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Metal and ideology, politics etc.
http://www.metal-archives.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=94934
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Author:  Scorntyrant [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Well, this thread is a bit of a clusterfuck. I'll make some allowances because this is a music forum not one for politics, but some of the comments here are hilariously naive.

firstly, what are our terms? If we say "right wing" or "fascism", are we talking Mussolini? Hitler? Rohm? Strasser? The Iron Guard? Peron? ...or are we talking about Bush? Or Reagan? they obviously differ, so how do you define the differences?

similarly, if we discuss "Leftists" as if they are some monolithic entity, are we talking about Trotskiists? stalinists? Maoists? Anarchists? Liberals? social Democrats? Are they the same?

This is the foolishness of interjecting politics into metal - a bunch of kids acting on knee-jerk reactions about what their music pushes to them without doing the god damn reading.Seriously people, we live in an age in which information is available at the click of a button, but we cant get enough clarity even to define the beginning terms we're going to argue from? Seriously, if you're conception of politics is able to be influenced by music you are either very young or very stupid. Falling for style over substance. This is why books are not albums, and if you let yourself be influenced by aesthetics rather than carefully laid out reasoned arguments you are a fucking idiot, or at best young and not able to separate the 2 with clarity. It's the blind leading the blind - delittantes on both side of the fence choosing elements that seem the most striking and fitting with the metal aesthetic to make good songs (being artists and all). Nothing wrong with that - but if I want my teeth fixed, I go to a dentist, not a guy who wrote a song about pagan dentistry. If my heating breaks down, I go to someone who's speciality that is, not a guy who plays guitar and wrote a song about kvlt heater repair as a path to the elder gods.

Short answer is - if you honestly think pop culture in the form of heavy metal has anything serious or informed to say about politics I worry about the future.

Author:  Oblivion_Gene [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

SSatanicSSatan wrote:
...Blut und Boden(Blood and Social)


I think you mean Blood and Soil (homeland).


Scorntyrant wins.

Author:  false_icon [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

some anonymous moron wrote:
" [Kreator is] Along with Sacred Reich the most overrated thrash metal band ever, hyped more for their left-wing politically tinged lyrics and beliefs.

Bands are overrated when people have a high opinion on them they don't deserve artistically. Listening to '85-'92 Kreator or early Sacred Reich (I'm not too fond of their post '89 stuff, even if not really bad), I think they deserve their success. So not overrated.

some anonymous moron wrote:
Don't believe me? Why was Benediction banned for years from Metal Maniacs magazine by its obnoxious leftist former editor Katherine Ludwig based simply on one of the members being anti-abortion, of course Slayer (see "Silent Scream") had no problems having articles and adverts printed being a major label act,[...]

This sentence does not make much sense: Benediction had a pro-life song called "Fetus Noose". Slayer had "Silent Scream". Why dit they get an alledged different treatment from that magazine? Because Slayer's label was supposedly paying ads. But Benediction has always been on Nuclear Blast and their advertisement was all over the metal press... So an obnoxious leftist former editor would get some dollars but not others?

some anonymous moron wrote:
Mille sure hates America except our green dollars of course, Che Guevara wore a rolex and lived in Havana's most luxorious beach front mansion, too...I know the drill well. "

And now, it's totally irrational bullshit.

rooster85 wrote:
Do you think that there is something like oppression against bands which have "unpopular" beliefs in metal world (like Benediction)?

At least here in France (don't know how it is in other countries), christian bands had no coverage, nor did NSBM bands. So there was (still probably is) an inequality of treatment, based on ideology. But oppression?

[edited twice for typo]

Author:  Riffs [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Scorntyrant wrote:
This is the foolishness of interjecting politics into metal - a bunch of kids acting on knee-jerk reactions about what their music pushes to them without doing the god damn reading.


Your entire post is made of win but I'll add something: it wouldn't be any more enlightening if the discussion was taking place on an "adult" business forum full of middle aged assholes wearing suits.

Conversations about politics are all about foolishness and talking out of your ass, no matter where they take place and who is talking.

