May 1, 2020

10 Nazi-Punching Metal Albums to Celebrate May Day

By Kim Kelly. Happy May Day! Around the world, May 1 is traditionally celebrated as International Workers Day (except in the U.S. where our craven authoritarian government pushes “Loyalty Day” on us instead). It’s a time for love, and solidarity, and joy, but is also a day for rage and protest.
By Kim Kelly.

Happy May Day! Around the world, May 1 is traditionally celebrated as International Workers Day (except in the U.S. where our craven authoritarian government pushes “Loyalty Day” on us instead). It’s a time for love, and solidarity, and joy, but is also a day for rage and protest. Normally, many of us would be in the streets today, but given the current reality of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the best thing we can do for our fellow humans right now is stay inside. One small silver lining there is that, right now, we have an opportunity to extend some support to our fellow members of the music community who are struggling to make ends meet right now—the bands and artists who are stuck at home alongside the rest of us, unable to tour or play live during what would usually be a busy springtime touring season.

Bandcamp will be waiving their fees today, which means that every penny of every purchase will go directly to artists. They did this last year, too, and the response was so enormous that their website could barely handle all the traffic (I have a feeling there will be a repeat this year, but at least now we know we’ll need to be patient in getting our precious new tunes). As a small token of my appreciation for their labor, I wanted to put together a little list of bands that I am especially excited to support today, and share a few of them with you (a much longer list of recommendations will be public on my Patreon as of 2PM EST). Some may be familiar to you already, and some may not, but all of them have two very important things in common: they’re actively trying to make the world a better place, and they fuckin’ hate Nazis (which you could roll up into one, really). Happy listening!

Voarm doesn’t just dabble in darkness; this Richmond black metal collective (gathered from the ashes of Argentinum Astrum) invites it in, offers it a cup of tea, and settles into its lightless, suffocating embrace. Their doom-laden spin on the genre summons up punishing, magisterial riffs, weighed down with swaths of smothering distortion, and beckons you closer into the abyss.

It’s been over a decade since we last heard from these black/death anti-civilization stalwarts, but recent stirrings of life on their end (and the enduring timeliness of their anti-racist, anti-oppressive, pro-environment message) made me want to include them on this list. As the world burns around us and an invisible plague lays bare the gaping structural flaws upon which our modern society has been hastily constructed, bands like Peregrine remind us that things don’t have to be this way.

These Texas troublemakers skirt the line between punk and metal, but their fierce leftist politics and battering-ram intensity make them the perfect candidates for mention on a day celebrating radical working class resistance. Their live presence is unsurpassed, and their music—a gritty melange of hardcore punk, crust, sludge, doom and even skramz— is the perfect soundtrack for an uprising.

This Boston outfit bends sharp fragments of noise to suit its paranoid vision, drafting in elements of grindcore, industrial, and depressive black metal as they go. Their debut LP is discomfiting, ambitious, and impossible to tear oneself away from once its horrors begin to unfurl.

Denver's premier sludgy black/death miscreants are back with some new blood; this time, there's some nice, rotten Domination vibes involved, and their death metal proclivities are on full display. This is just one teaser track for what hopefully will be a new album, but even that is enough to whet the appetites of the unholy (and I still haven’t gotten over their “Fuck Nazi Sympathy” cover).

One of the prime architects of post-black metal has uploaded some of his most cherished releases on Bandcamp, and not a moment too soon. I’m especially partial to the Manchester, UK artist’s 2009 self-titled EP, but there are lots of gems to sift through for those who enjoy their black metal with a twist of the experimental, the spacey, the emotional, and the strange.

Artwork by Guang Yang.

Straight outta the Bay Area’s hyper-capitalist hellscape, these California nightmares dole out bloody HM2 worship with sacrilegious glee. Sworn to the old school, rooted in the classics, and armed with the chops to pull off aggressive modern death without lapsing into proggy fretboard Olympics territory, Ripped to Shreds is a disgusting delight.

Artwork by Florian-Ayala Fauna.

Adzes’ raison d'etre has long been to churn out socially conscious, noisy, atmospheric sludge with teeth, and this latest entry into their anti-capitalist canon seems finds them even more woebegone over the fate of our dying planet. Taken off the band’s upcoming full-length debut, the pair of tracks currently live on Bandcamp tell a dreary tale of dashed hopes and burning radical potential.

The buzz around Cascadian black metal as a micro-genre has lain dormant for the past few years, but Awenden is a shining example of how lovely the form can be when executed well. Golden Hour offers shimmering melodic black metal that's bursting with light, and aligned against the evils of empire, fascism, and civilization.

Talk about an antifascist metal (and hardcore) dream team. This four-way split between reactivated metalcore greats Racetraitor, antifascist war machine Neckbeard Deathcamp, high-intensity grind force Closet Witch, and raw black metal storm Haggathorn makes for an essential combination of brutality, integrity, and blastbeats.

1 comment:
  1. Holy Hell, I didn't realize Kim Kelly wrote here as well! You are a huge inspiration to me, Kim, as a metalhead and human in general. Thank you for being you.