Saturday, September 08, 2007

137] Is Black metal a threat to our mental security?

Is Black Metal a threat?
Azly Rahman
Feb 6, 06 1:17pm

I thought that after The Rolling Stones, rock and roll will no longer evolve to its most “dangerous” form. I was wrong. Listen to these two pieces of music here and here.

Can you understand the lyrics and figure out the harmony? What images come to your mind?

Now, read the entry below:

“The black metal scene gained some unsought mass media attention in 1991 when Mayhem's frontman Dead (left) committed suicide by a shotgun blast to his head. His note simply read "Excuse all the blood". The ammunition was supplied by Varg Vikernes.

“His body was discovered by Aarseth who, instead of calling the police, ran to a nearby convenience store and bought a disposable camera which he used to photograph the corpse for a future Mayhem album cover (Dawn of the Black Hearts). Apocryphal reports also claim that he then took some pieces of Dead's splattered brains and made a stew out of them and/or members of the band took bone fragments from their friend's skull and made necklaces out of them.”

So reads two paragraphs from Wikipedia, on the beginning of Death Metal music.

Is our youth listening to more “mentally dangerous” music, such as Death Metal and Black Metal? Are their brains being fried by the fast, rhythmic, unsophisticated music with lyrics that glorify death, depression, and destruction? Who are its fans and fanatics? Why is this para-demonic music becoming a paralysis to our youth culture?

Educators, parents, and policymakers – why is our youth taking this path to freedom and creativity?

Threat to mental security?

Let us talk about the issue of alternative music in Malaysia – of Death/Black Metal and its threat to mental security. How could the Metallist go to the masjid, the Hindu temple, the Christian church, the Buddhist wat, or the Sikh temple and focus on the ultimate reality when their consciousness is already abducted and imprisoned by demonic forces?

Without playing any Death/Black Metal CD backwards, we can clearly analyse the messages behind the music. We need to understand the language that shapes this genre.

Death/Black Metal fans do not actually need to do “devil worship” – they are already possessed by terminologies that glorify the devil and the demonic. There is hope for them to repent and to “de-evolve” into ethical human beings with real human consciousness.

In the process of glorifying the sight, sound, and symbolism of the demonic, these predominantly Malay youth do not realise that they are also being bought by the international record companies that sell cultural junk to these youth who do not understand not only meanings in the lyrics but also the names of the bands. Poor command of the English language will also facilitate this mentally-fatal misunderstanding. They simply do not have any idea what the language of their music means, let alone the neuro-linguistic implications impacting their personalities..

But first, let me do a quick linguistic analysis to prove that these lovers of demonic music are actually glorifying unholy death instead of celebrating the beauty of life. Educators well-versed in the translation can do similarly with other examples.

Look at these words that chronicle the development of this brand of music of the demons. It does not take a Noam Chomsky or a Jacques Lacan fan to analyse the nature of language that our youth, especially the Malays, are possessing themselves with and are loving the act and the art of unsophisticated music and do not add value to even the history of rock and roll.

Below are some of the names of Western Death Metal bands that our Malaysian fans are listening to and perhaps worshiping. I have provided translations to each.

Atheist = Si Ateis/Manusia Yang Tak Percaya Keujudan Illahi
Autopsy = Pembedahan Keatas Si Mati
Carcass = Bangkai Binatang
Death = Kematian
Entombed = Di Batu-Nisan kan
Morbid Angel = Si Malaikat Jahanam
Napalm Death = Kematian di sebabkan Bom Napalm (di gunakan di Perang Vietnam)
Obituary = Notis Kematian di Akhbar
Possessed = Di Rasuk
Suffocation = Tercekik Lalu Mati Lemas

Source: Wikipedia

Below are some of the names of Black Metal groups. I invite Malaysian linguists to help check the accuracy of translated words below to be read to the fans of these new genre of “creatively nihilistic” music.

