Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Metal and Jazz: Where They're Similar, And Where They're Different

After digesting my metal-jazz feature in LA Times a couple of Sundays ago, metal writer Vijay Prozak was moved to make his own connections between jazz and '90s death metal. You can read his poetic and sociologically acute commentary at Outside Looking In: Jazz, Jazz-Metal and The Future of a Hybrid.

From MetalJazz website

Nietzsche, Patron Saint of Heavy Metal

Friedrich Nietzsche remains an enigma to this day. Rejecting objectivity, he appealed to the subjective sense of greatness and beauty in the individual in his appeal for a new society, with non-material and non-egomaniacal goals. He overthrew the illusion of morality, and defecated thoroughly upon the idea of Judeo-Christian moral supremacy. He embraced nature red in tooth and claw. Despite all of this seemingly negative outlook, much like the darkness and moribund misanthropy of black metal, his goal was ultimately one of renewal and hope for life, but one that acknowledged for life to rise we must reject the parasitic, delusional and controlling.

Some black metal bands, notably the tedious Judas Iscariot and the epic Gorgoroth, have openly embraced Nietzschean concepts like triumph of the will, the philosophical hammer, and "total war against Christianity." Others seem simply to echo the ideas he praises, such as rise of genetically supreme individuals through natural selection and a rejection of Social Darwinism, and a praise of unique native cultures worldwide. It is then quite possible that both in the first wave of black metal, and in whatever meagre remnants of it exist today, the philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche have found a philosophical voice.