Black metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music characterized by its dark, aggressive and raw sound. The distinctive visual aspect of the genre is embodied by the use of corpse paint by many of its musicians.
Corpse paint is a style of face paint that resembles a decomposing corpse. It is typically made using a combination of black, white, and red paints, and is applied to the face, neck, and sometimes the arms. The use of corpse paint in black metal can be traced back to the early days of the genre in the 1980s, when it was popularized by bands such as Venom and Bathory.
The use of corpse paint by black metal musicians is not just a cosmetic decision, but rather an expression of the genre's artistic and philosophical values. Many black metal musicians view their music and image as a form of rebellion against societal norms and values. They see themselves as outsiders, and the use of corpse paint is an expression of their non-conformity and rejection of conventional beauty standards.
Additionally, many black metal musicians see their art as a form of extreme self-expression. The use of corpse paint is a manifestation of this extreme form of self-expression, as it is intended to shock and intimidate the viewer. This can be seen as a way for the musicians to communicate the dark and sinister themes of their music, which often address topics such as death, anti-Christianity, and the occult.
Furthermore, the use of corpse paint can also be seen as a reference to the genre's historical roots. Black metal has its roots in the early heavy metal and punk scenes, and the use of corpse paint is a nod to the shock value and anti-establishment ethos of those genres.
In conclusion, the use of corpse paint by black metal musicians is an expression of the genre's artistic and philosophical values. It is an expression of rebellion against societal norms, a manifestation of extreme self-expression, and a reference to the genre's historical roots. The use of corpse paint is an integral part of the black metal aesthetic and is an essential aspect of the genre's visual and cultural identity.