Posts Tagged ‘metal’

Barbarian Lord Tells It Like It Is

Friday, December 12th, 2014


Barbarian Lord is both a heavy boozer who possesses extremely violent behavioral patterns and a keen appreciation for poetry AND the name of the graphic novel dedicated to portraying his adventures in boozing, brawling, and poetic appreciation. As Barbarian Lord’s own personal real-life skald, Matt Smith sings Barbarian Lord’s praises and spreads his renown to those of us who are not fortunate enough to lift a sword and join in his adventures firsthand. Matt’s also an all-around good guy who I’ve had the pleasure of sharing many horns of caffeine and alcohol with at local venues over the years, including that of “the highest hall” and that of “the lowest cave” (in his own words, and if you’re familiar the Norumbegan area then you can likely guess what those are).

But getting back to the book, this is the sort of work for people who enjoy the following:

-Vikings (obviously)
-Icelandic sagas
-Heroic understatement
-Badass illustrations
-Evil trolls and other monsters
-Vicious conniving
-Alluring witches who maim innocent birds
-Demonic possession of domesticated farm animals
-And, last but definitely not least, death metal allusions

If you’re even at this weird, little website on the forgotten outskirts of the infernal internet, then that should be enough to convince you to hail the hero’s quest for justice, drinking, and killing all who stand in his way. The book’s official webpage at Houghton Mifflin is here: Barbarian Lord.

And in the time since I originally wrote up this meager blog post back in the grim winter of 2014, the Lord of Barbarian Lord has vanquished some other pretty sweet projects, too, including but not limited to:

Lake of Fire

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: Long Night at Goloski Station

Folklords

The Storyteller: The Fairy Queen and the Shepherd (or as I like to call it:
Jim Henson’s Grettir the Strong)

But enough blabbering! Here’s a smattering of Mr. Smith’s art:



New England Coastal Sampo

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

“This was Estonindian black metal dub. Music for wounded bears as they shrugged off tranquilizer darts. A genre so conclusively suicide-inducing, blue-ribbon Congressional panels were afraid to listen to it. If Francis Scott Key had been a ninth-century raider whose head was still throbbing and clanging from an ax-blow to the helmet, standing with one hand braced on the dragon prow of his longship watching his enemies’ tarred warships burn in an uncanny blue bituminous haze, while unseen galley slaves chanting the stroke rumbled the ship from below, he may have closed his eyes, thought of Ragnarok, and composed an anthem like this.”

The above passage is taken from page 229 of Corwin Ericson’s Swell, and it epitomizes everything that I like about the novel, which is easily the best that I’ve read in the past few years. The book is set on a fictitious island off the coast of Maine and follows the misadventures of slacker/protagonist Orange Whippey as he gets sucked into a bizarre series of events involving cranky old fishermen, highly literate Korean smugglers, a North Atlantic whale-herding skald, and an intimidating Thor-cult priestess. This is a book for anyone who enjoys the following:

-Quirks of coastal New England culture
-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
-Metal (the music)
-Penis humor
-Norse mythology
-Experimentation on whales
-The Kalevala
-Alternate Abenaki/Sami history

The book was actually published in 2011, but I sadly didn’t discover it until a few weeks ago, since I have a great talent at being behind the times. I can at least claim to be the person who ordered amazon.com’s last in-house copy (but you can still get it through one of their affiliate vendors, which you should do). If further convincing is needed, check out these links, provided by Corwin himself, since we’re facebook friends (which makes it official):

http://mymemoriesofafuturelife.com/2011/12/13/the-undercover-soundtrack-corwin-ericson/

http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2012/06/book_notes_corw.html

Heroes of Norse Proliferation: Quorthon

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

It was only a matter of time until Quorthon’s name was added to this not-so-golden hall of Heroes of Norse Proliferation, and that time has finally come. I unfairly prolonged that time with my uncanny ability to slack off at updating this obscure blog, but despite my best efforts to be ineffective and lazy, I can’t fight fate forever, and neither could the All Father of Viking Metal for that matter. He’s dead, and here I am, no longer going on a full-out berserker-level rampage of neglect and laziness at promoting his glory, which he doesn’t really need anyway, at least not among metalheads.

I hope most of you who have somehow managed to find this website know who he is. If you don’t, then suffice it to see he basically invented the Viking Metal musical subgenre that most people don’t realize even exists, and this was after he also pretty much founded Black Metal, which likewise reigns in obscurity. Check out this epic webpage for more on his biography, discography, etc. It is fully glorious in its 1990’s era web aesthetics, but pretty authoritative in its own a way.