Author:  2Eagle333 [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Scorntyrant wrote:
This is the foolishness of interjecting politics into metal - a bunch of kids acting on knee-jerk reactions about what their music pushes to them without doing the god damn reading.Seriously people, we live in an age in which information is available at the click of a button, but we cant get enough clarity even to define the beginning terms we're going to argue from? Seriously, if you're conception of politics is able to be influenced by music you are either very young or very stupid. Falling for style over substance. This is why books are not albums, and if you let yourself be influenced by aesthetics rather than carefully laid out reasoned arguments you are a fucking idiot, or at best young and not able to separate the 2 with clarity. It's the blind leading the blind - delittantes on both side of the fence choosing elements that seem the most striking and fitting with the metal aesthetic to make good songs (being artists and all). Nothing wrong with that - but if I want my teeth fixed, I go to a dentist, not a guy who wrote a song about pagan dentistry. If my heating breaks down, I go to someone who's speciality that is, not a guy who plays guitar and wrote a song about kvlt heater repair as a path to the elder gods.

Speaking of style over substance.

Author:  SSatanicSSatan [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Oblivion_Gene wrote:
SSatanicSSatan wrote:
...Blut und Boden(Blood and Social)


I think you mean Blood and Soil (homeland).

Its a typo. Blood and social would not make sense.

Author:  Piikkienkantaja [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Much of the folk metal and black metal that I collect is political; but the terms "left" vs. "right" or "liberal" vs. "conservative" are difficult to apply.

Specifically, a lot of this music is about various people's ancient wars for independence against invaders bringing absolutism. In this sense, it is similar to the political philosophy of America's founders. The two factions of founders (the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists) would both be considered extreme right-wing by modern American standards.

However, the chief opponent of liberty and decent, limited government in many of these ancient wars was The Church; and clergy are therefore the bad guys in much of this music.

So in the former sense, this music would be "right-wing conservative;" though nowadays Americans do not usually think of right-wing conservatives as people who are battling organized religion.

Author:  jeanshack [ Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

....and I thought metal was freedom and hence its libertarian?

Author:  Riffs [ Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

jeanshack wrote:
....and I thought metal was freedom and hence its libertarian?


You thought wrong.

Some metal might be libertarian but there's no way you can equate the genre with any single type of shitty political philosophy, libertarianism included.

Author:  TheOldOne [ Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Fascism isn't really an authoritarian left ideology, Fascist regimes always employ a mixed economy, though restricted economic freedom is quite prevalent. Price and wage controls like those employed by the Nazis are Socialist methods though, but again Fascism and it's variants (National Socialism, Neo-Fascist countries like modern China) is a mix of left and right. It shouldn't be much of a surprise that Mussolini himself was a former Marxist, and Giovanni Gentile, the highly influential Fascist philosopher who wrote "The Doctrine of Fascism" was hugely influenced by Hegel.

Authoritarian Left would refer to things like Stalinism (Government controls and owns practically everything), whereas libertarian left would be found in Anarchist Communism (Kropotkin), Anarchist-Mutualism (Proudhon), Anarchist-Collectivism (Bakunin) and so on.

Authoritarian Right usually has an emphasis on strong military and nationalism, solidarity through community and the like are common features. You can see traces of the authoritarian right all over the world and throughout history. Libertarian Right on the other hand (Which is where I sit) is where you find Anarcho-Capitalism (Rothbard), Objectivism (Rand), the Austrian school of economics (Hayek, von Mises, Rothbard and many others) Laissez-faire Minarchies (Good like finding many of those) and so on.

Author:  jeanshack [ Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Riffs wrote:
jeanshack wrote:
....and I thought metal was freedom and hence its libertarian?


You thought wrong.

Some metal might be libertarian but there's no way you can equate the genre with any single type of shitty political philosophy, libertarianism included.


At an elementary level all the genres of heavy metal reeks of individualism, its about doing your own quirky thing, its hard to imagine a credible metal band which appeals to a large population. The closer a band gets to a democratic acceptance further it goes from the core of this music, am I just rambling here? ;-) The tenets of classical liberalism are indeed based on the philosophies of Individualism!

Author:  2Eagle333 [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

jeanshack wrote:
At an elementary level all the genres of heavy metal reeks of individualism, its about doing your own quirky thing,

Most genres of heavy metal are made up primarily of bands trying to do what the others are doing.

Quote:
its hard to imagine a credible metal band which appeals to a large population. The closer a band gets to a democratic acceptance further it goes from the core of this music

Sabbath, Priest, Maiden, etc., appeal to a fairly 'large population,' without departing too far from the core of heavy metal. Some obscure bands may be quirky and such, many are just obscure because they aren't really differentiable from anything else; conversely, Devin Townsend is relatively popular by metal standards, but probably more quirky than most obscure bands I've gone through.

