Distortion, restriction and instability: Violence against the self in depressive suicidal black metal | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2052-3998
  • E-ISSN: 2052-4005

Abstract

In the underground subgenre of depressive suicidal black metal (DSBM), extremes of violence against the self are presented in combination with a restrictive version of black metal. Album covers feature explicit photographs of self-cutting or drawings of suicide by hanging; vocals are tortured screams expressing extreme suffering, and guitar sounds are so distorted that they begin to approach an ambient atmospheric blur. Given the history of concern about metal and its health implications, I investigate DSBM as a case in which representation of harm in music is overt, explicit and extreme, yet the health impact of the music is undetermined. I discuss how different modalities of distortion and restriction may connect the sound of DSBM to themes of violence against the self, presenting a theoretical framework for approaching DSBM as music which negotiates a complex economy of the staging and control of violence with respect to the self.

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2019-09-01
2024-02-22
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): depression; DSBM; extreme metal; nationalism; restriction; self-harm; suicide; violence
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