16-year-old Swedish environmental activist ripped the hearts out of the leaders of the UN for their betrayal of young people, for their failure to act concerning the greatest threat of our time, climate change.
She said: “How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
Afterward, Death Metal internet phenomenon G.T – aka John Mollusk, the drummer of New York thrash metal band Suaka – converted the speech into a death metal song.
Now this death metal version of Greta Thunberg’s fiery speech at the UN Climate Summit in New York is being released as a single with all profits going to Greenpeace.
The song is actually pretty brutal. And the lyrics do make for great metal. Probably because she is saying the harsh truth that today’s world leaders and adults are too cowardly to say.
Greta has commented on this herself. (Jokingly)
I have moved on from this climate thing… From now on I will be doing death metal only!! https://t.co/mYqXxFuE77
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 28, 2019
‘How Dare You’ is bring released as a single in collaboration with the independent hard rock label Despotz Records from Thunberg’s native Sweden. All the record label’s profits from the single will go directly to Greenpeace.
Check out the artwork below:
Despotz Records have also launched a campaign under the hashtag #GREENMETAL and they’re hoping that ‘How Dare You’ will enter the Billboard Top 10 and charts around the world.
Greta Thunberg death metal song ‘How Dare You’ gets released (Planet Rock, 10-1-19)
Genre: American progressive metal
Location: Washington DC
And now for something entirely different. I’m not a fan of the vocals. Their style is a little too screamo for me. But they are very experimental and strange, so might be something worth checking out.
Most creative YouTube comment goes to…
If you want a platformer that blares Slayer inspired riffs and assaults you with wave after wave of skeletons and fireballs, this is the game for you.
Get your warrior on.
Recently Trish, the drummer of the Norwegian avant-garde black metal band Urarv found out she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I myself have battled breast cancer, and know how expensive and difficult this disease can be to deal with.
So please do what you can to help Trish, even if it’s just donating a few dollars along with a few minutes of your time.
Themes: Corruption, War
A metal song that speaks with the tongue of a Syrian child. A rough translation is offered below:
LYRICS IN ENGLISH:
What’s that sound, father?
I’m so afraid!
Don’t be, close your eyes,
I want to go home,
We will, son,
Filthy and itchy,
But no doubt my filth has more honor than you,
Rulers and politics, the source of defilement,
My house is not the camp,
Give it back,
God have mercy, your test has become long,
You burn me with their fire, where is yours?
Turned the childhood into a curse,
Weak, actively take your decision,
With the creed, they made me homeless,
With the knife, compelled me to it,
Oh, judgment day, arrive!
Blow your horn, Israfil,
Your trumpets await you, Israfil. (The angel in charge of blowing the horn that announces judgment day).
watch me on the screen,
Film my empty dish, sucking my fingers,
My dream is dead on the top of the canons, consolidate me,
Father, if I wake up, put me back to sleep.
Don’t wake me up.
My heart’s beloved, wake up….wake up.
(Voice of a preacher in the background)
Genre: Brutal, technical death metal
Location: United States
Themes: Ancient Egyptian Mythology
I love this song because it’s a great embodiment of what the band Nile does well, create an expansive, over-the-top soundscape with an impossible to remember title that fuses cinematic, Ancient Egyptian-esque instrumentals with the mind drilling riffs of modern death metal. It’s beautiful. If I were summoning Cthulhu, I’d want to do it to this.
This is the 10th and last track from the album Annihilation of the Wicked.
I Hath Dreamed Black and Grim, Desolate Visions
Of the Pre-Human Serpent Folk and Communed with Long-dead Reptiles.
Silently Watching Through the Ages in Cold, Curious Apathy.
The Unending Sorrows and Suffering of an Abysmal Humankind.
I Dare Not Again Surrender to the Deep Sleep Which Ever Beckons Me.
Lest I in Dread.
Shudder at the Nameless Things.
That May at this Very Moment.
Be Crawling and Lurking.
At the Slimy Edges of My Conciousness.
Slithering Forth from the Bowels of Their Infernal Pits.
Worshipping Their Ancient Stone Idols and Carving Their Own Detestable Likenesses On Subterranean Obelisks of Blood-soaked Granite.
I Await the Day When the Claws of Doom Shall Rise.
To Drag Down in Their Reeking Talons the Weary and Hopeless Remnants of a Jaded, Decayed, War-despairing Mankind.
Of a Day When the Earth Shall Open Wide and the Black, Bottomless, Yawning Abyss Engulfs the Arrogant Civilizations of Man.
Chthonic Retribution Shall Ascend.