Venom = Bisa
Hellhammer = Penukul Neraka
Bulldozer = Bulldozer
Mayhem = Keganasan dan Kehancuran
Darkthrone = Singahsana Kegelapan
Enslaved = Di Perhambakan
Immortal= Tanpa Kematian

You can explore more of these names in this site. In addition to the glorification of the demonic aspect of humanity and the naming of groups based on such pride, some of the titles in the track of a popular groups elaborate the nature of anti-humanity. Lyrics from an album by the group Masacra (translated as Pembunuhan Kejam yang Berleluasa), for example, provide such imagery:

1. Enjoy the Violence
2. Ultimate Antichrist
3. Gods of Hate
4. Atrocious Crimes
5. Revealing Cruelty
6. Full of Hatred
7. Seas of Blood
8. Near Death experience
9. Sublime Extermination
10. Agonising World

Another example of tracks the group Morbid Angel (translated as Malaikat Jahanam) reflect the following:

1. Invocation/Chapel Of Ghouls
2. Unholy Blasphemies
3. Angel Of Disease
4. Azagthoth
5. The Gate/Lord Of All Fevers and Plague
6. Hell Spawn
7. Abominations
8. Demon Seed
9. Welcome To Hell

Source: Anus

Culture of trash?

Death and Black Metal Malaysian music represents the advancement of the development of “trash culture” that continue to plague society that is already plagued with all forms of corruption. This “Metal” culture do not have a sense of authenticity nor peaceful and liberating dimension to its foundation. It preys upon those who themselves are lost through the social and educational system – those who had fallen through the cracks of an unfairly meritocritous system that often put the death spell to children’s intelligence.

The proliferation of the culture of trash is one way for consumer capitalism to divide, conquer, and victimise our youth. It is a by-product of our open-sky policy and largely our five-year economic plans that cultivate all forms of underground culture and subculture – cultures of resistance that actually do not add value to the advancement of an ethical civilisation.

Our society will arrive at a juncture whereby the elders are no more to be respected, the “demonic aspects” of music such as in Black and Death Metal will continue to shape and hegemonise public discourse and the extreme excesses of modernisation will rear their ugly heads and adorn our cultural landscape. The vehicle for this path of “progress” will be the economic and political ideology that subdivides people into “post-industrial tribes” ready to be consumed by market forces.

We have therefore developed a set of “subcultures” that are trashy in nature – from the way we conduct our politics to how we shop and play to the form of leisure we engage in. These are consequences of the corruption of the political, economic, and moral fibres that are designed by those who owns the means of political-economic and socio-cultural production and control.

We, as well as our youth of today and tomorrow are the recipients of the “gifts of this Malaysian nation of plenty” – including the youth that are school drop-outs, at risks, incarcerated and those who are enjoying the glories of demonic music.

Only re-education and the re-thinking of our cultural policy will help devise ways to design strategies that will bring us closer to a utopia based on the true meaning of republicanism and socialism that bring meaning to the word “humanism”.

The world of many of our dispossessed Malay youth is a world of metal made of black and dead souls. They must start listening to kronchong and ghazal! They must start looking at the larger picture of oppression and dehumanisation.

But who will guide them through this siratul-mustaqim or the noble or peaceful path of human evolution?

Educators, unite – you have nothing to lose except your own children and grandchildren to the chains of the Black/Death metallists.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

The consciousness of evil knows all forms including music. I write music as a hobby originally from KL/Penang/Negri I now reside in Melbourne.Heres a suggestion. Music and cultural education from tribal,traditional,to modern jazz should be encourged in secondary education. Workshops for adults can use music for stress
relief and recreation.Just a suggestion . As a musican/producer I am aware of Hate Music . the Neo Nazis are using this sort of music to promote
their destructive ideologys.This is hate music.

I have enjoyed reading your thought provoking articles and they are certainly are a way forward . Human rights are very much the issue for all nations of the world. In all global communities.

My website: www.myspace.com/fireflysoulmusic

Firefly Soul

Jason said...

Just a thought. Why do you consider death, blood, and gore to be evil? If a man takes his own life with a shot gun what is the problem with that? Does his life not belong to himself? Furthermore, how is his best friends taking fragments of his skull as a form of remembrance and mourning wrong? It is commonplace for westerners to keep the ashes of loved ones in jars at home. Now tell me, is there really that much of a difference. Christians celebrate death saying it is a new step into a journey of immortality. Is it so much different then to celebrate death, proclaiming it as a beautiful end to a painful life? Just thought that might make you think a little.

