Black Metal ist Krieg: The Political Boundaries of Black Metal1 Attila Gyulai

Abstract Altough, the politics of black metal has been discussed extensively, “politics” often refers only to a well-known fixed relation of ideologies instead of interpreting the political boundaries around and inside black metal. The title of the study !lack "etal ist #rieg an album by $argaroth, is a slogan in the genre and also a repeated political practice which needs to be explained in terms of political theory. The title is a dubious one% what does war stand for& 's it a war against humanity, (hristianity, against the weak or the average& )r is it an interior war& )bviously, both of the answers are plausible* moreover, they can not in the least be separated. (arl +chmitt, who did not merely provide the friend-enemy distinction, but also described the ,political- epistemology of the political ,das .olitische-, enables us to move away from war to politics. !y reading +chmitt and listening to black metal one may understand that it is not the fixed opposition of friend and enemy that establishes the political, but a repeated declaration of war which politically constitutes the position of any friend and enemy. !lack metal is able to wage war only if the possibility of war is given in the inside too. 'rrespectively of definition/s origin defining black metal is an action of political nature. 't is essential that the inner differences allow black metal to be political at all. Therefore the ruptures in the black metal community and ideology, the existence of fractions like true black metal and post black metal are the preconditions for any declarations of war, for the identification of war and the political and for any possible political position of the genre. Key words: !lack metal, political theory, (arl +chmitt, das .olitische, war ***** I. A grand declaration of war 'n the discussion on the relationship between politics and black metal a lot has been dealt with elitism, radicalism, totalitarianism, sexism* alleged or declared political position of music, musicians, lyrics and imagery. There are black metal bands which define themselves politically active or

There is no war without warlike definitions and interpretations which means interpretation as war .defining war.: .4 5is friend. ideology in the broadest sense refers to an epistemology of politics.The latter remains in the realm of politics too% the negation of politics is one of the oldest tactical weapons of public conflicts. in the time of the narrator. on the level of political theory% do we allow that relation to be political itself& 'dentification of black metal and war in the title of this paper leads to relations between music and politics and to the 1uestion of the political nature of that identification. therefore.!ut what is the meaning and functioning of politics in these approaches& Talking about the relations between music and politics. at times denied ideology.and interpretation as an act of war simultaneously. These boundaries need to be explained regarding the process in which they constitute the political. !lack metal in the sense of the above mentioned identification is the repudiation of mere representation. "n#ity The political scientist. 't is about the necessity of the infernal “8everk9hnian” breakthrough. the power and the ability of intervention and opposes the desertion of mere reflexive art. There are. The collapse of 7ermany. however. often feared. 'n that act black metal becomes an act of war as well. To sum up% black metal is repeating war in a difference and conflict of meanings and so it defines itself as a political act or practice. with every composition moves closer to his own apocalyptic collapse.. repetition bears difference in sameness. That difference enables the ideology of black metal to shift the meaning of war. . 'ts ideology . The shift in the meaning of war leads to the boundaries around and within black metal. repeats the collapse of the composer. !lack metal. 7iovanni +artori in an article described (arl +chmitt “an author of 3austian temperament”. others who declare that they are above the earth-bound planes of communities.declares the right. 2eclaration of war is already an act in the state of II. !ecline and fall The composer of Thomas "ann/s 2octor 3austus bound by an unholy covenant in order to achieve a breakthrough. III.e<ection of +chmitt and . identified with war is not anymore a mere representation of something given before the interpretative move.0 !lack "etal ist #rieg ______________________________________________________________ committed to a well-known. however. don/t we only refer to some already given formulations of politics& 'n other words. to pass formal representation of art. due to the intervention of the breakthrough of representation. +erenus 6eitblom while describing the process of this decline gets gradually closer to the fall of 7ermany in a war of which it/s hard to decide% is it only represented by the musical and aesthetical evolution of Adrian 8everk9hn or is it affected by it. nations and politics.