Amidst Universal Pandemonium and Those Who Slither and Crawl Shall Rise Again Once More to Inherit the Earth.
Funeral Doom Metal
Themes: Entropy, Space, The Cosmos, Destruction, Chaos
“A singularity is the point in a black hole where density becomes infinite, space-time bends, and the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate.
This is the perfect way to describe Mesmur’s newest album “S,” an infinitely dense soundscape that bends space and time around the listener. A meandering funeral dirge through the chaotic void that is the universe. A universe that was doomed from the start.”
This is a review I did for Dark Art Conspiracy. Check out the rest of my review HERE
What I didn’t get to mention in my review is that entropy has four phases. I think that this album has four songs to reflect the four phases of entropy. Entropy is represented by “S” and is the measurement of disorder in a system. The idea of having an album focused on creating the sound of entropy is fucking brilliant in my humble opinion.
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
(This is the album cover of Risala’s “Patterns of War,” a band containing Tony Aziz Yaqoo, former member of Iraqi Thrash Metal Band Acrassicauda)
On this blog I like to get opinions about all things metal and pagan from different corners of the globe. I have a fan in Iraq who has been a very helpful supporter of this blog, so I decided to have a conversation with him and get his opinion on some things. Also (as a U.S. citizen myself) I thought it might be interesting to get some of his opinions on America’s increasingly bat-shit-crazy-political situation with President Trump and his travel ban.
MG: Hey there, I was curious…you said you were from…Iraq? I’m just asking because I like seeing what people in other parts of the world think about some of the topics that I discuss.
AA: Hey. Yes, that is right. I’m from Iraq. I would be glad to answer any question you may have. Although you shouldn’t count me as a typical Iraqi since most my education and culture is very western oriented.
MG: Are you still living in Iraq? And did you study in a Western country, or that’s just your interest?
AA: Yes i still live in Iraq. Depends on what you call study. I didn’t go to college outside the country but I speak English ever since I was 15. Most books I read are in the English language.
MG: If you don’t mind me asking, what part of Iraq do you live in?
AA: I live in Baghdad. So the very middle hahaha.
MG: This might be a dumb question…but in that part of Iraq are things relatively stable now? Or is there violence as an after effect of U.S. involvement and current violence in Syria and what not?
AA: It’s not a dumb question at all. Yes things are relatively stable now. Which seems to be the perfect way to describe it. Most cities are being taking back from ISIS, but because of the U.S. intervention in Iraq, many things are now broken and seems to be beyond repair. Not in the short run, anyway.
MG: Agh that sucks. But yeah I heard that ISIS was losing ground, so that’s good.
Do you know anyone who was stuck living in an ISIS taken city like Mosul?
AA: No, they moved before things went REALLY bad. And good thing too since everything happen over night.
MG: That’s good!
AA: ISIS was never that strong but we made it so ourselves. Our government did by giving it land and making it the bogeyman that it is now.I remember not knowing anything about it. However, saw large billboards on the streets with a text saying “No for ISIS”. Which seems to be a free ad campaign for them made by the government. That and the fact that the military left in one night without any battle or anything.
MG: What are your thoughts on Trump’s travel ban?
AA:We have people who are misinformed and call it a Muslim ban. Which is not. Since over 700 million Muslims are excluded from it. They seems to be going crazy about it. On the other hand, we have those who believes it’s very well-intentioned and harmless, which is far from it. Because Trump have always had it for Muslims and talked about it across his campaign. The fact that also affects those who already have green cards. They don’t know if they left the US, they’ll ever be able to go back. Not to mention that most of those countries haven’t had anything to do with any terrorist act in the US. Even though this list been made by the Obama, not Trump’s administration. It wasn’t as absolute and as strong as it is now.
I’m personally against immigration. We should stay and try to fix our country instead. So I might think it’s a step in the right direction. It’s just the fact that it was like this. And from someone like Trump, makes me uneasy. And we have those who prepared their whole life to leave and sold all their belongings. Only to be put on hold for 90 days.
MG: Yeah, that’s harsh. I feel bad for the people who are stuck in limbo because of this. Or the people who went to Iraq to go visit their families and now can’t come back. Trump should have at least given people a few weeks to prepare for this instead of just springing it on people. But yeah…what a mess. But anyways…to take things in a completely different direction…I wanted to ask, how is the metal scene over there in Baghdad?
