Photo courtesy of Myrkur's Facebook page
It's not exactly a secret that some—some, certainly not all or even most—extreme metal fans have unresolved issues with women, and that a hefty percentage of those types exert an astonishing amount of energy on advertising that fact online via blog posts, social media shit fits, or targeted harassment. The latest chapter in the ongoing Angry Baby Men Hating Metal Ladies chronicle focuses on Myrkur, the black metal alter ego of Ex-Cops vocalist and Danish-born musician Amalie Bruun.
As metal blog Toiletovhell first noted, two days ago, Bruun posted the following update on Mykur's Facebook page, explaining why fans were no longer able to send her messages. Despite the project's original veil of anonymity (Bruun's identity was initially kept secret, a common enough practice in black metal circles), her decision to remove that level of access from her fans wasn't a PR move or a bid to seem "mysterious." It was because she was tired of getting death threats.
As she wrote in the message, "I know that some of you have noticed you can no longer send me private messages. The reason for this is I am getting tired of the death threats and hate emails. Believe it or not but that s*** looses it's charm after a while. I am of course sad that I then no longer can receive personal letters from supporters + fan-art in private messages, but please continue to post your beautiful pieces on this page or to my instagram @myrkurmyrkur ."
Her fans have reacted with puzzlement, as one might imagine; Myrkur has attracted a lot of music fans who are new to metal, and aren't familiar with the intricacies of extreme metal scene politics, which is one of the main black marks against the band in certain books. It's hard to understand why a musician as seemingly inoffensive and accessible as Bruun would be inundated by hate and online abuse—unless, of course, you're familiar with black metal, and with the attitude some of its devotees hold towards percieved outsiders.
Look, I'm not even a Myrkur fan—her music is pleasant Bergtatt-lite, she seems like a smart, kind person from what little I've seen in interviews and online, but it just doesn't float my boat—but Jesus fucking Christ, am I sick of watching women and nonbinary metal musicians (and promoters, label owners, roadies, merchandisers, artist, writers—especially writers! Can't wait to see my mentions after I publish this!) get torn down, verbally abused, threatened, intimidated, and disrespected by insecure metalheads who apparently have literally nothing better to do with themselves.
The fact that most of these hateful messages are allegedly coming from American metalheads is even more depressing, but is indictative of just how many knuckleheads in this country are currently afraid that evil social justice warrior feminazis are comin' for their black metals, the same way Obama is definitely comin' for their guns and that Donald Trump is definitely a sane and well-reasoned choice for President. Change is scary, I know.
I reached out to Bruun to see if she'd care to publicize any of the threats she's recieved, and she came back with a statement that sums up the situation better than any screenshot could.
So here's the deal. If you hate Myrkur, here's a simple, effective way to isolate yourself from it: don't fucking listen to it. Don't stalk the band's Facebook page, or Twitter, or Instagram. Don't read the reviews, or go to the shows, or buy the records. Smugly declare to all and sundry that Myrkur is false hipster bullshit, that you wouldn't be caught dead listening to it. Furiously post about how fake and no-good her music is, and how girls shouldn't play black metal and how black metal is only for you and your friends AND NO ONE ELSE ARGHHH on your forum of choice until your goddamn fingers fall off... but leave her out of it, because the only crime Amalie Bruun is guilty of is loving the same dark, ugly, twisted music that you do, and of interpreting to it in a way that people—even people who don't own the entire Master's Hammer discography or spend all their time listening to LLN bootlegs—respond to. She doesn't deserve your scorn, or your abuse, and neither does anyone else who finds solace or inspiration in this music. It's weak, and one thing that black metal has never condoned is weakness.
Black metal is negative, anti-life, anti-human music; it's controversial, it's unapologetic, it's harsh, it's not politically correct and never will be—that's another simple truth, and one that any fan of the genre needs to accept. But if you're the kind of person who thinks that your love for this music gives you the right to abuse other people whose background or skin color or gender or chord progressions offend you, you are unworthy of black metal. You're just a shitty nerd with mommy issues, and god (sorry—Satan) knows the world could use a fuckload less of those.
Kim Kelly is done with your shit. She's on Twitter.