Love, Hate, Sex, Pain

My last two posts gave the misleading impression that all Heavy Metal lyrically cares and complains about was the dirty business of war, politics, and racist exclusion. However, the beautiful side of life, that of love and sex, ranks high among the most famous topics as well. What binds both realms is the emotionality with which they are approached. Of course, Metallic lyrics find darkness even within the positive, turning towards love’s counterpart hate, and emotional excess, which is obsession. This post’s headline is actually the title of a Godsmack song from their 2010 album “The Oracle”, and the line “Love, hate, sex, pain, it’s complicating me sometimes” describes four of the most intriguing elements of human emotional life.

In some ways Metal is “kind of an extension of the Blues”, Machine Head’s lead singer Robb Flynn suggests in a 2004 interview with Faceculture. “We’re a Metal band and, […] we write about the darker sides of life,” he elaborates. “There’s plenty of bands out there writing about love and flowers and bunny rabbits, you know, happy stuff, and that’s just Pop music.” Feeling blue has turned into feeling bluesy. The Blues is a musical genre that originates in African-American Folk and slave music and mostly tells tales of personal woes. Today, some mysterious quality in Metal music appears to make it especially attractive for the dark, the negative and the melancholic, but this tendency is not pointless: everyone needs a valve for their emotions. Why not let them into music? If musicians can lighten their hearts while writing and singing, then perhaps the lovesick, bad-mooded, pessimistic or demotivated Metalhead out there will find listening to these songs equally relieving. Psychologically, music definitely has a particular value, unrivalled by any other medium. Music therapy is versatile and effective; music has a potential for easing, healing, relaxing.

From the vast amount of lyrics revolving around painful topics such as unrequited love, excessive hate, burning obsession or the maelstrom of addiction we can easily infer that Metal is frequently employed as a form of therapy. Robb Flynn has made Metal his personal Blues by reflecting on his adoption. Lawrence Matthew Cardine was abandoned by his parents when he was an infant, then adopted by a couple who gave him the name Robert Conrad Flynn, and love. The musical result of Flynn’s struggle, “Left Unfinished” (from the album “Through the Ashes of Empires”, 2003) is hard to misinterpret and painful to hear. Flynn describes his struggle to understand why he was born at all and then abandonded. He reaches this powerful conclusion:

You never could love me
I’m glad that you never did
My parents that raised me
Had plenty of that to give
And for that
I’ll love them forever with all my heart
But to you
Don’t let there be no mistake about it
Fuck you, you cocksucker
Fuck you, you whore
I’ll live my life the opposite of what you are
Love will be my rock
The rock that I stand on

He resolves that he will “give to this world what you [his real parents] couldn’t give, love the unwanted, every child born discarded.” Flynn somehow comes to terms with his adoption, and the song develops from the bleak view of a scornful and misunderstood boy to the resolution of a man to be the opposite of his parents and build his life on love.

A relationship which is ended not by the ceasing of affection but by death is at the heart of another very profound Heavy Metal love song (if I may indeed coin a term such as Heavy Metal love song without reaping nothing but contempt…): “Cemetery Gates” is part of Pantera’s famous record “Cowboys from Hell” (1990) and allows for much interpretation. Besides, the song is proof for Dimebag Abbott’s beautiful guitar work. After the death of his girl (my interpretation only), he who tells the story feels “lost within my plans for life, it all seems so unreal. I’m a man cut in half in this world, left in my misery.” He feels painfully incomplete, at a loss for tears, and needs to stop living in the past. “Believe the word,” he claims, “I will unlock my door and pass the cemetery gates.” Will he pass those gates and come to terms with his calamity? Or will he pass those gates as a body, finally resolving to kill himself and end his miserable half-life? Pantera leave the decision to us. They treat the issue of loss with a note of power and despair, outlining it as that sublime tragedy it really is.

Iowa’s monster Slipknot, appropriate to their habit of cultivating the extreme, pass from love to obsession and from anger to hate in about a nanosecond. In their record “Prosthetics” (from the album “Slipknot”, 1999), Corey Taylor, I interpret, tells a story of kidnap and abuse. I hate the idea of people having to suffer such agony, yet I can’t help admiring the songs because it always makes my hair stand on end.

