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OpEd

The Unblackening Of Metal: A Look At The Role Religion Plays In Anti-Religious Music

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Band Photo: Megadeth (?)

From the very beginning, heavy metal has been about rebellion against established norms and restrictive social institutions. That theme has never prevented metal from being influenced by the greatest of mankind’s various systems of organized repression, however. Using a guitar and a microphone to express discontent over the actions of parents and governments inevitably led to bands expressing their disgust with the beliefs behind those actions. Whether musicians are singing about it, railing against it, or just simply partaking of it in their free time, religion has an undeniable role to play in nearly every sub-genre of heavy metal.

Plenty of bands have been built up around an anti-religious atmosphere, whether a simple general sentiment or a full-on fervor that drives the music. Despite metal being frequently identified with an anti-religious standpoint, the style has more than its fair share or religious spokesmen. Famous musicians such as Dave Mustaine of Megadeth have never been particularly quiet about their Christian faith, even if they don’t expressly promote it in any given song. Explicitly Christian metalcore acts are also rapidly gaining widespread attention, with groups like August Burns Red taking over Hot Topic and acts like I The Breather touring the U.S.

In general, it would seem the thrash metal world either doesn’t care about Mustaine’s religious affiliation or is willing to overlook it for the sake of the music. Thrash certainly has its share of anti-Christian songs, but it’s a genre that’s more concerned with social issues or an overall aggressive musical feel than anything dealing with supernatural belief systems.

As any fan of metal can easily attest, not all genres are built equal, and what appeals to one metal head is a serious turn off for another. Black metal is easily among the most infamous of all metal styles, having cut its teeth in the early ‘90s across a back drop of church burnings and sensational media stories of power struggles between Satanic leaders. Names like Emperor and Mayhem were starting to make waves and become recognized in the underground not only across Europe, but also in the U.S. and abroad.

Thrash fans may not be particularly bothered by Dave Mustaine thanking God for his success or refusing to play with a band called Rotting Christ, but black metal is a whole other world with completely different ideals. The so-called “second wave” of black metal created itself almost entirely around rebellion against religion in general, and Christianity in particular. Whether it was an adherence to Satanic beliefs, or frustration over Christianity destroying their native pagan traditions, or even anger over the atrocities committed in Christianity’s name, the pioneers of black metal ensured the genre was permanently linked to a specific premise. Like it or not, black metal’s lyrics and philosophical stances are entwined with its music.

Adding A Christian Element To An Anti-Christian Medium

Or are they? Ask sole member Fire of solo black metal act Elgibbor the meaning behind black metal, and he’ll give a very different take on the subject. According to 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.” Fire’s band is an anomaly in the world of black metal, and one that has good reason to see a distinction between lyrical content and music style.

Elgibbor is a project that uses the same distinctively frozen style that would be expected of black metal, but puts forth a pro-Christian worldview. The band belongs to a further sub-category frequently referred to as “unblack metal,” which turns the standard anti-religious themes on their head. Explaining how he can resolve the seeming contradiction of preaching Christianity in a decidedly unreligious medium, Fire went on to say, “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.”

Black metal most definitely isn’t the first musical style that features bands who exist solely or primarily to spread the teachings of Christianity. From pop and rap to country and nearly any other musical tradition imaginable, if it exists, there is a Christian version of it. Further discussing why a genre like “unblack” metal even exists, Fire commented, “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.”

The black metal legions may see this as blasphemy of the highest order and hope Elgibbor is just a short lived fluke. But Fire isn’t alone, as Christian leaning bands have a small, but dedicated, presence in all the major black metal strongholds. Horde, Lengsel, Crimson Moonlight, Antestor, and Extol are probably some of the most well known (relatively speaking) Christian bands in the extreme metal arena, but there’s also a flourishing underground filled with modern bands.

Vocalist Syhirious of Chilean unblack metal band Diamoth further expanded on the idea that black metal isn’t restricted to one specific image by adding, "Imagine that a man bought an outfit that can only be used in a single occasion; the occasion happened and the outfit ‘can't be used again.’ Imagine a fire occurs, and his entire house with his belongings was burned in that fire, except him and his outfit that was used. What would do the fool? The fool would say: ‘I'd rather be naked than use this outfit that was used,’ but what would do the wise? The wise would say: ‘the dress had a purpose and it was used, now I will re-signify his function.’ The wheel can be always a wheel, and the person who invented the wheel certainly has it's copyrights in prehistoric times, but you can take that element and turn it into something new with a new function, the same thing happens with the music."

Besides showing the Christian propensity to come up with overblown analogies that don’t completely apply to the situation to make a point (a better analogy might be that someone wanted to wear a black metal corpse paint outfit to church, even though they had plenty of other outfits that would better fit the scenario), Syhirious does bring up an important question that is relevant to all music, and not just black metal. Can, or should, a musical style outgrow its roots and drastically change without giving up its name and heritage?

A Changing Genre

To be fair, the number of bands still carrying on the typical “necro” black metal sound are dwindling as musicians try new things. Even some of the black metal bands that had the staunchest anti-religious stances have changed their lyrical themes. Extreme metal has come a long way since Samael screamed “I spit at your god's face/I piss on the cross/I vomit on the holy bible/I shit on the blessed whore and her bastard son” back in ’94 on the “Ceremony of Opposites” album. Fast forward ten years and Samael had a very different lyrical focus, with lines like “Focus on, optimize/Rearrange, reorganize /Define new borderline/See how bright, bright you can shine” on the “Reign of Light” release. While the band remains opposed to Christianity, it now tends to express those thoughts in more positive and uplifting ways. Certainly there are bands like Belphegor still harping on weird sexual perversion with Satan, and the oddball act like Deathspell Omega which seems to be serious about theistic Satanism, but overall the genre is growing up along with its members.

Even musicians involved in bands of an anti-religious stance today can agree with the sentiment that black metal can, and perhaps even should, change. When asked if black metal could change from its beginnings without becoming something else entirely, front man Eric Horner from Throne of Malediction responded, “In order to evolve, it must separate to some extent. Though there were a lot of great albums of black metal in the 1980's and 1990's, it is not the only time good black metal was made, however. Elitest assholes who say true black/extreme metal died in the 1990's remind me of a middle aged dude who glories in his high school football days. Those were the beginnings and the bands of today need to grow from that foundation more, rather than try to re-hash old shit.”

Matthew Kelly of Dehumanation seemed to agree, adding that “The forerunners of most ‘extreme metal’ styles were not social butterflies and they didn't really give a shit either way what other people thought of what they were doing - they did it to satisfy an inner craving for music of a type they didn't hear coming from any other bands around them at the time. That being said I think the most apparent thing that's wrong with black metal in particular is the idea that there's some peer-based review board of people somewhere in Norway who meet on a weekly basis to decide what's black metal this year and what's not.”

That doesn’t mean the black metal bands of today necessarily have to accept Christianity creeping onto their domain, however, even if they accept that black metal is a somewhat fluid concept. Asked if he would make a distinction between black and unblack metal bands, Eric Horner explained, “I do see a vast distinction, in one is serving a master and the other serves no-one (even most Satanists do not believe in a real, actual being called Satan, just the ideals and virtues of individuality). One is for individuality and one is for bowing to a master. A huge difference.”

