Black Metal, black coffee (espresso), and a black sky outside. It is just past midnight here, and it is still a desolate snowscape outside, and it looks very cool, very beautiful, and very lifeless.

As I sip coffee, and smoke VA/Per tobacco from the Rossi pipe, I listen to the Burzum "Aske" album (later re-named Burzum (self-titled) because of reasons).

What's my fascination with Black Metal, anyway?

Well, I have always self-identified as a "Metalhead", since I was seven years old and listened to Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Overkill, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, and a handful of other bands that would be considered "Classic Metal", by many people's standards (mine, as well). But as the years went on, and I started to branch out with what types of Metal I liked/listened to, I started to hear bands like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson (starting in the early-1990s), which I also consider "Metal". And from there, things sort of progressed, and the music got heavier, darker, more punishing, more brutal, and just better, overall, because those are elements and traits I look for in Metal.

But, in regards to Black Metal, I enjoy several "sub-genres" of the...genre: Early Norwegian Black Metal (some refer to it as "True Norwegian Black Metal"), as well as the first wave of Black Metal (bands like Bathory, Celtic Frost, etc.), and also DSBM (Depressive Suicidal Black Metal), Ambient Black Metal, and a few others that could be classified as "Black Metal", but usually stand with being classified as simply "Extreme Metal", or "Brutal Metal" (such as bands like Dragged Into Sunlight - which I think are their own genre).

And the fascination starts and ends with the power behind it all. I think Jef Whitehead (the artist behind Leviathan) said it best when he said: "there's a certain honesty in a picked-on loner screaming his head off" (I'm slightly paraphrasing). And I agree that there is honesty not just in the "picked-on" part, or the element of screaming your emotions into the world (or, for me, hearing other artists do so, and me vicariously getting a cathartic relief from it), but from the "loner" part of that statement - I genuinely think Metalheads (in general) are the "true loners" of the world. Essentially, looking at the world, society, social elements of human character, and approaching it, all of it, with a heavy dose of apprehension and even cynicism. Finding true solace and peace and respite in other like-minded people (other Metalheads) and their music is a medium that allots the loner to not always be alone. It sort of "scratches and itch" that maybe only a random few people can even sense. And perhaps other people, who are obsessed/fascinated by/or captivated with other genres of music are in the same position? The Grunge fan gets a certain satisfaction that only Grunge music can deliver. Or perhaps Techno. Or Rap. Or Country. It's all significant in it's own right - I just know that for me it is Metal.

That's all I can say about that, I think. So I hope someone got something from this.