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Spiritually uncontrolled art: exploring aesthetics of evil in contemporary music
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates interpretations of evil as expressed in contemporary music, focusing mainly on lyrics in contemporary popular music. The purpose is to analyze whether there is acertain aesthetic embracing of risk and innovation on display when discussing such subject matters, and to relate such aesthetic connotations to cultural and religious aspects.

Lyrical interpretations of evil in a musical context appear to be existent in different forms andare in various ways attempts to integrate the existence of evil acts, as leading to suffering and pain, by incorporating such themes into lyrical material.

There appears to be a possible aesthetic embraced when artists are advocating evil acts, however, not totally separable from the aesthetics of the extreme metal scene. Such forms of creative practice appear as reliant on the dialectic between historical perceptions of morality,modern society as globalized, segmented and restructured and the reoccurrence of religion in a secularized perspective.

Themes regarding evil appear in this form of aesthetic in different ways to traditional discourse; making use of historical and contemporary images of evil and portraying them as desirable in various ways. In some instances such creative release is also linked to religious belief and practise, making the artistic performance equivalent of a transcendental event.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
Aesthetics, contemporary music, culture, extreme metal, evil, modernism, music lyrics.
National Category
Humanities Religious Studies Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Musicology Religious Studies Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-8368Archive number: HRV:D11:1OAI: diva2:394232
Subject / course
Religious studies
Educational program
Humans – nature – religion – master’s programme (one year)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-05-15 Created: 2011-02-02 Last updated: 2012-07-06Bibliographically approved

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