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On the Degeneracy of Metal
by Noctir (Aug. 2018)

There have been many times, in the last decade or more, that I have wondered about our 'beloved' metal. It is no secret that metal has its roots in rock, which has some rather unsavory origins. One can look at the apish types of music that influenced the first rock n' roll acts, on one hand, though that is somewhat of a different topic. In this instance, I am thinking more about the whole counterculture movement beginning in the '60s and '70s, the emergence of hard rock and the beginnings of heavy metal and so on. The musicians and fans alike were mostly degenerates, drug addicts and just pure scum in general. I have no issue with their opposition to the Vietnam war, as (like all American wars) it was based on lies and was just another waste of resources. Opposing the government, who are corrupt and vile pieces of trash, is quite understandable. However, they also rejected nearly everything that was considered to be traditional. It is no coincidence that the massive decline in Western culture began around this time, which also featured the next wave of feminism, and all the "civil rights" nonsense, as well as the rampant drug use, death of morals, abandonment of responsibilities and the breakdown of the family unit, etc. 

To return to the music, you see a lot of this drivel carried over into the '80s, particularly with thrash and even some so-called death metal. So many Thrash bands bothered with the stupid political topics, despite many of them being children that didn't understand half of what they were saying. I can relate to the anti-establishment, anti-government, anti-war stuff. As a child of the Cold War, I remember the intense propaganda and being hammered with the notion that a nuclear war could erupt at any time. Naturally, this was a concern for many and thus you got a lot of bands writing lyrics about war and politics. Nonetheless, many of these musicians were also obsessed with the glorification of alcohol, along with the drug use, whoring and a general lifestyle that just reeks of degeneracy. I have always held a strong disgust for this exaltation of drugs and seeming worship of alcohol that pervades most metal. I have never understood why people who abuse various substances always feel the need to glorify their actions and brag about their weakness, as if it requires some sort of skill to drink or smoke something. They are so very proud of what they do, similar to sexual degenerates with their parade, as if their deviant and pathetic behaviour is a sign of how much they belong to one group or another. That sort of ties in with this "we're all the same, metal runs through our veins, we're all brothers" absurdity, which is just more hippie nonsense. I cannot fathom simply accepting anyone around you, no matter what kind of alcoholic or pervert or drug addict they may be, just because they also like the same music. I have long been sickened by this notion that metal has to be so inclusive and welcoming, like some depraved Island of Misfit Toys. No one seems to think twice of this. It's all just a big club for the rejects of society. Anyone that's a lonely loser can just decide to play the role of metalhead and join the ranks of losers that most of them are. 

Then of course, we come to black metal, which is often considered to be the most intolerant and elitist of all. Be that as it may, it is no different than the rest, even if more politically incorrect at times. I have dealt with a plethora of musicians and fans alike, over the years, and the majority of the interactions have been largely nauseating. Long ago, it was discouraging, because I made the mistake of projecting my own thoughts onto others; i.e. assuming that they were drawn to such music for the same reasons and thus shared something in common on a deeper level, as I have long considered black metal to possess more depth than many other forms of metal. It did not take long to realize that the majority were the same useless scum as most other humans. For so many of those in the scene, bands and fans alike, it is all just an image. Countless musicians try to appear so serious and evil, using their supposed 'spiritual beliefs' as a gimmick, but being little more than the same drunken drug addicts as an old '80s party Thrash band. It's all a con. Still, others are very up front about their substance abuse and they think this makes them more 'Satanic', because their entire lives revolve around trying to come off as so sinful and immoral, dedicating themselves to being as anti-Christian as possible. I have actually met fools like this, who think that lying to people, stealing from them, hurting animals, behaving like total trash, etc. makes them dark and evil. In their childish minds, anything that a reasonable person considers to be good must be inverted, whether its origins are in the despicable cult of Christianity or not. (And a lot of these same idiots have a fetish for ancient Scandinavian culture, only due to their fondness for certain bands and not based on any actual study or understanding, and yet seem to have no clue that the old Norse beliefs certainly demonstrated morality and decency.)

