Metal and Nietzscheism
Mar 17th 2010 Manar Miscellaneous What do you think?

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Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the best and most eccentric figures in Philosophy, specifically German Philosophy and Morality. Believe it or not, he is also an important figure in Metal Music. Nietzsche is a very unconventional. Many people have blamed him for being a madman, for corrupting, for blaspheming, while all he was showing us in his philosophy was pure truth, and of course a better vision for the mediocre world. I wrote this article to show the relevance of Nietzschean Philosophy in Metal, particularly in Black Metal. I also wanted to clarify a few mixed up points over misunderstanding Nietzsche’s Philosophy in such occasions of relevance.

nietzsche

Gorgoroth’s elite album The Twilight of the Idols (In Conspiracy with Satan) is one of the best with its impressive battle sounds.The first part of the album title is in fact a famous book by Nietzsche. Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer is a book written in 1888, in only one week while Nietzsche was on Holiday! And you’d be surprised by the rich content. In this short book, Nietzsche criticizes the German culture of the day and praises some historical figures such as Caesar, Napoleon, Goethe, the Sophists, etc, considering them as the better, healthier and more powerful types. Gorgoroth might have added “(In Conspiracy with Satan)” in order to as if create some kind of compromise or mingle Nietzsche’s Philosophy with their own music and philosophy and therefore as a synthesis, their musical philosophy. By that, Gorgoroth may have been one of the most remarkable bands to have embraced Nietzschean concepts like the triumph of the will, the philosophical hammer, and “Total War Against Christianity”.

In addition, Ihsahn who is to a great extent influenced by Nietzsche mentions a lot of concepts of Nietzsche’s philosophy in his lyrics. For example in his songs Scarab and Unhealer (In the Album angL from 2008), Ihsahn reveals to us in an implied manner the concepts of guilt as bad conscience, decadence, and the war against religions such as Christianity. Ihsahn depicts both passionately and aggressively the war inside that corrupts him and takes him out of corruption and this war is what heals him in the end. This central internal struggle is a result of guilt. Nietzsche says this guilt is bad conscience, but this guilt heals and purifies.

nihilism

Moreover, Nietzsche’s Nihilism greatly influenced a lot of bands such as Beherit, Burzum, Emperor and Limbonic art which emphasized in their lyrics many nihilistic themes. I think Burzum’s Lost Wisdom and Emperor’s Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times are a portrayal of this emphasized Nihilism particularly in Black Metal.

As for NSBM and Nietzscheism, here things mess up a little. Many of the people in the metal scene, whether the musicians themselves or the passionate about Metal music and particularly this type of Metal (NSBM) are well read, and perhaps it is known that they regard Nietzschean thought the number one influence in their musical philosophies, yet many others in the scene have misunderstood Nietzsche for them to think that what Nietzsche was promoting in his philosophy is the victory of the Aryan German Race and Anti-Semitism as the Nazi or the Neo-Nazis viewed it. On the contrary, Nietzsche’s philosophy invites all pure minds and not principally the Aryan Race, though he does mention a lot of aliases to the Blonde race, (Blonde Beast, Golden.. ). However, he states in his Genealogy on Morals that this Blond beast is the Arabian, the Easterner..

Nietzsche

This Nietzschean notion of the Blond Beast is a great portrayal of the Philosophy in Metal in general. People who enjoy such music and understand the philosophy behind it are just like the blonde beasts: their brutality is true courage, and it is the foundation of social order and a new society, with non-material goals as Nietzsche would put it. Regardless of how many would view this philosophy negatively, much like they might view the darkness and misanthropy of black metal for instance, Nietzsche’s goal was to renew all values(Revaluation of the Values as he likes to call it), and a hope for a new life in the rejection of scrounging , hypocrisy, delusions and controlling. Truth it is that Nietzsche is dead but we can still feel his presence not only in his books..but also through music which has become the beautiful melodic voice of his philosophy.