(Iraqi Thrash Metal Band, Acrassicauda)
AA: It’s not very common. But it DOES exist. Metal has always been misunderstood and simply not for everyone. I guess you know that better than anyone. I don’t know if you heard that few years back there was a phase where people were killed in a very horrible way for dressing, hair style and tattoos that got to do with metal. The main attack was against gays. But it also included all that isn’t considered “Good” For social standards.But with all that, we still have many die-hard fans here.
MG: Wow. Yeah, you definitely have to be hard-core to be able to face that kind of threat.
AA: Hahaha yeah. My look, and some of my friends, still haven’t changed. Not because we are metal fans, but we simply don’t want change by following people who have no idea about what’s considered a good taste. We rather die than to live their lives, not ours.
MG: That’s awesome. Power to you, man.
MG: Was that the government killing people? Or just some crazies who took matters into their own hands?
AA: Little of both. The people who took things to their own hands, had a lot of influence in the government and they are well known. People are just too afraid of saying it. The government says, “We are unable to protect you if you keep dressing and behaving like this.” So the government isn’t literally doing it. But they aren’t doing anything to stop it either.
MG: Ahh that sucks. Just curious, are bands able to play shows anywhere or is that just…impossible?
AA: Yeah that’s impossible. Just so few people that it’s not worth it. Maybe for the best, if too many people, it will bring a lot of attention to us. It’s very different to our culture. The closest thing to it that people interested in it is rap. So you can imagine.
MG: Can people actually gather to listen to rap, or is that impossible too?
AA: Yeah they can. We have people who go drinking and whoring and no one beats an eye. We also have bars and parties and all that. It’s not as grim as it might seem. It’s just that, people like us (excuse the expression) , the fewer, and the more strange to society they are, they are easiest as a target.
MG: Ah I see. So among you and the people you know, what metal bands are pretty popular?
AA: Depends. For me, Eternal tears of sorrow, not saying they are the best, has always had a place in my heart. Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Death, Black Sabbath and Megadeth are the most common. For good reason too.
(Metallica fans in Abu Dhabi, Dubai)
MG: Hell yeah!
MG: So I was also curious about something else. I obviously post about ancient Earth religions on my blog like paganism. How common is it for people to talk about or explore things like alternative spirituality over there?
AA: Not very common. To tell you the truth, I’m yet to find someone who’s interested in spirituality and the old religions as I am. When society is at it’s weakest point, they turn to religion. When they get comfortable with their lives, they tend to move away from it and from the concept of god, and it always seems to be one of the reasons of their downfalls. It’s like they lose their reason to live. As in example, you know how things ended in Rome. You can also see it in Europe today . I always try to find a place in between.
MG: Yeah. That’s very true. [After much further discussion about religion and what not I asked] What do you see yourself as?
AA: Well, for me I left Islam or simply stopped caring much about it years ago. Even though I studied it more than the average Muslim. And memorized almost half of the Quran. But there were things I noticed made no sense. Other are simply too harsh. Aside from stuff in the Quran and Muhammad’s life that I simply rejected all together.
About 6 years ago, I went through clinical depression. Didn’t like the proscribed drugs at all and the way it made me feel. So as I was looking for an alternative treatment, I stumbled on meditation. Maybe it was just me but, it worked great. From it, I started to learn more about Buddhism and Hinduism. As much as I loved their teachings, didn’t want to follow them but rather learn from them. After that I got into witchcraft and self-empowering. Didn’t practice any black magic, but I continued to clean my chakras, empower them, my aura and heal myself as god knows I have a lot of emotional baggage and can see how broken my soul is. I got to a point where it’s very hard to explain. I know it seems crazy but, I feel very connected to higher powers than ourselves. Don’t know what it is. But I know it’s guiding and helping me. I’m still looking to this day to recognize it. Maybe it’s just like Michelangelo’s creation of Adam’s painting. That god is in our mind all along.
“The Creation of Adam.”
MG: That’s awesome! Maybe this just shows my ignorance, but I know in some parts of the Middle East there are pretty harsh apostasy laws that can punish or even kill people for leaving Islam. Is this something you have to worry about?
AA: Yeah, but. I don’t mind. Not many people know about me anyway. But those who follow my posts and got close to me, might notice. But there is nothing I can do about that.
MG: That’s pretty badass.
MG: Do you think things will ever change in Iraq…like people will eventually be more open to these ideas that we’ve talked about, metal and alternative spirituality…or that people may embrace a more secular form of Islam that permits more freedom of expression and so on?
AA: Little bit of both. If things got better like it did before, some people will turn to science, others will follow spirituality or a form of it. Like the Sufi, for instance. But never Paganism or Hinduism. They have a very strong reaction toward it. Because it’s the main thing Islam is out to destroy. I’ll just be happy to reach a point where we have freedom and tolerance like in the US or the West. Where no one cares about what you do or believe as long as you keep it to yourself.
