National Socialist black metal

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National Socialist Black Metal
NSBM symbol.
Stylistic origins Black metal
Cultural origins early 1990s, Europe
Typical instruments Vocals - Electric guitar - Bass guitar - Drums
Mainstream popularity underground, mainly Europe and North America
Other topics
Rock Against Communism

National Socialist Black Metal (also known as NSBM) is a title used to refer to black metal acts with an emphasis on the ideology of National Socialism in their music. NSBM is interpreted as an ideology rather than a sub-genre, as there is not any developed "style" to play black metal in an NSBM way. Bands that promote lyrics advocating ideas of racialism, Jew-wise positions, and Aryanism are often differentiated as "NSBM" to separate such bands from other black metal bands which do not exemplify these beliefs.

NSBM artists typically combine imagery and ideology with European paganism, Satanism, or National Socialist occultism, or a combination thereof, and vehemently oppose Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Most NSBM bands adhere to their respective tribal branches of Europe's native polytheistic religion, Paganism (commonly known today in its Germanic branch as Ásatrú or Wotanism). Paganism is also a lyrical topic of some 'common' black metal bands, so one could say NSBM 'adopted' this subject, or it could be seen as an influence of black metal on NSBM. Environmentalism (such as the writings of R. Walther Darré and Savitri Devi), and Julius Evola's teachings of traditionalism are recurring themes.

Since the German racialist authors, anthropologists, scientists, eugenicists, and mystics of the previous century, Varg Vikernes of Burzum (the widely-attributed ideological messiah of the NSBM movement and founder of Odalism), has been the only well-known Pagan philosopher strongly advocating racial Nordicism. Strangely, Nordicism seems to be an almost completely ignored ideology by both the NSBM movement and the greater white racialist movement in general, regardless of its strong emphasis and rigorous institution by the NS German Reich; not to mention its utmost importance in the long-term goal of eugenically-induced European racial purity, which in turn is allegedly espoused by a considerable portion of white racialists.


NSBM is sometimes considered to have started with the work of Burzum (Varg Vikernes). However, there is no direct reference to National Socialism in Burzum's earliest compositions, and Varg has actually gone as far as to denounce NSBM in recent interviews. His anti-establishment ideology and self-declared beliefs in Odalism is most likely what spurred this assumption. One of the earliest black metal bands to actually write overt lyrics espousing white racialist beliefs was the Polish one-man band Graveland.

While nationalism (or at least national romanticism) has been an influence in black metal from early on, NSBM adds a focus on advocating National Socialism as an alternative to modern liberal society. However, while National Socialist Germany was never overtly opposed to Christianity, NSBM continues the black metal tradition of opposition to Judeo-Christianity in its entirety, while placing more emphasis on anti-Semitism.

In the 2000s, NSBM music became increasingly sold by Rock Against Communism (RAC) and other white power music outlets, and bands such as Gestapo SS, Sigrblot (this Swedish NSBM band covered Fortress´ popular WP song "I Hate Commie Scum" on their cd "Blodsband") and Bannerwar have covered RAC and Hatecore songs on their NSBM releases. NSBM bands are beginning to perform alongside RAC bands.

Conversely, some people that were originally adherents the NSBM scene are moving away from their statist National Socialist roots and embracing Third Position National-Anarchism, and post-Left Anarcho-Primitivism. This has given rise to recent post-NSBM musical and subcultural developments such as National Anarchist Black Metal (NABM), and Anarcho-Primitivist Black Metal (APBM) characterized by bands such as Houston,TX based Tragic Hero.

NSBM and the broader black metal scene

Sometimes there is confusion over whether a band fits the label of NSBM. Darkthrone is often said to be a NSBM band mainly because Norsk Arisk Black Metal (Norwegian Aryan Black Metal) was written in the back of their album Transilvanian Hunger. Later on they denounced that and maintained an apolitical outlook as a band. On their following album, "Panzerfaust" Darkthrone wrote: "Darkthrone is certainly not a National socialist-band nor a political band. Those who still might think so, you can lick Mother Mary's asshole in eternity."

Some black metal bands, although unrelated to NSBM, include some mostly meaningless references to National socialist Germany in their lyrics. These are mainly used for shock value; a tradition with precedent among 1970s punk bands such as the Sex Pistols. This has caused some black metal bands to inaccurately be labeled as NSBM. One example of this was the Czech band Amon (which from 1995 to 1999 was called Amon Goeth).[1]

One of the most misperceived black metal bands is Marduk. Many have considered Marduk to be NSBM after the release of their album "Panzer Division Marduk". Marduk has written songs about the National socialists in World War II, including "The Hangman of Prague", which is about Reinhard Heydrich (head of the RSHA within the SS). Despite this, both band founder Morgan Hakannson and ex-vocalist Legion state that Marduk is not National Socialist, and that the topic as source for song writing just fascinates them.

In Gods of the Blood (2003), Mattias Gardell one of the few researchers into this understudied milieu (ibid., p.vii), describes the Pagan Front and National Socialist Black Metal.The former is a network of bands and record labels that view black metal as an "archetypical and atavistic expression" of the Aryan soul and seek to further the milieu's paganization. The latter sees national socialism as a logical extension of the political and spiritual dissidence inherent in black metal and includes acts such as Burzum, Absurd and Graveland. Although fascist and heathen sentiments constitute a discernible trend within the black-metal underground, they remain a minor part of black metal and certainly do not define the whole scene. (ibid, p.307)

Representative bands

See also

External links