The French NSBM group Seigneur Voland are making a comeback after a 15 year long hiatus. The band was formed in 1996 and have not been active since 2004. The prime movers of the band are Anthony “Xaphan” Mignoni an “Lenrauth”, and their career begun already in the early 1990s when they formed the NSBM band Funeral. Soon after, singer Mignoni was sentenced to prison on the charges of overturning gravestones, hate speech, illegal threats and downplaying crimes against humanity (Wolves Among the Sheep s.215-217 ). On the date of June 8th 1996, Mignoni and an accomplice dug up the remains of a 20 year old woman, which probably affected the sentence. While Mignoni served time in jail (around 1996-1999), Lenrauth continued solo with Funeral, which he renamed Kristallnacht. To understand Seigneur Voland we must take a closer look on their earlier musical endeavours like Kristallnacht.
The solo project took its name from German pogroms of 1938 that foreshadowed the Holocaust. Most Kristallnacht lyrics praise the Third Reich and feature open antisemitism. The interesting thing is that the lyrics are not even hidden behind neo-pagan and nationalist euphemisms like many other NSBM lyrics – Kristallnacht presented their national socialist themes openly. Lenrauth also spent three months in jail in the mid-2000s for spreading Nazi propaganda ja co-operating with the bonehead organisation Charlemagne Hammer Skins (Wolves Among the Sheep s. 215-217 ). Here is an lyrical excerpt from Kristallnacht – Kristallnacht:
Jews have perverted our bodies and spirits
for too long enslavement led us to decadence
But beasts of prey with pride in their hearts
will spill inferior blood to bring forth our splendour.
Death is calling in the name of Aryan Rebirth
Jewish Oppressors will fall as victims thus hierarchy rest
This night we will celebrate our triumph
Earth is scorched, purification has finally come.
A will to create, A will to rule
I will reverse the Jewish values
Freedom, Equality, Fraternity
Will be a part of a forgotten history
Burning all traces from our enemies
To glorify ourselves and erase their moral
Loyalty I have sworn
And excellence I am now longing for!
In typical Nazi propaganda fashion, the lyrics praise the ethnic cleansing of Jews and the destruction of humanist “slave morals” by raw power and might. “Liberty, equality, fraternity” is a reference to the French Revolution of 1789 which is perceived as a historically important event for humanist and liberal values along with the February Revolution of 1848. The anti-Enlightenment and elitist Nazis however, saw them as proof of a Jewish conspiracy and wanted to diminish their importance.
While in jail, Mignoni founded an new band: Seigneur Voland. When he was released from jail he was joined by Lenrauth who then disbanded Kristallnacht soon after. The lyrical themes of Seigneur Voland is more subtle than the straightforward ideology of Kristallnacht, but the fascist ideology and antisemitism is still present. The lyrics usually follow the same blueprint: the degeneracy and decline of civilization is peaking and the Jews are in power – the only antidote is aryan resistance which will lead the people back to a perceived golden age. A good example you can find, for example, in the lyrics in Dernier bastion blanc (“The last white fortress”).
The message of the song is typical Holocaust praising Nazi propaganda. Jews and other minorites are seen as “beings without honour” and animals that are destroyed by ruthless superhumans, creating an ethnically and morally clean empire. Themes like “yellow stars” and “twelve tribes” are references to Jews.
Apart from being in Seigneur Voland and Kristallnacht, Mignoni an Lenrauth have been active in other black metal projects as well. Mignoni made appearances in NSBM groups Pogrom (2002) and Vouivre (2017). Lenrauth used to own the now defunct NSBM label WarSpirit, which published NSBM band Capricornus as well as his own Kristallnacht and Seigneur Voland. Lenrauth have also co-operated with Finnish black metal musician Ville “Shatraug” Pystynen of Horna and Sargeist, publishing their “greatest hits” records in 2004 and 2005 on his new label Adversary. Lenrauth also was featured on a Sargeist record in 2008.
