Apr 182010

Mother Nature has reached out her hand and swatted a large portion of the world up-side the head, provoking us to say, “Shit! That’s Metal” (though it’s not music). So, here’s another of our irregular installments on that subject. And at the end, we’ll let you listen to some music from Iceland (and no, it won’t be “Bjork” — which is almost exactly the sound we’ve made on those blessedly rare occasions when we’ve heard her music).

Iceland, a nation of 320,000 people, sits on a large volcanic hot spot in the Atlantic’s mid-oceanic ridge. Last week, southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH’-plah-yer-kuh-duhl) volcano began erupting for the second time in a month, sending ash several miles into the air, and winds have pushed the plume south and east across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and into the heart of Europe.

Yes, bits of Iceland are now all over Europe, and probably all over the world. Now you don’t have to go there to bring a little bit of Iceland home to you. It’s probably in your yard or sitting on your windowsill right now!

In turn, all that ash in the air has caused the grounding of planes on a huge scale, stranding tens of thousands of passengers in airports throughout Europe and causing the cancellation of numerous in-bound international flights, not to mention the cancellation by metal bands of scheduled European gigs.

In Iceland itself, torrents of water have carried away chunks of ice the size of small houses. More floods from melting waters are expected as long as the volcano keeps erupting – and in 1821, the same volcano managed to erupt for more than a year.

(more after the jump, including a few more photos and that music we promised . . .) Continue reading »