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Thread: Metal as a Germanic Answer to Modernity?

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    Senior Member Kurtz's Avatar
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    Metal as a Germanic Answer to Modernity?

    Facts:

    1) Metal is an almost exclusively Germanic phenomenon. Its historical centers are England, Anglo-Saxon US, Scandinavia, Germany and northern continental Europe as a whole

    2) The philosophical background of the metal mindset (incl. lyrical content) is deeply rooted into the Germanic tradition:
    - Heavy Metal with its epic and often historically-inspired lyrics and theme (ex: war, Middle-Ages, bravery, witchcraft)
    - Black Metal has an highly nihilist and pagan lyrical content and imagery, the link to the Germanic traditions are at their clearer here.
    - Death metal has a post-modern nihilist and brutal approach to everything pertaining to life, meaning, spirituality, body, death
    - Folk/Medieval metal is about ancient folk tales, in the purest Germanic tradition.
    - Progressive metal is about pushing forward music's limits by infusing multiple influences, incl. classical influences, to seek and explore human spirit.

    Personal interpretation:

    3) Most of these genres are waging a war against modernity. While it is especially obvious in some cases, the glorification of ancestors, history and wars lying in almost all metal subclasses can be meant as an assault, or at least a way of escaping modern times and going back in time.

    4) Metalheads see themselves as a brotherhood, having their kings (metal musicians themselves) and their special way to honor (adore?) them. Metalheads have distinctive physical and mental traits which distinguish them from more modern individuals.

    5) The metal concert acts as some kind of mass, in which the metal "volk" gather and perform acts which they see as restricted to their clan. It can be see as a folkish celebration, similar to those ancient pagan fests.

    6) Metalheads are clearly more racially conscious than other people surrounding them; metal crowd are overwhelmingly white and Germanic. They feel that their music and way of life is not at all inclusive, and foreigners (especially non-Germanic) don't understand them at all.

    What do you think of this little brainstorming? Does it make sense?

    A similar and more lenghty text on this topic right here.
    "The heavenly motions... are nothing but a continuous song for several voices, perceived not by the ear but by the intellect,
    a figured music which sets landmarks
    in the immeasurable flow of time."

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    This sounds like a sub-culture. Hippies, for instance, could have been described in such terms.

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    Senior Member Hrodwulf's Avatar
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    Maybe this was why I was drawn to it as a kid? ha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    Facts:
    1) Metal is an almost exclusively Germanic phenomenon. Its historical centers are England, Anglo-Saxon US, Scandinavia, Germany and northern continental Europe as a whole
    I think you should better say that most of the metal bands came from north europe. but what about the tons of metal bands from south-america? sepultura, imago mortis, soulfly... just to mention some from brazil. they are probably not so famous, but there are definitly a lot of great metal bands and a huge scene.
    Viele Menschen sind zu gut erzogen, um mit vollen Mund zu sprechen;
    aber sie haben keine Bedenken, dies mit leeren Kopf zu tun.

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    This type of music can be, and often is, disgusting. Despite it's origins and lyrics, I wouldn't call the actual "musical" part of it very Germanic at all. Even if it was, I wouldn't enjoy listening to the ever-gradual degradation of my ear-drum.

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    Member Vintersverd's Avatar
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    As much as I love Black Metal I must disagree with the topic mentioned for several reasons:

    Metal "Culture" is for the most part a sub-culture which as shown above is not for everybody and to tell you the truth I am growing tired of scene whores jumping on the Black Metal band wagon. I can honestly say I hate the image that is given off with Black Metal... I truely hate most of the fanbase for as cheesy as it may sound they are not "true" in the sense that it is merely a fashion statement in much the same way that "Emo", "Punk" and "Gangsta" have become which are coincidently the people we label as pousers. On top of that I dispise the way it has become a self-parody of itself, I think its roots stem from Immortals cheesy videos (which are amusing) to Nargaroths "Black Metal Ist Krieg!" clowning about (which is NOT amusing). I can't really stand those type of people and do not want to associate myself with such a degenerate sub-culture. For those that know about Vargs opinion on the "Scene" that's pretty much how I see it. I am really passionate about decent Black Metal and enjoy conversing with fellow people who share my view but with the rise of the internet too many people have jumped on the bandwagon for "kvlt" points... those are not "Real" Black Metallers. To put it simply Black Metal is Elitism.

    As for the genre as a whole I still stand by the above statements but BM is a very critical genre (even to itself) where as a genre like Folk Metal is pretty much the exact opposite in terms of Fanbase's attitude towards the whole thing. But I think I read somebody state that "Metal is the Evolution from Classical" which is an interesting comment: To me Metal is more of Rock's older cousin (where most people would say brother) in that they use the same instruments but are going along completely different paths. Metal has gone along many separate paths for different reason, it started off as a form of rebellion and progressed into a form of Extremism then among the genre's they each grew their own ideals ie with Black Metal there is "NSBM" then there is "DSBM" which are on completely opposite ends. On top of that each have their reasons like some use it to describe sick disgusting perversions of from paedophillia, occultism, anti-christian etc... whilst others use it as a form of Romanticism (Artistic) like amongst the French scene.

    When it comes down its pretty much like how RAC is closest related to Punk which ironically the two have complete opposite mindsets. Also there are Japs that like Metal just as much as whites like Rap disgusting as it sounds. Don't get me wrong but Metal is more or less an "Individualist" art form which attracts anti-social people such as myself.
    ... And Snow Covered the Lifeless Bodies

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    Senior Member Kurtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viriathus View Post
    I think you should better say that most of the metal bands came from north europe. but what about the tons of metal bands from south-america? sepultura, imago mortis, soulfly... just to mention some from brazil. they are probably not so famous, but there are definitly a lot of great metal bands and a huge scene.
    "Almost exclusively" has a meaning very close to "most...", don't you agree?

