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Unity
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:42 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 5:34 pm 
 

One of the better and more important Martial Industrial projects ever, Toroidh, has been put to rest after being mistaken for a fascist band:

After almost 14 years of existence it is time to retire Toroidh. It has been a rough ride, but also a great one. Of all my musical projects this must be the most misunderstood one. This is actually one of the reasons I am terminating it. I refuse to let my music become a vehicle of politics. I thought that naming the debutalbum “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and calling the tracks “Never again I-IX” would be an indicator that the music was not glorifying any specific standpoint, but I was wrong. Let it be known once and for all that the music of Toroidh dealt mostly (but not exclusively) with the turmoil of Europe during the world wars, but it was intended as a soundtrack to the stupidity, wars and chaos – not a political standpoint.

I'm sure for anyone into this kind of music, he will be missed. And I wish there weren't so many stupid people out there.
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Yahko
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:27 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 10:10 pm 
 

Unity wrote:
"I refuse to let my music become a vehicle of politics." - "Let it be known once and for all that the music of Toroidh dealt mostly (but not exclusively) with the turmoil of Europe during the world wars."


Maybe I'm missing something but when you are using WW1 and WW2 as you main base for the music it becomes VERY political. So he is either really stupid or pretends to be one. It especially becomes fascistic in regards to Germany because I dont see much English, French, Russian, American, Spanish influence on the imagery and stuff. The fonts, the imagry of WW1 German helmets, the imagery of German youth marching with a drum. The black banners with white outline that Germany used. The crosses.

It all conveniently just falls under one umbrella of being misunderstood. Yeah, right.

Its like a punk band that consists of all white male members from the state of Oklahoma or something would use imagery of black man being hanging from the trees in the 20's and say - racism is awful, we need to stop it. We dont support any form of discrimination. We are misunderstood.
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
Posts: 1164
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 10:22 pm 
 

That's a shame. I have the split with Arditi and the Europe is dead box set - nice stuff indeed.
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the_raytownian
Veteran

Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:09 am
Posts: 2515
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 12:11 am 
 

Yahko wrote:
Its like a punk band that consists of all white male members from the state of Oklahoma or something would use imagery of black man being hanging from the trees in the 20's and say - racism is awful, we need to stop it. We dont support any form of discrimination. We are misunderstood.

Um, this actually makes perfect artistic sense. It'd make even more sense coming from a band in the south (note for perennial outsiders: Oklahoma is not "The South"), and punk bands use this kind of grisly imagery to make legitimate statements all the time.

I'm pretty sure every crust record ever has either dead Holocaust victims or starving African children on the cover. Sometimes both! I'll never understand why music is the only artform that's never beyond reproach, or which has to be interpreted completely literally.
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Derigin
Arbiter of the Covenant

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:25 am
Posts: 3120
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 1:03 am 
 

Ah, I know this band. Not a bad band at that.

But as far as "avoiding politics" goes, you're never going to avoid politics with history, especially with recent history. Symbols and imagery instinctively give the impression - as Yahko seems to have - of the band being more than what they might actually be. It's something you cannot avoid, as much as you may want to avoid it and as much as you might personally will it to not be the case. It is VERY important, though, that we are aware of our own perspectives and our own impressions and that we can recognize that by giving into those perspectives we may be making judgments based on false pretense. Ideally we should not judge books by their covers, however, it should be fairly obvious to Toroidh and others that they will be judged as such. It's one thing to be ignorant and have no idea and another to be well aware of the connotations of your imagery and style and know what they signify to others. I don't imagine Nordvargr to be ignorant.

That all said and done, I wrote recently among staff about a similar issue that came up with lyrical content. It's my own (certainly arguable) perspective on this issue, but one which - maybe - could shed light on this topic. With imagery it's a tad more complicated, but the same thoughts still stand:

Quote:
There is a difference between lyrics that espouse Nazi ideology, lyrics that build off of the same sources of Nazi ideology, and lyrics that refer to the Nazis as a historical phenomenon. Some of you may scoff at this, but this is an important point (especially because of what I will say in the section below). The themes of your lyrics are not necessarily "National Socialist" if you're simply talking about what the Nazis did or believed in. Those lyrics are not necessarily "National Socialist" if you're referring to the same sources that the Nazis used, such as Germanic paganism and white supremacy (both of which are often lyrical themes on their own accord). Lyrics are "National Socialist," however, if the creed of "National Socialism" is embraced and adopted and pushed as an agenda. You can truly say at this point that the intentions of the author are to convey "National Socialist" themes. These differences are not mutually exclusive, but it helps to understand that not everything that people so easily associate with "National Socialism," such as paganism, racism, anti-semitism, fascism, and so on, automatically means that the intent is to prescribe "National Socialist" ideology. You can be a racist pagan fascist Jew-hating asshole and also not a "Nazi."