Matthew Kelly threw in his thoughts on unblack metal with the statement, “I think the idea of ‘unblack metal’ is preposterous and we should kill it with fire. Christian death metal was ridiculous enough (remember Mortification?) - the same people who wanted Slayer lyrics censored in the late 80s decided it'd be a good idea to go the Deicide route and try to shock people into listening to or appreciating them just to get their message of proselytization out or earn an imagined place in heaven when they died. The idea that black metal can be anything other than misanthropic and somehow ‘save’ people... it's just ludicrous to me. At its core black metal doesn't give a fuck about anyone else.”

Zaragil of Ophidian Forest also took a rather dim view of Christianity intruding on black metal, stating, “If they really made that amazing music I'd listen to them a few more times, but something like that has not happened yet. Which is strange since demented people tend to make good music, but I guess Christianity doesn't go well with black metal. It might be more suitable for Goth bands and all that fallen angels, candles, sins, and redemption stuff they are singing about.”

Interestingly enough, it wasn’t just Christianity that seemed to bother the musicians polled on the subject, as many of them took issue with any religion attempting to infiltrate black metal. For example, take Zaragil who said, “Admittedly, I can still enjoy some Satanic bands as an entertainment, but for example I can't really listen to Deathspell Omega as their brand of Satanism is theistic – as if they really believe in all this and actually want to burn in hell. I find that laughable.”

Common Ground Between Opponents

Although there were exceptions on both sides of the fence, several of the unblack metal bands who responded to a survey made it clear that Christians were just as likely to completely write off music that didn’t agree with their world view as non-Christians. For instance, Amnon of Winter’s Dawn shared his thoughts on the topic by saying, “The lyrics of a band have a big influence regarding whether I will listen or not. Being a Christian I don't want to listen to songs that are blasphemous towards the God I worship. Some say they are just listening to enjoy the music alone, but I prefer to embrace a band completely, including the message they present."

Syhirious of Diamoth concurred, giving the following answer to whether or not he’d continue listening to an amazing black metal band he later discovered was anti-Christian: “No, I’m strong in my feelings about Christ, I don’t like to be incongruent with my decisions. Personally, I don’t care if a great band exists with anti-Christian, my life doesn’t depend on if I listen to a band or not. A person has to be congruent with himself and with the others.”

Further showing how either side is just as capable of using the same tactics, themes, and pitfalls as the other, it’s important to note that not all Christian bands are the polar opposite of anti-Christian bands. While many may hear “Christian” and assume it means lyrics about love and forgiveness, such is not always the case. Some unblack metal bands take just as much of a hard line against unbelievers as did early black metal bands against Christians.

Frost Like Ashes is a prime example, with songs about God punishing those who don’t turn to Christianity by tearing open pregnant women, ravaging mothers and daughters, crushing babies, and having dogs eat their flesh. Forget Cannibal Corpse singing about weird murders or corpse paint covered kids burning down churches in Norway, because these are the folks you should really be scared of. Musicians who take this tack truly believe the things they are screaming about and base their entire lives around these beliefs. Whether that’s terrifying or “metal as fuck” (or maybe a little of both?) is up to any given metal fan to decide. The lyrics resonated with at least one YouTube user named “philaboston” who commented on the “A Cruel Verse” track from Frost Like Ashes: “Awesome song. To kill Satan, you have to act like him to get close to him, then when he is not expecting, stab the beast in the back. That is the spirit of unblack metal. Kill Satan!”

Guitarist Sebat Frost from Frost Like Ashes explained his band’s aggressive stance by saying, “Now with Frost Like Ashes we always approached the music in a warlike manner. I always thought that black metal was quite warlike in nature, so I felt it was right to approach it in that way. Of course this is not meant to be a form of hatred towards people, instead it is just an artistic expression of what I believe to be a very real war. I believe in the spirit realm, I do believe that there is a God and a Devil so our music is done in a way to reflect that. We also really have felt a need to be aggressive in this, which as a result can leave people thinking we are too intense as a Christian band and so forth.”

Clearly the presence of either Christian or anti-Christian themes in black metal causes a strong response from either side of the debate. The reason it seems to be an issue that provokes such strong reaction is because of how personal music can be for people, especially in a genre like black metal. Many people in the modern metal scene grew up with metal as a main outlet for their hate and disgust and sorrow when all other avenues were closed. Take the following description given by Kevin Seawell of Frames, when asked what black metal meant to him: “Whether extreme or not, metal to me is the perfect aural stimulant. If you are one to believe in souls, then metal gives my soul an orgasm. It is the best way to express my day.”

Sebat Frost from Frost Like Ashes shared a similar sentiment, albeit in a drastically different direction, by adding “I have been involved with playing extreme metal for over 20 years now. I was in a thrash band in ’87. I love the music with a passion. I love it so much that after I became a believer in Christ the only logical thing to do was to continue making the music I love and do it for the Glory of God instead.”

Ophidian Forest’s Zaragail also offered this poetic take on black metal: “And black metal, if done right, is the most natural music I can imagine. It feels spontaneous, fluid, as if reflecting the sounds of nature, the beauty and the dangers of it. It evokes the sounds of rain, wind, waves, rustling of leaves, distant echoes across the mountains and, naturally, beasts lurking in dark places. Might be too loud for some people to notice, but it's their problem, not mine.”

Taking A Look At Both Sides

What sends shivers up the spine of one metal fan may make another want to hit the “Stop” button as quickly as possible, and religious differences only further spread that divide. Take this interesting mental image from Matthew Kelly, discussing what sets passionate black metal apart from other musical styles: "If I had to choose between seeing Aura Noir drunk and tripping on LSD at Elm Street with a deaf guy running the sound or see Slipknot at 100% on the greatest soundstage with the best sound guy in the world... well, man, I'd have to choose Aura Noir at Elm Street. Why? Because it's real. Because you can hear the difference in the music. There's passion in real art that transcends the value of the dollar or kroner or lyra or whatever the fuck, and in the end the church is just out to get your dollars. I'd say the same must be true of religious-driven media of all types."

Christians would likely disagree with the sentiment about the church, but they could also probably get behind the overall idea that passion in real art transcends the medium itself. Ultimately Christian and non-Christian black metal bands will probably remain divided forever over what constitutes “real art” and whether or not a pro-religious stance can be displayed without changing the music itself.

Both sides of the debate could easily learn a little from the other, as it would seem that both camps exhibit an immediate unwillingness to hear out the other that prevents the divide from ever being closed. Both also had a certain level of hypocrisy in believing they were the most open minded, while refusing to acknowledge or listen to the other. While black metal may be forever rooted in rebellion against Christianity, one still has to give credit to unblack metal bands for having the courage to pursue a course that causes them to take fire from all sides, as churches are just as likely to label them as blasphemers as are adherents to traditional black metal.

