Axl Rosenberg (Matt Goldberg) of metalcore blog MetalSucks recently reaffirmed his website’s social justice warrior stance in an editorial entitled “Stop Saying Politics Have No Place in Metal”. Rosenberg points out that Tony Iommi’s guitar tone was a direct result of the socioeconomic circumstances of his upbringing but incorrectly assumes that Black Sabbath’s lyrics were written by Ozzy Osbourne’s even rougher childhood when they were in fact primarily written by Geezer Butler who was obsessed with the occult, the work of Aleister Crowley, and horror fiction and films. Rosenberg then uses the lyrics from “War Pigs” to attempt to show that Black Sabbath had strong political undercurrent. All dedicated fans of the band know that the song was originally titled “Walpurgis” about the Witches Sabbath on Walpurgis Night and the label forced them to change the title as they thought it too overly satanic. The anti-war lines are just expressing that politicians and generals sending off young men to die for only the benefit of the leaders in the rear is evil too and actually reflects popular opinions of World War I as much as Vietnam. Attempting to attach any political significance to these is preposterous.
Rosenberg then namechecks such songs as “Run to the Hills” without even bothering to pay attention to the second half of the song where Iron Maiden revel in the slaughter of Indians, “Keep On Rotting In the Free World” without a clue in the world that Carcass parodying a Neil Young song, and Dave Mustaine’s career paranoid contrarianism in a pathetic attempt to prove that that “metal” (less than half the songs he cites are actually metal) musicians are predisposed to the same lefitst political views as himself. Steve Harris is a Tory, Carcass merely militant vegetarians and gorehounds, Chuck Schuldiner was pro-death penalty, Dave Mustaine boasted of building border walls in the Eighties, and Eric Hoffman is a die-hard conservative to say the least. Rosenberg slandered them in the hope of giving himself an imagined ideological base to attack artists he views as politically questionable in the manner of Mao’s Red Guards.