Quote:
The tenets of classical liberalism are indeed based on the philosophies of Individualism!

The tenets of lots of belief systems are 'based on the philosophies of individualism,' quite apart from the fact that the latter doesn't necessarily have a highly definite referent either.

Author:  KFD [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

I don't really want to enter the debate, I have my firm conviction on this topic, but I'd like to assert one thing: extreme metal is the only music subgenre in which nationalism, national-socialism and racialism are tolerated. This tolerance has led these ideologies to become predominant in the whole extreme metal scene, because they always tend to dominate when they are allowed to be expressed.

As a counter-example, RAC is not a musical subgenre of its own, it's just a derivative and ideologized form of punk-rock.

Author:  Ilwhyan [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

KFD wrote:
I don't really want to enter the debate, I have my firm conviction on this topic, but I'd like to assert one thing: extreme metal is the only music subgenre in which nationalism, national-socialism and racialism are tolerated. This tolerance has led these ideologies to become predominant in the whole extreme metal scene, because they always tend to dominate when they are allowed to be expressed.

Of course they aren't dominant. Those expressing said ideologies simply tend to be extremely loudmouthed and often keen on using their music as a soapbox for their politics, and racialistic beliefs being quite controversial they always stir the hive more than moderate, more reasonable ideologies, giving the illusion that racialism is predominant. Racism might be more common, but I don't think it's an irrelevant semantical argument to insist that racialism as an ideology and mere racism are essentially, fundamentally different, as well as that while either of the two may be more accepted among extreme metal genres, neither is necessarily predominant.

I would say anti-christianity is quite the dominating ideology in extreme metal. It's a difficult subject considering the enormous amount of unexplored, unknown bands - one would have to first specify the definition for the predominant ideology. Is it a clearly discernable ideology apparent in the lyrics and imagery of extreme metal bands in sheer absolute numbers (if so, the argument becomes absurd due to the enormous amount of artists), of the ideologies that are embellished by the most prominent bands (if so, by what standards can this be judged that aren't either arbitrary or in contradiction to the purpose of the calculation). This same problem exists for non-extreme metal aswell, of course, making the thread quite pointless because of the difficulty of realistically assessing what the metal ideology is. So far it seems to be pure speculation fueled by one's own personal preferences (like KFD here most blatantly shows). Everyone feels most comfortable thinking that the predominant ideology in their favourite subgenres is the one most according to theirs.

Author:  KFD [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Shortly:
Racialism is the politically correct word for racism.
And anti-christianity in metal has racial roots: it's a reject of a foreign religion (as opposed to ancestral paganism, or derivative satanism).

Author:  Ilwhyan [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

KFD wrote:
Shortly:
Racialism is the politically correct word for racism.
And anti-christianity in metal has racial roots: it's a reject of a foreign religion (as opposed to ancestral paganism, or derivative satanism).

Yeah, if you want to completely ignore the most common reason for having anti-religious lyrics and insist on having everything revised in a way according to your beliefs, sure. Typical pseudo-scientific red herring of broadening definitions to absurdities for the sake of an argument. Yours isn't valid, and this one is over.

Author:  jeanshack [ Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

2Eagle333 wrote:
jeanshack wrote:
At an elementary level all the genres of heavy metal reeks of individualism, its about doing your own quirky thing,

Most genres of heavy metal are made up primarily of bands trying to do what the others are doing.

Quote:
its hard to imagine a credible metal band which appeals to a large population. The closer a band gets to a democratic acceptance further it goes from the core of this music

Sabbath, Priest, Maiden, etc., appeal to a fairly 'large population,' without departing too far from the core of heavy metal. Some obscure bands may be quirky and such, many are just obscure because they aren't really differentiable from anything else; conversely, Devin Townsend is relatively popular by metal standards, but probably more quirky than most obscure bands I've gone through.

Quote:
The tenets of classical liberalism are indeed based on the philosophies of Individualism!

The tenets of lots of belief systems are 'based on the philosophies of individualism,' quite apart from the fact that the latter doesn't necessarily have a highly definite referent either.


