Radix Journal

Radix Journal

A radical journal

Tag: Inquisition

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.

No Comments on The PC Metal Inquisition Continues

The Inquisition of Inquisition

Bring out the pitchforks – they’ve found more (possible) Nazis in black metal!

 

Bring out the pitchforks – they’ve found more (possible) Nazis in black metal!

Inquisition, a rising star in the scene, has recently come under fire for potential NS associations and their choice of lyrical content.

The Seattle-based band has become one of the more popular acts in the genre. From earning top accolades in mainstream publications like Pitchfork, to opening for more established bands like Behemoth — Inquisition are starting to receive a significantly higher profile than many acts with a similar style.

This can explain why metal outlets are suddenly starting to attack Inquisition for their transgressions into unacceptable territory. The thought that a popular metal band might be Nazis is beyond frightening for these people and is something that desperately needs addressing.

Metal Injection, a popular metal website, reposted and commented on a far-left blogger’s piece who investigated the potential links between Inquisition and National Socialism.

The results: they have a song called “Crush the Jewish Prophet,” they reportedly hailed their tour bus driver for having Nazi tattoos (which convinced a Canadian Indian band to flee black metal altogether), and they’ve done business in the past with record labels renown for anti-Semitism and other dangerous ideas.

The conclusion: they’re probably Nazis and you should refuse to listen to their music.

I eventually decided to delete them from my music library and stop listening to them entirely. I do still find myself asking whether this was necessary. Fascist or white supremacist rhetoric is not central to their message or lyrics, which tend instead to focus on the conventional black metal concern of Satanism as expressed through astrological and cosmological imagery. Perhaps the band is canny enough to realise that openly expressing their views would limit their appeal or get them into trouble; perhaps they ascribe to the wider metal world’s liberal conviction that music is no place for politics. In any case, I usually hold to the idea that it’s OK to enjoy art and media with problematic elements, or which has been created by objectionable or even bigoted artists, as long as we acknowledge those problems and don’t shut down criticism of them. But for me, personally, a line has to be drawn somewhere. Art created by Nazis, fascists and/or white supremacists is on the side of the line I do not wish to set foot in.

And to this blogger, that position is more than an intellectual stance – it sends a message that “hateful” ideas will not be tolerated in black metal. Apparently the genre is in desperate need of creating a “safe space” for subalterns to feel welcome.

While the rhetoric of neo-Nazis and/or white supremacists within black metal is often mainly focused against Jewish people, it is naive to think that violence will be used solely against one group if this rhetoric is tolerated, especially when hatred of marginalised groups such as people of colour, LGBT people and disabled people is accepted even within mainstream society. Even a band like Inquisition that doesn’t openly espouse fascist rhetoric can still cause harm to members of persecuted groups. Gallant’s story shows how Weirbach and Stevens’ open expression of admiration for the Nazis led to the First Nations band Gyibaaw turning away from black metal, closing the door on an opportunity for that group to counter the genre’s overwhelmingly white demographic and tendency to champion or tolerate extreme right views. If we give our money to musicians with fascist leanings, we don’t just support them financially, we send a message to them that their extreme views will not cause them to be criticised, that their views are therefore acceptable. The same act also sends the message to minority groups that we care more about music than about making sure that fascist and white supremacist ideologies are not tolerated or allowed to spread. In a sense, we choose our own enjoyment over people’s safety, over their right to live free from fear of ideologies that call for their destruction.

I urge anyone who cares about making metal a space which is open to and safe for marginalised groups of people to, at the very least, abstain from paying for Inquisition’s albums or live shows. I wouldn’t want to force anyone to stop listening to the band’s music entirely as I have done; this is obviously a matter of personal choice. But please do consider whether it is worth it to add to the popularity of a band that holds these views- not just Inquisition, but any band in black metal or the wider genre who subscribes to fascist, white supremacist or Nazi standpoints. There’s enough excellent music out there being made by musicians who do not align themselves with dangerous, hate-fuelled ideologies.

