Pagan Metal Gods: The Use of Mythology and White Supremacy National Socialist Black Metal

Jillian Fischer
2022 react/review: a responsive journal for art and architecture  
Black metal's relationship to National Socialism consists of a complicated nexus of historical and musicological narratives. Scholars such as Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Keith Kahn-Harris, and Jeffery Kaplan have undertaken a significant amount of painstaking academic work to trace some of the histories of radical right groups, both within the black metal scene and as ideological/political movements more broadly. However, black metal has been particularly susceptible to appropriation by radical
more » ... ght groups, as seen in the emergence of national socialist black metal (NSBM) bands in the 1990s, which incorporate black metal's musical emphasis on heavily distorted guitars and shrieked vocals with far-right political ideologies. The question of why black metal has been especially susceptible to appropriation by those with neo-fascist and radical right viewpoints has been less considered. In this article, I will argue that the black metal scene has been appealing to national socialist group members as a result of shared interests in paganism and mythology. Through an analysis of album art, lyrics, and the musical aesthetics of three national socialist black metal bands-Burzum, Graveland, and Der Stürmer-I will demonstrate how a similar fascination with paganism and mythology allows NSBM artists to place themselves within a national socialist lineage, as well as reinforce and adapt far-right political ideologies to fit within black metal aesthetics. Paganism and pagan mythology as lyrical tropes have been established within black metal due to prominent bands incorporating it into their aesthetic. Although
doi:10.5070/r52056635 fatcat:frawijuy6zcnlhvd2nq2peia3a