As of late, I’ve been on this Black Metal kick. Mayhem, Burzum, Krallice, Sigh, Cobalt, Liturgy, Wolves in the Throne Room, etc. So a buddy lent me this book called Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind. It’s not very well written, by which I mean the composition isn’t particularly engaging, the organization is less than fluid, the structure is uninspired, and the insights are rarely explored beyond their basic recognition; but, as a primer for the genre, I thought it was pretty good. (Plus, there’s a bunch of crazy pictures depicting Norwegians in corpsepaint.) Before I read it I didn’t know anything about Black Metal, and now I feel like I have a fair understanding of its origin. Plus, I learned a little about Vikings, a little about murder, and a little about Satanism, which are all interesting things to learn a little about.
Here’s the opening paragraph:
The Devil has always treasured music. What better arena to inspire, cultivate, and propagate his will into the affairs of man? Music serves as both balm and excitant, soothing the savage or awakening dormant passions. In spiritual terms music is a magical operation, a vehicle for man to communicate with the gods. Depending on whom the celebrants invoke, this can mean soaring to heaven on the voices of angels or raising beasts from the pits of hell.