Satanism In Black Metal

I recently came across this Zero Tolerance interview with the black metal band Funeral Throne. As some of you know, Funeral Throne have always been into Satanism, anti-Christianity and even some Nietzschean philosophies, however, I think this interview may have taken it all a bit too far. For those into Satanism, there is a fine line between being generally interested in the way of life and becoming a gimmick. The difference often lies in how you are perceived by others and how you perceive others.

There are people in the world who hold anti-Christian beliefs, and are possibly into the satanic rituals and philosophies, but when someone uses these “beliefs” to appear as dark, evil or mysterious as possible it becomes a parody of what it originally was.

Given the large number of black metal bands that claim to be inspired by Satanism/anti-Christianity and then centre all their songs on the lyrical themes, I’m forced to ask exactly why they hold such beliefs. Either they truly believe in what they’re singing about or they’re trying desperately to appear evil. If they do hold anti-Christian beliefs it’s due to their experiences with the religion, which they feel strong enough about that they’re inspired to base their music on it. Without such experiences, it’s simply nonconforming for the sake of nonconformity. Aiming their hatred at something, anything, just for the release it offers. Given that I live in England, like the members of Funeral Throne, I am likely to have very similar experiences around religion, and so I find myself confounded when I hear that their lyrics are merely anti-Christian and not atheistic in general. The majority of Christians in the UK are friendly, considerate of other people’s beliefs and opinions, and don’t tend to voice their own theistic philosophies unless called upon. In my own experiences, and many other people’s might I add, the more popular religion that poses a problem in the UK is Islam. For a religious philosophy like Satanism to centre all their hatred on Christianity alone, specifically in the UK, given the statistics, seems unreasonable and futile. I see no reason why black metal bands like Funeral Throne and the many, many others inspired by Satanism, don’t choose to write about other religions or philosophies. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism; they’re all possible victims for atheistic nonconformists. If the musicians, in the unlikely situation, do have a good reason to place their opinions against Christianity and none other, then I have no reason to question them. Everyone has their own opinions on religion, and however people choose to express it is their own choice. I’m certainly not here to try to stop others from voicing their thoughts.

One of the first lines of the interview that caught my eye intrigued me enough to question it.

“To many there cannot be black metal without satanic ideology.”

In all honesty, I find this statement to be ridiculous. I enjoy all kinds of black metal, and as you can see from my blog, a small percentage of that contains satanic or anti-Christian ideology. In fact, the majority of the black metal bands I enjoy listening to have either very few or no atheistic lyrical themes at all. A lyrical theme does not define a genre; it is only the elements of the music that define it. Of course there are plenty of people out there who would argue against this; however, if a lyrical theme defined a genre there would be thousands of newly invented sub genres.

Even after reading the interview a couple of times over, the gimmick of Funeral Throne isn’t going to stop me from enjoying their music. No matter how overly excited they are about the Satanism scene and the advantages it may offer to their image, I’ll continue to attend their shows and buy their music. If you enjoy the music a band creates, there should be nothing stopping you from listening to it, regardless of the judgment you may pass on their appearance or lyrical themes. So, instead of taking my word for it, I recommend reading the interview for yourself and then holding your own opinion about it.

I’d also like to add personal thanks to anyone who happens to read what I have to write.

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