Sunday, May 24, 2009

Myth and Music

Since my main interest of music is of the obscure variety, I will limit my thoughts on Neofolk and Martial, since the themes of heathenry and paganism has been widely covered before in the realms of metal - as we can see a whole genre evolve from this naming itself Folk, Viking and Pagan Metal.

The most prevalent theme within Neofolk is the Northern Germanic one, with aspects of heathenry like honor, myth, spirituality and the symbolism of runes found in bands like Forseti, Sonne Hagal and :Of the Wand and the Moon:. While some of the bands may not espouse the belief system of polytheism, instead following ideals of Secularism, Freethought and even Satanism - as is with Boyd Rice - the influence is still prevalent throughout the genre. Unfortunately, a lot of Neofolk and Martial bands tend to be labeled as racist or Neo-Nazi due to their fascist or totalitarian imagery, particularly the sculptures of Arno Breker, causing a lot of potential listeners to steer away from them. The bigger controversies tend to center around the band Death in June and Blood Axis. Similar things have happened in the metal sphere when the anti-christian or violent imagery cannot be overlooked by the viewer.

While many bands do not necessarily sing about the gods, I still find their music inspiring and complementary to my devotion and inquiring nature accentuated with the likes of Corde Oblique, Irfan, Pantheon Legio Musica, and my utmost favorite band, Rome. Bands like Sagentoeter, however, explicitly sing about the Northern Gods in their album "Prayers to Othinn" with song titles to "Bring back the Old Gods" and "The Raven's Song."

A Good introduction to Neofolk and Martial Industrial is the 4 CD set "Looking For Europe," containing a total of 53 songs, with a small book that covers the history of the genre and introductions to many of the bands.

For more information, visit:
Heathen Harvest

We Call Your Wolves
Friedrich Hielscher (1979)

We call your wolves
And call your spear
We call all twelve
Down from heaven to us here.

Above all we call You.
Now comes the wild hunt,
Now let the horn resound,
No lament for the dead.

The enemy has already fallen
Before the morning breaks.

The prey has no name,
The enemy no face,
The carcass has no seed,
Righteous is the court of justice.

The harvest is past,
The chaff is daily sold,
The ravens now demand
The portion they are due.

The hunt has begun:
Now, Lord, your salvation
sustains us!

Translation by Michael Moynihan
VA - Wir Rufen Deine Wolfe



Hermes, draw near, and to my pray'r incline, angel of Jove, and Maia's son divine; Studious of contests, ruler of mankind, with heart almighty, and a prudent mind. Celestial messenger, of various skill, whose pow'rful arts could watchful Argus kill: With winged feet, 'tis thine thro' air to course, O friend of man, and prophet of discourse: Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine, in arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine: With pow'r endu'd all language to explain, of

care the loos'ner, and the source of gain. Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Kerukeion, blessed, profitable God; Of various speech, whose aid in works we find, and in necessities to mortals kind: Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear; Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, give graceful speech, and me memory's increase.

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