All music fans have the right to refuse to listen to certain bands based on lyrical content, but they also need to realize that music is universal and no one philosophy has the right to claim total control over a genre. Expanding a musical style means that style will be more likely to experience breakthroughs and see new talent emerge that evolves the sound in surprising ways. Ultimately it’s a good thing that diverse groups are hearing metal music they wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise, even if it does mean sharing with those we disagree with or find distasteful.

Guitarist Skaven from the band Nierty perhaps summed it up best when he said, “And I’ll set the record straight for pro-Jesus music, if it’s gonna be pro-Jesus fine, make me fear his wrath to the point where I shit my pants or make me want to hang myself for him. Don’t be passive about it. This is the cold intent black metal is founded on, you either got it or you don’t got it."

At the end of the day the lyrics are not the music, and while lyrics can and should influence listening decisions, they shouldn’t prevent earnest musicians from making the music they want to make while ignoring the detractors.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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64 Comments on "The Unblackening Of Metal"

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brandedcfh420's avatar

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1. brandedcfh420 writes:

GREAT ARTICLE SIR!!
10 OF 10!!

""Guitarist Sebat Frost from Frost Like Ashes explained "I always thought that black metal was quite warlike in nature, so I felt it was right to approach it in that way.""

I agree with that statement 100%. I do not know of the band, but I have always looked at BM as a war between good and evil through music, whether it was BM or UnBM. I have listened to both genres and its the same thing but with varying points of view.

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 3:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. A. writes:

I think it's funny that if us black metal/anti religion people went into christian churches and tried to use their traditions, music or otherwise to express our discontent with christianity...they would call it desecration. And yet we are supposed to be ok with them appropriating out style and form of expression to try to promote their christian views. This is typical christianity nonsense....they have no place in black metal.

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 4:15 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
IrishMetal's avatar

Member

3. IrishMetal writes:

Oz's Sunday Old School and the various Unearth The... columns are always a good read, but this sweeps them off the board (No offense Oz :P)

Kudos to you xFiruath / Ty

Seems you share the same view as myself and Cynic on Syhirious too.

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 6:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
4. jordan velez writes:

I'm christian and love metal and I can point out the faults in frost like ashes lyrics. If they read the bible they would know babies don't get mutilated for not believing in god its the extremist that makes us look bad

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 6:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. Ugh writes:

Great article!!!Makes me want to check out all the artists.

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 8:24 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. Felice Debra Eliscu writes:

Great thought provoking article.

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 9:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Content Manager

7. xFiruath writes:

Thanks for your comments IrishMetal and everyone else! I just want to take a moment and give props to Oz though - he puts out a high quality Sunday Old School every week without ever skipping a beat!

This was a pretty tough subject to tackle, and I have to say that I'm looking forward to spending a little time not listening to Christian music now :)

No matter what side you land on, hopefully these interviews and articles have led people to new music to check out and new ways of looking at the subject. Let us know if you get into any of these bands, or if you'd like to recommend any others!

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 9:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. Yowie. writes:

A,
A lot of what you see go on in "christian" churches and traditions held to have pagan backgrounds anyway. So go ahead and use them. Christians with a deep sincere faith will not be flustered because we know YHWH is beyond those things.

To think anyone owns a sound is arrogance and from what I know of the black metal scene, arrogance is rampid. Take Varg and Euronymous for example. Look what come of their arrogance. After reading Lords Of Chaos there was the impression that black metallers were going to spread accross the world and be the destruction of religion and anything affilliated with it. Black metallers have been made out to be something they're not. Yes, some churches got burnt and there was a some murders but on the grand scheme of things it was a drop in the ocean.

# Jan 20, 2011 @ 11:09 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
9. asp writes:

Holy cow, xFiruath, good job. I’m flogged after reading all those interviews. I need some time to think. And after Sebat Frost and Frost Like Ashes, some Rolaids. I really liked Plaag, and will continue to listen. Thanks for the great work.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 12:44 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. Adonijah writes:

Jordan, I appreciate that you believe to know better than we on the legitimacy of the lyrical content of one of our songs. But you are severely erroneous in your assertion.

Firstly, we never state that babies are mutilated for not believing in God. That's not even in the song. Nice try. Secondly, the lyrics are taken directly from Biblical texts, and are often used by people who believe that they illustrate a flaw in God or at the very least, a sort of "gotcha" reference to make Christians squirm in their attempt to defend it. (Study to show thyself approved-2nd Timothy 2:15).

The theme of the song is that satan will destroy you. Mankind, left to our sin, is twisted and evil. It is our disobedience to our Creator that causes such evil as child abuse, rape, murder, and vile perversion of God's design for love between man and woman to abound. It has literally drenched the earth in the consequences of that disobedience.

The ULTIMATE consequence being the destruction of our literal flesh as well as our souls if we do not accept Him.

It is seen throughout Scripture, that disobedience will not go unpunished. Many times with horrific manifestation.

The good news is that there is a Way. His name is Jesus and nothing we can do...NOTHING, will make Him love you less. Nothing. It's so easy to have a relationship with the Lord of All, the Lord of Love, the Lord of Darkness and of Light. It is His love that even gives us the freedom to reject Him. It's our choice.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 12:50 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

11. hellrat writes:

dear fvcking christ...some of these 'pious philosophers' on here are just, eh...how do you say it?

indoctrinated and DOGmatic?

anyway, great article xF, hell of a lot of work, eh?

hell, it even got the fvcking pretentious Wise Men spelling out the fvcking Ya-Way for us poor and ignorant wretches :)

seriously, good job man...great read \m/

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 1:16 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. asp writes:

Awe, sh**, man. I don’t believe in god, satan, or christ, and even if I did I would not give up self accountability. I believe in self accountability, and any abuses I see are not caused by gods or devils but people themselves. Officials of the church who have abused, and any other proprietor of the Christian faith that have abused have done so as human beings, and they are accountable for what they have done, and instead of hiding under the skirt of their Vatican hierarchy or gullible faith should be accountable by law like anyone else when there is abuse. If that sense of self accountability was actually present in the church, it would finally get across to the families that look to the church for moral boundary who also abuse and hide their dirty laundry, and things might actually change. I hope to see a day when the self is held accountable and works of fiction are denied as fiction, and criminals within the church finally fall to the one thing that can make them fall. Accountability.

All kinds of religious turds hide behind the bible. The bible is an old, archaic, bestial, cruel piece of feces from a long gone, horrific time. Quoting it and saying something horrific, racist, misogynistic, and using it to spread hate and intolerance, and then hiding behind is and say “well, it’s in the bible” and the bible is holy, once again wreaks of that lack of self accountability and that constant denial of who you really work for when you mince words and try to hide behind reverence. Somebody always does the laundry, man, and it’s not Jesus. It’s just people who suffer the acts of other people. Abuse, violence. There is no retribution in the next life to hide behind like religious types have, more lack of self accountability. Somebody always pays, and until accountability matters, priests, and whoever the f***, that abuse kids, will run free, snickering behind the hand of “retribution in the next life” (yeah right), getting the collection plate filled, and getting away with murder in this life.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 1:20 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. joey m writes:

personally i dont think black metal can really be used effectively to convey Christian messages n meaning. i mean the lyrics can be whatever but in the end the emotions your using to make the music all come from aggression n feelings of hate n for me the emotion behind the music is one of the most important things i get inspiration from. i cant get that feeling of love n kindness dat ur supposed to get from songs about God with all dat hate behind it. But den again dats jus my opinion, but hey if it works for u den it works for u...

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 1:35 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
14. asp writes:

f***, I can't stand this sh**. People's literal flesh isn't destroyed because of some "lord." It's mortality, DNA, old age, illness. And what's with the "lord" always made out to be some mentally ill cluster B clown with "ownership" issues? Or is that just that just the fundies talking? I've heard enough from people who got whooped before church, at church, after church, and at school where there was religious indoctrination the whole "disobey and be punished" thing is man made. And what's with calling it "god" then? That's just sick.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 1:39 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. Diamond Oz is in Bristol ATM writes:

Thanks Ty!

Up yours IrishMetal :P

Fantastic article though. Well worth the wait.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 5:50 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CorpusUpir's avatar

Member

16. CorpusUpir writes:

Well It sounds like to me all black metal is , is religious music weather it be from either side. Just one going off about wanting to kill the other . It's sad that metal has let religion of any sort into our ranks let your belifs be your belifs and don't let that divde our comunnity , just be happy that all walks can find the joy of metal

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 7:13 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
17. Bahn writes:

There is no such thing as "Christian Black Metal".......

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 10:32 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
18. asp writes:

I don’t think there’s such thing as Christian black metal, either. On it’s own, without the reputation real black metal made to proceed them, I can’t see it. On their own, what are they? Christian metal. Take out the black, and what do you have? There’s a whole lot wrapped up in that world “black” that proceeds these guys, and I’m not that interested in them saying they’re just as violent, or religious, or brutal, or their music is the same, because they’re not black. They should stand on their own without trying to use “black metal glory.” It reminds me of all the protests where some group gets together to protest an issue, and the Christian fundamentalists always show up then to protest, too, against anything differing from their values, same manner, same fashion, but not the same at all.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 2:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
foxsaverZEN's avatar

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19. foxsaverZEN writes:

Awesome article...No doubt they the best in their field...We owe it to them.....Metal is the best thing ever happened to humanity.......Hail Slayer

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 2:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
EsotericSurgery's avatar

Member

20. EsotericSurgery writes:

asp: You're right on the money in my books sir. Self accountability for the win. Also, I strongly believe that the words of Christ are not the problem here (and I'm far from religious). I think the slogan "Beware the wolves in sheeps clothing" applies. I believe, like many, that WE are god collectively. God is within, it's in everything. It's not a man sitting in the clouds...god is consciousness. WE are the creator. We are all individual/unique pieces to what makes up the infinite creation we see every day. There is no good or bad...right or wrong...there simply IS. Yin and yang folks...balance. I think these ideologies are shared by a lot of "atheist" or "pagan" folks in black metal today and they share a common hatred/aggression towards the "wolves in sheeps clothing" doing evil in the name of Christ. So yes, I would agree that black metal is a war. A war for personal freedom.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 4:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

21. hellrat writes:

yep, its true ES....i don't fvckin care how peaceful and hippy it sounds when we talk about this sh!t

nah, jesus is chill, no problem with that dude....WAY ahead of his time...hell, still is

the 'second coming' is properly understood as humanity actually becoming f***ing enlightened enough to attain the 'christ consciousness'; will likely never fvcking occur because people remain thoroughly disgusting and base....

we are in love with our divided mind and indulgent in all it's trappings....we defend our pride, relish our power, embrace emnity on groundless principle, wallow in self pity, make a habit of negativity....all symtoms of being cut off from the 'source' and suffering a collective self-identity crisis

it is the very literal definition of hell....and wicked little satan is that predominating aspect of the human mind that insists we are serparate from, and pretends to be superior to, what IS...that is the fall from grace, the day our ancestors began to reckon they could outwit the fvcking universe

for eons, time has continued to prove the grave fundamental error in this mode of belief, whatever silly guise it hides behind....but i don't really see it changing much, in my lifetime anyway...and hell, i ain't fvckin perfect either

it seems the race of man is really more entrenched than ever before, if only because of the simply staggering numbers of humans on the planet these days...ah hell!perhaps we will be 'saved' by the cataclysms ;)

and we got METAL out of the situation anyway :)

\m/ horns UP fvckers! \m/

NP---TESTAMENT---Three Days of Darkness

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 5:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
EsotericSurgery's avatar

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22. EsotericSurgery writes:

HR: I really enjoyed seeing you write that man. :) But I will respectfully disagree with one and only one point: humanity WILL see the rebirth of the Christ consciousness. It's a design of the universe to upgrade all life via INTELLIGENT (atheists are screaming at the monitor right now) energy that ripples from the centre of the galaxy (picture the rings of an onion) every 72,000 years. Guess when the latest cycle ends? :) 2012!! The human species...and everything on Earth will evolve (we're currently in this evolutionary process). Those that refuse to see that they are the creator (this is what I believe was meant in the bible when they describe "denying the glory of god") and that all of creation is love/light (how UN-metal right? :p) will be removed and sent back to repeat third grade/dimension (or as you so cleverly stated...hell) on a new 3D planet. Those that "make the cut" so to speak will see what the bible describes as "god bringing heaven down to Earth." This is the manifestation of 4th density/dimension which is the density of love/acceptance/understanding...which is also seen as the return of the Christ consciousness.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 6:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
EsotericSurgery's avatar

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23. EsotericSurgery writes:

I must add, just for clarity's sake (even though no one will probably agree or give a fvck) there is an evolutionary path for those that are following the service to self path as well (as opposed to the Christ-like service to others path). I'm certainly not saying everyone is meant to walk the path of the light by ANY means. There HAS to be a negative path...nature is all about balance. The negative path is equally as important. For if all of creation is love/light/unity/oneness is service to self not service to the whole as well? :)

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 6:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
24. Just an opinion! writes:

BM has been a great way to get a message across, and I also whole heartdly believe that they have every right to be pist and metal out about their own opinions, hatred, and anger towards christians! The christians have gone through and enslaved or MURDERED millions of innocents through out the centuries just becuase they did not bow down to a priest who thought he heard the words of God. Millions were slaughtered in the name of their God, wars were started, etc.
BM has become the only outlet for most musicians to express their views and such. Any other way would end them up dead or in jail for life.
I think it is disgusting that Christians can steal anything, copy it, and say it is their own! They do sh** like that all the time. The have taken the Myspace logo and turned it into "Jesus saved Myspace (as te logo) in Heaven" and more. They are always copiing sh** that others have done. Now they wanna steal metal from us? I say f*** THAT!
I see them as using metal for spreading the words of God and trying to convert people. Yet the true founder and musicians of metal who are not Christian and who are against them use metal as a tool to express themselves, to show the world how they feel, and not convert!
I say leave metal as what it was originally born as, REBELLIOUS, ANTI- RELIGIOUS, ANGER RELEASING, AND OURS!

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 7:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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25. brandedcfh420 writes:

good point #24....

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 7:26 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
26. Adonijah writes:

Funny that many here actually believe that Christianity is religious.

