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Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Red and Anarchist Black Metal Underground

For a genre as controversial as National Socialist black metal (NSBM), it's a given that there would be a backlash against it from within. Especially given that metalheads are often a rebellious bunch, a bunch of songs about extreme forms of nativism was inevitably going to annoy the living crap out of a lot of left-leaning metalheads. And thus, red and anarchist black metal (RABM) was born, a genre even more obscure than NSBM but coming from the radical left.

Not a genre with a specific sound but one defined entirely by ideology, RABM will likely never see mainstream appeal but will still manage to attract a small yet dedicated following committed to a never-ending war with NSBM.

Yaotl Mictlan

Proving that one can be proud of one's culture without resorting to fascism, Yaotl Mictlan is a Mexican band affiliated with the EZLN secessionist movement in Chiapas. Evoking the religion of the ancient Aztec civilization as an attack on the Spanish imperialism and fighting for indigenous rights is only is still second to the band when it comes to making quality ass-kicking black metal.

A Cloud Forest

Hailing from the Southwstern United States and still packing more atmosphere in a single song than the vast majority of black metal bands do in their entire careers. This duo manage to do raw production right, being fuzzy but still intense. This is how raw black metal should be done.


One of the biggest names in RABM, or the Canadian black metal scene as a whole for that matter despite no label support at all and still succeeding despite the odds. Skagos have a strong use of acoustics that gives them a certain indie rock appeal and should appeal to fans of lo-fi music in general, not just fans of black metal.

Know of any other quality RABM bands? Let us know in the comments.

Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.

Dasher10's avatar

Matt is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Illinois and a metalhead since 1999.

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1 Comment on "Unearthing the RABM Underground"

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sonictherapy's avatar

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1. sonictherapy writes:

I think I read on Yaotl Mictlan's status that the band has relocated to Salt Lake City after last year's "Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac." I wonder what prompted this?

# Oct 24, 2011 @ 6:37 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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