the figure of the warrior partaking in this warlike conflict is far from the soldiers of regular armies. that is the political. ">rton +?ab@ drew attention to the shift regarding the term “the political”% an ad<ective changed into a noun. but on the other hand the logic of the separationElinking becomes political as well. he introduces the specific distinction between friend and enemy.olitical . The partisan is the “essential” political figure% he is the one who defines the boundaries of his own acts* in this regard the functioning of the partisan is repeated by every political force. are telling. +chmitt observes the disappearance of the boundaries between state and society. !ecause of that repetition. (onse1uences of proceedings of the kind are significant% on the one hand black metal becomes unified regardless of any possible differences within the genre. temporality is not independent from the differences of musical forms% in this regard black metal represents radicali?ation of the previous genres and according to the above mentioned infernal breakthrough in the 2octor 3austus this radicali?ation means conflict between the specific concepts of representation too. creates the boundaries which separate acts and actors of politics from each other. A 3ollowing a reading of +chmitt by Bac1ues 2errida. Therefore the definitions of black metal which define the genre as reaction to other ones. C however.= This reduction led to serious political charges and misunderstandings.F 5owever. The 5ungarian political scientist and advocate of interpretative political theory. The concept of war in +chmitt opens up the epistemology of the political emphasi?ing the polemical nature of all political concepts% the political is the set of ultimate differentiations. The latter may result from the temporal logic of transformation of genres 3or instance black metal stems from the earlier and broader genre of heavy metal. which were sufficient to locate and identify politics before the triumph of democracy.olitical differentiation. 't is rather the figure of the partisan who according to the analysis by (arl +chmitt not only recogni?es the enemy but creates it. De may move away from war towards the political only if we accept epistemology itself to be political. 'n his book. 'f boundaries are defined around and by black metal. I$.Attila 7yulai 4 ______________________________________________________________ criticism towards his work comes mostly from the disputed relation between writing about war and advancing it. which “provides a definition in the sense of a criterion and not as an exhaustive definition or one indicative of substantial content”. The (oncept of the .2er !egriff des . it becomes clear that the epistemology of the political is not able to escape from the effects it describes. !ifferentiations of Black Metal . separation of reflexive and factual planes of political action . 5owever +chmitt is more significant and useful for us when read as a political theorist instead of an ideologist of war.olitischen-. +ince the content of politics is not determinable anymore.

no definite separation of these two is possible% we will see that the first presupposes the latter. The lyrics are the repetitions of the title solely. (hristianity. 3irst. g. not symphonic or other kind of black metal. . $I. 'n war interpretations of the political are political interpretations as well.A 2edication "onument” leads to the other way of the above mentioned political practice. so it allows the passage from the re<ected mere aesthetic into the realm of politics. society. the only subgenre which is able to declare and wage war. which renders a warlike meaning to the music too* especially because the musical patterns follow the most elemental forms of the genre. other genres.which occurred in the IGGJs in $orway. arsons. doubles the frontlines of the conflict% the first identifies black metal against everything else . which is established around the essential centre of the true black metal. The title and the slogan were both transformed into a political practice in two ways. the album musically did not subvert the genre its effect was significant. Articles dealing with black metal do not forget to detail the violent events . The ideology behind the identification of music and war redefines the rupture. The most important thing here is not the interpretation of the murderous act. repeating a tradition which was not stabilised earlier by a reflexive act which so expressly interprets itself as a reflexive act.while the second constructs boundaries within black metal. The title and lyrics of the song institutionali?es the murder% instead of personalities it deals with two bands in the context of a war within the genre. called “The 2ay !ur?um #illed "ayhem” tells the well-known story of a murder the background of which is still unclear. A song. or how it is transformed into a battle of the ongoing war. and the slogan which represents the ideology and a categorical standpoint in a conflict. therefore.murders. the album by $argaroth deals with the events in a specific way. The definition. the title as a slogan. 5owever. %tabilisation “!lack metal ist #rieg” became an often repeated slogan since $argaroth released an album under that titleG. it declares to be true black metal.: !lack "etal ist #rieg ______________________________________________________________ becomes impossible. The conclusion comes from the interwoven elements of lyrics. 5owever. the song called !lack metal ist #rieg is an attempt to regain the essential centre of what is known as true black metal. this monument also represents and repeats the original act or event simultaneously. musical patterns.e. Me#orial of ru&ture The complete title of the album. 3rom this point of view the musical pattern became a slogan too. $. Although. 't is not Hiking. “!lack "etal ist #rieg . As every commemoration. The rupture allows black metal to be a participant of the war. !lack "etal ist #rieg.

