nietzsche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra"
               addresses the dualistic ideology of Zoroastrianism, a
               religion based on the material abstractions from
               Sumerian mythology, an the origin of the good/evil
               polarity as found in Judeo-Christian mythos.)

               We can "sort of" understand the current cultural abyss
               as "modern culture": it too has been subverted to feed
               the dominant paradigm of dogma, and as such holds only
               utilitarian and moral tokens, all of which can be seen
               in its products: mercy and compassion over all, with a
               strong underpinning of guilt and fear of natural
               environment, and a happiness that results from material
               value and "pleased" responses from others. The
               symbology of modern times is a holdover from the last
               renaissance mixed with a Darwinistic morality: there is
               a way out of the darkness through learning, science and
               technology, as long as it is used with _virtue_. Our
               virtue has, after the vast corruptions of the cold war
               unfurled, that no ideology had virtue and that inert
               and harmless behavior was therefore the only virtue.

               This kind of conditioning has been with us through the
               ages, and so far has assimilated every system of
               philosophy or ideology into some form of "product": a
               symbolic existence whose entire purpose has been
               subverted to reduction of individual will so that it
               may serve a "collective goal" of continuing power for
               an elite (there have been some exceptions, and many
               argue that Hitler was one). One removes the coat of
               choice and replaces it with morality, which could be
               interpreted to read "I'm with the good guys."  Because
               God rewards the powerful, the good guys are _always_
               the guys in control.

               Examining metal as a postmodern culture, we find great
               evidence of that ideological presence where logically
               coherent with the other beliefs of the genre. A
               gritty, distorted voice and constantly distorted
               instruments break the clarity of symbology; lyrics with
               metaphor of fantasy, journey, violence and might
               reinforce both an awareness of mortality and a desire
               to explore beyond it (what Nietzsche would call
               crossing the "abyss," or the spiritual darkness created
               by the doubt arising from the implications of external
               control in awareness of death).  It is death-shaman
               music, like Jim Morrison's Doors were: bringing back
               hope from the world beyond death.

               Around us we see the usual decay of human ideals into a
               pragmatic obedience to doubt, the "might be" which
               conveys terror and coincidence of deadly action. It
               is, as many "ideals" have been through history, a call
               to throw down the difficult process of making decisions
               in exchange for obedience to a cult of power which
               rewards its disciples with tangible "idealizations" to
               substitute for the ambiguous, metaphysical reality
               behind the power of symbology and metaphor.

               Generation X-Y-Z-0 find themselves facing the difficult
               choice of producing an ideology to handle their world,
               if possible to improve it, and on the fly because
               although technology evolves toward a post-scarcity
               social system, there is a deficit in the damage done to
               the environment, and the corruption of our society to
               the point where they shoot each other in high schools.
               Postmodern thinking and its seeming nemesis, F.W.
               Nietzsche, together speak a language of avoidance of
               the "void" or "abyss" through creativity, an ethics
               rather than a moral standard, and intoxication.

               In this there is a place for metal: by embracing the
               taboo, that being the triad of hedonism, nihilism, and
               structuralist mysticism, metal becomes the foremost
               vanguard of a new form of existence which hopes to
               transcend the crisis of modern consciousness at an
               abstract level and thus, to free us from war with and
               sadistic torment of ourselves.

   Language of Art

               Art speaks a consciousness of the world beyond the
               visible through a complex set of structures deployed as
               metaphor: the visual and intellectual familiarity of
               ideas overlaid to create a structural vision of overall
               similarity, cloaked in an aesthetic vision which unites
               its significance to the living being and its intricate
               emotional intelligence.

                     The use of extended simile - comparison of two
                     objects, ideas, or entities - to create a
                     comparison of worlds as a mirror of the
                     encircling aspect of reality to a single
                     consciousness, kept in contrast with a spiritual
                     component of metaphor that constantly hints at an
                     larger interconnection of consciousness itself.

                     Postmodern thought targets the subconscious mind
                     with its often grandiloquent collages of
                     juxtaposition of imagery and abstract; the
                     belief, arising from the work of Sigmund Freud
                     (based on the work of Nietzsche) and C.G. Jung,
                     that the subconscious is the seat of the real
                     interplay which decides our conscious decisions
                     was assimilated early into artistic thought,
                     which knew it easily as the language of dreams.

                     Artistic intent does not involve direct change in
                     a specific material situation but aims for an
                     overall evolution of intellectual and emotional
                     capacities of the human population as a whole,
                     through those who appreciate art and those who
                     create it. Art defines the cycle as the current
                     method of survival, our "world view"; art defines
                     the meta-cycle as the concept or change that will
                     increase the complexity of the cycle by a level
                     in order to allow its own transcendence: a
                     recognition of its meaninglessness in the face of
                     broader opportunity offered by change.

                     In pre-Modern times, Chaos was the sign of a
                     midieval daemon of mythological power: a
                     regression to atavism and savagery. Modernism
                     made it a raw force of no potential which could
                     be trapped and destroyed by technology, which
                     asserted a much more rigid and simplified order.
                     Writers such as Thomas Pynchon and William S
                     Burroughs suggest, along with Nietzsche, that a
                     reduction in _natural_ complexity will lead to a
                     failure of our will to live in, as Pynchon would
                     call it, "entropy" of decisional capability.

         Methods of Worldview

                     To understand the modern time, it is useful to
                     traverse these brief points about varying belief

                     Zoroastrianism (0.9B)
                        Dualistic system in which adaptations of
                        Sumerian gods fight out good and evil in drama
                        for the future of what would become the

                     Judaism (1.0)
                        Pseudo-dualistic system which preached genetic
                        identity as a method of identifying with
                        righteousness, as an extension of the might of

                     Christianity (2.0)
                        A material morality based on mercy in the name
                        of the ancient god of Judaism, who had become
                        humbled and all-caring as a way of
                        neutralizing strong and natural emotion
                        through passive aggression.

