A mainstream newspaper writing about an academic conference on the subject of black metal:
You can imagine several orders of hostility toward “Hideous Gnosis,” a six-hour theory symposium on black-metal music that commenced on Saturday afternoon at Public Assembly, a bar and nightclub in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Not just because plenty of people like to make fun of academics discoursing on youth culture but because the subject was something like the music that dare not speak its name. […]
One commenter on the online-forum page of the metal magazine Decibel summed up a certain kind of black-metal fan’s attitude toward the symposium. This music, the contributor wrote, “has nothing to do with being intellectual and everything to do with not wanting to try and break every little thing apart” for analysis. […]
Was the afternoon humorous, ridiculous or at least ludic? Not really. (It could have used a few more dozen spectators and a temperature boost of about 15 degrees.) To the contrary, it felt necessary. Despite what black-metal musicians might proclaim — Ovskum, an Italian singer and guitarist, was quoted in one of the symposium’s lectures as saying, “my music does not come from a philosophy but from a precritical compulsion” — their work is basically philosophy. It is theoretical, a grid for looking at life, with ancient roots. It could use a critical apparatus, and though the afternoon’s many citings of Continental philosophers like Lacan, Derrida and Bataille might have seemed ludicrously distant to the practice of black metal, such writings relate to the subgenre’s big subjects: death and time.