If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.
– Joseph Goebbels (an actual Nazi)
So, yeah. The “Metal Bubble” of 2016-2017 has popped. We’re over-saturated with mediocre metal by numbers. As such, there’s been a decrease in metal-related news.
Due largely to a massive decrease in traffic over the last year or so (see below), Metalsucks seems to have latched onto this new formula where they cry “Nazi” anytime someone from ANTIFA digs something up to stir shit.
I think this is also largely due to a bit of a confirmation complex – somewhere along the line in Vince and Axl’s social circles, they associate with a section of the metal community (and probably people outside the metal community) who subscribe to the ideology of the American political left.
After a quick glance at their own words (and their actions) I think it’s safe to say it’s a mildly radicalized faction of the middle to upper class that self identifies as the radical left.
Which is totally cool. I love people who subscribe to extreme ideologies too, I totally get it.
(There’s also the argument that I’ve touched on in other articles, where the large influx of scene tourists from a social class not typically associated with heavy metal have been slowly trying to co-opt black metal (entryism).They’re relatively easy to identify, look for an American “black metal” band that uses the term “post metal” to describe themselves.
Slightly less cool.)
On the bright side – my prediction that 2018 would be the year of black metal was correct. Silver Linings.
I do think they’re victims of a phenomenon we’re all familiar with – an oft-repeated lie becomes the truth in the minds of both the listeners and the speaker.
An example to illustrate the concept:
In 2014, a scientist published a paper stating that non-celiac disease related “gluten sensitivity” existed. The internet blew up, and companies paid attention. They all started offering “gluten-free” versions of their products. Even fucking water. Water.
The next year, the same scientist published a paper completely refuting his findings (read: gluten sensitivity does not exist. either you have celiac’s disease or your body processes gluten perfectly. There is no middle ground, because science).
But the damage was done, the whole “gluten sensitivity” thing gained traction – and there are still people (not affected by celiac’s) who avoid gluten in their diets completely. It’s a thing. Don’t believe me? Go to any grocery store, and look at a cereal box. Or bread. Or anything that contains wheat (you might be surprised how many things contain wheat as a thickener).
It’s a “thing” now. It will never go away, even when the very scientist who started the craze publishes a paper showing how and why he was wrong, people still believe it.
This is a subject that affects me on a very personal level – my mother believed the hype around gluten sensitivity in 2014. She started having severe pains in her abdomen, and attributed it to a sudden sensitivity. Turns out, she had cancer. Even while she was in the hospital being treated, she insisted they cater to a gluten-free diet due to her alleged sensitivity.
Oft repeated lies, even the most innocent ones (like saying wheat is bad for you) – can have serious and long-lasting consequences. If there is an untruth circulating, it’s important to squash it before it becomes a “thing”.
Replace “gluten” with “hidden Nazi’s in the metal scene” and you’ve basically got the situation at hand. Are there Nazi sympathizers in metal? Of fucking course there are.
Here’s the thing though – they’re not fucking hiding.
I would argue that the guys in Taake, Marduk, and Watain channel a little bit of the aesthetic of these guys into their stage personas specifically because they evoke fear – the same level of fear Satanism did around the formation of black metal. It’s an uncomfortable, if natural, progression.
A stage persona is just that though, a stage persona. Nothing more, nothing less.
There are organizations dedicated to tracking actual hate groups in the United States (including the aforementioned supremacist centered genres).
Like the SPLC who have actually composed a fucking map listing all the known “hate music” organizations in the US.
There are clickable links on each location, where you can find out more about each group.
If ANTIFA, Metalsucks, and all the virtue-signaling “socially conscious” hipsters who want you to know they hate Nazi’s were really concerned with finding actual Nazi-sympathizers and white power groups in metal and punk – there are organizations who have done all the fucking work for them.
I don’t think they’re really concerned though. In reality, all the aforementioned are doing is pretendy posturing so others will see what good people they are.
News flash – hating a bad thing does not make you a good person. Talking about how much you don’t tolerate something doesn’t accomplish shit.
I could be wrong. If you look closely at the map, you’ll notice that a majority of the “real” hate metal groups live within walking distance of the alleged living quarters of the Metalsucks staff.
If Vince and Axl are really serious about this whole “combating Nazis in the Metal Scene” thing – they should have no trouble going after the big fish.
I’m sure the guys in the National Socialist Black Metal scene would be happy to engage when they finish laughing. In the unlikely event that such a confrontation took place, it’d be good for the writers at Metalsucks to know that almost all of these guys have ties to Resistance Records. Who received indirect funding from the Mercer family.
So, they wouldn’t just going up against a random fucking group of racists. They’d be going up against a group allied with the biggest and most dangerous gang in world history – Old White Money.
I’ve seen some inaccurate terminology thrown around in regards to the whole “nazi panic”. It’s important to be accurate with the terminology you’re throwing around, and if you really think you’re battling Nazi’s then you might want to know your enemy.
To help illustrate this point, I conducted an interview with none other than Machine Head’s Robb Flynn to help readers identify Nazi bands in the metal scene.
Not the “50-something-artist who plays paddycake in music videos” version of Robb Flynn, however.
