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Old 09-01-2009, 04:16 PM   #1
The Might
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Silmaril Rock Bands and Tolkien (Nightwish and more)

I couldn't find a similar topic around here - if one exists please excuse me - and so I thought I would start one here in N&N since it feels like an appropriate place.

As you may know Nightwish often references Tolkien's works, the best known song to do this is probably Wishmaster, but for example Elvenpath from Angels Fall First is centered around the works and contains excerpts from Bakshi's cartoons.

As such, I hope we won't be seeing many chat skwerlz around here, since this does have something to do with Tolkien and it does often sound quite "Elvish".

Looking forward to seeing if there are any other fans around here like yours truly.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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Tolkien metal!~

I must have shared this story quite a number of times to friends, but am not too sure if I've mentioned it here. Anyway, here goes.

Nightwish
is virtually unheard-of here in the Philippines; if you think Tolkien fans are rare here, then NW fans are even rarer. Around three years ago a suitor captured me by playing on my Tolkien side, to the point of doing a harana, including Elvenpath if memory serves. That got me to Nightwish. (And later I found out, he wasn't really into Tolkien, just metal. That was, until about three months later, when I got him to read Sil.)

Nightwish draws on plenty other sources as well. Tolkien is but one; apart from Elvenpath and Wishmaster, I cannot think of any other Nightwish songs that have Tolkien references. Nightwish also draws from history and historical fiction (at least, I think we can classify them as fiction), like Creek Mary's Blood, The Kinslayer, etc. At first, The Kinslayer sounds so Noldor, so Feanor, but it alludes to the wacky psycho that ran amok in some Christian school. Then there are the love songs (the ones I love most), like Ever Dream. We'll get off-topic if I go further into that.

BUT if you truly want Tolkien-metal, I suggest Blind Guardian's 1998 album Nightfall on Middle Earth. That is truly blatant Silmarillion-inspired album. My favorites include Nightfall, Mirror Mirror, Noldor (Dead Winter Reigns), Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill), and Harvest of Sorrow.

I'm pretty sure there are other Tolkien metal out there. Nightwish and Blind Guardian belong to the power metal subcategory; there exist such things as Nazgul, Amon Amarth, Isengard and Menegroth, among many others. Unfortunately my knowledge of these black metal is limited; I'm not into growling songs.

And to sum it up, here's a nice article.

Looking forward to hearing from the Finns here!
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:00 AM   #3
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if you think Tolkien fans are rare here, then NW fans are even rarer. Around three years ago a suitor captured me by playing on my Tolkien side,
Ooh, what a nice way of putting it!

Nightwish - I quite like them. They're very 'goth' of course, or were, because I think they have a new singer now who is less operatic. I'm fond of Elvenpath anyway. It's quite unusual because I'm often suspicious of liking music just because it has obvious Tolkien references.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:35 AM   #4
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Indeed, good observation on other such bands there, Lindale.

Perhaps a better topic would then be - metal & Tolkien.

And I agree with Lalwende, that really is a nice way of putting it.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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This thread can certainly expand to include other bands, metal or not, who play Tolkien-related music. There are lots of them! (There are previous threads, but I'm not sure how far you would have to dig to find them, so it's worth starting this new one.) For those who are interested, I can refer you to a chapter on the connection between Tolkien and black metal music in the upcoming book Music in Middle-earth. I've already seen it, and though that's not my style of music, it's a fascinating topic. The book is currently being prepared for printing and should be published in October.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Thanks for the link, Lindale, although it seems the writer misses a trick here:

"Even the controversial Varg [Vikernes] project Burzum used to be known as Uruk-hai after the menacing super-race of orcs."

Burzum is, of course, also an homage to Tolkien. This project is easily my favourite Tolkien-inspired metal.

I would also point out that the rather famous Amon Amarth are unrelated to Tolkien: they just liked the name.

