As in everything, the trajectory of global culture has affected the ways in which we perceive and consume metal. While we won't have the time to go in depth on concepts like "the West", "globalism" and "cultural appropriation", it's safe to say that metal is too often viewed with a Western-tinged lens. Thus, Europe (western/northern Europe, that is) and the US are often viewed as the focal points of the community and, sometimes, as the only grounds in which events worth consider occur. However, the reality is far from that and is much more positive: metal, like any cultural community which has, is or will one day thrive, is a global phenomenon.
Whispered hail from Finland, but don’t tell them that. Spiritually, the hearts of the all-Finn band beat in time with the samurai warriors of Japan’s yesteryear. Whispered gallop and scream themselves hoarse like a charged-up Ensiferum, but with the help of traditional Japanese folk instruments like the koto and shamisen instead of the more generic ensemble many folk metal bands like Ensiferum employ. It’s easy to assume that Whispered are a gimmick band, desperately scraping for relevance in a crowded modern melodeath scene with the distinctive twang of their shamisen. But Whispered don’t appropriate the ancient sounds of Japan lightly; the thick tapestry of Japanese music and culture weaves throughout every stitch of their newest release, Metsutan - Songs of the Void.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.