First There Was #GamerGate, Now There is #MetalGate

Apparently MetalGate is a new thing. Much like GamerGate, where gamers who just wanted to be left alone rebelled against heavy-handed PC warriors who were trying to change their thing, here heavy metal listeners are reacting to liberal PC warriors attempting to insinuate themselves into the metal scene, apparently largely by inhabiting its websites and pushing kinder-and-gentler bands.

Here is another good article on the subject.

A linked article within the first article I linked above reveals that apparently some people believe that heavy metal is a bastion of “deep-seated conservative values.” I would not go so far as to call heavy metal conservative. Heavy metal is anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment and masculine, being as it is the genre of testosterone addled young males of the contrarian sort.

I am a child of the 80s, when metal was a big deal, so I am speaking more from my experience with it then. Because it was big at the time, it likely was more prone to attract dabblers and poseurs. Now that it is more of a niche genre that likely has to be sought out, I suspect this anti-authoritarian, masculine dynamic is likely more true. I’m not all that up on the modern music scene, so I could be wrong.

Being anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment is not inherently conservative, but since our modern authority and establishment is unrelentingly liberal, it can be functionally so. I would describe metal as illiberal as is rap. And being masculine and contrarian, it is unlikely to take crap from PC thought policers.

This anti-establishment and anti-authority bent is what made heavy metal clash with traditional values Christians in the 80’s. I have never been a fan of metal, even in its heyday, even though I had some friends who liked it. I didn’t find it pleasant to listen too. It’s not the type of music you can listen to and chill. It hypes you up. That is its purpose. I’ve never wanted to be hyped up after a hard days work. I want to relax, but that’s just me. And I also think that its Christian critics were correct in that it was deliberately subversive of Christianity. And while I don’t doubt that a lot of that was more show than real, I still think there were a lot of stupid and vulnerable kids who got sucked up by all of it.

But while Christianity was a reigning authority to be anti-ed in the 80s with its buzz kill message of no drugs and no sex before marriage, Christianity is in cultural retreat these days so heavy metal finds itself at odds with the even more militantly puritanical enforcers of rightthink. I’m willing to consider the metal heads allies against a common enemy. We can go our own ways once the Cathedral (Steve Sailer thinks the Megaphone is a better term for it) is destroyed.

A couple of more thoughts. One would be forgiven for thinking that there may be a coordinated effort going on here to identify holdouts against the Megaphone and infiltrate them, since what is happening in metal appears to be very similar to the early stages of gamer infiltration, especially the focus on fan websites.

I interested in Hawthorne’s thoughts, since he is more of a fan.

14 thoughts on “First There Was #GamerGate, Now There is #MetalGate

  1. weavercht

    Heavy metal has some conservative groups that have produced pure traditionalist songs, such as Valhalla by Blind Guardian that I posted here in the past. The song is about a “wizard” freeing a people from their gods, their fantasies. And then the people realising they can’t live without gods to guide their lives.

    Additionally, metal can be conservative, because a person with deep faith, deep attachments is going to be willing to sacrifice, struggle, and suffer to serve those ties. Think Sparta. Spartans serve Sparta, not pleasure and greed.

    An atheist is more inclined to say, “Life is short, and there’s nothing more than this life. So enjoy it, sacrifice for nothing, pursue raw pleasure only. Those who sacrifice are either masochists or puppets.”

    If you’ve ever talked with one of these Satanists who claim Christians enjoy being around suffering, because they tend to surround themselves with such; then you’ll get how scary atheism can be. Obviously Christians don’t desire suffering, but Satanists twist everything. Suffering can perhaps make a person better, but that isn’t the sort of suffering the Satanists refer to. They say Christians desire the weak and flawed, desire them to suffer for suffering’s sake, and desire the expansion of said suffering. Satanists are dangerous.

    Anyway, metal does admittedly have Satanism in it too, a great many Satanists actually. It’s just not as pure counterculture. Blind Guardian began as Satanist I want to say (the leader singer is now “culturally Christian”). Metallica is of course Satanist. I expect some “Satanists” aren’t necessarily true Satanists. As with Communism, you might find there are “good” self-avowed communists even if communism itself is very evil.

    But grunge was promoted in the 90s by MTV and similar powers to replace metal, because grunge is more purely an alt-counterculture. Alternative countercultures all promote essentially the same counterculture. They only offer new flavours. The idea is that no matter which side you choose, you’re choosing the same counterculture. No escape, no path to external ideas.


  2. hawthornecht


    My observations on metal, and its Christian/Southern Mid West Prots, detractors (see Tipper Gore, Phelps…) is that it was a version of puritanism that attacked the Pagan past of Europe. That is why the same group called Tolkien (probably the single most important influence on Metal/Hard Rock), Lewis, D&D, satanic.

    PC is just another form of Puritanism, IMO. The SJC is just the new version of the Prot crusading spirit.

    Metallica was never satanic. The only genre that defines itself for its satanism, was 2nd Wave Norwegian Black Metal, whose most famous/infamous performer Varg Vikerness called his band/music Burzum which means “darkness” in the Black Speech, a fictional language crafted by Tolkien.


  3. roho

    I’m beginning to wonder if anybody can still sing? The new technology brought into the music industry from the geological industry is disheartening. Good local blues bands in a small venue may be last true performances?

    Need More Proof That The Music Industry Is A Fake?