I bought that Nightfall in Middle-earth album a few years ago and found it to be very tiresome. Nightwish I have no opinion of.
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:11 PM   #7
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Lady Estelyn, could you help me out with renaming the thread so it better suits the topic - something like rock bands & Tolkien or something like that.

And the connection to black metal sounds interesting, would like to know more since I was not aware it existed.
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:14 AM   #8
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Aye, big influence. There are or were at least eight bands called Sauron.

There's Feanor, Cirith Ungol, Cirith Gorgor, loads of Morgoths, Gandalf, Saruman, Moria; the list goes on. That's just from a 60 second search on metal-archives.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eomer of the Rohirrim View Post
I would also point out that the rather famous Amon Amarth are unrelated to Tolkien: they just liked the name.
Quite true. And sometimes I wonder, do those black metallers think they get cooler or something by alluding to one such as Tolkien, who is easily associated with modern epics. I mean, if those metallers allude to something as crass as those horrible Meyer things, they'd get classified as emo/screamo stuff.


Quote:
I bought that Nightfall in Middle-earth album a few years ago and found it to be very tiresome. Nightwish I have no opinion of.
You break my heart. But what is Burzum? Can you post a link? (Sorry. Am in the ROTC lounge right now, and what I'm doing is illegal surfing )
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:55 PM   #10
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Quite true. And sometimes I wonder, do those black metallers think they get cooler or something by alluding to one such as Tolkien, who is easily associated with modern epics. I mean, if those metallers allude to something as crass as those horrible Meyer things, they'd get classified as emo/screamo stuff.
Well, I would respectfully point out that Amon Amarth are not exactly black metal. Actually, I know this band quite well, and the bassist and founding member is the Lord of the Rings fan: he suggested the name and the others agreed that it had a nice ring to it.

Also: get.........cooler? Which alternative universe are you living in if you think making Tolkien references increases your 'cool'?

I don't know what Meyer is.

Anyway, as for Blind Guardian: each to their own, and all that. I see why it's popular but it's just not my thing.

Burzum is recognisable, surely, to us all, from the inscription on the Ring of Sauron:

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.


It's also the name of one of the most influential black metal projects. Try looking for some Burzum; though you said you don't like growling vocals... how about screams? If not, he does plenty of ambient work too.
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:28 AM   #11
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There is a Finnish (surprise ) metal band called Battlelore who reference to Tolkien a lot and even dress up as Elves, I think, but I know very little of them. Aganzir could tell you more.

As for Nightwish, I used to like it a lot and I still think some of it is good. I don't like the newer stuff though, especially as I dislike the new (Swedish! ) singer. But then again, I never was familiar with their earliest stuff, which includes most of the ME references. Nightwish is very tolkienish in a way, though, I have never had problems with associating it to Middle-Earth, especially with all this stuff about longing for the sea/ocean.
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:22 AM   #12
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Well, I would respectfully point out that Amon Amarth are not exactly black metal. Actually, I know this band quite well, and the bassist and founding member is the Lord of the Rings fan: he suggested the name and the others agreed that it had a nice ring to it.

Also: get.........cooler? Which alternative universe are you living in if you think making Tolkien references increases your 'cool'?
In a universe of emo kids, having references to Tolkien or other literary giants, no matter how remote or lousy, basically does.

Quote:
I don't know what Meyer is.
Stephanie Meyer. Author of "books" I cannot touch without losing self-respect.


Quote:
Burzum is recognisable, surely, to us all, from the inscription on the Ring of Sauron:

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.


