Michael J. Moynihan

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Michael J. Moynihan
Performing with Blood Axis in 2016
Michael Jenkins Moynihan

(1969-01-17) 17 January 1969 (age 55)
Other namesMichael M. Jenkins[1]
EducationUniversity of Colorado
studied language and history
Portland State University
B.A. in German language
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures.
Occupation(s)writer, publisher, journalist, musician
Years active1984-present
Known forBlood Axis, Tyr Journal
Notable workLords of Chaos

Michael Jenkins Moynihan (born 17 January 1969) is an American writer, editor, translator, journalist, artist, and musician. He is best known for co-writing Lords of Chaos, a book about black metal. Moynihan is founder of the music group Blood Axis, the music label Storm Records and publishing company Dominion Press.[2] Moynihan has interviewed numerous musical figures and has published several books, translations, and essays.


Moynihan was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1969, the only son of upper-middle-class parents.[3] He became active in underground tape-trading and fanzine culture as a teenager. He began making experimental music from 1984 with the multi-media project Coup de Grâce, forming Blood Axis in 1989 and releasing his first album under that name in 1995.

Moynihan collaborated with noise musician Boyd Rice from 1989, and in 1990 the two moved into an apartment in Denver.[4]

During the summer of 1991, Moynihan was visited at his apartment by agents of the United States Secret Service about an alleged plot to assassinate then-President of the United States George H. W. Bush. Moynihan agreed to a polygraph test, and no charges were filed. Moynihan stated that it was a simple case of intimidation stemming from his correspondence with Charles Manson, whom he was interviewing for a national magazine.[5][third-party source needed]

In 1995, Moynihan released the first full-length album by Blood Axis, The Gospel of Inhumanity, and moved from Denver to Portland, Oregon, where he became an editor at Feral House, a publishing company owned by Adam Parfrey. After studying language and history at the University of Colorado and Portland State University, Moynihan received his B.A. in German language in 2000.[6] He received his Ph.D. in 2017 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[7]

Books and articles[edit]

Moynihan's first publication was an art fanzine called The Final Incision, which he published under the name Coup de Grâce in 1984. It featured contributions from various artists associated with the underground Industrial music scene, including "MB" (Maurizio Bianchi) and Trevor Brown. Coup de Grâce also issued various art posters and newsletters between 1985 and 1989. As a graphic artist, Moynihan designed posters for live performances by Coup de Grâce, Sleep Chamber, and Hunting Lodge in the mid-1980s.[citation needed]

Between 1990 and 1995, Moynihan contributed articles, photography, and editorial work to various magazines and journals including the "extreme culture" magazineThe Fifth Path,[8] an underground music and culture magazine edited by Robert Ward; the Colorado Music Magazine, a Denver-based music monthly; and the internationally distributed newsstand music and art interview magazine Seconds, edited by Steven Blush and George Petros. During this time, Moynihan also published journalistic work in High Society.[citation needed]

Among the artists and figures Moynihan has interviewed are power electronics founder Whitehouse;[9] Unleashed;[10] Bathory;[11] In the Nursery;[11] Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey;[12] convicted murderer Charles Manson;[5] Peter Steele of Type O Negative;[13] Burzum;[14] George Eric Hawthorne of RAHOWA;[15] Misfits founder Glenn Danzig;[16] Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV founder Genesis P-Orridge;[17] and Swans founder Michael Gira.[18]

Moynihan started a publishing house called Storm Books.[19] In 1992, Moynihan edited a collection of writings by the neo-Nazi and Charles Manson idolater James Mason into a book entitled Siege: The Collected Writings of James Mason.[20] Together with Stephen Flowers, Moynihan co-authored The Secret King (2001, rev. ed. 2007). In 2001, Moynihan edited a reprint of Julius Evola and the UR Group's book Introduction to Magic, originally published in 1929, and in 2002, he edited the first English language translation of Evola's 1953 book Men Among the Ruins (both published by Inner Traditions).[citation needed] In 2004, Moynihan edited with Annabel Lee the first English publication of a treatise by erotic and surrealist artist Hans Bellmer titled Little Anatomy of the Physical Unconscious, or The Anatomy of the Image. The book, which was issued in a limited edition of 1,100 numbered copies, is translated by Jon Graham and includes a preface by the artist Joe Coleman. In 2005, Moynihan edited and published a collection of essays by British writer John Michell (selected from Michell's contributions to The Oldie) entitled Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist.[21]

Moynihan was the co-editor of the journal TYR: Myth – Culture – Tradition.[citation needed]

Lords of Chaos[edit]

Moynihan co-authored with Norwegian journalist Didrik Søderlind the book Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground (Feral House, 1998), an account of the early Norwegian black metal scene. It won the 1998 Firecracker Alternative Press Award.[20] In 2018 a full-length dramatic film based on the book and bearing the same title, Lords of Chaos, directed by Jonas Åkerlund and starring Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, and Sky Ferreira, was released.[22]

