‘Wolves of the Krypteia’: Lycanthropy and right-wing extremism in metal’s reception of ancient Greece and Rome | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2052-3998
  • E-ISSN: 2052-4005

Abstract

Metal’s pervasive (were)wolf motifs are key hermeneutics for the reception of classical antiquity by right-wing bands. Continuities of lupine themes and romanticization of Sparta and Rome exist between fascist Germany and Italy, contemporary far-right political and pagan organizations, and bands that combine these two subjects in a unique but consistent way. Also inspired by Nietzsche, Evola and social Darwinists, bands such as Der Stürmer, Kataxu and Spearhead trace their biological and spiritual ancestry to Sparta, emulating their lycanthropic militarism and racial terrorism. Bands such as Hesperia, Diocletian and Deströyer 666 utilize Roman wolf iconography to promote the destruction of civilization and return to ‘natural’ hierarchies. Like their fascist predecessors, these artists perpetuate patriarchal and racist distortions of both lupine behaviour and ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Such constructions nevertheless extend from the resonance of both wolves and classical antiquity with metal’s common themes of transgression, hypermasculinity, elitism and nostalgia for premodernity.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/mms_00083_1
2022-09-01
2024-02-21
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Angelova, D.. ( 2015), Sacred Founders: Women, Men, and Gods in the Discourse of Imperial Founding, Rome through Early Byzantium, Berkeley, CA:: University of California Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Anon. ( 2007;), ‘ Der Sturmer. ’, Breidablik ‘Zine, September, http://breidablik-zine.narod.ru/interviews/der_sturmer.html. Accessed 23 December 2021.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Anon. ( 2019;), ‘ White nationalist “Ravensblood Kindred” features Haralson county jailer and active duty national guardsman. ’, Atlanta Antifascists, 9 April, https://atlantaantifa.org/2019/04/09/white-nationalist-ravensblood-kindred-features-haralson-county-jailer-and-active-duty-national-guardsman/. Accessed 12 December 2021.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Apergis, C.. ( 2020;), ‘ Screaming ancient Greek hymns: The case of Kawir and the Greek black metal scene. ’, in K. F. B. Fletcher, and O. Umurhan. (eds), Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music, London:: Bloomsbury;, pp. 7796.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Arnds, P.. ( 2021), Wolves at the Door: Migration, Dehumanization, Rewilding the World, New York:: Bloomsbury;.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bond, S.. ( 2018;), ‘ This is not Sparta: Why the modern romance with Sparta is a bad one. ’, Eidolon , 7 May, https://eidolon.pub/this-is-not-sparta-392a9ccddf26. Accessed 13 December 2021.
  7. Bormpoudakis, D., and Dalakoglou, D.. ( 2021;), ‘ “And bloodshed must be done”: Heavy metal and neo-Nazism in Greece. ’, Journal of Greek Media and Culture, 7:1, pp. 2748.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Boyarin, S.,, Christensen, A.,, Saguar García, A., and Swinford, D.. ( 2020;), ‘ The politics and poetics of metal’s medieval pasts. ’, in R. Barratt-Peacock, and R. Hagen. (eds), Medievalism and Metal Music Studies: Throwing Down the Gauntlet, Bingley:: Emerald;, pp. 7180.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Buesnel, R.. ( 2020;), ‘ National socialist black metal: A case study in the longevity of far-right ideologies in heavy metal subcultures. ’, Patterns of Prejudice, 54:4, pp. 393408.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Cartledge, P.. ( 2004), The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, New York:: Vintage Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Chapoutot, J.. ( 2016), Greeks, Romans, Germans: How the Nazis Usurped Europe’s Classical Past, Berkeley, CA:: University of California Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Der Stürmer ( 2010;), ‘ Ragnarok Beobachter interview 2010 answered by Commando Wolf & Hjarulv Henker. ’, Pagan Front , https://web.archive.org/web/20190531191348/http://www.thepaganfront.com/dersturmer/interviews/Ragnarok%20Beobachter2010.html. Accessed 19 December 2021.
