Black Metal Rainbows

Black Metal Rainbows

Edited by Daniel Lukes and Stanimir Panayotov, Designed by Jaci Raia



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Black metal is a paradox. A noisy underground metal genre brimming with violence and virulence, it has captured the world’s imagination for its harsh yet flamboyant style and infamous history involving arson, blasphemy, and murder. Today black metal is nothing less than a cultural battleground between those who claim it for nationalist and racist ends, and those who say: Nazi black metal fvck off!

Black Metal Rainbows is a radical collection of writers, artists, activists, and visionaries, including Drew Daniel, Kim Kelly, Laina Dawes, Espi Kvlt, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, Svein Egil Hatlevik, Eugene S. Robinson, Margaret Killjoy, and many more. Across essays and theory-fictions, artworks and comics, we say out loud: Long live black metal’s trve rainbow!

This unique volume envisions black metal as always already open, inclusive, and unlimited: a musical genre whose vital spirit of total antagonism rebels against the forces of political conservatism. Beyond its clichés of grimness, nihilism, reaction, and signature black/white corpse-paint sneer, black metal today is a vibrant and revolutionary paradigm. This book reveals its ludic, carnival worlds animated by spirits of joy and celebration, community and care, queerness and camp, LGBTQI+ identities and antifascist, antiracist, and left-wing politics, not to mention endless aesthetic experimentation and fabulousness. From the crypt to the cloud, Black Metal Rainbows unearths black metal’s sparkling core and illuminates its prismatic spectrum: deep within the black, far beyond grimness, and over a darkly glittering rainbow.


“Black metal is a fascinating genre—in part because of its complicated (and bloody) history but also because of the rigorous theory and deep thoughts buzzing around it. If you were to put together a perfect black metal book, one that captures that essential complexity while also providing historical and personal insights, it would be Black Metal Rainbows, a sprawling collection of essays, interviews, band and label profiles, and all kinds of art for both the true kvlt and the curious. It sets the new standard for how we should think about this music.”

– Brandon Stosuy, The Creative Independent

“Finally black metal is delivered from the tedious edgelords who have long diluted the decidedly queer heart of the desire for darkness, death, and despair as an effulgent world of creative infinity. This volume offers myriad trajectories, via art, philosophy, action, and music that black metal has created, perhaps because of, perhaps in spite of, its embrace of all things tenebrous. This delicious book is a beacon of black light that shows the wonders which occur when the atrophied figure of the dominant human undergoes putrefaction and emerges from the crypt in glittering cerecloth. An absolute joy to read.”

– Patricia MacCormack, author of The Ahuman Manifesto

“Despite being there in the moment during the ascent of the Venoms, the Bathorys, and the Hellhammers, I’ve tended to fidget warily from afar since black metal partly curdled into a mess of homogenized inhumanity. So, I welcome this collective liberating howl beyond the stereotypes of icy forests and puerile hatred. Bravo!”

– Barney Greenway, Napalm Death

“This is a manifesto as much as a book: A grand declaration of war against those who would confine black metal to crude invocations of masculine, heteronormative nativism. Black Metal Rainbows is an untamed collection of art, memoir, essays, and interviews that explode black metal into an infinity of kaleidoscopic pieces. It celebrates the truly unruly, the revolutionary and the playful, and it refuses to turn its subversive gaze away from black metal itself. A not-so-subtle reproach to those who condemn ‘wokeness’ as a pacification of black metal’s vitality, Black Metal Rainbows demonstrates an awakening to black metal’s true destiny.”

– Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge

“This wide–ranging compendium pushes past the conventional and conservative to explore black metal as a site of contest and transformative possibility—an act which is itself actually transgressive.”

