The Power of Three: The Different Cultures of Metal


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Intelligent metal bands that show they know something about other cultures.

Eli Vaglica, Staff Writer

Despite people thinking metal is directly and indirectly related to the devil, there are lots of metal bands that sing about other cultures. For instance, the band Nile is a band dedicated to making music based off Ancient Egyptian beliefs. Most songs about other cultures are extremely accurate, even if the band doesn’t actually affirm those beliefs. It’s more so about the culture and what the beliefs are like. Amon Amarth, named after a volcano in Middle Earth (that’s technically from The Hobbit but whatever), is all about Vikings and brings the ideas of the Norse to fruition with their music. Mortician, for the most part, is about the horror film industry, which is modern day culture. They have songs about the 80s classics like Dawn of the Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

When My Wrath Is DoneNile


You can hear the Egyptian styled music at the very beginning of this song. Nile is a technical death metal band or Tech Death. Tech Death bands try to get, obviously, really technical when they play. Nile, as I’ve said, has songs about Ancient Egyptian culture. If you ever wanted a history lesson or a quick summary of Egyptian beliefs for a test or something, look up some Nile lyrics. They’re pretty accurate. Examples of things they bring up in their songs are the Necropolis, a place of the rotting dead also known as the city of the dead, Osiris, the god of the dead, and ruler of the underworld and other things you should remember from history class. The elephant in the room is that the band is in fact from the U.S., which is actually quite interesting. To know so much about a different culture you may not even be from is something most people wouldn’t bother with dedication of their time.

Twilight of the Thunder God – Amon Amarth

Amon Amarth/YouTube

This song is about Thor, but not the one in the Avengers. In Norse Mythology the connotation of gods was thought to be good; however they could be evil like Loki. In the end times, all things were to die, even the gods, as evil took over. Viking metal is about the next common theme towards what metal songs are usually about. There’s bands who have Christian beliefs or lack thereof and then it’s a close call between Aliens/Conspiracies and Vikings. Amon Amarth is also a Tech Death band. Though the two sound similar in only some aspects and have completely different topics, it all comes down to how they use each measure. Most Death Metal bands use a 6/8 time frame so that’s what really brings these bands into the same category.

Zombie Apocalypse – Mortician


Probably only here because this is one of my favorite bands of all time, Mortician makes most of their songs related to horror movies, generally American classics like Dawn of the Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre and lots of others. I guess that technically counts as modern day culture. This is the stuff people really think of when they think about metal with words you can’t understand. That’s good, though, because this is Brutal Death metal; you’re not really supposed to be able to understand it. I listen to this stuff all the time and it’s difficult for me to understand it. Brutal Death metal and the closely related Slam metal are specifically my favorite genres. They start off slow (well slow in a metal sense so technically pretty fast) then they pick up the pace, just throwing everything at you with heavy beats, and eventually getting to breakdowns. In slam you can usually always tell when the breakdown hits because the music slows and the beats get heavier and slower.