Home > Uncategorized > Death metal: A “pipeline to God”? « The Immanent Frame

Death metal: A “pipeline to God”? « The Immanent Frame

From its very beginnings, religion has been a central part of metal…

The bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s became even more extreme. The Floridian death metal group Deicide burst into the 1990s with some of the most violently anti-Christian lyrics the genre had seen. Song titles included…  “Kill the Christian”…

So one explanation for this obsession with the religious is metal’s rebellious streak. With the rise of the moral majority, Christianity became the most obvious target for offense. There is certainly nothing new here in the history of rock music. Yet recent developments in the genre suggest there is something more going on…

What is fascinating here is the consistency with which black metal has pursued religious forms. Satanism is replaced, not by a basic materialist atheism but with almost anything else: Occultism, Nietzsche, paganism, mystical Nazism. Such religious pluralism begs the question as to whether these are just new and interesting attempts at youth rebellion, or whether something more is playing itself out.

What if metal is drawn to the religious because it aspires towards a similar goal? What if it is not in opposition to religion, but in competition with it? In the 2005 documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, a fan is quoted as saying: “Is heavy metal a sacrament? For some people it is. If it keeps kids alive, if it gives them hope, if it gives them a place to belong, if it gives them a sense of transcendence, then its a spiritual force and I believe it is a pipeline to God.”…

Metal’s obsession with religion is part of its obsession with living at the limit. The goal of metal is extremity…  This concern with limit experiences explains metal’s obsession with religion. In its aspirations, metal parallels a kind of religious mysticism…

The constant grasping for new ideologies in the black metal scene, then, is an attempt to give this transcendental path discursive form.

via Death metal: A “pipeline to God”? « The Immanent Frame.

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