Folk Metal/Folk Music

Cemican – “Mixteco” (Aztec Metal!)

Country of origin: Mexico

Genre: Heavy/Thrash/Power Metal with Folk elements

Lyrical Themes: Aztec-Mayan Mythology

Cemican means “All the Life” in Náhuatl. The Náhuatl are members of a group of peoples native to southern Mexico and Central America, including the Aztecs.

I think Mixteco refers to the Mixtec. The Mixtec are indigenous Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico inhabiting the region known as La Mixteca of Oaxaca and Puebla as well as the state of Guerrero’s Región Montañas, and Región Costa Chica, which covers parts of the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla.

I can’t find the lyrics for this song, and in my limited knowledge of Spanish I can understand they’re singing something about death (muerta) and something for the heavens (cielo)? I don’t know, my one year of Spanish in college isn’t a terribly reliable resource to count on.

Whatever they’re singing, it’s a tight song. I’m surprised that encyclopedia metallum classified these guys as power metal, because this song to me sounded like a mixture of thrash and folk instrumentals (but maybe I should listen to more of Cemican’s stuff). The video is also pretty brutal if you like blood and Aztec corpse paint.

It’s a powerful thing to see the ancient traditions resurface via the world of metal. The old ways are like weeds, you can cut them down, but they’ll always grow back.

Also check out: Aztec War Poetry


Bathory – Shores In Flames (Full Song)

Country of origin: Sweden

Genre: Viking/Black Metal

Lyrical Themes: (Earlier Bathory) Satanism, Evil – (Later Bathory) Vikings/Paganism

An appropriate song for the end of winter. This song beckons us to set sail at the end of winter, in pursuit of treasure and battle on other shores.

Mother winter leaves our land
And opens wide the seas
The lukewarm breeze does beckon me
As it whispers through the trees

It says: Set your sails
And let me take your ship to foreign shores
Take farewell of those near you
And your land of the North!

This is a pretty long, but powerful song, filled with emotion and that nostalgia for the old Norse ways which Bathory captures so perfectly.

Quorthon, Bathory and Pagan Metal


The Release of a New TV Channel Dedicated Entirely to Metal (BangerTV)

I stopped watching TV on the regular about ten years ago. Yet one of my major disappointments (in the occasions that I do watch the boob tube) is that there was no longer a music channel, just MTV (the reality TV channel) and VH1 (the reality TV channel that sometimes had music). So you can’t imagine my excitement when Sam Dunn – the director of several heavy metal documentaries – announced that there is going to be a whole freakin’ channel dedicated to metal. This means more metal documentaries, more metal videos, and the exploration of the millions of sub-genres of metal (including the ones that you never knew existed – or the ones that don’t exist yet). Like how about Pirate Jazz Metal? Does that exist? Maybe I can just create it out of thin air. And what about the prospect of metal commercials? Commercials for things like soap that ooze goat’s blood on you in the shower? (Okay, maybe that idea needs to be work-shopped a bit)

So anyways…something definitely to look forward to. Thank you very much Sam Dunn!

LINKS

Banger TV

Banger Twitter

Instagram

Facebook


Wardruna and Anilah Collaboration – New Warrior Song

Einar Selvik of Wardruna and Anilah (Canadian, Shamanic Folk Music Project) have collaborated together to remake an Anilah original. Together they have come out with a new version of Anilah’s “Warrior.” Einar Selvik and Dréa Drury of Anilah are a natural combination of forces – considering that both artists create ambient, folk music that could be the backdrop for a ritual or meditation.

Anilah is the musical project of vocalist and composer Dréa Drury, a musician who hails from the Selkirk Mountains of Western Canada. Her music is influenced by traditional shamanic sound practices, sacred chant, dark tribal and Indian Classical. For more information on Anilah, check out my previous post.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Wardruna, they are a Norse Folk Project put together by the former members of Gorgoroth. Their focus is on Norse Paganism, spiritualism and the runes. They are also famed for composing some of the music in the popular History Channel Drama Vikings.

ANILAH’S DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW WARRIOR SONG:

cortesisland

(A picture from Cortes Island)

This song was composed on Cortes Island, a remote community off the west coast of Canada. The composition is meant to accompany ceremony and ritual, in whatever form the listener chooses.

“The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity.”

~ Carlos Casteneda Quote

SUPPORT THE BAND – BUY SONG HERE AT BANDCAMP 


“Wolf Totem,” by Tengger Calvary – Mongolian Folk Metal

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Country of origin: China

Location: Beijing

Genre: Mongolian, Folk Death Metal

Themes: Tengrism, Shamanism, Mythology

In Mongolian shamanism, Tengger (also spelt Tengeri) is the sky-father, lord of the celestial sphere.

I’ve posted a song from this band before, and now I’m posting another because that’s just how good these guys are. Tengger Calvary’s music evokes the raw power of ancient armies on horseback riding across the vast Manchurian Steppe. The band links their music to a traditional Mongolian sound by their use of throat singing – a unique type of vocals in which two different pitches are produced at the same time. This style of singing was developed by the Mongolian people as part of an animistic belief set. Animism is the belief that objects of nature have their own spiritual power. Throat singing takes this a step further by imitating the sounds of nature itself.

In addition to achieving the ambiance and feeling of Mongolian Shamanism, the band’s musicians also implement their own death metal technicality, in terms of powerful guitar solos and heavy drums. Tengger Calvary successfully combines elements of Folk and Death metal in a way that doesn’t feel forced or synthetic. If Genghis Khan and his armies rose from the dead and started playing metal – this is pretty much what it would sound like.

Of course there is also the obvious fact that there are not that many folk metal bands in the world that write songs about Mongolian Spirituality and Myth, so these guys are truly a gem.

TENGGER CALVARY LINKS

Facebook 

YouTube Video Collection

Metal Archives Listing

Blood Sacrifice Shaman Album

Metal-China-Wiki Article

WANT TO LEARN ABOUT MONGOLIAN SHAMANISM? 

Check out the Circle of Tengerism


Týr – By the Sword in my Hand

Týr refers to the Germanic God of courage, strength, justice, victory, defense, and battle.

Genre: Progressive Folk Metal

Themes: Norse Mythology/Paganism

Band Location: Faroe Islands (an archipelago and autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark)

Lyrics: Click Here

Any Heathen metal head or Folk Metal enthusiast is familiar with the band Týr. A Folk Metaller without Týr in their playlist is like a warrior without a sword, a witch without her broom or me without a secret stash of chocolate in the house. It just doesn’t happen.

This band has been going strong for about 16 years now with 7 full length albums to their name. While they may experiment with their style a good bit, the heart of their music lies in heroic themes of warrior battles, Norse glory, and in general just having a fucking fun time.  The song I posted above has to be one of my favorites and is pretty characteristic of their sound.

As mentioned above, their name is connected to the Germanic God of justice, Týr. The most famous story about Týr is how he sacrificed his hand to the wolf Fenris in order to bind him.

Týr also was originally known as Tiwaz. The Tiwaz rune is named after him and symbolizes fighting for truth and one’s beliefs, as well as standing for dedication and valour in combat.

tiwaz

Tiwaz rune pictured above. Image Source


Folk Metal Playlist

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VIEW PLAYLIST HERE (VIDEO WON’T EMBED)

This is a playlist of folk metal songs similar to Falkenbach’s Gjallar. Enjoy! I liked almost all of the songs on this list, and even heard a few new songs that I had never encountered before.