Joakim “Stormheit” Kuotesaho lives in Metsäkylä, Ylöjärvi with his family and is one of the key influencers of the Finnish NS music scene. In an earlier article published by the Varis network, his surname was announced as “Soldehed”, a name he has used on occasion. Kuotesaho plays in Nazi bands and collaborates with different fascist and racist activists ranging from the Nordic Resistance Movement and Nazi skinheads to the Rajat Kiinni movement (a Finnish far-right group advocating for closed borders).
Kuotesaho is best known for his role as a bass player in Goatmoon, one of the internationally known NSBM bands from Finland. He is also active in the folk metal band Stormheit, folk group Aurinkopyörä (“Sun wheel”) and heavy metal band Mooncitadel. Kuotesaho have been a session musician in several NSBM (National Socialist Black Metal) bands such as Der Sturmer (2017) and Drowning The Light (2009) on their Finnish tours. Kuotesaho is featured as a supporting vocalist on “Kali Yugan Lapset” (eng: the children of Kali Yuga), a song from a Pagan Skull/Minu Kamp split RAC record called Aseveljet/Relvavennad. Pagan Skull is a RAC band from Jyväskylä consisting of senior Nordic Resistance Movement members Sampsa Muhonen and Paavo Laitinen who stabbed a door man at an antifascist book release at Jyväskylä library in 2013. Kuotesaho is training powerlifting at Ylöjärven Ryhti and have performed as a troubadour at the association´s events.
Kuotesaho and his “Furore Finnum” collective arranged some Nazi concerts in Finland between 2007 and 2009 including the “White Thunder Roars Over Finland” and “Bloodcult” tours as well as the scandalous “Carelian Pagan Madness” tour in 2008. The tours featured well known NSBM bands such as Kroda, Temnezor, Drowning The Light, Goatmoon, Satanic Warmaster, Der Stürmer, Absurd and Hammer as well as Nazi heavy metal band Arghoslent. The collective also included Hendrik Möbus (one of the key influencers of the neo-Nazi music scene in Europe) as well as Ilya “Gorruth” Babin of Temnozor. On the Drowning The Light tour Kuotesaho also functioned as a drummer for the band.
Kuotesaho is a prominent figure in the neo-Nazi music subculture both in Finland and Europe due to his membership in Goatmoon. Goatmoon is the best known and possibly most active Finnish NSBM band. Kuotesaho joined Goatmoon in 2010 and has played at least 30 concerts with the group in Finland and internationally. These concerts include the infamous ”Hot Showers” in Italy, “Asgardsrei Fest” in Ukraine, “Nordic Summer Fest” at Blood & Honour Orivesi and a support concert for Jesse “Eppu” Tornianen, a convicted murderer from the NRM. Apart from the concerts, Kuotesaho play on at least three Goatmoon full-lengths: “Varjot” (2011), “Voitto tai Valhalla” (2014) and “Stella Polaris” (2017). Kuotesaho´s membership in Goatmoon is probably his greatest involvement in the Nazi music subculture. We have written about Goatmoon before (in Finnish): PRKL Club, Steelfest 2018 and Restaurant Alem.
The core of the Stormheit band consists of Joakim Kuotesaho and Arto Ovaskainen even if Stormheit is primarily the creation of Kuotesaho. Ovaiskainen was present up until 2014 but nowadays Stormheit appears to be the solo project of Kuotesaho, and he is only performing acoustically as a one-man band. Stormheit is a long-time member of The Pagan Front, a community consisting of NSBM labels, bands and zines. According to Mattias Gardell, a researcher on racism, The Pagan Front is “a network of bands and record labels that view black metal as an an ‘archetypical and atavistic expression’ of the Aryan soul and seek to further the milieu’s paganization” (Gardell: Gods Of The Blood. Duke University Press 2003, s.307)
Stormheit records have been published by notorious Nazi music labels such as The Pagan Front affiliates Totenkopf Propaganda, No Sign Of Life and Europa Erwache Productions. The latest Stormheit record (2016) was a split release with Nazi power electronics group Straight Arm Salute (SAS). SAS describe themselves as “intolerant martial white power electronics”. The Nazi imagery and record titles like “Aryan Uprising” and “The New Rise Of National Socialism” does not leave a lot of room for imagination. The SAS logo is also embellished with swastikas and popular Nazi numerology such as 14 and 88. The record was released by the Finnish NS music label Europa Erwache Productions, founded in 2012. The Veriyhteys webzine claim that SAS were interviewed by former NRM Turku leader Pauli Kaila for the Ukonvasama #14 zine and an interview with Stormheit was published in Ukonvasama #11. The Ukonvasama zine focuses mainly on the neo-Nazi musical subcultures and the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM).
Stormheit performed at the Helsinki restaurant boat Wäiski where a Nazi concert was arranged October 22nd, 2011. The concert was arranged the same day NRM held a seminar together with the Italian “Third position” neo-fascist movement Casa Pound and German neo-fascists Freie Nationale Strukturen. The evening concert also featured ZetaZeroAlfa (a band including Casa Pound founder and leader Gianluca Iannone) and the previously mentioned folk duo Pohjatuulet (consisting of NRM Jyväskylä members). The concert was arranged by the short-lived Mustasydän (“black heart”) collective where one of the key members was Aki Kaurila, a NRM Turku active at the time.
