By The Void
Eva Braun, the mistress and later wife (for a single day) of Adolf Hitler, was known to experience frequent bouts of jealousy if the Führer received so much as an approving glance from another woman. Presumably in the psychosexual Nazi state, this was not uncommon or indeed unexpected, but one notable competitor — Unity Mitford — stood out as particularly threatening to her. Of Mitford, Braun wrote in her diary “she is known as the Valkyrie and looks the part, including her legs.”
The modern Unity Mitford, then, is Myrkur, who looks like nothing so much as the embodiment of ideal Aryan womanhood. Following the example of black metal bands such as Burzum and Graveland — artists known for their virulent racism — Myrkur writes and records all of her own music by herself. She has received favorable coverage from normally acceptable metal outlets such as Noisey and MetalSucks who are too evidently blinded by the novelty of a one-woman black metal band to see past the coy game that Myrkur (perhaps unknowingly) plays.
Without directly admitting to it herself, Myrkur is the ultimate fulfillment of the National Socialist Black Metal movement’s ambitions.
National Socialist and more vaguely racialist themes are common in metal; Pantera of course were the most visible example of this. Motörhead was another. Even a progressive band like Slayer made use of Nazi imagery, although this presumably was meant as ironic commentary given their importance to queer women of color in metal. The overtly fascist imagery and ideology of bands such as Nokturnal Mortum, Dark Fury, and of course Mayhem were simply the logical progression from the shock tendencies of punk and goth bands in the 1970s and 1980s.
All National Socialist Black Metal bands are preoccupied with the status of white women. While it is tempting to simply dismiss this as another instance of the systemic societal valuation of white women over all other types of women (see, for example, Missing White Woman Syndrome) the Polish NSBM band Thor’s Hammer directly addresses the true concern with their 2002 album The Fate Worse than Death:
Juxtaposed against a mushroom cloud is the aggressive sexuality of a black man directed against a white woman. It is fascinating to consider for a moment the work that must have gone into creating this album cover. Thor’s Hammer evidently stands against miscegenation but somehow had no qualms about paying for a semi-pornographic depiction of the tired black-on-blonde scenario. This leads me to the conclusion that the members of Thor’s Hammer were projecting their own taboo fantasies regarding race-mixing and I can only assume that they felt some type of gratification during the shoot that delivered this cover art. Alternately, it is equally possible that they simply appropriated an existing pornographic film or image for their use, which again raises the question as to why a band presumably dedicated to the preservation of white racial purity would go looking for such an image, but I digress.
Myrkur is an interesting case study in the reality of white privilege. While women of color who play in black metal bands are generally ignored (not counting female metal musicians from Asia, as they are routinely fetishized), Myrkur receives adulation befitting a Roman empress. She was already famous as a model and pop music singer and released her black metal work pseudonymously. It is only because she had an established career as a white woman playing “safe” music that she was able to have the resources necessary to indulge in her other, allegedly less mainstream, interests.
National Socialist Black Metal simultaneously denies and enjoys the concept of white privilege. They clamor for white attention and special consideration for whites. They are mostly unaware that they already receive it. Without proclaiming herself to be a National Socialist, Myrkur has attained the status that NSBM desires most.
The runic motifs, the Nordic name, the cold sound of the music — all of these things are accoutrements of NSBM. She is the light Yin to the dark Yang of Varg Vikernes. In the same way that many white Americans are unknowingly racist, Myrkur is unknowingly a National Socialist. Perhaps she is unaware of her metaphorical and symbolic status and perhaps she is not. She is in this way not so much black metal’s Unity Mitford as she is black metal’s Helen of Troy: the beautiful, mysterious destroyer of all things around her without the slightest awareness or feeling of responsibility for the damage she has done.