Unless you were living under a cave last year when the Maryland Deathfest lineup was announced, you heard something about the controversy surrounding brutal death metal legends, Disma. For anyone so kvlt that they actually live in a cave, or in some cool foreign country where MDF isn’t news, basically, Disma was booked to play the festival until a bunch of faggy social justice warriors protested about it and the band was dropped from the bill. Why were these SJWs up in arms, you ask? It is rumored that Disma’s vocalist, Craig Pillard, has some anti-Semitic views. The extent of his anti-Semitism is arguable. Some people say he is just opposed to Israel’s foreign policy, whilst others say he’s comparable to a full-blown Nazi meat-head. I don’t know the guy, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and guess that his views are somewhere in-between. All of that doesn’t even really matter because, in the end, the SJW’s won out and Maryland Deathfest dropped Disma.
This is old news, so why am I talking about it? Because MDF is approaching and there’s a gaping hole in the lineup that could have only been filled by Disma. More importantly, though, there’s another issue that permeates this incident, and that’s the prevalence of extreme ideologies in underground metal and whether or not they are (to use a favorite word of social justice warriors everywhere) problematic.
Over the years, metal has become more extreme than ever. When cartoonish occultism and horror themes became cliché, bands started declaring true allegiance to the dark lord. When Satanism in metal became laughable, artists began committing crimes like arson to further their extreme agenda. Today, the boundaries have been pushed to the max, with bands outwardly expressing racist or fascist views, encouraging suicide, lyrically declaring Jihad , and echoing extreme misogyny in both lyrical themes and artwork. Nothing is off-limits. The genre of music that most frequently faces opposition, however, even within the metal community, is NSBM. So is this genre inherently worse, or more dangerous than other ideologically extreme metal genres?
In order to answer this question, one has to understand the nature of metal in the first place. Metal has focused on the darker aspects of humanity since the days of Black Sabbath. Except for the laughable, glam metal genre, metal lyrics are supposed to be inherently negative. Metal promotes war, blasphemy, hate, death, brutality, murder, vulgarity, suicide, and other disturbing things. Basically, if the subject matter offends a good majority of the general population, metal bands are all over it songs writing songs and shit. Notice I included hate in the list of acceptable lyrical themes for metal bands. That’s significant. Racism is a form of hate. A repugnant, completely unacceptable kind of hate that it still a cancer on society to this day , but a form of hate no less. It totally makes sense that metal bands would choose to embrace it.
What about the bands who actually believe in and promote racism? The majority of the bands espousing hateful, bigoted rhetoric via song lyrics, actually appear to believe it. This is what SJWs and outlier hardcore kids who dabble in metal seem to have a problem with. When you think about it though, this doesn’t make any sense.
The biggest complaint normal people have about metal is that they can’t understand the lyrics. Metalheads everywhere are unanimously laughing their asses off right now because everyone who loves this stuff knows that lyrics don’t matter that much. Metal is more about musicianship, technicality, and atmosphere than trying push a message or agenda, regardless of what certain kvlt black metal bands would have you believe. The lyrics are simply filler. As for the people being racist themselves, I would advise anyone with opposing beliefs (anyone sane and rational) to avoid having a conversation with them on the matter. It won’t get you anywhere. But ultimately, supporting an NSBM band doesn’t make you a racist anymore than supporting Cannibal Corpse makes you a necrophiliac. Thinking otherwise is simply ludicrous.
But racists are dangerous! Are they? A good 95% of metal musicians are working stiffs with absolutely no governmental or influential power. They’re marketing to a niche audience that’s already in the know. Their reach doesn’t go much farther than that. Sometimes, especially with these foreign NSBM bands, that’s intentional. Frankly, that doesn’t worry me much. If you’re worried about racism, focus your attention on Congress.
The bottom line is that metal is never going to be pleasant or inoffensive. As society grows more jaded, metal has to push more boundaries in order to keep with the times. Metal lyrics and concerts are the ideal place to unleash hatred. There’s really nothing wrong with that. The problem with SJWs is that they want to change the way people think. That’s never going to happen. You can’t censor everyday speech and you can’t always change someone’s opinion, no matter how compelling your argument. So, to speak for metalheads everywhere, please leave our music alone. You clearly don’t understand it and probably never will. That’s fine, though, because unlike SJWs, metalheads don’t need you to.