Black Metal is more than ideology. It is emotion, sound and spectacle, all beyond words and tied to the flesh. Nevertheless, the music is framed by words in lyrics, interviews and commentaries. What is seldom acknowledged is this: on the boundary between popular culture and the avant-garde, Black Metal and other transgressive (or even subversive) art forms caters for the few. But when they are noticed, they definitely have an effect far outside the narrow confines of the ‘initiated’ – and they do not always have the final say. Often, the sights, sounds and feelings invoked by metal can be understood on several levels, and careless jokes, provocative play with gray areas or careful reflection on art and content means something entirely different outside the circle in the know. On the other hand, societal reaction is often necessary to complete the work, making the relation to society a paradox in itself. Through an examination of some classical transgressive tactics and some really weird reactions, the lecture will discuss this paradox and suggest some ways of going beyond the need for society’s inverted approval.

Jesper Aagaard Petersen is a Ph.D Fellow at NTNU, Trondheim, studying various manifestations of modern Satanism from book traditions over artistic affiliations to online communities. He is a frequent guest at Forum Nidrosiae lecturing on zombies, Hell-fire clubs and other topics, illustrating that specialization often means being interested in quite a lot when working with modern occulture.

The lecture is presented as part of Nidrosian Black Mass pt. III

Photo by Stein Akslen