Even if you run I will find you

I decided I want you, now I know I need

If you can’t be bought, tougher than I thought
Keep in mind, I am with you
Never left out fate, can’t concentrate, even if you run

You will be mine

He goes on to advise:

Better make yourself at home, you’re here to stay
You won’t bother me, if you let me bother you

All the doors are locked, all the windows shut
Keep in mind, I watch you
Never leave my side, never leave me, fucker even if you run

The terrifying image of madness and hopelessness is sharpened by Taylor’s ever escalating screams of remorse:

What the fuck is different man? I can’t believe I’m doin’ this
Dammit man I knew it was a mistake
You brought it outta me, mistake
Heavy Metal is a collection of motley songs and styles, lyrics and issues. Love and all its disarray is a significant element of heavy music. You want further songs on love, hate, sex and pain?

“Everything Ends” from Slipknot’s “Iowa” (2001) could be a helpless tirade of pain after a breakup (“You are wrong, fucked and overrated, I think I’m gonna be sick and it’s your fault. This is the end of everything, you are the end of everything…”)

The song “Skeptic” by the same band (from “.5: The Gray Chapter”, 2014) might be a song about Jesus (a startling idea my boyfriend recently uttered and which would fit in many respects) as well as a loving remembrance of their bass player Paul Gray who died in 2010. (“And our hero, martyr, missionary. God – he was the best of us. The world will never see another crazy motherfucker like you, the world will never know another man as amazing as you…”)

“Hollow” by Pantera (from “Vulgar Display of Power”, 1992) once again centres on loss, and in an interview with Metalhammer in 2012 Phil Anselmo mused that at the time he wrote the song he was actually much too young to understand the truth of these words. (“He as hollow as I alone. A shell of my friend, just flesh and bone. There’s no soul, he sees no love. I shake my fists at skies above, mad at God…”)

German Industrial Rockers Rammstein must have written at least several dozen of songs revolving around love and sex. Just try “Heirate mich” (a simultaneously tragic and amusing song about a necrophiliac, from their debut “Herzeleid”, 1996) , “Amour” (a poetic tale of the wild beast love, from “Reise, Reise”, 2004) and “Liebe ist für alle da” (the story of a greedy hunter and a chased beauty, from the 2006 album of the same name).

Weil die Masse Rassen hasst

Quite contrary to that paralyzing idleness most of us are afflicted by in the fields of politics and economy, humankind appears wide awake when talk turns towards issues of race. Unable to accept that the only label we all need to give ourselves reads ‘human being’, a sadly large number of the globe’s inhabitants obviously perceives differences and gaps too broad to overcome between themselves and ‘the Other’. Upon hearing the term racism most of us tend to think immediately of the centuries-old struggle of white-against-black, but these conflicts are only the famous iceberg’s tip. Even in the world of the 21st century minorities are persecuted, racist humour enjoys a generous if secret popularity, in comparably wealthy countries refugees are shamefully deserted, and the Turkish government refuses to grant the Armenians the favour of naming the 1915 mass killings of their ancestors genocide. Metal music, topical heavyweight since the 1970s, has been less afraid of calling a spade a spade than many a political party. Social injustice, abuse and racism, far from being hushed up or dressed in euphemistic metaphors, have inspired various Metallic lyrics since the 1980s.

In 1992, the American Groove Metal band Pantera – well-known for their blunt outspokenness and metaphorical listener confusion – artfully criticised the handling of racial issues in the United States of America. “No Good (Attack the Radical)” (from “Vulgar Display of Power”, 1992) carries a greater message than hinted at in the title. The musicians break the States’ racial problem down to these lines:

Race, pride, prejudice
Black man, white man
No stand
Live in the past
We make it last
A hated mass
No solution
Mind pollution
For revolution
Drawing ever on past experiences and shutting their eyes to an internationalised world, Pantera’s home country turns into “this land of fools”. Considering the state our world is currently in finding proof that Anselmo had a point already back in the nineties is not hard; we are still miles away from having adapted to and accepted the need to live with this far from new, globalised situation.

Colour of skin colour and eye shape are not the only ignition spark for racial quarrel, though. While in many parts of the world communities have already started to overcome skin colour prejudice, a seemingly insurmountable mistrust between religious and cultural (sub-) groups persists. Take as an example the Sinti or Romani, a dispersed people of Northern Indian origin, scattered over the whole of Europe and various other countries. The term traditionally attached to them is ‘Gypsies’, politically correct or not, and similar to the Jews countless Romani died during the Nazi regime’s genocide of the Second World War. Today, the Romani are characterised a diaspora, forever foreign in whichever country they choose to live.

