May 042016



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. Continue reading »

Nov 072010

I’ve been accumulating the names of more and more bands whose music I don’t know but who look interesting for one reason or another. Yesterday, I decided it was again time to pick a few names at random off the list and see what I might find. That, of course, is what this MISCELLANY series is all about. With the internet at my fingertips, I go exploring and I record in this post who and what I heard, not really knowing in advance whether the music will be worthwhile.

For each of the bands whose names I pick, I listen to one song, and only one song — those are the rules I set for myself when we started this series. Yes, it’s pretty random and runs the risk of not giving the music a fair chance, but I think it’s better than nothing, and over time it has proven to be a useful vehicle for exposing myself (and you) to bands we might not have discovered in any other way.

In this particular installment of MISCELLANY, I checked out three bands: Fejd (Sweden), Praetorian (U.S.), and Forsaken (U.S.)


My first stop in this edition of the MISCELLANY tour was to watch a new video from a Swedish folk-metal band called Fejd. I saw a press item on Blabbermouth about them, which picqued my interest (though I can’t really explain why). Fejd was formed in 2001 by two brothers, Patrik Rimmerfors and Niklas Rimmerfors, who had been playing in a folk music band called — fittingly — Rimmerfors. To create Feyd, they joined together with some childhood friends from a metal band called Pathos. As they explain, the resulting music features “the weight of heavy metal in symbiosis with the typical melodic language and sadness of the Nordic folk music.”  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »