The dark passion of black metal that surrounds us is mostly referred as something hard to explain. This world of darkness, melancholy and fire is utterly incognita realm where we embrace death, decayedness, isolation while delving into melancholia shores by exploring despair, sorrow, actually being different than anyone else and continuously burning with our passionate fire conceivably coming from Pandemonium!
As music writers, we have been writing about this music, reviewing the albums by focusing on certain melodies, unspeakable atmosphere, and soul-shattering vocals. Endless discussion would go for guitars as heavy metal, according to me is a guitar music genre while all other instruments for sure utterly important and crucial as well. The thing is, when the drums turn into heart beats, bass drags one to existential depths while the listener experiences idiosyncratic soundscape of destroying, groundbreaking black metal vocals, this frenetic music really completes. Occasionally keys, strings or even wind instruments e.g. saxophone make a perfect sense for experimental black metal. One should give an ear to Ihsahn’s “After” or White Ward’s “Futility Report” albums for the excellent usage of saxophone into black metal in avant-garde concerns.
The lyrics… One should be aware of how the lyrics are one step ahead in black metal as they are already in the definition of this “more than music” with specified themes. Darkthrone is the one who mentioned and revealed directly the priority of the lyrics in black metal unlike other heavy metal genres. Certainly other genres have some clarified themes that they are mostly into, nevertheless these themes cannot be said as sine qua non to be defined as such. The idea itself behind black metal makes sense and it is the dark, desecrated, subversive aspect that have desires to explore what are beyond the borders, limits of thoughts, ideas and even human bodies where we encounter self-destruction here. Aforementioned lyrical concentration can be found in Watain albums that are done over-eagerly. As for dark poetical aspect, Sun of the Sleepless would be the best example that influenced by 18th century romantic era poets as Lord Byron, Shelling, Keats, Georg Trakl.
Black Metal lyrical-wise can be called as the signifiers, the symbolic bleak language conveying via wailing, howling or beast-like growls. One should remind Ghost Bath, Numeronean or Karg for such derailment which is a sort of ambivalent approach for listeners, as for me, just a notorious creativity, and a musical noose around one’s neck!
Notwithstanding the effort the reasons of black metal in musical and lyrical sense and also mentioning the certain notorious mind which one is born in, fully inherent, there is still something eerie which is undefinable in this dark passion. It occurred under the name of the “certain something” in this music. Irresistible, magical, this unnamable cause of this darkest love is a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.
All those reasons you keep counting is insufficient. There can be any other art forms having similar qualities but still not light a fire in your life. According to Žižek, it seems to be the additional reason that cannot be named on the level of this set of reasons, and this is because this additional fact is not so much a fact but rather a decision by the subject. Yet on the side of the object, there has to be a point, or rather a void, an empty space that allows to project this decision upon it.
As for Robert Pfaller who thinks possibilities of art in Althusserian terms, “it is the form that causes the love, that is, the subject’s transference. One can also say it is the magic, or the charm of art, or its master-signifiers, that bring this about”*. All I can say is the hectic deviance that I would like to dedicate my soul all over. It might be some sort of Faustian bargain that we sacrifice normality over deathlike bloody aesthetics.
Pfaller, Robert, The Efficiency of Ideology and the Possibilities of Art: An Althusserian Account: Vol 4 No 2 (2016): Stasis. Art, Politics, Ideology: A Problematic Triangle