Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sexual Archtypes and Extreme Metal

So as you can see from my last post I am totally into Mayhem right now. So I was on Youtube checking out some live footage and some interviews. One of the clips I watched was this one:

I was struck by how feminine the whole thing was. The application of base make-up, the mesh shirt, and Manaic in the background putting on a necklace. It reminded me of something I read somewhere that said that black metal was the feminine side to extreme metal with death metal making up the masculine side. I didn't think too much about it, but there is something to this. These comparisons came to mind:

Vocal style:
Death- Uber-masculine, almost primate low end grunt
Black- Higher pitched screaming and rasping

Death- Jeans, t-shirts, sneakers
Black- Leather, jewelry, and makeup. Lots of makeup.

Musical aura created:
Death- Precise, clinical, brutal
Black- Emotive

Emotions expressed in music:
Death- Anger, disgust
Black- Sadness, grief, desolation

Common imagery:
Death- Gore, horrific things, and yes, death
Black- Nature

Now I realize that the above list does not apply to every death or black metal band. For example, I think Decapitated was an amazing, emotionally driven death metal band and Mayhem is a pretty brutal and clinical black metal band. But judging the genres overall in where they stand today, I think it fits pretty good.

And I also realize that the things I have labeled masculine and feminine are also generalities. There are plenty of cold, harsh females and overly dramatic, emotional males. But I still think the juxtapostion works.

No comments: