Abnormal Psychology and Underground Black Metal

The concept of "abnormality" as it relates to psychology is not a particularly easy concept to grasp. While there are some legitimate definitions of abnormality (such as a requirement for psychological dysfunction, personal distress, and atypical behavior), the requirements are ultimately very vague when being considered by multiple people from different cultural backgrounds. The best definition of abnormal behavior would indicate that the behavior has the potential to not be deemed a psychological disorder simply because it is abnormal, yet still maintain that those individuals who adhere to the abnormal are, in the least, significantly different than their societal counterparts. My relatively active involvement in the underground black metal scene in the United States has the potential to be viewed as abnormal due to the themes expressed in the music (Satanism, anti-religion, anti-establishment, war, violence), the extreme sound of the music, and non-traditional feelings towards subjects related to human vitality. The abnormality of the black metal music scene is not strictly related to the audible music, rather the ideological ideas and theatrical imagery directly related to the scene; whether it be at live shows or in some other context, as they tend to push the boundaries of what is socially acceptable, and therefore what is normal and abnormal. One specific example that I witnessed occurred in New Jersey at the Starland Ballroom where the band Behemoth played. In a room filled with fog machines and darkness, their front man (who goes by the stage name Nergal, a name associated with demons) came out and addressed the crowd with a Christian Bible in his hand. He had no reservations when he yelled into his microphone that the Bible "is a book of lies." At the end of his speech, he tore pages out of the text, threw them at the crowd, and proceeded to scream the opening line of his next song. While it may be debatable as to whether or not it is abnormal for an individual to be non-religious, there is no doubt that the active expression of these beliefs in such a manner would be perceived as abnormal; particularly to those outside of the in group of fellow black metal fans and musicians. The imagery of ripping up a religious text, the incorporation of pentagrams and inverted crosses to stage sets, and the bodily adornments of leather clothing, chainmail, spikes, armor, and corpse paint (white paint on the body in similar fashion to rock band KISS, however utilized in such a way to make an individual appear to be dead) all add to the abnormal effect. href='http://www.infobarrel.com/Abnormal_Psychology_and_Underground_Black_Metal' - http://www.infobarrel.com/Abnormal_Psychology_and_Underground_Black_Metal -