It's also the name of one of the most influential black metal projects. Try looking for some Burzum; though you said you don't like growling vocals... how about screams? If not, he does plenty of ambient work too.
Perhaps my boyfriend knows and even likes it (he likes growling songs). I'll look for it at the underground market, and if it turns out that I can make an exception to my growling-singer rule, I'll do the spoiled-brat route and ask my dad to get a cd.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:13 AM   #13
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In a universe of emo kids, having references to Tolkien or other literary giants, no matter how remote or lousy, basically does.
Methinks the lady doth overestimate the power of emo.
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:08 AM   #14
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If bands want to be really cool then they reference someone like JG Ballard or Nabokov or Illuminatus!, not Tolkien, because Tolkien still isn't really what you'd call 'cool' - and that's part of the appeal for many of us
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Old 09-05-2009, 02:41 PM   #15
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If bands want to be really cool then they reference someone like JG Ballard or Nabokov or Illuminatus!, not Tolkien, because Tolkien still isn't really what you'd call 'cool' - and that's part of the appeal for many of us
Hmmm...but I think Tolkien transcends coolness/noncoolness in many instances. After all, when Lord of the Rings references appear in lyrics by such Rock Godz as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath (the song 'Wizard' was inspired by Gandalf, according to the semi-comotose Ozzy Osbourne, and Geezer Butler is an ardent LotR fan), then Tolkien acquires a patina of legitimacy, at least among the 'glitterati' (in the glitter rock sense), but not so the 'literati' (in the constipated academic sense) -- that is where one finds the clearest condemnations of Tolkien.

But then, I think that literary, classical music and art references were de rigeur in the late 60's/early 70's, particularly with English bands. In addition to Led Zep and Sabbath (who also reference HP Lovecraft's 'Beyond the Wall of Sleep'), we have Pink Floyd's 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn' (from a chapter title in Grahame's 'Wind in the Willows'), Jethro Tull quoting Robert Burns as well as lifting Bach's 'Bouree', King Crimson describing Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch' in song, Emerson, Lake and Palmer revising Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition', and the Beatles citing or referring to Kahil Gibran, Lewis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe and snippets of King Lear.

This often is derided as pomposity and pretension by critics, but I think it was genuine love of the source material by the bands, and the music plays on long after the pens lie stiff and cold in the critic's rigor-mortised hands. Later on we have The Police referring to Nabokov, The Waterboys doing an absolutely enchanting version of WB Yeats' 'The Stolen Child' and REM rattling off a host of cultural and literary references in 'It's the End of the World as We Know It'.

So, cool or not cool? It's in the eye (or in this case, the ear) of the beholder. But I think the majority of Tolkienites could give a rat's hairy patoot about critics in any case.
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Old 09-05-2009, 03:20 PM   #16
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(the song 'Wizard' was inspired by Gandalf, according to the semi-comotose Ozzy Osbourne, and Geezer Butler is an ardent LotR fan)
Haha, I was right!

Sorry, erm... what were we talking about?
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:10 AM   #17
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Hmmm...but I think Tolkien transcends coolness/noncoolness in many instances. After all, when Lord of the Rings references appear in lyrics by such Rock Godz as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath (the song 'Wizard' was inspired by Gandalf, according to the semi-comotose Ozzy Osbourne, and Geezer Butler is an ardent LotR fan), then Tolkien acquires a patina of legitimacy, at least among the 'glitterati' (in the glitter rock sense), but not so the 'literati' (in the constipated academic sense) -- that is where one finds the clearest condemnations of Tolkien.

But then, I think that literary, classical music and art references were de rigeur in the late 60's/early 70's, particularly with English bands. In addition to Led Zep and Sabbath (who also reference HP Lovecraft's 'Beyond the Wall of Sleep'), we have Pink Floyd's 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn' (from a chapter title in Grahame's 'Wind in the Willows'), Jethro Tull quoting Robert Burns as well as lifting Bach's 'Bouree', King Crimson describing Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch' in song, Emerson, Lake and Palmer revising Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition', and the Beatles citing or referring to Kahil Gibran, Lewis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe and snippets of King Lear.

This often is derided as pomposity and pretension by critics, but I think it was genuine love of the source material by the bands, and the music plays on long after the pens lie stiff and cold in the critic's rigor-mortised hands. Later on we have The Police referring to Nabokov, The Waterboys doing an absolutely enchanting version of WB Yeats' 'The Stolen Child' and REM rattling off a host of cultural and literary references in 'It's the End of the World as We Know It'.

