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


Huntress – Harsh Times on Planet Stoked

Country of origin: Murica baby!

Genre: Heavy Metal

Lyrical Themes: Fantasy, Occult, Witchcraft, Hunters, Weed, Interplanetary Travels

Album: Static

One of the things I love about Huntress is that they are one of the few modern metal bands I can think of that are just flat out heavy metal. So much contemporary metal these days has to be wrapped within 50 different sub-genres that usually end with the word ‘core.’ Like I don’t know, what’s next? Nano-burrito-vulcan-fire-death-fist-core? Actually…that would be kind of cool.

But point aside, Huntress is a rare modern day Heavy Metal band inspired by the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.

Vocalist Jill Janus (who has been awesome enough to talk with me on more than one occasion) has said that this album, “Static,” channels the “crone” aspect of the Goddess (in terms of the whole Maiden/Mother/Crone archetype), a dirty, lusty, nasty old crone.

In terms of my reviews on all three of their albums in order of release; Spell-Eater was when they were first figuring out their sound. Starbound Beast was the most exciting album, with lots of punch you in the face awesome riffs, intense Rob-Halford-esque vocals, and headbanging solos. And Static was more of a laid back, groovy type album that you listen to when you’re smoking weed and eating cheetos. All good stuff though. If you love heavy metal, you won’t be disappointed with Huntress.


Bathory – The Lake

Country of origin: Sweden

Genre: Viking/Black Metal

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

Album: Blood on Ice

In this song, the narrator is told to give up his eyes so that he can “truly see.” That’s an interesting concept. The lyrics of this song also refer to a “one eyed old man,” no doubt Odin. And it was Odin who gave up his eye so that he could know the secrets of the Runes. Perhaps those who are less distracted by what they physically see, can truly see into the spiritual realm. There’s an expression that goes, “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

Lyrics: 

“The one eyed old man told me that the face that I will see
Has paralysed a thousand brave men sure of victory
I cannot fight blindfolded and I’d freeze if I should see.
So I need to sacrifice my eyes to see all from within.”

Read the rest of the lyrics here

 


Celtefog – The Rain Is Coming From The North

Country: Greece

Genre: Pagan Black Metal

Lyrical Themes: Respect for nature, winter, revenge against humanity.

Damn. When Greece makes black metal they definitely know how to make it dark and intense. Another big Greek Black Metal band to pay attention to is Rotting Christ.

The style of Celtefog also reminds me of the style of atmospheric black metal bands from the American North-West, like Agalloch.

This is definitely a haunting song to listen to as nature around us darkens and we prepare for the winter months


RELATED LINKS

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Encyclopedia Metallum

Facebook

Official Website


Within the Ruins – Enigma – And Surprise Inspector Gadget and Mario Riffs?

Location: Westfield, Massachusetts

Genre:  Metalcore (early), Progressive Metalcore (later)

Themes: Life, Inner struggles

This song, “Enigma,” certainly has the right name. While I’m not necessarily an avid fan of metalcore, I have to say these guys are amazing. And this song itself is definitely an interesting listen. As I was listening, at one point I said to myself, “WTF? Is that the Mario theme?” (at around 1:30) And then I heard something else familiar start up at (2:20). For a few seconds I had to think it through before I realized, “Oh! That’s Inspector Gadget!” So this is definitely a fun listen.

LINKS

Official Website

Facebook


Burzum – Filosofem [FULL ALBUM]

Genre: Black Metal, Ambient

Lyrical Themes: Myths, Folklore, Odalism, Darkness, Philosophy

Country of Origin: Norway

“In 1991, when Satanel disbanded, Vikernes revived his solo project, changing the name to Burzum (which translates to “darkness” in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Black Speech, which is spoken by orcs and other creatures of Mordor). Handling all instruments and vocals by himself, he recorded Burzum’s first four full-length albums in a span of just over one year. In addition to all that, he joined Mayhem on bass, as well.” (Encyclopedia Metallum).

Varg Vikernes of Burzum became notorious for his church burnings and murder of Mayhem’s leader Euronymous in 1993. He served 21 years in jail for these actions, but is now free today.

While his views are controversial, the music of Buruzm, like much great old school black metal, is gritty, unpolished, ambient and evokes an era of ancient, primeval pagan magic.


“Teutonic Terror” – ACCEPT

Genre: Heavy Metal

Country of Origin: Germany

Here’s some balls the walls packed heavy metal to livin up your evening. These teutonic titans have been around an impressive 48 years! That’s like twice as long as I’ve been alive. They formed back in 1968 as “Band X,”  but the band became “Accept” in 1976 when their vocalist  Udo Dirkschneider formed a new line up. So…technically the band really got started in 1976. While bassist Peter Baltes and guitarist Wolf Hoffmann have been in the band more or less since then, the current vocalist, drummer and guitarist Uwe Lulis are fairly new.

So these guys are a great heavy metal band that has been rocking out on their six string sabers for almost half a century. If you like bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, I’m pretty sure you’ll love Accept.

Storming the castles… swords In the air
Killing the monsters in their own lair
Lighting the torches… setting the stage
You get what you ask for… right in the face