In an interview with Veriyhteys (a Finnish webzine focusing on neo-Nazi musical subcultures) Kuotesaho claimed that he had participated in the racist Rajat Kiinni (“close the borders”) demonstrations as well as the 612 march on the Finnish Independence Day. Kuotesaho has performed with Stormheit at racist “popular movement” events such as the Rajat Kiinni demonstration in Tampere October 24th 2015, the 612 torch march and “Itsenäinen Suomi” event 2015. At the Rajat Kiinni demonstration in October 2015 Kuotesaho was interviewed by Seppo Lehto, an infamous neo-Nazi goon from Tampere. Lehto made a short video interview with Kuotesaho and claimed that they had met earlier at a Suomen Sisu event (one of the oldest Finnish neo-fascist organizations still in existence, founded in 1998).
In the previously mentioned Veriyhteys interview Kuotesaho gives praise to (the now closed down) Helsinki restaurant Alem and the stubbornness of the manager Ilyas, referring to that he for a long time allowed Nazis to arrange concerts there regardless of the bad PR. Furthermore Kuotesaho talks about his close connection to RAC music, mocks anti-fascists and claims that multiculturalism is a conspiracy to destroy national unity. Instead of talking about Nazism and fascism, he speaks in vague terms of “idealism”, “patriotism” and wishes that that people would “wake up to reality”. In the interview Kuotesaho tries to present himself as a proud idealist but refuses to be aligned with any political identity such as “Nazism, the far right, traditionalism, racism, fascism, etc,” which all are perfectly good descriptions of his political views. This kind of apolitical refusal is either intellectual dishonesty or more likely a need to avoid the Nazi label out of fear that it will affect his possibilities as a musician and his private life. Kuotesaho s quotes about monoculturalism and multiculturalism resonate strongly with the cultural racism of the Alt-right and their concepts of ethno-pluralism and ethnonationalism.
Here are some excerpts from the Kuotesahos interview with the Veriyhteys webzine, published August 8th 2016: [translated from Finnish]
Q: In Stormheits music a powerful counter-reaction to modernism and multi-culturalism can be heard. What about these phenomena concern you the most?
A: What about them wouldnt concern you? People today are living dead, living in a void controlled by materialism, selfishness and immoralism. Multi-culturalism is the new religion. Or actually, the leaders and organs in control are forcing the whole world into monoculture instead of a real multi-cultural world where the nation states could live with their own cultures, languages and beliefs. One world, one culture, one religion, one language, one currency and so on…that has to be the end result the elite want when they preach about multi-culture. Which of them is the real diversity? That we walk to hell through the multi-cultural inferno or a world where different cultures bloom? Luckily, it feels like people are slowly waking up to reality now.
Q: Would you describe yourself or your music as far-right, or do want to avoid political classifications and focus on identity based in ethnicity?
A: In my opinion it is unnecessary to bear any definite political classification. I dont believe in democracy or the present political system and I don’t want to be a part of it. I would rather specifically highlight and educate about the national identity and “soul” rooted in culture, language and history. According to some i am a Nazi, far-right extremist, traditionalist, racist, fascist and so on, but this classification does not interest me though some of it is correct. Me and the people close to me know where I stand.
In an interview with metal webzine Imperium (published November 19th, 2010), Kuotesaho described his political awakening at the time: [translated from Finnish]
”In short, both my ideological and musical visions are clearer than ever before (…) The modern world and our present time. Who far must man stray from his natural enviroment and way of life before he realize how wrong and lost he is? Stormheit is against all kinds of materialism, tolerance, the Left, drugs, immigration/multiculturalism and the oh so trendy equal rights for sexual minorities!”
The same fascist views are expressed more clearly in the booklet for the 2009 Stormheit record “Kvenland”. Kuotesahos views on how multiculturalism threatens race, land, culture and blood in combination with his description of immigrants as morally degenerate rapists, abusers and drug dealers exploiting society is typical racist propaganda.
This fascist outlook on the world is also present in the music of Stormheit. The lyrics and atmosphere of the records are full of warrior ethics, pagan “blood and soil” tribalism, white nationalism, nature mysticism and Fennoman national romanticism. Apart from the previously mentioned themes, Stormheit also greatly differ from apolitical pagan/folk metal groups since his lyrics flirt with Nazi aesthetics, racism, and on some records a militant imagery. A recurring narrative is a northern, pagan people revolting against “Abrahamic” (Judeo-Christian-Islamic) religion and its oppression.
The fascist interpretation of pagan beliefs is that the three big “desert religions” – i.e. the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths – are foreign and oppressive religions that predate humanism and Marxism as the enemy of a perceived (pan)European fascist paganism. Most versions of this narrative focus on either islamophobia or antisemitism but rarely on Christianity only. In some cases, the pagan and Christian (Catholics in particular) united front against Islam historically is explained as them having enough common (pagan) ancestry. In this narrative all three “desert religions” are just a Jewish conspiracy since it is the oldest of the three, and all the Abrahamic religions are just a part of global Jewish dominance which everybody must fight against.
