Thursday, January 20, 2011

Question of the Day


What is it with Norway? How can such a tiny, cold, rather isolated and linguistically out there country produce such an amazing WEALTH of good heavy metal almost ALL the sub-genres and kult fields?

It was payday today, so iTunes sucked yet more cash from my overstressed bank account :) I picked up a re-release of two amazing pioneering doom metal albums: FUNERAL's Tragedies/Tristesse. Fantastic romantic "beauty and the beast" doom metal from the 1990s! ethereal...haunting...sad...doomy, with awesome guitars crawling along with the female vocals just floating over the heavy basslines! Too soon to write a true "review", but I am just so wowed by this album that it inspired the broader question.

I mean...look at heavy metal music. BLACK METAL? In Satan's Name, would the scene even exist without Emperor...Mayhem...Dark Throne....on and on and on. DOOM METAL? Beauty and the Beast vocals may not have been invented by the Norse, but...Funeral, Theatre of Tragedy, Goth stalwarts Tristania....Quirkyness? You have the strange and broad discography of one Garm...Borknagar...Ulver....Arcturus....everything from scorching raw black metal to trip hop. And...don't forget the TROMBONES in Beyond Dawn's stranger albums.

What is it that leads to such dominance by a country with fewer than 5 million people in the fringes of Europe? Is it the thin-ness of Christianity in the culture? Depression exacerbated by long winters and lack of sunlight? Or just the very fact that a music scene is initiated by a few oddball pioneers who then inspire a raft of followers?

Anyway...check out a very fine video of a very fine song, "Taarene" off Tragedies/Tristesse reissued by FUNERAL. It is finally bright and sunny here in Northern California, so I actually feel safe listening to this album!

So much music

1 comment:

Rob Liz said...

I've always believed that music has been a more integral part of life in Scandinavia then most other places in the world. The classic composers were predominant for so long and the fact that the landscape for most of the year is so bleak that what else are you going to do on cold winter days and nights but listen to or play music. And all of this translates well with the music.