What I told you about civilization rise and fall. History repeat itself. I’m very afraid for Europe and the US. Because when they strayed away from religion, they didn’t make up for it with spirituality or philosophy or maybe both. I’m sure you see it yourself. People lack direction and morals. But with the internet, where it’s so easy to share knowledge, I believe there is hope. That’s why I love your blog. I believe it’s a form of what the world need. A form of mindset and understanding I mean.
(Scenes from Baghdad)
MG: I guess in your opinion, what do you think needs to change in the Middle East — or at least just Iraq — for people to move toward a more secular, less religiously extreme direction?
AA: Every era comes to the country; it puts its mood on it. Right after the fall of Saddam, there was a strong movement toured a secular direction. That quickly changed after Shia religious fundamentalists took over.
To answer your question, the policy and the parliament needs to change. They are all thieves and killers. Most of them hide behind religion to command their followers. As we are neck-deep in ignorance and the lack of objective thinking, we come to Islam for the solution to all our problems. And that’s where politicians get their votes, thus their power.
And so, we should either change the whole system because democracy only work as well as people’s education and common knowledge. Alternatively, wait for things to slowly change as it doing now since we have something we never had in a very long time. And that is the freedom of speech that the internet provides. Which gives us the power to criticize Islam and show its true face. ISIS, as bad as it was, it did us a favor. It showed the people the elephant in the room. And that’s Islam is NOT unrelated to terrorism and jihadist.
Other ways I don’t see how we can convince people in doing it. People need to read in order to have an argument with them. It works both sides, you see. You can’t play football with someone without legs. The problem is they only read school curriculums, the Quran and dream explanation books. They also need to speak English. As it will give them, a prospective they never had before and show them the world outside their sphere.
MG: Wow, very well thought out answers. Thank you!
AA: Hahaha you’re very much welcome.
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
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
THE FINAL WAR
Genre: Symphonic Death Metal
Lyrical Themes: Ancient Rome
Country of Origin: Canada
This is a side project of Kataklysm’s Maurizio Iacono.”Ex deo” is Latin for “from/out of God”. So, if you enjoy Kataklysm, you will probably love rocking out to this Roman Metal project as well.
On December 28th, the world lost a heavy metal legend. The singer, song writer, bassist and sole constant member of the band Motorhead. Many people are shocked to hear the death of Lemmy, but it’s actually a surprise he lived as long as he has, being the human embodiment of the hard drinking, fast living, rock and roll life style.
Many people credit Motorhead’s fast and heavy style for the creation of thrash music. But Lemmy always liked to insist that Motorhead was a rock and roll band.
This New Years celebrate the life of this legend by taking a drink for Lemmy, won’t you?
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT LEMMY’S LIFE
Being the supreme being he is, he was born on Christmas Eve.
“Kilmister” is the real last name he was born with.
The term ‘”Motörhead” is slang for an enthusiast of methamphetamine and other chemical stimulants.
Lemmy had the honor of being a roadie for Jimi Hendrix.
Motörhead’s immortal motto—“Everything Louder Than Everything Else”—is the one, flawless summation of everything that defines heavy metal.
LEMMY KILMISTER TRIBUTE PLAYLIST
RIP MOTORHEAD Frontman Lemmy Kilmister, 1945 – 2015 (Metal Injection)
MOTÖRHEAD’s LEMMY Dead At 70 (Blabber Mouth)
Happy Veteran’s Day! I just want to issue a hearty thank you to all the brave warriors who have risked their lives to keep us safe and free.
Yet today our veterans are often discarded by society after their courageous sacrifice. Over 1.4 million veterans are at risk of becoming homeless. There are 300,000 homeless veterans sleeping on the streets and this number is rising. An estimated 460,000 veterans suffer from PTSD. They have an increased risk of getting a divorce. And in the time it takes you to watch the first video below – somewhere, a veteran took their own life.
So I put together this metal list to celebrate the brave sacrifice of our vets. Some of the songs are meaningful, others are just fun and uplifting. The first one is a very powerful video about the problems facing veterans today.
Death in battle is not a failure, but a study in triumph of the spirit. May the warriors of our time find their final resting place in Valhalla, where they will be remembered and honored until the end of time.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m not saying these are the best songs for the subject. Just my opinion. Also, someone complained that I added Five Finger Death Punch, but the video itself actually addresses the problems faced by today’s vets better than anything other music video I’ve seen, so it deserves to be on here.
