Asgardsrei is an annual neo-Nazi and National Socialist Black metal (NSBM) festival, which first took place in Moscow in 2012, but changed its location to Kiev, Ukraine.1 According to a post on the neo-Nazi website Militant Zone2
"the following year, people behind the fest had to flee the country in order to escape political persecution. In 2014, the Ukrainian revolution attracted many brave souls to Kiev, with it becoming the cradle of a new movement, hereafter known as Militant Black Metal."
The festival is organized by Alexei Levkin of the band M8L8TH, who also runs the "MilitantZone" website, as well as the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, which has been instrumental in the Maidan putsch in Ukraine.3
The NSBM genre has become popular among neo-Nazis worldwide, and festivals such as Asgardsrei have become a contact point for various neo-Nazi groups from Europe and the US.3 Among bands that were participating in the festival are, for example, Absurd, Peste Noire, Goatmoon, M8L8TH, and Nokturnal Mortum.5 6
Pact of Steel
Since 2015, in the run-up to the Asgardrei festival a conference called "Pact of Steel" takes place, where neo-Nazi big wigs from all over Europe give lectures and presentations.
- 1Oleksiy Kuzmenko, "'Defend the White Race': American Extremists Being Co-Opted by Ukraine’s Far-Right," Bellingcat, February 15, 2019, https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2019/02/15/defend-the-white-race-american-extremists-being-co-opted-by-ukraines-far-right/.
- 2"ASGARDSREI 2017 – Absurd, Peste Noire, Goatmoon, Naer Mataron, M8L8TH, Burshtyn (Kiev, 16.12.2017)," Militant Zone, http://militant.zone/ar2017/.
- 3 a b Freddy Hagen, "En nationalsocialistisk black metal-festival i Kiev er meget mere end bare musik," POV International, December 12, 2019, https://pov.international/militant-black-metal-i-denne-weekend-samles-hojreekstremister-fra-hele-verden-i-kiev/.
- 4Colin Moynihan, "Heavy Metal Confronts Its Nazi Problem," The New Yorker, February 19, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/heavy-metal-confronts-its-nazi-problem.
- 5"Europas NSBM-Szene sammelt sich in Kiew," Blick nach rechts, November 30, 2018, https://www.bnr.de/artikel/aktuelle-meldungen/europas-nsbm-szene-sammelt-sich-in-kiew.
- 6"ARDSREI V – Nokturnal Mortum, Peste Noire, M8L8TH, Kroda (Kiev, 18.12.2016)," Militant Zone, http://militant.zone/ar2016/.
- 7David E. Vise, "Fugitive Neo-Nazi From Germany Is Captured in W.Va." The Washington Post, August 29, 2000, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2000/08/29/fugitive-neo-nazi-from-germany-is-captured-in-wva/ad02f94b-1d1a-4f46-b06e-3a0d158a1015/.