legy Records is one of America's pioneer death/black metal distros/labels.
Founded in in 1994, Elegy predates Mourning the Ancient and is definitely one of the oldest underground labels/distros. Rob, the owner, was recently forced to end his distro after being blacklisted by PayPal and other credit card processors. The enemies of truth were deathly frightened of the CDs he sells. Not the over-the-top gore, but the National Socialist CDs. Sound crazy? It is. Elegy is only the first, many will follow. Our enemies, who control the world's banks, can and will strip away our ability to do commerce. They have already done it to hundreds of websites they don't like, cutting off their ability to take donations and sell merchandise. They've even gone so far as denying service to political commentary websites, not only kicking them off their host but even denying them domain registrars! It's going to get worse before it gets better. We must stand together against these tyrants and support those who have been blacklisted. What happened to Elegy Records is truly insane, it is not political and sells thousands of CDs of all types of bands throughout the world. But because our enemies feel threatened by a few of them, they bring down the whole operation. We are supposed to have freedom of political association here in the USA. We obviously don't.

Here is an explanation of what happened to Elegy Records that the owner wrote up for the press:

"Over a year ago I lost my ability to accept PayPal as a means of payment. There was no reason given to me from PayPal other than an email stating that I could not use their service anymore. I did try to contact them, phone calls and emails and in the end to no avail. The only response I received was that I violated their terms of service but nothing more concise, if you are aware of TOS it covers everything and anything.

This was a setback as most of my sales came through PayPal, they have a monopoly of payment convenience which people have grown addicted to. I searched to find an alternative but after searching and searching I had a cathartic experience that the alternative was always there and that is credit cards, not as convenient but still a solid choice of payment.

Unfortunately, a month after I was dropped from PayPal, I was also dropped by my credit card processor that I was with since 1996. They didnít even have the business courtesy to inform me they were going to cut ties. I came to the realization of this when I went to process an order and the response message was ďInvalid Merchant accountĒ. When I spoke to a representative, they informed me they did not wish to work with me because I promoted hate. I did receive a letter from them stating they were going to end the business relationship the date of termination was a day before the letter was written and a day before it was mailed. What a great banking service.

This was a death blow, at this point I had no means to accept any form of payments aside from cash or money order but there is no way to survive in that business model. I bounced from other services such as Square, Stripe and a few others but over and over I was suspended from using their services. I attempted to circumvent all of this by trying to get a high-risk processor, the same ones that work with online porn, gambling and things of that nature and one after the other I was denied.

When the processors would run a check on me and my business it comes back as HIGH RISK and REPUTATIONAL RISK. Some of the red flags come back as: promoting hate speech, promoting rape, promoting violence and promoting hatred. It was an absolutely atrocious characterization and a very convenient way of fusing music band names and titles to an actual call to arms. The slightly veiled assertion is one that marks me as one who is inciting these actions. The overlords now wish to control what you can sell and what you can purchase. Speaking with a few individuals within the banking system (underwriters) as well as other labels this started with Operation Choke Point from the DOJ to curtail predatory lending, which, like most agencies has now expanded its tentacles.

I finally found a company that would work with me, but I had to sign a contract in which they would hold a 10K reserve against me. I had to take this offer as the alternative would be a house worth of CDs I could not sell. The underwriter did tell me that they could back out of the contract anytime they wanted.

I knew what had to be done and therefore Iím liquidating all the merchandise as it would be better to make some profit and pass all the CDs to those who support the music and do not stand with such an unfair commerce act. I was surprised to receive all the emails of support and good words. It means a lot. The sale will run until the final days or until I lose the ability to take payment.

Welcome to the new Americant, a nice hot cup of cocoa and a coloring book for all those triggered by the ideas, merchandise and policies they may encounter."

This interview was conducted in February 2019:

You've never brought your own political beliefs into Elegy Records, although I'm sure at times it must have been tempting. You've signed such a vast array of bands, clearly your releases were not politically motivated. What do you think were the real reasons for blacklisting you? Do you think signing Seges Findere had anything to do with it?