If all the bands are doing what "others" are doing then would we end up with all these sub-genres? Actually you got me thinking on one point there, the fact that metal bands largely inherit their influences from old-school bands emphasizes the point that the musicians definitely have a set of "rules" to adhere, which I would say are fairly fundamental, kind of similar to the rules which metal-archives imposes for accepting bands? ;-) Definitely there is no blueprint for a metal song, just a skeletal framework to build up on, sounds like I am ripping off a Ron Paul speech here? :thumbsup: Not really, won't you agree that Individualism can be applied to any form of art? Why would heavy metal be an exception? Existence of many beliefs based on this does not prove that the Libertarian way is not one among them but in fact it is the only relevant political ideology (with regards to this discussion also), is it not?

Author:  stopsign [ Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

i like how just because one person said "the argument is over" actually mean it's over. i'm with kfd. racialism is a politically correct term for racism. and since the former wants to play this game, fine. NOW IT'S OVER. what an asshole.

Author:  Ilwhyan [ Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

stopsign wrote:
i like how just because one person said "the argument is over" actually mean it's over. i'm with kfd. racialism is a politically correct term for racism. and since the former wants to play this game, fine. NOW IT'S OVER. what an asshole.

You are entitled to believe what ever you like. Debates don't work like that though, unless you can provide reasonable arguments, there's nothing to argue. Different terms hold different meanings depending on surroundings and circumstances. To my understanding radicalism means a quasi-scientific form of racist ideology (e.g. the "study" of different traits of races). Contemporary political discussion may have its use for the word, but I'd hesitate to call it the primary, let alone original use of the world.

Lastly, with that kind of attitude, you won't last here long. Watch your mouth.

Author:  KFD [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

I'd like to quote an excerpt from Darkthrone's lyrics to "Over Fjell Og Gjennom Torner" (on Transilvanian Hunger):

Den Norrøne Rase må Slakte den andre
Nar blåmenn dunker for tungt pa var dør


Which can roughly translates in English as:

The Norse race must slaughter the other
When Negroes [niggers?] pound too heavily on our door


This was written by Fenriz in 1992 and included on an album wearing the infamous 'Norsk Arisk Black Metal' (= 'Norwegian Aryan Black Metal') label.

Any ambiguity?

Author:  Megadeth [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

KFD wrote:
Den Norrøne Rase må Slakte den andre
Nar blåmenn dunker for tungt pa var dør


Which can roughly translates in English as:

The Norse race must slaughter the other
When Negroes [niggers?] pound too heavily on our door


According to the Norwegian Wikipedia page the word "blåmann" comes from the Norse word "blámaðr", and it means "blue man". Blue could also refer to a color black. The word was used in Medieval songs/poems/stories to refer to North Africans, black people and Moors.

I don't think the word was originally hateful, but there's no doubt Fenriz meant it hateful. However, it doesn't have to be black people, it can also be North African (and probably Middle Eastern) people. But considering the Vikings can't have had much contact with black people I assume it mostly meant Arabs/Moors. I don't know what Fenriz referred to, but it was probably not just black people (hence "negro" and "nigger" is not a good translation). Most likely he meant immigrants, and therefor Africans and Muslims in general, including Asian Non-Middle Eastern Muslim immigrants like Pakistani people.

Author:  MrMcThrasher II [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

SSatanicSSatan wrote:
rooster85 wrote:
Kreator
Their early stuff is good. Still they are an overrated band. The reason they have some left wing lyrics must be because they feel so guilty about the holocaust.
Quote:
Sacred Reich
Yes, overrated band.
Quote:
Benediction banned for years from Metal Maniacs magazine by its obnoxious leftist former editor Katherine Ludwig based simply on one of the members being anti-abortion
Saying abortion is left or right is flawed. The far-right oppose abortion if it is an individual they want to live but they support abortion for people they consider undesirable. Katherine Ludwig is probably some kind of femanists. Cente-right to right wing individuals oppose abortion because they believe in responsibility. The left tend to be feminists and they think irresponsible women should be allowed to abort their children(Which I don't have a problem with, I don't care). I am not sure if I have heard their music its unfortunate Benediction got banned just because Metal Maniacs thankfully former editor is a feminist extremist.
Quote:
And looking deeper, is there something like "dominant" ideology in metal music?

