What does dark metal represent to you?

  • What does dark metal represent to you?

    I borrowed this idea from the facebook's dark metal group, but decided to extend it with the text borrowed from Destiny's homepage:

    So, here a few lines borrowed from the genre pioneers themselves. Feel free to add your own comments and views.

    "What does dark-metal represent for you ?
    Juergen Bartsch, founder and bass player of Bethlehem:

    „Dark Metal“ is a lifestyle, probably more than this. To the time we started with our own music, some of us made some ugly experiences with things like suicide or death in general. Myself was just back from the big German city I once lived in, where I lost nearly all of my friends and social contatcs coz of drug overdoses or just coz they were bored by life in general and therefore killed themselves. Of course also lost people who were very close to me which totally shocked my complete appearance, from one day to the other let me feel lost and lonely again. When I came back into this miner´s ghost-town here, I had no friends, no nothing but only was buried in pain and suffering. Bethlehem was a way out, it totally helped to explain all those negative feelings and emotions into something so beautyful, which made it so easy to change all those dark things into something which always was a huge hold in my life, into music. Our former guitarist, Matton also lost his father who committed suicide and lost his mom who died from cancer and surely epxerienced everything in a similar way than I did. The others, Steinhoff and specially Classen came from broken homes and when I met them for the very first time, I very strongly felt that they also were completely lost. Basically four people came together, of such a kind that they all deeply were buried into something really dark, like living in a huge black hole. With no way out, nor options or possibilities. Complete darkness. Mental darkness. So the only chance to not follow the circumstances was to destroy darkness with music and though this more was done instinctly, I believe today that the creation of a band like Bethlehem was the only chance to save our all lifes. Not as a therapy or so, coz the therapy to that time were cigarettes & alcohol, more a promising path of light, completely born in the subconscious. We never discussed things like that but we all wanted to give it a name. Do remember this one rehearsal, shortly before we started recording our first demo, when suddenly our singer said: „the music is not evil, but it is dark“. We all looked at each other and we knew it, that we exclusively play „Dark Metal“ and nuthing else."

    Most of the dark metallers acknowledge Bethlehem as the first dark metal band. Without no doubt, they have been the most influental band to this genre. However the first band to coin the term "dark metal" was Destiny from Sweden. They had started to define themselves as dark metal around the time of their second full-lenght release Atomic Winter in 1988. Here a few words from them:

    "One should be aware that what a lot of people today call Dark Metal has nothing to do with Destiny, who actually coined the phrase way back then. However, Destiny's original form of Dark Metal shares the lack of connection to any kind of occultism with what's presently called Dark Metal. So no, there are no crosses turned upside down, no wily lyrical backward messages, nothing supernatural.
    Dark Metal, the way Destiny always figured it, bestows on its audience a feeling. Or a sensation, if you will. Dark Metal communicates a vision of a fateful, grim universe. The same kind of force that abides in the deepest parts of the oceans or the splendid halls where the mountain king ruled before the reckoning of time. The same force that mercilessly comes over us during the endless nights of winter and makes us feel petty and insignificant. "

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