The 1990s was a turning point for the global White Nationalist skinhead movement. After Nationalist Rock's exhaustive expression through Oi!, Punk and Hard Rock from the glut of records produced throughout the previous decade, the necessity for the scene to evolve lest they face stagnation grew pertinent. Technique would temper Nationalist aggression without any loss of manliness, and it would then be determined that Punk Rock would give way to Heavy Metal. The close of the 1980s saw the release of several landmark LPs that marked the transition from the raucous spirit of Punk rebellion to the path of epic heaviness and strength that would eventually include Ian Stuart himself. After Skrewdriver's The Strong Survive
kicked off the 1990s, Ian would collaborate with Steve "Stigger" Calladine in a new band called White Diamond whose signature sound would be the closest Skrewdriver's legendary frontman would ever come to '80s Metal. Sadly, the beginnings of this journey would be rocky as White Diamond's The Reaper
feature frustratingly terrible production values. It is undeniable that solid Metal-influenced LPs existed during this transition era, but Ian Stuart's side-project regrettably paled in comparison to Forward Into War
or Générations futures
Conceptually speaking, Heavy Metal and RAC are perfect bedfellows. Lots of Nationalist skinheads were fond of their native NWOBHM scene despite coming from a Punk background, and both scenes champion triumphant lyrics which deal with heroism in the face of adversity as well as the fringe and occult, so perhaps it was inevitable RAC would get heavier with time. Once Punk subculture had effectively cast out virtually everyone to the right of Arthur Scargill, RAC had nowhere else to go but Metal. Metal's greatest gift is that anyone from any background can be true to the sound. Despite both emphasizing their respective subcultures, Metal is still music first and a subculture second. Punk, on the other hand, is so wrapped up in its scene that people still endlessly debate what's Punk or not. This distinction allows for much more diversity in thought within Metal than Punk.
However, there still remains one key caveat despite being strong bedfellows. Apart from subculture and sound, perhaps the biggest difference between both RAC and Metal is that the former is expressly political whereas the latter is metapolitical. Virtually every influential RAC band speaks of concrete ideals and goals with rarely a moment dedicated to introspection. Metal, on the other hand, goes deeply inward. Once you study all the bands and their respective ideas from Kreator or Sacred Reich on the left to Burzum or Graveland on the right, you'll come to realize that Metal is rather realist and beyond left and right in the typical sense as it is beyond good and evil. Metal is truly a Nietzschean genre. No matter what the individual metalhead's beliefs may be, almost unanimously they agree that civilization's decline must be overcome by pursuing the heroic spirit in the face of adversity and embracing the totality of existence and learning through mythological paradigms. As such, expressly political Metal bands risk being little more than propaganda vehicles with fleeting musical substance, although even the most partisan acts enjoy audiences across the political spectrum. No one denies that Napalm Death, Carcass, Kreator or Amebix are all genre-defining titans capable of composing music that endures decades after releasing their respective classics. Can the same be said for the Nationalist skinhead movement?
Legendary Swedish RAC band Vit Aggression would continue this tradition with great success. These hateful Swedes entered the world playing gritty, shambolic Punk Rock, debuting first as part of a 4 band split titled Nordland
that represented Sweden's nascent RAC scene. After several crucial line-up changes that would purportedly include Oskar Forss of Therion (citation desperately needed, Metapedia), the band would release the aggressively titled Död åt ZOG!
, literally Death to ZOG. Vit Aggression's militant work has been subject to state suppression after the police raided a 1998 gig in Brottby following the band rousing the audience with Hitler salutes. The police shutdown netted in shirts and merchandise being confiscated and over 300 people arrested. To this very day, the album's blatant militancy continues to court controversy which led to the Swedish state trying Midgård Records for inciting racial hatred. Eventually, the court ruled that the album's lyrics did not directly incite listeners to commit acts of violence despite containing certain expressions that may be considered to include a glorification of gun violence.
So how does this album hold up? Surprisingly well. After initially writting these guys off years ago, revisiting Död åt ZOG!
rewarded me with a solid fusion of Heavy Metal and Oi!. The two genres coexist in an uneasy harmony as the Metal dominates most of the album with the Punk tracks seemingly recorded to appease loyalists to the old style of RAC. The production values are clean with all instruments being quite audible especially the heavily reverbed guitar tone, although the drumkit is tuned down a little too much as are the vocals. The volume is otherwise mixed evenly so there is no clipping or excessive loudness from one instrument or the other.
The riffs cycle between NWOBHM-inspired Metal akin to Iron Maiden and the occasion dash of Motörhead Speed Metal. The Metal songs work best when they're galloping at full speed whereas the slower songs sound competent but notably weaker. The Punk songs are entirely done in the spirit of Svea hjältar
by fellow countrymen Ultima Thule. "Ett enat Folk" is a solid anthemic Viking Rock tune on account of its driving power chords and unmistakable chorus. Also on this album is a metallic rendition of Edvard Grieg's classic "In the Hall of the Mountain King" (Swedish: "I bergakungens sal") which serves as a neat break between all the action that doesn't sound dull or tasteless, although the keyboard symphony may slightly inch your eyebrows.
Perhaps this album's biggest flaw comes from vocalist Göran Gustavsson whose flatness robs the lyrics of their intended punch. His vocals are decidedly worse in English than his native tongue, and the fact they are turned down a little too much in comparison with the rest of the mix hinders the listening experience.
The reissue removes the song "Parasiter" presumably on account of the lyrics which is a goddamn shame because the music there ranks among the album's highlights, but making up for it are the bonus tracks taken from their appearance on White Solidarity
which includes the controversial "Sniper", a tribute to serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin known for murdering interracial couples and his botched attempt to assassinate Hustler kingpin Larry Flynt which led to his lifelong confinement in a wheelchair. Franklin was eventually arrested, sentenced to death and finally executed on November 30th, 2013. Heinous subject matter and valorizing a murderous psychopath notwithstanding (we'd have to indict a huge swath of artists within Metal and beyond including Grindcore legends Macabre and Impetigo), the tune is packed full of catchy, aggressive riffs that gallop from start to finish which may make listening to this tune somewhat uncomfortable. "Gods of Our Blood" is a Heavy Metal epic praising Norse Gods that closes out the album well enough. The tune begins slowly before building to a climax that carries the album to a satisfying conclusion.
Highlights: Var hälsad, Parasiter, Ett enat folk, I bergakungens sal, I hjältars sal, I vilddjurets skugga, Sniper, Gods of Our Bloodhttps://archive.org/details/vit-aggression-dod-at-zog-re-edition-2018https://archive.org/details/vit-aggression-dod-at-zog-second-edition-1999