Actually, a personal relationship with the Creator is the antithesis of religion. Jesus was 100% against religion, as are Frost Like Ashes.

Religion IS enslavement, and it serves the purposes of corruptible man who uses it to bend the weak to their fleshly desires; be it money, power, fame, or simply to feed their ego.

What I have transcends the confines of religion. I don't pray to a god with ears that cannot hear, nor an idol with eyes that cannot see...I have communion with the Father of all Creation. No simplistic and narcissistic religion such as paganism and satanism (or any other pitiful attempt at deperately grasping for some kind of meaning in life aside from acknowledging that God is the Author of Life) can touch that. Not even close. And you wouldn't know, unless you knew Him. You may know some Christians, you may have even gone to a church service a couple of times in your life, big deal-it means nothing. That's NOT knowing God.

It's also very amusing that the same people that whine about how "intolerant" Christians are of people with different beliefs than they hold, get so bent out of shape over something as irreligious as a form of musical style. Talk about insecurity.

You don't own music any more than I own paint. It's art. Grow a pair and try to stand on your merits instead of crying about how offended you are that someone with faith in Christ "stole" YOUR music. And I can express my beliefs through whatever medium *I* choose, I don't need your imaginary sovereignty to give me your blessing.

You remind me of the moronic gang members like the bloods and crips who lay claim to their fantasy world of Red or Blue exclusivity. "What set chu from, holmes? You a crip?"

How about everybody here that feels they have cornered the market on "blackness" or musical chords and fancy themselves as the fashion police of the Metal Kingdom go back to the sandbox and play with your wizard figurines until you grow up and realize that you have no such claim.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 8:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
IrishMetal's avatar

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27. IrishMetal writes:

"What I have transcends the confines of religion. I don't pray to a god with ears that cannot hear, nor an idol with eyes that cannot see...I have communion with the Father of all Creation. No simplistic and narcissistic religion such as paganism and satanism (or any other pitiful attempt at deperately grasping for some kind of meaning in life aside from acknowledging that God is the Author of Life) can touch that. Not even close. And you wouldn't know, unless you knew Him. You may know some Christians, you may have even gone to a church service a couple of times in your life, big deal-it means nothing. That's NOT knowing God."

Woah, so deep, man, so deep. You totally have a tighter bond with your inner voices than anyone else - eVeR!!!

Get over yourself. I can bet that most Buddhists live a much more fulfilling life than your half-cocked mish-mash-god worshipping self does.

As to the rest of the comment, sure, there are people getting bent out of shape over Christians "stealing" the music style.

I personally think it's fine. Little point, but fine. Black Metal to me is largely fueled by hate (the harsher sub genres) and desire to be left alone (the more ambient/atmospheric sub genres). Now why a 'Christian' band would want to emulate those feelings beats the sh** outta me, but hey, go for it.

But keep the holier than thou attitude out of my face.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 10:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

28. Cynic writes:

Christianity is, by definition of the term in English, a religion. Deal. With. It.

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 11:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

29. hellrat writes:

nah ES brother, i just can't put any faith in human projections...we'll see what happens, but you gotta believe me, i hope for the very best as well, but i ain't holdin my breath either ;)

in any case, people just need to LIVE their lives and not necessarily 'figure them out'

go with the fvckin flow; don't worry be happy...its so simple, it sounds so fvcking cheesy...but ya know what? its the goddamned truth...trust the fvcking path you signed up for

and i will honestly say that i fvckin LOVE everybody her on the 'underground....ALL you people are fvcking awesome!!

ya know why??? because \m/ METAL FVCKING RULES!!! \m/

and THAT is the key to the cosmos... :)

# Jan 21, 2011 @ 11:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
30. asp writes:

I don’t think anyone who would claim to have a personal relationship with God would ever need to go around convincing people, contorting people to their own opinions, or invalidating others. I would call that a personality disorder, and a bad one at that. I doubt that “relationship” would need to be mentioned at all. If that’s who we all are anyway, keeping in line with previous comments by ES and HR, what’s the difference if that “relationship” is pagan, atheistic, Buddhist, or anything else? How is how it is expressed or delivered TO the individual, if that‘s your bag (to keep in line with god and deliverance,) at all an issue? Liberal opinions around philosophies work well for getting along, but not everyone is liberal, and neither is every philosophy. That’s why people get p***ed off when fundamentalists, cult types searching for dependant and weak personalities, hairy assed bigots with protruding brow bones, and religious zealots come around popping off and trying to control the crowd. Markings of black and white thinking, lies circumventing lies circumventing lies, when accused, deny, when denied, accuse. It rolls out like a host of pathological lies. No one here is acting like a gang member. This is actually a really great metal community.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 12:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
31. metal in my veins pumping throught my brain writes:

hey guys black metal bands like slipknot and bmth are pretty bad a$$ if you guys ask me and were are the my chemical romance and green day forums on this side. I wanna be a cool kid ;)

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 12:44 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
32. asp writes:

I think there was a time when there were many ways of expressing “god” or lack thereof (for instance, the different greek temples were a place to express “god” in many ways, where the idea of the monad and the variety of expressions of “god” came from anyway, and also where the word “atheos” comes from.) War, invasion, rules by the state, etc, if you can imagine, many expressions of “god” rather than many “gods” (keeping with the greek thinkers), would eliminate other “expressions” of god (though they seemed to word it as killing literal gods, but all they were killing was people), until at last after war and defeat there would be only one victorious, supreme, and tyrannical expression of “god” whether is be the emperor, the church of the state, etc. But it doesn’t work. The world is full of variety, which is healthy and alive, but the bigots and fundamentalists feel like they need to “win” to achieve. It’s sad. How does a Christian come to terms with rape and mutilation of pagans and their expressions of god in lyrics when there are names of Saints after pagan “gods” (or expressions of god) depending on the community being converted? Songs about raping the saints on the way? Or would that be unchristian? Historically correct, really, that Christians, often illiterate, would go out and rape, torch, and murder. At that time there was so much war that the population of Europe dropped and technology was set back up to 200 years. That’s early Christianity. Jewish people are just one of many, many cultures that suffered under foreign rule, and anti-Semitism is generally frowned upon, and even prosecuted in court. Why is it still ok to target others that were occupied at the time? I’m guessing a real lack of identity, still from being defeated and having to fly the Christian flag for such a long time, the systematic destruction of culture. It’s just weird to be of a nation that was defeated in those times and still for some reason TODAY in 2010, with all the laws of religions freedom, to be looked at as “Christian goods.” Like I should get back in line. I don’t think so. As long as Christians, or any other group for that matter, come out and start quacking authoritarian and supremist crap, invalidating others, there will be arguments. It’s a direct attack that should have died a century and a half ago. Look at the poets of the 19th century. People have been trying to get out from the misogynistic authoritarian rut, that just happened to have Christianity as the only faith in its class, for a long time.