Anonymous said...

I found your post to be very interesting and thoughtful, as well as fairly accurate in many respects, particularly in reference to the way in which the international marketplace distributes this, and many other types of western music throughout the world, and the effect it may have upon young people in non-western countries.

Personally, I am a musician and I actually *play* this exact type of music, complete with death/horror imagery. My personal take, and reasons for playing this music is not as an attempt to obliterate that which is holy and positive, but rather to bring to the fore and express dark and "shadow" parts of my own psyche and create art from them.

I myself believe that God is beyond all human conceptions of "dark" and "light". In fact God is beyond the reach of natural reason.

All images of what we call "evil" are somewhat culturally bound, as are their expressions. What I may express as a sort of purgative emptying or expression of anger/depression/etc as art may ultimately be something positive in a certain context, for instance in Europe and the US where the prevailing ideology is pathologically cheerful, upbeat and "positive" while at the same time hypocritically wreaking terrible destruction upon much of the world through an economic and military system that wages perpetual war while preaching "Democracy" and "freedom".

The effect of underground forms of Western pop music on Malasians and other traditional cultures may be one way in which Western societies are waging this war, by re-directing expressions of raw protest from its own citizens into another context where it may be harmful. On the other hand, I suspect that Malaysian children and teenagers are not stupid and can determine and discriminate themselves intelligently. Trust them, and do not be afraid, all will be well.

Peace, Love and Black Metal,
RcTuS

Anonymous said...

I’ve been listening to metal music for 12 years. Your article is definitely not accurate. You should first study the history of metal itself (http://www.anus.com/metal/about/history.html). Rap music too has negative elements, gangsterism, drugs, rape etc – so are you gonna put rap music as a ‘negative’-formed music? The same applies to other forms of music.

Philosophical forms of metal music can be found in this sub-genre called pagan or folk metal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_metal). It infuses extreme metal music with folk elements and folklore lyrics. There is even such band from Singapore called Rudra (http://www.myspace.com/vedicmetal). There are many more from Europe.

In general ‘black metal’ music appears ‘satanic’ because it’s a form of symbolic resistance to the oppressive elements done by Christians and Muslims in the past. For example, the Burning Times in Europe, where countless Pagans were accused as devil-worshippers and were burnt in the name of ‘God’.

I am not gonna say anything further – an ‘outsiders’ view of metal is different from those that ‘subscribe’ to Metal music

surgeffect said...

Dr Azly, would you like to have a meet up about this particular kind of music? I would gladly impart my knowledge of being in the metal scene 10 years strong. I find people always having a negative outlook at metal, and this should not be entirely true. As you know, there is always more to a story than you my know. You may be highly educated in so many fields, but this is mine, and my second is law.

Truthfully, i am not particularly entertained at this dramatic discussion you put forth for it is not entirely true. Ironically, your actions are that of those you choose to fight against.

send me an email at surgeffect@yahoo.com and, just in case, at jedthephish@gmail.com .

By the way, howsoever we have been persecuted, spit upon, shunned, and defamed by society, we metal folks still live on. And there are not many of us around comparatively to the mainstream culture. We are an opposition front of sorts, always remembered as the freaks or the ones who are wrong and what not. Yet we are more misunderstood than evil! Those who seek evil will find evil in anything, even in something as so pure as religion. Mind you, everything is an interpretation one way or another.

surgeffect said...

By the way, as to the comment done by the 12 year metalhead, I would like to add that it is not a completely accurate picture. Pagan/Folk metal was mentioned, but not why it exists. I could paint a better picture for you if you are interested, but i hope it can be done before the 14th of July. If not, then probably at a much later date.

With sincere respect,
surgeffect

P.S: Not being a braggart, but my knowledge of metal is quite extensive in the sense that i do not subscribe to only local notions of the genre. I have read and understood and listened to quite a bit from the international scene so i can represent it as what it is. Although, i am not 100% good at it as it is so vast and in depth that one may actually require a 'doctorate in metal' for its entirety.