Reviews of Lords of Chaos were mixed. The publication was sometimes criticized for a perceived lack of distance towards its subject matter. This was considered especially alarming to groups and figures that had accused Moynihan of right-wing sympathies,[23] charges which Moynihan has dismissed as inapplicable due to the "intricacies of such subjects".[24] However, several critics praised the book for offering an informative or at least interesting view on a relatively obscure subculture.[20]


Tyr: Myth—Culture—Tradition is a journal edited by Moynihan together with Joshua Buckley.[25] The publication is named after Tyr, the Germanic god. The editors state that it "celebrates the traditional myths, culture, and social institutions of pre-Christian, pre-modern Europe." The first issue was published in 2002 under the ULTRA imprint in Atlanta, Georgia.

The editorial preface of Tyr, vol. 1 defines an anti-modern, anti-capitalist ideal of "Radical Traditionalism" encompassing:

  1. Resacralization of the world versus materialism.
  2. Natural social hierarchy versus an artificial hierarchy based on wealth.
  3. The tribal community versus the nation-state.
  4. Stewardship of the earth versus the "maximization of resources."
  5. A harmonious relationship between men and women versus the "war between the sexes."
  6. Handicraft and artisanship versus industrial mass-production.[third-party source needed]


Influenced by first-wave industrial music artists such as SPK and Throbbing Gristle,[26] Moynihan started his first electronic music project in 1984, which he called Coup de Grâce. Along with audio cassette releases and live performances, Coup de Grâce also produced art booklets, posters, postcards, and texts. In 1988, at the age of 18, Moynihan published an edition of Friedrich Nietzsche's The Antichrist featuring artwork by Trevor Brown.[27]

According to Moynihan, a cassette from his project Coup de Grâce was received by an art group called Club Moral in Belgium, resulting in a positive review in the cultural magazine they produced called Force Mental. Club Moral invited Moynihan to come to perform at In Vitro, an art and music festival in Antwerp. He accepted, which resulted in a small European tour of Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, while he was based in Antwerp, Belgium.[28] In Germany, he came in contact with Cthulhu Records, the German underground label which would later release the first Blood Axis compilation tracks and album. Upon returning to Boston in the United States, he was invited to join the experimental music group Sleep Chamber.[26]

While Moynihan was a member of Sleep Chamber, a friend of his who was active in the underground electronic music scene, Thomas Thorn, moved from Wisconsin to Boston and joined the band. According to Moynihan, a falling out occurred between Thorn and John Zewizz, founder of Sleep Chamber,[26] resulting in Moynihan leaving Sleep Chamber and moving to Belgium, where he lived in the same warehouse where Club Moral had their home and offices.[26]

Thorn, who had formed an electronic music project called Slave State in Wisconsin, visited Moynihan in Belgium in 1988 and the two collaborate for a live concert of Thorn's project. The show was produced by Club Moral and took place in a cellar underneath their headquarters in Antwerp. After relocating back to the US in 1989, Moynihan formed the musical group Blood Axis and no longer produced music under the name Coup de Grâce.[26]

Experimental musician Boyd Rice invited Moynihan to go to Japan and collaborate with him on three NON performances there in 1989. Moynihan performed in concert with the various musical groups rotating around Tony Wakeford, Douglas P., and Rose McDowall who were also performing. His performance in Japan with NON was later released as the "Live in Osaka" DVD. That year, an album entitled Music, Martinis, and Misanthropy grew out of these collaborations. Moynihan also took the cover photo and did the graphic design work for the album, which was loosely based on the 1954 easy listening release by Jackie Gleason, Music, Martinis and Memories.[citation needed]

In 1995, Cthulhu Records released the first full-length album by Blood Axis, The Gospel of Inhumanity, and has seen several subsequent re-issues on various labels. It was followed by a second Blood Axis album in 1997 entitled Blót: Sacrifice in Sweden for the Swedish post-industrial music label Cold Meat Industry. In 2010, Blood Axis released a second studio album titled Born Again.[citation needed] Blood Axis was noted for using a speech by the British fascist Oswald Mosley and lyrics by the Nazi occultist Karl Maria Wiligut in music.[3]

In 2001, Moynihan released a musical collaboration with French artist Les Joyaux de la Princesse entitled Absinthe: La Folie Verte themed around absinthe, a beverage Moynihan has expressed fondness for,[20] and collaborated with Portland natives B'eirth of In Gowan Ring, his partner Annabel Lee and Markus Wolff of Waldteufel for a project dubbed Witch-Hunt. Largely playing traditional acoustic Irish folk music, the group played various local shows in Portland and also, in 2001, performed in Portugal, where the album Witch-Hunt: The Rites of Samhain was released. In 2008, Moynihan appeared on the album "Hoodwinked" by The Lindbergh Baby[29] and an Italian language book entitled Day of Blood was published focusing on the musical group.[30]

Political views[edit]

In the 1990s, Moynihan was frequently characterized as a fascist or neo-fascist by some critics and fans. Moynihan accepted these descriptions with reservations,[31] but in the 2000s dismissed them as inapplicable buzzwords used by "anti-this and anti-that activist types" and denounced the far-right.[20][24]

Matthias Gardell writes in his 2003 book Gods of the Blood: "Featured in different contexts, Moynihan projects many different faces and has been classified as an 'extreme rightist',[23] an 'extreme leftist',[32] a Nazi, a fascist, and an anarchist".[33] Gardell wrote that Moynihan was a priest in the Church of Satan but "rarely flashes his membership card" and instead "has long found the heathen path more rewarding".[33]

Investigative journalist Kevin Coogan has linked Moynihan more explicitly with the extreme right but states that Moynihan does not fit into a "conventional definitions of fascism". Coogan has classified Moynihan as an "extreme rightist".[23] Coogan states that Lords of Chaos "itself, however, is not a 'fascist' tract in the strict sense" and that "Moynihan [does not] himself fit easily into the more conventional definitions of fascism".[23]

The album The Gospel of Inhumanity (1995) was favorably reviewed by far-right and neo-Nazi publications: the US Nazi skin journal Resistance (no. 6, 38) praised it as a "fascist symphony". The album also brought Moynihan to the attention of the German neo-Nazi scene, a favorable review appearing in Einheit und Kampf. Das revolutionäre Magazin für Nationalisten (no. 18, p. 29, Aufruhr-Verlag, Bremen). As a consequence, Moynihan was identified by anti-fascist activists in the late 1990s. Blood Axis performances attracted protesters, on one occasion in 1998, "about 75" San Francisco protesters mobilized by a flyer denouncing Moynihan as "a fascist and a hatemonger" succeeded in preventing his appearance.[34] Moynihan dismissed activists labeling him a Nazi or a fascist as misinformed hysterical alarmism.[35][third-party source needed]

In 1999, Moynihan was one of several musicians listed by Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report magazine as examples of black metal music being used to recruit white supremacists. The magazine also excerpted an interview with No Longer a Fanzine, where Moynihan denied the Holocaust but said that he would "prefer it if it were true".[36] The SPLC article was criticized by Decibel Magazine in 2006 which described it as being misleading and being poorly researched.[37] In the Decibel article, Moynihan responded to the SPLC report, saying it was "packed with misinformation and outright errors" and focused "on a few provocative statements selectively culled from interviews done nearly 15 years ago".[37] Gardell wrote in 2003 that "Though he certainly does not care about the overwhelming majority of mankind, my impression is that Moynihan cares even less about building gas chambers" and "What he presumably does care about is publicity, a craving that has resulted in quite a few oddities that will follow him for some time."[33]

German social scientist Christian Dornbusch remarks that Moynihan's work "evokes a mindset which wants to design a future based on völkisch and fascist respectively national socialist thinkers. It's the same goal that the British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley rants about for minutes in the sample at the beginning of the live album Blot – Sacrifice in Sweden: '... we are fighting for nothing less than the revolution of the spirit of our people ...'".[38]

Moynihan has repeatedly denied political ties.[20][39] In response to the various political accusations leveled against him, Moynihan calls the far-right "a bunch of isolated losers" who are "all deluded".[20] In response to accusations concerning the influence of his political views on the writing of Lords of Chaos, Moynihan made statements denouncing the far-right and white supremacism.[20] The Southern Poverty Law Center later listed Moynihan as an intellectual leader of the far right for statements such as "The number of six million [Jews killed in the Holocaust] is just arbitrary and inaccurate [...] If I were given the opportunity to start up the next Holocaust, I would definitely have more lenient entry requirements than the Nazis."[20]

Personal life[edit]

Moynihan has a child with his partner Annabel.[2]


Co-authored by Moynihan
  • Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground co-authored with Didrik Søderlind, Feral House, ISBN 0-922915-48-2; revised and enlarged edition, 2003, ISBN 0-922915-94-6
  • Apocalypse Culture II edited by Adam Parfrey, with several contributions by Moynihan, Feral House, 2000, ISBN 0-922915-57-1
  • Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, edited by Richard Metzger, with contributions by Moynihan, Disinformation Books, 2003, ISBN 0-9713942-7-X
  • The Command to Look: A Master Photographer's Method for Controlling the Human Gaze, with a contribution from Moynihan, Feral House, 2014, ISBN 978-1627310017
  • The Secret King: The Myth and Reality of Nazi Occultism, co-authored with Stephen E. Flowers, Feral House, 2007, ISBN 978-1932595253
Edited by Moynihan
Translated by Moynihan

Barbarian Rites: The Spiritual World of the Vikings and Germanic Tribes by Hans-Peter Hasenfratz, Ph.D. Translated and edited, and with a Foreword by Moynihan. Inner Traditions, 2011, ISBN 1-59477-421-8.


