I frequently find myself at the center of a debate over what "belongs" in metal. Most often, it comes up in the context of my defense of bands who hold socially unpopular viewpoints about race and politics. The charge usually levelled by dogmatic liberals is that fascism doesn't "belong" in metal, but the reality is quite different. Far from being inimical to metal, fascism is the inherent underlying subtext of the genre and represents both its reason to be and its logical endpoint. Metal was born as a reaction against rock 'n roll and the reductive logic of liberalism. From its inception, the best metal consistently expressed a set of values and ideals that could best be termed crypto-fascist, embracing the Nietzschean Will to Power and wedding it to a strong Romantic streak and an idealism rooted in an impulse toward the epic and mythical. The subsequent development of metal saw waves of innovators refine the artform, bringing greater emphasis to its central values and incrementally stripping away peripheral elements and the last vestiges of liberal ideology. This trend reached its peak in the mid-90's with bands like Burzum and Graveland, who expressed openly that which had hitherto merely been implied. Far from being usurpers of metal, they represent the purest and greatest expression of what metal can and should be.