By - Frysken
I want to believe that it doesn't make any sense for nazism to exist in black metal, and you're right about the genre's history being antithetical to a white supremacist worldview, but honestly I feel like nazism in black metal was kind of inevitable.
Nazis and white supremacists only give a shit about history when it suits them, and they're more than willing to whitewash or ignore it when it doesn't.
Personally I think nazis looked at black metal and saw a eurocentric subculture built on elitism, evil and controversy; whose target audience is disenfranchised young white men. They saw a place where their ideas would be defended even by those who don't share them, because people are so obsessed with their 'trve kvlt' image, that they're not willing to 'tarnish' it by standing up to real evil.
An insane number of black metal fans seem to think that overlooking hateful bigoted rhetoric is a sign of maturity or intelligence; that those of us who won't 'just can't handle people disagreeing with us'. They don't seem to realise they're being used; that truly evil and disgusting people are relying on their complicity to allow their messages to spread unchallenged.
In some ways, I do think nazism in black metal makes perfect sense. Whether we feel it's expected or not, though, we can agree that it's dangerous and hateful, and needs to be met with fierce opposition. Honestly, that's all that really matters imo.
>eurocentric subculture built on elitism, evil and controversy; whose target audience is disenfranchised young white men
Yeah this exactly. I guess it began as form of transgressive art, but there was no coherent radical politics underlying the transgressive politics of early black metal as there was with e.g. hardcore.
So it seems inescapable that black metal became a natural vessel for reactionary politics in europe...
Something I think is weird is how different young white men can interpret disenfranchisement in wildly different ways. I was a weird, nerdy kid who never fit in socially, and as I got into metal that only got worse. I don't really feel disenfranchised as an adult but I still remember when I did, which continues to be part of my worldview.
I think being treated as "other" in small town America because I had an effeminate demeanor, wore band shirts and grew my hair out actually helped me sympathize with the LGBTQ+ community. People would accuse me of being gay as an insult, and that helped me realize that even if I was gay, those people were wrong to call that a problem.
It just boggles my mind that so many young white guys have this same experience, but interpret it as motivation to double down on toxic masculinity to try and prove themselves to the people who rejected them. My response to being bullied for not fitting society norms of manhood was "fuck your social standards, I'm gonna be myself" but for a lot of men in a similar boat it's "oh you're right, I'm not manly enough so I need to go say edgy sexist stuff to prove myself". Bruh, the root of your misery is that our social construct of manhood is fake and prison-like, not that you're falling short of the standard!
I believe it's not they see those values in society and try to fit in but the opposite: they perceive the *lack* of those values at the root of their marginalization, so they must reinforce them and return to a "proper" status quo. All that "go woke go broke" rethoric echoes this feeling. It's not that they feel left behind more than they argue societal values are collapsing and taking the whole of civilization down with them and need to revert to a previous idealized state.
Many of the themes of early BM rejected the influence of Christianity from a hamfisted Nietzschean/individualist POV, which can be (and had been decades before) reread as an idealization of the purity of the heathen ur-culture before it was stained by abrahamic self doubt and guilt, and thus transferred to the coetaneous contexts time and time again, rejecting all kinds of critical analysis against the trust upon a caricature of a fictive culture/ethnicity as an infallible static construct. Any change or evolution is paramount to heresy, therefore adhering to deprecated values is perceived as the maximum loyalty to the supreme concept, against a failing, decadent world.
God damn this thread has some good analysis in it but that is just *chef's kiss*
That's also true. I guess there are a couple of different types of disenfranchisement that probably have some overlap. I do remember at like 14 listening to songs about battle and stuff and feeling all smug about "society is plastic, but I'm metal" or some cringey stuff like that. I never really materialized that mentality into right-wing views before growing out of it, though.
I guess I'm just reflecting on my own experiences but I do think it's possible to both feel disenfranchised due to an inability to meet social standards, and also have an internal sense of superiority over the people who make you feel that way. Like, jocks are bullying you in high school and you tell yourself that back in ancient times, you'd be the dominant one.
