Norwegian diplomats brush up on black metal
Exporting local culture to the world
Wannabe Norwegian diplomats are to be trained in the dark arts of black metal - the local flavour of heavy metal which might be described as KISS with added Satanism, murder, suicide, church burnings and National Socialism.
The improbable move comes in response to increased international interest in black metal, with the country's foreign ministry fielding a rising number of enquiries about the easy-listening genre.
Kjersti Sommerset, head of the ministry’s centre for excellence, told the Dagens Naeringsliv newspaper: "We now have 106 foreign service missions and they get many enquiries from people who want information about Norwegian black metal as a phenomenon.
"In the training programme, we have a large cultural programme in order to give the trainees a good understanding of Norwegian culture and the cultural industry."
Havard Rem, the author of a book on Norwegian black metal, reckons the ministry's got its finger right on the country's cultural pulse. He suggested that "for people under 40, it is [black metal] that they connect to Norway", and "even if one does not like the music, it quickly becomes a topic for discussion".
That black metal is now seen as fit for export demonstrates that it's moved on from the heady days of the early 1990s, when it was seen as the force behind a series of arson attacks on historic churches.
Leading exponents Dimmu Borgir recently shared an Oslo stage with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Schola Cantorum choir, indicating it's just a matter of time before the first album of black metal Abba covers hits the stores. ®
Don't knock it until you try it!
I don't like Alice Cooper much but he had the Black Metal lad's number when he said, "Black metal is not satanism, it's pantomime! It's modern day vaudeville and damn funny too!".
Some of it's OK and I must admit there's nothing like a good blast of Immortal and Dimmu Borgir on the 5:20pm train home of an evening. Having listened to metal racket for nigh on 30 years now I have to admit that the BM lads are a tad silly with the corpse paint and the feux Satanism codswallop though. For the real thing, give me a blast of good honest thrash any day and no not Metallica, I mean real metal not that mindless tosh ( a lot of sub-genres in the metal camp! ). Slayer, Onslaught, Havok and Dearly Beheaded, a mix that's certain to get you motivated! Much to the annoyance of my wife, my 8 year old loves a bit of thrash and death metal even a little bit of black once in a while, then again kids don't really need an excuse to make a noise and act like nutters do they!
"which might be described as KISS with added Satanism"
You could cast Kiss in iron and still wouldn't find an atom of metal in them"
you totally made my day. I prefer 'Summer Night City' the one from Therion.
Abba? Norway? Lester, I know this is a tech journal but BASIC FACTS, PLEASE.