Additionally, a grand edition to the English language was made last year when a translation of the book, Blod Eld Död: En Svensk Metalhistoria by Ika Johannesson and Jon Jefferson, was finally released by Feral House Publishing. This is a great book that delves into the history of metal in Sweden in a general sense, but features a special focus on Quorthon; the book is Swedish for “Blood, Fire, Death,” and thus named after one of his pivotal albums. And as a special bonus for all the Viking metalheads out there, Månegarm are also given special attention.

But this sorry posting is about Bathory and Quorthon, and so on that note:

Skálmöld Trip Out with the Wolf

Friday, September 27th, 2013

It’s the last Frey’s day of the month, the nights are becoming longer than the days, the average daily temperatures are dropping, and “winter is coming.” That makes it a perfect time to trip out with Icelandic Viking metal band Skálmöld in their new music video. In it they take us on a journey through their wild Icelandic landscape and show us all sorts of strange on-goings involving that demon-woman Hel, Odin hanging out passively on the top of a cliff, the iron-ribbon Gleipnir wrapping around a young girl, and the wolf shaking the shit out of his fur to get dry. Pretty badass.

Also, the video itself was created by Bowen Staines who originally hails from New Hampshire, so this is a nice New England-Scandinavia collaboration!

Chiseling the Scandinavian Cheekbones

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

So I just gave this website a major facelift, and by that I mean that there is now a very aggressive-looking, native Blue Sheep from Birka hanging out in the background off towards the right (and slightly towards the left as well, but that guy is fainter). If you look closely, you will be able to admire the finely chiseled cheekbones of the individual to the right, which is a trait he shares with the lovely Scandinavian women. You may also be able to see the killer intent in his eyes. I figure he is probably pretty good buddies with the even more hardcore Icelandic Killer Sheep:

 photo Icelandic_Killer_Sheep_zpsc3993d02.jpg

In fact, this guy is so intent on being aggressive that he goes around looking like he should probably stop trying already and just transform himself into a Norwegian black metal band instead. You used to be able to get his mugshot on t-shirts like the one pictured above, but that website seems to have been plucked away by some misguided valkyrie, though the corresponding myspace page still exists.

On a side note, I’m going to make a better effort at updating this damned blog on a regular basis again (as opposed to 1 post every 6 months). I finally got myself dislodged from the bigass boulder that I was living under since last fall and it is good to see the world again. Some sad things happened in that time (Stockholm burned, Boston bombed to name just 2) but some good, exciting things are indeed afoot: Amon Amarth is releasing a new album this month, the days are long, and the Bruins are in the finals. So, skål to summer!

Raise a Horn to the New Year’s Winter Darkness

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

So I’m not very big on timely, punctual, or even consistent blog updates, but I am big on depictions of majestic northern landscapes, especially if they feature Viking ships plowing the waters under what I presume to be the aurora borealis. Or maybe it’s meant to be the midnight sun, I’m not really sure, and that’s besides the point. The point is: here’s a badass Nicholas Roerich painting for you to look at and help you get psyched for the coming long haul of bleak winter cold and darkness now that the holiday festivities are over:

And just to clarify who this Nicholas Roerich fellow was, those of you who are more versed in 100-year old Viking-inspired artwork might recognize this one:

That one shows a bunch of Varangians sailing down from Sweden or perhaps one of their colonies at Staraya Ladoga or Novgorod on their way to Miklagård or maybe just do a little something like establish the foundations of the country of Russia as we now know it.

Anyway, Roerich was well known for his paintings, along with other philosophical-type works, and was referenced in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, which is a fact that ought to appeal to fans of his fantastical tales (especially those living in the New England area). And while we’re on the topic of fantastical tales and Varangian adventures, it seems only appropriate to also promote this little, old-time ditty:

Death in Digital Fire / World Reborn

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

During the middle of the month, this site was sacked, pillaged, and put to the sword. My poor little Viking-toy-avatar-thing was passed around like an unfortunate Irish woman during the great Norwegian conquest of what was to become Dublin. But as the great story says, that which was the end would soon be reborn. I’m a little disappointed that so far this world looks worse than the previous one, but then that’s what I get for not backing up my goddamned files in over a year. Anyway, the site’s back up, and I’m going to try to work on getting some of the lost material back on here in the coming days/weeks (I’m slow). And if anyone knows how to include an image in a header in this newest version of wordpress, that’d be killer if you could let me know, since I’m no good at this shit. Skål!

Victorious March!

