The black metal Inferno, who returned to Oslo in Norway after a two-year pandemic break, is the local cultural event of the year. The four-day festival does not only consist of concerts, but also a conference. That’s right, metal conference! In Norway, metal is by no means an obscure matter, but a socio-cultural phenomenon that does not shy away from current social and business issues. The titles of the selected lectures speak for themselves: Metallicists against bullying, Louder than hell: The rise of metal in the Native Americans, Getting on a greener tour, Marketing in metal.
After all, metal is a cultural mainstream in the Scandinavian countries, as evidenced by the fact that last year the band Mayhem was awarded the prestigious award for contribution to Norwegian culture. It may be familiar to those of you who don’t listen to this genre that much. It is a band that in the last decade of the last century basically defined black metal, both musically and visually. In addition, it is linked to worrying or outright tragic events that have shaken not only Norwegian society. Burning churches, reveling in disgust and perversion. Brutal murder. A revolt that got out of hand. If you are wondering how a band built on such morbid foundations can win a prize for cultural contribution, here is an excerpt from the jury’s explanation: . However, the band’s current position in the global metal community proves that their music is as solid as a rock and has entered global music history. “
Well, bye, and we in the Czech Republic will do so much with Jarek Nohavica! But seriously. It is actually fascinating that respect has won a genre that is based on open misanthropy, disgust, sadness, hatred, or even invocation of Satan. On the other hand, rap, which grew up on the streets of American cities and could hardly get rid of the label of the violent, gangster genre, could be condemned in a similar way. After all, the rivalry between the two greatest rap legends, New York’s The Notorious BIG and Los Angeles’ Tupac, essentially ended in mutual execution. Yet today rap is considered one of the most popular genres today.
“The man just yells like a tur there,” a friend once told me as I played her favorite black metal song. “Right,” I say. “Sometimes you don’t want to yell?” Ventilation of tension and frustration is for many metal fans what they praise the most in the genre. There is a lot of serious research that metal helps stabilize mental health. For example, in the renowned professional magazine The Lancet Psychiatry, an article was published last year with quotes from music journalists and musicians. Among other things, listening to metal is “a great way to open the door to feelings of inevitability.” “Metal can help overcome anger and relieve restrained pain.” negative emotions – and practice how to control them.
“As soon as we got a little out of the pandemic, there may be a third world war around the corner,” said the frontman of the German thrash metal legend Kreator, who performed one of the most energetic performances at the Inferno festival. “So you two let’s have some fun tonight, because we don’t have to be here tomorrow.”
I may sound weird, but I feel joy and hope in the challenge.