METAL PLAYLIST FOR WARRIORS
Five Finger Death Punch – Wrong Side of Heaven
Judas Priest – Halls of Valhalla
Ensiferum – In My Sword I Trust
Turisas – Stand Up And Fight
Amon Amarth – War of the Gods
Ensiferum – Victory Song
Orden Ogan – The Things We Believe In
Motorhead – Dogs of War
Sister Sin – 24-7
Tengger Cavalry – Hero
Amon Amarth Twilight Of The Thunder God
Amon Amarth – Tattered Banners And Bloody Flags
Judas Priest – One shot at glory
Tyr – By The Sword in my Hand
Amon Amarth – The Hero
Metallica – The Day That Never Comes
Iron Maiden – The Trooper
Kataklysm – The Ambassador of Pain
Amon Amarth – Warriors Of The North
Fortress – Victory or Valhalla
Manowar – Warriors of the World United
Sabaton – The Price of a Mile
Genre: Black Metal
Country of Origin: Norway
Themes: Rediscovering the ancient Pagan ways
For many people, the old school black metal is difficult to listen to because of its low production quality. However, for others, this is a big part of its appeal. After metal music became over commercialized in the 1980’s, the scene of Norwegian Black Metal that emerged in the late 80’s/early 90’s was appealing in a primordial, and natural kind of way. The music seemed a sort of dark, pagan magic re-emerging into a world that had become fake and synthetic.
Burzum evokes a gritty brutality that is quite captivating. Burzum itself means ‘darkness’ in the Black Speech, a fictional language from Lord of the Rings. The song above came from the album ‘Det som engang var.’ The album cover was visually inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. So there is obviously an interest in fantasy at work here.
Varg himself, the man behind the Burzum solo act is quite the controversial figure. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the murder of Mayhem guitarist Øystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth and the arson of three churches. What’s interesting is that Varg stabbed Euronymous a few days after the release of the album listed above.
After Varg’s release from prison in 2009 he recorded three further black metal albums.
Varg is also a controversial figure for his racist and anti-semitic views. However, amidst a lot of his rantings about race and the Jews, he does sometimes have some pretty brilliant things to say about the return to the ancient wisdom and truth.
Here is piece of an interview with him from the movie ‘Until The Light Takes Us.’ (The background music is Bathroy’s ‘One Rode to Asa Bay’)
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
Nile’s newest album “What Should Not be Unearthed” opens up like a blast of fire melting the face off a demon. They’re back heavier and faster than ever. This is quite a feat considering that Technical Death Metal has been on the way out recently. And many Death Metal bands have gone towards a more progressive or groove driven direction; which is understandable, because it’s often hard to be even heavier than what already exists, especially after Death Metal has been a genre for 20+ years.
But Nile delivers a fist full of death metal that punches you in the face with its heavy riffs, dynamic tempos, and liquid hot solos. Some of the riffs are familiar, but there are definitely some clever new licks thrown in. And of course, this album brings together what Nile fans love – fast, death metal riffs mixed with middle eastern instrumentals and scales.
KARL SANDERS DISCUSSES HIS INTENTIONS AND OPINION OF NEWEST ALBUM
In an interview with Metal Wani, Karl Sanders (Nile’s Vocalist and Guitarist) said he wanted to take a different direction than their last album, “At The Gates of Sethu.” Sethu was a very clean and technical album, written for studio perfection. But as Karl says, this newest album was all about the fans, and giving them what they want. It was also more about feeling than technicality. “Is it heavy, does it emotionally move me?”
Many interviews and reviews have already dealt with the technicalities of the music. In short, I will say in this album there are more mid-range growls than the low growls of the past (I can actually understand the lyrics!). The guitars and bass are also turned up a bit higher in volume than previous albums. As George Kollias (the drummer) is quoted as saying, “I can’t hear my fucking drums!” (Metal Wani). In terms of skill level, the song “What Should Not Be Unearthed” was apparently one of the hardest songs George Kollias has played in his life.
But what I’d like to delve into is the meaning behind the music – the vibe – the soul of the album so to speak. Topically, this is about things that shouldn’t be unearthed (yeah I know, the title says that, duh!)
The following was said about the artwork: The story behind the title goes deeply beneath everything we have already known, and we may not be ready to face. With the art I excavated the theories of an elder ancient civilization which could give the origin to ancient Egypt. That’s why you can find a new ingredient in the band imagery, pointing at some higher obscure intelligence, eroding and covered with time. (Nuclear Blast)
So there is definitely this theme of an eerie, and an ancient spirit being accidentally unleashed like some horror movie mummy.