Zoltán “Zoli” Farkas, frontman of the Hungarian Groove Metal band Ektomorf, was born a Romani. The band was founded in 1994, yet three records and long years of excessive touring passed by until Ektomorf signed with Nuclear Blast and went international with “I scream up to the Sky” (2002). It is claimed that the band took so long to become internationally famous simply because of racial prejudice. In any case Farkas struggles with his cultural belonging, and he probably would not do so if the world had accepted him easily. “Gypsy” (from “Destroy”, 2004) reveals his anger at those who pulled faces at him when he was a child, those people who tried to break him and who “where never honest”, even when they were supposed to be his friends. Standing on stage today with a band that tours the world, Farkas declares: “Now I am a man. I don’t deny myself. No, I don’t feel shame. It’s me, Gypsy.”

And sure enough, in the course of nine albums the singer must have somehow come to terms with his past: Romani music is beautifully woven into many of Ektomorf’s harsh metal blasts. Their most various album, according to my personal judgement, is “Outcast” (2007), including instruments exotic to the dulled ear. Try “Ambush in the Night”, “Red I”, “Who can I trust?”, or “Chamunda”.

 

There are few fine German language Metal bands. One of them, however, sports a frontman who uses four different languages within one record: Austrian Metal band Artas unites German, English, French and Spanish lyrics. Founded in 2006, the band won the Metalchamp Competition of the Viennese Metalcamp Festival, and since then delighted their newly won audience with two records of groundshaking force and astounding lyrical quality. Against their generation’s racism Artas have created the ultimate remedy: the song “Rassenhass” features their 2011 record “Riotology” and speaks frankly of the human forgetfulness regarding former disasters of racial prosecution:

(my translation in brackets, errors possible)

Die missbrauchte Wissenschaft (Abused sciences)
Diente Satansplan (served satanic plans)
Das Bewerten von Rassen ist inhuman (rating races is inhumane)
Medizin gibt kein Recht, wer ist gut und wer ist schlecht (medicine doesn’t give the right to say who is good and who is bad)
Falsche Expertisen, ja, Verbrechen wurden nachgewiesen (wrong expertises, crimes were proved)
Die Anleitung zum Massenmord (instructions for mass murder)
Viele wurden auch vertrieben (many have been exiled)
Ramadan und Chanukka (ramadan and chanukka)
Zigeuner und ein Schwulenpaar (Gypsies and a gay couple)
Tief in den Köpfen steckt Wut (deep in the heads there is fury)
Sie alle folgen blind dem Rassenwahn. (they all follow blindly the racial delusion)

 

Artas argue that any one of us carries all colours of this world inside them, yet if we ignore this truth we can but become fascist. They conclude: “Weil die Masse Rassen hasst, hasst du sie auch und weil du hasst, ist Liebe stets für dich verloren. Zum Rassenhassen auserkoren.“ (Because the masses hate the races, you hate them as well, and since you hate love for you is forever lost. Made for hating races.) There is more to the problem than race, however. The musicians include further categories of (perceived) minorities who have to endure taunt and abuse, such as homosexuals, Jews, and Gypsies.

Heavy Metal pleads for tolerance perhaps because its musicians tend to have more experience in being regarded with distrust, animosity and incomprehension than fellow musicians playing other genres. It is the immense variety of different people we find in the world that can be distressing, since it is probable that we do not understand the way ‘the Other’ behaves, is educated and socialised. Differences frighten us because we cannot comprehend their sources, but if we lived without this variety, Phil Anselmo predicts, the following would happen:

If one man
Had one home
In one world
Held live alone without variety
Full of anxiety
No one to point at, question
Or even talk to — in his private grave
No matter what color
He wouldn’t be saved from hell
He dwells
A closed mind playing the part of prison cells

(“No Good (Attack the Radical)”)

Colours don’t matter.

As the War Machine keeps turning…

There are two societal fields in which most of us remain almost muzzled and our hands are tied: economy and politics. We might be allowed to vote, to buy and sell as we see fit, and to line up for rallies against everything we dislike – but in essence we are powerless when greater forces decide the fates of our nations. The generation of Black Sabbath were heirs to their forefathers’ swoon. Having grown up in the post-war depression marked by lack and loss as much as by restart and stoical strength, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward soon turned a critical eye on the subject of war and political cowardice. Their second album “Paranoid” (1970) features songs such as “War Pigs”, “Iron Man” and “Electric Funeral”, haunting reminders of the havoc humans are capable of wreaking.

