From The Wicker Man (1973) to Atlantean Kodex: Extreme music, alternative identities and the invention of paganism
The German epic heavy/doom metal band Atlantean Kodex has written two concept albums based on the folklore and paganism of old Europe and the West: The Golden Bough and The White Goddess. The two albums owe their titles to two books that have influenced the rise of modern paganism, though they remain deeply problematical. In this article, I explore possibly the most important influence on Atlantean Kodex, which is also one of the most important influences on modern paganism: the 1973 horror film The Wicker Man. I discuss the ways in which the film uses the speculative folklore of Frazer and Graves to construct a set of invented traditions about paganism and its alternative, counter-Christian nature, which have made paganism appealing to extreme metal musicians and fans. In this discussion, I use examples from other metal bands and fans who have name-checked the themes and the traditions of the film. In discussing the folklore of the Wicker Man, I also explore the folk music used in the soundtrack, which has also contributed to the invention of modern paganism and extreme folk music. I conclude by suggesting that, although many pagans have adopted this extreme music and myth into their world-views, the myth of the Wicker Man is also used as a playful rejection of Christianity and its authority by those of a secular or humanist persuasion.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Leeds Beckett University
Publication date: March 1, 2020
More about this publication?
- 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.
- Editorial Board
- Information for Authors
- Subscribe to this Title
- Intellect Books page
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites