Few metal video concepts have been beaten to death more thoroughly than visions of sword-wielding warriors from a mythic age spilling blood in a northern forest. Somewhere, as you read this, a Ph.D. student is writing a thesis devoted to this subject, morbidly aware that he’ll still have no job when it’s done, but deluded by the belief that he can develop an explanation for the ubiquity of this trope which is more meaningful than the simple truth: metal videos have warriors in forests because it’s fucking metal.
Of course, it helps tremendously if videos of warriors in forests are accompanied by enjoyable music, and the two recent videos in this post have that going for them.
Warbell are a melodic death metal band from Jelenia Góra, Poland. They emphasize that they are “female-fronted”, because, let’s face it, that still gets certain fans interested. When I see that kind of advertising, however, it tends to make me want to run the other way, not because I think female growlers are less capable than male ones but because it often means a band have nothing else going for them besides a pretty face at the front of the stage. In Warbell’s case, I’m glad I didn’t run away.
This video is for a song called “Into Battle”, which appears on the band’s debut album Havoc, which was released by Goressimo Records last December. To get the obvious point out of the way first, Gigi Więcek can indeed growl and howl like a wolf. And the song as a whole is an appealingly dark, mid-paced gallop with a coating of doom rime and flickering, moaning guitar melodies that ooze melancholy.
The video has better than average production values, including some beautiful overhead panoramas. And warriors in a forest.
The last time I wrote about Sweden’s Fejd (here) was more than five years ago when I came across another of their videos, for a song called “Gryning” off the band’s second album, Eifur. Their fourth album, Trolldom, will be released on May 27 by Dead End Exit Records and Sound Pollution Distribution.
The band was founded in 2001 by the brothers Patrik and Niklas Rimmerfors, who were folk musicians, joining together with childhood friends who were involved in a metal band called Pathos. Since then they have been creating Scandinavian folk metal using a combination of metal and traditional folk instruments.
This new video is for a song from the fourth album called “Härjaren”. While I confess that I rarely listen to folk metal, Feyd still strike a chord within my head (or wherever my chords reside). This song hooked me immediately, with a highly infectious melody (performed in part on the moraharpa) and plenty of earth-shaking heaviness. It’s a headbanger’s delight with a vibrancy and passion that will make you want to grab your own sword and do something… courageous.
More warriors in forests in this video… and some supernatural doings as well.