But what no interview has discussed is the modern middle eastern implications as well.
CALL TO DESTRUCTION – OPENING ALBUM TRACK
The video for “Call to Destruction” very deliberately shows video footage of terrorist groups (like The Islamic State) destroying ancient relics. The lyrics very obviously point to this.
Call to destruction of the symbols of paganism
Grand monuments of idolatry
We must tear down these blasphemous edifices of heathenism
We must annihilate all that is pre Islamic
We must complete what the ‘Amr ibn al-‘As could not
We must tear down these relics of infidelity
Great and mighty works of blasphemy
Mountains of ancient heresy
Sacrilege encased in stone
From thousands of years before the Prophet…
So there is no mistaking that this is a theme (at least for that song).
Nile doesn’t just discuss the ancient Middle East, they also discuss the modern Middle East as well sometimes. For instance, in the “Those Whom The Gods” detest album, there was the song Kafir, which is the word for “heretic” or “unbeliever” in Islam.
So now it’s time for my conjecture (JUST MY OPINION, NOTHING OFFICIAL): I think the Islamic State’s destruction of ancient relics is relevant to many of the themes of other songs in the album. That may have been unintentional or intentional on their part (I don’t know). I just saw a theme: a theme in terms of unearthing or destroying relics of ancient history that should remain untouched. And the actions of IS/ISIS fit into that theme. “Rape of the Black Earth” discusses destroying entire blocs of history, objects that have not been disturbed for millennia, and temples of the Gods defiled. “Age of Famine” also references unheard of atrocities, noble women becoming slave and whores, and children being dashed against walls, and people turning against each other…hmm that sounds familiar to what’s in the news.
Now am I saying this is what this album is all about? No I am not. Karl himself said this wasn’t a concept album.
Or maybe the whole album was really just Karl describing his hatred of unearthing the precious Earth metals that create cell phones (see interview).(Or maybe that’s a joke…)
The last song is “To Walk Forth from the Flames Unscathed.” So perhaps this is somewhat of a hopeful ending to an album with several songs about the destruction and violation of ancient history.
Evil to Cast out Evil is a killer track. Check that out to get a further taste of the delicious mayhem that is Nile’s newest album.
EVIL TO CAST OUT EVIL
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country of Origin: Sweden
Themes: Nature, Darkness, Mysticism, Spirituality
Perhaps this is not the right time of year at all for this album, but I’ve been enjoying the Hel out of it. It is a dark, ambient but magical meander into the blossoming of spring. The sounds of nature in the background, such as the rain at the end of this album, really bring to life a certain time of year and the mindset that you can often have when spring is just around the corner. Yet in addition to being magical, it also has an eerie and haunting tone that reminds one of walking into the darkness of a primeval forest. Lustre is an amazing band in general, especially in terms of capturing the mood of nature and expressing it in only that which music can accurately describe.
Christopher Lee died on June 7th at the age of 93 after being hospitalized for respiratory problems and heart failure. He is known as the master of horror, and is famous for his portrayal of Dracula and Saruman in Lord of the Rings. His career as an actor, singer and writer has spanned near 70 years. What is lesser known is he also was involved in metal music. He was involved in Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. He was also honored with the “spirit of metal” award at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods award ceremony.
RIP Christopher Lee. You truly were a living legend in modern times.
Happy Earth Day everyone! But of course, we must remember that everyday is Earth Day, not just today.
We must also remember that we do not need to worry about Nature. Nature has been around for billions of years, and Nature has survived 5 major mass extinctions. The worst one, The Permian Extinction, wiped out about 90% of the life on the planet. So human activity may cause temporary chaos – but Nature will get past it – even if it takes her 100,000 years to clean up the mess human beings have caused, this is just a drop in the bucket in the overall scale of time.
Human beings are the ones who should be worried. If we continue to destroy the resources we need to survive – there will be a massive scale of death of human beings in the billions. This sounds far-fetched, but remember that a plague alone killed a third of Europe’s population in the 13th century. What percentage of the world’s people would die if we were dealing with global plague, famine, increased super storms – and of course the wars ignited in reaction to these things?
The global environmental crisis isn’t just something that will stay in the third world either – already it is wrecking havoc in California with the chronic water shortage.
So climate change is a real issue – THE issue – and we need to take it very seriously.
If we don’t do something soon as a society, we will reach the point of no return. At a certain point, problems will start solving themselves – just not in a way that we would like. (Think of Hurricane Sandy times 100).
