Country of origin: Finland
Genre: Symphonic Power Metal
Lyrical themes: Love, Nature, Astrology, Religion, Fantasy, Beauty
This is a folk-metal-esque song with strong Celtic elements. Even though there are no words, it definitely tells a fantastical story.
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
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.
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!
September 23, 2015 | Categories: Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Folk Metal/Folk Music, Grindcore/Metalcore, Groove, Heavy Metal, Industrial, Melodic Death Metal, Metal News, Music, News | Tags: banger, channel, dunn, metal, music, sam | Leave a comment
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:
(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
Country of origin: China
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
WANT TO LEARN ABOUT MONGOLIAN SHAMANISM?
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 rune pictured above. Image Source
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.
The band’s first music video:
Genre: Folk Metal. Encyclopedia Metallum also says that this band plays Melodic Death, my interpretation is that they are more of a Folk Metal band, but maybe I haven’t heard enough of their material.
Themes: Pagan Gods, Kings, War, Nature
Country of Origin: Poland
This video is definitely a good start for a band’s first official music video. They successfully blend together traditional instruments like the bagpipes, tin whistle and violin with guitars, bass and drums. They are obviously highly influenced by Arkona, especially with vocals. The female singer of this band, Adrianna Zborowska has a particularly powerful and enchanting voice. My only criticism is that I don’t think the female and male vocals are as in sync with each other as they could be. I know that doing the whole pretty melodic vocals with harsh growls is a very difficult thing to get just right, and honestly the only song that I feel has this dynamic perfectly is Dark Tranquility’s The Mundane and the Magic .
And of course the imagery of the video itself was beautiful – forest, ritual, ancient pagan garb and all.
Keep up the good work Netherfell!
“Our show is a church of heavy metal. I hope everyone will put their weapons down and listen to metal. That’s my Utopia.” ~ Orphaned Land Frontman Kobi Farhi
Metal Hammer recently released an article in which the Orphaned Land Frontman Kobi Farhi opens his heart up about the current Israeli and Palestinian conflict. For those of you who don’t know about Orphaned Land, they are a Israeli Folk Metal (former death metal) band that writes music about conflict in the Middle East. As a token of goodwill, Farhi even shared a Metal Hammer award with his Palestinian tour mate of the band Khalas. He states that the only thing he and Khalas argue about is “who will pay for the beer.”
Yet now the lives of people in Palestine and Israel have turned into a nightmare, as these places have turned into a war zone once again. Yet Farhi didn’t just speak out about this violence, but about the general bloodshed in the Middle East – referring to the tragedies in Syria and Iraq.
“We feel like we’re some of very few awakened from a deep slumber. It’s not just Israel and Gaza. Look what happens in Syria, look what happens in Iraq with Isis. The place is full of weapons, fire and death. Terrible things are happening – and we can’t stop them with our guitars and lyrics.”
The video above discusses the topic of children being handed toy guns and taught hatred from a young age, instead of being taught about life and how to have a dialogue with one’s enemy.
While times look dark, there is a tiny flicker of hope in the power of music and art. Maybe one day we can use the power of art and music to achieve a real global dialogue and a lasting peace.
Cnoc An Tursa is Gaelic for “Hill of Sorrow”
GENRE: Black/Folk Metal
THEMES: Scottish History and Poetry
Happy Tuesday! Enjoy some riveting Scottish Black Metal. I’ve noticed that a lot of the good metal I’ve been listening to lately has been from Scotland. There must be something very awe inspiring about the Scottish landscape.
As mentioned above “Cnoc An Tursa” is Gaelic for “Hills of Sorrow,” which relates to the Callanish Standing Stones (similar to Stonehenge) which is an actual place on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides Scotland.
Cnoc An Tursa started in 2006, but only has produced one album, “The Giants of Auld”. In an interview with Teeth of the Divine the band said it took them three times longer to produce the album than they expected. But hey – you can’t rush perfection, right?
The song posted above, “The Lion Of Scotland” is the second track on this album followed by a brief intro from “The Piper O’Dundee.” “The Piper O’ Dundee” is a well known Jacobite war song. The original lyrics of the song deal with the rebellious influence of music during the Jacobite era. The bagpipes were outlawed in Scotland because they were thought of as an “instrument of war.” Many of the other songs on the album are also based off old Scottish melodies.
In this album the guitar does a great job in lacing driving melodies over black metal ambiance. The only complaint I’ve heard about the band so far is the choice of screamed Hardcore vocals. I myself prefer clean or growled vocals, but there are some people who like the screamed style.
If you liked these guys, check out the links below.
“We stand united. We are the sons of war!”