  13. DiGioia, A.. ( 2016;), ‘ A cry in the dark: The howls of wolves in horror and heavy metal music. ’, Horror Studies, 7:2, pp. 293306.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Djurslev, C. T.. ( 2015;), ‘ The metal king: Alexander the Great in heavy metal music. ’, Metal Music Studies, 1:1, pp. 12741.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Ersland, B.. ( 2014;), ‘ One step further to the right: Right-wing extremism in Greece and the rise of Golden Dawn. ’, MA thesis, Oslo:: University of Oslo;.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Evola, J.. ( [1969] 1995), Revolt against the Modern World (trans. G. Stucco), Rochester, NY:: Inner Traditions International;.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Filip, M.. ( 2019;), ‘ Wolves amongst the sheep: Looking beyond the aesthetics of Polish National Socialism. ’, The Pomegranate, 21:2, pp. 21036.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Fletcher, K. F. B.. ( 2019;), ‘ Classical antiquity, heavy metal music, and European identity. ’, in F. L. Gómez,, A. Á.-O. Rivas, and C. A. Hernandez. (eds), The Present of Antiquity: Reception, Recovery, Reinvention of the Ancient World in Current Popular Culture, Besançon:: Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté;, pp. 22346.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Fletcher, K. F. B.. ( 2020;), ‘ Vergil’s Aeneid and nationalism in Italian metal. ’, in K. F. B. Fletcher, and O. Umurhan. (eds), Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music, New York:: Bloomsbury;, pp. 2352.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Follo, V.. ( 2013;), ‘ The power of images in the age of Mussolini. ’, Ph.D. thesis, Philadelphia, PA:: University of Pennsylvania;.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Gardell, M.. ( 2003), Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism, Durham, NC:: Duke University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. ​​ González-Vaquerizo, H.. ( 2019;), ‘ Heavy Rome-Roma de metal: La imagen de Roma en el heavy metal y el metal. ’, in L. U. Gómez, and C. S. Pérez. (eds), En los márgenes de Roma: la antigüedad romana en la cultura de masas contemporánea, Catarata:: Los libros de la Catarata;, pp. 3962.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. González-Vaquerizo, H.. ( 2020;), ‘ Κλέα ἀνδρῶν: Classical heroes in the heavy metal. ’, in R. L. Gregoris, and C. M. Villalobos. (eds), The Hero Reloaded: The Reinvention of the Classical Hero in Contemporary Mass Media, Amsterdam:: John Benjamins;, pp. 5172.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Goodrick-Clarke, N.. ( 2002), Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity, New York:: New York University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Göransson, N.. ( 2019;), ‘ Spearhead. ’, Bardo Methodölogy , 13 February, http://www.bardomethodology.com/articles/2019/02/13/spearhead-interview/. Accessed 13 December 2021.
  26. Hawley, G.. ( 2022;), ‘ Religion and the alt-right. ’, in J. Haynes. (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Politics and Ideology, London:: Routledge;, pp. 16476.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Hawthorne, M., and Tincknell, D.. ( 2009;), ‘ Wolves in the Throne Room. ’, The A.V. Club , 13 July, https://www.avclub.com/wolves-in-the-throne-room-1798217043. Accessed 11 August 2022.
  28. Heather, P.. ( 2015;), ‘ Diversity and the Roman empire. ’, in S. Vertovec. (ed.), The Routledge International Handbook of Diversity Studies, London:: Routledge;, pp. 11724.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Herron-Wheeler, A.. ( 2017;), ‘ Wolves in the Throne Room on Nazis in the black-metal scene. ’, Westword, 29 September, https://www.westword.com/music/wolves-in-the-throne-room-on-black-metal-nazis-and-antifa-9530269. Accessed 11 August 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Hillier, B., and Barnes, A.. ( 2020;), ‘ Wolf in sheep’s clothing: Extreme right-wing ideologies in Australian black metal. ’, Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, 10:2, pp. 3857.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Jensen, A.. ( 2010;), ‘ Nietzsche’s interpretation of Heraclitus in its historical context. ’, Epoché, 14:2, pp. 33562.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Kahn-Harris, K.. ( 2007), Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge, Oxford:: Berg;.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Lauwers, J.,, Dhont, M., and Huybrecht, X.. ( 2013;), ‘ “This is Sparta!”: Discourse, gender, and the orient in Zack Snyder’s 300. ’, in A.-B. Renger, and J. Solomon. (eds), Ancient Worlds in Film and Television, Leiden:: Brill;, pp. 7994.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Liam ( 2015;), ‘ “Neo-Nazi band Satanic Warmaster have announced their first UK gig in Glasgow, and people are pissed. ’, Vice, 27 April, https://www.vice.com/en/article/rq4b9m/satanic-warmaster-and-their-glasgow-controversy. Accessed 23 December 2021.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Maarat, D.. ( 2017;), ‘ Bestial evil paying to play with Angelcorpse. ’, Death Metal Underground , 20 May, http://www.deathmetal.org/news/bestial-evil-paying-to-play-with-angelcorpse/. Accessed 16 December 2021.
