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Black metal as a distinct genre of popular music is characterized by a general yearning for authenticity. This authenticity can be expressed through production values, musical techniques adopted, and style of dress and presentation among members of
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   1 True Black Metal: Authenticity, Nostalgia, and Transgression in the Black Metal Scene Joel Skadiang 430018518 A treatise submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Department of Gender and Cultural Studies The University of Sydney June 2017 This thesis has not been submitted for examination at this or any other university   2 Table of Contents Page List of Figures 3 Abstract 4 Introduction 6 History of Black Metal 10 Aesthetics of the Second Wave 31 Subcultural Capital, Kvltness, and Authentic Participation 40 Virtual Ethnography 53 Conclusion 66 Bibliography 69   3 List of Figures Page Figure 1 Venom (Teamrock 2005) 14 Figure 2 Mayhem (The Quietus 2014) 17 Figure 3 Immortal Norwegian Arts 2015 17 Figure 4 Black Metal Logo from Helvete Basement (Wikipedia: Date Unknown) 25 Figure 5 Bathory’s (1985) and Venom’s (1981) Album Covers 25 Figure 6 Post on R/BlackMetal (Reddit 2016) 49 Figure 7 Post and Comment Karma of Reddit User (Reddit 2016) 49 Figure 8 Rules of R/BlackMetal ( Reddit   2016) 58 Figure 9 Policing of Boundaries in R/BlackMetal (Reddit 2016) 59 Figure 10 Parody of Black Metal Aesthetic on R/MetalMemes   (Reddit 2017) 59 Figure 11  Parody of Black Metal Fans and Response (Reddit 2017) 61   4 Abstract Black metal as a distinct genre of popular music is characterized by a general yearning for authenticity. This authenticity can be expressed through production values, musical techniques adopted, and style of dress and presentation among members of the scene. In this context, members of the scene are presented with a dilemma given the demand to both showcase individuality in their taste and style while also conforming to what it means to be “ true ”  or authentic within the scene. Due to these tra its, “The debates surrounding heavy metal and the people who make it  –  over meaning, character, behavior, values, censorship, violence, alienation, and community  –  mark metal as an important site for cultural contestation” (Walser 1993: 10).  This thesis explores ideas surrounding authenticity in the black metal community as they are continually reproduced through the negotiation of normative relations to tradition found within the black metal community. It will also analyse the policing of its borders, examining how certain identities and practices are inherently constructed as more “authentic” to black metal while others are underrepresented, and thus may be seen as marginalized. I want to discuss the problematic conception of authenticity in the genre, in particular its static relation to the genre’s history defined in terms of the styles of older “second - wave” bands (centrally those bands understood to be True Norwegian Black Metal) which are celebrated as the “hegemonic” form of black metal. As well as a  discourse analysis of the scene in these terms, this thesis will centrally include a virtual ethnography of online communities for black metal fans. By examining the content and systems of distinction produced within these online communities, I will consider how the static nature of the authentic black metal style   5 and associated “gate - keeping” in this community regulate how authenticity is produced within the scene. Keywords: Black Metal, Subcultural Capital, Kvltness, Authenticity, Transgression
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