– Jes Skolnik, senior editor, Bandcamp Daily


Blink. 2.0 (For Pelle Ohlin & Kiriko Takemura)
Jonathan Mayhew
Ritual for PO & KT
Jonathan Mayhew
Black Metal Rainbows Logo (Rainbow Version)
Christophe Szpajdel
Antelope Dreams
Johanna Mueller
Love of One’s Own Fate
Heather Masciandaro
Introduction: Somewhere Over a Black Metal Rainbow
Daniel Lukes and Stanimir Panayotov
Black Metal King
Paige Reynolds
Putting the Fag Back in Sarcófago
Drew Daniel
Forest Friends
Acid Lich
Sad Rainbows
Stanimir Panayotov
Mother Knows Best
Mimi Chrzanowski
You Don’t Win a Culture War by Giving Up Ground
Margaret Killjoy
Minerva Metalhead
Ezra Rose
Why Us? Why Now? Discussing the Rise of Anti–fascist Black Metal
Stuart Wain
My Heart Is Yours
Ivan Belcic
Black Kaleidoscope
Ry Cunningham
Black Metal Under the Black Flag
Kim Kelly
Queer Kvlt Porn
Espi Kvlt
Malefica: The Witch as Restorative Feminism in Female Black Metal Autoethnography
Jasmine Hazel Shadrack
“Righteous Violence”: Zeal & Ardor’s Application of African–American Folk Music in Black Metal
Laina Dawes
Queer Rot
Joseph Russo
Venereal Machine (Solar Phallic Princess)
Elijah Burgher
A New Idol
Francine B./Witnesstheabsurd
Doom Donkey: Mick Barr’s Drone of Information and The Rainbow Supremacy
Aliza Shvarts
The Transfiguration of q Three Queens + Goatlord
Sarah Horrocks
Flamboyant Atrocity: How to Enhance Dead’s Death Depiction
Élodie Lesourd
Stephen Wilson
Bizarre Black Metal
Daniel Lukes
An Oral History by Daniel Lukes
Dødheimsgard’s 666 International
Artist Profile by Daniel Lukes
Svein Egil Hatlevik
Andrew Zealley
A Biatch in the Northern Sky
Patrizia Pelgrift
Blink. 2.0 (For Pelle Ohlin & Kiriko Takemura) cntd.
Jonathan Mayhew
Le Corbeau (The Crow)
Shyle Zalewski
When Evil Comes A’Calling
Eugene S. Robinson
“The Colossal and Abyssal Apathy of the Universe towards You”: Black Metal and Male Depression
Nina Power
Black Metal
Vincent Como
Fuck Me Jesus
Riton La Mort
Spirit Girls + Witches and the Devil
Marnie Weber
Vox Inferi: Fictionalizing Black Metal + Extract from Sound
Catherine Fearns
Swan Song
O.B. De Alessi
Black Ambiance: Where Do Ambient and Black Metal Meet?
Angel Simitchiev
Pretty in Black: The Temptation to Melody and Ambiance in Black Metal
Steven Shakespeare
Black Metal Is Feminine
Avi Pitchon
Black Metal of the Americas Is Fucking Dead
Edward Blair
My Inner Circle
Frederic–Vivianne Auln
Charles Forsman
Witch + Wizard
Julien Dallaire-Charest
Queer Lady Owned Heavy
Tridroid Records
Christine Kelly Interviewed by Daniel Lukes
Music Label
Corpse Paint Teacups
Liz Hoge/Carrion Creations
Élodie Lesourd
The Kid
Bernd Preiml
Young Witch as Devil
Marnie Weber
Black Metal Mickey Mouse
The Dialectical Satan
Langdon Hickman
Sparkle Satanas
A Unicorn at the Rock Show
Caity Hall
Rape Culture and Metal
George Parr
Scott McPherson
The Machine Mystique: Deep–Learning Metal
Bogna M. Konior
Black Metal Information: Cybernetic–Resonance of Gloom Series
Kenji Siratori
Eritque Arcus Mortem
Theriomorphous and Infectus: Black Metal Disco
Andrew Zealley
Queer Traditionalism
Hunter Hunt–Hendrix
Holy Unblack Metal: The White Horse of the Apocalypse
Benjamin Bianciotto
Devotion Has a Price + Paradise Lost 003 + Paradise Lost 004
Vincent Como
Kissing the Devil’s Ass + Devil + Devil’s Ass
Marnie Weber
Blink. 2.0 (For Pelle Ohlin & Kiriko Takemura) cntd.
Jonathan Mayhew