Two Mgła Shows Have Been Canceled Amidst Ties to NSBM
Two performances by the Polish black metal band Mgła have been canceled following reports of the band members’ involvement with and ties to NSBM acts and known white supremacists.
In an official statement via Facebook, Mgła referred to themselves as the “target of [a] smear campaign,” while threatening to bring legal action against “sources which are publishing defamation in print.” But at least one of the band’s two members has undeniable connections to NSBM: frontman and multi-instrumentalist Mikołaj Żentara (“M.”) has a solo project, Leichenhalle, that released an album called Judenfrei (“Free of Jews”) and featured song titles such as “Jerusalem in Flames,” “Different Solution,” and “China Scum.”
While Mgła’s lyrics do not contain any references to white supremacism or anti-Semitism, their statement does not directly address accusations of their political views or associations other than to say there are “false accusations of political nature.” That statement is posted in full at the end of this article.
Much of the current outrage surrounding Mgła involves the band’s close involvement with Clandestine Blaze, the one-man black metal project led by Mikko Aspa, a Finnish musician with known NSBM ties and extreme far-right viewpoints. Both of Mgła’s members, Żentara and Maciej Kowalski (“Darkside”), have in recent years performed as the live backing band for Clandestine Blaze, while Aspa has in turn performed as Mgła’s live vocalist.
Clandestine Blaze’s lyrical themes revolve around anti-Semitism (including the conspiracy theory which holds that an elite group of Jews control the world), Islamophobia, racism, social Darwinism, and the general superiority of the Aryan race. For example, her are the lyrics to Clandestine Blaze’s song “Tearing Down Jerusalem:”
Strike to the holy city
Torture the followers
Of weakening god
Let the blood stream
Through dirty streets
Faces zero tolerance
Tearing down Jerusalem
Crushing Zionist Power
Victory of unholy forces
When asked about his anti-Semitic lyrics in an interview with Chronicles of Chaos, Aspa responded in a manner exemplary of white exceptionalism, while appearing to defend the well-known Nazi salute:
“When I as white man make lyrics of killing other white men, no one sees it as a problem. If I write the same about Jews, it makes people ask questions. Then I can ask: who is the racist, me or them? Look around in Europe. You can come here from any different culture and practice your religion and form your own cultural movements, but if you are a white man, in some countries you can’t even salute others in a way it was done a few decades ago without getting into problems with authorities.”
Aspa also founded the band Vapaudenristi, who have been actively playing live in Finland since 2006. Finnish website VarisverKosto.com, which has outlined Aspa’s connections to NSBM in great detail, gives the following description of Vapaudenristi’s music:
“The lyrics revolve around racism, anti-Semitism, anti-liberalism, anti-humanism, anti-Marxism, calls for a white revolution, national mythology as seen from a far-right perspective, ultra-nationalism, Nazi-esotericism and the praise of Nazi skinhead culture. The songtitles don’t leave a lot of room for interpretations: ‘Veri ja maa’ (Blood and soil), ‘Mun maa’ (My land), ‘Apinajahti’ (Monkey hunt), ‘Ei maata ilman kansaa’ (No country without people), ‘Valkoinen kapinahenki’ (White spirit of rebellion), ‘Vapaussota 18’ (Freedom war 18, which is a right-wing way of referring to the Finnish civil war), ‘Suomen SS-sankarit’ (Finland’s SS heroes) and so on.”
Vapaudenristi have frequently played gigs with known NSBM bands such as Pagan Skull, Pylvanainen, Uskonrauha and Pyhä Kuolema. One of these performances was at a 2016 political rally for Jesse Eppu Torniainen, an activist for the Finnish branch of the national socialist organization Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM). Torniainen spent time in jail for killing Jimi Karttunen, an innocent bystander, at a demonstration held by the NRM in front of a Helsinki railway station. NRM later published on their website a photo of blood splattered on the ground where the victim lay, along with the caption “A swift restoration of discipline.”
Additionally, Aspa has played drums for Finnish NSBM band Goatmoon, another well-known NSBM entity. He also owns a record store called Sarvilevyt in Lahti, Finland that spreads NS music and neo-Fascist literature.
One of the canceled Mgła shows was scheduled to take place on May 1st in Munich. The date of the second axed show is unclear [Update: the Berlin show at Columbia Theater on April 28th was the second canceled date. -Ed.], although it may have been a performance in Prague last night (April 29th), from which their tour mates, Deus Mortem, were dropped. Deus Mortem’s ties to white supremacism and anti-Semitism, which include members’ past bands selling t-shirts that read “Pure Elite Aryan Terror” and declarations of “Sieg Heil!” in interviews, are detailed here. Two of Deus Mortem’s members were previously in Infernal War, a band that in 2014 performed at an Italian NSBM event called the Hot Shower Festival — an overt reference to the Holocaust.
Mgła’s statement on the cancellations reads in full:
“We have found ourselves as a target of smear campaign coordinated in time with the start of our European tour. False accusations of political nature of Mgła have been made – brown mud is kept being thrown in hope that some of it sticks. Combined with threats and pressure towards venues and their staff this has led, so far, to the cancellation of two concerts.
“We have decided to take legal action against these sources which are publishing defamation in print. This is the first time we explicitly ask the fans for help and support. Please save webpages, take screenshots etc. of defamatory publications which will later be required as supporting material. Likewise, if you have received threats for planning on attending as a fan or working as a crew member at the tour concerts, please save the emails/text messages/forum messages/comments etc. – we will greatly appreciate this as evidence at a later stage.
A word (email, phonecall) of support from fans to the venues under pressure would be fantastic and greatly appreciated. Please be civilized… venue staff have been harassed and threatened already.
“This rollercoaster of paranoia has also led to our fans who already paid for their tickets not being able to attend our performances. They are the only people whom we will apologize to, for the inconvenience the situation has created. The least we can do, so far, is to offer a discount code to Mgła webshop for ticket holders of the affected performances. If the date you were planning on going to has been cancelled, please send your electronic receipt / scan of ticket to the email: firstname.lastname@example.org to get a discount code (& allow a few days for it to arrive given current circumstances).”
More information about the Finnish NSBM scene, including Mikko Aspa, can be found in this very detailed article.