EMPEROR

by VUKOVAR

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about

In Culling Come

"You and I, in culling come.
Truth and beauty struck me dumb."

Totalitarianism is a common theme among musicians (if you can call us that) like me and Rick, and firstly I'd like to pre-empt a few criticisms and rash assumptions.

The first accusation that tends to get thrown out is that of Nazi-ism, or neo-nazi sympathies. A listen to the song New World Order will make abundantly clear this isn't the case, with "the socialists and the Nazis" both being roundly condemned. Firstly it's a moral disagreement: hating anyone because of something as inherent to them as their race, gender or sexuality is utterly stupid. Judge someone by their character not how they were born. Neither of us have any time for that kind of petty bigotry. The other is that being a Nazi in this day and age is utterly stupid and neither of us are stupid people. Adolf Hitler was a failure. Neo-nazis have elevated one of history's greatest failures to the position of a God and what that says about them is pretty obvious.

There's a reason this kind of imagery gets used a lot, verbally and visually. There is an incredible, almost tangible power to these signs and symbols: the runes, the black sun, the wolfsangle and, unavoidably, the swastika. The swastika has been irretrievably perverted (in a bad way) in Western culture and changed from a symbol of peace to a symbol of unconstructive hatred. It was a powerful image long before the Nazis stole it and repurposed it. That's why they stole and repurposed it. Lest we forget, Hitler was a failed artist. If only people had bought more of his paintings and shown a bit of interest in his flair for design, the deaths of millions could've been averted. For this reason you should urge everyone you know to buy a copy of this album, in case another storm of steel should flare up. Just to be on the safe side.

"Might is right" runs Concrete's chorus and that is completely (er) right. That is indeed a reference to Ragnar Redbeard's tract of the same name which was plagiarised by Anton LaVey and turned into the Satanic Bible. Anton LaVey was a Jewish man and him taking words from an anti-Semitic text like his source material and using them to make himself very rich is, to me, a prime example of strength and cunning. Social Darwinism is an ugly phrase, again one appropriated by the wrong kind of people. It's a shame that elitism has become such an ugly word. A true elitist wouldn't look at things in terms of race or sexuality. You should judge by character, not characteristics.

A real "elitist" would as eagerly accept the company of Nietzsche as they would, say, Angela Davies, someone whose life has been a constant quest to improve the world. The Black Panthers saw beyond the meaningless social divisions of the time and embraced the Gay Liberation movement as allies in the struggle for equal rights. Might is right. The strong should rule the weak and the clever should rule the strong. Not in some terrible borderline fascist testosterone overload sense of strength, either: having the courage of your own convictions and the willingness to stand behind them and stand for what you think is right is strength. Generosity and kindness is strength (not a weak willed gesture born of desire for an easy life, real altruism). Striving to create in a world of consumers who produce nothing is strength.

The sad thing is that this kind of rhetoric is often used by musicians working in this field as reading an interview with pretty much any neofolk musician will show you. Full of false nostalgia for an idealised Europa that only existed in our dreams, they speak in this emotive, romantic language of "strength", "power" and "honour" while purposefully playing a game of political ambiguity, using the imagery of fascism while trying not to get their hands too dirty. A lot of Social Darwinists are the kind of people who would be thinned out the second the black leather clad dictator of their wet dreams got hold of the reins. When the culling comes they'll be among the first to fall as they do not have the strength of their convictions. It's far easier to revel in oh-so-shocking flirtations with fascist imagery and masturbate over true crime pictures when they're feeling particularly iconoclastic. Being racist and homophobic is not striking a blow against the establishment. It is having the same views as the establishment. Who do you think black people are more scared of being attacked by in this day and age: the police or Combat 18?

Me, I'm not going to sit around and deny anything. I'm far from a fascist, of course (arguably).
I'm just tired of blacks and whites, left and right, straights and gays, any other way and a pretty high percentage of them aren't much good. I'm aware how terrible the majority of people because I am one and quite frankly I'm a waste of space, but still a more charming and pleasant waste of space than a lot of people. In my ideal world, the bitter likes of me do not exist and I would be an honoured guest and a novelty among people who're actually worth something, who'll actually do something. The bigots and the wilfully stupid would no longer exist. Anyone who is actually proud of "never having read a book in their life" would be shot at dawn. Jhonn Balance would be canonised. The trains would run on time. Love would save the day. Guantanamo Bay would actually close when everyone realised that what they're doing to Muslims now they were doing to Jews in the 30s and 40s. No more gays and/or rape victims put to death by scared petulant closet faggots twisting the words of their incomprehensible imaginary friend to fit their purpose. No more children dying in the street. No more old people dying because they can't afford to have the heating on in winter. No more abuse of animals. No more religion. No more rape. No more murder, just a culling, the culling is coming. No one would ever hurt you again. I promise you. We'll bring the new world order to your door.

'Emperor is a first-rate collection from a band clearly brimming with ideas, and an album which deserves high praise indeed.' - Louder Than War

' as a body of work it stands up well, with a few real standouts whatever your taste...The whole of 'Emperor' shows a multitude of talents ' - The Sound of Confusion

'Every track is something new, ensuring that this album has a little something that everyone can enjoy...It stretches over multiple sides of a spectrum and I love all of them.' - Raz Mataz Magazine

' imagine what Joy Division might have sounded like if Ian Curtis had lived on and found solace in the lush veils of shoegaze...Fiddling romantically whilst Olympus burns, the Vukovar’s stand against the illuminati forces of evil couldn’t have sounded any more beautifully bleak, yet somehow liltingly inspiring.' - Monolith Cocktail

'Vukovar have created an aural joy in Emperor and their track The New World Order could become a bit of an Indie classic. If uncle John Peel were still with us he'd embrace it and play it relentlessly' - Ralph's Life

credits

released July 1, 2015

Written by R. Clarke/D. Shea
Produced by Phil Reynolds and Daniel Ankers
Engineered by Phil Reynolds and Dan Ankers

Dan Shea – Vocals, Synth, Theremin, Noise, Samples
Rick Clarke – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Feedback, Dictaphone, Electric Tanpura
Mikie Daugherty, Bass, Feedback, Percussion, White Noise Guitar, Vocals
Jonny Peacock – Drums
Mark Sayle – Vocals
Marie Reynolds – Vocals
Phil Reynolds - Keyboards, Bass, Some Drums, Occasional Guitar
Dan Ankers – Guitar, Piano
Simon Pott – Modular Synth

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