Radix Journal

Radix Journal

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Tag: Heavy Metal

The PC Metal Inquisition Continues

The metal media appears to have taken up a new crusade recently—the rooting out of thought crime in the music scene and interrogating all potential dissidents.

The metal media appears to have taken up a new crusade recently—the rooting out of thought crime in the music scene and interrogating all potential dissidents.

Earlier this year, the black metal band Inquisition faced a media storm worthy of their name and had to endure media harassment for alleged Nazi ties. Most of the story originated from a rabid leftist blogger who wants the metal scene to work harder to include transsexuals and a “reformed” skinhead who alleged the band made pro-Nazi statements in his presence.

This is all it takes for a witch hunt to now be ordered against a metal band.

Now the press has found a bigger target for the self-righteous indigination–the Guitar Hero favorite and purveyors of cheese Dragonforce.

In an interviewwith the Vice music affiliate Noisey, Dragonforce founder Sam Totman undergoes an interview that’s more akin to a kindergarten teacher harranguing one of her students for sticking bubblegum under his desk.

Totman is repeatedly askedt to “explain” why an old band of his had “racist” and “homophobic” content:

NOISEY: So, I wanted to talk to you about something that happened way before the new album. I was digging around a little bit and found Demoniac, the band you were in before Dragonforce. I really want to know what the fuck you guys were doing.
Sam Totman: Hah! We started that, me and my friend, back in New Zealand in the 1990s. It was when I was 18 or something. We were having a laugh basically. We just sort of thought “Oh, let’s play some black metal” because we didn’t know any good singers so we couldn’t do any other kind of music except for black metal, death metal. It was just kind of a big joke really. Our first record was all serious, Satan this, Satan that, and we did quite well with that. The second one kind of turned into NOFX crossed with black metal, and then the third one got into power metal so it was like power metal crossed with black metal, and no one really got it basically.

In fairness I don’t know if NOFX ever sang about “killing faggots” and raping children and killing black dudes. That was what I saw when I looked up the band.
We had some strange characters in that band and everyone kind of wrote their own songs, so any dodgy ones weren’t anything to do with me…

I can’t get over the lyrics honestly. Has nobody ever pulled you up about that before?
Nah.

Really?
Not really, no. Nobody really cared about that band anyway.

I mean, it took like five minutes on Metal Archives to find all that. You guys have really young fans, and you’ve got songs about raping “old fags” and killing “queer cunts” and that’s…not so good.
We had a bit of a twisted sense of humor. We were just having a laugh.

Things are a little different now than they were in ‘99. I don’t think it’s really that funny. What if a 12 year old kid goes on there and thinks “Oh, so Dragonforce thinks it’s cool to beat up gay kids”?
To put it simply, it was us having a laugh and all the dodgy stuff like that was mostly our old drummer. It was just a laugh and it was a long time ago so it’s not really a big deal.

And the interview continues on like that for its entirety. Totman says it was just them joking around, interviewer keeps demanding an apology. Nothing is resolved.

One noticeable shift from the treatment of Inquisition is how Dragonforce were treated easy in comparison. Another major metal outlet even published a defense of the band and dubbed the lyrics of their past band youthful stupidity. Both the previous band, Demoniac, and Dragonforce both have the same Asian guitarist and this might sufficiently satisfy claims that they aren’t racist.

For a genre that likes to glorify itself as outside the norms of conventional society, those norms seem to be sweeping through the scene and ensuring that everyone keeps to their dictates. While the lyrical content of Demoniac was certainly not tasteful, the majority of metal lyrics aren’t high prose either. The point is now how the media demands penitence for any past transgressions and assurances that it will never happen again.

Just like the proverbial kindergarten teacher with her bubblegum terrorist of a student.

Like the rest of society, expect more victims for the PC metal inquisition in the next few years.

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Why Metal is Right-Wing

I can say with confidence that heavy metal music has done far more to advance authentic right wing aesthetics, values, and yes, even philosophy, than all the failed institutions of the Beltway Right put together.

 

I grew up listening to metal. I have also had more than my fair share of interactions with various manifestations of the American Right for well over a decade.

With that in mind, I can say with confidence that heavy metal music has done far more to advance authentic right wing aesthetics, values, and yes, even philosophy, than all the failed institutions of the Beltway Right put together.