How the hell is paganism and Satanism narcissistic? f***. Most Satanism seems pretty modern to me. Define usage of narcissistic. The form of greek love, the personality disorder, colloquial egocentrism? Please explain. It doesn’t make much sense, since this mono exclusive one god and his man against all else stuff sounds far more alone and divided to me, and if that‘s egocentric, so be it. Dude if you like your faith, good for you. You’re more likely to be able to express it without butting heads by hanging out with like minded people, though. Taking control of one’s own opinions isn’t insecurity, more like the opposite. That’s why I personally can’t shake for this stuff, but I have to admit I‘ve enjoyed the friendly fire.

I'm not an avid purveyor of religion, but I respect the role of free will in religion, because without it there is no real expression of religio. If you believe in free will and that "god" granted free will, how can you think that "he" would need "you" to disarm the free will of others in the expression of religio? I just don't get the mono culture thing.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 1:54 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
33. mjt writes:

great article mate!
i've long been very anti religion in music.
... but have had a tendency to prefer metal which undermines any & all religions.

having said that; i have no idea what changed but i'm beginning to learn that a lot (ie: enough to make this post) of the bands i've fallen for over the past 12-24 months have been christian. i didn't know this at the time of initial introduction and while i was certainly surprised by how many were openly christian.... in the end it doesn't bother me anymore.
their music sounds great and in the end isn't that what matters?!

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 5:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
EsotericSurgery's avatar

Member

34. EsotericSurgery writes:

Well said HR, right back at you brother!

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 5:16 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
35. Adonijah writes:

"How is paganism & satanism narcissisistic?" Are you kidding me? It's quintessential narcissism...it's all about the self. Excessive love or admiration of oneself is the definition.

The idea of "do what thou wilt" is classic humanism wrapped up in a little box and labeled satanism by the pitiful narcissist himself, Anton LaVey.

"As long as Christians, or any other group for that matter, come out and start quacking authoritarian and supremist crap, invalidating others, there will be arguments."

Right, but this is the thing that I find so amusing...you all think that YOU'RE right...and that's OK with every pagan/heathen/satanist/whatever on the board, but when a Christian asserts their faith in as strong a manner as say Ihsahn expresses his...Ooooo, can't have THAT! It reeks of hypocrisy and double-standard.

And nice try on the subject of rape, that made me laugh. If you knew anything about the song, you would understand that the line "Let me violate Lillith The whore of filth and dregs Cast on her back, submissive Craver of rancid sperm" is not an endorsement of rape. You'd have to believe Lilith is/was real to even be raped, which of course, she is not. Furthermore, as Azahel eloquently stated "It is my desire to wage a Spiritual and Ideological War that will see the ultimate victory of the God of the Bible. Pale Shadows is a literary expression of that desire."

And how is defending your imaginary sovereignty over a musical style NOT acting like a blood or a crip? It's the same thing. Red, Blue...people willing to kill over something so insane? Because oh...You in crip turf, look out, you're wearing red! How infantile. You might as well forget about the glory days of corpse-paint, CLOWNS had that market corned long before Immortal smeared it on. (I like Immortal btw).

And no Christian would rape, torch and murder. Those that would may be religious, but they DO NOT have a relationship with Jesus Christ-period. That said, there is nothing wrong with fighting for what you believe in. If you aren't willing to fight for it, then it must not be worth fighting for. And throughout history, Christianity has had to stand up in the face of tyranny by Rome, by Islam, by the Nazis and today in countries like Indonesia, Sudan and of course all those peaceful muslims all over the middle east. If someone wants to fight, let them come...we are more than conquerors and the Lord of all creation empowers us to overcome.

We don't seek war, we leave peaceably with everyone as much as possible. But don't expect any Christian with a strong grasp of Scripture to back down with a whimper when you come spewing lies and hatred. The stated intent of many (note-I didn't say all) in the black metal genre is the destruction of Christianity. Good luck.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 12:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

Member

36. brandedcfh420 writes:

1) And no Christian would rape, torch and murder.

Heard of a thing called The Inquisition? The great church did that!

2) If someone wants to fight, let them come...we are more than conquerors and the Lord of all creation empowers us to overcome.

But if no Christian commits murder, why are you wanting them to come so you can "conquer" them by "killing" them?

3) We don't seek war, we leave peaceably with everyone as much as possible. But don't expect any Christian with a strong grasp of Scripture to back down with a whimper when you come spewing lies and hatred.


LIES AND HATRED?! now hold on! how many times a year do we see and hear on the news of some church protesting something, and showing their "HATRED" for what they are protesting?! Im not refering directly to the WBC but churches in general that always have to find something to protest about. Christians feel that by going out and supressing someone elses freedom of speech, which christians so visciously defend, that they are doing good. THEY ARE TOO UN-EVOLVED TO SEE THEIR FACIST HYPOCRICY!!

,l,,(**),,l, and your faith!

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 12:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

37. hellrat writes:

and Miller takes seconf on the Hahnenkamm!!! Cuche wins his fourth DH at Kitzbuhel!!!

the fvcking rapture is at hand brethren! now prostrate your humble selves before the Gods of Speed!!!

i'm crackin a fvckin beer godamnit!! this is a fvcking great day :)

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 1:03 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
38. Adonijah writes:

brandedcfh420,

I'm about done here because the ignorace and lack of comprehension is staggeringly difficult to tolerate.

Let me try to explain this to someone who obviously doesn't know anything about the difference between relationship with God and religion.

1) The inquisition? THIS is your argument? I've already tried to define the difference between religious zeal and Christian faith, but I suppose one more attempt is in order. True faith in Christ is not beholden to any "great church" as you put it. Jesus taught that WE (individuals who are His disciples) are the church...not some man-made institution full of legalistic doctrines and silly church bi-laws. Quite literally, *I* am the church, Azahel is the church, Sebat is the church...our families, our believer friends...and Christ is the head of the church. The Assemblies of God, Southern Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc., are not THE church. Furthermore, no amount of Fred Phelps, Inquisition or other extreme religious persecution can hold a candle to the peace, generosity, kindness and goodwill that true Christians have sown in the world. They are not the same thing. Apparently, you need to be reminded that the Roman Catholic church (those who initiated the inquisition) was run by ROMANS, The same people empire that enterntained its masses by feeding Christians (real Christians) to the lions at the Colliseum! Prime example of non-christians using the banner of their religion to oppress and persecute and intimidate those who don't bow and kiss their ring. Christians are those like Paul, John, Peter, Timothy, Ruth, and Mark. People who KNEW Jesus and walked after Him in His way. They were persecuted unto death for their faith in the Creator and did not organize a religious institution using the name of Christ to plunder and destroy. Big difference.

2) Yes, I will fight. I believe in it, and it is worth fighting for. As I said, I don't go out looking to fight, but I will not stand silently by while people who have no idea what they're talking about spread lies and deciet about what my faith is. I don't want to kill anyone, but Varg and others of his ilk made it clear that they are violently hateful about their beliefs, but somehow THAT's OK with much of the Black Metal community. If someone comes into your house to rape your wife & daughter, kill you and take all your valuables, what do you do? Sit there like a pansy and so mote it be? Or do you grab a weapon shoot him dead or beat him to a pulp to protect what you love? In the same way, I will not simply allow some two-bit satanist go off on some half-cocked rantings about someone stealing "their" music or about Christianity being this oppressive, racist, plundering monstrosity that ought to be destroyed (which will never happen).

