Here we are at the dawn of October. One of the finest months of the year, obviously. What better way to kick it off than with a stacked list of metal that is as varied as the many horror movies you need to watch over the next 31 days. Anyway, Initial Descent knows you need it so, this week we have the amazing new album The Dark Hereafter from Winterfylleth, a jazzy avant-garde self titled debut from Brain Tentacles, Okkultokrati‘s Raspberry Dawn that is satan rock at it’s finest and of course Sorceress from everyone’s favorite target Opeth. For everyone still mad about the whole no death metal thing, news flash, they’re still great. Also Veilburner returns with their third full length of inherently evil and challenging black/death/experimental The Obscene Rite and Halshug cracks the earth in half with their brutal new album Sort Sind. Plenty here for you to enjoy so without further delay, get busy after the jump. Continue reading
It’s time for Episode 30 of The Horns Up Podcast, your weekly catch-up on all things metal!
It’s Thanksgiving week at Horns Up and the guys are doing, well…nothing particularly Thanksgiving-y on this week’s podcast. They are, however, checking into new albums from Primordial and Fen, plus news on the long-awaited System of a Down reunion. Plus, Dan recounts the single most adorable moment he’s had all year. (Not metal enough for you? Don’t care.)
All that and much more on Episode 30, so check it out!
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Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.
A very metal Monday to everyone! As you may have gathered from its absence during this week’s Episode 4, Subgenre of the Week is now going to be a web-only series on Horns Up. Why’s that? We want to keep the podcast itself focused more on the metal conversation and banter between Corey and I and less on explanatory content. Hence, SotW’s move, in full, to the blog.
You’ll still get a history and Spotify playlist for each genre we cover–it’ll just be a treat for your eyeballs instead of your ears. With that said, let’s get into this week’s installment: Viking Metal.
So what is viking metal? Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
Viking metal is a subgenre of black metal and folk metal characterized by its noisy sound, slow pace, use of keyboards, dark and violent imagery, and, primarily, lyrical themes of Norse mythology, Norse paganism and the Viking Age. It developed in the 1980s through the mid-1990s as a rejection of Satanism and the occult, instead embracing the Vikings and paganism as the leaders of opposition to Christianity. Influenced by Nordic folk music, it is considered a fusion genre of folk metal and black metal, yet distinct from both.
Taken solely from a conceptual standpoint, you’d think viking metal would be similar to power metal. Which is to say, “you’d think 90 to 95 percent of it is pure cheese.” But what I’ve always liked about viking metal–and what sets it apart from power metal, for me–is how few stylistic limitations there are on the genre musically.
Within the same subgenre, you can have classic bands like Bathory or Windir showcasing more of a black metal influence, while Ensiferum or Tyr bring in more of an over-the-top, theatrical sound. Hell, Amon Amarth set their heavily Norse-inspired lyrics (“Valhall Awaits Me”?!?!?!) over what’s pretty much a standard, melodic death metal palette. And Enslaved? They’ve done more or less all of the above AND THEN SOME. There’s just a level of sonic diversity that few other subgenres can match. And in constructing this week’s Spotify playlist, we tried to cover as much of that diversity as we could:
- Enslaved – “Roots of the Mountain”
- Moonsorrow – “Kylän päässä”
- Tyr – “Hold the Heathen Hammer High”
- Korpiklaani – “Vodka”
- Skálmöld – “Gleipnir”
- Ensiferum – “Blood is the Price of Glory”
- Amon Amarth – “The Pursuit of Vikings”
- Bathory – “Shores in Flames”
- Thyrfing – “From Wilderness Came Death”
- Windir – “Arntor, A Warrior” (original Norwegian title = “Arntor, ein Windir”
Check it out below for your introduction to viking metal!
Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.