It’s pretty unfathomable that this is Enslaved’s 14th album. This is a band who has been relentlessly putting out quality albums for 26 years, and it’s no surprise that E is yet another notch on their belt. What is surprising, though, is how different it is. Ever since they adopted…
Meta-title! How metal of me to be very meta on a metal podcast that’s also pretty meta. This week we have a bunch of news. Either new releases, singles, teasers or whatever from: Inanimate Existence, Darkthrone, Wardruna, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sinsaenum, Lamb of God, Voivod, Shokran, Dark Tranquillity, Thy Catafalque, Fit for An Autopsy, The Agonist, Disillusion, Exotype, Native Construct and Serpentine Dominion. Also an analysis of how global metal is, Pelagic Records’s starter kit, and a top 10 list of bands from Norway. While on the topic of top 10 lists, we do an impromptu “Top 10 songs that have the desired effect every time”. Or as Eden calls it, “Evergreen songs” or something. Whatever. Then we have our bullshit philosophy corner on Hegelian dialectics and the early metal scene! Finally, we talk about No Man’s Sky in the cool people section. Whew!
Many words have been spent on the blog thus far in regards to Skuggsjá, a project comprised of Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) & Einar Selvik (Wardruna). However, the music has always taken somewhat of a backseat as we focused on the cultural narratives which spawned it and gave it context. While these are obviously important it would do us well to remember that this is, first and foremost, a creation of music. It’s also a damn good at that, blending folk, folk metal and black metal into an energetic and cohesive whole. Even though many styles are utilized on the album, it doesn’t feel like a hybrid creation, a crossing of genre bounds. Instead, each musical element present speaks to and draws from the same place: a dark, oppressive, majestic place which invokes harsh environments, blistering cold and vast depths.
Episode 21! This week there’s a bunch of new music and bizarre happenings to talk about. New music from Leander, Cyclamen, Shokran (kind of), Otep and Eximperitus (Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum). Happenings include Rotting Christ’s temporary name change to be able to play in South Africa without offending religious sensibilities (Behemoth got off easy!), Iron Maiden’s ridiculous vehicular issues and some confusing “new” releases (Ghost Brigade and Vulture Industries) by Season of Mist. We also talk about an After the Burial interview, the upcoming Ihsahn album Arktis and the Skuggsja album that finally released. Then we go pretty deep on lyrical themes 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.
Welcome back to HPIHC! This week we have a very special guest! The guitarist of Daath, famed producer and now businessman Eyal Levi! He joins us this week to inform us about a lot of production-related questions we’be been discussing for a while, and also how he’s taken a step ahead of the paradigm by building his own service (Nail the Mix) and innovated the process of teaching people about production. Then, Eden and I go into our usual discussions about news, including Skuggsja’s London exhibition, The Iranian metal band Confess facing execution for their lyrics, the 36th anniversary of the Black Sabbath album, and, well, our usual weekly Tidal shenanigans. Finally, we do our opinion time, this week tackling “good for its time” albums and, on a related note, Metallica.