It's no secret that all of us in Aphesis are nerds. From Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering and songs about Warhammer, we have the genre covered. But we aren't alone. In this new series of blog posts I will shed some light on the lesser known side of Death and Black Metal - the nerdy side. This time I am going to take a look at some of my favorite bands, and how their love of Lord of the Rings fits in the genre.
Of course you are familiar with the ear splitting music and deafening vocals of Dimmu Borgir, but you may be surprised to find out that their band and leader Shagrath has a love of Lord of the Rings. The stage name itself, Shagrath, is one from the books. In the books Shagrath, or Shagrat, is an Orc Captain in Cirith Ungol who goes to blows with the main characters.
Dimmu Borgir isn't the only Black Metal band with a nod to Lord of the Rings. Bands like Carach Angren, Lathspell and Gorgoroth all derive their names from black speech - the language of Saruman and the Orcs from LOTR. Carach Angren, which translates to Iron Jaws or Iron Mouth, is a passageway into Mordor, while Gorgoroth is an entire region within the northern portion of Mordor. The lesser known Black Metal band, Lathspell, is a nod to Gandalf and Grima Wormtongue. In the scene where Grima and Gandalf meet in Rohan, Grima refers to Gandalf as 'Lathspell' or 'bad news' as he is confronting them.
Another band similar to Lathspell is fully dedicated their music to Tolkein - Emyn Muil. Their albums are epic sagas of characters from the book and their place in the Lord of the Rings history. My favorite album of theirs is Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga - which details the epic of Turin, the Slayer of Glaurung. It is every bit as brutal and crushing, while having excellent folk style drums and horns.
There you have it, nerd culture and black metal go hand in hand. There are more references to Lord of the Rings, Cthulhu, and other geeky topics than I can count. What are your hobbies that might be seen as nerdy? You might be surprised to find someone writing about them in metal...