The Cult Is Dead: The Alt-Right and Black Metal

After Charlottesville I would love to think, even for the second, that the end has begun for twenty-first century Fascism. I’d like to think that after an attempted mass murder, teenage boys whose critical faculties have been destroyed by South Park, who make up the bulk of what we call the Alt-Right, would desert. No such luck. The Alt-Right is an identity first, a political project a very distant second, and identities don’t go down easy.

Even if this isn’t the beginning of the end, there’s historical precedent that suggests that it may be the end of the beginning in another group of angry, sad, young, white men who took nerd culture and nationalism far too seriously: The Norwegian Black Metal scene centered around the Helvete record store in Oslo, a group of musicians and hangers-on who sometimes, perhaps ironically, referred to themselves as the ‘Black Circle.’

Read More At Medium

H&M gets Trolled: Unethical Fashion Giant vs. ‘Strong Scene Productions’

y now, if you’ve been following the always fractious relationship between underground music and high-street fashion, you’ll have heard of Strong Scene Productions, H&M, and fake National-Socialist Black Metal Bands. In brief, the Swedish fast-fashion brand was accused of “one of the more ill-advised marketing campaigns in recent history.” Allegedly, they had created a fake metal label, Strong Scene Productions, complete with Youtube videos and a Facebook page. They had a roster of equally fake bands that included ‘LA/NY’, a ‘fierce representative of the French Black Legions’ who have been on hiatus since 2001 after running afoul of France’s anti-revisionist laws (which forbid denying the reality of certain crimes against humanity, chief amongst them the Holocaust.)
If you read Vice’s Noisey site today (hey, we won’t judge), then you’ll know that the whole thing was an elaborate piece of trolling, committed, appropriately enough, by Henri Sorvali of Finntroll (and Moonsorrow). H&M had no part in it, and the whole thing was designed to draw attention the tone-deaf appropriation of metal imagery by H&M, and the fashion industry at large.

Read more at CVLTNATION

Voices - London

Review: Voices – London

The main problem with London, the album, is the lack of London, the place. Ostensibly a concept album, Voices squander the opportunity to say something meaningful about a fascinating, difficult city or to draw musical inspiration from the sounds it has been making from the Clash through to Burial. The misogynistic streak in the lyrics doesn’t help either.

As a concept album about infidelity and artifice, London is too muddled to really satisfy. It’s a common enough trick: if you’re not confident enough in your prose then throw in ambiguity. Unreliable narrators! Multiple viewpoints! Pseudo-intellectual types eat. That. Shit. Up. Never mind that the story amounts to ‘a girl fucks somebody who isn’t the narrator because she’s empty inside (and like a total slut) and not because he’s a self-important emo-sogynist douche.’

Musically it’s a little better. It has changed little from the ornate, gothic blackened-death metal of Voices’ previous incarnation, Akercocke, except for the increased prominence of ambient excursions. Vocalist Peter Benjamin is hugely versatile, a crooner, screamer and roaring beast all at once. That said, you’ll want to be somewhere else during the sub-Rorschach from Watchmen monologues on how ugly the city is.

Every single metal review site on the planet has given this album 10/10.

Review: Goat Semen – Ego Svm Satana

Some bands you can’t simply listen to, but must imbibe, must drink down deep within, to sample with each of the senses. Friends, I want you to taste Goat Semen.

The Peruvian quartet have spent the past decade working on Ego Svm Satana, most likely because if your debut album is going to declare in Latin that you are in fact Satan, then you’d better have the songs to back that up. Goat Semen do. With Ego Svm Satana, Goat Semen has released a perfect blackened death metal record. Goat Semen’s guitars sound like chainsaws on every tree in the Amazon, the drums create a horrifying wall of static broken by the sounds of medieval warfare, the vocals are turned up high enough in the mix that you can fully comprehend the ugliness that the human voice is capable of. This is an album (by Goat Semen) in which the sounds of air-raid sirens and gunfire are your brief moment of respite.

I trust that you can look beyond the name (because I clearly can’t) and give Goat Semen the respect they’ve been working for since 2002.