The Antichrist, The Birth of Tragedy, and Twilight of the Idols all sound like some killer black metal album titles, and in some cases, they are. But their origins pre-date heavy metal by a century. These are actually the titles of some of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s books; Nietzsche was famous for (among other things) his uncompromising criticisms of traditional European morality and religion. That’s likely why his philosophies are so prevalent in black metal in particular. He believed that people had evolved enough that they no longer needed the confines of theology to morally guide them and encouraged people to think freely and set their own ethics and morals.

Nietzsche was a renegade. Not only were his writings the subject of much controversy, but it is often speculated that he was a homosexual, something that was not only taboo, but also illegal back then. One could say he was the rock star of his time, inciting the same public reactions for his art like Marilyn Manson and Gorgoroth would a hundred years later.

Even if you are unfamiliar with his works, you are certainly familiar with some of his philosophies. For instance, the phrase “Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger” originated in his book, Twilight of the Idols. Not to mention, one of your favorite superheroes’ namesakes was taken from one of his philosophies. Don’t know whom that might be? Well, take a look at our list and check it out and follow this list on Spotify.

Playlist: Nihilistic Songs Inspired by Nietzsche