Black Metal Politics - Black Metal Politics Jesse Glenn...

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Black Metal Politics Jesse Glenn English 030 October 12, 2007 Author Kobena Mercer discusses the importance of black American style in his essay
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"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 248). 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. However, black 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. This would 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 Glenn 2 Metal" bands but what sets these groups apart is that they have a more distorted sound and lyrics
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that embrace Satanism (Monynihan 11-12). These lyrics were like a "panacea for the soul [to] kids brought up in stifling Christian environments" (Moynihan 12). These same kids who found this music as an outlet for their distaste for Christianity made up a large portion of what was known to be the "Second Wave Black Metal" bands and audience; this version of black metal has the sound described in the previous paragraph. This new Black Metal started in Norway with
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENGL 030 taught by Professor Wright,elizabeth during the Fall '07 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Black Metal Politics - Black Metal Politics Jesse Glenn...

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