I don't suppose this article is of interest to anyone who has no interest in this genre of music. 'Heavy Metal Confronts Its Nazi Problem' by Colin Moynihan, published in The New Yorker on 16 February 2019.
This article was a lot to digest. It was in part a comment inspired by a weekend metal festival Black Flags Over Brooklyn, organized by Kim Kelly. It's not a review of the festival, it's tracing the link of how music and politics are now more closely tied than ever.
Held over 25-26 January 2019, Black Flags "... was organized as probably New York City’s first anti-Fascist extreme-metal show. It was planned partly as a celebration of an underground form of music that has traditionally thrived on images of drama and danger, and partly as a response to a subgenre known as National Socialist black metal, which espouses neo-Nazi views and has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as aiming to recruit youth to white-supremacist causes."
I love doom metal. Metal soothed the angst of my youth, it calms my adult aggression. Did I know what I was listening to? Of course? I went to school, I could read and discern between what lyrics read and what adults said in criticisms or reviews. Back then, I was told that it was Satanic and unholy and it's the occult's doorway to hell and such. Duhhh. Now the danger isn't the sanctity of my eternal soul. Of late, the term NSBM has been trending. National Socialist Black Metal. Far right metal. To me, this is not a good thing.
The festival, he said, could be seen as part of an effort to reassert the spirit of metal, which has a history of challenging power and giving people who don’t feel connected to the world around them a place to belong. “The promise of the underground, regardless of the style, whether it’s metal or punk or hardcore or grindcore or whatever, is one of subversion and resistance,” he said. “Danger isn’t about punching down. It’s about punching up.”