Musings on metal and its evolving demography


Albums to Cook to: Il Etait Une Foret – Gris

The foodie & \m/ love continues. Here’s someone else cooking to metal. This time, its Canadian black metal from a band called Gris, and the writer really breaks down why he enjoys their sound in the kitchen. This is actually really nice timing, since two nights ago wifey and I went out and had steaks for dinner, and I came home thinking about prime rib since. I’m going to have to act on that and see how heavy, droning sounds couple with my budding culinary trials.

Bacon Age: Origins

Before I worked in a record store, I worked in a restaurant. In the restaurant industry, there is a strict hierarchy of who is in charge, starting with the chef/owner and ending with the dishwasher. I was the dishwasher. I would have to sit through menu meetings, having no say on anything, clean everyone’s messes, and say “yes sir” to anyone and everyone. But at the end of the night, when the last cook clocked out, and I was alone, I was king. The first thing I’d do, is run upstairs and put on the geekiest, screwballiest fantasy metal I could find.

Music is a currency in the restaurant industry. It is a measure of power, and a popularity contest. When you get to put on your jam at work, all others bow down to your sonic superiority. I don’t work in a restaurant anymore, but whenever I get ready…

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IT BEGINS – Bread Fire Death!

\m/ Bread Fire Death! \m/
Its like Quorthon is making pizza dough in the hereafter.

Bread Fire Death


What you see before you is the beginning of a project I have thought about for ages (ok, a few years). I, Justin Kaye, am a rabid Metalhead who also happens to be an avid Baker. I have been called, “The Convexicutioner”, the “Martha Stewart of Metal” and a, “Defender of the Rye.” While I do enjoy these titles, I really just want to spread the knowledge, joy, and overall awesomeness that is baking. From breads, to cakes, to cookies…and hopefully a lot of things in between, I will be sharing with you all easy to follow recipes.

Now, what is the connection? Metal is fast, heavy, slow, aggressive, melancholic, satanic, evil, dark, light…you get it (and you should KNOW IT…Dio is watching). Baking is all of these things as well. Kneading bread is like a heavy riff forming before you. Whisking together sugar and butter is a blast beat waiting to happen. And we…

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Musical Assault!!! (Black Metal, Afrobeat & Frantz Fanon)

Since posting a bit about metal in Botswana last week, I was thinking about a paper wifey wrote a few years ago about the evolution of Norwegian Black Metal and that of Nigerian Afrobeat, as viewed through the philosopher Frantz Fanon‘s “three stages of native intellectual”. Here’s a reblog of her original post, along with my thoughts & summary from a few years ago on my bass blog.

I think that when there’s time, we need to revisit this and really expand on it. So much has been written about black metal in the past few years, and I have yet to read through all of Fanon’s works.


As part of my Anthropology of Music and Art Class, I had to write a final paper for the semester on a topic related to what we’ve been studying. It’s made up of my review from the Afrobeat book as mentioned earlier on this blog.  Inclusion of paper one (the book review) was required as part of our assignment. I also wrote up an annotated bibliography (a very librarian thing to do) but didn’t attach it. If you’re interested in reading it, contact me via comment/email and I’ll let you know.

I thank my husband in offering sage editing advice and critique! Thanks!

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Metaleros’ journey: Meet NY’s thriving Latino metal scene

Wifey sent this to me yesterday. She’s working on an ethnicity piece for her “Women in NY’s Extreme Metal Scene” paper and came across it while researching. It basically talks about the Latino presence in the metal scene in NY. As of tomorrow, the article will be 6 years old, but judging from the shows we’ve attended in the past few years, Latino metalheads in NYC haven’t gone anywhere. 😉

I’m actually not familiar with any of the Latino bands mentioned in the article, but I do recognize that Raza Odiada is the 2nd album from Brujeria, and wonder if the band was named after it. It looks like some of the acts aren’t around anymore, but there are videos for some of them on Youtube and legacy Facebook pages.

Now that I think of it, I know more metal bands from Central & South America than Latino bands in the NYC area. This is something I’ll have to rectify.

[edit] Here’s wifey’s write-up of the same article, from her blog, ontheshelves.




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.

Bill McGrath – Metal in Botswana

Bill McGrath (I’m assuming that’s his name, as his blog is called billmcgrathmusic) wrote the following 3 articles, based on work he did for a paper about the metal scene in Botswana for the ‘Metal and Marginalisation’ conference in the University of York.

They’re a really interesting read – I’d love to get my hands on the paper that he wrote. There are many things mentioned which I thought stood out in comparison with the American and European scenes which are commonly covered by the media. For example, the metal scene there is unified, as opposed to the ones here being segmented by sub-genre; there’s no real thrash presence – the locals seem to have embraced NWOBHM-style metal and then death, for the most part; and there are parallels drawn between their experiences, lyrics and potential topics & themes with those of black metal, which has no foothold in the area yet. It makes me wonder if there’s a style waiting to emerge from the region that will let Africans put their own stamp on metal in the ways that Norway and Sweden did, or even like Vedic metal from India and Southeast Asia are doing now.

Its also encouraging to see that Botswanan metalheads pretty much ignore race. Their focus is on music. It remains to be seen if that will continue as they develop or if it will change over time and with exposure to some of the more hateful acts out there in the rest of the world. For example, will they encounter and maybe even create a reaction to NSBM or galvanize around a perceived cultural identity and begin to grow more prideful of it to the point that an African analogue to Viking metal or white hate metal is born? So far, it doesn’t look like the majority of the bands in the area mix in cultural influences – they basically produce the same metal that would be produced anywhere else. I’m hoping for some kind of distinctive sound to emerge from at least some of the bands though. I like seeing that stuff happen, as it adds variety and expands the lexicon of what metal sounds like.

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!)

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