It depends on the subgenre.
Quote:
Personally i dont know what to think about it. I think that most bands don't give a fuck about ideology in their lyrics. I don't think that tales about dragons, satan, demons, darkness, death can't be related to left wing or right wing politics, BUT, talking about my favourite thrash metal i must say that...

of course, there is a LOT of left-wing groups: Kreator is one of them, Sacred Reich was also veeeeery lefty, Atrophy, Nuclear Assault etc, all had left-leaning philosophies: pro-choice, anti-war, pro-socialist, pro-feminist and very environmentally-aware lyrics.
I once read Atrophy lyrics. I felt like vomiting. Anti-war does not make one left wing. Pat Buchanan and paleoconservatism anti-war and hes pretty right wing. I think you are confusing anti-war with pacifism. Environmentalism is not necessary left wing. Its only neoconservatives and greedy big businessmen extremists that hate the environment. The German National Socialists were very pro-environment Blut und Boden(Blood and Social) for example, but you consider NS left wing. If someone is far-right generally they are fine with aborting people they consider inferior so an opinion on abortion does not make one left or right wing. I do not listen to any bands with whiney leftist lyrics. Personally I think left wing politics are politics for the weak. The left always seek "social justice" for the less successful people in a society and try to make people "equal".
Quote:
on the second hand: we have some "conservative", right wing groups - Iced Earth one of them, At War and strong christian thrash scene: Believer, Tourniquet, Deliverance, Vengeance Rising. Of course there is NSBM (but nazism for me is far LEFT ideology) and Rock Against Communism (which unfortunately generally means racism and nazism), but i think that group of right wing bands is smaller.
I have never got into Iced Earth and At War does not look that good. Still Iced Earth is on my list of bands to get into. I see Christian metal as a joke. It is like white power reggae, National Socialist kletzmer or satanic gospel music. Christian=/=right wing. Very religious Christians are usually right wing on social issues but they are very egalitarian. I unfortunately went to a Christian school and I was told everyone was equal. I love many NSBM bands though generally I prefer Satanic bands. Pagan bands can be called nationalist. They are usually not NS but they are nationalist. Their nationalism is more moderate but they sing about their heritage and ancient gods. That is nationalism. It think pride in ones heritage is very metal. RAC is generally quite shitty but a few bands are fun.
Quote:
ok, what do you think about ideology, politics in music? What bands come to your mind when you think about left-wing and right-wing metal (especially thrash) groups? Do you think that there is something like oppression against bands which have "unpopular" beliefs in metal world (like Benediction)?
I do not listen to much thrash. Ideology/lyrics in metal are very important to me though I listen to many bands without ideology in music. Political music be it left or right wing is generally quite crap. I like Pagan and Satanic ideology/lyrics. I like nationalism as long as the nationalism is connected to Paganism.

Aren't you just a special snowflake?

In the 80's Thrash had some pretty left-wing lyrics. Of course, times change, and so can band members. Isn't Overkill's singer a conservative now? As well as At War? (Though I feel they were always conservative)

Usually I'd say that political lyrics aren't always affected by actual political affiliation. Just say what's popular with the general public (at least in the metal community)

Author:  CF_Mono [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

The reason deciphering politics in metal is so difficult, is because metal lyrics are, well, by definition anyways, supposed to be dark or evil or depict wicked things. So you could look at songs like Silent Scream by Slayer or Massacre of the Unborn by Incubus and deduct that these guys are anti abortion, but at the same time, the lyrical content of incapacitating a fetus is also really brutal, and just about any extreme metal band could get away with using the same lyrics regardless of political stance. This goes for a lot of subjects too. Are all NS bands really pro-nazi (and I know a lot of them are otherwise they wouldn't call themselves NS bands, but that's arbitrary) or do they see Nazism as such an evil thing that their dark metal image is wrapped around it? I know I can name dozens of bands who sing about Satan and couldn't give a damn about any actual satanic practices, and use the lyrics solely for aesthetic purposes. That's why I will for the most part have to agree with Oxenkiller on this.

Author:  KFD [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Megadeth wrote:
According to the Norwegian Wikipedia page the word "blåmann" comes from the Norse word "blámaðr", and it means "blue man". Blue could also refer to a color black. The word was used in Medieval songs/poems/stories to refer to North Africans, black people and Moors.