    How many influential bands were from Brazil? Aside from Sepultura? Next to zero. They are mostly unsignificant power metal bands (Angra and the likes). I know the crowds there are huge, but South Americans were very marginal in the genesis of the whole metal genre.

    Same thing can be said from Japan. They were already huge heavy rock fan back to the times of Deep Purple, but almost never contributed to the genre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Solar Wolff View Post
    This sounds like a sub-culture. Hippies, for instance, could have been described in such terms.
    Yes, it is a subculture. My post implied that; only, I think this sub-culture has many traits which distinguished them from other musical styles, fads and other very ephemera trends.

    Quote Originally Posted by United Faith View Post
    This type of music can be, and often is, disgusting. Despite it's origins and lyrics, I wouldn't call the actual "musical" part of it very Germanic at all. Even if it was, I wouldn't enjoy listening to the ever-gradual degradation of my ear-drum.
    Most metal genres and bands are not "disgusting" and do not intend to be so. Their music may be loud, but the lyrics are not morbid or violent or anything that could shock your fragile ears.

    Why would you not consider the music in itself Germanic, keeping in mind my arguments of the first post?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vintersverd View Post
    As much as I love Black Metal I must disagree with the topic mentioned for several reasons:

    Metal "Culture" is for the most part a sub-culture which as shown above is not for everybody and to tell you the truth I am growing tired of scene whores jumping on the Black Metal band wagon. I can honestly say I hate the image that is given off with Black Metal... I truely hate most of the fanbase for as cheesy as it may sound they are not "true" in the sense that it is merely a fashion statement in much the same way that "Emo", "Punk" and "Gangsta" have become which are coincidently the people we label as pousers. On top of that I dispise the way it has become a self-parody of itself, I think its roots stem from Immortals cheesy videos (which are amusing) to Nargaroths "Black Metal Ist Krieg!" clowning about (which is NOT amusing). I can't really stand those type of people and do not want to associate myself with such a degenerate sub-culture. For those that know about Vargs opinion on the "Scene" that's pretty much how I see it. I am really passionate about decent Black Metal and enjoy conversing with fellow people who share my view but with the rise of the internet too many people have jumped on the bandwagon for "kvlt" points... those are not "Real" Black Metallers. To put it simply Black Metal is Elitism.
    I agree wholehearthedly with you there, being very elitist myself and listening to only a very small proportion of metal bands and genres. Obviously, though, I was referring to the founders and most important and talented bands of the scene, not the kids who think they are tr00 while Fenriz call their music "spastic lame and weak". American Nihilist Underground Society, the link I gave, is by far the most elitist metal site around, and they get severely criticized for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vintersverd View Post
    As for the genre as a whole I still stand by the above statements but BM is a very critical genre (even to itself) where as a genre like Folk Metal is pretty much the exact opposite in terms of Fanbase's attitude towards the whole thing. But I think I read somebody state that "Metal is the Evolution from Classical" which is an interesting comment: To me Metal is more of Rock's older cousin (where most people would say brother) in that they use the same instruments but are going along completely different paths. Metal has gone along many separate paths for different reason, it started off as a form of rebellion and progressed into a form of Extremism then among the genre's they each grew their own ideals ie with Black Metal there is "NSBM" then there is "DSBM" which are on completely opposite ends. On top of that each have their reasons like some use it to describe sick disgusting perversions of from paedophillia, occultism, anti-christian etc... whilst others use it as a form of Romanticism (Artistic) like amongst the French scene.
    Your point is interesting but I fail to see how you essentially disagree with the initial thesis. I never said that metal is the "evolution" from classical (I listen to classical much more than metal, by the way). You seem to refuse to see the links between all the metal sub-genres, but I think most metal musicians see it clearly, no matter what their style is. They all listened to Maiden as children, even the most hardcore death metal musicians, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vintersverd View Post
    When it comes down its pretty much like how RAC is closest related to Punk which ironically the two have complete opposite mindsets. Also there are Japs that like Metal just as much as whites like Rap disgusting as it sounds. Don't get me wrong but Metal is more or less an "Individualist" art form which attracts anti-social people such as myself.
    RAC is not metal, it is simply moronic. Period.
    "The heavenly motions... are nothing but a continuous song for several voices, perceived not by the ear but by the intellect,
    a figured music which sets landmarks
    in the immeasurable flow of time."

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    Most metal genres and bands are not "disgusting" and do not intend to be so. Their music may be loud, but the lyrics are not morbid or violent or anything that could shock your fragile ears.

    Why would you not consider the music in itself Germanic, keeping in mind my arguments of the first post?
    I don't really think it could be ever classified as Germanic. The only thing I see it as is the most Germanic-like music we have today. Nothing more.

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    West African tribal music > Blues > Rock and roll / R&B > Hard rock > Heavy metal > Black/Death/Thrash/Progressive/Etc Metal

    Not Germanic

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    Senior Member SwordOfTheVistula's Avatar
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    Rock music did come from music sung by black slaves in the southern US, but the rhythms adopted by them came from English and Scots-Irish folk music, not west african tribal music.

    I think a more accurate chart would be:

    Anglo-Celtic folk music > [Blues (>R&B) and Country] > Rock and roll > Hard rock > Heavy metal > Black/Death/Thrash/Progressive/Etc Metal

    West African tribal music+Rhythm&Blues=Rap

    Rock and roll > Hard rock > Punk Rock > Hardcore, RAC, etc
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