                     Islam (2.4)
                        Extends Christian ideal toward an absolute
                        abstract and hints at transcendence of self.

                     Hinduism (2.6)
                        A similar extension of projection to a logical
                        objectivist reduction of systemics to an
                        exploration of being.

                     Scientology (2.8)
                        The bicameral mind exhalted to the stage of a
                        self-reductionism and discipline, a
                        self-identity-denial religion that provides a
                        useful model for high functionality.

                     Buddhism (3.0)
                        A religion based on denial of the physical
                        self as a means to spiritual release and
                        acceptance of the world as whole.

                     "Strife is evolution, peace is degeneration."
                        - Varg Vikernes,

      4.2 Other net resources

         Having a framework of reference resources allows the consumer
         to make more informed decisions, thus strengthening the genre
         with his/her choices instead of working to tear it down as is
         the current marketing model. Information spreading is vital
         to the survival of metal culture.

         4.2.1 WWW

            This author cannot speak comprehensively for the Net,
            and so issues general pointers to starting points for Net
            metal exploration:

               - The Dark Legions
               archive has reviews by this author as well as
               information and analysis of death metal, black metal,
               speed metal, heavy metal and grindcore bands; it is
               unique for its philosophical and sociological analysis
               of metal.

               Thomas Wolmer's massive site of meta lists and genre
               trees, worth visiting for its high content of
               underground information.

               - Mega has
               assembled one of the larger sites of discographic
               information and metal news.

               - All of the
               new, the old, the excellent and the scary in metal
               during this radio show for hardcore Hessians.

               - The Hessian Studies
               Center is a political action group for metalheads

               There is a "link forest" maintained on ANUS.COM for the
               Dark Legions Archive which will be more current than
               the above:


         4.2.2 IRC

            Internet Relay Chat, while being a bastion of the petty
            and authoritarian, has some useful contributions in the
            form of active worldwide metalhead chat. Check out these
            channels for metal discussion:


         4.2.3 ICQ

   (a USENET retrieval reference) tracks ICQ numbers
            posted in a common format. A search in the groups
            alt.rock-n-roll.metal.death and will
            utilize our informal method for locating ICQ addresses.

         4.2.4 Email lists

            There are both too many to list, and none of clear quality,
            at this time.

      4.3 People

         One way humans understand other cultures is to explore the
         personalities inside.

         4.3.1 Who listens to metal?

            Many people ask, do "normal people" listen to metal, or do
            we all come from beyond the pits of hell?  The answer is
            gratifyingly and surprisingly mundane: one of the greatest
            benefits of metal's lack of grounding in any automatic
            tradition is that those who become Hessians choose this
            culture and determine their own principles within it, so
            they are essentially normal people who have by choice
            elevated their consciousness to a metal method. So
            although we are "normal" on the outside, it takes
            something pretty rare to want to become a Hessian.

            "Generally, metal fans are human beings who have grown up
            in similar environments to most people in their areas of
            origin, with worldwide presence in a Poisson

            Metallians, Headbangers, Metal People, etc.
            In Albania they're called Metalist or Metalari
            In Argentina Metalero
            In Belgium hard-rockeurs or Metal Heads
            In Brasil Metaleiros
            In Canada freaks or dirties
            In Chile Metaleros, Metalicos, rockeros
            In Colombia los metaleros
            In Finland Metallisti
            In Greece Metallades or, in early '80s Heavymetallades
            In Hungary Metalosok pronounced "metaaloshock"
            In Italy Metallari or Metalloni
            In Nova Scotia, Canada freaks
            In Poland Metallista
            In Portugal Metalicos
            In Puerto Rico Metallicos
            In Romania Metalisti
            In Russia Metalist
            In Slovenia Metalci
            In Spain Heavies
            In Sweden Hårdrockare (those who listen "Hårdrock", the
            Swedish word for both heavy rock and Heavy Metal)
            In Ukraine Metalist
            In USA Metal Heads
            In Venezuela Rockeros
            In Yugoslavia (and also Croatia) Metalaci pronounced
               - excerpt from "A Heavy Metal FAQ,"

         4.3.2  How to find metal fans?

            Unsurprisingly, our best suggestion is to go to metal
            events, metal (virtual) communities or your local
            metalhead with a fat joint in your hand. Metalheads
            congregate around what they know as metal when they're
            thinking metal, and otherwise are normal people, except
            for long hair, tshirts and some fundamental belief

      4.4 Bands

         It seems exaggerated the amount of confusing regarding bands
         and the treatment thereof that permeates certain sectors of
         the community, so this section addresses the subject with
         some quick pointers for the otherwise unalerted.

         4.4.1 Listings

            Bands are listed in local newspapers, usually
            entertainment specific papers like the "L.A. Weekly" or
            "Alternative Press" or "Metropolitan Times."

         4.4.2 Approaching

            When approaching bands, walk with respect. Remember that
            no matter how "normal" these guys seem, they've taken big
            chunks of their life and time and put it into the project
            of their music, so on some level they are serious creators
            and deserve respect and compassion in understanding.

            Also, many of them smoke marijuana or drink beer, so
            bringing those is always a touching way to make a
            karmic-deductible donation to the cause of human futures.

      4.5 AE's
         4.5.1 Metal AE

            +1 201 879 6668 (8N1)

            PW: KILL


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