This makes it the third (!) Black Metal event this week alone (!!) to be called off due to anti-fascist hysterics. On Monday, BLACKDEATH (RUS) had to cancel their gig in Utrecht (Netherlands) after local Antifa contacted the authorities and the venue bailed out. On Thursday the Ukraninan band KZOHH dropped four French cities (Paris / Lille / Montpellier / St-Etienne) out of their tour list for the same reason. It’s Saturday, and we have just learned that MARDUK is not playing either.
Although this week clearly hits a record, it falls into a series of similar cases we’ve already seen last year – protests against GRAVELAND (POL) in Montreal (Canada), PESTE NOIRE (FR) cancelation at the “Blastfest” in Norway and the “Sinister Howling Fest” in Germany, the whole DESTROYER 666 (AU) thing and many other stories of politically motivated censorship on the Black Metal scene. Time to realize that from now on it’s not “just about music” – it’s about your free will, intellectual integrity and this self-proclaimed “mind police” who is trying to take it from you.
Let’s face it – Black Metal has always transcended the social and political norms, and that’s exactly why it stands out from a long list of contemporary music genres. The very phenomenon of Black Metal has begun with a suicide, a series of church burnings and a murder – neither of these fits into the mindset of the modern liberal society. This wild, unruly and extreme nature of Black Metal is channeled through music, which makes the audience a part of a sublime, almost ritualistic experience, beyond mere morality, beyond the dualism of good and evil.
The criticism of Black Metal coming from the left is thus very naïve. We see Antifa and SJWs together with other preachers of tolerance and equality using an arsenal of liberal clichés, such as “hate speech”, “historical revisionism” etc., in order to impose their set of taboos, forbidden topics and forbidden symbols onto the music scene that from its very first day strives for an ultimate negation of vulgar moralism.
Keeping the Black Metal scene alive in 2017 takes some guts. It also requires standing against the crowd and its plebeian morals – the so-called “political correctness” and all sorts of liberal dogmas, which has truly become the secular religion of our days.
Wrapping up, let us draw some practical conclusions, based on our own experience:
– For the bands: First, make no excuses. Your excuses are never enough for your enemies to accept you, but just enough for you to lose your friends’ respect. Second, always support one another. If one of the groups is being dropped from the line-up for political reasons, show your solidarity and do the same. The recent story with “Blastfest”, when HORNA (FIN) decided to quit after PESTE NOIRE (FR) was removed by the orgs due to Antifa pressure, ended up with the cancelation of the whole festival due to low tickets sale.
– For the orgs: Never back down under pressure. Stand for your bands and always have a back-up plan – preferably a second venue and your own security team. Do not look for easy solutions, and remember, in 2017 Black Metal means troubles. If you don’t want any troubles, better make R’n’B parties.
– For the crowd: Always get ready to hit the road and support the censored bands wherever they have a chance to perform. Remember, solidarity is the only way to fight censorship.