So, cool or not cool? It's in the eye (or in this case, the ear) of the beholder. But I think the majority of Tolkienites could give a rat's hairy patoot about critics in any case.
I think Tolkien references are cool to those of us who enjoy what the whippersnappers now term 'dad rock' (the cheeky rascals), and to those of us of a more metal inclination. But will they ever be cool to the metrosexual set who care for nothing more than slight and obscure references to modernism in their song lyrics - if they deign to listen to songs at all

There's still a distinct whiff of patchouli, jazz cigarettes and dads with unkempt beards who like looking at motorbikes about Tolkien references in songs. Which is good
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:49 AM   #18
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I think Tolkien references are cool to those of us who enjoy what the whippersnappers now term 'dad rock' (the cheeky rascals), and to those of us of a more metal inclination. But will they ever be cool to the metrosexual set who care for nothing more than slight and obscure references to modernism in their song lyrics - if they deign to listen to songs at all

There's still a distinct whiff of patchouli, jazz cigarettes and dads with unkempt beards who like looking at motorbikes about Tolkien references in songs. Which is good
*Sighs*

You're probably right, Lal.

Garn, is that another gray hair?

I like your 'metrosexual' analogy, and I would suggest that that crowd most likely does not read 'books', as they are a passe' medium. If it cannot be typed in acronyms and monosyllables on a 3 inch keyboard, it is not worth the exertion. There is a lot of 'twit' in 'twitter', after all.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:31 PM   #19
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*Sighs*

You're probably right, Lal.

Garn, is that another gray hair?

I like your 'metrosexual' analogy, and I would suggest that that crowd most likely does not read 'books', as they are a passe' medium. If it cannot be typed in acronyms and monosyllables on a 3 inch keyboard, it is not worth the exertion. There is a lot of 'twit' in 'twitter', after all.
I think to some books are merely handy things from which to steal film plots.
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Old 09-06-2009, 03:18 PM   #20
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I think to some books are merely handy things from which to steal film plots.
Not only that, in talking to the sweet old lady at my favorite used book store, I found out that a large amount of her business is from people who are accessorizing. They buy batches of books for their bindings, so that the colors match their room setting. Forget about the contents of the books, madame, it's the visual ambiance they provide tossed ever so casually on the coffee table!
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:25 PM   #21
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Not only that, in talking to the sweet old lady at my favorite used book store, I found out that a large amount of her business is from people who are accessorizing. They buy batches of books for their bindings, so that the colors match their room setting. Forget about the contents of the books, madame, it's the visual ambiance they provide tossed ever so casually on the coffee table!
The opposite of our house then, a huge dusty mess of cobwebs hanging from the mountains of mismatched books stacked up everywhere like something from Gormenghast...

...that could be a Tolkien influenced song, Misty Mountain Of Books Hop...
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:53 AM   #22
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I renamed this thread at The Might's request to reflect the more general nature of musical discussion into which it has evolved.

I'm away from home at the moment; when I'm back, I'll give more information on the book Music in Middle-earth. Interestingly, to pick up on Eomer's reference, the chapter on Black Metal and Tolkien's influence features the Burzum project as one important element.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #23
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The opposite of our house then, a huge dusty mess of cobwebs hanging from the mountains of mismatched books stacked up everywhere like something from Gormenghast...

...that could be a Tolkien influenced song, Misty Mountain Of Books Hop...
Well you know that Led Zepplin already has a song called Misty Mountain Hop. There is also The Battle of Evermore which is just full of Tolkien references, that's one of the reasons why it's my second favourite song. My first is about some bloke who smashes people on the head with a silver hammer. . .
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:15 PM   #24
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Well you know that Led Zepplin already has a song called Misty Mountain Hop. There is also The Battle of Evermore which is just full of Tolkien references, that's one of the reasons why it's my second favourite song. My first is about some bloke who smashes people on the head with a silver hammer. . .
I think I will check both of those songs out. Also expect me to post or PM you a short story about a bloke with a silver hammer. You gave me the idea.