I canít say with certainty which reason or reasons I was targeted to be cut from any form of e-commerce payments. Elegy was not started as a means to spread a political message, if that had been my goal, I would have found a more efficient way to bring that message to the masses.

Elegy was created to disperse dark underground music and to that end I always approved of bands voicing their opinions however they wished. I have always been proud of my culture and where I came from. I am a nationalist and one who holds freedom as something intrinsic to us. The Elegy logo has the Italian eagle flying with the fasces. I make no apologies for that and I couldnít possibly care who has their precious feelings hurt.

I can only speculate that it was the totality of the many tears from triggered snowflakes that started the campaign. The Southern Law un-Poverty Center also had poked its nose in and labeled me as the biggest NS black metal distro in America.

Credit card processors forget that their role in this arrangement are to be payment agents and mediums for transferring money from one person to another. They are not paying you, the customer -the people who give you patronage- are their source of income. Now they are cowering to social pressure and never in all my years of business has a processor cared about such things.

A war is stirring between the black/death metal underground and the powers-that-be. If they are going to start banning music then literally thousands of bands are going to be involved. How far do you think they are going to take this? I mean, they mentioned that by distributing certain CDs you promote hate and rape! Countless bands talk about violence, hatred of just about everything, and a slew of degenerate and criminal things. It's always been a race between certain genres of who can be the most disgusting and extreme. But should we ban horror movies too? Are directors promoting hate and rape and violence by portraying these subjects in their films? How about books? Should Stephen King be blacklisted and demonetized? Should we start burning books, CDs and movies that don't meet politically correct standards?

The problem is that a lot of these witless so-called metal heads are in alliance with the same people who are looking to police, restrict or purge what they deem politically incorrect or just unfit. Also this demi-breed of wannabe metal heads, the hipster hoppers, can be identified easily, parading about in their oversized knickerbockers, work boots that never saw a dayís work and sporting their dad's dirty flannel. Youíre not fucking metal youíre the antithesis of it.

Correct, I am the embodiment of all that is evil in the world and my very existence is opening the portals of hell to creep open and spill forth its miasma of filth!

This overreach by the powers-that-be to silence those they deem unfriendly is targeted at those who hold some sort of dominion over the dissemination of such art. They are going after some of the bigger actors in hopes that this will have a trickle-down effect in converting others to follow what they would reason to be proper. I think this is starting to have the opposite effect, they are tightening their own self-deployed noose.

Personally, I think their real target is National Socialist Black Metal (NSBM). Various Jewish websites even try to list bands and labels they deem 'Nazi'. They claim freedom of political association and beliefs, so how can these tyrants criticize anyone for their beliefs? Apparently it only applies to them. You're free to do anything, anything at all, as long as it is what they approve of. That is not freedom. Thoughts?

Their target is anything that doesnít conform or will not conform to their standards. They use unscrupulous tactics to villainize then criminalize their targets even when there isnít a fragment of any unlawfulness to be found, but the 'truth' is as they wish to mold it.

Perhaps this was part of the reason that I was deemed unfit to work with, as I would never bend knee or give an inch when it was about what I wanted to release or promote. Even in the end I stand strong and defiant in the face of such oppressors.

And to your point they almost never look inward and if they do, they rush to cover it up. In NY there have been countless infants contracting herpes because of a sadistic, barbaric religious practice. A leader, called a Mohel, conducts a circumcision ritual where this old man places his mouth directly on the infantís dick to suck away the blood. This is something that has been going on for years and if this was another cultureís practice, they would have mobilized others to get their pitchforks out.

Back in 1995, when Mourning the Ancient was first started, it was a different world. Everything was so much more 'underground' and close-knit. Metal was an intimate experience, it still felt rebellious and magical. It was unpopular, 'big' bands played shows that were lucky to fill a small hall. Then as the years went by it entered the mainstream and suddenly gained the attention of the rulers of this world. What do you think will be the future of the metal scene? Will it go back underground?

