Monday, March 26, 2007


"Unter friedlichen Umständen fällt der kriegerische Mensch über sich selber her," Nietzsche wrote in Jenseits Guten Und Bösen: "In peacetime, a warlike man maltreats himself".

Black Metal points towards Nietzsche's aphorism: it is a Metal genre in which both war and automutilation are extolled.

With regards to the warlike nature of Black Metal: entire books could be filled in an attempt to catalogue all Black Metal references to war. In fact, a subgenre of Black Metal is called War Metal, which fuels it's aggressivity with a speedball injection of Grindcore and Death Metal. Apparently, a Canadian (such a peaceful country!) band called Blasphemy pioneered the genre.

And automutilation and Black Metal? Again, the references in Black Metal to cutting one's own flesh are too numerous to mention. Mayhem's Dead cut himself. French Black Metal band Antaeus produced an album called "Cut Your Flesh & Worship Satan" which was supposed to be produced with a steel jewel box, containing instead of a booklet only a razor blade. MkM, the band's frontman, is an adept automutilator - a photograph of him accompanies this post.

And if Nietzsche's aphorism is true: does the current vogue for automutilation amongst teenagers imply that an especially warlike generation is growing up? And if we reverse the aphorism, can we assume that those who maltreat themselves in peacetime, are the cruelest ones in war?

No comments: