Summary and Info
Utilizing the Internet, fanzines, newsgroups, and interviews - some at a distance, some face-to-face - I hope to draw the picture of a sub-class of biack metal that makes constant allusion to "the folk" as a connotative concept. Tentatively called folk metal, this is a sub-genre of heavy metal that incorporates instruments; melodies, and texts commonly associated with folk life or folklore. Each practitioner within this style adopts and adapts different aspects of "the folk" in an attempt to reinvigorate "ideas of culturally and ethnically distinct places" (Gupta and Ferguson 1997b: 39). What is of primary interest is not just what materials are used and how they are incorporated, but what messages the musicians hope to encode by using folk texts.In this study, then, I intend to focus on the production and product of folk metal. As such, the primary focus is on bands and their music. Whether or not messages are interpreted in the intended way, musicians produce meaning by producing music. Intentionality, however, is a tricky premise. As Stuart Hall has shown, nothing is natural about communication; messages have to be constructed, or "encoded," before they can be sent. This is an active and interpretive social event and as such messages received, or "decoded," are subject to distortion or misinterpretation.....What will become clear is how folk metal, often in spite of itself, violates many of the semiotic codes that have defined heavy metal for three decades while remaining identifiably within its orbit. However its fans or detractors may interpret it, it continues to be produced by an increasing number of bands across an ever-widening geographic space. As such, it is clear that folk metal has had a meaningful impact upon the black metal scene that has yet to be measured.
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