Iím pessimistic. A foreboding storm is sweeping in and suffocating us with its ludicrous code of conduct. The future of true metal? I think before anything changes it will have to get to a point when most bands, regardless of their label, status or following stand up together and spit in these jackasses' faces. Metal from its inception was a dark and ominous force and it was never politically correct.

Obtaining underground music was much more of an endeavor, as well as challenging, which made it more of a clandestine sect. I remember writing Dissection from Sweden not because I heard the music but because someone I held in high regard vowed that I would not regret it. I wrote the band and waited and waited only to get a letter with no luck of procuring any music, but I was told to contact Corpse Grinder Records. It was a gold mine of adverts that was delivered to my house along with a test pressing copy of the Into Infinite Obscurity 45 record. At that time there was no instant gratification, none of this point, click, mosh bullshit.

Youíre received enormous support and interest when people learned that Elegy was forced out of business. You mentioned that you didnít expect the outpouring of camaraderie and appreciation for your years doing Elegy Records. Can you tell us more about that? Do you think what happened to Elegy is a rallying cry for people to either stand up now or see this happening everywhere in the future?

Iím a cynical misanthropic curmudgeon by nature. I lost faith in the metal scene over the numerous years. Iíve seen what I thought were respectable people toss their ideals, musical integrity and self-esteem right in the pit of perdition. This steered my thoughts to a slow gnashing, agonizing and insufferable ending that would have me an insolvent creature.

I was unable to draw a paycheck until I secured this last CC provider. I couldn't take any orders for about 2 months and the never-ending avalanche of bills do not stop on account of your misfortunes. There was much trepidation on my part during this time as I was not sure if I could even sell off my product. I would have drowned in a sea of my own musical creation.

Unconditional support was thrust upon me, yes, I was shocked that people thought so highly of me. It was overwhelming the praise and amount of orders and even certain individuals sending money without even asking for anything in return. When the word of what was transpiring spread it sparked an anger and outrage amongst the un-brainwashed. Many people still believe in free speech and the right to buy or sell what you wish. Iím sure this uprising was not what the vile creatures that wish to silence me had intended. I shall now meet my end, holding my head up high and exit, as if a comet blazing across the stars for a brief moment in time, plaguing the enemy 'til I draw my last breath.

For the first time in many years you are leaving the music scene. Do you think it will be easy for you? Do you have any thoughts or plans to do anything else? You used to play in a band, would you ever consider getting back into that?

The transition will be very arduous, at this point I donít have a clue what shall be next. My days have been planned around Elegy for over two decades. I think I will be lost once the final curtain drops. My future plans are uncertain at this junction in time. One day I will have to do some self-reflection and think what the next chapter in my life will be.

With the complexity of my life right now the last thing on my mind is playing in a band. It is absolutely nightmarish trying to find the proper individuals who share your creative ideas, coupled with the scheduling. I think I will just continue to play on my own for personal gratification.

Personally, Iím sad to see Elegy go... it was like a pillar of the underground. A big empty space remains. But as Elegy Records enters into the history of metal, so is recorded the reasons for its departure. The crooked system again reveals that everything that theyíve taught us is a lie. The freedoms that do remain are fast being eroded. The enemies of freedom have forgotten to fear the people. Surely one day soon they shall be reminded. Thanks for all the great CDs, friendship and support over the long years. Youíll always be a legend, Rob. Your final words to the underground

Many thanks for the good words and endless support over the years and for shedding light on malicious actions of our would-be overlords. I give hails and raise a tall goblet of fine libations to all the warriors who have within them the true spirit of metal and are supporting me in the final days. Never let ďthemĒ tell you what you can buy, sell or even what you should think. We will die, we will rot, but our ideas, ideals and spirit shall be carried into eternity!

See some of the hypocrisy and disturbing examples of releases that are 'acceptable' and 'approved' by the system:
- CLICK HERE -
WARNING: These images definitely may offend some of you!

[Above: Two Elegy Records mail order catalogs from 1995]

[Above: Elegy Records website frontpage, January 2019]

Show your support of Elegy Records and check out the website:

https://www.elegyrecords.org/


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