The Mainstreaming of KVLT

KVLT has been around the underground side of black metal for a while. Utilizing a more medieval feeling of the word “cult”, the sub genre embraces limited edition culture with a mix of pagan, occult, and dark imagery, and is also used to highlight underground status. Beyond the music following, fashion lines began to emerge embracing and marketing the KVLT style. Black and white shirts, little color, with dark imagery or pop-culture manipulated into a state of KVLT.

And as all things that emerge, so do their clones. More and more fashion lines began to emerge embracing the KVLT scene for style and not substance; and as the trend grew beyond the music it began to leak outside of the subculture itself.

So here we are a year or so later, as Actual Pain t-shirts begin getting reproduced and slightly toned down for malls and broad fashion lines, musicians begin embracing the symbolism. Which takes me to what I found today.

Ke$ha – Die Young

Ke$ha’s latest video blurs pop and KVLT style together, which in my mind signals that it’s time to throw in the underground towel. The video bounces between the dark imagery and symbols to auto-tuned pop and hot bodied dancers. Signaling the first step of yet another underground subculture being thrust into the mainstream spotlight because of its style set–with no regard to the substance of the genre itself.

Locke Hilderbrand

Locke has grown up with an eclectic mix of travel and technology at all times. His views and ideas are inspired by the fusion of subcultures and street scenes, global travel and the internet. He is a cultural translator and scene adaptor by day, artist by night, always hunting for what's next and embracing what's now

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