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Louisiana Black Metal Musician Arrested for Multiple Church Fires

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For the second time in as many weeks, a young black metal musician has been arrested in connection with a string of church burnings.

Last week, it was Jacob Lowenstein, the 28-year-old drummer for the band Igni, who has been charged with setting two New Zealand churches on fire.

Now 21-year-old Holden Matthews has been arrested in connection with three recent church fires in St. Landry Parish, LA. The congregations at all three churches are predominantly African-American.

One need only glance at Matthews’ Facebook page to see his love of metal on full display. And last summer, he started his own metal band, the Vodka Vultures, although they don’t seem to have released any music as of yet.

We’d like to chalk this up to “unfortunate coincidence” — after all, we’ve seen people try to unfairly scapegoat metal for violent crimes in the past.

Unfortunately, The Daily Beast reports that Matthews “commented on two memes about” Varg Vikernes, the racist asshat who served fifteen years in prison for murder and, of course, multiple church burnings. And while The Daily Beast admits that “Neither comment was particularly revealing” with regards to Matthews’ own beliefs, the caption on a since-deleted photograph was considerably more telling:

“Matthews frequently posted about pagan beliefs, and recently uploaded a picture of a gun and a knife with the caption ‘I carry this…..maybe not legally but I only truly follow the law of Odin….. which says as you said,arm yourself…… Odins advice> modern law.'”

Which certainly sounds like a message Vikernes would preach.

Furthermore, while commenting on social media about “a drawing of a pagan figure had a swastika-like design on his belt,” Matthews said “the belt gives him extra strength and power…..white power lmao jk jk I had to.”

Matthews’ father, Roy Matthews, is a St. Landry Deputy. Initial reports said Roy turned his son in, although Lousiana’s KATC has since reported that this is untrue.

Listening to violent music doesn’t make you a violent person. But assholes like Varg Vikernes, who use their art as a platform to spread actual, sincere hate, are dangerous, and guys like Matthews, who buy into their world views, make us all look bad. Just thought it was worth emphasizing in case you were still wondering why MetalSucks gets all uptight about bigoted bands.

Thanks to all the readers who e-mailed/tweeted at us about this story.

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