Listening in on the National Socialist Black Metal Scene

Black metal music may line the shelves of your local record stores, but you probably won't come across "national socialist black metal"(NSBM). This political sub-genre is a few clicks away, though, for any restless youth with a computer.

On websites trafficking in black metal and other "extreme music," the tunes and wares of NSBM bands — especially Varg Vikernes' Burzum and Hendrik Möbus' Absurd — are highly popular items. Some sites are devoted exclusively to the genre. What follows is a sampling of NSBM on the Internet:

www.nsbm.com
This site offers an array of national socialist, racist Odinist, and other white power music. With swastikas bordering its opening statement, there is no mistaking the neo-Nazi orientation.

"Our movement will not stop with social disapproval or the weak-willed scheming of our adversaries," the site's home page declares. "We are here with the nihilistic truth which warriors will hear to the sounds of the protests of the weak — to war!"

The site carries a 1999 Intelligence Report article on NSBM that it acknowledges "does an above-average job in addressing the genre historically.

But nsbm.com disputes the Intelligence Report's contention that neo-Nazis have appropriated black metal; rather, "the truth is more that as a logical part of its extension black metal has discovered National Socialism."

Burzum, according to the NSBM site, turns out "gentle symphonies of music designed to evoke ancient pagan and mystical feeling." Asburd, in contrast, is "ridiculous, dissonant, honest, powerful. ... Immature and turbulent. It delivers everything that black metal can through melody and all that violent hardcore has ever offered through rhythm." MP3 samples of both bands' music are included.

www.blackmetal.com
This "extreme underground metal" site offers an extensive medley of choices for the neo-Nazi black metal aficionado. The site touts itself "as a reference guide to your unholy excursion into the dark, evil world of BLACK METAL."

Reflecting the popularity of Burzum, blackmetal.com carries 15 listings for the band's offerings (many are sold out). Two t-shirts bearing the group's logo and other symbols are available in short-sleeved and long-sleeved versions.

Also listed is Absurd's CD "Asgardsrei," although it, too, is temporarily unavailable.

www.burzum.com
The "Official Burzum Page" features graphics with an unsettling "Blair Witch Project" feel. Visitors can read the biography of the "misunderstood" Vikernes, and his essay entitled "Civilization," a self-proclaimed "revolutionary document" that "outlines his life philosophy and his vision for a future."

Vikernes also tackles such topics as "Mother Earth, Tolkien, the power of fantasy, radical environmentalism and space travel."

This site is huge, and all Vikernes' music and related merchandise is listed, though, again, much of it is unavailable. In the guestbook, there is commentary from fans and critics alike.