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Manar

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Metal and Nietzscheism
  • Jason

    Anaal Nathrakh, like many black metal bands, draw much inspiration from the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, exemplified by such song titles as “Human, All Too Fucking Human” and “Revaluation of All Values”.

  • Nizar Hawat

    Great informative article Manar. Not a black metal fan my self i found it great the way you wrote ur article.
    however i would like to comment one you mentioned about the blond beasts (i don’t have gd reference explaining Nietzschean Aryan race) – but i do believe its not exactly Arabs or Arabians… check this out
    ========================================================
    The term Aryan originates from the Sanskrit word arya, attested in the ancient texts of Hinduism such as the Rigveda. Arya in Sanskrit holds the meaning civilized or simply referring to an individual of higher consciousness.

    In the 18th century, the most ancient known Indo-European languages were those of the Indo-Iranians’ ancestors. The word Aryan was adopted to refer not only to the Indo-Iranian people, but also to native Indo-European speakers as a whole, including the Albanians, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Latins, and Germans. It was soon recognised that Balts, Celts, and Slavs also belonged to the same group. It was argued that all of these languages originated from a common root—now known as Proto-Indo-European—spoken by an ancient people who must have been the original ancestors of the European, Iranian, and Indo-Aryan peoples. The ethnic group composed of the Proto-Indo-Europeans and their modern descendants was termed the Aryans.
    ========================================================

  • Manar

    Thankyou both.
    Nizar I didn’t say the Aryan race was Arabian, I said the Blonde Beast[(which doesn’t have to be of an Aryan Race in the first place, only in the case of people perceiving Nietzsche in the wrong way(Just like Hitler did, and as a result changed history=P..)] referred to the Arab, the Easterner…
    Rephrasing, the perception of the Blond Beast being of an Aryan Race was the wrong perception of this notion in Nietzsche (by the NSBM bands and a lot of other people).
    (Reread the section)

  • SakoS

    Nietzsche is LITERALLY my hero, my idol, and mostly because i am a free thinker and an extremely open minded person. I always adopt his quotes when i need em, even though many people have suggested not to, because, as it is said in the article, they consider him a mad man.
    Nietzsche simply reflects truth in its truest form, cant get any better than that !

  • Manar

    Nietzsche was is a God SakoS, he is too much for people, and usually people who suggest that are too stupid to notice it.
    He is sublime!!

  • Nizar Hawat

    Yeah thank you for rephrasing i reread the section twice. and will leave further debate to a live meeting. since its not the prime topic of the article.

    once again i say it loud. Great article 🙂

  • Manar

    Sure. =)

  • Karim Nassar

    Awesoeme Article!!! (Y)

  • Manar

    Thanks :D.

  • unkonw

    I believe Nietzsche is ridiculous compared to Aristotle.

  • Manar

    1- Nietzsche is not ridiculous, keep it to yourself.
    2- Aristotle is a completely different story.
    3- Nietzsche had deep understanding of Greek Philosophy and History… Plus, he is (ironically) influenced by Aristotle (though he critisizes him) :)..

  • SerJ Panossian

    couldnt agree more 🙂
    wise words … nicely said …

  • Manar

    Akeed ;)..

  • saania

    doesn’t look he is inspired by aristotle i mean look at the contrasting difference between the two

  • saania

    actually manar u r right aristotle is a completely different story doesn’t look that he is inspired by aristotle

  • Manar

    For someone to be influenced by someone or something, the influence itself does not have to be one based on a positive relationship. It can also be a negative one.

    Negative and positive in a physical sense (+ or – ), if you get what I mean.

    And as he said, what originates from good is evil, and that’s the way of the world. Regardless of the mediocre sense of Good, or Evil, we’re talking physics, math, logic…

    And yes, Aristotle is divine in his own ways.

  • Ruzbeh

    You revere me ; but what if your reverence tumble one day? BEWARE LEST A STATUE SLAY YOU. Now I bid you lose me and FIND YOURSELVES;and only when you have all denied me will I return to you.