Band’s Country of Origin: Sweden
Genre: Viking/Black/Folk Metal
A pumping folk metal video of warrior dudes doing warrior things. The word Månegarm itself refers to a wolf that lives on the blood of dying humans and at Ragnarök hunts down and swallows the moon – I can think of no name more metal for a Norse Folk Metal Band. One of Månegarm’s signature qualities is that they have had traditional instruments from the start. Their songs have a professional quality violin sound in the background along with the occasional flute as well. I find this particular song a little bit repetitive (a lot of folk metal is honestly), but the power driven melody and chords make up for this repetition. The vocalist also has skill in flawlessly exchanging growls for the occasional clean vocal. It is certainly a song I would put on my playlist – if I needed a playlist for riding a steed into battle followed by some quality drunken shenanigans.
Imagine being in the hall of a great lord and listening to this enchanting music. This music is performed by a group that call themselves Ensemble Unicorn. They play a broad spectrum of medieval and early renaissance music. Here are some notes about music in the early middle ages by the person who posted this YouTube video:
MUSIC IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES
(Written by YouTube user Gramila888)
The Middle Ages saw the emergence of great changes. After fall of the (Roman Empire) the violent times of the Dark Ages had led to a primitive society lacking in engineering skills or refinement. The traditions of Western music can be traced back to the social and religious developments that took place in Europe during the Middle Ages, the years roughly spanning from about 500 to 1400 A.D. Because of the domination of the early Catholic Church during this period, sacred music was the most prevalent. Beginning with Gregorian Chant, sacred music slowly developed into a polyphonic music called organum performed at Notre Dame in Paris by the twelfth century. Secular music flourished, too, in the hands of the French trouvères and troubadours, until the period culminated with the sacred and secular compositions of the first true genius of Western music, Guillaume de Machaut.
SAOR means “Free” in Scottish and Irish Gaelic
Band Location: Glasgow Scotland
Genre: Scottish Folk, Atmospheric Black Metal, Post-Rock
Members: Andy Marshall (Can you believe this is a one man band?)
Themes: Scottish Heritage, Highland Nature/Landscapes, Sorrow
Imagine if the Folk Metal band Belenos had a baby with the progressive rock group Pelican. The baby would be Saor: a band that has the power and mystery of Folk Metal, but the creative melodies of Prog Rock. Saor brings the traditional Celtic sound to the music with instruments such as the tin whistle, bodhrán and bagpipes.The music itself is emblematic of the stunning Scottish landscape. If you go to the band’s facebook, you can see some amazing images of Scotland. It’s pretty impressive that one artist, Andy Marshall, was capable of putting this all together.
“Children of The Myst” is the opening track for the album Aura, which will be released June 6th 2014. Saor may be a very new band, it was formed in 2012, but already its music is going to the top of Folk Metal Playlists. If you would like to hear more of their work, check out their facebook:
One and All, Together for Home comes out May 23rd 2014
In an effort spearheaded by the Ukrainian band Drudkh, eight different Folk Metal bands have come together to produce a compilation album. I’ve included a list of the eight bands below:
- Drudkh (Ukraine)
- Ava Inferi (Portugal)
- Primordial (Ireland)
- KAMPFAR official (Norway)
- Winterfylleth (England)
- Häive (Finland)
- HIMINBJORG OFFICIAL (France)
- Mondvolland (Netherlands)
Each band listed above has used music as way to link the listener back to their culture’s respective folk traditions and history. In this album, you’ll find that these bands have created their own unique way to represent traditional folk songs as well as the melodies from their musical heritage.
The Irish band Primordial has recently released a preview of their Dark Horse on The Wind on Metal Hammer (a song that will appear on the One and All, Together For Home album). Dark Horse on The Wind is a folk classic that is an ode to the pain of Ireland’s Civil War. Enjoy!
I don’t post playlists very much on this blog, but I was blown away by this particular playlist. The music itself is very haunting and mentally jarring. I’ll let the original poster do the rest of the talking here, since their explanation of the playlist was brilliant:
“Celtic Ambient/Folk music, unlike other forms of “background music”, is intended to enhance acoustic and atmospheric idiosyncracies in the sound environment. Whereas conventional background music is produced by stripping away all sense of doubt and uncertainty from the music, Ambient Music retains these qualities. And whereas their intention is to “brighten” the environment by adding stimulus to it (thus supposedly alleviating the tedium of routine tasks and leveling out the natural ups and downs of the body rhythms) Ambient Music is intended to induce calm and a space to think.”
Perhaps this is why I love ambient music – especially ambient black metal. Too much music today is too “prettied up” or “over-polished.” Now, I certainly do like to be able to hear and understand the music I’m listening to. I’m not exactly a fan of the early black metal days when people would scream into a four track tape recorder or a half-broken headset. But I think Nergal of Behemoth made a good point when he stated that a lot of Technical Death Metal these days is almost too polished.
