As if electronic dance music wasn’t bad enough for a new generation of music, another genre has made its way to some Greater Philadelphia stages — and it’s extremely anti-Semitic.
Texas-based dark metal band Nyogthaeblisz was scheduled to play at Millcreek Tavern in West Philadelphia Aug. 18 — after being removed from a scheduled show in the Washington, D.C. area — but never showed.
The following evening, they called Final Score Bar and Grill in Bensalem at the last minute and asked if they could play that night — except they no longer went by the name Nyogthaeblisz.
They told the Final Score booking agent their name was Hellvetron, and added that they were scheduled to play at Whiskey Tango in the Northeast, but the bar was supposedly closed when they got there, without giving them prior notice.
After some light Googling of cover-up name Hellvetron, which is a real band, they appeared to be a typical underground heavy metal group — with only about 43 listeners a month via Spotify — so Final Score gave them a slot to perform that Friday night, as the only other music scheduled was a DJ.
Gino Tripodi, manager of Final Score, said small, local bands regularly perform there, and sometimes four or five go on in one evening.
Bands have to go through the bar’s booking agent, and some often perform for free as they seek practice and stage time.
Audiences who visit the bar usually consist of friends and family, but “Hellvetron” wasn’t charging a cover to regular bar-goers, which is usually $10 at the door.
“They wanted to play I guess to a couple of their people and anybody who came in to see them,” Tripodi assumed.
“They didn’t have any kind of neo-Nazi flags or anything. They just looked like a normal kind of heavy metal band,” he continued. “They were just gothic.”
But after they started playing, someone noticed a band member had blood on his arm.
“I thought it was makeup,” he said. Then someone told Tripodi they saw razor blades in the bathroom.
Tripodi cleaned up the mess and threw the blades away. It was enough that he quickly shut down the performance.
“I can’t have them playing here. They’re bleeding all over the place,” he said. “I still had no idea who they were and what they were trying to perform.”
Tripodi said their lyrics were muffled over the heavy metal screeches, but upon further investigation, Nyogthaeblisz songs include titles like “Satanic Warfare” and “Bioterroristic Holocaust 666” — all under the genre of “Audial Terror Propaganda,” according to the band’s Facebook page, which has more than 5,000 followers.
A 2006 compilation CD called Satanic Skinhead: Declaration Of Anti-Semitic Terror featured a portrait of dead men, women and children on its album cover, reported Tablet in 2013, who were dragged from Nazi gas chambers.
Title tracks included songs like “Smash the F***ing Jewish Kikes” and “14 Showerheads, 1 Gas Tight Door.”
Other themes listed on the band’s metal encyclopedia website include “chaos” and “anti-Abrahamic religions.”
After the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., several weeks ago, in which one woman was killed, 2017 continues to see surges in anti-Semitic-related events, along with a greater volume of white supremacy in the forefront of recent news coverages.
The Anti-Defamation League reported that anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. spiked by 86 percent in just the first quarter of this year.
The “black and death metal” Nyogthaeblisz is reportedly signed under the Satanic Skinhead Propaganda label, though it closed in 2013.
In addition to dark metal, the label also produced “NSBM” music — or National Socialist black metal, essentially a musical subset of neo-Nazism.
As for Tripodi, he’s still unsure what the band’s motive was.
“No one even came out to see them. It was just pretty much the band members,” he said, adding that about 10 bar regulars swiftly emptied out once Nyogthaeblisz went on. “They just rubbed everybody the wrong way.”
Tripodi said he’s never experienced anything like this before, especially in Bensalem.
“Obviously, if I would have known, they never would have played,” he said, “but they got us when we weren’t ready. You never expect something like that.”
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