Friday, December 05, 2008

Pagans and Facists

One last post on Lords of Chaos. The end of the book focuses heavily (some might say sensationalistically) on the formative ties between Black Metal scenesters and right wing political parties, with a bit of Satanistic-style violence thrown in for good measure. It's the book's weakest section, because it feels like the authors suddenly decided they needed a thesis, but it does highlight one of Black Metal's interesting conflicts: was this music going to be an agitator for right wing politics and ultra-nationalism, or merely a celebration of individual darkness? Clearly, given Black Metal's vocal themes, there's room for both sides to express themselves, but to the authors at least, the movement's shift towards paganism symbolized the beginnings of some larger nationalistic movement.

Flash forward ten years later. I haven't heard of any extreme right wing takeovers in Europe or the US, so clearly the predicted synergy between nationalists and Black Metal fans is either dormant or non-existent...but sensitivities still exist: while perusing Týr's Wikipedia page, I came across a reference to a video that members of Týr and Moonsorrow made during the European leg of the Paganfest 2008 tour, responding to accusations by German anti-Fascist group BIFFF that their music promotes Fascism. Clearly, whatever the truth of the matter (and to be honest, I think BIFFF's examples demonstrate a profound lack of understanding about the difference between disliking Christianity, or even just being of a different viewpoint than Christianity and liking Facism), the link between paganism in metal and right-wing politics still exists in the minds of some.

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