Another thing that occurs to me is that this may vary regionally. I was a nerdy kid growing up in a red state, but for a more traditionally masculine kid growing up in Europe it might be different. If you are a naturally masculine person living in a society that doesn't pat you on the back for being a straight white male, I can see how it's really appealing to want to turn back the clock to a time when you would have been given more of a blatant unfair advantage. Also due to my childhood being in a region where Christianity is a dominant right-wing thing, I was pretty oblivious to the right-wing obsession with Norse mythology, as I was raised to view neo-paganism as liberal hippy crap. For a Norwegian teenager, paganism might look like a return to an individualistic past, but to me it was a mysterious foreign thing that my parents called "socialist".
Antoher angle of this whole issue is anger towards other's happiness. The imaginery you use in order to visualize your distaste for it is almost irrelevant. It can be righteous medieval Christianity against stupid barbaric hippie pagans or fierce pagan warriors against effeminate meekly Christianity. It can even be stoic, metallic, Soviet soldiers against homosexual (SA and Rohm) cowards Nazis or fierce Maya/Inca warriors against weak Spanish Conquistadors. You're disenfranchised and very lonely and that's why you hate "normies" around you. If those normies are mostly of a left wing/progressive persuasion then you'll develop right wing fantasies or the other way around.
>Many of the themes of early BM rejected the influence of Christianity from a hamfisted Nietzschean/individualist POV
yeah, pretty classic edgy teenage boy stuff honestly. I remember being 16.
The right-wing Nietzscheanism/"rugged individualism" is particularly funny given the wealth of left-wing and anarchist interpretations of the same ideas, and indeed in light of the parallels between Nietzsche's work and that of the proto-anarchist Max Stirner a few decades prior. But then, some fascists have also tried to appropriate Stirner himself, of all people, because that's what fascism *does*, so hell if I know
The story of how Nietzsche was co-opted by nazis with the elxplicit help of his awful sister after his death is very interesting. I think Nietzsche and Stirner both suffered from inaccessible writing styles. The number of people who understand either of them well is quite small. I consider them cautionary tales for any author wanting to influence the public. My point is that it is easy to trash talk authors almost no one understands and who have been used by bad actors to justify their acts. You know how many people I've met who think Stirner's property was talking about possessions? I always thought ubermensch was what all humans could be in a stateless society, not a sybgroup of humans ruling over others, but maybe I just saw what I wanted to see.
I like both writers but give me Malatesta any day for clarity, brevity and usefulness.
> there was no coherent radical politics underlying the transgressive politics of early black metal as there was with e.g. hardcore
Want to clarify that this is true of a lot of early European black metal, but was not the case with the scene in Latin America. Predictably, the European strain of black metal ended up going down the Nazi rabbit hole a lot sooner than the scenes in Brazil, Colombia, and so on.
The Nazi-ification of black metal coincides almost exactly with the loss of punk music influences, and/or the movement towards RAC as a primary punk influence rather than the streetpunk and d-beat that fueled early black metal.
Nothing's more metal than conforming to a strict authoritarian regime. /s
That’s what I find hilarious about Dave Mustaine becoming a Christian Nationalist, Megadeths whole thing was anti-government but now he’s pro authoritarian theocracy shitlord
The amount of Republicans that love older metal that was made as explicitly anti establishment music is genuinely confusing.
Singing Killing in The Name Of with a Thin Blue Line flag
The last time I saw megadeth, Dave went on what felt like at least a 5 minute rant about how much he hates Obama and Hilary Clinton before they went into headcrusher. Definitely sounded like he'd been drinking.
One comment is whatever. I can live with that even if I don't agree with it. But for fuck sake, a drunken rant the length of a song? Come on man.
Maybe it's brain damage from the years of drugs and alcohol.
I'm totally down with trashing Hillary and Obama, but something tells me when Dave did it, it wasn't for the right reasons lol
It's a move by ultra-right reactionaries to co-opt working class movements and counterculture. Same thing happened with skinheads. Same thing happened with places like 4chan with its meme culture and is happening now with Marxist-Leninists on sites like Twitter. Tale as old as time. At the lowest level they're too ignorant and uninformed to see the hypocrisy, and those who know about it don't care that they're hypocrites because it's about devaluing the movements and riding their coattails. I knew a guy in high school who was a white supremacist but _loved_ hip hop and Rage Against the Machine. Pointed out the irony to him and he did not see it.
Yep. White supremacists have no culture of their own. Their main recruitment tool is to co-opt other popular movements and infect them with nazi rhetoric.
Sounds a bit like the Christian 'music' industry, doesn't it?