Mignoni has spoken openly about his Nazi ideology in a 666-zine interview:
In Seigneur Voland, the topics are the same – my way to talk about the glorious past, anti-Semitism, revisionism and war against ZOG is more vivid and symbolic. […] enrolling is not my goal, music is not my goal either […] I totally agree with anti-democracy, laws on blood, racial and ethical purges, extermination of human wastes; I admire Adolf Hitler’s will to found a neo-pagan empire in Europe. If you consider these topics as “politic”, so Seigneur Voland is a political association of spirits and art. (Wolves Among the Sheep s.217, originally in 666-zine #2 1999-2000)
Evil was founded 1994 in Brasil and is the best known NSBM band to emerge from the country. Like so many other bands in the genre, Evil combine fascism with pagan myths. Like other Brazilian NSBM bands they make use of local Brazilian white racism, where inhabitants with Portuguese colonialist ancestors are considered to be higher in the hierarchy than inhabitants with native, black slave or “mixed race” ancestors. In the early days the band used more Nazi imagery than today, when Evil tried to distance themselves a bit from the crude NSBM image. One of the reasons are that the band have gotten into trouble back home in Brazil. In 2001 the police raided the home of singer and founding member Luiz Carloz Oliveira, confiscating his computer. Oliveira was suspected of spreading violent propaganda through his record label Souther Productions. Apart from publishing NSBM music the raid probably was caused by band member and ex-member Henrique Velasco, who together with 17 other skinheads killed a homosexual man and beating up his friend in 2000. Velasco was sentenced to 20 years for murder in 2002 and died in prison six years later.
Evil have made several split record with other NSBM bands, like Aryan Blood, S.A.R, Thallium, Moonblood, Bilskinir, Der Sturmer, Nacht Und Nebel and Dark Fury. They also recorded with legendary Brazilian RAC (Rock Against Communism) band Locomotiva. Evil have released records on several NSBM record labels such as Darker Than Black, Totenkopf Propaganda, Einsatzkommando Productions as well as Finnish labels Breath of Pestilence ja Werewolf Records. They have also released on singer Oliveiras own labels Southern Productions and Hammer of Damnation.
Evil and Hammer of Damnation were members of the now defunct The Pagan Front, a loose network and website that tried to politicize the NSBM and black metal community by gathering NSBM bands and labels. The Pagan Front also campaigned for the release of neo-nazi musician Hendrik Möbus that served a jail sentence in the early 2000s. Oliveiras record labels have also released NSBM bands 88, Absurd, Dark Fury, Graveland, Naer Mataron, Hate Forest and Thunderbolt.
Evil have often included Third Reich imagery and symbolism in their album artwork, which is common among NSBM bands. They have also included straightforward political statements. This is an translated example from the 2002 split record “Only The War is Hygiene Of The World”, where Evils side of the liner notes read
“Paganism return to the southern lands….now is the time for a heroic war against judeo-christianity! For the rebirth of ancient values, blood, honour and faithfulness….Follow the voice of our pagan forefathers and fight! Unsere ehre heist treue! SS! “
The phrase “Our honour is called loyality” (Unsere ehre heist treue) is written in German in the otherwise English text and is a reference to the motto of the SS troops of the Third Reich. “Blood and Honour” is a reference to the motto of the Hitler Jugend as well as the Nazi music organizations that work under that name. In the artwork of the same album, a member (probably Oliveira) is posing in front of a celtic cross flag wearing a swastika t-shirt. The album name is a quote from famous Italian politician and poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. These are just a few examples of many from the bands career.
Evil seldom perform and did not play live before 2012. The band have played at Hot Shower in 2015, the most infamous nazi music event in Europe.
Oliveira is an active musician, and apart from playing in Evil has a solo project called Command (formerly known as Resistencia 88). Oliveira founded the one man band in 1994 (simultaneously with Evil) and still write for that project. The song titles are straightforward Nazi imagery: “Southern National-Socialist”, “A Call of Blood”, “Kulturkampf Kommando” etc.
Kroda (Крода) have played Steelfest once before and is one of the best known European NSBM bands. The lyrics combine ultranationalism, slavic (and partly norse) paganism with nature mystique. The band was formed in 2003 and has denied any political attributes, claiming to only play “folk pagan metal” even if this contradicts everything in their history. The band and its members continuously perform at NSBM festivals, co-operate with far-right organizations and appear in other Nazi bands. The claim to be apolitical is of course a tactical move – like so many other NSBM bands, Kroda does not wish to get in trouble with antifascists, civil society and legislation against hate speech. There is also an economic aspect to this: being an openly fascist band damage the record sales and endanger concerts and tours.
Kroda, and especially Shinkar “Eisenslav” Artem (Шинкар Артем) have anyway given several interviews to metal zines and magazines where the ideology of the members are clearly stated. Here are some examples from an interview Artem gave to webzine Ruhrmetal 15.6 2006:
– In the internet platforms there is again and again the discussion if KRODA make NSBM (national socialistic black metal). What are the real political views of KRODA? A lot of people listen to your music and really like your songs but feel insecure because of all the rumours.
Eisenslav: Speaking about Kroda style – this is not NSBM. People correctly define our vein as Folk Pagan Metal. Except of that, we don’t sing about politics but use completely another topics: traditionalism, culture, nature…
I shall not deny the fact that anyway we have cartain political views, but this is not about musical aspect of Kroda. I can add here only that both of us feel disgust when we take look upon nowadays political situation that seems like some show.
