22 – Hallowed Be Thy Cast

Not a lot of happenings this week, so we talk mostly about new music! Specifically, from Schammash, Fallujah, Amon Amarth and Ihsahn! There were a few happenings as well, like Evan Brewer of Entheos on why he left The Faceless, an interview with the Iranian metal band Confess, who were on trial for blashpemy, Riverside’s upcoming triple album, Kickstarter’s acquisition of subscription service Drip, and the important news item we embarrassingly forgot last week, the passing of Keith Emerson. Then we talk about festival culture, using music as a tool to focus, and our weekly balls deep segment on Iron Maiden!

Midgard Calling: The Role of Norse Culture in Metal

Metal has, sadly, played a distinct and central role in this conflation of ideas between “viking” and “norse”. By endlessly drawing from a single pool of images to describe these historical people, the same pool available to all of popular culture, it has reinforced, elaborated and cemented the image of the Norse as the ironclad marauder. The viking, in actuality a probably destitute and desperate person pushed from the liminal spaces of their society, forced to risk their life in order to sustain themselves, is depicted as a blood-hungry savage, intent on killing. In reality, vikings prefered quick sojourns on land with as much loot as possible while minimizing combat. Regardless, metal has chosen to view them as some omnipresent, ever threatening and efficient mercenary force, intent on as much damage as possible while holding a certain aloof and superior view towards mainland Europeans, hunting them like dogs. Fortunately, not all hope is lost. There exist several artists and bands within metal and its adjacent genres that work not only to represent Norse culture correctly but also to disseminate it to people around the world. These acts draw on the myriad atmospheres, influences and themes found in Norse texts to create a different image.

PHOTOS: Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014, Day One: Deafheaven, Tombs, The Hotelier, Nomads, Rotting Out, Steel Panther, Death From Above 1979, The Blood Brothers, Run The Jewels, Amon Amarth, Mineral, Pallbearer—November 7th, 2014, Austin, TX

Every year, Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas brings together some of the best acts in rock, hip-hop, comedy, and action sports. With a lineup as diverse as theirs, it’d be pretty impractical for a niche blog to cover everything, but the hardcore and metal presence across the fest’s…

PHOTOS: Amon Amarth, Sabaton, Skeletonwitch—October 30th, 2014 @ Mojoe’s, Joliet, IL & November 4th, 2014 @ The Bourbon Theatre, Lincoln, NE

Taking North America by storm, the mighty viking-themed fivesome Amon Amarth took to stages across the country to lay waste to crowds everywhere. In tow, energetic and vivacious power metal outfit Sabaton gave their very own blitzkrieg (even after an incredible tour with Iced Earth earlier this year), while Skeletonwitch…