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

I’m not sure whether this painting is saying, “We are coming to destroy everything in our path!” or “We have just destroyed everything in our path!”, but either way, if this isn’t a victorious march of some sort, then I don’t know what is. John Charles Dollman wasn’t dicking around when he painted these Vikings 100 years ago. He imbued them with noble glory, and that glory still lives on today, even though most people don’t even know it exists. There’s a lot to lament about in that statement, but rather than spiral downward into an eternal pit of despair, why don’t we take a look at another victorious march while we’re on that topic:

Or this one, which is what inspired me to post an entry relating to victorious marches today of all days anyway in the first place. It just goes to show, that in some cases, despair is not always eternal!

(I pilfered the photo from the Boston Globe’s honorable photo montage.)

Glory in a Bottle

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The Norsky brewers up at HaandBryggeriet are clearly modern day recipients of Odin’s wisdom and have held a cherished spot on my Viking Barley Brew list ever since I first compiled it. But they wanted to outdo themselves and so they started to age some of their brew in aquavit barrels, and the result is this Barrel-Aged Porter, complete with Norse carving decor on the label. Midgård would be a better place if there were more people like these guys out there, so skål to them!

Then on a more somber and unrelated note, the online literary magazine Bananafish recently suicided itself. This saddens me because Bananafish was one of those few sites that actually acknowledged the importance of writing about drunken leprechauns being held hostage in Viking dungeons, which is not a topic that most literary venues value. (And also the guy who ran the site seemed like a nice fellow). So, anyway, since Bananafish is now down for the count, I’ve reposted the content of my story that had been published there, and it can be found on the Encounter with a Miscreant page.

Lastly, a few parting words for the fallen Bananafish, plundered verbatim from the mighty Ville Laihiala (formerly of Sentenced):

“The shadows growing deep
We’ll be gone eternally
Our stars have fallen from the sky
Our dreams have faded into the night
No tomorrow
Not for us
Death and sorrow
Dust to dust
Dust to dust.”

On the Origins of Petalwilter

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

I decided today that the time has finally come to discuss Trond Trondsen’s sword, the illustrious Petalwilter. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned Petalwilter by name before on this site, so its mere mention must be pretty exciting for the 2 or 3 of you who somehow randomly found your way here and are wondering, ”Why the fuck haven’t I clicked my browser’s back button yet?” …Hail onwards »

A Disgruntled Viking in the Workplace

Monday, September 6th, 2010

The thing about work is, it sucks, at least for most of us. The upshot is that you get paid for doing it, although that traditionally reliable characteristic seems to have been put to the test in recent years by excessive competitiveness amidst an ongoing recession, the rise of internships, and other various forms of bullshit. …Hail onwards »

Hammer of the North

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Bang your head to the sound of the Hammer of the North with Grand Magus! These Stockholm guys have a traditional type of metal sound, so that should comfort those of you who are batty and don’t much care for the death metal growl (you know who you are!). Their cover art for the album is cool, too. It’s a picture of a wolf devouring the moon. Appropriate!

Also, over the course of the next few weeks the final Viking job interview should be posted. There should also be a substantial update to the booze directory and another lesson of Norse History for Bostonians. That is assuming I don’t start sucking even harder than normal and fail to do these things. Let the unanticipation begin.

Norse Marauders Wreak Mayhem

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Here’s a badass painting of Norsemen conducting some intensive slaughter in Ireland by artist Tom Lovell:

Good Tom apparently dealt mostly with cowboys, but when he decided to take on the Vikings, he did so with all the glory of a stark raving mad berserker, only he was armed with a paintbrush instead of a massive medieval battleaxe. The smoky, warmongering palate of this painting pairs well with mead and the music of Amon Amarth.

Gothic Metal at Millesgården

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Behold Katatonia’s The Longest Year music video!

It features eerie images of Carl Milles’ sculptures from Millesgården, located on the island of Lidingö, just outside of Stockholm. If you pay close attention, you’ll even notice a replica of his Poseidon, which resides in Gothenburg. And as we all know (or should know, but probably don’t), Gothenburg is the city made so famous by the Gothenburg Sound.

Hail to Norwegian Neo-Norse Architecture

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Behold the Dalen Hotel:

Wow, right? Or maybe just eh, depending on your mood and how much you like buildings that imitate medieval Scandinavian stave churches like the one at Borgund, which is probably the most famous of them. But you can’t sleep overnight in a stave church, and that is where the Dalen Hotel rises above them like a victorious berserker among the lifeless and bloodied bodies of his fallen enemies.

Anyway, the Dalen Hotel was built in 1894 and is located in Telemark county in southeastern Norway. It lies near the Telemark Canal which features locks(!) so that modern Norwegians don’t have to portage their war vessels like they did back in the good ole Viking glory days, a grueling ordeal that metal band Turisas has taken upon themselves to provide an education about:

But also, how’s about some more images of the hotel itself? Yup: