Time for another edition of MISCELLANY, a game I made up for myself in the early days of this blog and still play on an irregular basis. The rules of the game: I randomly pick a few bands whose music I’ve never heard and whose names are new to me. I listen to one recent song by each band (I try to limit myself to just one song, but I sometimes I get carried away). I record my impressions here, and then I stream the song(s) I heard so you can make up your own minds about whether to explore the music further.
Usually, I pick bands to explore from e-mails I’ve received from the bands themselves or from NCS readers, and sometimes from links I see on Facebook. But two of today’s picks I came across in other ways. Today’s test subjects: Janaza (Iraq), Nether Regions (U.S.), Apotheosis (U.S.), and Blacklisters (UK).
Last week The Atlantic magazine published a piece by “Grim Kim” Kelly (one of my favorite metal writers) under the headline “When Black Metal’s Anti-Religious Message Gets Turned On Islam.” I received links to it from several NCS readers and writers and saw more links from bands in my Facebook news feed. To read Kim’s article, go here.
The focus of the article is an example of “art and dissent [intersecting] in a region where dissent can sometimes have deadly consequences,” and specifically on a handful of black metal bands in the Middle East who have re-directed “black metal’s historically anti-Christian ferocity to rail against Islam.” The lead example chosen by Kim was a one-woman Iraqi black-metal band known as Janaza. Continue reading »