I don't think the word was originally hateful, but there's no doubt Fenriz meant it hateful. However, it doesn't have to be black people, it can also be North African (and probably Middle Eastern) people. But considering the Vikings can't have had much contact with black people I assume it mostly meant Arabs/Moors. I don't know what Fenriz referred to, but it was probably not just black people (hence "negro" and "nigger" is not a good translation). Most likely he meant immigrants, and therefor Africans and Muslims in general, including Asian Non-Middle Eastern Muslim immigrants like Pakistani people.


Thank you for the information.
Basically it reads like a racist slur addressed to coloured people.

Author:  Megadeth [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

KFD wrote:
Megadeth wrote:
According to the Norwegian Wikipedia page the word "blåmann" comes from the Norse word "blámaðr", and it means "blue man". Blue could also refer to a color black. The word was used in Medieval songs/poems/stories to refer to North Africans, black people and Moors.

I don't think the word was originally hateful, but there's no doubt Fenriz meant it hateful. However, it doesn't have to be black people, it can also be North African (and probably Middle Eastern) people. But considering the Vikings can't have had much contact with black people I assume it mostly meant Arabs/Moors. I don't know what Fenriz referred to, but it was probably not just black people (hence "negro" and "nigger" is not a good translation). Most likely he meant immigrants, and therefor Africans and Muslims in general, including Asian Non-Middle Eastern Muslim immigrants like Pakistani people.


Thank you for the information.
Basically it reads like a racist slur addressed to coloured people.

Yes. No one uses the word today, so it's also in a heathen, nationalistic and "romantic" perspective (pre-Christian Scandinavia idolization) with all that entails in this context.

Author:  Thanquee [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

I think that as a general rule power metal is basically libertarian in nature because a great component of it is escapism and freedom. But of course I'm going to think that, because I'm a libertarian. Still, the number of power metal bands that sing about a sort of (seemly generic) 'freedom' that must be fought for is something I'd love to point to as evidence for that claim, except I'm not so sure. I mean, nobody's against freedom, right? At least in a prima facie sense. In fact, even if they don't say so specifically in the lyrics, quite a lot of (at least power) metal is set in a different time or a different world - so when they talk of 'freedom', they might mean an end to a certain king's tyranny and the imposition of a new, less tyrannical regime, but a regime nonetheless. In so far as they actually talk about politics, metal bands are all across the spectrum, but I'd like to think there's a fundamentally libertarian idea at least in most bands' lyrics anyway because it gives me a more enjoyable reading of the lyrics and can get me involved and emotional in a political sense as well as in a generic 'this music is cool' sense.

EDIT: substituted 'power metal' for 'metal' since it's the genre I know most about and listen to most.

Author:  naverhtrad [ Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Ilwhyan wrote:
You are entitled to believe what ever you like. Debates don't work like that though, unless you can provide reasonable arguments, there's nothing to argue. Different terms hold different meanings depending on surroundings and circumstances. To my understanding radicalism means a quasi-scientific form of racist ideology (e.g. the "study" of different traits of races). Contemporary political discussion may have its use for the word, but I'd hesitate to call it the primary, let alone original use of the world.


If that's the case, you're still making the point - one which I agree with, by the way - that racialism is a subset of racist ideology which is more or less identical with pseudo-scientific racism (Andrew Carnegie, the Nazi doctors, Charles Murray and so forth). The entire point of pseudo-scientific racism is to give racist ideologies the degree of 'respectability' in academic parlance that they had at the turn of the century - in other words, attempting to bring racist ideas back into the realm of the 'politically correct'. KFD's original point, that 'racialism' is merely the 'politically correct' term for racism, is still technically wrong, but there are the makings of a valid point there.

Thanquee wrote:
I think that as a general rule power metal is basically libertarian in nature because a great component of it is escapism and freedom. But of course I'm going to think that, because I'm a libertarian. Still, the number of power metal bands that sing about a sort of (seemly generic) 'freedom' that must be fought for is something I'd love to point to as evidence for that claim, except I'm not so sure. I mean, nobody's against freedom, right? At least in a prima facie sense. In fact, even if they don't say so specifically in the lyrics, quite a lot of (at least power) metal is set in a different time or a different world - so when they talk of 'freedom', they might mean an end to a certain king's tyranny and the imposition of a new, less tyrannical regime, but a regime nonetheless. In so far as they actually talk about politics, metal bands are all across the spectrum, but I'd like to think there's a fundamentally libertarian idea at least in most bands' lyrics anyway because it gives me a more enjoyable reading of the lyrics and can get me involved and emotional in a political sense as well as in a generic 'this music is cool' sense.


