For many people, metal isn’t just music, it’s a way of life, it’s an attitude and can not be put into words.  The way of metal is quite universal around the globe, but the styles of expression found  in different regions differ.  European bands seem to be more influenced by their culture, The U.S.A and is more influenced by current events and current states of mind, Middle Eastern bands put a lot of their culture and also current events into their sounds.  There is no rule to which region creates certain metal sounds, but it’s quite evident that certain styles are more popular in different areas.

For this weeks edition of Music Video Mania I’ll be taking a look at different metal bands from around the globe.  Some countries, such as England, U.S.A., Germany, Scandinavian countries, ect. I have omitted because there is such a large amount of glorious metal gushing out of those areas and will be featured in “Best of…” editions.  And also, for the countries that I chose for the list today, I am fully aware of other bands from the country but ultimately chose which band was most enjoyable for me and also bands that are currently active and some countries will be reprised in future editions of “MVM: Worldwide Metal”.  I would be forever grateful if the metal community would bring to my attention some bands that I may have not have heard. Enjoy!! Peace, Love, and Metal!!!!!!!

Netherlands-Heidevolk

This Dutch band features dual singers singing in unison, driving guitar riffs, and occasional use of folk instruments.  The huge guitars and drums plus clean and powerful vocals, sung in their native tongue, give their songs about the history and lore of their homeland province of Gelderland an epic and emotional feeling even though I don’t understand the language.

Estonia-Metsatöll

This video here, Vaid Vaprust (Only Bravery), is about a hero in Estonian mythology, a giant named Suur Tõll (Toell the Great).  Suur Tõll was king of Saaremaa, an island in the Baltic Sea, and he lived as common farmer.  He was know for throwing huge boulders at his enemies and when he was finally captured and decapitated by his enemies he swore that he would return from the grave and help defeat their enemies.  But after being taunted at his grave by children, it is said, that he got up, became so angry at all the taunts and people relying on him, that he went back to his grave and never came back again.  The animation in this video is taken from an Estonian animation movie named after the hero, Suur Tõll. (source-Wikipedia)

Faroe Islands-Týr

For this song, Forese metal band Týr makes use of a poem Zinklarvisa(Sinclair’s Song) by Edvard Strom.  The poem is about Slaget ved Kringen(The Battle of Kringen), in which a Norwegian peasant militia fought against Scottish mercenary soldiers on their way Sweden to join their military to fight in the Kalmar War.  This battle became famous folklore in Norway and led to the naming of local places in the Otta region of Norway.(Source-Wikipedia)

Israel-Orphaned Land

Israel’s Orphaned Land have great style.  They take elements of many different styles of metal and infuse the sounds and themes of their Jewish and Israeli culture into their music, making their music a very interesting and unique listen.  And finally, after creating music for 20 years, Orphaned Land is getting some big name recognition, recently opening up for Metallica and playing many big name festivals in Europe during the summer of 2010.

France-Gojira

Gojira(the Japanese name for Godzilla) is huge, brutal, technical, and completely annihilates anything that gets in its way, but underneath all that mayhem and destruction there is creation and compassion.  Mainly their songs deal with environmental issues and speak of making the planet a better place to live.  The superb animation in this video, “All the Tears”, is done by Spanish artist Jossie Malis.  You can check out some more of his animation at www. benditomachine. com.  You can watch this video in 720p HD if you watch it on youtube.  If you dig this song check out their song “The Heaviest Matter in the Universe“, it truly is extremely heavy.

Switzerland-Eluvietie

Who knew from a country known for its banking and neutrality would emerge one of today’s most exciting bands.  Eluvietie’s melodic metal mixed with folk tunes and great songwriting just blows me away, I cannot recommend picking up an album by them enough.  This video for “Inis Mona” is of their breakthrough album “Slania”.

Inis Mona is the name of an isle known today as the Isle of Anglesey(in Welsh it is still named Ynys Môn), located in the north of Wales.  On Inis Mona there was the most relevant druid college in the Celtic world.  Students would study on Inis Mona for up to 20 years for the highest druid education.  After attending the college, the new druid would return to his homeland and partake in one of the most difficult and highly esteemed professions in the Celtic culture.  Druids would act as wise councilors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, doctors, physicians, and hold high positions in his clans chieftains court.

The song “Inis Mona” is about an elderly druid looking back on his life.  He is content with what he has done for his people and what he has accomplished in life, but secretly he still thinks back and moors over the years of his youth learning on Inis Mona.  Years that formed his life forever.(Source-Liner Notes in Eluvietie’s album “Slania”)

Japan- マキシマムザホルモン(Maximum the Hormone)

Japan is home to some wonderful power metal bands, but while is was searching through different Japanese bands I landed on these guys.  Think of this, you get an anime cartoon, and a funk bass player, juice them up on amphetamines and stick them in a potato sack.  Now give the sack a few good kicks and shakes to get them nice and angry, let them out and make them make music.  This song would be the result.  It’s crazy, insane, and nuttier than a squirrel turd, but damn is it fun to listen to.  And this video is just as bat-shit crazy as the music.  Enjoy!! Here’s a bonus video for “Koi no Mega Lover

Iraq-Acrassicauda

Now here’s a band that really has something to be pissed off about.  A lot of metal bands sing about death and destruction, but Acrassicauda really know about the horrors those other bands sing about.  And these guys are the real deal, they got talent, emotion, and know how to make a kick ass metal song.  There is also a critically acclaimed documentary about them called “Heavy Metal in Baghdad” cycling through independent movie festivals and is also available for purchase.  I haven’t seen it yet, but plan on watching it very soon.  I am highly anticipating for when these guys release their full lenghth album.  Their current EP can be heard through official stream here.  And here’s a tear-jerking video of the band meeting James Hetfield.

Scotland-Alestorm

While I was searching for Scottish bands I was hoping to find something with a William Wallace or Stonehenge theme, but instead I was stopped dead in my tracks by these guys, Alestorm.  Metal, pirates, ale, keelhauling, and…..wait for it…. a KEYTAR!!!  I haven’t seen one of those since the 80’s.  This is a plain awesome song, it makes me want to drink rum, loot and pillage, and “make that bastard walk the plank with a bottle of rum and a yo ho ho!”.  The video is just what you would expect it to be pirates, ships, and plank walking all make more awesome by the presence of a keytar.

Advertisements