Neo fascist band Marduk playing Auckland and Wellington

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Swedish death metal band Marduk is billed to play at the King's Arms in Auckland on Saturday, 11 March and in Wellington at Valhalla on Sunday, 12 March.

Marduk is a band that uses a lot of Nazi and WWII imagery, texts and references and has no problem being associated with the neo-Nazi scene. They have toured with Ad Hominem, and played with other known neo-Nazi bands like Satanic Warmaster, Acherontas, Akitsa and Funeral Winds. They have appeared at gigs organised by German neo-Nazis.

In February, they toured North America – a gig in Austin was protested and one in San Francisco was cancelled by the cops after the Bay Area Antifa and Black Lives Matter published posts on their Facebook pages, calling on the venue to call off the gig.

From one of the facebook posts:

Heads up: The Oakland Metro Operahouse has scheduled to host Marduk, a black metal band with known white supremacist ties from Sweden that profits off of glorifying Nazi imagery and songs about Nazi SS officers and anti-semitism, on Saturday, February 18th.

Marduk has just kicked off a tour in the U.S. called Frontschwein North America 2017 tour. ‘Frontschwein’ is the name of their latest album which is entirely about the Third Reich. The term ‘Frontschwein’ (meaning Frontline Pig) refers to the nickname given to Nazi field marshal Walther Model because he preferred to lead from the front and was known for his abuse and crudity.

One of Marduk’s album is called ‘Panzer Division Marduk’ (referring to the Nazi armored tank division in WWII). Another Marduk album, ‘Warschau’ (the site of a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust), uses photos of Nazi tanks rolling through the rubble of Poland as cover and booklet artwork. ...

The full posts can be found here.

While there are a few inaccuracies in the post (e.g. the term Frontschwein was used to refer to any front line soldier, it wasn’t just field marshal Walther Model’s nickname), this doesn’t take anything away from the fact that Marduk have never distanced themselves from Nazi ideology.

After the cancellation of the Oakland gig, the Metro Operahouse responded with this:

“In the last week we have read interview after interview with Marduk spanning over the last 20 years and found no statements indicating the band are white supremacists, nationalists, or anti-immigrant.”

This is incredibly naïve at best or deliberately misleading at worst. It is not what they say but what they do. It is the very hallmark of Nazi bands to never openly say that they are Nazis, but to leave everything ambiguous. To give a taste of this, in an article on Invisible Oranges, Marduk frontman Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson is quoted a couple of days after the cancelled gig as saying: “For me, it’s about doing what I do and believing what I’m doing and marching across the world,” and he says that he wants to go to Africa “which we’re hoping to have conquered within the nearest year.” This is simply a clever way of avoiding criminal charges – anyone who wants to understand the message will do so, while these statements would never be sufficient to land anyone in court.

So Marduk may have never openly expressed fascist views, but they are using Nazi themes, imagery and references, without ever having distanced themselves from it. Håkansson claims to have made the album Frontschwein about WWII simply because he is a history buff, but none of the songs show any distance to the perpetrators.

Here’s a few lines from the song Afrika from their latest album Frontschwein (accompanied by a Nazi propaganda video showing German tanks rolling through the desert, which ends with the swastika flag flying over graves of German soldiers):

Futile struggle – an ocean of merciless sand
Invincible waves of fleas and flies
Iron nights and days of steel – at any cost shall we make them bleed
The tanks roll forward in Afrika – Afrika

Desert fox versus desert rats
A march through endless clouds of dust
Scorched iron oasis – desert blitz – Afrika – Afrika

This is not just someone being interested in history, this someone writing about their heroes.

Another example is the song Blooddawn:

Storming forth with dreadful guns
To obliterate the chosen ones
Hear our warcry as we reign the battlefield
Now you can't hide behind no shelter nor shield
The heavens will bleed when the angels fall
Gunned down by the soldiers who have heard our call

The anti-Semitic references are all too obvious, although not explicit.

Do we really want bands like this to play here?

Comments

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WW II was billed as an effort to stop fascism. But using scorched earth tactics such as the fire bombing of Dresden and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima were both fascist like atrocities. Did victory for the Allies stop fascism? Or perhaps set it up for a comeback at a later time? People are increasingly terrified of the change required to move away from an exploitative culture ahead into a more cooperative culture and sustainable future. Do they prefer a dictatorial culture which would prevent this change?

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