It seems that, at least since the early-to-mid '90s, criminal behaviour has often been the determining factor in how "true" a person is, as opposed to their dedication to the music itself. The various crimes that resulted in the imprisonment of Varg Vikernes, Bård, Samoth, Snorre Ruch, Jon Nödtveidt, etc. are well documented. Such a shame that gifted musicians had to waste away for varying lengths of time, unable to utilize their talents. Of course, others in the black metal scene felt compelled to commit crimes, such as the guy who stabbed someone in the throat while trying to impress members of the True Satanist Horde, back in the '90s, only for them to turn him in to the police and claim that he wasn't "true enough" because, while he killed someone, he only did it to gain favour with others. Then there was all of the drama that resulted in IT disappearing from the scene altogether. Death threats were sent back and forth, sometimes for as little as a band writing really terrible lyrics that have nothing to do with the sort of music they played. This violent, thug mentality has continued on to the present day, if the countless stories floating around Stockholm are to be  believed. 

Even years later, I am somewhat confounded by it all. Everything has to be corrupted, at one point or another. A preponderance of black metal fans are drug addicts, alcoholics, sluts, feminists and basic imbeciles who one would think have no business listening to dark music. The thing that was even more baffling, was how even the musicians responsible for the meaningful music were largely the same sort of decadent refuse. One by one, throughout the years, just about all of the musicians I had formerly respected were proven to be complete filth. It does not matter what sort of persona they put forth to the public, the truth is that a great number of them are purely fake. I remember one, a little over a decade ago, he had a blog where he tried his best to seem so deep and dark, pretentiously attempting to put himself above the actions of typical people. While not being the sort of party maniac as most, his whole deal was about lining up girls in different cities, prior to touring. Because he did this with my now-ex and another friend of mine, I saw evidence of him actually copying and pasting messages and re-using the same words with different girls, making them think they were special. The whole intellectual, suffering artist thing was just a facade, as he was like any other 'rock star'. 

It was disappointing, at first, to think about the fact that so much of the music that has connected with me in a deep way is so often created by degenerate scum, mostly listened to by degenerate filth (and not even understood fully by them), and that the music's roots go back to the social movements that have largely led to the current state of misery in our civilization. Several years back, I merely came to the conclusion that one must separate the artist from the art, to consider them as more of a conduit for these things to come into being. Still, from time to time, I have wondered whether or not the rest of us are degenerates in some sense, to be drawn to this music that is 99.9% made by idiots and clowns.

I once discussed this with a friend who insisted that this modern rubbish is not what black metal was originally meant to be, yet the earliest bands were also nothing more than regular rock stars. To play devil's advocate for a bit, one can say that Venom, Sodom, Slayer, etc. all sold out after a couple albums. They made more streamlined music and changed from Satanic and anti-Christian lyrics to boring topics. Even when Mercyful Fate split up, King Diamond moved on to a horror gimmick. The less said about what Hellhammer/Celtic Frost became, the better. Then one can look to Quorthon of Bathory, who openly said that neither the Satanic lyrics and image of the early days, nor the Norse-themed material of later years, had any actual meaning for him. Sadly, it was all more gimmickry. Perhaps, this friend was not thinking of the first wave bands, though. That would lead us to the second wave, particularly to Norway. Would a band such a Mayhem embody what black metal was truly supposed to be? If we were to judge by the music and image, of course the answer would be "yes". However, as it relates to the humans behind the project, it becomes a bit more fuzzy. It is no secret that Necrobutcher and Hellhammer are degenerates. When you see those casual pics and videos of Pelle, when not in his Dead persona, he comes off as a typical goofy kid. He definitely had the presence, the aesthetics, the atmosphere and lyrics and so on, but he never wrote a black metal riff in his life. Moving on to Darkthrone, another band that epitomized what black metal should be, it is no secret that they are also drunkards, something that Fenriz is not shy about. He made the most pure expressions of black metal with Transilvanian Hunger, but he always said how his riffs were influenced by Mayhem and Burzum (forget the boring, more rock-inspired Tom Warrior riffs he liked to also use), so then we look back at Euronymous and Varg Vikernes. By many accounts, the former might have been a scumbag (though his accusers are largely low-lives and he is not around to defend himself) but Varg has turned out to be pretty decent. Though, in the days of actually creating black metal, he seemed to be somewhat of a revisionist and maybe even a pathological liar, often contradicting himself and trying to revise old actions or sayings to fall in line with his newer outlook, so even his character must be taken with a grain of salt. Nocturno Culto is one of the most sensible and decent musicians that I have ever spoken with, so perhaps all hope is not lost. But none of this is to attack the characters of people that I do not know personally, only to say that the origins of black metal are not really as pure as some would like to think. It may be that it is just another degenerate form of music largely made by drunken kids with various addictions, moronic behaviour and no morals. 

