The Coming Translation of “As Wolves Among Sheep”: A History of National Socialist Black Metal

The English translation of As Wolves Among Sheep provoked a few anxious emails from the editors at CVLT Nation. If you didn’t know, CVLT Nation is against Nazism. I was proposing to report on the National Socialist Black Metal history book. To be clear, I am against Nazism, and I do not consider myself neo-pagan and heathen – just a black metal fan. CVLT Nation should’ve been worried, because what I read and cannot reprint (due to the publisher’s behest) was fraught with fandom’s blind adoration.

 

The Italian publisher, Tsunami Edizioni, specializing in rock literature on Rage Against the Machine and Scorpions, published As Wolves Among Sheep dryly in 2013. Bolzer’s tattoos were more controversial.

 

Max Ribaric has written the history of neo-folkies Blood Axis, Days of Blood, while David Maspero is a graphic designer, and both publish the long-running Occidental Congress zine. They’re concerned with a genre that tools with ambiguity. Reporting on Blood Axis clarifies a strain. If they’re not advocates, they’re still into some troublesome music.

 

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And it is Michael Moynihan of Blood Axis who wrote the popular black metal history, Lords of Chaos.

 

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Maspero and Ribaric’s translation signals a reappearance of National Socialist thought in English-reading countries, specifically the United States. This produces an acute anxiety. Americans have never encountered a nationwide movement from the extreme right, nothing like France’s National Front. We placidly hem and haw at the sight of a swastika.

 

In a genre that means to offend, this offense overpowers American black metal, its morality in anti-moral music, which has composed songs that avoid race and nation, unlike its European brethren. As Wolves Among Sheep is a foothold for those ideas to permeate passive fans.

 

Tsunami Edizioni sell Maspero and Ribaric as observers. It’s unclear whether the authors are against Nazism. Already, that stance is doomed to assent.

 

Objectivity wanes in the prose. Maspero and Ribaric’s account of the Polish scene with the lax use of words like “strength” and “purity.” The amount of care that the subject requires to remain “objective” and distanced is not printed. The observers are fans.

 

The scanned reproductions of the book depict chapters on Absurd, Spear of Longinus and Der Sturmer, the scenes in Germany, Russia, and America, opposed by one chapter on red and anarchist black metal, all beginning with the acclaimed inventors Poland’s Lord of Evil and their 1993 demo, In Nomine Rex Infernus. There are over five hundred pages on this seeming niche, really a large minority.

 

The title’s “As” indicates a double comparison. NSBM is composed by wolves in a genre of sheep that only appears as the former. The title signals the extremity of NSBM in the genre. Like Norway’s burst of violence, you’ll read of the Sandro Beyer’s murder and the Temple of Fullmoon.

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For the Polish scene, the authors repeatedly conclude that few stayed with NSBM. They grew tired of that extremity, then rejected it. Though Behemoth never ventured so far, Nergl was a despised rejecter in Poland’s Evil Pagan Black Metal.

 

The phase, with its usage of “pagan,” is key to musicians’ ability to sidestep their inclusion in NSBM – as the publisher made clear, “not all of them can be labeled NSBM, even if their importance within the genre is huge – think of Graveland, for example, that helped kickstart the movement but claim no affiliation with it whatsoever.” It is still the fringe on the extreme right where heathens exist unconfined by the sub-genre’s acronym. Maspero and Ribaric account for the distances NSBM has gone.

 

To be clear: do not read this book because NSBM suddenly appears more “kvlt.” If you’re using that word, you’re lost.

 

The state of the American black metal fan: love the music, but disregard the politics. Yet, the subject of NSBM is ripe. How does one learn without supporting the ideas?

 

As Wolves Among Sheep sets up a parameter around the subject by its being an account, an interpretation of ideas and the history of their manifestation in black metal. The mode grants distance. It is at this point the written work ceases to be propaganda and the book fails with its prose. As Wolves Among Sheep is a lesson on National Socialist Black Metal as much as it is on the care that objectivity requires in order to tell a story.

 

At least it reads better than Lords of Chaos.

