What does it take to provoke in the metal scene today?

wolves among sheep


In the 90’s black metal was provocative and outright dangerous, a number of church burnings can be attributed to it’s torch carriers (pun intended). But nowadays black metal bands don’t even dare to make music about Islam, no less torch mosques. It’s basically become yet another safe teenage revolt within the defined confines of the consumerist society.

And therefore NSBM plays a rather interesting role in this situation. You could say that it’s the final thing keeping black metal “pure” according to it’s traditional values: Aggression, hatred, violence, unacceptable taboos, controversial provocation, and putting yourself outside of society.

The Swedish book “Blood, Fire, Death” which details the development of the Scandinavian metal-scene dedicated a chapter to NSBM, and the following point was made – keep in mind Im quoting loosely here:  “You can sing about murder, rape, torture and all kinds of atrocities, and still be accepted by the music establishment. But as soon as you start heiling you can say goodbye to all future gigs.”

We saw it happen to punk. It went from being a genre in opposition to the establishment to becoming yet another product within the cogs of the establishment, comfortably sedated and finding it’s way to top charts, magazines and TV.

We saw it happen to death metal and later even black metal. It’s interesting how that degree of extremely violent lyrics and concepts can become assimilated into the market, like any other genre of music. The controversial aspects were transformed into consumption, rather than ideals. The content of the music became a kind of parody of itself, something meant solely to provoke. The bands don’t actually worship the devil, it’s just a symbol to upset.

However it should be noted that Watain is a band which is very serious in their Satan worship. And yet they’ve managed to get picked up by the music establishment, gotten mainstream and even won a Swedish Grammy.

This despite the fact that the singer encourages acts of terrorism in the name of Watain, celebrated a school shooting during a gig, and once said that he’d like to have a concert on 6 billion corpses. 2 out of these 3 statements took place before the grammy, and none of them are jokes.

And still the band gets described by mainstream music journalists as “interesting with something that’s the opposite to all the goodie-two-shoes presentable.” They’re saying this about a band that possesses bigger hatred than the nazis do.

But I suppose Watain’s salvation is the fact that when it all comes around they do believe in equality. They hate everyone, unlike nazis, and thus they somehow fall in line with the progressive leftist hegemony in Sweden. It’s okay to hate people, as long as you hate everyone. Because then at least you believe in equal human value. Even if that value is zero.

To sum it up: In the minds of the establishment, Watains hateful ideology is the charming spice in a dull everyday landscape of music, and not something you take seriously.

Unlike NSBM, which genuinely challenges the political system. And therein lies the interesting aspect of the genre. It is completely unassimilable. Can you imagine how the music industry would go about in transforming NSBM to the next big thing in the metal world? It’s unthinkable.

NSBM is more than just music. It is a political ideology. The absolutely worst, ugliest, most hideous ideology the Western world knows of. NSBM is forever doomed to lurk in the shadows, far from the acceptance of the mainstream establishment. They are pariah even amongst outcasts, and thus representatives for a true underground movement.

But at the same time, national socialism is just another pack-mentality. A sheepish ideology with the aim to make everyone the same. In that way it completely contradicts the fundamental values of black metal.

Nazism is not misanthropic, it loves white people. Nazism is not individualistic, it is collectivist to the highest degree, with a future dream of racially pure white-picket-fence societies where people live in accordance and stability. The theme is actually one of love, rather than the misanthropy which usually permeates black metal.


I was inspired to write this article after reading the book “Wolves Among Sheep”, a great read about the NSBM scene which doesn’t try to condemn or promote, but merely state things as how they are. Order it here if you’re interested.


8 thoughts on “What does it take to provoke in the metal scene today?

  1. They deserve to be pariahs though, don’t you think? What do they offer that I can’t get elsewhere without burning down historic landmarks? What philosophy do they have that is useful, not ridiculous to the point of being Dada? When I was a kid it felt like a genre to make middle class white kids feel badass and this was before selling out. There was always something off to me with La Veyan Satanism and when I found out La Vey plagiarised Ayn Rand’s work (not even the good stuff) it clicked why I didn’t like it. Then again, I like most music in a purely physical, sensation way and not a political way, so if I’m way off the mark forgive me.