Whatever the political opinions of the artists involved (if they even have any), metal belongs to the Right. From the most simplistic party sing alongs to the highly complicated creations of serious artists, metal repeatedly stresses themes of conquest, self-overcoming, strength, and conflict. If the primary value of the Left is equality, than the primary value of the true Right is hierarchy. The common thread between an anthem about drinking with girls to the heavy drone of doom meal is the rejection of egalitarianism and the pretty lies of modernity. If leftists can “Imagine” along with John Lennon a world where the Last Men loaf about all day where there is “above us only sky,” metal provides the battle songs for those things it’s still worth to “kill or die for.”

Metal is about seeking glory and excellence–Wagner for the working man. Even a leftist who tries to channel metal will find themselves presenting an image of strength, vitality, and self-glorification. Whatever the political beliefs of a left wing headbanger, the aesthetics betray them.

The same cannot be said for what passes as the conservative movement’s “aesthetics.”

Some Christian conservatives hate metal because of the anti-Christian beliefs and symbolism of certain people involved. Obviously, this paints the genre with too broad of a brush–it’s worth noting that the “Satantic” imagery of many early artists was used to symbolize evil as something real and something to be feared. This is a far more respectful treatment of Christian theology than the contemporary Christianity–which holds faith as simply a means to fit in the occasional day at an inner city homeless shelter, stripped of any divine significance. Besides, most Christian conservatives today seem more intent on competing for who can adopt the most half-starved African children to bring to their McMansion than ensuring a promising future for their own children. So we shouldn’t be too concerned with their cries about how “evil” metal is.

Even those authentically anti-Christian metalheads attack the faith from a different perspective than your usual campus leftist. Metal is filled with critiques of the Christian religion for displacing the indigenous spiritual traditions of Europe, for allegedly promoting egalitarianism, and for serving as a force of repression on extraordinary individuals. It echoes Oswald Spengler’s charge that Christianity was “the grandmother of Bolshevism.” This is hardly the same old recycled anti-Christian tripe.

Beyond the ideology and aesthetics, metal is profoundly a “localist” genre. Bands must develop a following and work their way up, rather than simply being imposed on all of us by some record producer at age 19. This goes for a lot of the “pirate radio” that first popularized the genre as well. What was best about local metal radio shows was that they were proudly local institutions. The announcers were amateurish, half the bands were unknown, you couldn’t get a decent signal once you left the confines of the city it was based out of, and it utterly lacked the gloss and professionalism of a major radio station. It was something unique, an acquired taste. You would actually find out about new bands or new songs from it–something you can hardly get from major radio today.

When conservatism was serious, local institutions were prized for their own sake, with communities serving as the proper basis for affection–the “little platoons” in Edmund Burke’s phrase. Today, conservatism is composed of 20-somethings making 20 something a year plotting to give deracinated corporations tax breaks. For me, it’s the same conflict as listening to a new band on a metal playlist or hearing the same Rihanna “song” yet again on a “professional” station. The latter can only be called “culture” by a true cynic and serves as evidence that popular choices are imposed from above rather than the spontaneous “free market” of conservative/libertarian fantasies.

Metal as a genre, even in its lowest form, relies upon musicianship. At its best, it can sublimate profound themes within complicated melodic structures. You can’t “fake” good metal. It’s no accident that many younger metalheads find that they “graduate” to classical when they get older, in the same way that the talented musicians who pioneered the genre owe a debt to the maestros of Vienna and Bayreuth.

In today’s popular music, you can substitute Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna, the animated corpse of Britney Spears, and whatever else they are promoting in and out of any given melody. It’s hard to say if anyone would even notice–as long as you keep the autotune on. The themes are predictable, the melodies hackneyed, the “message” cliched–express yourself, even (especially) when you have nothing to say. Popular music is the soundtrack to American-style democracy, and I can think of no greater condemnation. If I can slightly borrow a famous phrase, when someone tells me the pop station is “culture,” I release the safety catch on my revolver.

Clearly, if conservatism is about upholding the established order, heavy metal music is hardly the kind of thing champions of the long extinguished Ancien Regime would be comfortable with. Of course, that’s sort of the point. We don’t live in a world where the “Establishment” is patriotic landed aristocrats defending the interests of Church and Crown. We live in a world where Fortune 500 companies fund groups that combat “white privilege,” where multiculturalism has joined hands with Goldman Sachs, where the justification for this System is outlined for you in your mandatory diversity training in the classroom and the corporate boardroom. It’s their system, not ours. Why do we want to make it more efficient or cut their taxes?

Who cares?

The Right can’t look to Burke in this context–they should look to Burzum. The System must be dismantled and metal is the soundtrack to that Revolution–even if the people playing it aren’t aware of it.

Want to do something that will make a difference? Save the money you were going to waste on supporting another huckster conservative politician promising to save America, and go buy some metal records instead.

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