In the end, there's probably a bunch of nazis and a fuckton of edgelords. If "Hail Satan" doesn't shock people anymore the tried "Heil Hitler" and in combination with the elitism, which is rampant in black metal in general, some probably really believe they're the future leaders.
I'm from Brazil, where when Rage Against the Machine and Roger Waters play and say stuff like "down with fascism" and "down with Bolsonaro" the right-wing middle class dumbasses complain about "politics in my music".
Hey, fellow brazilian! Glad to find you here. I remember controversies like the one from Roger Waters' concerts right before Bolsonaro's election and when RATM dedicated a song to MST ("Landless Rural Workers Movement" would be a close translation, but I'm not really sure).
This moment was amazing, I wish I was there: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS\_q5iZ63Ho](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS_q5iZ63Ho)
They say he doesn't understood the music he wrote himself, nonsense.
Anyway, in Brazil, the NSBM satanists/pagan/nihilists (you name it) support far-right politicians who are pretty much tied to evangelical fanatics wich eager themselves to cease this sort of music.
Looks like being a "trve kult" keeps you away from any sort of sense.
They're promptly ready to deny any sort of sense and they're aware about being hypocrites, also, being nazi in a latin country is shameful (being like that anywhere in the world is already fucked up and unacceptable, period... but it's even worse to see people who should be conscious about their origins buying the far-right idea of "pride" - whatever disgusting meaning of it they have in their minds)...
A criminal like Varg literally says he thinks brazilians are scum, but some people in this country would act in a way as if they're saying sorry to him (like, WHAT?) or even beg to be accepted as part of his "cause". I'm glad I always despised his "musical" project.
>A criminal like Varg literally says he thinks brazilians are scum, but some people in this country would act in a way as if they're saying sorry to him (like, WHAT?) or even beg to be accepted as part of his "cause". I'm glad I always despised his "musical" project.
Alas, Brazil has partake a lugubrious moment on it's history, i fear the unwelcome fascistic tendencies from the goverment gave this people the confidence to show themselves shamelessly to the sight.
More than once i've seen some latinazi wearing [Burzum](https://youtu.be/gNbs33XP2Bc) merch, and i wonder what kind of lie they lure themselves into to believe them as someone [Varg](https://youtu.be/SsQHahUls9E) would do something but hate.
1. Expecting racists to make sense is a fool's errand. The racist part is stupid and they're onboard with that, you really expect them to care that their music is stupid too?
2. In black metal specifically, I think it all comes down to the "pretend" part of the genre. To feed into the dark/scary/etc aesthetic we've got bands pretending to be vampires, bands pretending to be burned alive, bands pretending to be satan, etc. For a lot of us that's part of the fun, it's the same thing that makes scary movies fun. And for some people the darker it is the more fun it is.
Now in that context I can get my head around part of NSBM. You can't deny that the Nazis created some of the darkest most evil stories in human history. So in abstract I can conceive of a sincerely apolitical band having Nazi shit in their songs. I don't think it's been done, and it would be in terrible taste if it was, but it does fit in the theme of black metal.
And that's exactly what the genuine Nazis running NSBM bands/labels count on. They're up there spewing their vitriol and *either* you agree with them *or* they deflect criticism by saying it's an act, black metal is about being an edgelord, yada yada we've all heard the cliches.
Where it gets real muddy is the fans. People listening to NSBM are either Nazi sympathizers "useful idiots", a term literally invented by Goebbels to describe the people who aren't true believers in the Nazi cause but willing to go along and therefore provide cover, support, and the image of legitimacy for Nazi ideas.
If you want a real laugh you've got to think about the racist punks, they're the real lost cause.
To follow up on this a lot of early punk used nazi imagery for shock value like you are referring to here
Yeah, Sid Viscous was many terrible things but he wasn't *actually* a Nazi.
Now John Lydon on the other hand ....
Lol, he may be a conservative boomer now, but back when he was no nazi either
Oh I know, but the man deserves to be a punching bag so dammit I'm going to make him one.
Yup. And this made a certain amount of sense at the time. Everyone's parents were all 'back in the war' this and 'greatest generation' that. Swastikas were an obvious middle finger.
White people are perfectly good at appropriating and exploiting things from other cultures and “improving” on them. I don’t think it’s a contradiction at all for racists to make rock music.