 

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The Author

CWL

CWL

Here comes I that never come yit, with my big head and my little wit.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Contact: colinwulfstanleonard@gmail.com

77 Comments

  1. bob
    April 1, 2015 at 12:48 pm — Reply

    Was this article written by a 9 year old? Holy fuck.

  2. March 25, 2015 at 3:27 pm — Reply

    Alex Party-Cat Sepansky…….

  3. March 25, 2015 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    Hold up, everyone is upset and I can understand, but the book Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult has a couple chapters on NSBM, with bands such as Absurd and Graveland and interviews with several key players. Is it not possible to report on the topic without supporting it? I don’t support the view at all, but I found interviews with those bands interesting; how do you go from Venom and Celtic Frost to Mayhem, Darkthrone and Burzum to Absurd and Graveland? That is interesting to me. what cultural forces drive a person to the rabbit hole of fascism, ya know?

  4. March 25, 2015 at 1:15 pm — Reply

    Most cant even properly define and debate about first and second positionism, let alone that they grasp the essence of third positionism and beyond.

    And in this case…. Im mostly seeing butthurt american citizens…… Nuff said

    Fallacy, bias, cognitive dissonance

    My grounds? Comments before.

  5. March 25, 2015 at 11:16 am — Reply

    For all these shitheads complaining about NSBM.

  6. March 25, 2015 at 10:52 am — Reply

    Let’s face it, the originators of black metal (Venom, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Bathory, Merciful Fate etc.) had fuck all to do with NS ideology. I mean, not even a little bit. Just because some complete fucking imbeciles from Norway later incorporated that kind utter horseshit into their sound, does in no way justify its existence. And it doesn’t make you “evil,” it makes you a degenerate moron. And, as other people have pointed out here before, listening to that kind of trash makes you complicit with that ideology. If you think NSBM is “cool” you probably also probably think misogynistic garbage like slam metal/porno grind is great. I have a message for you NS apologists: FOLLOW YOUR LEADER and off yourselves.

    • March 25, 2015 at 11:25 am — Reply

      The first wave of black metal were grown men wearing bondage (venom)… Second wave was angsty teens burning churches. NS was a logical step because, like someone already said, BM does well only when there is a defined “enemy”. Religion is archaic to most forward thinking minds, this whole scene can fuck off.

  7. March 25, 2015 at 9:28 am — Reply

    The problem is black metal does well when it has an enemy; concrete adversaries are obviously easier to work with…..Class war is totally spoken for, so when religion isn’t an issue anymore, what’s the lowest hanging fruit?

  8. March 25, 2015 at 9:18 am — Reply

    More like Pack of shitty Hyenas amongst the Wolves

  9. March 25, 2015 at 9:15 am — Reply

    I dont give a flying fuck about politics, left or right. This looks interesting going to watch.

  10. March 25, 2015 at 9:03 am — Reply

    You people telling others what they should listen to because of your politics are just another kind of fascists.

  11. March 25, 2015 at 9:01 am — Reply

    YEAH HAIL BILNK 128

  12. March 25, 2015 at 8:30 am — Reply

    I already read it (i am italian so are the authors),and its a very interesting book.just because if you want to be informed on something it doesn’t mean its because you want to support it.
    If you read “lords of chaos” its not because you support murderers and church burnings, right?

    • March 25, 2015 at 8:33 am — Reply

      Im interested in reading it. Not to subscribe to it, just curious of the history of NSBM.

    • March 25, 2015 at 8:36 am — Reply

      That’s the point

    • March 25, 2015 at 9:23 am — Reply

      Do you know where to download it? I want to read it but I don’t want to give money to this kind of shit

  13. March 25, 2015 at 8:03 am — Reply

    ^and there we have it, another racist prick outs himself.

  14. March 25, 2015 at 7:19 am — Reply

    The only brainwashing going on is liberalism in the media and it’s shaping the minds of everyone. If you try to say that there is some force brainwashing people into NS ideology that’s laughable. It actually takes effort to acquire books and study different NS thinkers becauuse no major media outlet promotes the philosophy. The masses are fed liberal multiculturalism and globalist ideology from every direction. That is the only brainwashing going on. To learn about NS philosophy you have to self educate.

    • March 25, 2015 at 8:04 am — Reply

      Fuck off .

    • March 25, 2015 at 8:05 am — Reply

      Best comeback ever. Well done.

    • March 25, 2015 at 8:37 am — Reply

      Dude, you’re from Maine. The imagery is cool, the history of the northern european religions are interesting and I can sort of get NSBM more from people in those countries. At least, the rejection of Christianity due to the it’s destruction of their heritage and pagan roots. But you’re from the white bread capitol of the USA. Its like the new age yuppies who preach Native American beliefs and go to sweat lodges because they are 1/16 Cherokee. At least, they are in the same country.

    • March 25, 2015 at 8:45 am — Reply

      Ben, Maine and Canada both were visited by Vikings and have been named Vinland. There is a history here. And then there is my heritage. Simply because I grew up in Maine doesn’t bar me from having an interest or pride in my heritage and to feel connected to and inspired by it.

    • March 25, 2015 at 11:29 am — Reply

      The force brainwashing is the idea they are somehow superior. Am I missing something?

  15. March 25, 2015 at 7:08 am — Reply

    The true sheep are the ns people. Hiding behind flags and being brainwashed into a flock of fellow morons. Give em some grass and they’ll shut up

  16. March 25, 2015 at 6:35 am — Reply

    Fuck off NSBM.

  17. March 25, 2015 at 6:26 am — Reply

    Richard Smyth Jr.

  18. March 25, 2015 at 5:42 am — Reply

    Actually the German American Bund movement in support of Nazi Germany was EXTREMELY popular and seen all over the country in the United States. The United States was very hesitant to enter WWII because of our own Nazi leanings…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American_Bund

  19. March 25, 2015 at 5:29 am — Reply

    Olivier Doyard de LaMothe

  20. March 25, 2015 at 4:42 am — Reply

    Ikil Alex. This will be an interesting read. I’ll be ordering.

  21. March 25, 2015 at 4:34 am — Reply

    Ken Christopher Hill

  22. March 25, 2015 at 4:20 am — Reply

    Nice to see, according to some of the above posted comments, how (a lot of) black metal aficionados turned themselves in peace loving fucking hippies

    • March 25, 2015 at 5:30 am — Reply

      Holy shit, dude. How do you manage to breathe? Metalheads are so fucking stupid and unattached to the point of sociopathy, Jesus fucking christ. Talk to some girls for once. Or ideally a counselor.

    • March 25, 2015 at 6:55 am — Reply

      So I’m a peace loving hippie if I feel banding together to shit on a group of people is a cowardly thing to do? Hate everyone don’t hide behind race like a pussy.

    • March 25, 2015 at 9:39 am — Reply

      How does not being a racist piece of shit make me a peace loving hippy? I would love to hear what I’m sure will be an intelligently thought out response……

  23. March 25, 2015 at 4:11 am — Reply

    But u call it bm 😉

    • March 25, 2015 at 4:25 am — Reply

      Because it is unfortunately NSBM called , I would call it the other way around dirt , played by failures which have no idea.

  24. March 25, 2015 at 3:55 am — Reply

    Black Metal is pure darkness and satanism. Nsbm has nothing to do with Black Metal.

  25. March 25, 2015 at 3:49 am — Reply

    In my opinion … Quintessence of black metal is hate, war , and anti u all… if u can use Google translate: der schwarze orden . I know its sick too use the hitler regime but its ok … for me… sex sells… . In black metal war and hate sells…

  26. March 25, 2015 at 3:38 am — Reply

    I respect the uncompromising when it comes to artistic beliefs but not the actaul beliefs themselves.

  27. March 25, 2015 at 2:44 am — Reply

    oh aí, Artur, te lambuza! auhahuauhhuahuahua

    • March 25, 2015 at 2:52 am — Reply

      Não. Tenho mais o que fazer. Contudo parece uma leitura interessante se for imparcial. Mas o que te dá o direito de ironizar isso? Supondo que ocorra uma publicação sobre black metal comunista. Só seria válido pois você comunga da ideologia, é?

    • March 25, 2015 at 3:39 am — Reply

      claro que sim, comunismo é fofinho, nazismo é malvado. abraços

    • March 25, 2015 at 4:20 am — Reply

      Seu koo.

  28. March 25, 2015 at 2:28 am — Reply

    If you “enjoy the music and ignore the politics” you are still supporting racism. NSBM needs to be ignored not understood.

  29. March 25, 2015 at 2:15 am — Reply

    bad move cvlt nation. no platform for silly fascists.

  30. March 25, 2015 at 2:10 am — Reply

    Emre, boekje kopen? :v

  31. March 25, 2015 at 2:04 am — Reply

    Being Pagan and Nazi is not the same thing, way to make a complicated issue more complicated.

  32. March 25, 2015 at 1:46 am — Reply

    Seeing as this is about nazis and metal, surly a more apt title would be Fuckwits Among Musos.

  33. March 25, 2015 at 1:34 am — Reply

    Charles

  34. March 25, 2015 at 1:19 am — Reply

    no, but you do tacitly support their ideology by listening to it (and if you buy it, so much the more so)

    • March 25, 2015 at 1:57 am — Reply

      no you dont. youre free to listen to what you like. just because i listen to some leftist punk group doesnt mean i’m going to become homeless. how do their beliefs affect your life? just enjoy the music

    • March 25, 2015 at 4:51 am — Reply

      it’s not about whether they affect your life. It’s about making a statement that their politics are acceptable. Listening to the music legitimises them. These are extreme politics of hate and should be classed unacceptable by anyone who isn’t on the extreme fringe. And this isn’t just personal opinion on their part, their politics is fully incorporated into their music so it’s unrealistic to say the listener can separate them.

    • March 25, 2015 at 7:08 am — Reply

      in case you missed something, black metal is generally hateful music

    • March 25, 2015 at 9:55 am — Reply

      Mike, I couldn’t agree more.

  35. March 25, 2015 at 1:14 am — Reply

    ^^^ it must be great walking through life so simple minded.

    • March 25, 2015 at 1:54 am — Reply

      shut the fuck up retard

    • March 25, 2015 at 2:59 am — Reply

      That’s some brilliant shit. Maybe you can shut me up when you done sucking my huge dick.

  36. March 25, 2015 at 1:08 am — Reply

    who cares about their political beliefs some nsbm is great, you don’t automatically buy into their ideology by listening to it

    • March 25, 2015 at 2:50 am — Reply

      Thus, using the same reason, can you listen to some white metal bands ?

    • March 25, 2015 at 2:51 am — Reply

      i sure can.

    • March 25, 2015 at 3:02 am — Reply

      So, are you suggesting a epistemological rupture on the conservative basis of moral valours inside metal universe?

      It’s a truly progressist way of thinking when we think about a so conservative genre as NSBM.

    • March 25, 2015 at 3:04 am — Reply

      yes i am. listen to what sounds good.

    • March 25, 2015 at 6:03 am — Reply

      Assuming you pay for their music or merch, you are literally buying into their ideology. Just because you don’t agree with it, doesn’t mean you’re not tacitly supporting it.

    • March 25, 2015 at 7:04 am — Reply

      well i dont pay for it, so i couldnt care less. some bands are too good not to listen to just because the members have retarded views

  37. March 25, 2015 at 12:52 am — Reply

    Is there a release date yet?

  38. March 25, 2015 at 12:30 am — Reply

    Gross

  39. March 25, 2015 at 12:20 am — Reply

    Black Metal is a genre that likes to espouse freedom of the individual above the good of society; that’s not exactly compatible with uniting as the white race to annihilate the impure. That’s one of the reasons that NSBM is hilarious: You can’t be pro-freedom and wrapped up in oppression, too.

    The whole NSBM genre is so contradictory, it’s impossible to take seriously. Politics have no place in Black Metal – or in music in general.

    • March 25, 2015 at 1:49 am — Reply

      hell yeah, word!! let me see your nice NSBM shirts on any blackmetal show in berlin city and I rip it off your rottin’ carcass – stop invading my black-metal music with your fucked up politics you stupid motherfucks – get a life.

    • March 25, 2015 at 1:54 am — Reply

      Damn straight! Gotta love punching nazi cunts – no matter what you do to them, you don’t feel bad. ;D

  40. March 25, 2015 at 12:06 am — Reply

    Gustavo Sc

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