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Parental Advisory - Explicit Content
Metal, a genre prone to hate speech?


Inferno Music Conference and Ballade are set to host a debate on metal and hate speech in music, where we will delve into the current state both domestically and internationally regarding music as a political and social statement, influences from abroad, and how hate speech is linked to music or is part of music's expression and message. Have we got a new, post-pandemic undercurrent of groups where music plays an identity- and culture-building role? How is music - and metal specifically - utilized by various organizations and groups? Is it solely about the music at all? What prompts expressions and statements to be claimed as hateful, as we have seen in cases within both Norwegian and international metal scenes, and how can we best address and handle them? Is it too easy to dismiss something as hateful or offensive? Where do the boundaries of censorship - and self-censorship - lie among organizers and bands within the metal genre?


Thursday 28. March 13:00 - Room: Central Park

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Mod: Guro Kleveland // (NO)

Guro Kleveland is chief editor of the online music magazine Ballade (, which covers the width of the music scene in Norway on a daily basis; reviews and interviews from most musical genres, organizational and volunteering aspects of our music life, copyright and politics, as well as news bulletins, debate articles, editorial commentaries and analyses. Ballade curates a weekly column that shows new music videos, Ballade video, which is now the largest music video archive in the country. The publication also has a podcast, Ballade radio. Kleveland has worked within the music scene for more than two decades and has collaborated with Inferno on several occasions.

Katy Irizarry // Suspiria PR (US)

Katy Irizarry is the owner and founder of Suspiria PR, a boutique Public Relations company that promotes extreme, enigmatic, and esoteric music and events in North America. With over a decade of publicity and marketing experience, Katy Irizarry got her start in the music business at the tender age of 17, where her first bylines were published in the nationally syndicated print magazine, Metal Edge. From there, she expanded her horizons into radio, working on various production roles at SiriusXM and PodcastOne, where she was notably Eddie Trunk’s producer from 2011-2021. During this period, she also continued to write, having bylines in Loudwire, Revolver Magazine, Metal Insider, Outburn Magazine, and many other notable outlets. Eventually, her passion for radio and journalism led her to her first marketing position as a radio promoter, which ultimately led to her discovering her true niche as a music publicist. Having worked for many PR companies and record labels since 2015, Katy eventually went her own way in 2022, solidifying her place among the premier extreme music publicists in North America with a diverse and impressive roster.


Harald Fossberg // RadiOrakel/Hærverk Forlag/Turbonecro (NO)

Harald is the 77-punk turned journalist, author, and radio show host. With his beginnings in the pioneering Norwegian Punk scene, he played in the seminal band Hærverk (1978-1981) before several other bands, among them Turbonegro (1990-1993) – who at that time shared rehearsal space with Mayhem. Now he’s in Turbonecro, which consists of ex-members from the ”mothership”. From doing fanzines in the late 70’s he started working as a music journalist and reviewer in the national newspaper Aftenposten in the late 80’s. He has followed the Norwegian Underground Scene, especially the Punk and Metal community, since the 80’s. In 1987 he started at RadiOrakel, where he has a weekly show covering the alternative scenes.

As an author, he has been published in several anthologies. His book on the beginnings of Norwegian Black Metal, ”Nyanser av svart”, is now out in a new, revised edition, and is being translated into other languages.

Merle Doering // Catch 22 (DE) 


Merle Doering is the founder, owner, and Managing Director of Catch 22, a young agency that not only books shows all over the world, but also offers bands assistance in management, merchandising, and ticketing.

Merle began working in the live music industry as a booking agent in 2010 and from there also worked as tour manager and artist manager. Over the years she has worked with bands such as The Black Dahlia Murder, Death Angel, Sonata Arctica, Finntroll, Skálmöld, Stam1na, Coroner, Pain Of Salvation, Twilight Force, and more.

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Jackie Smit // Into the Necrosphere  (UK)

Jackie Smit is the host of Into The Necrosphere, a weekly podcast that delves deep into the heart of metal music culture.

Kickstarted in 2019, the show was originally conceived as a platform for in-depth chats primarily with key personalities from the realms of black and death metal. The podcast has since morphed into a unique blend of candid dialogue and heavy metal commentary, which some liken to "Joe Rogan thumbing through an issue of Metal Maniacs." Previous interviewees include renowned names such as Atilla Csihar of Mayhem, Alan Averill of Primordial, and Rune Eriksen, better known as Blasphemer.

Before Jackie launched "Into The Necrosphere," he sharpened his journalistic edge as a contributing writer at the iconic Chronicles of Chaos webzine and at

Although Jackie has resided in the UK since 2002, his South African roots are a source of enduring pride. A self-described high fidelity audio obsessive, Jackie's passions extend beyond the sonic realm to encompass film, personal fitness, rugby, and mixed martial arts

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