  36. MacKenzie, A., and Kaunert, C.. ( 2021;), ‘ Radicalisation, foreign fighters and the Ukraine conflict: A playground for the far-right?. ’, Social Sciences, 10:4, pp. 116.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Mirgilus ( 2008;), ‘ Der Stürmer. ’, Mirgilus Siculorum , May, https://www.old.mirgilus.com/interviews/dersturmer.html. Accessed 19 December 2021.
  38. Nietzsche, F.. ( 1887), Zur Genealogie der Moral (On the Genealogy of Morality), Leipzig:: Verlag von C. G. Neumann;, http://www.nietzschesource.org/#eKGWB/GM. Accessed 22 September 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Nilan, P.. ( 2021;), ‘ The youth appeal of far-right music festivals. ’, Youth, 1:1, pp. 1426.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Olson, B.. ( 2021;), ‘ Burzum shirts, paramilitarism and National Socialist Black Metal in the twenty-first century. ’, Metal Music Studies, 7:1, pp. 2742.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Purcell, N.. ( 2003), Death Metal Music: The Passion and Politics of a Subculture, Jefferson, NC:: McFarland;.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Raaflaub, K.. ( 2010;), ‘ Between myth and history: Rome’s rise from village to empire (the eighth century to 264). ’, in N. Rosenstein, and R. Morstein-Marx. (eds), A Companion to the Roman Republic, Malden, MA:: Blackwell;, pp. 12546.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Ruck, C.. ( 2016;), ‘ The wolves of war: Evidence of an ancient cult of warrior lycanthropy. ’, NeuroQuantology, 14:3, pp. 54466.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Rutherford, S.. ( 2020;), ‘ Wolfish white nationalisms: Lycanthropic longing on the alt-right. ’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 41:1, pp. 6076.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Sax, B.. ( 2000), Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust, New York:: Continuum;.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Shadrack, J. H.. ( 2020), Black Metal, Trauma, Subjectivity and Sound: Screaming the Abyss, Bingley:: Emerald;.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Sneed, D.. ( 2021;), ‘ Disability and infanticide in ancient Greece. ’, Hesperia, 90:4, pp. 74772.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Sotiris, P.. ( 2015;), ‘ Political crisis and the rise of the far right in Greece: Racism, nationalism, authoritarianism and conservatism in the discourse of Golden Dawn. ’, Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict, 3:1, pp. 17399.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Spearhead ( 2018), Pacifism Is Cowardice, sleeve notes, Invictus Productions;.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Spracklen, K.. ( 2015;), ‘ “To Holmgard … and beyond”: Folk metal fantasies and hegemonic white masculinities. ’, Metal Music Studies, 1:3, pp. 35477.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Svyantek, D.,, Mahoney, K., and Brown, L.. ( 2002;), ‘ Diversity and effectiveness in the Roman and Persian empires. ’, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 10:3, pp. 26083.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Swist, J.. ( 2019a;), ‘ Satan’s empire: Ancient Rome’s anti-Christian appeal in extreme metal. ’, Metal Music Studies, 5:1, pp. 3651.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Swist, J.. ( 2019b;), ‘ Why is heavy metal music obsessed with ancient Sparta?. ’, Society for Classical Studies, 27 December, https://classicalstudies.org/scs-blog/jeremy-j-swist/blog-why-heavy-metal-music-obsessed-ancient-sparta. Accessed 12 December 2021.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Trundle, M.. ( 2016;), ‘ The Spartan Krypteia. ’, in W. Riess, and G. Fagan. (eds), The Topography of Violence in the Greco-Roman World, Ann Arbor, MI:: University of Michigan Press;, pp. 6076.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Umurhan, O.. ( 2012;), ‘ Heavy metal music and the appropriation of Greece and Rome. ’, Syllecta Classica, 23, pp. 12752.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Usik, K. A.. ( 2015;), ‘ The hunt for Ma’iingan: Ojibwe ecological knowledge and wolf hunting in the Great Lakes. ’, MA thesis, Iowa City, IA:: University of Iowa;.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Vikernes, V.. ( 2011;), ‘ Interview with Varg Vikernes, Metal Kings.com. ’, Burzum , March, https://www.burzum.org/eng/library/2011_interview_metalkings.shtml. Accessed 19 December 2021.
  58. Weinstein, D.. ( [1991] 2000), Heavy Metal: The Music and its Culture, Boston, MA:: Da Capo;.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Swist, Jeremy. ( 2022;), ‘ “Wolves of the Krypteia”: Lycanthropy and right-wing extremism in metal’s reception of ancient Greece and Rome. ’, Metal Music Studies, 8:3, pp. 30925, https://doi.org/10.1386/mms_00083_1
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/mms_00083_1
Loading
  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): classics; Evola; fascism; NSBM; Sparta; White supremacy
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error