A fruitful synthesis between art and metapolitics, both parts of the covered event held Dec. 17, 2016 in Kyiv, be it an open talk with the musicians of Peste Noire and M8L8TH or a succeeding short conference with the participation of Ukrainian guest speakers, launched a long-anticipated field exploration of the ideocratic, worldview-shaping potential of Black Metal in response to sociopolitical challenges of today. The pre-festival conference and festival itself were marked by yet another significant presence: the honorable guest of the events was Hendrik Möbus of Absurd, the legendary band that is highly anticipated at the next Asgardsrei fest.
In the wake of alleged WWIII-triggering incidents and tendencies (the siege of Aleppo, an assassination of a Russian ambassador in Ankara, a Ukrainian counterstrike against Kremlin-backed militants in the Donbas, 3 shot in Zurich by a “Swiss” gunman and, last but not least, a Nice-inspired terror attack in Berlin which remained unreported by the largest federal channels like ZDF and ARD), symbolism of the “steel pact” under the aegis of the Reconquista project, this time between the European West and East, is ever more relevant. XXth century Europe in the search for the former grandeur and sovereignty, once split between competing for world domination regimes, finally gets a chance to reunite against novel civilizational threats – novel but favored by well familiar citadels of an ideological warfare against the European culture and peoples.
In defiance of a both ignorant and generously sponsored picture of Ukrainian nationalists as an anti-Russian pawn in the offensive of the West played out on a geopolitical chessboard, the event was also held under the auspices of Russian Center established by the anti-Putin Russian nationalist opposition in Kyiv. Such extension of the Eastern party of the “pact of steel” implies that the ongoing Reconquista should be carried out in two subsequent complementary directions, Western European and Russian, each resting on their own yet overlapping “springboards” – Intermarium and new Kyivan Rus. Answers to related questions by French Peste Noire and Russian M8L8TH left no doubts that the alternative lies in the third way hailing from the relentless nationalist struggle, Ukrainian in particular.
The first part of the event, a conversation with M8L8TH and Peste Noire in the question-answer format, may be easily summarized as follows: “Can a Black Metal artist be free of politics, in a broad sense, today and have no stance on a current situation in Europe?”, which was also one of the questions from the audience. Both the M8L8TH band that had to emigrate from Russia to Ukraine for political reasons and Peste Noire, the latest object of deranged witch hunt allowed by the “politically correct” concert venues organizers (German Sinister Howling, Norwegian Blastfest), demonstrated the highest standards of independent thought and the genuine artists’ epochal awareness while answering such questions. “Today, the true and only heresy within the Black Metal scene, is to be anti-liberal,” was unequivocally admitted by Famine and all the open talk participants. “To sing about honor, you have to keep up with ideals yourself. To sing about war, you have to be a warrior in reality,” reminded of the M8L8TH creed Alexey. In this context, were also interactively discussed the opportunities for the development of the truly non-conformist extreme metal scene provided by post-revolutionary Ukraine.
The rest of the questions by conference participants from Ukraine, Russia, Croatia, Netherlands, Germany and other countries were no less fascinating and thought-provoking, varying from an opinion of Peste Noire about the legacy of French Revolution or figures like Robert Brasillach and Pierre Drieu la Rochelle to an attitude of straight edge M8L8TH to alcohol being a well-known part of Peste Noire’s scenic image or issues like whether it is possible to be a die-hard fan of both Peste Noire and Alcest and why (in view of an overestimated initial affinity and a myth of subsequent discord between KPN and Neige).
The second part of the event, in fact, summarized the most important insights of the preceding conversation, albeit presented an additional metapolitical program. An opening speech entitled “What is Music for in a Destitute Time?” in reference to a famous essay by Martin Heidegger (“What are Poets for in Destitute Times?”) was made by Sviatoslav Vyshynsky, an author of “Metaphysica Nova,” who dwelled on the poesis of Black Metal.
“The dark music is part of the great mystery of death and resurrection, and not coincidentally the philosophy of the Black Arts, paradoxically, is teetering on the edge of the Tradition (the Paganism and the Nationalism) – and the Revolution (the Satanism and the Nihilism). The very definition of « orthodoxy” in the Black Metal is associated with subversion and overcoming the light Tradition, its negation, since the mission of the apocalyptic riders – is not to sow but reap, to summarize what is done,“ concluded Sviatoslav, having stressed that this rider, « a poet of the Dark Age, saddles the infernal horses, overtakes the Death, not to be caught by the Death itself.”
The next speaker was Ivan Mikheev, a political emigrant and a representative of Russian Center – a coordination platform of the Russian nationalist opposition in Kyiv. His speech, “The Horizons of Neo-Paganism,” was a brave inquiry into the prospects of Heathenism’s revival today and the strategy of its coexistence with Christianity and, broader, monotheistic religions – tolerant only on condition of the latter’s tolerance to Heathenism, above all, the one taking an institutional shape.
The metapolitical component of the event as such was disclosed in a speech by Olena Semenyaka, the Conservative Revolution researcher, – “Aristocracy of the Spirit and the Great European Reconquista.” Having elaborated on the history of a term “the nobility of the spirit,” echoing the meritocratic, elitist ideals discussed within the previous part of the conference, she connected its fullest embodiment on the Pan-European scale according to Julius Evola (the knighthood in times of the crusades) to the volunteer movements of the XXth century and the cultural and geopolitical mission of the ongoing Ukrainian Reconquista.
The real basis of the latter – the achievements of the Ukrainian nationalist AZOV Movement, was presented in detail by “Lycurgus.” His speech covered the military feats and civil projects of the movement, as well as geopolitical initiatives of its recently created political party “National Corps” – Intermarium as a springboard for the Pan-European Reconquista.
The second part of the event ended with a summary of the speech by an important Latvian guest of the conference Agris Purvins, a chairman of the Society of General Pēter Radziņs, a Latvian theorist of Intermarium who also conducted a military service in the ranks of Ukrainian People’s Republic army of Symon Petliura and the military of Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky. Afterwards, were made a number of interviews with the supportive of Ukrainian nationalists visitors from Poland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Germany, and other countries. Expect the conference videos soon.