    You’re right about Nazism though and I’m glad you brought it up. Nazis are among the most uncreative people who cannot see beauty right in front of them. They block critical thinking to believe in pseudo science and history and woo. Completely uninspired. The very worst examples of collectivism gone wrong. They squander their talents and have the nerve to boast superior genes when all I can see in their faces is a need for multivitamins. Vulgar vanity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with collectivism and conformity when it isn’t brought about through force or fear. If people all believe and follow the same thing because they believe it to be true and it is what they want then there is nothing wrong with it. But if conformity is brought about only because the people are afraid of the consequences if they don’t, then it becomes oppressive and it won’t last. People will rebel against it eventually. The only way to stop someone from being a nazi is to actually convince them that being a nazi is wrong, not by shaming them or throwing them in prison if they don’t conform.

      We do want to make people the same in the sense that we want them all to know the truth. You try to convince people to believe what you believe because you believe it is the truth. And that’s okay, that is what we should be doing: Trying to convince people. But we can’t force it. If we have to throw people in prison for not agreeing with us then we haven’t convinced them and maybe our truth is actually a lie if we are so insecure about it that we must silence people who don’t agree with us.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Neither collectivism not individualism are wrong- they just both have a range of applicability. Ayn Rand’s cheap Objectivism, Nazism, etc both take these things beyond reality.

        I don’t know that convincing neo-Nazis they’re wrong is going to work- it’s something that people feel with religious intensity. Creationists can’t really be reasoned with, and Nazism relies on quite a lot of woo to be consistent. As far as force or shaming goes, would you say that Jihadists need therapy and “dialogue” as SJWs tend to put it? There’s a difference between healthy, informative debate and entertaining bullshit.

        Liked by 1 person

    • This wasn’t a tribute to NSBM nor it’s ideology, the text I wrote is just exploring the black metal scene and what qualifies as a taboo in metal music today. It’s more of a “im thinking out loud”-type of piece.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Thinking out loud” is how I took this post.

        You think out loud in an articulate and challenging way every time.
        I first heard you on the “Welcome to Sweden” viral YouTube.
        I am extremely sad about Sweden’s multi-kulti suicide and I commend you for documenting the insanity in an interesting way.

        If you like poetry at all come visit my blog – I would be honored !


  2. Angry Foreigner may I ask you what makes you think that Nazism was love based? Because I always interpreted their collectivism as vanity and insecurity. Like a petty 13 year old’s need to be the prettiest girl in the room. Awkward bragging and fantasy thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Nazis were collectivist to a very high degree but people like collectivism generally I think. They just don’t like to be forced to do something they don’t want to. But when we all agree out of our own free will then it’s ideal, right? You like when people agree with you, right? I do anyway. But I’m not going to force people to agree with me because then it’s fake and it doesn’t mean anything. And that’s kinda what the nazis did, they outlawed anyone who disagreed with them and so they were building a utopia based on lies and oppression and that never works. Same thing that the multicultural leftists are doing now. They are trying to force their crap down our throats and create laws that imprison people for speaking out against it. Like what happened to this guy:

      And that’s why national socialism is so cool now. Because we’re being told we can’t say shit and we don’t like that. We don’t like being told what to do. Black metal shouldn’t be about hating everyone, it’s about rebelling against faggots who think they are the boss of us.

      Now head bang to this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Since white nationalism has been taboo for decades I blame Salafism and Wahaabism for its rising return. And obviously greedy/cowardly politicians. But the fact that Salafist thought is fantasy thinking doesn’t make white nationalism valid. It’s destructive fantasy thinking too. I come from a country where white nationalists face no jail time UNLESS they commit an actual crime. So I can’t get behind countries that curtail freedom of speech. I believe that everyone can swing their fists so long as they understand that right ends where my face begins.

        Still, you can’t assume you are right just because someone else is wrong. (Universal you, not you in particular, Josh). That’s why white nationalism is a poor alternative to extreme leftism.

        Disclosure: I’m of a demographic that is on the list of people that white nationalists, by definition, can’t be trusted or believed. So it’s hard to convince them of anything. It’s along the Jihadist line of “Don’t trust or believe anything an infidel says, no matter how sound and well reasoned. Why? Because they are INFIDELS!”

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s