Oh no, we’ve got a real treat for you here at Metal Stuff. This is an interview with none other than Nü-Metal era Robb Flynn (greatest rapper ever) in all his glory.
(In the spirit of fairness, I do not think Talib Qweli is a frothing anti-Semite. I think he’s an incredibly decent person who has been actively engaging with a high level of toxicity on twitter. And he does so often enough that, from time to time, he unwittingly takes on some of the negativity of the people he’s engaging.)
A Note on Extreme Metal
The thing about extreme metal is that it should be attracting extreme people. It’s not just a clever catch-phrase.
Masculinists, Feminists, Fascists, Communists, Anarchists, Socialists – anyone belonging to one of the “-isms” millennials like to throw around to label/negate a group they disagree with. I want them all at a fucking metal show.
As long as the commies don’t start communist-ing, the fascists don’t start fascist-ing, the anarchists don’t start anarchist-ing, etc – while they’re at the show, they’re fucking metalheads.
What they do outside the show is their own fucking business – if I disagree with them, I disagree with them.
I’m not even saying people should leave their extreme views at the door – quite the opposite. Bring them with you. Just make sure you check the extreme actions.
And if you’re getting offended at an extreme metal show, what the fuck are you doing there in the first place?
So… are there extremists in the loose conglomerate we refer to as “the metal scene”?
Of fucking course there are.
Extreme people have been coming to shows and trying to recruit/spread their message since I started going to shows as a young teen (probably before, but I can’t really speak to that) – and I’ll tell you, the thing about marginal/fringe groups is that they only seem to attract marginal people. (i.e. the people who would have found the group anyways).
Personally, I’d much rather a band that plays around with fascist and hateful imagery and lyrics be getting out the (obviously overflowing amount of) negativity they experience on a regular basis in a quasi-healthy manner (i.e. at a metal show). As opposed to getting it out by focusing on an object of hatred in a more direct manner.
Think of it this way – even if the members of Marduk and Taake were full on Third Reich, swastika sporting militant fascists (they’re not)… if they’re getting that bile out at a metal show there’s a lot less negative energy to dedicate to Nazi stuff.
I’d rather they be out in the open, and reinforce their positive behaviors (i.e. normal human interaction, interests other than racism, etc) while giving them a human connection (you know, in case they ever want to separate themselves from hateful ideology) than banish them to the shadows and let them brood and plan in secret.
No political ideology has a stranglehold on metal.
Racist bands have no problem letting the world know what they stand for, I think the best thing is to take statements from the artists themselves.
Black Metal is against all organised religion, and in particular likes to take aim at the big three (Abrahamic) religions. Cherry-picking out singular lyrics and taking them out of the context of a song to call someone a bigot is the social equivalent of a monkey shitting in its hand and throwing it.
I call cherry-picking because of this simple fact – Hoest might have worn a t-shirt with anti-Islamic imagery, and he might have painted a swastika on his chest in Germany because it was illegal to do so. But he also has a fucking inverted cross tattooed on his body.
“Taake is not a political Nazi band […] everyone should know by now that our whole concept is built upon provocation and anything evil […] we truly apologize to all of our collaborators who might get problems because of the Essen swastika scandal (except for the untermensch owner of that club; you can go suck a Muslim!)”
To understate, he
probably definitely could have picked his words more carefully regarding the controversy.
But in context he was obviously extending a very obvious middle finger and trying to touch on a few nerves. I think he succeeded.
Ah well, not a huge fan of their music – I’m addressing their situation as part of a larger issue.
As for the Marduk thing – it looks bad, but unless it was verified by someone more qualified than a bunch of hackers who have no qualms about breaking the law and a bunch of quasi-anonymous people on the internet – I think I’ll take it with a grain of salt. Especially when the band members issue this statement;
“Members of Marduk are listed in a database that’s said to show the purchase history of a Swedish webshop. We were made aware of this list when it surfaced online in August 2017 and have since been asked about it a handful of times. Since we never took this nonsense seriously, we refrained from commenting on it. However, a Swedish newspaper recently discovered this and have now written a story about it. And so, here we go again.
“No Marduk member has ordered anything from the website in question, or ever had any form of interaction with the organisation operating it. This is all we have to say about the matter. It’s ridiculous to have to reiterate this once more, after 28 years as a band, but: Marduk has no political agendas or ideological associations, National Socialism or otherwise. Our lyrics deal with religion and history, nothing else.
“It’s worth remembering that we had the exact same discussion back in February 2017, in conjunction with our US tour. Multiple media outlets scrutinised every fibre of Marduk history in search of proof for these allegations but found nothing. They reached out to numerous bands we have toured with, who all told them the same thing: there is nothing to support these accusations. And history will repeat itself, soon enough, as yet another effort of soiling our name comes to an end.
“The Anti-Semitic and right-wing conservative connections that people
have long accused black metal to be a platform for have very little to
do with what we stand for. To me, it should be quite obvious that we
would have been some of the first people to be executed in the Third
Reich with the whole idea of the National Socialists being based upon a
kingdom of bright-eyed little Aryans, and we are quite honestly the very
opposite of that. [Laughs] There’s an extremely important line to draw
there, and I’ve realized that that’s the only devil that people know
– Erik Danielsson, Watain
Doesn’t exactly scream “secret Nazi” to me.