"Black Hair/Style Politics."
Mercer states that "black peoples of the African diaspora have
developed distinct, if not unique, patterns of style.
..which are politically intelligible as creative
responses to the experience of oppression and dispossession" (248).
The black people responded
to white people's racist views with innovative haircuts and style to develop a culture of their own
thereby demonstrating their humanity and demanding recognition as members of society (Mercer
The view adopted by this subculture was that "Black is Beautiful" (Mercer 254); however,
the subculture of this analysis embraced the view that the color black has evil connotations.
Black metal is a form of music that developed through the late 1980s and gained
popularity in the early 1990s.
Black metal is characterized by high pitched vocals performed in a
growling or shrieking manner with lyrics about darkness, hatred, nature, death, decay, Satanism
or anti-Christianity, and Paganism, rapid, distorted guitar played with tremolo picking (the rapid
plucking of a string by alternating an up and down stroke), quick, repetitive drumming with
synchronized snare and bass drum hits, repetitive melodies, and an emphasis on dissonance.
These elements combine to form a style of music that creates a dark and chaotic atmosphere;
many people do not consider the genre as legitimate music but simply as noise.
metal is far more than simply a genre of music: there is a style of dress, philosophy, and a violent
history that accompanies the genre.
Therefore, the black metal subculture has politics that have a
significance similar to the politics of black people as described by Mercer.
Black metal began with what is called the "First Wave Black Metal" bands.
include groups such as Mercyful Fate, Venom, and Bathory.
These bands would be classified
with other groups of the time, such as Iron Maiden and Saxon, as "New Wave of British Heavy
Metal" bands but what sets these groups apart is that they have a more distorted sound and lyrics