Bölzer, the swastika and ill-advised reclamation

Posted: July 31, 2014 in Articles

Another possible Nazi connection with a new black metal band. Much like Coldwar, the band claims to be attempting to reclaim the Swastika from it’s fascist twentieth century meaning to it’s peaceful origins in other countries and religions. Historically, the symbol has been associated with peace, most notably in India, but, like many symbols, was co-opted by the Nazis, which tarnished the image beyond repair. The only Nazi symbol I can think of that was able to be reclaimed by the group it represented was the pink triangle for the gay community. The pink triangle is slightly different, however, as it was something created by the Nazi regime to identify homosexual prisoners. It will be interesting to see how people react to Bölzer.


bolzer Fabian “HzR” Wyrsch (left) and Okoi “KzR” Jones (right) of Bölzer. By enlarging this image, you can see the swastika tattoo(s) on Jones’ left arm

Like most things in life, I caught on late to Bölzer, the Swiss death/black metal duo whose music has been received rapturously by metal critics over the last year or so. But having listened to a track off their soon-to-be-released Soma EP, I quickly came to the conclusion that the hype was justified. With a teeming, overwhelming sound for a two-piece, aided by refreshingly naturalistic, analogue production, both of the band’s short releases to date show a lot of promise, at times bringing to mind a version of Blut Aus Nord that favours direct bursts of aggression over long-form experimentation. It’s little wonder that these recordings, and a smattering of well-received live shows, have metal sites the world over eagerly awaiting a full album.

But, given recent events…

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