Daily Caller: Over the past two weeks, noted radical leftist organization Antifa decided (rather arbitrarily) to impose its own interpretation and enforcement on what should and should not be consumed by American music fans. Norwegian black metal band, Taake, was set to perform a number of shows on its upcoming North American tour but ran into trouble as Antifa members reportedly threatened venues where Taake was performing. Antifa members also appear to have threatened concertgoers and individuals involved in the production of Taake’s shows.
Utilizing Twitter and Facebook (apparently NOT violating either’s terms of service), Antifa communicated its marching orders and public threats.
Antifa, which propagates the narrative that it’s not an “organization” in order to publicly seed a grassroots identity, is indeed very organized and it acts, in many cases, as a militia armed with baseball bats, pepper spray, tear gas and other instruments of violence.
The chief argument Antifa and its sympathizers make is that Taake is a “Nazi” band because frontman, Hoest, once donned a painted swastika on his chest at one performance in Germany in 2007 with rather negative fallout. Hoest, a black metal musician for the past 25 years, has been a well-respected artist in the Norwegian metal scene and is known for his strong disdain of Abrahamic religions, which is not unusual in black metal music. It’s important, however, to note that being against a belief system is much different than a disregard for the followers of a belief system — and Hoest has never shown a propensity to hold religious individuals in contempt. He is certainly not a member of any far-right or neo-Nazi organization. In fact, Taake is one of many recent artists to perform in Tel Aviv, Israel.
While the allure of particularly heavy bands like Taake escape many, it’s clear that there are tens of thousands of metal fans who find value in the band’s art and music. As someone who has studied both controversial black metal music and horror films extensively as an academic, it’s important to note that symbols of evil have been used many times to denote a particular disposition, create a certain setting and make a specific statement about the nature of humanity and transgression. Hoest is profoundly influenced by German horror filmmaker, Jorg Buttgereit, who found himself a target of German authorities upon the release of the film Der Todesking. read more