BENTARA said...

Dr,
BLACK METAL ITU MUZIK, AYAH PIN ITU AJARAN SESAT

something that I wrote almost 2 years ago.

I played in a Black/Death Metal band, LANGSUYR, and quit because I have no more time to play.

BENTARA said...

The largest community of Malaysian Metal underground is here.

http://forum.metalterus.com.my/index.php

Talk to them if you have any queries.

Mentally Subdued said...

sir,
Please do your part to understand.
A one sided view on issues is a sign of weakness.

mode de la shadow said...

i personally am into electronic music & my knolwedge towards black metal & trash is only up to almost pop bands like slipknot, soulfly & slayer, so i hope u dont mind if i say this;

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHICH DONT KNOW WATS THE REAL DEAL ABOUT MUSIC. DONT JUDGE LIKE YOU KNOW.

its insulting.

Khairulridwan said...

I'm a malay/muslim from singapore & I pray just like any ordinary muslims but I'm dedicated to black metal too & strongly disagree to ppl who narrow their minds to bm being satanic. go n check out other themes in bm like nature/folk will ya?? bands like "Wolves in the Throne Room" for a good example.

Anonymous said...

"Threat to mental security", rofl.
It's just fucking music. Me myself being a death metal listener. What the hell are you talking about? People cant enjoy heavy, "demonic" music without worshipping the devil etc? Pure bullcrap. I can listen to whatever i want. I still enjoy my life and i'm also working on my education.

Jed said...

lollll... another malay fuck who had succeeded in demonstrating their inability to simply think before they open their mouth... what an ignorant bastard. this is a fuckin insult to the metal community.. i say we put this guy on a stake n sacrifice him to baphomet (yes.. i can be stereotypical too if i want).

surgeffect said...

Haha.. agreed.. throw in some garlic rosemary and olive oil.. some salt and black pepper.. then feed him to the dogs. hahaha

Anonymous said...

How bout Siti Nurhaliza's song?
-Aku cinta padamu,

Ariel-menatap matamu.

these song is about love, but love to human.
is it accepted in islam?
Teenagers and mummy addicted to those song.
is it cool to hear love human song instead of love god or reminding death (death metal song)?

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Anonymous said...

I love azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com! Here I always find a lot of helpful information for myself. Thanks you for your work.
Webmaster of http://loveepicentre.com and http://movieszone.eu
Best regards

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Azly

I find this article most interesting. Like most of the fellas who've posted comments, I too played an instrument and harboured lofty dreams, which is, to one day emulate and to live the lives like my swaggering long haired heroes. Young and filled with teenage angst, everything about them (Rock stars) seemed right, and whatever the establishment did was wrong.

Then, like most other stories, the band broke up. All of us traded our locks for steady jobs. All of us except one. Due to the lack of qualifications, the only jobs that my friend could get were the ones that were menial and very much under the poverty line. So, naturally, music became his one and only escape fantasy.

To cut to the chase, years down the road he got a gig playing for a Death metal band and was working on an album. He never liked the music, he confessed, but the escape fantasy I guess was too strong for him to resist.
I was somewhat happy for my childhood friend, but I had my doubts. We've always loved music that were idealistic, music with lyrics that made us dream and helped us forget what we needed to, now intead, he played fast music that has lyrics that spelt doom and not much more.

Words spoken have power, that's what we are taught in most religions. I watched my friend degenerate from a rugged tough guy into a pale, skinny shadow of himself in a palliative care ward. A year earlier, he went to see a doctor for a bulge on his neck, instead of the usual ointment the doctor gave him six months to live. He died, a couple of months ago.

Maybe it was a coincidence, but I wish I had risked ridiculing myself, and spoken to him about the power of the tongue. To refrain from putting a curse on himself. To say things that bring life instead of death. To embrace how beautiful life could be and to stop to think why and how we managed to get ourselves enslaved by such seemingly harmless music.

Lecture: Edward Said

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Movie: 1984

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