So INQUISITION Aren't Nazis? I Don't Know. Who Cares?
This past Wednesday, Metal Injection posted an article titled Black Metal Band Inquisition Are Probably Nazis. The article, authored by Metal Injection Editor-In-Chief Rob Pasbani, was a commentary on a blog post from the website Shameless Navel Gazing that revived the well-worn and tired claim that Inquisition are Nazis.
This claim has floated around for years and stems from a few things: Inquisition's early-career relationship with No Colours Records, a German mail order and record company that works with a lot of national socialist black metal bands; a song the band recorded called "Crush the Jewish Prophet," and the band's relationship with a controversial artist named Antichrist Kramer. Both the MI article and the SNG article also quoted a man named Daniel Gallant, a reformed skin head who writes about racism and Nazism within the black metal community. Gallant claims to have driven Inquisition's tour bus at some point in the past and when he showed the band his swastika tattoo, they, "clapped and cheered…Inquisition (both Tom and Jason) were thrilled." Gallant went on to allege that Dagon (the lead singer and guitar player for Inquisition) said he loved to imagine living in Nazi Germany and wished something similar would happen in America.
To my knowledge, neither Metal Injection nor Shameless Navel Gazing reached out to Inquisition or Gallant for comment, but yesterday Decibel Magazine posted an interview with Dagon on their website.
Throughout the rambling, lengthy interview (which reads like an unbelievable comedy-of-errors if taken literally), Dagon flatly denied accusations that Inquisition are associated with or hold any racist or fascist beliefs. He acknowledged that Daniel Gallant drove a tour bus for the band, but the story Dagon recounted is much different than Gallant's. According to Dagon, he did have a conversation with Gallant about his Nazi tattoos, but it was due to curiosity rather than admiration. Additionally, he claimed that Antichrist Kramer is not a white supremacist and No Colours Records derived its name from the black and white color scheme the company used for their releases. On the subject of "Crush the Jewish Prophet," Dagon stated that the choice to include the word Jewish in the song title was for the sake of clarity as much as controversy.
I don't know whether or not Inquisition hold Nazi/fascist beliefs. They've flirted with Nazi imagery (above: a photo of the band posing in front of a Nazi flag, which was an insert in an early Inquisition release) in the past. Additionally, Dagon's side project, 88MM contributed a track called "14 Showerheads, 1 Gas Tight Door" to a compilation called Satanic Skinhead – Declaration of Anti-Semitic Terror and no amount of bizarre rationalization on Dagon's part can change the fact that Antichrist Kramer is a raging bigot and No Colours Records is a stronghold for NSBM bands. But these facts in and of themselves don't tell us anything.
Nachtmystium's first album Reign of the Malicious was distributed by Unholy Records, an imprint of the white power label Resistance Records, and everyone from David Bowie to Lemmy Kilmister have demonstrated an affinity for fascist imagery and memorabilia.
It seems likely that the band only flirted with Nazi imagery for shock value and worked with racists simply for business purposes, and now those decisions are coming back to bite them. The only difference between Inquisition and the countless other punk and metal bands who've done the same thing is that they got swept up in the music blogging community's news cycle.