I think you are conflating the general history of metal with history of black metal and esoteric underground music specifically. Metal and Rock and roll very generally could be argued to be based on what you said it was, but the esoteric underground of extreme music (including industrial, black metal, noise, power electronics, neofolk, dark ambient, etc) has tons of roots in far right and neo nazi culture, in relation to how the occult is generally the realm of right wing politics. A lot of satanism doctrine from the mid 20th century has a lot of Ayn Randian aspects to it, and the general idea is a contempt for the weak and a very shallow understanding of nihilism that amounts to only caring about oneself and not others. A lot of black metal ideology and anti-christian ideas is not so much based on the hatred of how christianity oppresses people, but the hatred of how it promotes caring about others. It is inherently anti-empathy at it's core.
Not saying there weren't original BM bands who did promote what you are thinking about (Rotting Christ being a good example), but being honest, they were not remotely a majority.
Not sure what happened to the comment I posted but I pretty much agree with this. Many of the people who are credited with popularizing the genre/were formative of the genre were unfortunately nazis, the genre itself does deal with a lot of anti-empathetic themes like you mentioned. Even anti-Christianity in this context had a tendency to be associated with the right (as opposed to here in the US where it has a tendency to be associated with the left). We don’t have to like it and we don’t have to tolerate nazis in the scene right now but this is the reality of the origins of the genre as a whole.
They co-opt everything. Even the "OK" sign. They can't come up with a decent enough culture themselves, so they steal everyone else's.
Rock has always been an extremist movement against an established social or political system, if you put it in historical context. In the 50s it was a symbol of rebellion against strict social norms and repressed sexuality. In the 60s it was associated with anti-war and drug culture. In the 70s-80s, metal developed as a way to be loud, bombastic, emphatic and serve as a really in-your-face cultural haven for misfits who didn't feel like they fit in with the norm. In the 90s, grunge actually became a symbol against 80s glamour and glitz. It's so weird for someone to think of rock as a way to promote fascism, which is essentially an extreme version of "the system" that rock has always stood in opposition to.
They literally do no care about history, facts or contradictions. All they want is to infect others with their brain-worms. That's all and nothing else. There's at least one example of nazi hip-hop from Germany ffs. Logical consistency is at the very bottom of their list of priorities, otherwise they wouldn't think Jews were using queers, black people, and Muslims to destroy wEsTeRn CiViLiSaTiOn.
Trying to be rational about something that is irrational is a fool’s errand.
anyone can put racist lyrics over any type of music, what’s the big mystery?
yeah but metal and punk are unique for having much larger of those communities than other genres and that’s the question
I agree with you on the origins of rock, it is quite silly that they seem to ignore this part.
However, I think it’s just straight up wrong for us to act like nazis “co-opted” and “stole” this genre from anyone. Whether we like it or not, some of the formative musicians who helped develop the genre are/were sketchy or straight up Nazi’s. The pagan/viking themes prevalent in the early years of the genre certainly have a tendency to be popular with people who may be nationalists or interested in nationalism in the areas of Europe where the genre was beginning. Even some of our faves that we have deemed not sketchy, like Darkthrone for example, had said/did some vaguely sketchy stuff in the beginning. I am not trying to say ~well everyone did sketchy stuff in the 90’s so it’s okay~, but it’s a fact that people dabbled in this or were straight up neo nazis (like Varg), and most people would consider Darkthrone and Burzum very major influences on the genre overall even if they did not necessarily help invent it. IIRC even Bathory had done/said some questionable things but by the end of his career Quorthon at least seemed to be anti-racist so there’s that. You could argue that maybe these early bands just had some bad views but weren’t trying to be like…ideological about it, but still.
I’m also not saying any of us should have to accept nazis in the scene, but this concept of them stealing or taking over the genre is IMO just plain revisionism and refusal to accept the reality of the origins of black metal. We can dislike it all we want (I fucking hate it), but we can’t pretend the association and involvement didn’t exist since the beginning.
I thought the same when i heard right wing extremist rap for the first time. Like that gerne was 100% invented by black people and you're trying to have a slice of the cake like wtf.
Wasn’t nazism deeply rooted in conservative beliefs and traditions like, I don’t know the preservation of catholic art?
Most people don’t know how much the major American musical contributions are rooted in black musical traditions, one because we’re decades removed and two because white business interests tried to squash it.
Unfortunately it’s really easy to see how the more immediate factors in black metal’s birth spawned a pretty reactionary culture. Plus the second wave didn’t come from the US so why would they know this shit. Not that neo-nazis are known for being thoughtful.