  1. ^ "Charles Manson – Commemoration". Discogs. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b mrgreg23 (24 May 2005). "Michael Moynihan Interview; Between Birds of Prey". Heathen Harvest. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b Gardell 2003, p. 299.
  4. ^ Pingelton, Kathleen (2006). "Boyd Rice Interview". Filth Forge. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Seconds no. 32, 64–74)
  6. ^ "About the author" in The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes ISBN 0-9712044-0-3
  7. ^ Moynihan, Michael (2017). From Householder to War-Lord to Heavenly Hero: Naming God in the Early Continental Germanic Languages. Doctoral Dissertations (Thesis). Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Amherst. doi:10.7275/10010802.0.
  8. ^ Gardell 2003, p. 297.
  9. ^ Seconds no. 28, 60–62
  10. ^ Seconds no. 30, 9–11
  11. ^ a b The Fifth Path magazine, issue 5. Reprinted in Vor trú issue 53
  12. ^ Seconds no. 25, pages 56–60
  13. ^ Junge Freiheit 47/94, p. 20
  14. ^ Seconds magazine, issue 41. (1996)
  15. ^ Moynihan, Michael (1997). "RAHOWA". The Black Flame. 6 (1–2): 40–42.
  16. ^ Seconds magazine, issue 44. (1997)
  17. ^ Metzger, Richard. Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult (2003), ISBN 0-9713942-7-X
  18. ^ Moynihan, Michael (1996). "Michael Gira Interview". Seconds. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  19. ^ Gardell 2003, p. 300.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dundas, Zach (26 March 2009). "Lord of Chaos: Activists Accuse Portland Writer and Musician Michael Moynihan of Spreading Extremist Propaganda, But They're Not Telling the Whole Story". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 1 March 2001. Retrieved 27 April 2015. They (both Nazis and Communists) [a]re all deluded. People should worry about what happens on their block. They should get along with their neighbors before they worry about the great ills of society and about telling someone who lives 200 miles away what to do.
  21. ^ Michell, John. Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist (2005) ISBN 0-9712044-4-6
  22. ^ "Lords of Chaos (2018) - IMDb". IMDb.
  23. ^ a b c d Coogan, Kevin. (1999) How Black Is Black Metal?
  24. ^ a b Dundas, Zach. "The Notorious Michael Moynihan". Mumblage International. Archived from the original on 1 March 2006. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  25. ^ Tyr official website, "About the Editors". Online
  26. ^ a b c d e Wulfing One (1995). "The Storm Before the Calm An Interview with Blood Axis". Esoterra (5).
  27. ^ The Heretic No.10, Oct 1994
  28. ^ Gardell, Mattias (2003). Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism. Duke University Press. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-8223-3071-4.
  29. ^ "The Lindbergh Baby (feat. Blood Axis) launches 'Hoodwinked' debut", Sideline webzine. Online: [1]
  30. ^ "Day of Blood", Occidental Congress webzine. Online
  31. ^ Interview in the "Heretic" magazine, #10, October 1994: "I would not say fascism wraps up my worldview completely, but it is a step in the right direction"; interview in "Compulsion Online": "if fascism returns to this world a sense for order, discipline and responsibility, I am absolutely in favour"[unreliable source?]
  32. ^ Wulfing Robert N. Taylor in the 1995 Esoterra interview.
  33. ^ a b c Gardell, Mattias. Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism (2003) Duke publishing press ISBN 0-8223-3071-7 Portion of section regarding Moynihan available online:[2]
  34. ^ SF weekly.com[permanent dead link] 14 October 1998
  35. ^ Moynihan's reply to Schobert (1997)
  36. ^ Ward, Erik K.; Lunsford, John; Massa, Justin (15 December 1999). "Black Metal Spreads Neo-Nazi Hate Message". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  37. ^ a b Bennet, J. Decibel Magazine NSBM Special Report (2006)
  38. ^ Christian Dornbusch (2002): Von Landsertrommeln und Lärmorgien – Death In June und Kollaborateure. In: Andreas Speit (ed.): Ästhetische Mobilmachung. Dark Wave, Neofolk und Industrial im Spannungsfeld rechter Ideologien. Münster: Unrast, ISBN 3-89771-804-9, p. 145
  39. ^ Schobert, Alfred. Heidentum, Musik und Terror (Junge Welt 1997, Duisburger Institut für Sprach- und Sozialforschung 2000, with Moynihan's reply: "No member of Blood Axis has ever been a member of a political party or group, left or right."

External links[edit]