This looks a bit like wishful thinking to me. I have no doubt that there are power metal bands with libertarian leanings, of course, but the bands which sing about 'freedom' often take a more comprehensive view of it than the narrowly-political libertarian one. 'I Want Out' isn't a song about anarcho-capitalism, it's a song about wanting to have your own intellectual and artistic integrity. And Kai Hansen himself would probably take a number of issues with the anarcho-capitalists, if the lyrics to Gamma Ray's 'Rich and Famous' are anything to go by...

Still, I'm not going to deny that there is a political dimension to power metal, but it really does depend on the band. You've got bands which associate themselves with right-wing (that is to say, neoliberal or neoconservative) ideologies (Iced Earth, Epica, Sabaton, Nightmare), and bands which are more left-wing (socialist or social-democratic) in outlook (Accept, Rage, Savatage, Falconer, Chinchilla, Hammers of Misfortune). You also have bands which are willing to be straight-up in talking about politics ('Balls to the Wall' by Accept, or their more recent songs 'No Shelter' and 'Revolution'), and bands which are a bit more cagey about it, or only willing to talk about it allegorically or poetically (take your pick of a Blind Guardian album).

It may not be completely bogus to talk about genres being politically minded to varying degrees. It's probably fair to class thrash metal as predominantly left-wing in the sense that it is more oriented toward egalitarianism and social protest, and black metal as predominantly right-wing in that it tends to be romanticist and individualistic with a strong anti-egalitarian streak. But I'm pretty uncertain where power metal falls on that spectrum.

Author:  hexagonaria [ Sun May 24, 2015 5:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Rooster85 you must be so fucking stupid. Because a band is christian doesnt mean it is right-wing. Tourniquiet fore example sing a lot about animal rights. Do you consider that right-wing? Well Im not christian but if Jesus had lived today he would surely been a socialist an not an fucking right-wing-idiot.

How any person can listen to hard and rebellious music and be a right-wing-person is fucking strange.

And a tip: Listen to Amricon with Slayer. (Its not really tea-party).

Author:  hexagonaria [ Sun May 24, 2015 5:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Megadeth wrote:
KFD wrote:
Den Norrøne Rase må Slakte den andre
Nar blåmenn dunker for tungt pa var dør


Which can roughly translates in English as:

The Norse race must slaughter the other
When Negroes [niggers?] pound too heavily on our door


According to the Norwegian Wikipedia page the word "blåmann" comes from the Norse word "blámaðr", and it means "blue man". Blue could also refer to a color black. The word was used in Medieval songs/poems/stories to refer to North Africans, black people and Moors.

I don't think the word was originally hateful, but there's no doubt Fenriz meant it hateful. However, it doesn't have to be black people, it can also be North African (and probably Middle Eastern) people. But considering the Vikings can't have had much contact with black people I assume it mostly meant Arabs/Moors. I don't know what Fenriz referred to, but it was probably not just black people (hence "negro" and "nigger" is not a good translation). Most likely he meant immigrants, and therefor Africans and Muslims in general, including Asian Non-Middle Eastern Muslim immigrants like Pakistani people.


This is just a song about vikings. Dont over analyze it. Actually he was protesting against aphartheid when he was younger.

Author:  Red_Death [ Sun May 24, 2015 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Scorntyrant wrote:
Well, this thread is a bit of a clusterfuck. I'll make some allowances because this is a music forum not one for politics, but some of the comments here are hilariously naive.

firstly, what are our terms? If we say "right wing" or "fascism", are we talking Mussolini? Hitler? Rohm? Strasser? The Iron Guard? Peron? ...or are we talking about Bush? Or Reagan? they obviously differ, so how do you define the differences?

similarly, if we discuss "Leftists" as if they are some monolithic entity, are we talking about Trotskiists? stalinists? Maoists? Anarchists? Liberals? social Democrats? Are they the same?

This is the foolishness of interjecting politics into metal - a bunch of kids acting on knee-jerk reactions about what their music pushes to them without doing the god damn reading.Seriously people, we live in an age in which information is available at the click of a button, but we cant get enough clarity even to define the beginning terms we're going to argue from?


