Fire Of Unblack Metal Band Elgibbor Talks Christianity In Black Metal
An editorial piece has now been posted online through Metalunderground dealing with Christian musicians playing black metal, which is a style infamous for its use of Satanic and anti-Christian lyrics. The editorial is a follow up to our Unearthing the Metal Underground column that looked at three "unblack" metal bands.
To get a better perspective on the subject, I talked with members from both Christian unblack bands and bands that take an anti-religious stance. The responses I received from each band are also being posted online so readers can hear both sides of the argument and make up their own minds on the issue.
The next musician we'll hear from is solo artist Fire from Polish unblack metal band Elgibbor. You can also check out our previously posted interviews with unblack metal act Winter's Dawn, as well as Frames, Throne of Malediction, and Dehumanation on the anti-religious side.
xFiruath: What does black metal or extreme metal personally mean to you, either as a musical style or a philosophy?
Fire: Black metal is a style of music. The philosophy of black metal has many different “genres” so to say; such as rebellion, religion in general, the occult, mysticism, paganism and so on. It depends really on what each individual band believes and stands for.
xFiruath: Do you personally see a distinction between unblack metal bands and black metal bands? That is to say, do you think bands with religious members and religious lyrics should be categorized differently?
Fire: For me black metal or unblack metal is pretty much the same music. Yes the lyrics are different and the source of their inspiration varies. I guess it depends on what you categorize as “religious.” Satanism is also a form of religion.
xFiruath: There’s no question that black metal saw its major awakening with Norwegian bands that either had anti-religious sentiments or had members who were themselves involved in anti-religious activities. Do you think that black metal can be separated from its beginnings without becoming something else entirely?
Fire: Like I said before, Satanism or paganism or other beliefs are also religions. In my opinion many of these bands or people who started this "anti-religious war" have some problems with understanding what a religion really is. If they were part of a Satanic gathering or even pagan, these are all religious. It would be safer to say that they were anti-Christian or anti-God. In saying that, metal bands who sing Christian lyrics are trying to provide followers of this music genre with an option of listening to the type of music they like without the negative lyrics and in the same breath are able to learn about what they believe.
xFiruath: How do lyrics influence your decision to listen to a band? If you heard an amazing black metal band you loved, but later discovered the lyrics were anti-Christian, would you continue listening to them?
Fire: I used listen a lot of anti-Christian bands and I especially liked the old school black metal style of music. However, I stopped listening to many of these bands when I changed my ideology.
xFiruath: How would you feel about listening to a pro-Muslim black metal band with all Islamic members (or a pro-Jewish black metal band, or pro-Scientologist black metal band, or pro-Mormon black metal band, or so on…)?
Fire: I would and do have respect for all of them as musicians. Their beliefs are different than mine, but they have a right to express their beliefs just like I do.
xFiruath: Christian black metal is in a very interesting position, because it is just as likely to be criticized by fans of Satanic black metal as it is to be criticized by Christians who think black metal in general is evil. What would your response be to a Christian who prayed on the subject and found they had a sincere conviction that black metal was an absolutely evil tool of the devil?
Fire: It’s always a problem for people who don’t understand this style of music. I am someone who played this kind of music from very young age so this style of music is in my blood, so to say. I don’t play different styles of music much because it’s just not my preference.
xFiruath: After listening to a lot of Christian rock and metal bands, I’ve found they tend to segregate out based on lyrical content. How do you feel about Christian unblack metal bands using war and gore themed lyrics, such as about battles between angels and demons? How about lyrics dealing with the times God kills people (or commands others to kill people) during the Bible? Do you think unblack metal bands should only have positive and uplifting lyrics?
Fire: I don’t have a problem with Christian bands who use that kind of lyrics as long as they are biblical and kept in the context that all is about spiritual battles and that they don’t take it out of context. If it was important enough for God to want to put it in the Bible then I believe it’s important enough to be used in lyrics. It’s true that you see people in the Bible during times of war and death. You can also see God’s hand in those times as He helps the people be victorious and overcome their enemies. Usually when the wrath of God is shown in the Old Testament it’s because people have been doing wrong, evil things and not listening to God. It was during a time in history when people were given the choice of doing the right thing and they chose a life of blatant rebellion. People need to remember, however, that most of these things happened before Jesus sacrificed His life for us so that we could receive His full forgiveness. I believe that now our battle is not against flesh and blood people, but our battles are spiritual.
xFiruath: What Christian bands do you personally listen to, metal or otherwise?
Fire: I like a lot of different bands. I just like good music! Underground music, classical, Celtic etc…depends on what mood I’m in.
xFiruath: What specifically in your life led you to either believe or disbelieve in ideas like God and the supernatural?
Fire: I came to a time in my life when I felt the lowest. I was doing drugs and felt like life had no meaning. God used that time to open my eyes through some help of a friend. He showed me that He was more than just religion. God still helps me exist in this cruel world. Sure I have problems just like everyone does, but with God it makes life so much easier.
xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss on the issue?
Fire: Thanks for the interview! I always like to be available to people who listen to my music, so if anyone has any more questions or comments, they can always contact me on MySpace.
xFiruath: What’s going on with your band these days?
Fire: Just finished recording a new album. It’s called “The Imminent Invasion.” Not sure when it will be released at this time, but it’s coming soon.
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