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ON A GLOBAL LEVEL
I won’t be able to go over everything in minute detail, or else this blog post would turn into a book. But I’ll go over a few basics.
- THE SHIFT TO A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY: When I say “clean energy,” I’m not talking about “natural” gas. Putting the word “natural” in a name doesn’t make it any more clean or natural. Fracking has actually been shown to cause more pollution than the standard oil drilling, (since fracking releases methane – and methane is at least 20 times more powerful as a green house gas than Carbon Dioxide). There needs to be an initiative on a major level to transition away from our global dependency on oil drilling, fracking and coal burning – and shift towards solar and wind power. The transition towards a “Clean Energy Economy” would actually create millions of new jobs and would be better for the environment overall. Also, according to CleanTechnica, such a shift would create around 3 million new jobs in America alone and would only cost 1.2% of the GDP. To put this in perspective, keep in mind that the top earning companies have used 4% of public GDP just to improve the worth of their own company stocks. (The Atlantic, 2015).
- A MAJOR AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION: One of the largest causes of pollution and environmental destruction is the structure of our global food systems. Modern agriculture has set in motion a gigantic reduction in global water supplies. Industrial fertilizers were only invented 100 years ago, so there is no long term track record of what they are going to do to the planet (which is pretty scary!). Modern fertilizers have also played a role in the extinction of helpful species (such as bees, bats and frogs), as well as destroying the local soil. The domestication of animals on a major level also requires a large amount of land, the consumption of vegetation, the destruction of forest land, and releases a record amount of methane in the atmosphere. On a global scale, the agriculture industry is the largest cause of methane emissions (EPA). Yes, industrial agriculture has been helpful so far in averting global famine, but it doesn’t have a long term future. A global shift towards family owned organic farms, urban farming, self sustainability and even low meat diets would be a start in solving this problem. There needs to be a greater conversation about a “Plan B” for achieving a realistic replacement plan for the non-viable Industrial Agriculture system.
- TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ON A POLITICAL/LEADERSHIP LEVEL: Much of the modern narrative about Environmentalism has been about what you – as an individual – can do to save the planet. There is all this talk about buying new light bulbs, driving a hybrid and shopping at Whole Foods. Perhaps if everyone did these things it might make some minor difference, but the major cause of pollution and global warming is actually caused by large industries that can really only be regulated by the government. The problem is that in many governments (particularly America) Environmental reform is occurring at a glacial pace – if not a non-existent pace. The Environment wasn’t even mentioned in the 2012 presidential election until hurricane Sandy hit New York; Here’s a scary fact, half of the newly elected Congress doesn’t believe in global warming (motherboard) – compare this to the fact that 97% of scientists do believe in global warming.
- TACKLING THE LIE THAT A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT CAN’T EXIST SIDE BY SIDE: The lie that many big companies use to avoid new regulations or a shift towards a more environmentally positive policy is this idea that environmental reform isn’t “profitable.” This is a lie, a complete and total lie. The reality is that today’s big businesses would actually not be profitable if they had to pay for the resources they used. Industries like big oil and big agriculture (Monsanto) receive a record amount of subsidies and government level support to keep their industries afloat. None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use (Grist, 4-17-13). The reality is that an energy-efficient economy would actually be much more profitable, create more jobs, would have a better chance at a long term future and would be better for the environment. After all, what is big oil going to do when they run out of oil? How much longer can the fracking industry last? Most scientists give them only 20 years. What is big-agro going to do when they run out of ground water? The reality is that the people who are currently in power are scared – as they should be – because their companies have no long-term future, are not truly profitable. Here is another fact. An economy can’t exist when its people are dead. Environmental reform on a large scale is key if we are to solve the major issues of our time.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS AN INDIVIDUAL?
From what I wrote above, I made it sound like that the individual can’t do much, but that is not true. As an individual, you can actually do a lot to help the planet. But the main contribution won’t be using an energy efficient lightbulb (although that is a thoughtful gesture), your contribution will be in using your voice, your talents, your activism and your creativity to help contribute towards the creation of a culture and political system that prioritizes the protection of nature and the development of sustainable systems.
Here are some ideas for Earth Day action for the individual.
- Think about how you can use your voice and your talents to spread awareness about the destruction of life on the planet and the need for major environmental change.
- Plant a tree (Like I said, won’t change the world. But it is a fun Earth Day activity that will help your local environment and help get you more in touch with nature).
- Go for a hike in nature.
- Host a clean up at your local park.
