• Dead is dead: Perspectives on the Meaning of Death in Depressive Suicidal Black Metal Music through Musical Representations

    Author(s):
    M.Selim Yavuz (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    Music and Sound
    Subject(s):
    Black Metal Theory, Death, Ethnomusicology, Metal Music Studies, Musicology, Popular Music Studies
    Item Type:
    Dissertation
    Institution:
    Royal Holloway, University of London
    Tag(s):
    black metal, death studies, extreme metal, metal music studies, suicide
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M67D4Z
    Abstract:
    Death plays an important role in human life, and there have been many theories about how this inevitability affects human thought, and social life. According to anthropological studies, death and death-related phenomena, including rituals, music, the meaning of death, are based on the originating cultures. This makes depressive suicidal black metal music an interesting case study, because of its inherent involvement with death ideas. This paper focuses on this music genre and the examples existing in the repertory to investigate and provide a view on the meanings of death. Wilson argues that ‘the mourning and melancholy of black metal is essentially […] [a] mourning of death –not the death of someone, or something or some lost past, but for death itself’, and the voice in black metal reveals that the only meaning is the meaning of death. Doom metal, when lyrically analysed, deals with ideas of melancholy, death, suicide, grief, and loss. ‘Ontological security’ developed by Anthony Giddens emerges as one of the crucial theories in order to show black and doom metal songs from a taboo breaking perspective. Mellor defines ‘ontological security’ as ‘persons having a sense of order and continuity in relation to events in which they participate’. It can be also argued that ‘the existential confrontation with death […] has the potential to open individuals up to [Kierkegaardian] dread, shattering ontological security.’
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives

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