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Montreal Fest Cancelled After Protests Against Black Metal Band with Neo-Nazi Ties

The band is Graveland, the frontman is an admitted "Nationalist Socalist" aka Nazi.

The band is Graveland, the frontman is an admitted "Nationalist Socalist" aka Nazi.

For those not familiar with Graveland, they are a black metal band from Poland. Frontman Robert Fudali aka "Rob Darken" considers himself a  National Socialist, which some more astute readers will be quick to point out is a fancy way of saying neo-nazi. While many fans of the band consider them a NSBM band (national socalist black metal, aka nazi metal), Dark himself refutes this claim stating once to Decibel Magazine "I do not think Graveland is an NSBM band. Graveland is regarded as a NSBM band because of my political convictions, [which] most people would call extreme right-wing, National Socialist convictions."

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I would call that a neo-nazi, but that's a little detail. Regardless, Graveland was set to headline the Messe Des Morts music festival in Montreal this past Saturday, November 26. It was to be their first North American appearance, but they never took the stage. The fest was abruptly cancelled by festival organizers after thirty protesters gathered earlier in the day to take a stand against Graveland.

According to Global News, one of the protesters was Alexandre Boulerice, federal MP for the New Democratic Party. According to the Global News report, Boulerice was "concerned that groups with fascist ties, or groups which had expressed ideas in line with white supremacist leanings were present in his riding."

“I understand that musicians are allowed to play their music but I believe that citizens who are uncomfortable with movements with ties to the extreme-right are also allowed to express their views,.” said Boulerice.

According to the Montreal Gazette, the protesters sent word to promoters earlier in the week that they were coming and wanted to have the festival cancelled:

"A band with racist and anti-Semitic ideas has no place in Montreal," wrote Karine Fortier in the alert. "Montreal must remain a safe place for everyone and where racist people who think they have an opening to express their discriminatory ideas must meet with resistance."

Ultimately, the festival organizers decided the best course of action was to cancel the event:

"For safety reasons, we are forced to cancel tonight's concert. Know that the Théâtre Plaza's administration, as well as the Messe Des Morts' organisation have put every effort to find another conclusion. Despite this announcement, we invite you to go back home calmly and to show the same respect you have shown since the festival's debut. Understand that we cannot give you further details for the moment."

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Interestingly, in the same Montreal Gazette article, Darken contradicts previous claims he made, saying he is not a neo-nazi:

“When Graveland started playing live, some photos of me and Honor members emerged,” Fudali wrote, referring to a now-defunct Polish skinhead band widely associated with the neo-Nazi movement. “They were taken in 2001, and supposed to be some sort of memorabilia only. They have nothing to do with politics, and they are not reflecting my political view, either. Graveland is not an NSBM band and never was!”

Here's some footage of the protest:

In case you're wondering what Graveland sound like:


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