I can also add that several of the old death metal musicians (and fans) that I met while living in Stockholm were also the typical drunk, goofy, lighthearted, normal idiots who liked to lay around in the park on hot summer days, drinking and laughing with their friends. I remember being forced into joining some of them one day, and being mocked for hiding in the shade and not drinking. Then I was told that I am too negative, because I looked miserable and saw no value in what they were doing. I was sitting there thinking, once again, how I don't even fit in with "my own kind" because, in fact, we are not the same. Having the same taste in music means nothing. Most of them truly love the sun and the light, complain about the cold, dark winters and everything about their being screamed "not dark at all", so why do they have any affiliation with such music? Like most normal people, they live for hanging out with their loser friends and getting drunk and acting like morons. This is the truth about the people behind the music that is considered so dark and evil. Most of it is just a big show. 

Then one might begin to wonder if music itself is sort of a frivolous thing. Look at all of these musicians, taking themselves so seriously , with their stupid interviews trying to come off as mysterious or expressing their laughable Judeo-Christian "spiritual beliefs", and talking of their ritualistic behaviours in doing this or that thing, related to the music. But it's just music. Music. All the paint and spikes in the world won't change the fact that they are about a million miles away from the 'warriors' they portray themselves as, or wish that they were. They more closely resemble modern-day minstrels, not knights, no matter how many ax-wielding photos they make. Whether they are just scene whores, joining in because they want to try to be a part of something that they think is cool, or just using it to make some money and gain a little notoriety, they are mere entertainers. Even the most sincere musicians are just artists, fragile little souls expressing their feelings and thoughts. I have read in the past where a musician claimed that he made music because he had to, not even just because he wanted to, but that there was something deep within that needed to be expressed. So what? Sure, music can often do this better than words, but then for what purpose? People expressing their feelings, not expressing their feelings, it's nothing concrete... There are over seven billion people on the planet right now, most of them have feelings, and none of it matters. Who cares what they feel or do not feel? Emotions are a weakness anyway. Unless one is extremely lucky, expressing oneself via the creation of music is not a practical skill, anyway. Even still, the output is merely a consumer product. It's all a big distraction. There is no greater purpose for our existence. Like all other beasts, we are here to eat, sleep and reproduce. We preserve ourselves long enough to procreate and make more and then we die. After a while, we are totally forgotten and nothing that we did or thought or felt matters anymore. The number of people who have any actual lasting impact on the world is very few. Our lives are, in fact, pointless.. no matter what we do. Therefore, there is nothing so serious about people who spend their lives conveying their emotions or thoughts. They add nothing of true value, no practical use, to the world. So, whether a band has millions of fans or only two people have heard of it (like my own failed projects), it may be that it is all just masturbation with no real point. Even the most "progressive" metal is childish compared to truly sophisticated music of the past. It is all just primitive racket by comparison, something nearly anyone can create. Perhaps, it does not even warrant such deep thought.

Is that to say that there is no substance to any of it and that we are fools for projecting our own feelings and thoughts onto it and giving it a deeper meaning? In the end, it is all created by humans, and humans are vile excrement. Though, with this line of thinking, we should simply reject everything. Surely it would be a mistake to cast away all art, music, literature and the like, despite so much of it being created by feeble human minds, filled with stupidity and degeneracy. Clearly, I am becoming more and more of a nihilist in these years.. I am just at a point where I don't see any reason to exalt any human anymore. There are positive and negative elements to people, thus making some people more good (but not entirely) and some more bad. But, my pessimistic view is that more humans than not are of the bad side, the worthless side, and thus hardly to be respected. However, to the original point, are we degenerates in a sense to connect with degenerate art that has been created by mostly degenerate, naive, ignorant, worthless humans? It's something that's been creeping around in my head for a while and just wished to offer up as food for thought.

Copyright 2006-2021, Noctir