I'll pick my battles, but I won't back down for you or anyone else, no matter how cute your ellipses' may be.

Oh and Cynic...who are you to define what Christianity is anyway? I don't recall you going to the cross and redeeming me. Jesus Christ LIVED Christianity and He defines it, not you, not Webster's, and not Dani Filth. I can call a Pinto a Lamborghini, it does not make it so. Call it what you want, you're wrong.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 2:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

39. hellrat writes:

oh shut it hallelujah^

you know what is 'staggering'? the sheer excess of your utterly self absorbed drivel

now, i don't give a flying fvck whatever the hell your convoluted beliefs are, but i will neither 'stand for lies and deceit'

vikernes killed aarseth because he BELIEVED the runt intended to do as much to him...that's it, very simple....no other 'convictions' or compulsive 'faith' behind it, ya fvckin dipsh!t

so button that flap back over that gaping, sputtering hole of yours, and scuttle on back to where ever the hell ya slithered out from :)

laters kooky!

oh yeah, Lindsey made it win no. 38 on the WC with her dominating victory in the Super G at Cortina!!!!

USA goddamnit!!! we are the fvcking BEST :)

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 2:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
IrishMetal's avatar

Member

40. IrishMetal writes:

Actually, I don't recall Jesus going to the cross at all, and I don't think you can either unless you have incredible longevity.

Considering it "might" have happened around 2000 years ago... there is next to no proof for the Jesus figure outside of the bible and two quotes from the writing of Josephus (One of which is viewed as a forgery by most)

So take the Osiris resurrection and salvation rip-off seriously if you like.

You're right, religion isn't the same as faith or a simple belief system, but if you pray or take part in any communion/baptism/whatever rites, then it is religion.

If you pass judgement on people who don't believe in a god, then I would be inclined to say you're religious too.

All in all, we die, something happens, if you live righteously (and I don't mean in a biblical sense), but believe in the wrong religion or none at all and there is a vengeful god on the other side, well, who knew. That equally applies to yourself - you might have the wrong god. Or it might be reincarnation, or *poof* nothingness.

Do what you like, try not to mess up other people, and get on with life - it only lasts so long.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 3:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
IrishMetal's avatar

Member

41. IrishMetal writes:

Oh, and Paul was the biggest douchebag of the age.

Seriously pants-on-head retarded.

"Stay a perma-virgin like me, but if you really have to have sex, get married, but really, try not to, let's kill off the human race here and now"

"Men need to have short hair and head uncovered, women long hair and covered when they pray, because men are good and women are bad"

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 3:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

Member

42. brandedcfh420 writes:

well, since chritianity has oppressed billions for centuries, whats the problem with your toilet paper faith being oppressed?! everywhere christians take the facist path and claim rightousness.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 4:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
43. asp writes:

Dude, you're right. Paul is really one of the only real pieces of work in that damn book. Almost all are fiction, edited heavily by the church or state, or forgeries.

I gave this guy a chance. But he turned out to be the antithesis of black metal, anyway. If he wants to stand up and start a war, that's his business. But he just kept saying the same old stuff, over and over, that is so sterotypical of what black metal has spoken against. If one speaks for freedom, the other speaks for bondage and religious indoctrination.

I still can't grip this guy's version of narcissism. How the hell is paganism narcissistic? It's the other way for me. This "one god" "one man" all about his self against the world stuff IS narcissistic. Wanting to control others, indoctrinate, IS narcissistic. No matter what kind of narcissism I apply to the paganism argument, I just can't get it (likes to look at self in mirror, abusive power and control, love of the self or a healthy narcissism.) If the guy was such a poor persecuted Christian why would he indoctrinate? If he's into some kind of extreme self defined Christianity that mainstream Christians don't fly with, why aim at pagans? They appear to be the unindoctrinated. No indoctrination, no cigar. Sad.

You're right about the facist path. He aims at pagans and humanists, which tend to be more liberal, and not indoctrinated, but also Christian denominations. It just seems like the unidoctrinated are the enemy.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 4:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
44. asp writes:

If pagans are sh**, and humanism is sh**, and various denominations of christianity are sh**, and anyone who says otherwise is sh**, what's left? Anything that came before or after, as well as anything that modernized or made Christanity more moderate, seems to be sh**. If denying religious indoctrination is oppressive to Christianity, so be it. Speading the good f***ing news... f***.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 5:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
45. Skaven writes:

paganism is a regectable religion, because the earth exists hahah but religiouse people blow eachother up and marter themselves everyday, kind of says a little bit about natural selection that given half a century ago no one would have thought the way we (the majorty) are thiniing now.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 6:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

46. Cynic writes:

Adonijah: But Websters does define the word religion, go look it up and tell me which part of your Christianity (since yours is the one true one, right?) is so incongruent with each of those definitions that the mere mention of the phrase religion should be struck down as you do.

Or, let me tell you why you and other Christians pull that line. It's because you're either embarrassed at the state of the Church and want to distance yourself from them (with weasel words) or you're embarrassed at the fact you believe in supernatural forces so you cover it up to make it sound different to, say believing in ghosts or aliens visitations (with weasel words). In case you haven't guessed, I hate weasel words.

# Jan 22, 2011 @ 11:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Rayze's avatar

Member

47. Rayze writes:

Great article. Well I'd just say unblack metal isn't black, hence the different name. It just makes me happy, I don't think it's THE right way to deal with these things, but it works.

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 12:47 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
48. psychogoat2000 writes:

i've never really listened to "unblack" metal before, the description of Frost Like Ashes intrigued me, so i looked them up on youtube and listened to "a cruel verse". the instrumentals were OK, and the vocals were just kind of "meh" for me, not bad, not good either.

anyway, it's the attitude of "believe this or you're going to hell" displayed in that song that turned me off of christianity and made me start questioning things when i was a little kid (now i'm an atheist). i don't know why anyone would want to believe in a religion like that, let alone make music with that attitude. metal for me has always been an escape from freaks like that because it's overall message is one of individuality and not having to believe what others believe. and black metal is an extension of that, directed specifically towards christianity and religion.

if christians want to make metal that's their business, but if their music is telling me i'm going to hell for not believing what they believe, then f*** them, they're not making real metal.

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 12:50 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
49. Josh_of_Doom writes:

-A band i did sessions for in the 90's, christian goth rock, was funded by a church group, they saw it as a marketing tool, and it is common practice in the gospel scene. My participation did not last long once i saw how calculated it all was. To me its a desperate attempt at winning over tithe payers, a pale impersonation, and a completely contrived product.
-The church looses the battle against scientific fact, so the marketing department comes up with creationism, same difference.
-Denying and suppressing the duality of human nature is destructive, as is required by christian doctrine. Ask any pedophile priest.
-Also these christian bands clearly have no understanding of the concept of satanism beyond whats printed on the CD covers that offend their frail sensibilities.
-What a hypocrite, in the 80's, when not drunk out of your mind, you write a song called 'am i evil', and years later you refuse to play with 'rotting christ'
-"And no Christian would rape, torch and murder". Sounds like the definition of the crusades.

