Metal in the Media

The Oppression of the Western Devils is Over: One Underground North Korean Metal Band

  • Axl Rosenberg

red war band photo 1Be honest: you don’t know a thing about North Korea, let alone North Korean metal. And neither do we: the North Korean government’s control over the internet hasn’t allowed very much of its culture to reach the rest of the world over the past half century, and North Korean bands certainly aren’t able to tour the U.S.

But yesterday’s ground-breaking news that North Korea has won the world’s first cyberwar and struck a decisive blow against American freedom of expression by actually managing to get the release of the movie The Interview cancelled makes this the perfect time to explore YouTube to see what North Korea’s metal scene has to offer. Unsurprisingly, given its government’s oppressive policies, North Korea has an incredibly destitute metal scene with one band spanning one style and genre. Let’s take a listen them now.

Red War (붉은전쟁)

This br00tal death metal band from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea released a three-song demo in 2010. One of those songs is called “War with U.S.A.,” while another is entitled “Stop Imperialism.” The titles of those songs lead me to believe that the band does not take their name from the Probot track of the same title. All three of these songs are in the below video. The audio quality is so poor I can’t even really tell if the band is good or not, although they seem to be pretty bad. Their MySpace page is still live, but says they’ve disbanded. Their identities remain a secret for obvious reasons, although you can admire the backs of their heads via the photo at the top of this post. You might also note that the band members are dressed entirely in black, just the way a Western metal band’s members would be. Better to concentrate on the things that make us the same than the things that make us different!

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