Definitely agree with this. There is always a good chance that any discussion of the political aspect of metal will be mired in myopic bias and/or serious misconceptions (like the Polish guy prefacing his views with the ridiculous idea that National Socialism can be sensibly conceived as a left wing political ideology). But that's not really surprising given the amount of misconception there is floating around the internet (the irony of the age of digital mass communication), and not only there.

I definitely disagree on both counts of your conclusion. Less importantly (for the topic at hand), I don't think that the whole sub-culture forming around metal music can be equated with pop-culture.
And I definitely think there are bands who can incorporate a kind of a politically charged social criticism which is meaningful with ease. One such example is Skyclad and the mighty Martin Walkyier. It took a genius lyricist to pull that off, and yeah I'm not embarassed to say that I love such left-wing lyrics. It's not hard to guess where I stand with the likes of lyrics posted above for instance.

Also, about that fanzine in the 90s, I think it's a shit thing to be so obnoxious as to boycott bands solely on grounds of a personal attitude of one of the members. Did this shit with Benediction even go off due to some lyrics? Anyway, it's a shitty way to deal with it. Having some kind of a political editorial line isn't bad on its own - and such stuff can be exercised with much more sense and taste. A simple disclaimer would do. Not being an ass too.

hexagonaria wrote:
This is just a song about vikings. Dont over analyze it. Actually he was protesting against aphartheid when he was younger.

A sorry way to wave away an unconvenient fact of the lyrics being what they are. If one trusts the translation provided, of course.

Author:  InnesI [ Sun May 24, 2015 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

I think there are several streams of opinions in metal music where the common denominator isnt really ideological. It is rather a societal critique. This is perhaps best illustrated in 80's thrash. Im sure the critique came from a certain source (probably more of a leftist approach) but I'd argue that the main thing was opposition. As with metals general stance on religion much of it is about opposing what one doesnt like rather than proposing a thought through belief system of their own.

If we are to discern what is the dominant political flavor in metal I would think it is a mix of the left wing and of liberalism. I use these in the most loose meaning possible. Bands are often liberal in the most basic way - that being they just want to be left alone and be allowed to say and think whatever they want. The left wing element is probably the largest and the most crystalized ideology in metal. Probably because it also is in most other popular musical genres. As far as Im aware a large part of the cultural side of society tends to lean towards the left.

I think that classical conservatism (in the vein of Burke) is harder to come by. Interestingly enough it is the genre most critical of religion (black metal) that spawned the most amount of conservative bands. This is of course an oxymoron if we are to judge it from a political perspective. Conservatism has very close ties to traditional religion historically. Then there is the power metal genre and related that very much likes to draw inspiration from traditional sources. And while they are most likely to be meant as stories they do reflect many conservative or traditional views (hierarchy, nobility, heroism etc).

Then we have the extremes where politics are actually quite defined. NSBM bands are openly national socialist (dhu!) and there is a bunch of bands that lean towards the extreme left. Then we have individual bands, or people in bands, that are strongly influenced by their political or ideological beliefs. Among them Jon Shaffer, Dave Mustaine, Geddy Lee, Peter Dolving etc. Or bands like Gojira, Napalm Death or Panopticon. But in general the more metal leans towards genres that might be associated with punk the more political they become.

Author:  inhumanist [ Mon May 25, 2015 6:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

InnesI wrote:
I think that classical conservatism (in the vein of Burke) is harder to come by. Interestingly enough it is the genre most critical of religion (black metal) that spawned the most amount of conservative bands. This is of course an oxymoron if we are to judge it from a political perspective. Conservatism has very close ties to traditional religion historically.

I would argue that the right wing ideologies black metal often leans towards are decidedly not of the establishment-oriented conservative variety but rather chauvinism, social darwinism and fascism. Or maybe simply a desire to return to more primitive forms of society such as monarchy - basically the ideology of people confused and angry at how complicated and alienated the modern world is. They (often explicitly) wish for simpler forms of social conduct where the "strong" (in a dumbed down version of a Nietzschean sense) have the say rather than, as they see it, the "weak" through social trickery. It is the experience of discontent and powerlessness found in the punk mentality black metal was born from, that leads them to this peculiar kind of power worship.

Author:  iamntbatman [ Mon May 25, 2015 7:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Metal and ideology, politics etc.

Let sleeping threads lie.

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