After publishing the study Is Black Metal Satanic, it’s time to delve into another “controversial” segment of black metal history: racism.
Many “anti-racist” organizations claims that black metal is racist.
This is what Raphaël Weinstein wrote about the black metal genre, explaining the purpose of the book Racist Metal by Antoine Grand.
Is heavy metal a racist genre?
The question deserves to be asked, as there have been countless instances of heavy metal bands supporting whether directly or indirectly notorious xenophobic and white supremacist causes.
In addition to the overt racism displayed by some metal bands, there has also been a disturbing amount of hate crimes and racially motivated murders directly associated with heavy metal band members.
Are are a few examples.
In Norway, in 1992, members of the heavy metal band Emperor stabbed Magne Andreassen (34), a homosexual man, to death outside a forest in Lillehammer.
In Germany, in 1993, members of the heavy metal band Absurd killed Sandro Beyer (15), a schoolmate of some of the band members, in what was determined by the German courts as a hate crime. Hendrik Möbus, frontman of Absurd, is a self-avowed National Socialist (white supremacist).
In Sweden, in 1997, members of the heavy metal band Dissection killed Josef Ben Meddour (38), because he was a homosexual and an immigrant. This was ruled a hate crime by the Swedish courts.
And let’s not even mention the infamous murder of Euronymous (25), a member of the band Mayhem, by the self-avowed white supremacist Varg Vikernes of the openly racist heavy metal band Burzum, who has published volumes’ worth of racist, homophobic and bigoted diatribe ever since.
But what is perhaps even worse than these hateful crimes is the way the murderers were often times celebrated, or at best tacitly approved, by the heavy metal community at large.
Never have other metal bands, or their fans for that matter, used their influence to condemn these hateful and bigoted acts nor did they ever disavow the intolerant ideologies that led to these murders.
In fact, many heavy metal artists have openly declared their support for these criminals.
Hellhammer, the drummer of the heavy metal band Mayhem, said that he “honours [Faust of Emperor] for killing a fucking faggot”, referring to the aforementioned homophobic murder of Magne Andreassen in Lillehammer.
The racist faction of heavy metal community is equally guilty of hypocritically obscuring the truth about racism and xenophobia in heavy metal music by whitewashing its history and by claiming that it only affects a “few bad apples”, when the reality is that racism and bigoted white supremacist views are very much an integral part of the metalhead culture.
Does that mean that every metalhead is a racist, homophobic and white supremacist murder apologist?
No, but it’s crucial that the metal genre dissociate itself from its racist constituents, or be forever tainted by association.
Many well-meaning heavy metal enthusiasts are often involuntarily caught in a web of racism, sexism, homophobia and fascism, and end up supporting against their knowledge racist and white supremacist heavy metal bands.
There has been a deliberate attempt by a xenophobic faction of heavy metal fans to cover up the racist past, and present, of heavy metal music.
This book isn’t an attack on heavy metal.
It’s a defense of heavy metal, a defense against those would use music to propagate their bigoted and hateful ideologies.
Racism has no place in music.