There's one subject I didn't adress yesterday in my long post about Velvet Cacoon: the strong moral outrage amongst black metal fans, when it transpired that Velvet Cacoon were accused of being plagiarists. Many a weblog, forum and myspace page were filled with incensed moralistic diatribes against Velvet Cacoons Josh and Angela.
I found this outrage to be interesting from an anthropological point of view. Why?
The strong moralist reaction is surprising, given the strong transgressive tendencies of black metal. Black metal generally turns the moral hierarchy that is prevalent in our culture on its head. The low, the ugly and the (Satanically) immoral is valorized above the high, the beautiful and the (Christian) good. Black metal is a carnivalesque genre.
With regards to the moral question of plagiarism and artistic originality, those black fans who were angry at Velvet Cacoon for the supposed plagiarism, conformed to the valorization of the original which has been dominant in western culture since the renaissance and still is, even after Marcel Duchamps, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons. The black metal carnival clearly doesn't extend to matters of originality in artistic creation.
Or do they suppose originality is on the side of the Devil, and God on that of the copy?