“The majority of Death Metal bands from the U.S.A are so generic, they all sound perfect. It is fast and technical but there is no substance. Bands forget about emotion when they strive for perfection. You should be driven by your intuition and not just be concerned with shredding on your guitar. Perfection is boring and uninspiring. ~ Nergal (Metal Injection)
In my opinion, the best music is the kind that moves you at an emotional level. It’s the song you cry to after a break up, or blast when you are angry enough to punch a few holes through the wall. These are the songs that you remember, not necessarily the song that has four different tempos or blast beats faster than the speed of light.
Of course production value is important, but there needs to be a balance of soul and sound. Good music is the kind of music that can punch you in the gut and make an impression.
For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts on Eliwagar, they are a Pagan Folk group in Norway. This video definitely tops all their other videos in capturing the epic beauty of the Norwegian landscape and spirit. Enjoy the view of the fjords as well as a mid-video sword fight.
I tend to find most male/female metal duets to be cheesy, but not this song. Liv Kristine from Leave’s Eyes joins forces with Týr to do this powerful duet and music video. Both singers have strong and enchanting voices on their own, but when they come together they form a perfect harmony.
Týr is a progressive folk metal band from the Faroe Islands. Before writing this article, I didn’t even know what the Faroe Islands were. But thanks to some extensive research on Wikipedia, I’ve discovered that the Faroe Islands are an archipelago between Norway and Iceland. Thanks internet!
Týr’s music covers themes of Norse Mythology, Paganism, and Faroese/Nordic lore. The band has an anti-racist position and has declared themselves to be a form of music that does not condone hate or violence.
While Týr is an excellent group of musicians, the one major criticism I’ve heard about them is that they have a hard time sticking to one musical style – they are very experimental – for better or for worse! So enjoy this song and check out the lyrics below.
THE LAY OF OUR LOVE LYRICS
[Note, I noticed that the first stanza mentioned the word “leaves” and “eye”, is this a pun on Liv from Leave’s Eyes?] (Lyric Source)
As the leaves were falling
I found my life leaving
Couldn’t help but calling
And he must have heard my cry
Turning to me with a tear in his eye
Parting came relieving
She ran up behind me
Poorly hid her grieving
Come wailing wind chill my heart
Come the rain fall on me as I depart
Life left us
Our any tomorrow
With a silver lining
Remember a distant day
For even memories may fade away
Come lay down
By my side and sing me
An ode to the fallen
Make it come inside me
Do you ever think thereof
While the cold wind weeps the lay of our love
Most Relevant YouTube Comment: This band is “somewhere between Flogging Molly and Korpiklaani.”
Genre: Celtic Folk/ Black Metal
Lyrical Themes: Cultural heritage, struggle, history
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Primordial was originally a cover band that covered songs by Black Metal groups such as Bathory and Venom. But then they started performing their own Celtic influenced music. In terms of vocals this song has the organic simplicity of a punk, or Flogging Molly song. Yet this song still packs a punch with atmospheric, black metal instrumentals. While this song is pretty simple, it does convey the power of a primordial, ancient past.
This is my church
It stands so tall and proud
It has done for all time
It has no walls
Yet its vast halls
Reach from shore to shore
To whatever shore
You know as your own
We stand as one, we stand alone
We are born
From the same womb
Hewn from the same stone
From the frozen Baltic
I watched sunrise over Athena
Walked the battlefields of Flanders
And saw duskfall at Cintra
Beneath the spires of Sofia
Fields of crosses at Arnhem
Armenius stood tall in Teuteborg
Senatus Populusque Romanus
To the fjords of Hordaland
Shadows of ancient Albion
At the shore of a 1000th lake
Saint Vitus dance in Praha
Yet when to Ireland we Return
I know that I am home at last
And every sun that sets
Takes me closer to her Earth
Singing you into the death-sleep
Wardrunna is a project that was put together by the former members of Gorgoroth. Their focus is on Norse Paganism, spiritualism and the runes.