  4. Matt

    I don’t know about this. Gamergate happened because games are becoming fairly mainstream and culturally significant, but as you point out metal had its heyday and is now passe. The degree depends on how close to the surface you are, but metal tends to be anti-liberal when it is anything. Deep down you’ll find outright racism, anti-semitism, anti-christianity, etc but the vast majority of bands are basically apolitical. I don’t know of any metal that matches up with America’s peculiar brand of conservatism though.


  5. redphillips Post author

    There is a verse in the Bible that says something to the effect of “everything that is not for God is against Him.” This has led some people to then describe everything that isn’t explicitly Christian as of Satan. While this is technically true in the sense that the verse means it, it is an unfortunate usage. Better to describe it as unwholesome or unedifying or something, so you don’t sound like a nut to people who aren’t in on your in group language.

    I honestly think that there are very few real Satanists because to be a Satanist you have to concede broad parts of the Christian narrative. Presumably they are aware of the back of the Book and know it doesn’t go well. That whole lake of fire thing. So a true Satanist must either think Hell is a great place or that they can somehow change the outcome. Most so-called Satanists I suspect are simply hedonists who reject traditional morality and may have some pagan or occultist beliefs, but really aren’t throwing their hat in with the Satan of the Bible.


  6. hawthornecht


    Don’t you think most of these sorts of divides were ethnic defense systems, that then turned into off shoots of religion? And yes on Satanism. Inverting Christianity, is still a version of Christianity–and after the Satanists supported the invasion of Iraq, I think the theme is pretty clear here.


  7. weavercht

    I’ve admittedly never followed Metallica closely, but Lars Ulrich is a Satanist. He used to be called the leader of the band, but now wiki says there are two leaders. It used to be said on TV anyway that he was a Satanist, and my friends growing up always said he was. A google search brings up his time in Slayer.

    There is a lot of it in metal too. I… hear the references. I don’t think the people are necessarily true Satanists, but they claim to be to scare people or else just enjoy the Satanic Bible and similar anti-religious positions without taking it far. Satanism isn’t the worship of Satan btw.

    Just as children can play games, I expect most “Satanists” are just playing a game with it, not deeply embracing the ideas or putting much thought into them. It’s a shocking word, but at its core it’s just atheism really.


  8. weavercht

    Blind Guardian formed as “Lucifer’s Heritage”, then changed name (source: wiki). Anyway, some of that is just for show, but I’d thought there’s more to it as well.

    The Satanic Bible is widely read though. I had kids at my school reading it and holding seances. It’s similar to Randian Objectivism. They’re atheist, pursue individual pleasure and power, encourage impiety and freedom from any binding ties. It’s a philosophy really, one I very much don’t like.

    Perhaps it doesn’t encourage self-destruction though. It’s anarchistic, individualistic, power-seeking (for the individual). I’ve only talked with such people, never studied it.


  9. weavercht


    Satanism is a specific movement founded by Anton LeVey. Wiki has an article on it, and there is a Satanic Bible.

    I did not misuse the word as you believe me to have done. Those who “worship Satan” are called “Satan worshippers” – an entirely different thing.

    Perhaps we should use different terms, but I’m using society’s terms here, not my own.


  10. weavercht

    There used to be a professionally done website exposing MTV and/or similar media outlets.

    Someone put in the effort to build an amazing site on the matter, yet I don’t have the link anymore. It was up in the past decade anyway.

    A movement is just a vehicle. Anyone can use it. So, none of these movements are inherently bad. They can be whatever they’re used to be.

    Take the Tea Party. It could be used for goals we support or oppose. We do find big money behind many things, so it’s not a deranged conspiracy theory to assume there’s more behind the counter-culture than mere profit motive. We’ve seen Soros funding churches, for example, and we have the Frankfurt School. I don’t intend to keep up with the powers-that-be myself. If you see there’s a culture war, there’s no need for everyone to individually document and follow who does what.


  11. redphillips Post author

    Weaver, don’t you think a lot of these Satanists are play acting, just like a lot of modern day pagans are playacting? How many Satanists actually worship or even believe in Lucifer the fallen angel? If you really believe in Lucifer, isn’t worshiping him pretty much a sure lose proposition. Likewise, how many of the alt right pagans actually believe in Odin?

    That said, my main point was that when a certain type of Christian says something or someone is Satanic, what they generally mean is not pointing to or leading to God or consistent with the Christian lifestyle.


  12. hawthornecht

    Lars Ulrich was never in Slayer, is not a satanist, and his band, Metallica did not engage in satanic imagery–Slayer did, but Slayer was not satanic (or “Nazi fascists”). Lars’s fellow Dane, King Diamond, was a theatrical satanist, but listening to his music and Mercyful Fate, there isn’t much Satanism to speak of.

    You might be interested, the first real Occult/Satanic band to get some popularity (Top 40), Coven, was rather easy listening.

    Second Wave Norwegian Black Metal (e.g. church burnings) is the only genre of Metal defined by its satanism, but that is a one off community.


  13. roho

    LOL!……………….Anton Zander Levay is most likely dead by now!……..I met him at the East End Hospital in 1973 in Birmingham Alabama. I was friends with a wanna be witch that looked like CHER at the time, had been in a motorcycle accident, and he entered the room to see how she was doing?…………..Not saved at that time, I was impressed, (Regardless of his asshole demeaner) and used the Cher (Look a like) to move on to my next relationship. (A hotty-totty German Airline Stewardess.)……….Levay was a con artist opportunist exploiting the SEVENTIES desire for drug culture awareness and enlightenment?………….No biggie?…..He was an asshole and I moved on without him, her, and her mother’s sick covenant shit!


    Jesus is the truth!


  14. Pingback: #metalgate defies critics, continues growing | Death Metal Underground

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