Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2009-2015

So, today is the 6th anniversary of this blog. I started it on 29 September 2009, initially as an offshoot of the "Anarchist Black Metal" last.fm group which I created several months earlier that year. Back then I couldn't have hoped for it to gain the levels of popularity it enjoys by now, but it happened, thanks for all of those who were with me during these years.

The idea of starting something like this blog came to me even earlier, circa 2007, when I was looking for a thing that's nowadays called the "RABM scene" and realized that there wasn't anything like that back then. After a lot of research, the only thing I could find was the "Black Metal Anarchists" group on Myspace, which had surprisingly many members but not a lot of content. This made me believe there was at least some demand for anarcho-BM, while there was almost no supply at all back then (yes, I knew about Iskra and a handful of early blackened crust bands, but that was all).

After I started this blog, it was amazing for me to find out how many people interested in RABM there actually are. I was receiving band/album suggestions on almost daily basis, and pretty quickly it came to the point when I barely could find some free time to review all of them. While only a minority of these bands were "RABM" in strict sense, it was great to see how many black metal fans and artists are trying to challenge the genre's "fascist" reputation. Nowadays, I think "RABM" is already a pretty widely accepted genre definition which is used in a lot of places other than this blog (only 5 years ago, it was used almost exclusively on here), and it even has Wikipedia articles in 4 languages. Probably not the most reliable indication of success, but it still makes me proud of what I've done over these 6 years.

And now here comes the sad part. As you probably have noticed, there isn't as much activity on thing blog as it was before. There are many reasons for that, but it's mostly because I have less and less faith in the "red" and "anarchist" side of things as days pass by. Those who followed my blog during the last couple of years probably remember my observations on how the positions of many self-proclaimed "red"/"anarchist" organizations have changed to something I don't support at all, including stuff which made me feel like like this poster on Revleft who has quit his organization after they took a position of support for Taliban. I also have noticed that even the "radical" leftist positions nowadays seem to be limited to the support for identity politics and some weak form of social democracy, and that many self-proclaimed "anarchists" or "socialists" are essentially indistinguishable from the mainstream US-style liberals. Sorry, but that's something I didn't sign up for at all. Additionally, there's increasingly toxic atmosphere in the Western anarchist scene, more or less accurately described in an anonymous article titled "Things That Anarchists Say to Me in Private But Never Repeat Publicly". If that's really what anarchism is nowadays, then I don't think I want to be a part of it anymore, nor I feel welcome in such a movement anymore.

Of course, I don't regret anything I've done for the RABM scene, and I still think it's important to help its further development, but I no longer want to be someone that does it, for the reasons I've partially described above. Fortunately I've found people who agreed to continue my job with the "Anarchist Black Metal" VK group, and while I have some problems with doing the same for this blog, I think it's safe to assume that my personal mission with RABM is close to being complete. I probably still would post on here in the future, but only on special occasions, leaving most of the job of reviewing new RABM releases to someone else. As for the broken download links in my posts, most of them have been fixed by now (except maybe in the entries about some obscure releases that aren't that essential to the RABM scene). And finally, thanks again for everyone who supported what I was doing over these years, and stay tuned!

5 comments :

  1. I had a feeling this was coming, but that doesn't take any of the sting out of this announcement. If not for you and this blog, I certainly wouldn't have been able to gain as much of an insight into contemporary events in eastern Europe and Russia, I wouldn't have started reading No BS Russia (your reccomendation) and I shudder to think that I might have slipped down the typical western "liberal left" rabbit hole of "if it says it's anti-imperialist it must be good!"

    Aside from the typical leftist bickering, the other growing problem in the western leftist scene is third positionists and "national anarchists" who are trying to gain inroads into our communities. Grim perhaps, but life itself is a struggle, and struggle is what we do.

    You've done good work and the scope of your work is greater than I think you may imagine. Stay safe, stay alive and don't be a stranger!

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  2. Saludos desde Argentina.
    Harry Haller

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  3. Well, sorry to hear about all the negative stuff but it's been clear that's the direction you were heading these last few years.

    You have made some really key contributions to the RABM scene and I appreciate all that you've done. Just want to say thanks from a long time fan if nothing else.

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  4. thank you so much for all you've done. i can relate to your frustration. i'm a US anarchist who has spent so long trying to work in this weird anarcho-leftist culture that i've just given up. i'm sure i'll try again, but that scene has completely turned me off.

    anyway, thanks again for all you've done. it's been an honor to go on tour and play with bands that i discovered on this blog. it's a really good feeling, and it wouldn't have happened without your hard work.

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  5. Keep on man.

    Your brothers from The Dark Skies Above Us Collective

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