Make love, not war: Iommi and Osbourne making peace in 1973

Make love, not war: Iommi and Osbourne making peace in 1973

Faceless Generals are compared to witches and deathly sorcerers in “War Pigs”. They are accused of having poisoned the masses’ minds, whereas politicians, blinded by power, “[make] war just for fun” and “[treat] people just like pawns in chess”. Wars are fought by and on the backs of common people, yet not by those who pull the greater political strings – nothing about this perception has changed since Ozzy claimed that “Politicians hide themselves away, they only started the war. Why should they go out to fight? They leave that all to the poor.” Finally, characteristic Black Sabbath manner of course demands the introduction of the threat of Judgement Day, with “Satan [who] laughing spreads his wings” as every political wrongdoer’s eternal host.

Less unambiguous but equally gloomy a message is contained in the lyrics of “Iron Man”. When dealing with lyrics, behind every corner lurks the danger of interpretation. However, this step sometimes must be taken for the sake of understanding the words in a song as more than random expressions. What if Iron Man, who “was turned to steel” and plans vengeance because “nobody wants him” is understood to be a soldier after war? “Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? Can he walk at all, or if he moves will he fall? Is he alive or dead? Has he thoughts within his head? We’ll just pass him there, why should we even care?”, Ozzy sings. Similarly, Iron Man could be a greater metaphor for war itself, leaden, unwanted, vindictive, and randomly chasing any group of victims. I am Iron Man.

In “Electric Funeral”, Black Sabbath finally turn towards the hysteric threat of atomic war, again deploying religious metaphors linked to occultism. The burning globe resembles “electric funeral pyre”, and during its expiration it’s the “supernatural king” of atomic power who takes mother earth under his wing, accompanied by Hell’s angels.

At a time when war had ceased to be part of people’s daily worries, politics, economy and society opened up various new vistas of critique for the eager musician.The Metallic nineties brought recollections of revolution, hints at global pollution, and a general sense of being lost in a world too big and too fast for us. An outright pessimistic view of our world was put into lyrics by Machine Head on their record “Supercharger” in 2001. The “Blank Generation”, this is us, confronted with the ills of progress, regress, excess.

Machine Head in the Nineties: the Supercharger cover

Machine Head in the Nineties: the Supercharger cover

Robb Flynn sings that “they say we been going down and going down, been traveling on the road to nowhere.” He describes how when growing up he slowly realised that the world was worse than she seemed, and her way could only lead downwards. (Note: I am aware that the narrator in these lyrics is not necessarily Robert Flynn, but I point-blank refuse to employ artificial academic terms such as lyrical persona in this blog!) Corruption, greed, hate and pain, which “we learned to see” and, perhaps, to accept as normal, put an end to mankind’s innocence. Machine Head’s toast to this lost innocence is a toast to the generation of the blank, and it reads thus:

So here’s to our collagen lips and saline tits
To our growth hormones and antibiotics
To the Hollywood world we made out of Barbie doll hearts
After we melted them down so we could make our new start
Here’s to a generation scared and always wondering why
Instead of playing doctor, we play shoot each other and die
Instead of ring around the Rosie, we play hide from Mommy
‘Cause Mommy’s been drinking again and we don’t want to get beat
Even with all our tattoos and all our cheap thrills
There’s still a hole inside of us that may not ever get filled
So we give back a little bit of what the world’s given us
Giving back a bit of never giving a fuck
Here’s to the justice never dealt, to innocent, proven guilty
Here’s to bad cops turning cheeks when real cops are on the street
Here’s to the rat-tat-n-tat of gun shots, and your life is shattered
Here’s to “Gimme me your cash or your brains is gettin’ splattered”
Here’s to mad cow disease and all that yummy MSG
Here’s to Mickey d’s serving all those mutant chick-a-dees
This is a toast to celebrate the end of our innocence
This is a toast to celebrate how
We’ve become desensitized
If life is to grow
Some life must die

Are we the “Blank Generation”? Convince yourself.
There is truth in these words. Enough truth to suggest that, lyrically, Heavy Metal is far from dumb and evil…

Sex and Drugs and Occultism? Heavy Lyrics Scrutinised

The crowd undulates, wet hair is flying all around, fists are brandished in the air, raucous choruses are chanted – then a collective intake of breath, and hundreds of hoarse Metalheads bellow at the top of their voices: “Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!” We do not think but let us get carried away by the breathtaking impact of bass and rhythm and the adored hymns of our favourites onstage. Lyrics don’t exactly matter when you are banging your head off. However, sparing a thought for those words sung into your ears forever and ever can be quite illuminating.

