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Catching a Wave: William Pierce, Cymophane, and the National Socialist Black Metal Underground PDF PDF PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 06 July 2004
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Catching a Wave: William Pierce, Cymophane, and the National Socialist Black Metal Underground
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January 2001

A Cymophane, pronounced "kymo-phane", is a red-brown stone shaped like an eye. It is also the ancient Greek word for "the coming wave". If American nazi leader William Pierce has his way, Cymophane will become the next transatlantic wave of white power music.

As part of his ongoing efforts to recruit young people and generate revenue, William Pierce - leader of the National Alliance, America's fastest growing and most dangerous nazi outfit - has taken control of a number of white power record labels in the past year. The most recent addition to his growing musical empire is Cymophane, LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) - the U.S. arm of a music label specialising in "national socialist black metal" (NSBM). Through the purchase of Cymophane, Pierce is also seeking to make inroads into the white power music scene in Scandinavia.

Although Pierce's own taste in music runs more in the Wagnerian direction, he is well aware that white power music is both a money making machine and a recruiting tool. In one swift move, he has thus become one of the major players in the industry.


According to Searchlight's sister magazine, Monitor, in Norway, Cymophane was founded as a record label in 1993 by Norwegian nazi Varg Vikernes to handle the Scandinavian distribution of CDs by his one-man-band Burzum.

Vikernes started out as a fashionable Satanist and was eventually sentenced to life in prison for murder and arson of Norwegian churches. In prison, Vikernes dumped Satanism and became a believer of the Asa-religion, the ancient pre-Christian Nordic religion, which is sometimes erroneously known as Odinism, to graduate as a full-blown nazi.

Through the music of Burzum, Vikernes has also become a key figure in the burgeoning Black Metal scene. Misanthropy Records, based in London, became Burzum's distributor to the rest of the rest of Europe and the USA. By capitalising on the publicity surrounding the trial and conviction of Vikernes for murder and arson in 1994, Misanthropy was able to push Burzum releases into mainstream record stores and catalogues. Articles on Burzum and Vikernes began to appear in numerous music publications. And, as black metal continued to increase in popularity, Burzum sales continued to rise. Today, Burzum is one of the biggest selling acts in the entire black metal market.

In January 2000, Misanthropy Records announced termination of its operations. To fill the void left by Misanthropy, Cymophane expanded, opening a new branch in the Pacific Northwest, announcing that
Cymophane-Nordland in Sweden would handle all Burzum releases in Europe, and that Cymophane-Vinland be the U.S. distributor.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 July 2004 )
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