I think it's that both black metal and Nazism appealed to people who were interested in paganism, so people who were already into paganism got into BM and Nazism at the same time. Paganism is the origin, it's not really any more complicated than that.
(This is not to say that paganism is bad or inherently Nazi, but it's pretty clear to me how certain interpretations of European paganism lead towards a Nazi viewpoint.)
Well I never heard of Paganism having problematic interpretations until centuries after pseudoscience and colonialism had been embedded into the worldviews of Europeans and bogus anthropologists started linking these things to white people
I fear it's gonna get harder now that Satanic Warmaster is on spotify. I saw a NSBM list on spotify (obviously username) I'm so sick of this shit. Tbh I've all but given up on black metal. I'm so fucking tired of finding a band only to find out that have a really fucked history.
Bands like Veles, Branikald and Graveland have been on spotify for years. Having one Satanic Warmaster album there is not gonna change anything
Another person who only read one sentence
What’s gonna get harder with there being one Satanic Warmaster song on Spotify?
There's more than one song and you clearly only read the first sentence.
Thanks for the non-answer I guess?
I really don‘t understand your point. Can’t you just block/dodge Satanic Warmaster if you’re aware of it? How does there being one album and one song on Spotify change anything when there always has been NSBM on streaming services?
You're looking in the wrong parts of black metal. Anything folksy or atmospheric is going to be filled with Nazis, they love that stuff. Dive into black/punk and black/thrash and you'll have a better time. There are still some fashy bands in those styles but on the whole there are way more lefty bands than there are fascist bands.
Sound pretty triggered there bud. Need some more T in your diet.
Show me on the doll where the globalist touched you.
Not sure why you want to show off your fourth grade grasp of math, or your first grade understanding of facts.
The unresolved tritone shit comes from Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath, which itself comes from Jimi Hendrix'd doot doot noise at the start of Purple Haze.
Black metal came out of hardcore punk, and while I don‘t know of any racist hardcore bands, there was Oi! which was their progenitor, and that‘s pretty much the epicenter of Nazis in music so it seems inevitable to some extent.
The whole idea of “co-opting“ is a bit conspiratorial to me, as if the fascist fanboys and fangirls are so organized
How did Black Metal come out of hardcore punk? Because Quorthon liked Discharge? The selective historical revisionism is kind of mind boggling.
Black metal didn't primarily come out of hardcore but denying the absolutely massive punk influence is also revisionism. Hellhammer, Sodom, Onslaught, Sarcófago, Parabellum, Mortuary Drape... they didn't get that kind of sound from speed metal or some shit. Sabbat is the only first-wave band that can maybe claim to be untouched by punk, beyond whatever punk went into the Venom songs that they listened to.
If you don't hear punk in first-wave BM either you don't listen to enough punk or you don't listen to enough black metal. The ingredients for half the first-wave bands are literally Venom + their streetpunk or d-beat band of choice.
There is many different sides to the Far-Right, you’ll find the more “classy” assholes that promote buying out properties & making them whites only.
& then you’ll find the absolute degenerates of Society in Peckerwoods, White Power Skinheads, Urban Neo-Nazi’s & Aryan Brotherhood Convicts
These types of people in the Far-Right I’d argue sometimes even hate white people, because all they want is Guns, Drugs & Sex, & they do not give a shit about order in society, they’re rebels to the core that even white society had rejected
I am not surprised that these types of people would cling to Black Metal, Black Metal is full of an all manner of degeneracy, rebellion, hate, etc.
They don’t give a shit who made Rock, they love hate & degeneracy, & Metal loves hate & degeneracy (albeit mostly for different reasons)
BTW, not every Far-Right scumbag wants an Authoritarian Regime, some of these freaks are Anarchist Nationalists, they want no Government so they can freely kill as many Minorities they want, which… Is still completely awful, but explains the kind of mentality were dealing with in a lot of Nazi Punk & NSBM, or even other forms of Rock/Metal with heavy support in Far-Right Ideologies.
The idea of black metal (at least to me) is to be extreme/dark and to push boundaries what is more extreme and further outside from social normals than national socialism?
National socialism is more socially normal than what it looks like on the surface, albeit not noticeable unless you do some digging. There are many subtle signs of fascism in the world, though, which metal has always been against. People just don't see it because it's so common.