What is incredibly ironic here is how black metal is a music style that bills itself as hateful, violent and outside of the mainstream of society… but can’t can’t tolerate ideas that are too extreme according to mainstream critics.

However, this policing in the genre isn’t an organic development, but a result of an influx of hipsters and other outsiders becoming more involved in the scene and wanting it to conform to their tastes.

They like the edginess of black metal – just not the fascist elements that make it too edgy for comfort. The author of the piece wants to replace the quasi-fascism with post-modernist leftism that only a few, limp-wristed pseudointellectuals would even understand and support. It basically would become a safe outlet for their own extremist fantasies.

But the vast majority of black metal listeners are attracted to its feral nature and anti-mainstream outlook that allows people with truly radical views to have a place. It’s inherently masculine and violent, but the PC crowd would neuter that attraction and turn the music into just another choice for SWPLs to listen to on down days.

Unfortuanately, their influence is stronger now and Inquisition has been forced to give an interview with Decibel (arguably the largest metal publication in the world now) to state that they’re not National Socialists. The meandering response was done probably to ensure that they stayed on the lineup of their current American tour, which is giving them access to a larger potential fanbase:

So, all this stuff, as controversial as it is, is interesting to me. But it doesn’t mean that I’m out affiliated with a movement that is seeking to physically destroy any type of race, and I’m not out, you know, spreading fliers and propaganda of, you know … “do away with this and do away with that.” If I have done that through Inquisition, it’s a metaphor against religions. Black metal is a symbolic or metaphor of the free will, independent thinking, opening the mind to greater things than just looking straight into the religions of all cultures that men themselves have created. And that’s what it’s about. And national socialism, to a certain degree, is all the opposite of that. All of it. Right? So, I could keep going somewhere down there, but you may have other questions that… could kinda trail onto other things, so I’ll let you do that.

But that hasn’t stopped the attacks. The ex-skinhead tour bus driver who accused them of hailing him for his swastika tattoos did an extensive interview with Decibel as well and spillt more dirt on the band:

As the tour went on I saw Jason interact with people I knew from the past that I knew had direct connections with the Blood And Honor organization (a white power group). I then became suspect of them. I then saw Jason [the frontman of Inquisition] having a discussion about National Socialism and Odinism with a youth. I stood to the side and listened and was convinced Jason was aligned with right-wing extremist ideology…

When I got back on the bus Tom asked a few questions and we started talking about the World Church Of The Creator. Tom started to tell me that he had connections in Everett, Washington. I indicated that I knew guys from Everett. That’s when Jason spoke up. He didn’t say much in that conversation except that he watches Nazi propaganda videos and Triumph Of The Will and loves that stuff and has dreams and fantasies that he wishes that would happen. I’m looking in the mirror and watching Gyibaaw’s [the Indian band on the tour] response and they are scared.

What it all boils down to is that personal thoughts (that are not even reflected in the lyrics) are open for attack and that any random person can fuel a media firestorm against you if you matter enough. This is almost like the Donald Sterling case… except these guys wear corpsepaint and sing about smashing Jesus. The new era of thought police can affect both those who wear suits to work and those who play extreme metal in spikes and leather.

Fortunately, there have been no direct consequences for Inquisition so far besides media smears. They are still on tour with Behemoth and their record label has not indicated any intention of dropping the act from their roster.

It would be a top-down move if Inquisition faced the consequences of any individual in the bourgeois world if they were accused of similar associations. Burzum, Graveland, and Nokturnal Mortum all enjoy strong record sales and critical appreciation in spite of far more explicit NS links.

The vast majority of black metal fans don’t care about their band’s politics and some even have an interest in ideas that go beyond nihilism and misanthropy. The Neo-Nazi movement of today certainly shouldn’t be the end result of that interest, but it can lead to an awakening in white racial consciousness and a desire to be in touch with one’s traditional roots.

Hopefully, Inquisition’s inquisition turns out differently than the typical purge of Western dissidents.

No Comments on The Inquisition of Inquisition

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search