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 9:30 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
50. Bahn writes:

....there is only BLACK METAL.......

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 1:04 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

51. hellrat writes:

where is our young friend Eli the Messenger when we need him? he would get us all straightened out here :)

brother Doom, sh!tstaine did not write Am I Evil....its diamond head song....but yes he is still a fvcking typical 'converted' hypocrite

....and US superbabe Lindsey Vonn wins her second Super G in 3 days for WC no. 39!!! 19 year old swiss prodigy and superbabe Lara Gut in 3rd!!! max speeds in men's DH were in excess of 83 MPH!!!

Time for another beer!!! :)

NP---helvetica---shadow of the sun

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 1:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

52. deathbringer writes:

Adonijah, despite your good intentions and desires to remove yourself from anything negative that has been attributed to Christianity (rightly or not), you cannot simply redefine Christianity for the masses. However you want to define your "relationship with Christ," Christianity is still a religion practiced by people, many of whom go to church and many of whom do bad things. Perhaps the religion has been hijacked by those who are not true Christians over the years (by your definition), but just like the term "emo," it can't be taken back in the eyes of the masses.

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 2:43 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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53. brandedcfh420 writes:

O SHA-POW! GREAT POST DB!! GREAT POST INDEED!!!

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 3:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
54. asp writes:

JoD, you're right. The church is an expensive place to run, and without the next generation they'll go broke. I can't wait. That's why they're marketing. They ask the question "how to get people back in the pews." That's how they make their money. Then they market. Poisoned water marketing for sheep. I hope they go broke.

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 4:52 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
55. Cocytus writes:

I threw up a little when I read this. I will not stand for this, and will certainly do harm on to anyone whosoever suggests that such an abhoration should be granted existence.

# Jan 23, 2011 @ 8:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
56. null kult writes:

imo overall metal has been anti establishment including anti organized religion....but what black metal brings forth(esp the 2nd wave) is sensational.the sense of mysticism and aura created by bands like drudkh,blut aus nord,burzum is amazing and almost a religious experience in the context of what many followers of the same feel.metalheads in themselves being a cult with their own share of sensibilities tend to be narrow minded .but i feel bm took metals' f**k the world arrogance to another level not by juvenile church burnings but thru the music....and the unblack scene is just lame parody to that. all of this said nice article man ....it will raise some good points and thoughts.

# Jan 24, 2011 @ 7:02 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
tallica_fan's avatar

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57. tallica_fan writes:

haha you know the topic is about religion when each post takes up the whole screen :p

any medium that preaches christianity makes my ears bleed, simply because i find the idea so utterly unintelligent. i say 'why?' and ''how' and they use that cop out F word 'Faith' ..lets be realistic, you believed in santa and the easter bunny unquestionably because you were taught from a young age, your parents just havent broken it to you christians about this jesus dude yet. look at the evidence of evolution and what is realistically true and stop thinking that human beings are so important in the massive scheme of things, its incredibly naive. society is the creator of good and evil, as politically incorrect as it is to say, you'd be out raping women and killing anyone who got within in your territory just like the animal kingdom if it werent for community we created. therefore i can understand why the world of black metal is unhappy with their style being basically used against them because it was their medium to express their feelings towards religion amongst other things.

jesus is a 2000 year old chinese whisper exaggerated for weak minded people, who cant live a normal life without insurance that this isnt simply, it.

# Jan 24, 2011 @ 9:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

58. BrianMN writes:

I find the whole thing funny actually.
Metal and religion.
It's one thing to take an anti religious stance but the whole...Satan, Satan, Kill, Kill, blah blah blah.....
Slayer were the poster children for Satan in metal, then we find out Tom and Dave are both Catholic.
Same with Deicide, Benton in particular.
How many of these super evil people are what they really portray?
None of them.
It's an act.
The whole shock value wore off after Legion and Tomb of the Mutilated.
That said, Christianity belongs in metal about as much as Islam.
Yawn......
If I want to get preached at, I'll go to mass on Sunday.

# Jan 24, 2011 @ 9:22 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
59. A writes:

Good discussion here, I enjoyed reading everyone's comments.

I can only say that I hope these "unblack" bands go broke and are forced to find other means of employment as well as other means of spreading their "religion" or "spiritual connection with god" or whatever they want to call it.

Maybe they will move on to make christian punk rock, or christian mariachi, or maybe some modern christian opera/jazz hybrid!! LOL....either way I will love black metal and continue to find amusement and entertainment in the folly of christianity.

# Jan 24, 2011 @ 12:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
60. Josh_of_Doom writes:

Ok, jump in the fire then. My bad.

# Jan 24, 2011 @ 3:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
bloodnutar's avatar

Member

61. bloodnutar writes:

The comments here confirm my belief that metal fans are normally intelligent people who think about stuff and have their own opinions.

I started listening to metal in the early 80s, and loved it for being open-minded, tolerant, and sometimes making you think. Metal also is a community of people who loves to share their love for music and the topics it covers.

As per Sam Dunn's documentary, metal addresses subjects some people may want to ignore, or finds off putting. You as a metal fan should know this, and accept this as part of metal, even when these opinions are that of fellow metal fans. In the same documentary, Deena Weinstein and other sources discuss how metal’s history is also rooted in Christianity, how the originators often came from religious backgrounds. Metal, as everything in this world, will reflect society and human nature in its entire diversity.

Everyone will always have things that make them uncomfortable. Whether it is in relation to being shy, naked, books, politics, horror movies, pornography, it does not matter what, we all have personal boundaries. Saying "I will not/cannot listen to that" is an expression of personal preference, and has nothing to do with open mindedness or being a hypocrite. It also has nothing to do with being intolerant.

And "freedom of expression" also cannot be used as an excuse to justify intolerance and being rude to other people and their opinions.

Nowadays there as an increasing level of intolerance within the metal community, and I find that completely un-metal.

How much fun will it be if all metal fans had the same ideas, likes and dislikes, and the same opinions as you do? Who will you be sharing all this with?

Also, there is no way of claiming ownership over a style of music or patenting a genre name. Any complaints along the lines of who may play or sing what, or who may be called this genre or that, are totally useless and a waste of time. Listen to the music you want. Play the music you want to play. Those who dig it will listen to it.

Go to a festival and have fun with other metal fans.

# Feb 10, 2011 @ 8:09 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
bloodnutar's avatar

Member

62. bloodnutar writes:

I am sure I saw posts number 62 to 65 here

# Feb 10, 2011 @ 10:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

63. deathbringer writes:

Yes, I removed them, as attacks on anyone much less our writers will not be tolerated here. Facebook feuds can stay on Facebook.

# Feb 10, 2011 @ 11:22 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
64. Josh_of_Doom writes:

@bloodnutar.
-Rock/metal has always been anti establishment, kicking against the system etc. From personal experience (as mentioned in 49 above), I was involved in a gospel rock band in the 90's, and this whole situation smacks of the same orchestrated church establishment infiltration of the metal genre.
-Even the language used above in defense of the christian position reeks of brainwashed cult member in a closed belief trap, like redefining concepts and terms to suit your purpose etc.

# Feb 10, 2011 @ 11:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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