- Start a garden (Growing your own food won’t cause a revolution, but its a positive step towards sustainability and ending the dependence on destructive agricultural systems).
- Donate your time or money to a company/cause that fights for climate change/climate justice.
- If you vote, look into the candidate that has the best track record of environmental protection
- Consider eating a low meat diet (or getting your meat at a Farmer’s Market). Apparently half of the world’s crops are used to feed domesticated animals. I’ve already talked about the problems of Industrial Agricultural above. If the meat industry was downsized, that would be more land – less pollution – and more crops for the hungry. The U.S. could feed 800 million people alone with the crops that domesticated farm animals eat (Cornell).
- Get in touch with Earth Based Spirituality. One of the greatest things we need to do to change is change our culture – change our perception of our role on this planet. This world wasn’t meant to be mankind’s plaything. The growth of indigenous, Earth based religions and traditions around the globe is helping to focus people’s attention towards what really matters. Looking at the Earth as a divine mother, rather than a material product is the first step towards a positive change.
NOW ENJOY SOME ENVIRON-METAL
HAVOK – POINT OF NO RETURN
While this video deals with a variety of geopolitical issues, I thought this video does a great job of hammering home the point that humanity is reaching a point of “no return.” If we don’t achieve real change now, we’ll reach a point where problems will start solving themselves – in a way that we don’t like.
KREATOR – PEOPLE OF THE LIE
Much of the structure of today’s world is a lie – the lie that this is a good system and if you cooperate you’ll have a good future. Perhaps things may look good now (if you live in a developed country, and are in a part of that country with a strong economy). But much of our current wealth has been borrowed from the planet, and borrowed against the future. This current lifestyle has no long term future. The politicians won’t tell you that – but it is the truth. Our current system and its leaders are the people of the lie.
TESTAMENT – DARK ROOTS OF EARTH
“Dark roots of the Earth
Echoes an eternity
Dark roots of the earthy
Will see us home eventually”
A simple but powerful point. The dark, primordial power of the Earth is a long lasting, ancient truth. We will find ourselves home if we connect with nature, and if we do not – we’ll find our ruin.
Genre: Death/Black Metal
Themes: Grimness, Darkness, Apocalypse,
Band Location: Bahrain
The name “Smoldering in Forgotten” was inspired by a Goatwhore song, “Upon This Deathbed of Cold Fire.” Smoldering in Forgotten is another great metal band to come out of the Middle East.
Their style was originally black metal, but now they’ve grown to encompass a large variety of styles: including death, thrash and even incorporating aspects of Arabic traditional music. Their dynamic, live performances have delighted audiences across the gulf.
The drummer Mohammed Ishaq says that it can be difficult to arrange a show in Bahrain and elsewhere in the region, because venues distrust metal bands and their often rambunctious fans. Yet metal in Bahrain has apparently come a long way since the band first formed in 2005.
Ishaq says, “Back then, the only way to see live metal was to watch the occasional covers band play at a hotel’s battle of the bands night, but since then, the number of metal bands in Bahrain has grown, as has the size of their creative ambition and their audiences.” (The National Arts and Lifestyle).I have no doubt that Smouldering in Forgotten’s dynamic live performances have helped the Bahrain metal scene grow over the years.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find much of their stuff on YouTube, but I believe the song I posted above is a good eerie and melodic introduction to their work.
My love affair with the world of metal began in middle school when one of my friends was listening to Judas Priest’s “Metal Meltdown.” She said, “Hey, you gotta check this out.” I put the headphones to my ear and it was like a bolt of electricity was shot straight into my brain.
Now this isn’t to say I wasn’t already a fan of rock music. I grew up listening to my dad’s music collection of 60’s and 70’s rock legends like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Later on I was introduced to the “Nu Metal” trend of bands like Korn, and also rap/rock groups like Linkin Park (Yes, I’m admitting that I listened to Korn and Linkin Park).
But when Judas Priest entered my life, it was like everything I once thought was great paled in comparison to the awesome power of these raw and brutal Metal Deities.
What I really like about this video above is it does more than explain the creation of a type of music, it describes the birth of a Metal Legend and a way of life. Judas Priest wasn’t just some ordinary band, they developed the Heavy Metal leather rebel look, they pioneered the Heavy Metal sound.
Heavy Metal really has helped a lot of people get through the most difficult times of their life because it gives them a sense of invincibility and power. There are times in my life too that I felt weak and helpless, but when I fired up the Heavy Metal and blasted it out of the speakers of my car, I felt like I could do anything.
All hail the Metal God Rob Halford! \M/
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?
“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