Earlier in the interview, Eisenslav describe the band as:
“Kroda is not just music! It is the Nature of Our Fatherland, imbued with rawness of mists and swamps, with whispers of rivers and falling leaves, permeated by storms of winter blizzards and by rumbles of thunders. It is the ashes of burnt churches, brought to the soil by torrent streams of rain waters. It is the echoes of Ancient Battles for Our Native Land and for Our Blood. It is the gnash of swords, clash of battle axes and hissing of arrows, crushing and sweeping away all the hostile being from Our Land. It is the resounds of terrible battle outcry of Aryan Warriors Allfadr and the raging roar of Aryan Archetype Wolfish Nature. It is our view of the entire Universe. “
In an interview with webpage Mortem in 2006, Artem explained his views on “race”, the downfall of Europe and Ukraine, “White Genocide”, NSBM network The Pagan Front and conspiracy theories about Jews. Here are some examples:
-What symbolize for you Pagan Front? What visions you have about it to the future? And in what way are you supporting PF?
“The PAGAN FRONT – Hammer of NS Underground of Aryan Heathen Blood! I have nothing to add.”
-You assert that you are a very strong nationalists. In case of ultra-nationalism are you looking up to died Third Empire or are you adhering on ideas of slavonic unity? What opinion do you have about todays slavonic neo-nazis, who shamelessly kiss the German arse and they would do everything for change their blood?
“So I’ll say: first of all, we are Aryans, secondly – we are Rus People, and then – we’re Ukrainians. Got the consequence? The Root is most important thing! The rest is just a cultural differences.
About “change of blood”… Maybe I misunderstood you? I don’t understand – why? Anyway, we have common blood!”
-Do you believe in that so dishing up idea, called „Z.O.G. alliance“? Do you believe in global jewish conspiracy and parasiting on „forcefuls“?
“Seems that only those who watch TV too much are able not to see it! It’s obious even for a blind man!”
Interviewer: – Thanks to Kroda, hails to Ukraina!
Shinkar Artem: “Thank you for interesting questions (really!). Aryan Regards! WOTAN uber Alles!”
In these two interviews Artem makes it clear that his worldview consists of a mix of race theories, antisemitism, neo-paganism and ultra-nationalism. He repeats the same old conspiracy theories that Jews deliberately destroy and degenerate the Western world to make money, and that they control the world governments. Artems claims are a perfect example of how the far-right activists in the black metal subculture can simultaneously claim to be outside (or above) politics while taking fascist or far-right positions on subjects without having to stand responsible in any discussions. Kroda and other NSBM bands often talk around their political views in an attempt to obscure or downplay their views to appear “neutral” while presenting far-right ideas as “alternative facts”.
Krodas nazi connections are not limited to singer Artem and his expressions. The band have during their career performed at several nazi concert with other NSBM groups. Recently they have played at one of Europes biggest NSBM events Asgardsrei Fest in Kiev 18.12 2016 and at the French festival Call of Terror 3.2. 2018. Kroda also appeared at the Czech festival Eternal Hate 13.7 2019 with other NSBM bands.here
Kroda concerts have often met resistance. The most well known happened on a tour through Poland, Germany and Austria. After the concert in Warzam 25.6 2009, polish antifascists attacked the band, beat up the band members and destroyed their van and instruments. In reaction to this, Kroda published a lengthy statement, proclaiming to be apolitical. In the statement, Kroda begged the metal community for support and described antifascists as terrorist, trying to create a division between antifascists and normal metalheads. Throughout the years, there has been many antifascist texts written about Kroda especially in Germany and France, and it is pretty clear that this band is not as innocent and apolitical as they try to portray themselves.
Kroda have released records on NSBM labels such as Stellar Winter and Ancient Nation Productions and recorded covers of Nazi songs from Absurd, Honor, Temnozor, Nokturnal Mortum and Sokura Peruna as well as making a split record with NSBM band Velimor. When Kroda begun performing live in 2007 they recruited two members from antisemitic and ultra-nationalist black metal band Ruina from Ukraine. One of the members, Sergiy “Sergfil” Filyak (Сергій Філяк) still play guitar in Krodas live line-up. Since 2014, Kroda have employed Artur “Rungvar” Didora (Артур Дідора) as a drummer. Didora is more known for being a member of NSBM band M818th that are connected to paramilitary fascist organisation Azov in Ukraine. Krodas original member Artem was also a member of NSBM groups Protest and Ljut (Лють) in the early 2000s.
The lyrical themes of Ljut are no surprise: songs like “Kosher Nightmare” are about holocaust denial and Artems Nazi beliefs are just as clear here.