Heavy Metal enthusiasm... (picture: blowthescene.com)

Heavy Metal enthusiasm… (picture: blowthescene.com)

Worldly music is judged by its lyrics at least as much as by its sound. Although mainstream chart pop (no offence!) generally appears not to pay too close attention to its singers’ textual outbursts – the increasing frequency of “He He”s and “La La”s in modern lyrics is sad proof for this thesis – it is especially the controversial genres that tend to be judged and condemned for their textual style. It was back in the wild days of Twisted Sister and Mötley Crüe that Heavy Metal lyricists had to publicly justify their writing for the first time. Since 1985 considerable change has affected the social acceptance, or sufferance, of Heavy music, but the post-disaster scapegoating and youth-guarding censorship of modern America and Europe have not yet ceased, nor will they, in my humble opinion, ever do so. It is in our hands, therefore, to listen to Heavy Metal lyrics, assess their quality and find out whether they are indeed as evil as portrayed by worried journalists and frustrated parents…

Despite Dee Snider’s legendary vindication of free creation and interpretation in the music business, stereotypical misgivings escort the entry of Metal records into adolescents’ rooms even today. Sex, drugs, depression and suicide are only a small choice of topics dreaded by parents and those institutions decorating albums with the note ‘Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics’. Do not misunderstand me: I appreciate the committees’ endeavours to protect children from content they are too young to digest. However, music remains art – and art needs a certain freedom of expression.

Far from revolving around intercourse and premature death, Heavy Metal lyrics are versatile. Subjects range from religious beliefs, political criticism, economic exploitation and the horrors of war to matters of justice, racism, violence, death and murder to love, regret, obsession and fun. They can be pessimistic, hilarious, angry or downright inscrutable. Lyrics will be the focus of this blog’s next posts. I want to introduce you to the Biblical scenes of Becoming the Archetype, to Black Sabbath’s coming to terms with the remains of World War Two, to Skindred deploring gang violence, Ektomorf struggling with their Roma existence, and Tenacious D making fun of virtually everyone and everything. Together we might delve into Scar Symmetry’s neverending Universe, inhale Ozzy Osbourne’s “Sweet Leaf” and solve the mystery of Marlon Brando’s eyes.

 

 

In the beginning was the word…

The Medieval Pagan Viking’s Folk Metal

Medieval Horsemen: Ensiferum

Medieval Horsemen: Ensiferum

The late nineties and early 21st century saw a number of Metal bands emerge who were clad in armour, sang of beer, trolls and the gallows and stamped on the floor in time with their bagpipes’ rhythms. Their exceptional musical combinations were (and often are still) greeted with scepticism and treated as Metal only more or less. The Metal world’s uneasiness appears to be one reason for that hardly any reference work or Heavy Metal encyclopedia enlightens the curious Metalhead with regard to fiddle-driven Humppa music. By the way, Humppa is a jazz-related, rather fast foxtrot and originates in Finland. Treatises on “Folkish“ Metal are frequently littered with the term. Up to the present day, the respective bands are hard to categorise. Since the 1990s, several subgenres have been coined. I want to bring some light into the tangled matter, attempting to distinguish Folk Metal, Viking Metal and Pagan Metal.

Not too fond of trousers: Finntroll at Monsters of Rock, 2007

Not too fond of trousers: Finntroll at Monsters of Rock, 2007

Among the first to arise was Folk Metal. The fusion of traditional Folk music and Heavy Metal includes the use of equally traditional instruments and, at times, vocal styles. Skyclad, an English band, are often mentioned as the pioneers of Folk Metal, having released their famous “The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth” in 1990. Only in the mid-nineties did the ranks of Folk Metal swell. Subway to Sally was founded in 1992 and has created 12 albums since. The German band became the pioneers of what is nowaday termed Medieval Metal and employs a violin, acoustic guitars, bagpipes and poetic lyrics which are always sung clearly. Clean vocals and, in many cases, a positive atmosphere characterise this style of Metal. Folk Metal is not exclusively branded by a special type of lyrics, although Medieval Metal bands frequently broach issues of (surprise, surprise!) the Middle Ages. In the early 2000s, the genre exploded –particularly in Scandinavia: Finntroll, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani and Turisas are only four of the many great Folk Metal bands born in the northern part of Europe.

