Extreme Music for Extreme People? Norwegian Black Metal and Transcendent Violence
Phillipov, M, Extreme Music for Extreme People? Norwegian Black Metal and Transcendent Violence, Heavy Metal: Controversies and Countercultures, Equinox Publishing Ltd., T Hjelm, K Kahn-Harris and M Levine (ed), Sheffield UK, Bristol USA, pp. 152-165. ISBN 9781845539405 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]
Heavy metal is now over forty years old and has developed into a diverse and multi-faceted genre. Wherever it is found and however it is played, metal's fascination with transgression has often meant it has been embroiled in controversy. Controversies surrounding the alleged connection between heavy metal and, variously, sexual promiscuity, occultism and Satanism, subliminal messages, suicide and violence have made heavy metal a target of moral panics over popular culture. Metal has variously embraced, rejected, played with and tried to ignore this controversy and it remains irrevocably marked by its controversial, transgressive tendencies. This anthology provides a thorough investigation of how and why metal becomes controversial, how metal 'scenes' are formed. It examines the relationship between metal and society, including how fans, musicians and the media create the culture of heavy metal. This chapter focuses on the events of the Norwegian black metal scene in the early 1990s, a period in which violent aesthetics in metal music became explicitly and deliberately articulated to real acts of violence. Concentrating on the musical and criminal activities of the band Emperor, the author suggests that the groupís success was, at least in part, the result of membersí simultaneous promotion and disavowal of their involvement in violent crime.