The Construction of Cultural Identity in Norwegian Metal Music
12:30 - 13:30 in the large auditorium Panel debate about The identity of metal after the lecture 13:45 - 14:15

The Vikings, Norse mythology and the portrayal of Nordic nature have been an important topic in metal music globally, and continue to be so. The topics presented by Bathory and many others during the 1980s were soon to spread around the globe, where they sprouted subgenres such as Viking and pagan metal. Still, Norse-themed metal music from the Nordic countries, and from Norway in particular, is deemed as authentic as it can get in the metal scene. To many, this kind of music embraces another aspect of originality, more precisely the processes of finding, defining and reassuring oneself of one's own cultural identity, often within the frame of the global metal community. To include such aspects in Norwegian identity seems to no longer occur in Norwegian society, where Vikings and mythical creatures feature tourism commercials and children's books. In fact, the combination of rough metal aesthetics and runes might be the cause for scepticism towards the ideology behind Norse-themed metal music not only in Scandinavia.

It is the aim of this presentation to identify the meaning and various functions attached to Norse topics in- and outside the scene. I will do so by looking at selected examples of band concepts regarding visual and lyrical aspects and add information on the artists' motivations and intentions that I gathered in interviews with musicians during field research. Additionally, I will delve into Norwegian history in order to shed light on this tradition of identity construction.

Panel debate about The identity of metal after the lecture
13:45 - 14:15

Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved)
Imke Von Helden (Universitetet i Koblenz-Landau/Germany)
Nina Nielsen (Folk musician, writer, Ph.D. Research Norwegian Academy of music)
Runa Strindin (Festival manager Midgardsblot Festival)
Panel leader will be music journalist Harald Fossberg (Aftenposten)

Panel debate:
What makes you a metal head? what is the identity OF Metal? What is so interesting about it, why do we engage in it, what motivations are there to do so? The discussion in this years Panel will be around Identity in Metal - How it is connected with norwegian and norse history and culture. The gender roles in metal and in viking history and how and why metal draws its inspiration from the pagan and pre - christian era.