Whyever there is a car involved instead of the obligatory troll king, I don’t know… Enjoy Finntroll’s “Häxbrygd” (from “Blodsvept”, 2013):

Very Folkish: “Herbstzeit” from Subway to Sally’s 1996 record “Foppt den Dämon” (sorry for the simple lyrics video, nothing else available):

Viking Metal, as the name indicates, focuses on Norse mythology, paganism and Vikings. Similar to Folk Metal, the Viking style weaves traditional instruments into its Metal. Pioneering musicians were the Swedes of Bathory. Musically, Viking Metal dashes past, supported by dynamic keyboarding and a certain tendency for the dramatic.

Nowadays, experts (if these exist within my field of studies) and laymen alike agree on the integrating term Pagan Metal. “Pagan” means heathen, but also rural. It designates a powerful Metallic style founded on cultural heritage, and embraces Medieval, Folk and Viking Metal – perhaps even more substyles. Folk Metal bands compose songs about their culture and history B.C., while their Viking or Celtic Metal counterparts do exactly the same, albeit focusing legends, myths, gods and heroes of their personal cultural past. Flutes, trumpets, fiddles and bagpipes feature most of these styles, but Pagan Metal is influenced by Black Metal as well. Clean vocals as employed by Eluveitie, the famous Primordial or Falkenbach, are sometimes complemented by Black Metal caws. While Pagan Metal is way more epic than Black Metal in its constuction and performance, Viking Metal’s speciality is a dirty sound and a Viking storyline. Folk Metal differs by the exclusion of any vocals but clean singing.

Fast and fantastic Metal from Switzerland? Enjoy Eluveitie’s record with (perhaps?) the longest song title in the Metal world, “Everything remains as it never was” (from the 2012 album of the same title):

All of these styles, however, are more or less united by a particular idea of nationality and culture. There is a distinct practice of honouring one’s cultural background that borders on worship with some musicians. Their creation of euphemisms for war and violence, celebration of victory and of sword-brandishing heroes appears to find the approval of right-winged minds much too often. This is why Pagan Metal is frequently associated with rightist ideology. However, we might do well to keep in mind that creativity is no crime: not necessarily every Pagan Metal band secretly craves for racial discrimination. Pagan styles are further united by a trait much more positive: they carry unceasing energy and can make the crowd dance. If in a bad mood or tired, give it a try…

Heavy Metal – Covers from Outer Space

Heavy Metal has not only adopted many other styles, but it has been adopted as well. A particularly large influence on many alternative musicians appears to be German Industrial monster Rammstein. The latest (and slightly questionable because strange) attempt was made by an aged German pop star called Heino. Unfortunately, his Rammstein cover made people rather laugh wildly than nod appreciatively. It just did not suit the white-haired fellow. Nevertheless, take a look at Heino’s idea of “Sonne” (from “Mutter”, 2001):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go9MOdL93Cg

 

Much more, however, do Rammstein fit Carpe Noctem. The charismatic string quartet from Eastern Germany has covered “Hilf mir” and “Stirb nicht vor mir” on their first album,“op. 1: Obscuritas” (2010) next to a cover version of System of a Down’s “Toxicity”. I won’t go into detail here, because I have recently interviewed Carpe Noctem and the result of our chat will soon adorn this blog.

There is another band successfully meddling with Rammstein: some week’s prior I suddenly noticed that the English lyrics of “My Country”, a song by Country rockers The Boss Hoss from their abum “Liberty of Action” (2011), strangely resembled Rammstein’s German text of “Mein Land”. And indeed I found out that The Boss Hoss had not only covered and strongly estranged, but even translated the original song.

I have also discovered Heavy Metal in Techno music. German trance producers Matthias “Double M” Menck and Dennis “Bonebreaker” Bohn (during this project called Brooklyn Bounce) released a hit single named “Bass, Beats and Melody” in 2000. If I am not completely mistaken, one version of the song’s intro might be inspired by a well-known Machine Head sample, the first drum pattern of their legendary opener “Davidian” (from “Burn my Eyes”, 1994) as well as the intro sound of “Silver” (from “The Burning Red”, 1999). Could I be possibly right?

versus

and

 

My fascination for such musical fusions is huge. As soon as possible, I will provide you with another example of Heavy Metal going abroad musically. Have you ever thought about what Richard Wagner and Rammstein have in common…?

 

 

Outsider Section – Silly

The German band Silly was founded in 1978 in Eastern Germany. Their charismatic singer Tamara Danz died of cancer in 1996, leaving a great number of songs that make your skin erupt in goosebumps. Her voice still reminds me of my childhood, when I felt unable to comprehend their poetic, political, and at times strangely distressing lyrics.

“Schlohweißer Tag” (from “Bataillon D’Amour, 1986) live: