Demons, Devils and Witches: The Occult in Heavy Metal Music

Demons, Devils and Witches: The Occult in Heavy Metal Music

Eugene Martone, his Fender Telecaster slung around his shoulder, walks tentatively onto the stage. He is here to play for the soul of his friend, bluesman Willie Brown, a harmonica player who in his youth made a deal with the Devil in return for musical virtuosity.

Corpsepaint Towards the Re-Occultation of Black Metal Blood

Corpsepaint Towards the Re-Occultation of Black Metal Blood

What forces are at work when blood runs black? From Beherit’s ‘Oath of Black Blood’ to Mütilation’s ‘Black Imperial Blood’ to Behexen’s ‘My Stigmas Bleeding Black’ to Xasthur, for whom “shadows of human suffering have found a home, watered with blackened blood”, black metal hotwires the historical poetics of early modern humoral theory, summoning the sanguine urge of celebration, and the choleric rage of the berserker, only to pollute these Hippocratic streams of blood and bile with the cold and dry essence of black bile.

The Defilement and Profaned Symbols in Extreme Metal

The Defilement and Profaned Symbols in Extreme Metal

Ricoeur’s interpretation of symbols allows us to analyze symbols as structuring elements in the expression of our worlds of meaning. Defilement is an exemplary expression of this nature of symbols since it is through the demythologization of symbols and understandings of fault that allows an aesthetic resonance to develop within the genre. Therefore, people are able to employ certain symbols within the genre in myriad ways precisely because these symbols are (always) already profaned.

Edmonton and the Canadian Underground Metal Scene

Edmonton and the Canadian Underground Metal Scene

Since a large measure of my fieldwork has been in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, I will spend some time here talking about the Edmonton underground metal scene. Edmonton has an interesting, unique and vibrant underground extreme metal scene with some obscure yet pivotal acts.

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