“Sons of Northern Darkness”: Heathen Influences in Black Metal and Neofolk Music1

“Sons of Northern Darkness”: Heathen Influences in Black Metal and Neofolk Music1 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/156852711X577069 Numen 58 (2011) 514–544 brill.nl/nu “Sons of Northern Darkness”: Heathen Influences in Black Metal and Neofolk Music 1 Kennet Granholm Department of History of Religions, Stockholm University SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden kennet.granholm@rel.su.se Abstract The focus of this article is on the influence of heathenism on popular music, specifi- cally on Black Metal and Neofolk. These two genres, or more correctly scenes, are converging — something which is interesting in itself as purely musical similarities are nonexistent. Both scenes are permeated by heathen notions, and have the ability to function as “cultural systems” providing sets of ideology, meanings, and practices for their adherents. Thus, they comprise more than simply “musical styles.” The appeal of heathenism in these scenes can be explained by its status as non-mainstream exotic rejected knowledge, which makes it attractive in the quest for authenticity and rebel- lion inherent in rock music. At the same time it is precisely the inclusion of heathen elements which provides the possibility to construct meaning systems that can sustain a coherent cultural complex. Keywords neopaganism, heathenism, Black Metal, Neofolk, contemporary esotericism, religion and popular music 1) The title quote is from the song http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Numen Brill

“Sons of Northern Darkness”: Heathen Influences in Black Metal and Neofolk Music1

Numen, Volume 58 (4): 514 – Jan 1, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0029-5973
eISSN
1568-5276
DOI
10.1163/156852711X577069
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/156852711X577069 Numen 58 (2011) 514–544 brill.nl/nu “Sons of Northern Darkness”: Heathen Influences in Black Metal and Neofolk Music 1 Kennet Granholm Department of History of Religions, Stockholm University SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden kennet.granholm@rel.su.se Abstract The focus of this article is on the influence of heathenism on popular music, specifi- cally on Black Metal and Neofolk. These two genres, or more correctly scenes, are converging — something which is interesting in itself as purely musical similarities are nonexistent. Both scenes are permeated by heathen notions, and have the ability to function as “cultural systems” providing sets of ideology, meanings, and practices for their adherents. Thus, they comprise more than simply “musical styles.” The appeal of heathenism in these scenes can be explained by its status as non-mainstream exotic rejected knowledge, which makes it attractive in the quest for authenticity and rebel- lion inherent in rock music. At the same time it is precisely the inclusion of heathen elements which provides the possibility to construct meaning systems that can sustain a coherent cultural complex. Keywords neopaganism, heathenism, Black Metal, Neofolk, contemporary esotericism, religion and popular music 1) The title quote is from the song

Journal

NumenBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2011

Keywords: Black Metal; Neofolk; neopaganism; contemporary esotericism; heathenism; religion and popular music

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