Next, because metalheads (and people in general) so much enjoy using "National Socialist" as a slur to degrade others, throwing that term around has become ubiquitous to labeling everyone who may or may not have any minor aspect of their music linked to the sources of Nazi ideology or even to World War Two itself as "Nazis" or "Nazi sympathizers." Sometimes it's as innocuous as a band singing about military history or about their ethnic heritage being labeled as "National Socialist" because they talk about the Germans in the war or refer to their heritage as Germanic. In other cases even the use of terminology associated with the Nazis is enough to warrant that label, even if that use may be satirical and not sincere. When we so easily fall victim to doing the same thing, it becomes equivalent to fundamentalist Christians declaring everything opposed to their values as "satanic" without trying to understand if that's actually the case or not. Yes, there's lots of horrible people out there, however, that does not mean they are all Nazis.
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Yahko
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:27 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 10:43 am 
 

I agree that people judge the book by its cover and put a stamp of either approval or disapproval on the material and conclude it to be good or bad. No doubt in my mind he knows exactly what those images mean but he has to understand that they might mean one thing to him, as a Swede, and they mean another thing to someone from Poland or Germany. The same image has two meanings to two different people. We are talking about the presentation of lyrics or imagery and how would they be viewed by others. Unfortunately European wars still engraved in minds of many people and nations.

We might say that one creates art not to satisfy others but themselves. Freedom of expression is a legitimate form in art and music. But one cant simply use material and say that others misunderstanding it, the person using it has a responsibility to know everything about it, especially if its complex and has a heavy historic weight to it.

As far as Dead Kennedy's using imagery of genocide in Cambodia on one of their albums, they dont have Cambodian imagery on ALL of their albums. If Toroidh would have used Swedish WW2/WW1 and the war against the Russians imagery, he would have had a very different response. (Maybe he would had been called nationalist and not fascist).

Its like Canadian tourists are going to Asia wearing Che Guevara and other communist shirts and getting a backlash there. Are the Asians being too sensitive or the Canadians being too ignorant. So where does Toroidh fits in?
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4814
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 5:22 pm 
 

Yahko wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something but when you are using WW1 and WW2 as you main base for the music it becomes VERY political.

I agree. Das Boot is basically a sequel to Triumph of the Will.
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The Red Snifit
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:31 pm
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 7:19 pm 
 

It's an industrial band that are from Europe and use fascist imagery in a subversive way. Of course he's going to be accused of being a Nazi.
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299796kms
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 316
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 2:40 pm 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Yahko wrote:
Maybe I'm missing something but when you are using WW1 and WW2 as you main base for the music it becomes VERY political.

I agree. Das Boot is basically a sequel to Triumph of the Will.

Well hello Mr. Strawman. Thank you for providing an extremely cogent counter argument.

To take your own example, Das Boot is political. It portrays most of the crew as independent thinkers, only one person is explicitly portrayed as being pro-Nazi, and he's henpecked first officer. Wolfgang Petersen is making a political statement with this character being portrayed in this way. The audience maintains sympathy for the crew by neutering the Nazi ideology. I could go on.

WW1 and WW2 are recent history and we are still living with the consequences from those barbarous conflicts today. It is still relatively fresh in our memories. These wars are being used for political purposes today: The Greek government recently demanded war reparations from Germany, Putin is using the Great Patriotic War for purposes of his own proaganda, Japan refuses to recognize the atrocities it committed from 1936 onward, etc.

This is because these wars are recent. Any art based on say the Punic Wars or the 30 Years' War will not attract the same passions or political connotations.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4814
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 4:00 pm 
 

My post was sarcastic.
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Acidgobblin
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:56 pm
Posts: 2282
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 6:05 pm 
 

Industrial bands should stop writing music inspired by political history whilst claiming to be apolitical. You can't have it both ways. Even indecision is a form of decision.
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Scorntyrant
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
Posts: 1164
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 9:01 pm 
 

Acidgobblin wrote:
Industrial bands should stop writing music inspired by political history whilst claiming to be apolitical. You can't have it both ways. Even indecision is a form of decision.


I disagree. I acknowledge it's entirely a matter of context, and what flies in one part of the world will not in another, but for me as an Australian I'm able to appreciate Martial Industrial purely as mood music, no different from something themed around (for instance) Ancient Rome or Samurai or any other thing you'd care to mention. Because, as a matter of semiotics, the "signified" is not so much hunger, genocide and death so much as it is the slightly camp imaginary WW2 of 1960's British cinema (a bridge too far, the longest day etc etc). Distance is an interesting thing - take as a case in point the recent(ish) spate of "Latvian jokes":

https://www.reddit.com/r/Jokes/comments ... ian_jokes/

I think it's important to note that what's being made fun of here is the stereotype rather than the reality, coupled with a sense of absurd humor. Nobody is saying "haha, look at your suffering", it's an excercise in absurdism a la Beckett.

Britain might be somewhat unique, at least in Europe, in that the war is seen as a suitable vehicle for humor - Dads Army, 'Allo 'Allo etc. In fact, when I looked it up just now I saw that "Allo 'Allo, despite running between 1982 and 1992, never screened in Germany until 2008.

Another example. I play a lot of tabletop wargames, and one of the games I play is Bolt Action, a WW2 based game. I run a late-war Waffen SS panzergrenadier platoon. My friend runs a Soviet army complete with Commissar and NKVD blocking detachment who's rules allow them to open fire on their own units if they retreat. I'm sure the acceptability of this would be different in Europe to what it is in Australia.

I think of myself as a serious student of history, and I don't think I'm an insensitive man. But I don't have an issue with decontextualisation or believing that there can be genuinely apolitical use of those themes and imagery.
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