Alex Jones might be one of the most detestable men on the face of the planet, but at least the venom with which he delivers his maniacal tirades can easily be distorted to sound like demonic growls perfect for any album intro. It is one of his infamous rants that kicks off the sophomore release from meme-loving black metallers Neckbeard Deathcamp, a nazi-baiting powerhouse that leaves no stone unturned in its pursuit of pissing off fascists and their sympathisers.
Sure, reviews about the trio are quick to descend into political rants that refrain from talking about the music itself, but if you consider the band’s goal to be nothing more than fighting fascists at their own (meme) game, then the response from the right is surely an indication that the band are well and truly achieving that goal. An array of the reviews in circulation on the glorious realm of metal blogs scorn the band for their politics whilst outright dismissing the music, whilst Hipster Black Metal, a shitheap of a YouTube page, has posted seven videos in three days targeting Neckbeard Deathcamp and their members. Not only this, but the page has done so whilst using a barrage of homophobic slurs and weight stigma – surely the sort of thing a perfectly reasonable human being might do.
If metal is “supposed to offend” as right-wing black metal fans often claim, then Neckbeard Deathcamp are certainly doing a good job. Here, their message is delivered through the same lo-fi strain of black metal we saw on last year’s White Nationalism Is For Basement Dwelling Losers, but whilst that debut was criticised by some on the left for essentially being a meme machine with little focus on the riffs, the follow-up boasts some truly hard-hitting bouts of extreme metal and at least one overwhelming wave of oppressive harsh noise.
Any questions about the band’s ability to riff are put to rest here. The indecipherable lyrics and chaotic onslaught are always present, but amongst the noise can be found the feral brutality of ‘Shitpostnacht’, the ear-splitting noise and delightfully hellish sludge outro of ‘Bricks Out For Harambe’ and the swirling barrage of malevolent and muscular riffs on ‘Tolerance Candle’. Elsewhere, ‘Unironically Calling Someone The Untermensch…’ boasts a grotesque wall of cavernous chaos, ‘Operation NEET’ is a firestorm of blastbeats and guttural growls that emanate up from some infernal plain and ‘/R/IAMVERYSMART’ takes aim at Reddit users with some irresistibly infectious riffing. It’s not all perfect, of course, with closer ‘Pozerfaust Division’ somewhat fizzling to an anti-climatic end, whilst the inclusion of ten-minute wall of fuzz ‘Horseshoe Theory’ is bold – it’s atmospherically dense, but it’s also a momentum-killer that will undoubtedly prove too much of an endurance test for many.
What Neckbeard Deathcamp have done with So Much For The Tolerant Left is fairly remarkable. They’ve stuck to their gimmick (distorted podcast samples and all) and thus injected some humour into a notoriously fun-hating scene, but they’ve also developed their sound and delivered a solid black metal album that fans of the genre’s second wave should love, with full-on harsh noise assaults to boot. When a band is this good at pissing off bigots, it’s hard not to love ‘em.
So Much For The Tolerant Left is out 24th May on Prosthetic Records. Purchase here.
Words: George Parr