Genre: Black Metal/Middle Eastern Folk Metal
Themes: Ancient religion, evil, darkness, apostasy, anti-religion
Band Location: Saudi Arabia
Al-Namrood translates to “the non-believer” and comes from the name of a Babylonian king. He ruled the world maliciously and defied the ruler of the universe by claiming to be a God.
In Saudi Arabia, three men with hidden identities have defied theocratic law by daring to make black metal. For you see, in Saudi Arabia their actions are not only illegal, but are punishable by death.
The band started with with the idea of combining the Arabic scale with black metal and Arabic lyrics. The results are definitely quite interesting.
The members of Al-Namrood do not tour or play live shows (for obvious reasons). They make their music in secret and use fake names: Mephisto, Mudamer and Ostron. Quality equipment is hard to come by, and they have to smuggle much of their stuff into the country by secret. The bigger their fame, the bigger the risk of being found out, and yet they continue to make music and promote themselves anyways.
Al-Namrood represents the true spirit of apostasy. I regard these guys with the highest praise for having the courage to do what they do. If playing music under threat of death isn’t black metal, I don’t know what is.
“The world around us has failed to sustain our humanity, our spirituality. The deep woe inside black metal is about fear that we can never return to the mythic, pastoral world that we crave on a deep subconscious level. […] We are weak and pitiful in our strength over the earth in conquering, we have destroyed ourselves. Black Metal expresses disgust with humanity and revels in the misery that one finds when the falseness of our lives is revealed. (Wolves in the Throne Room 2006 – Source: Nocturnal Cult)”
I’m certainly not going to undertake the task of “defining” what Black Metal is and what it is not. It is something that exists beyond such simple definitions. However, one aspect I understand about some forms of Black Metal is that it evokes a feeling of despair and darkness – a feeling of living in dark times. There is an idea that humanity has failed, and we are disconnected from the primal vitality of our own nature.
The great heroes of our mythology mark a golden era where man was molded out of harsh winters, deep forests and nature’s lessons into the stuff of legend. Yet we today are shallow beings, with shallow roots, living in environments constructed from plastic and chemicals. We ourselves are just brief shadows of the blazing torch of our ancestor’s glory.
Ragnarok and Kali Yuga predict a great reckoning where a tidal wave of death and destruction will erase the errors of this time, and carve a new, verdant green world out of the flesh and blood of the old. The last living Gods will die fighting the Titans of chaos, but in the end a few Gods will survive to usher in a new and better world. At least this is my personal reflection. Black Metal is a reflection of today’s Dark Times – and almost a yearning for a coming destruction to wash it all away.
This is something that can’t be explained in mere words, but is understood in the subconscious by listening to the music itself.
Mother north – how can they sleep while their beds are burning ?
Mother north – your fields are bleeding
Memories…The Invisible Wounds
pictures that enshrine your throne (gone?)
A Future benighted still they are blind
Pigeonhearted beings of flesh and blood
keeps closing their eyes for the dangers that threat…ourselves and our
And that is why
they all enrage me
Sometimes in the dead of the night I mesmerize my soul
Sights and visions prophecies and horror
they all come in one
Mother north – united we stand (together we walk)
Phantom north – I’ll be there when you hunt them down
My Behemoth poster fell off the wall as I was listening to this – Behemoth is too heavy for my walls.
Anyone jumping out of their skin in excitement for when Behemoth’s The Satanist comes out on February 4th? Currently my skeleton is running around my apartment headbanging to this song. The Satanist is available for pre-order on Amazon, which means you can have the album shipped to your house the day it is released, listen to it first and gloat about it as all your friends stab themselves with envy.
With that aside, let me proceed to shamelessly gush about this song as if it were my teenage crush. In a previous post I discussed another song from this album: Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. In that song, as well as the one above, I notice that Behemoth has adopted a more Black Metalish sound for this album. The guitar has somewhat of that chaotic all over the place Black Metal sound. I also love the tone they chose for the bass, it is haunting and melodic. It knows when to step into the spotlight when the rest of the music calms down, and hold things together with a bittersweet melody.
Really enjoying the two songs I’ve heard from The Satanist. Can’t wait to get my talons on the actual album.
Drudkh means “wood” in Romanised Sanskrit
Genre: Ambient Black Metal
Themes: Nature, Ukrainian History, Folk Lore and Poetry
Drudkh is a very secretive band, even as far as Black Metal standards go. They have given no interviews and have not released the lyrics to several of their albums. Their music is a combination of Black and Folk metal influences with a heavy focus on natural ambiance. The band was formed by Roman Saenko, a prolific metal musician. He is the leading member behind Hate Forest, Dark Ages and Blood of Kingu.
“Lustre” is a one man Black Metal/Ambient project from Sweden. The song themes are often about Nature, Darkness, Mysticism and Primitive Spirituality. The videos for these songs are errant and beautiful like the music itself. I’m not sure if the videos I posted below were created by the original artist or an interested fan, but they are amazing all the same.
ECHOES OF TRANSCENDENCE
THIS MIGHTY SIGHT
THE FIRST BEAUTY
Ahab: Crazed sea captain in the American Novel Moby Dick. Fond of touching phallic objects, hunting sperm whales and candle lit dinners with homo erotic cannibals.
Band Location: Munich, Bavaria
Genre: Funeral Doom Metal
In one of those dark, morose moods? You know? The kind of mood where you’re angry that a giant sperm whale took your leg and you’re too incompetent to get revenge on the beast? Maybe this song is what you need. It’s got the onerous, trudging pace of a death march and the eerie melancholy to match. As I listen to this song I can just imagine old Ahab yelling at his crew, and like any good captain, dutifully getting most of them killed in a selfish bid for revenge. Most of the songs by the band Ahab actually are about the novel Moby Dick.
Agalloch is a soft, resinous wood of highly aromatic smell, and is used as incense and perfume in many Asian countries.
Genre: Atmospheric Folk/Doom/Black Metal/Post Rock/ Metal
Location: Portland Oregon
Agalloch is the essence of what a Folk/Atmospheric/Black metal band should be. Dark, dreary and errant. Listening to this album I imagine a mist covered landscape where the mystery of nature still takes hold. Much like the American North West from whence this band hails. Enjoy!