Pagan fascists often appear as right-minded defenders of free speech, defending national and cultural heritage. A specific trait for them is that they often use the “freedom fight” rhetoric mentioned above and position themselves as an exploited native population to spread their propaganda. Similar ideas were of course spread already by the Third Reich and many of its leaders were interested in esotericism and the ancient pagan beliefs – there are many books written on the subject. Examples of Stormheit using pagan fascist rhetoric can be found on the record Caelic Weould Finnum (2009). Here is an excerpt from the track Upon The Remains Of Mankind:
Beneath the falling darkness
When the night conqures the day
Sun turns to black
Frost embrace the planet
Upon the remains
Of inferior mankind
Lies ancient spirit (satanas)
Supreme force (satanas)
Black sun in the sky
Landscapes covered in snow
Stars shine their coldness
Upon the remains of mankind
Up from the silent lands
Deep in the lonely forests
Ancient race is awaken
To live in this solitude
Where no otherswander
And only the strongest rule
Heathen warriors of new dawn
Raise the spirits of ancestors
The true cult of blood
To defend the most sacred
Union of pagan warriors
Strenghth, hatred and aryan pride
The ancient blood cult defended by the pagan race here is of course referenced to as Aryan and their fight against “the desert religions” is one of the core themes of the album. Here are further examples from the track ” To Ride the Winds of Supremacy” from the same album:
Intolerance is my master
Hammer is my god
And to call the gods of war
This land will be ours again
To crush the head of a jewish prophet
To hear his neck crack in the end of a rope
To crucify that filthy swine again and again
To see his blood be spilled once more
Pagan fury raise the storm
Heathen warriors gather around
Raise your swords and take their lives
Kill their priests and burn their churches
To see the houses of god burned to dust
This is our vengence in violence, murder and death
To see the flames in the sky, churches are denied
This is our vengence in violence, murder and death
Deny the false ones of blinded faith
Kill all those that come to oppose our power
War against the race of total weakness
No mercy to share for the cunts of Zion
On this track, the pagan warriors rise with the aid of their gods and wage a war of revenge against “the desert religions” – especially Jewdom – to return control of the pagan land of their holy forefathers to their race and tribe. “The race of total weakness”, ”blind faith” and “the cunts of Zion” refer to Jews and their allies. Christ is also considered to be a Jewish prophet here, which is a rather common belief in the pagan fascist scene that spread conspiracy theories of “Jewish supremacy”. This view differs from traditional Christian anti-Semitism where the Jews are considered to be the murderers of Christ and betrayers of God. In the video below Jaakko Lähde (Goatmoon) talk about a global Jewish conspiracy and Joakim Kuotesaho talk about fighting against Muslims alongside Christians regardless of their differences in worldviews.
Excerpt from Loputon Gehennan liekki (2011), a documentary on Finnish black metal made by Sami Kettunen. Pay close attention to 1:20 – 2:06.
According to the previously mentioned interview in Veriyhteys, Stormheit have played cover songs by RAC bands such as Skrewdriver, Brutal Attack, Landser, Mistreat, No Remorse, Bound For Glory, Störkraft, Nordic Thunder, Rahowa and Stahlgewitter at his concerts. RAC is a music genre born out of punk rock and Oi! music known for its racism, Nazism and anti-Semitism. RAC concerts appeared in England in 1978 as a far right counter reaction to the “Rock Against Racism” concerts arranged by the Left. Blood & Honour is a network of the RAC subculture and was founded as a political movement of English Nazi skinhead clubs in 1987. This also included an armed terrorist wing of Nazi militants called Combat 18 (C18) which later broke loose and was persecuted for its crimes. Blood & Honour remain as one of the most active European Nazi skinhead organizations and have Finnish chapters in Helsinki, Tampere and Jyväskylä.
Stormheit also performed in Tampere at a secret club house owned by Blood & Honour on September 14th and 15th 2018. We revealed that the club house was located in Rusko in a building owned partially by Tampereen Kauppahuone business company. The concert also featured Genocide Wolves, a RAC group from Tampere, and a 30th anniversary acoustic performance from Mistreat, one of Finlands best known and persistent RAC bands. In January 2019 Stormheit appeared alongside Mistreat and other RAC bands on the Nazi music festival Vapauden soinnut (“chords of freedom”) in Southern Finland 4th – 5th of January 2019.
Kuotesaho is practicing powerlifting in the Ylöjärven Ryhti association and he have performed at their events. You can give feedback to Ylöjärven Ryhti about their Nazi member:
Ylöjärven Ryhti ry
c/o Esko Paajala
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There is no place for Nazis like Joakim Kuotesaho and his friends in the music scenes or anywhere else. If you have info about Joakim Kuotesaho, the secret Nazi music clubs or the influencers of the NS music subculture you can contact us at varistoimitus[at]riseup.net
- The influencers of the Finnish NS music scene, part 4: Sami Tenetz of KVLT Shop