the c & b diaspora

Black Metal

Posted on: October 15, 2008

I don’t really get it.

Abbath, (left) and Horgh

Abbath, (left) and Horgh

What prompts a grown man to don himself in leather and deathly white makeup and prance around in forests and/or snowy mountaintops?

News at 11.


6 Responses to "Black Metal"

Not enough love as a child?

To much love as a child?

It’s a way ov personifying the music and yes, at times it can look quite stupid. But I could bet thousands that you all listen to bands like slipknot, or mushroomhead, who implie similar (however less ridiculous) antics to, as they themselves put it, personify the music. Or maybe you listen to that lame ass metal-core which sounds all the same to me as they use their guitars as percussion instruments (which is fucking retarded, repetitive, and unoriginal) and play in regular fucking clothes. When one puts on a show, isn’t it a little less satisfying when they’re dressed as normal jack-offs?

Firstly, thanks for reading and posting.

Music isn’t about personification, its about music. Why do you need to dress like a retard to get people to listen to your music?
The bands you listed both use their masked appearance as a gimmick, suggesting that their disguised faces hide some kind of darker undertones. Where in reality, they are all just 30-40 year old men trying to make a buck.
You’ll note I refrained from making any negative remarks about the actual music in my original post. This is because while it is more of a niche genre than metalcore, the actual musicianship of a lot of Black Metal groups is far greater than the majority of the popular bands in the metal scene. For example, listen to Nachtmystium’s latest release; Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1.
It is a phenomenal piece of black metal mastery, that has been criticised by fans of their earlier work because it is not ‘kvlt’ or ‘grym’ enough, but their shift away from a more ‘traditional’ black metal sound to what could be described as almost psychedelic black metal shows not only their understanding of the origins of the black metal genre, but also that it is possible to create something wonderful, dark, and brutal without prancing around on stage like a buffoon.

I can see where you’re coming from. All focus should be on the music and not so much on the musicians themselves, and this is true. However, I myself am a practicing BM musician and must uphold what I believe. I know it’s about the music, but when it comes to live performances, the art should be, as you say, ov greater musicianship. That being said, the corpse paint, spikes, etc., are all necessary to complete the art as a whole. That is, the fact that they don such clothing and antics deepens the live show experience by providing a demonic stage presence (Bands like Gorgoroth and Watain do this well, others like Immortal and Dimmu, not so much). It’s not like they walk around all day dressed like this. I believe when playing music that requires such deep involvement as black metal does, that one must become apart ov it. That one should express himself musically to his fullest extent. I think you completely misunderstand the use ov “masks/disguises” as you put it. These antics aren’t meant to hide anything, but in fact bring forth the music visually. If it’s just about the music and not about the idealogy or the show as a whole, then why even see a band play live?

I can tell you are quite passionate about your Black Metal. To you, would the genre be as good as it is without the addition of the theatrical elements, such as corpse paint and spikes? I understand that there is an ideology within the black metal scene regarding those elements, but to me it seems a little superflous. The music is already grand and often epic, I guess anything on top of that is a bonus. I havent been to a black metal show before, but I can imagine what it is like. A lot of what you are saying makes sense, I’ve seen a lot of hardcore bands that subscribe to a vegan ideology, and as such they do not wear leather/animal products, and they express a particular message, whether the audience is in full agreement with it or not.
Live shows are just that; its about seeing your favourite band right there, five feet in front of you, giving it everything they have. Whether they are wearing corpse paint, suits and ties, or clown suits is extra.
I know its ridiculous to assume that band members spend the bulk of their time dressed in leather. In reality, they are all probably completely inconspicuous people who live totally normal lives.
Have you ever seen Ruthless Review’s ‘Top 10 Most Ridiculous Black Metal Pics’? It is probably where a lot of my feelings come from, spending a considerable amount of time laughing hysterically at some of the photos, knowing full well that they were taken in a completely serious context.

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