Metal History

Periods Metal Ideology
1969 - 1983
1983 - 1988
1988 - PRESENT

Period 1 [ 1969-1983 ]
The world saw the postwar order of superpower rule fade in the failures of Vietnam and other governmental collapses as nations worldwide faced problems of sudden alienation as citizens, informed, began to reject the lives around them. A movement of peace and almost hope occurred only to be immediately mired in imitation and die, in the waning of the sixties and the early seventies.

In its absence came technological futurism without ideological structure, leading to a vapid system which quickly assimilated anything -- however rebellious -- into its commercial system.

As the smiley futurism began to come to a close at the turn of the eighties it was clear the alienation was not an affliction but a condition of the system, and more extreme responses arose.

Metal began with Black Sabbath, the blues band that shifted into heavy bizarre rock to express the massive dread of modern life they expounded upon through many metaphors.

Having been thus born of the blues tradition metal remained much within that framework, with a dual tradition existing in Black Sabbath, the proto-metal architecturalists, and Led Zeppelin, the blues-rock extravagantists.

This continued through the seventies, as the British metal bands continued to rule and even through the rise of the American speed metal bands who were despite their ferocity and pummeling use of muted-strumming technique essentially more extreme creations of the original ideal, an independent journeyman blues lament to chronicle a wanderlife, updated with the nihilistic speed of industrial hardcore rock.

The children of the sixties saw the world that had shaped their perceptions so clearly begin to disintegrate in the onslaught of LSD, ideology, and widespread failures of conventional appartus. Consequently their alienation took the form of a critique of the application of values, rather than a creation of new values.

As their movement was coopted further into society and as its aging adherents sold out, the reform-orientation of the sixties became a pleasant illusion of progressivism in the vapid futurism of the time. These too came to a close as all expenditures there, too, ended up bankrupt or corrupted by intention from the beginning. As if a scavenger coming to carcass the 1980s rolled into glorious rehash of the commercial ambition of the 1950s, leading to a wave of denial and an ever-present conformity in face of new fears: drugs, technological warfare, disease.

A desperate, fearful climate emerged underneath the murmuring neurosis of commercial social doctrine. Ideology became an intense moral crusade of recognition of the total wrongheadedness of all social efforts.

Period 2 [ 1983-1988 ]
The cold war came to a peak and began to wind down in anticlimax, leading to a fundamental displacement and a great shifting of power. The rising generations of the world, acclimated to years of non-issues and political icons without significance, began to withdraw from society in protest not of its application of values but its lack of values.

The hidden aspects of human behavior, and civilization, reached discussion status within the concerned members of society. However, outside the slumber continued and inevitably became worse as denial became more important in a decaying world.

The conventional tonal structures of speed metal broke down into the nihilistic, chromatic structures that death metal partially borrowed from punk rock. With the rise of Slayer, modern metal was formed and soon many bands applied the styles -- chromatic progressions, fast strumming, ambient rhythms -- into different incarnations of a new genre, death metal.

Speed metal began its graceful fade and suddenly tumbled into sellout, leaving death metal to be the forefront of metal's development. Crossover music of the late eighties was a separate subgenre, as referenced by Slayer's later albums and Rigor Mortis, Atrophy, Nuclear Assault and similar ideas.

During the 80s consumer culture and conformity ruled outside, in the realm of malls, jobs, futures, retirement plans and foreign wars. As new technology made life more convenient it became ubiquitous and furthered the decline of many people to machine-state.

Consequently, opposing doctrines were organic yet rationalistic, rigorously calculated as if reprogramming a giant machine. Violence and aggression prevailed in all ideologies, as relations worldwide strained to various breaking points in the resettlement of a structure for its coming demise.

The official ideology of society, in many ways, became the ideology of non-ideology, and so a diversity of opposition movements were embraced to counter this blankness of values.

Period 3 [ 1988-PRESENT ]
Post-coldwar instability coupled with continued social boredom has created the most nihilistic, disposable society ever.

Children consider their lives worthless and worship suicide while meaningless labor consumes the time of millions, and music drifts between halfheartedness and utter slavery to some misappropriated ideal. As society ages it loses the ignorant commercial lust of the 80s and in a sagging attempt, revives the goofy optimism of the 70s in a sickeningly self-aware parody of its aesthetic.

Emotional nihilism approaches, and raging spirits search for reason to live or, in other ranges, significance of death.

Death metal produces emotional, foundational work from 1988-1992 and then slouches into decline with either commercial simplicity/dogmatism or underground posturing.

1993 brings seminal releases in musical and lyrical/philosophic areas, and then a fair void as black metal with its emotive, pained, overwrought and often overplayed psychotic urge to destruction.

The romantic streak of metal recurs with many destructive acts, and then amazingly fast black metal sells out in 1995 and death metal returns as older acts improve technicality and specialize artistically.

Death metal -- a structure of rhythmic synchronizations, nihilistic atonality, gruesome lyrics and brutal insistence on the death-ness of life -- expressed itself best in foundational acts like Morbid Angel, Deicide, and Possessed. Its rationality was its weapon for justifying the rampage of destruction it portrayed, suggesting, as did founders Slayer the darkness of all things in life.

Darkness and evil -- the will to destruction -- obsessed these creatures reflecting on their worlds (dark, destructive, industrial places with apparent motive to cruelty). Their music was corruptive; violent and chromatic, it used layered rhythms and internal synchronicity to provide a violence of logic against the world.

The distorted vocals now made extreme were antidote to a commercial society always screaming lucid, cloying, needful messages into the neurotic ear of the individual.

Often death metal resembles to an outsider streams of scales distorted with insane, textural rhythms to create a powerful mood-shifting darkness. The concept construct of corruption, impurity, destruction, deconstruction, infection, invasion, desecration, and dialectical conflict reflects a brutal harmony to the world at the time of its inception.

In the newer world order death metal is even more nihilistic, reviving musical elements from speed metal, grindcore, and other genres in order to stay alive. With it death metal carries an important gene of the metal tree, the architectural compositions that are less organic than black metal.

The newer genre of black metal is only a modernization of the havoc of Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Sodom, Bathory, and other dark and primitive bands from the previous era -- the same dissenters who had served parentage to nascent death metal launched a new crop of black metallers who would not mature to artistic proficiency until 1991, placing them in the middle of the stream of lost generations at that time.

Their ideology is more philosophical (and in some notable errors, political) and carried a misanthropic, destructive, alienated thought process to a conclusion in creative, intensely violent but complex and beautiful music. Insistence upon paradox in music and idea produced black metal but spent it instantly once the ignorant masses discovered how easy it is to fake this style so morons will buy it.

Consequently, ever-evolving current black metal is even more obscure and destructive in an effort to alienate as many potential listeners as possible. Like the dark religions inherent in all lyrical fascinations of metal, black metal encrypts itself in individualized conceptions of reality and then projects through that language a destruction, but even more, a creation. It is an evolution of nihilism to complexity.