Translation/adaptation of a French post published on 2019 March 15th – my English being not as good as it should be, I do hope it remains understandable… And if you notice any (content) mistake, no not hesitate to contact me!
Since the beginning, creation of elitist and undeground circles is a black metal trademark. This post deals with an Argentinian NSBM (National-Socialist Black Metal) circle, based in Buenos-Aires, and active since the beginning of the 2000s: the Southern Elite Club (SEC). Apart from some information on this circle, I take the opportunity to discuss data collection, methodology, network analysis and visualization.
Like most active NSBM circle, artists involved in the SEC deals with many musical activities (albums recordings, label management – Dark Hidden Productions, gigs and gigs organization) and political ones (Narok being one of the foundeurs of the neo-nazi movement Legion Pretoriana). In Argentina where law forbid the apology of the military regim (1976-1983), these activities are of course illegal.
Sources used here are the online encyclopedia metal-archives.com, the website discogs.com, the book As Wolves among sheeps, an issue of an English-written Peruvian zine Psicoterror, and one online interview of the main animator of this circle.
Artists & bands
According to metal-archives, 6 bands are part of the Southern Elite Circle, these 6 bands involving only 3 artists. If you represent it as a graph, you’ll get this figure below : artists are green circles, SEC bands members are the red ones and the non-member group the orange one (the other members of the band Votz Naudor are not represented).
But, if you take a look at the cover of the Votz Naudor demo released in 2015 and edited on 88 copies (a NSBM tradition), you’ll see the SEC logo. Plus, the first graph only considers present bands members or the last-known line-up.
The following graph includes Votz Naudor – and its full line-up – plus all musiciens (yellow circles) having taken part to the activities of these different bands (green circles). Dates in brackets following bands names give their known activity period; dates on italics on the links regard the bands line-up. Some information provided by metal-archives were rectified: Campo de Mayo is active from 2002 until 2009 and the Members rubric indicates that Eviigne plays “Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Drums” from 2002 to 2011. Furthermore, some information are fuzzy (Past, Past (live), etc.). The only documented case regards Napalm excluded by Eviigne from Campo de Mayo and from Permafrost because, according to the last one, Napalm “is just an untalented man who goes stealing songs from all the guitar players that pass through his bands.” (2012 Eviigne’s interview).
Bands & labels
Another possible network use for studying a scene is to create bands – labels graphs. As usual, choices made to model the data impact the obtained result. Labels number is function of the band discographic production. You also have records produced by several labels: the Campo de Mayo compilation released in 2006 is for example the result of a collaboration between Desastrious Records (USA), Dark Hidden Productions (Argentina) and Fetch the Rope Records (USA). Numbers of copies are usually weak (1000 max, often much less) and other versions can be released by other labels: the split Campo de Mayo/Permafrost A Blindfold Stained with Blood / Haunting the Forgotten released in 2009 on their own label Dark Hidden Productions is also released on tape by the US label Vanguard Productions in 2015 .
On the following graph, a link is created each time a label (yellow) is involved on a band release (red), regarding both first issues and reeditions. The central position of Dark Hidden Productions was expected: leaded by Narok, one of the most active artist of the SEC, it seems normal that it releases their own productions. The international aspect is not fully surprising, the Southern Circle Elite being member of the international network NSBM Pagan Front. Other options are of course available to represent these links: measure an intensity related to the number of releases, take into account the volume of the discography to mitigate this intensity, etc.
Finally, there is one graph I could realize, the splits one, but 1. I already done it often on this blog and 2. there are only few splits: the split Permafrost/Campo de Mayo already quoted (2 SEC bands with a large members overlap), one split of Furor with the Bulgarian band Aryan Blood in 2008, and finally, released in 2007, a split with Argenraza, Grafvolluth (USA) and Stormlüst (France).
Dark Hidden Productions (releases, distro, number of copies) : http://dark-hidden.com/distribution.html
Maspero, Davide, et Ribaric, Max. As Wolves among Sheeps. La saga funeste du NSBM. Camion noir, 2014, p. 790-793.
Psicoterror, 2016, issue X, Campo de Mayo & The Southern Elite Circle, Eviigne’s text, p. 10-11 and, on the same issue, Ulfhetnar, Eviigne and Narok interview, p. 41-42.
Interview with Eviigne, 2012, https://waffen-schwarze-metal.blogspot.com/2012/12/interview-with-eviigne.html