One thing I have noticed is that the majority of bands that make Tolkien references or references to mythology(usually Norse)are almost always heavy metal or death metal bands.
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:15 AM   #25
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If bands want to be really cool then they reference someone like JG Ballard or Nabokov or Illuminatus!, not Tolkien, because Tolkien still isn't really what you'd call 'cool' - and that's part of the appeal for many of us
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One thing I have noticed is that the majority of bands that make Tolkien references or references to mythology(usually Norse)are almost always heavy metal or death metal bands.
Hmm, I never thought of that before. Interesting. It reminds me heavily of Manowar. Does it have any Tolkien references?
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:52 AM   #26
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One thing I have noticed is that the majority of bands that make Tolkien references or references to mythology(usually Norse)are almost always heavy metal or death metal bands.
There are a few bands with a slightly different style who reference Tolkien, such as Glass Hammer (not to be confused with that silver hammer) and Nickle Creek.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:24 AM   #27
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Old 10-17-2009, 04:54 PM   #28
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Bill Burroughs, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Rimbaud and Hunter S Thompson are rock'n'roll writers. Tolkien, as much as I adore him, should be kept well away from rock music and vice versa. Like oil and water they are.

Edit: What is up with metal bands and Tolkien references?
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:47 AM   #29
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skip, the heavy metal/Tolkien connection is one that puzzled me too. However, I have been working on a book, translating a chapter on that topic which contains very interesting insights. The epicentre of Black Metal is Norway, and musicians who talked to the author of the chapter spoke of the appeal that JRRT's bad guys had for them, especially since Morgoth, Sauron and Co. are associated with the heathen legends of their own Nordic history. Their rebellion against Christianity has moved them to look for those historical/legendary roots, and they found an echo of them in Tolkien's works.

There is also a connection with the role-playing games that many young men in Scandinavian countries enjoyed. Those are strongly Tolkien-inspired, and they provide a framework for fantasy that has found an outlet in the music that these groups make and perform.

I'll spread the word when the book is printed and can be ordered so that those who want to read more can do so.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:56 AM   #30
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Bill Burroughs, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Rimbaud and Hunter S Thompson are rock'n'roll writers. Tolkien, as much as I adore him, should be kept well away from rock music and vice versa. Like oil and water they are.

Edit: What is up with metal bands and Tolkien references?
Estelyn is entirely correct regarding the Scandinavian connections found in Tolkien that mesh with metal. In addition, these rock folks grew up with Tolkien as a major influence (as did we all), and more than likely never read Joyce or Rimbaud (although earlier rock bands like The Doors were influenced by Aldous Huxley, and Dylan found a sympathetic cord in Rimbaud's work). So, like Zeppelin before them, heavy metal mashers mention Mordor. It's rather like Pink Floyd calling their first album 'Pipers at the Gates of Dawn', which is a chapter title in Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in the Willows'. We are very much what we read in our youth.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:31 PM   #31
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skip, the heavy metal/Tolkien connection is one that puzzled me too. However, I have been working on a book, translating a chapter on that topic which contains very interesting insights. The epicentre of Black Metal is Norway, and musicians who talked to the author of the chapter spoke of the appeal that JRRT's bad guys had for them, especially since Morgoth, Sauron and Co. are associated with the heathen legends of their own Nordic history. Their rebellion against Christianity has moved them to look for those historical/legendary roots, and they found an echo of them in Tolkien's works.

There is also a connection with the role-playing games that many young men in Scandinavian countries enjoyed. Those are strongly Tolkien-inspired, and they provide a framework for fantasy that has found an outlet in the music that these groups make and perform.

I'll spread the word when the book is printed and can be ordered so that those who want to read more can do so.
Oh yeah, the Norwegian black metal guys... In a way they deserve some respect bringing a bit of danger and controversy back into a genre that have become about as edgy as granny's bingo-sessions, but then again, I've heard some downright nasty stories about those cults and there are (or were) apparently some right sinister people involved in that scene, though the media probably blows it out of proportions as usual.