e. The functioning of the political distinctions appears in the differences regarding the capacity and power to wage war. g. )thers. 't is not about covers. but it is incompatible with the ideology analysed earlier. in electronic music. Lntil now the only album by Thorns is very close to . Kmperor is more than only songs by two performers following each other% the album contains mutual reinterpretations by them. among them the later AbigorI4. it has its own label even if it is rarely used by the bands themselves% post-black metal is a fragmentary canon. guitar riffs. This kind of composition and its theory is accepted in other genres.257-I0% they all moved to a minimalistic and repetitive direction. The framing of the oppositions already presupposes those ultimate distinctions on which the political rests. for this temporal distinction interprets the change of music in terms of decline. the album defines itself over against strategies of unity and claims of the essential centre of . The temporality of the label Npost-black metal/ becomes important within the ideology of the classical canon. $III. the following important album refers to its own musical and ideological background by the explicit decomposition of them. without the intervention of the political black metal would be only a passive chronicler. The Thorns vs. structures of songs. but the rewriting of patterns. g. metal.true. 't proceeds from the common concept but aims at the ideology of the genre* it establishes the most obvious tactics which attempts to break up the unity of the other ideology. Those strategies. 'ractal &ossession 't is worth to mention a few records from the sub-genre to point to some of the possible strategies in which the difference is manifest. Thorns vs. the elements of which are disputed as well. 2eathspell )megaI: moved towards dissonance and a radical reduction of repetitions of musical patterns. Therefore. !eco#&osition Dhile the album by $argaroth follows and repeats closely a set of musical patterns . claim the necessity of subversion and formulate the ideology of immediate action.and at the same time stabilises frontlines and distinctions-. the split-album in 1uestion formulates the same ideology regarding that unifying strategies. in the case of !lack "etal ist #rieg. 5owever.ebel Kxtravagan?a by +atyricon II and to the later 2Mdheimsgard . 5owever. Kmperor is a split-albumIJ of the two eminent $orwegian bands. $II. e. Kmperor album is a nodal point among them partly because the descents performed by a group of musicians. to dedicate a monument to !lack "etal in its identification with war is already the appearanceEfunctioning of the political. Lnlike similar splitrecords Thorns vs. sounding. !lack metal once was capable of .Attila 7yulai = ______________________________________________________________ Dithout the conflict.

the war launched by black metal has no criterions of victory. the inner rupture was only preparing the fall. the political and the sublime is possible because of the presence of war in terms of boundaries and boundlessness. has something sublime about it”. for it is a war for unbounded destruction. (hristianity which “waged a war to the death against this higher type of person. the boundaries of war become shifting. A declaration of boundless war. cowardice and weakness”IC as well. !ut if this relation seems to be the farfetched subversion of the thoughts of #ant. 3ollowing the logic of distinction. following the pattern of boundlessness.IA !ut if the rights of civilians has something to do with Othe prolonged peace”. facing this ' would suggest that. +eparating war and peace regarding their different effects on the community means that commercial spirit of peaceful times is not able to affect war. +till. means politici?ation. therefore the sublimity of war rests on the distinction of the political. which becomes boundless from the perspective of peace only. The war goes on for the power to wage total war.A !lack "etal ist #rieg ______________________________________________________________ conducting war. which itself is a result of a distinction as well% politics of external unity is only possible because of the inner differentiations. the unchaining of the forces of nature and human kind. 'n the (riti1ue of Budgment 'mmanuel #ant writes that “war itself. after that period. e. the temporal difference transforms into a spatial one% post-black metal is pushed beyond the borders of real or true black metal. provided it is conducted with order and a sacred respect for the rights of civilians. The sublime in black metal is the functioning of an opposition which advances ruptures and distinctions from within the genre . I(. That is. which act rests in a multiplication of frontlines. The sublime is not unified% it is about the contradictious and so are its theories. it is still the functioning of the political. still there is his conflict between the statesman and the general among whom the latter deserves respect. even on the level of the political. however. which Ofavours mere commercial spirit. g. the theory of the sublime could be a common ideology for the analysis.e<ection of post-black metal is induced because of the breaking up the olden unity. )on*"+uilibriu# At first sight. !ut for the unifying strategy temporality is still important since it re-presents the past when the genre was strong enough to fight its enemies. The sublime rests on a distinction. however. (onnection between black metal. +ince this paper dealt mostly with the inner boundaries of black metal. any unifying interpretation could mean taking sides in the conflict. war on the outside has a clear effect on the inner distinctions as well. . it has distilled Nevil/ and Nthe Kvil )ne/ out of these instincts”% the statement by $iet?scheI= is not only followed in the expressed ideology of black metal but it is a description of the inner boundaries and conflicts of it. it has banned all the basic instincts of this type.

the ideology of immediate action. )otes . but they are already in it. Therefore. the sublime in black metal means that it becomes unavoidably a criti1ue of representation.Attila 7yulai C ______________________________________________________________ into the external conflicts of it. The interpretations which establish the boundaries of black metal eventually aim at the right to wage war. 2eclaration of war is already the state of war. !ut repeating declaration of war is an attempt to stabilise the capability and power for any declarations.

