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Free Content Dark epistemology: An assessment of philosophical trends in the black metal music of Mayhem

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This article attempts to characterize a negative form of postmodernism as expressed in examples of black metal. Black metal is discussed in reference to a collection of examples from the music and comments of individuals of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem. Through an integration of ideas advanced in postmodern philosophy and theory, this article attempts to describe a realization of epistemological darkness that is demonstrated within black metal, and this discussion concludes by considering the limitations of essentialism in relation to the art and its themes.

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Keywords: black metal; epistemology; misanthropy; pessimism; phenomenology; postmodernism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Midlands Technical College

Publication date: 01 October 2014

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  • Metal Music Studies is the journal of the International Society for Metal Music Studies.

    The aims of the journal are:
    • To provide an intellectual hub for the International Society of Metal Music Studies and a vehicle to promote the development of metal music studies;
    • To be the focus for research and theory in metal music studies – a multidisciplinary (and interdisciplinary) subject field that engages with a range of parent disciplines, including (but not limited to) sociology, musicology, humanities, cultural studies, geography, philosophy, psychology, history, natural sciences;
    • To publish high-quality, world-class research, theory and shorter articles that cross over from the industry and the scene;
    • To be a world leader in interdisciplinary studies and be a unique resource for metal music studies.
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