Musings on metal and its evolving demography


The Grindmother

Happy 2016. I’m a few weeks late and I’ve got a backlog of stuff that I want to share on this blog. Some of it is lighthearted and some not-so-much. Here’s one of the fun ones.

There’s a 67-year old Canadian woman calling herself The Grindmother who has started her own grindcore band with the same name after contributing backup vocals to her son’s grind band, Corrupt Leaders. She’s been covered in a bunch of other metal-oriented websites and even made an appearance on the Maury Povich Show. Here are some videos of her in action:

I think this is the first video that was shared of her screaming into the mike for her son’s band. A comment from her indicates that it was her idea to contribute vocals to her son’s band, initially, and it grew into a band of her own somewhere down the road:


I love that she actually gets what the release in the music is about and not only encourages and supports her son, but started her own band. I wonder where she places with regard to older people in metal – and I wonder what she listens to at home when not screaming out her lungs. She was also formerly a social worker.

Here’s “Any Cost“, a politically-driven song about Stephen Harper, the former Prime Minister of Canada, who resigned last year. Its sounds like something Napalm Death could support:




I know I’m a little late to the party with this. Last week, I came across a blog post that I can’t find now which featured a one-woman black metal act from Denmark called Myrkur (Icelandic for “darkness”). I’m not the biggest black metal fan, although there is some that I enjoy. This is one of them.

Myrkur – Nattens Barn

The woman behind the project is Amalie Bruun, who is also in a Brooklyn-based indie/pop act called Ex-Cops. I called wifey in to hear Nattens Barn after I heard it, and when I started with “I found a black metal band that I actually like,” she immediately interrupted with “Is it Myrkur?”

Apparently, her debut has already been pretty well-announced. I think wifey said she read about her in Decibel. I enjoy the choral vocals and the overall flow of the song, especially from around 2:50. There’s a bunch of info about the album and artist on the web, but what stands out to me is that she’s been playing piano and violin for around 20 years, mixes what we’d look at as pagan ideas into her music, but not in a Satanic manner, and although she’s more noted for having played in Ex-Cops, she’s been a black metal fan for many years. Most of this can be found in the footnote links on the Wikipedia article about her though.

For anyone who played tabletop RPGs in the 90’s, and enjoyed Mage: The Ascension, I think her imagery and themes fit in perfectly with the Verbena ideology as well, so go re-read your stuff and spin this.

Frantic Amber – Burning Insight

Interesting all-female band from four different countries (Sweden, Denmark, Japan and Colombia). Their lyrics seem a little clichéd to me, but they’re not bad, compositionally. There’s a bunch of songs from them on Youtube. I’ve only listened to 3 so far, but I like Ghost the most so far. The Japanese guitarist is a lefty, like me. The bassist uses a pick.

Originally posted on Hard n Loud:

FRANTIC AMBER is a truly international all-female melodic death metal band, with members from four different countries (Sweden, Denmark, Japan and Colombia) and based in Stockholm, Sweden. A special brand of heavy and low-tune kick ass metal with female growl and clean vocals is on the agenda so be sure to check the band out whether on the net or at live shows. The first tune here is their tune “Burning Insight” which is also the title track to their new albumn released late last year…. I’m sure you’ll all agree it’s brutal (and just the way we like it!)

View original post on Hard n Loud.

Runhild & Lasse

Wifey & I have been fans of Thorr’s Hammer for years. She actually used a sound clip from them in her presentations about Women in Extreme Metal a few times last year. I’d been wondering if Runhild was still making music, and I’m glad to see that she is. Her voice on Dommedagsnatt was nothing short of incredible to me.

burning ambulance

Runhild Gammelsaeter is a fascinating figure in underground music. Recordings are rare, performances rarer still. She emerges every few years, says what she wants to say, and disappears back to her extramusical life. She made her debut as a teenager, fronting doom band Thorr’s Hammer (formed by Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson) on 1996’s Dommedagsnatt EP, then went un-heard-from for nearly a decade before appearing on 2003’s White1, by O’Malley and Anderson’s new project, Sunn O))). Three more years passed, and she formed Khlyst with James Plotkin and Tim Wyskida of Khanate, making one album—2006’s Chaos is My Name—and a deliberately hard-to-find live DVD, Chaos Live. In 2008, she made her solo debut with Amplicon.

That record, released on the Utech label, was a jarring and alienating listening experience. Featuring layers of vocals, some cleanly sung and some growled in a post-death metal fashion, it…

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