The whole thing is interesting nevertheless, and do let us know about this book. I've a recollection you worked on something similar before, didn't you? And does perhaps your involvement in this book go further than translation?

Morth
, Okay Mordor perhaps is a good place for sleazy sex, uppers and downers, screamers and shouters, and that's rock'n'roll for you, but I doubt Tolkien cared for that sort of stuff, nor does his work in any way celebrate or even condone the rebellion, irreverence and reckless abandon rock seem to be about, which is why I think the two don't mix. But I guess if you're a bid Tolkien fan and work in music, references might pop up and that's fair enough. For me though, Tolkien references in rock isn't a plus.
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:10 PM   #32
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Morth
, Okay Mordor perhaps is a good place for sleazy sex, uppers and downers, screamers and shouters, and that's rock'n'roll for you, but I doubt Tolkien cared for that sort of stuff, nor does his work in any way celebrate or even condone the rebellion, irreverence and reckless abandon rock seem to be about, which is why I think the two don't mix. But I guess if you're a bid Tolkien fan and work in music, references might pop up and that's fair enough. For me though, Tolkien references in rock isn't a plus.
I think it depends which book of Tolkien one takes as the quintessential Tolkien.

The Elves of The Silm are very different from the elves of LotR. There's plenty of rebellion, stiff-necked stubborn recklessness, even wild abandon amongst that lot. Ditto CoH. Galadriel might have been rehabilitated for LotR, but she was a rebellious bad girl way back when.

Certainly rock has been a mainstream expression for most youth; it isn't a mere leisure activity but a powerful and moving expression of many things which are important to its audience. In its centrality as meaningful voice it probably is closer to how the elves regard music than most sedate concert-going music experiences. And that centrality of aesthetic experience is what I think many of us appreciate in Tolkien: that art and music and literature can be profoundly important expressions of our human condition. The form and style can differ, but the significance of art, that's what binds Tolkien and the music of his fans.
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:46 PM   #33
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Certainly rock has been a mainstream expression for most youth; it isn't a mere leisure activity but a powerful and moving expression of many things which are important to its audience. In its centrality as meaningful voice it probably is closer to how the elves regard music than most sedate concert-going music experiences.
Well, reception of 'classical' music doesn't necessarily have to be sedate - I remember singing along full-throatedly with the themes of Mahler or Bruckner symphonies, or even dancing to Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps at a party ages ago; but you're right, that's unlikely to happen in a concert hall.
What makes rock music different for me is that the experience (especially in a live concert) is much more immediate and ecstatic, and also much more shared - at a good gig, there's a genuine bond between the band and the audience, if only for two hours or so.
Another point: with rock (also folk, and crossovers), you don't have the separation between written score and performance as with 'classical' music. Most rock bands perform their own material, both music and lyrics. In a way, this is the closest thing to the old bards and minstrels since the end of the Middle Ages. In that respect, rock isn't that far from Tolkien at all, I think.
As for 'sex and drugs and rock'n'roll' - well, Tolkien's Elves were pretty much ideal catholics in their sex life, but I can't help wondering about possible mind-altering properties of miruvor and limpë. And the Hobbits with their love for weed and mushrooms...
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:39 AM   #34
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We are very much what we read in our youth.
Quite so.

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I can't help wondering about possible mind-altering properties of miruvor and limpë. And the Hobbits with their love for weed and mushrooms...
I can't speak for Norwegian metal but many of the heavy rock bands of the late 60s and early 70s, such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, were (or grew out of bands which were) very much involved in the flower power scene and the summer of love. And, I seem to recall that there was a bit of a Tolkien fad associated with that scene, what with hippoes sporting 'Frodo lives' badges 'n all.

Edit: I was going to correct the typo (hippoes = hippies), but I prefer the original.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:48 AM   #35
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Well, reception of 'classical' music doesn't necessarily have to be sedate - I remember singing along full-throatedly with the themes of Mahler or Bruckner symphonies, or even dancing to Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps at a party ages ago; but you're right, that's unlikely to happen in a concert hall.
I quite agree with you. I've found my bigname local orchestra and opera companies very boring, but there are two smaller companies who specialise in baroque music, dance, and opera that are renown for their sprightly performances, entertaining interpretations, and enthusiastic productions that dare to challenge the audience to laugh, clap, enjoy. It can be done.

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What makes rock music different for me is that the experience (especially in a live concert) is much more immediate and ecstatic, and also much more shared - at a good gig, there's a genuine bond between the band and the audience, if only for two hours or so.
Another point: with rock (also folk, and crossovers), you don't have the separation between written score and performance as with 'classical' music. Most rock bands perform their own material, both music and lyrics. In a way, this is the closest thing to the old bards and minstrels since the end of the Middle Ages. In that respect, rock isn't that far from Tolkien at all, I think.
Yes, much better said I. I think of the medieval morality plays which presented epic stories wagon by wagon at each corner. The themes might have differred (although death is a constant in rock), but the experience was personal and direct.

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As for 'sex and drugs and rock'n'roll' - well, Tolkien's Elves were pretty much ideal catholics in their sex life
I can't help but think of a certain Mony Python scene which ascribed that 'ideal' to the Anglicans.

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but I can't help wondering about possible mind-altering properties of miruvor and limpë. And the Hobbits with their love for weed and mushrooms...
The dwarves must have had similar recreations but I can't recall reading of it. Maybe just ale, stout, and porter?
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:02 AM   #36
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...I can't help wondering about possible mind-altering properties of miruvor and limpë. And the Hobbits with their love for weed and mushrooms...
There were lots of giggles in the theatres when pipe-weed was mentioned, but in all fairness, weed is tobacco and there's nothing magical about Maggot's shrooms...

No, if the choice was up to Keith Richards or Iggy Pop, I'd say they go for some Orc-draught. That would be good for an all-nighter methinks. Yeah, in Mordor where shadows lie, I can see some rocking going on, and I bet a band of Orcs could play some good trash metal too (if there us such a thing). It would have to go on behind Sauron's back though, because he would just hate rock'n'roll.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:03 AM   #37
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Led Zeppelin is a band famously noted for referencing Tolkien's works, most specifically in The Battle of Evermore.
Another band which came to my mind is the Viking metal/Black metal band Bathory. I do not have any evidence of them referencing Tolkien's works but I enjoy many songs which are deeply rooted in fantasy and Viking mythos, as well as BATTLE
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:47 PM   #38
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I picked up a nice CD recently by a Belgian band Theudho - it's a concept album named The Volsunga Saga.

I would probably not have bought it had I not been familar with the old epic story, so thank Tolkien for that!
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:54 PM   #39
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Led Zeppelin is a band famously noted for referencing Tolkien's works, most specifically in The Battle of Evermore.
Interesting, the one song that I always think of is "Ramble On"
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:24 AM   #40
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We had the theory on this thread that fans of metal saw themselves in Tolkien's villains, as opposition to convention, religion, etc. But the scope is much wider. Yes, the evil Orcs who rampage and steal are metal - but the heroes who give all in battle are also metal. Aragorn's rousing speeches are appropriate as Sauron's malice.

So is theme important? I say: yes! Opposed as Aragorn and Sauron surely are to us, they're both the same to the common radio-listener. Songs about tasting the furious vengeance of a Gondorian blade are no different to an anthem celebrating Trollish bloodlust - to those who constantly sing about being dumped by her boyfriend, going out to party at the club, or exactly how to rhythmically move ones hips at the club because said hips now have no boyfriend.

A huge percentage of metal is made by people who love fantasy, epics, old tales of times past, and so on. Tolkien's influence in this field is far greater than in the rock genre; I suppose simply because rock is closer to the mainstream.
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