0JJI. 5e is a senior analyst at . Kdited by Aaron . its state and hour& De spoke of it as a problem.roductions.ress. "oonfog . . "ay 0JJA. U"usical networks. +artori. Translated by 5. $o (olours . Translated by 7. A +?ab@ ">rton. Distin#tion1 . N.and yet for the sake of exactness ' will say it . Thomas. (ollins.ress. ' would not say the reconstitution . Xet has it not . genres and communities in the age of online networks and changing music industry. "ann. #ant. cce 3o/o. I4 Abigor% Fractal Possession.olitical% 'nterpreting Ndas . woeW A 2e . Deleuze's Way: ssays in Trans!erse thics and Aesthetics. Ashgate. 0JJC.ress. The Anti-(hrist% A (urse on (hristianity.H>lyi . 0JJC. NThe Kssence of the . 0JJC. Bac1ues. 5ungary. I0. $iet?sche. G4.orter. Politics of Friendship.olitical in (arl +chmitt. IJ Thorns vs. 4 ODoe. $o. = (arl +chmitt. I. (ambridge Lniversity . Translated by 7. 'mmanuel. Herso. we so often talked. p. 8owe-.ocial Theory1 $o. 3riedrich. 'n% Journal of Theoretical Politics.257-% . 8T5armattan. 2errida. IGFG. IGGG. 0JJC. II +atyricon% 'e(el )tra!a&anza. +candinavian Bournal of +ocial Theory. when we were considering the destiny of art.I An earlier and more detailed version of this paper is forthcoming in 5ungarian% T@falvy P #acsuk . Twilight of the 'dols And )ther Dritings. Kmperor. Doctor Faustus. . #nopf. 6ene. The Concept of the Political. Attila . The A<na )ffensive P $orma Kvangelium 2iaboli.hd-student at KStvSs 8or>nd Lniversity. )xford Lniversity . Herso. IA 'mmanuel #ant% (riti1ue of Budgement. Alfred A. 'n The Anti-(hrist.roductions. 0A.from the point of view of creative art and musical history as well as that of individual fulfilment . p. Kcce 5omo. +eason of "ist. p.olitical (apital 'nstitute. Doctor Faustus1 Translated by 5.olitical in (arl +chmitt/. =.olitische/ in +chmitt. (ambridge Lniversity . C Bac1ues 2errida.roductions. :F=. 8ondon. 7iovanni.V 0 "ayhem% Grand Declaration of War. $o. $ew Xork. 5is fields of research are the meanings of government after the transition in 5ungary and the political theory of . IC ibid.of expressivism. 0JJC. IGGC. 0JJJ.olitics versus the . in The Anti2Christ. +?ab@. The Kssence of the . 8owe-. mQfa<ok Rs kS?SssRgek a? online h>l@?atok Rs a? >talakul@ ?eneipar kor>ban.aul de "an. Alfred A. $ew Xork.ress. IGGG. IGFG. Politics of Friendship. 0JJ=. "oonfog . I= 3riedrich $iet?sche% The Anti-(hrist% A (urse on (hristianity. Aldershot% Ashgate. G4. Bibliogra&hy !ogue.olitische/ in (arl +chmitt/. ">rton% . (ollins. Knd All 8ife . a highly triumphant bearing upon this awe-inspiring faculty of compensation and redress& 2oes it not mean the /break-through/.roductions. "oonfog .ecords. 's that not the /break-through/&” Thomas "ann.roductions P $uclear !last. 0JJC..yulai is . which in my ?eal and love ' am bound to call matchless. p. Lniversity )f (hicago . Journal of Theoretical Politics. 2istinktion. which must be arrived at in order that we may experience a reversal of this calculated coldness and its conversion into a voice expressive of the soul and a warmth and sincerity of creature confidence. !udapest. I0. 8ondon. I0 2Mdheimsgard% *** +nternational. 0JJC. IG:F.orter.editors-% 6enei h>l@?atok.idley and Budith $orman. #nopf.ress. "usic. )xford Lniversity . F . +n +&ne/ Aeternu/. +te. a paradoxical possibility% the recovery. IG:F. I.rofundis. : 7iovanni +artori.a <ubilant. p. (arl.olitical% 'nterpreting Ndas .onald !ogue.. "oonfog . Kxpanded edition. $aledicti. of which. IGGG. 0JIJ.uper!illain -utcast. Twili&ht of the +dols And -ther Writin&s1 Kdited by Aaron . Criti0ue of Jud&e/ent1 Translated by Bames (reed "eredith. 0JJC.candina!ian Journal of . 0JJ=.idley and Budith $orman. Translated by Bames (reed "eredith. $o. I: 2eathspell )mega% Fas . T.olitics versus the .onald Deleuze's Way: ssays in Trans!erse thics and Aesthetics. T. of the highest and profoundest claim of feeling to a stage of intellectuality and formal strictness. "ay 0JJA. G $argaroth% "lac# $etal ist %rie&. IGGC. 2Mdheimsgard .