Hvem skal synge meg—————Who shall sing me
i daudsvevna slynge meg——-into the death-sleep sling me
når eg på Helvegen går—When I walk on the Path of Death
og dei spora eg trår er kalda, så kalda—-and the tracks I tread are cold, so cold
Eg songane søkte——-I sought the songs
Eg songane sende——————I sent the songs
då den djupaste brunni——when the deepest well
gav meg dråper så ramme—–gave me the drops so touched
av Valfaders pant——-of Death-fathers wager
Alt veit eg, Odin———–I know it all, Odin
var du gjømde ditt auge———where you hid your eye
Hvem skal synge meg——————Who shall sing me
i daudsvevna slynge meg———-into the death-sleep sling me
når eg på Helvegen går——When I walk on the Path of Death
og dei spora eg trår er kalda, så kalda—-and the tracks I tread are cold, so cold
Årle ell i dagars hell———-early in the days end
enn veit ravnen om eg fell———–still the raven knows if I fall
Når du ved Helgrindi står ———When you stand by the Gate of Death
og når du laus deg må riva——-And you have to tear free
skal eg fylgje deg————–I shall follow you
over Gjallarbrua med min song——–across the Resounding Bridge with my song
Du blir løyst frå banda som bind deg!——–You will be free from the bonds that bind you!
Du er løyst frå banda som batt deg!——–You are free from the bonds that bound that you!
Quote from Håvamål — The High Ones Speech, Poetic Edda
(This was included with the video on youtube)
Døyr fe, døyr frender—————-Cattle die, kinsmen die
Døyr sjølv det sama————–You yourself will also die
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr———but the word about you will never die
vinn du et gjetord gjevt————–if you win a good reputation
A perfect theme song for this subzero winter we’ve been having!
Band Genre: Cinematic/ Melodic Black Metal
Location: U.S. California
Lyrical Themes: Self Created Lore
The song above is a folk tribute to a Wintersun song. You can read the song lyrics here.
I am excited to discover a new band I like that begins with the letter ‘x’ so I can own my friends at Metal Scattergories (ever notice how the only metal bands that start with the letter ‘x’ are usually black metal?) But I digress. Xanthochroid is highly influenced by Wintersun, Opeth, Moonorrow, Emperor and many black metal bands.
As mentioned above, the lyrics of the band’s songs are about a fantasy story created by the band itself. I find that more and more bands are starting to use music to convey a story of their own creation. You can read more about their story idea on their facebook or in their lyrics.
According to facebook, their interests are: “hiking, camping, hunting and anal” – a very down to earth crew of folk as you can tell. Just don’t go mountain climbing around these guys with your pants off, because you never know what will happen…
So enjoy some gentle, haunting and at times bombastic music from Xanthochroid!
The Gjallorhorn is the horn sounded at the onset of Ragnarok
As far as Falkenbach songs go, this one is repetitive even by their standards. But it does have a cool atmosphere and ambiance to it. It’s the kind of song that would be neat to play while you do viking poses in the mirror with your favorite sword, go on a road trip through Norway…or summon an apocalypse?
This song is called Gjallar, which refers to the “Gjallarhorn.” Even during the song you hear the blare of a mighty horn in the background.
Gjallar itself is old norse for “yelling.” The Gjallarhorn itself is a “loud yelling horn.” Its mythological significance is that it is the loud horn that will be blown at the onset of Ragnarok. The horn has an association with the God Heimdallr and the wise being Mimir.
Prose Edda Reference, Prophesy of a Volva (A woman with the ability to see the future):
- “Fast move the sons of Mim and fateIs heard in the note of the Gjallarhorn;Loud blows Heimdall, the horn is aloft, In fear quake all who on Hel-roads are.”
Now I’m just wondering how I get my hands on such a horn.
I found this piece on YouTube by an independent composer named “AdrianVonZiegler.”
See his collection on YouTube Here
In Norse Mythology, “Gleipnir” refers to the bindings on the mighty wolf Fenrir. The Gods attempted to bind him twice before with huge chains of metal, but he broke free both times. Therefore, they commissioned dwarves to create a chain that would be impossible to break. This chain had to achieve the impossible, therefore, the dwarves fashioned it out of six impossible things:
- The sound of a cat’s footfall
- The beard of a woman
- The roots of a mountain
- The sinews of a bear
- The breath of a fish
- The Spittle of a bird
If you ask me, the beard of a woman isn’t hard to find. But I’ll keep my dirty thoughts elsewhere…hehehe
Anyways! The chain of Gleipnir is as thin as a silken ribbon, but stronger than an iron chain. It was forged by the dwarves in their underground realm called Svartálfaheim.
The Gleipnir is said to bind Fenrir until the days of Ragnarok. Then, he will break free and devour Odin.
Anything sexier than a belly dancer wielding a sword, surrounded by cascading flames?
Genre: Middle Eastern Folk, Melodic Metal
Lyrical Themes: Abrahamic Religions, Harmony, Peace
Country of Origin: Israel
Music does what politics and our world leaders cannot, bring unity between a warring people. Instead of bombs, the United States should be dropping Orphaned Land concert tickets out of our planes in the Middle East. With that aside, this is an amazing video. I’ve watched it several times now. Enjoy!