Norwegian Black Metal Band 'Taake' Up For Prestigious Music Prize, Despite Anti-Islamic Lyrics

Heavy metal, especially black metal, has always relied heavily on shock value. Throughout the history of metal, bands have looked for new ways to outdo one another.

In the 80's, many metal bands found their sweet spot in the occult. Taking a cue from Black Sabbath, bands like Venom, Mercyful Fate, and Mayhem took great care in scaring the bejesus out of parents, who often found pentagrams and upside down crosses on their teenage kids' notebooks.

For many years, black metal has been characterized in part by anti-Christian imagery and lyrics. Raging against organized religion has provided a great deal of fuel to black metal bands around the globe.

While there have certainly been some serious implications to the anti-Christian posturing of black metal bands, such as the notorious 1990s Norwegian church burnings, it has mostly been posturing, and nothing more. Shock value.

Where do you go after church burnings? How can you ratchet up the shock value from there?

Take the Norwegian black metal band Taake, who is currently up for the Spelleman Prize, Norway's top music prize (the equivalent of a US Grammy award). Taake has recently ventured into other anti-religious lyrical territories, specifically attacks against Islam.

Via Al Arabiya:
The Norwegian band ‘Taake’ has recently been nominated for a prestigious Norwegian music for best heavy metal band despite lyrics in the album being anti-Islamic.

The Spellemann award is likened to the American Grammy award or the British Brit award in the Scandinavian country’s music industry.

But critics argue that lyrics in their new album’s song ‘Orkan’ (Hurricane) are xenophobic as they include the phrase “To hell with Muhammad and the Mohammedans” and their “unforgivable customs”, whilst the song ends “Norway will awaken”.

Their nomination has sparked outrage among many listeners, claiming the band has gone too far.
Front and back of Taake's 'Anti Islam' t-shirt
Scandanavia has recently had tense relations with the Islamic world, including the infamous Muhammad cartoon controversy the 2010 Stockholm bombing, and the 2011 Norway attacks. Certainly, if a band wanted to ratchet up the shock value, anti-Islam sentiment would seem to be a natural progression for a band like Taake.

On the nominated album 'Noregs Vaapen,' singer Ørjan Stedjeberg refers to Muslims' "unforgivable customs" and calls for a new "kingdom" to "shine through [the] bad years, shame and Christian times".

Taake "do not encourage either violence or racism", Stedjeberg said. "Our view...is that it is shameful to adhere to Christianity or Islam...Taake has never been a political band, and we do not encourage either violence or racism," he said.

Stedjeberg says Taake is an equal-opportunity offender. The band is not anti-Islam, they're anti-religion.

“Our view, in the name of freedom of expression, is that it is shameful to adhere to Christianity or Islam. Incidentally, Christianity is mentioned in the same lyrics, but that doesn’t seem to have been given any emphasis,” he wrote.

1 comment:

  1. So so, if it´s anti-Christian it´s art, if it´s anti-Islam you call the nazis? Bullshit! We are supposed to live in a free Europe, and if someone is anti-religious, be it Christanity, Islam, Judasim or anything else he or she has the f****** right to say so! Well done, Taake!