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Hideous Gnosis: Black Metal Theory Symposium 1

3.12  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Essays and documents related to Hideous Gnosis, a symposium on black metal theory, which took place on December 12, 2009 in Brooklyn, NY. Expanded and Revised.

"Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous." - H.P. Lovecraft

"Poison yourself . . . with thought"
Paperback, 282 pages
Published (first published 2010)
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3.12  · 
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 ·  132 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Patrick Sprunger
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: other, read-in-2012
Hideous Gnosis does what is feared most: it opens up a space for pseudo-hipsters to plunder one of the final redoubts of the counter culture. While it shouldn't be hard to analyze black metal, justifying its more out of control elements is a huge challenge simply not met by this anthology of essayists trying to outdo each other with impenetrable analysis. Naming the endless permutations of nihilism within the genre is as farcical here as the flagpole scene in A Christmas Story (why not just comm ...more
Mike Keirsbilck
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: r-52-books
The premiss of the book piqued my interest: finally a book that would have something to say about the philosophy of black metal. A genre that has indeed some depth to it, but is always regarded as the retarded kid of the musical family. I hoped to gain some insights and to be able to recommend a good book when one of my favorite genres is mocked again.

Sadly enough, this won't be that book. This book is supposedly the recap of a symposium on black metal, but it must have been conducted by some r
Gnome Books
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Part noble gesture towards the dark sublime peaks of 'black metal theory', part academic foolery. For the idea of black metal theory to succeed, the prose of theoretical thought will have to be actually infected with black metal lyricism, which occasionally happens in this text.
Gary Donnelly
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Firstly, I think that this tome was deliberately dense. I am a philosopher myself and I believe wholly in making things as simple as possible in order to make my writing accessible. Some of these papers seemed a tad too 'ivory-tower' for me, and, given the difficulties I had in ascertaining what some writers were going on about, I shudder to think of the struggles your average metalhead should face in trying to interact with this publication.

Secondly, the proof-reading and editing was seriously
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: music
By now I have read quite a lot about black metal theory, if that can even be called a thing. I must say that once again I did enjoy it, although some essays were really far from the main subject and again others really interesting and highly informative. Academics have such a different approach to this. Some lose themselves in philosophical nonsense that - in my opinion - misses the idea completely and again others really want to find a way to explain the black metal phenomenon. Some essays capt ...more
Charles Heath
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
The actual proceedings from an academic conference on philosophy and black metal.
The collection is really, really uneven in content. Some great historico-philosophical pieces, but there is also a mountain of academic-speak, jargon-clogged, semiotic claptrap that (perhaps not on purpose purposefully) is LAUGH OUT LOUD funny. That said, the BM miner will find some real nuggets of analysis, historical fact, secondary sources to pursue, and begin to tease out the threads of this dark art. BM is wher
Headsink headsink
Dec 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bullshit
Metal for me is like Zen, you must listen, headbang and the experience is Metal.

Transcendental Black Metal? Come on its a joke. Liturgy with 'burst beat' and high pitched guitar sucks! Their hipster image loathed me even worse. If Transcendental was double nihilism and they had inverse for the typical black metal ideas then why don't call it White Metal?(hahahah guess you can't do that because you need to be god-believing christian metalhead first!)

My view about this book can be found in the boo
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An interesting collection of essays. It seems that people discredit the book because they disapprove of the essays within, but I found all of them to be valuable, even if I didn't necessarily agree with half of them.
If you like thinking about BM in a way you wouldn't any other genre of metal, this collection is an important read; it's a lone, intelligent voice in a choir of mindless elitism.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fundamental to my perception of Black Metal, my approach to elitism, my understanding of transcendence, and my thesis. Garbled thoughts tumbling down dark abyssic holes - you tumble with them, or you stay behind. Both might work, as this not merely a hallelujah for fans, but an academic approach to something I didn't believe could be "academicised" before.
Erkan Saka
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culturalstudies
Glossary in the end is a very informative one.
eugene thacker: 'three questions on demonology' is an informative chapter.
Cory Card
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
A bit of a stretch at times, some points are absolutely ridiculous... wish it discussed more BM culture
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