Thursday, April 22, 2010


I'll tell you what, gang: Illogical Contraption might not have the biggest readership on the internet, but I'll be Goddamned if our readers aren't the best. Really. I mean it. (hold for applause.)

Following a recent post introducing the genre of Narration Metal ("NARRATION METAL", April 10, 2010), several IC faithful contributed their own nominations for inclusion in said category, and they were indeed some tasty morsels. In addition to the not-very-metal-but-still-awesome space-disco prog-opera Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds (which I located, consumed, digested, and shat out HERE), an eclectic and varied mix of story-driven metal bands were suggested -- some brutal, some corny -- all of them totally worthwhile. So Round 2 begins today, as we are introduced to four more Narration Metal pioneers -- all of them destined to stand proudly next to their brothers in the genre (Slough Feg, Inquisition, Rhapsody of Fire, Bal-Sagoth, and NarMetal Master Christopher Lee, to name a few). Read on...

The first contender for Narration Metal greatness on today's list is Southern California's MORGION, as suggested by Illogical Mega-Bro cdg (check out his freshly-birthed music blog Data Control HERE.)

As cdg pointed out in his comment on the last post, the only Morgion release to really properly fall into the 'Narration Metal' category was 1999's Solinari, which I have been kind enough to upload for you all HERE. It's a creepy, doomy, atmospheric, and (almost) goth-y (GASP!) affair, not the sort of thing I'm usually into but I'll be damned if Morgion doesn't like narrating a story or two. Additionally, cdg was instrumental in the establishment of the last IllCon-defined genre, RENROCK. Hence, all of his recommendations are GOLD to me (Fairy Fests be damned). I thank you sir.

Next up we have Japan's Dragon Guardian, championed by Thulsa Mood creator and IC guest blogger BradethQ. If you're into shit like PowerQuest, cosplay, anime, Helloween, Visual Kei, tentacle porn, or Taco Gaywolf, you will most likely pop a shameful boner for Dragon Guardian. From what little I understand about this very Japanese band, it is a one-man project, constructed by a dude named Arthur Brave (勇者アーサー). Mr. Brave proudly refers to the band as "fantasy metal", but it actually gets sort of tough at times. Like, there are blastbeats and shit. I don't know. Download 2008's Harukanaru Chigiri (above right) and tell me what YOU think.

I agree with BradethQ's description: "It's cheesy power metal that sounds like about what you'd expect given their name but with a lady handling a good chunk of the vocals and a dude doing some ridiculous dramatic narration throughout. Everything's in Japanese, but you should still get a kick out of it."

Thoroughly confusing stuff. Thanks, Bradeth.

Blood of Kingu was a recommendation from Brother Peter. Apparently the one-man side project of a dude from Drudkh, Kingu comes from the same so-evil-I-can't-be-bothered-to-actually-perform-the-act-that-mere-mortals-refer-to-as-"singing" school as the ass-kicking INQUISITION. Hailing from the Ukraine, BoK is (according to Last.FM) "...highly influenced by Sumerian, ancient Egyptian and Indo-Aryan mythology and history." But you would never know from the nearly inaudible, monotone croaking beneath their blasting, cacophonous onslaught. Some of the other guys from Drudkh play on Kingu's albums as well, which makes me wonder how they balance the Mesopotamian/North African focus of Kingu's imagery with the purported nationalism espoused by Drudkh. Whatever. This is evil and infused with massive amounts of mythology and weirdness. 2007: De Occulta Philosophia (I think it translates to something like Pink Bunnies In Space). Get it.

After experiencing something as cryptic and evil as Blood of Kingu, it's probably best to cool down with some good, old-fashioned Christian rock. But not just any old Christian rock. I'm talking about "CHRISTIAN MELODIC EPIC RENAISSANCE MEDIEVAL APOCALYPTIC METAL", the kind played by William J. Tsamis (right) in his mostly one-man mid-90's project Lordian Guard. Wait a minute... Casio drumbeats? Corny solos? Disneyesque female vocals? Atmospheric keyboards? This is somehow everything bad about metal in general and everything good about Narration Metal all in the same place, at the same time! This is like Oxiplegatz, but with angels instead of aliens! This is terrible! This is amazing!

Who can I blame for bringing this to my attention?
Oh yes, HELM. Of course. It all makes sense now.

Did I mention that I'm a really nice guy? Because I am. I've chosen to share my Christian joy with all of you, via the awesomely-named Lordian Guard. That's right, today I present their ENTIRE DISCOGRAPHY: The self-titled 1995 debut (above) AND 1996's follow-up album Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God (left). Jesus Fucking Christ.

Really. You guys rule. Thanks again for the suggestions.


phinehas.roy said...

I didn't download it or anything so I have no idea what it sounds like, but GOD DAMN that Bang record sleeve looks unspeakably weird and awesome. Dude, A pie! I want to invite these guys over to draw pentagrams on the floor of my basement with a sword! On second thought, I'm, gonna go back and download it right now. It can't possibly be bad.

Nekromantis said...

Ah yeah Lordian Guard! Ccoincidentally I gave them another chance just a month ago and finally got into them. Especially the first album kicks ass . Well in a mellow yet epic christian metal way! Haha.

The warships of Odin have landed,
The thunders of Thor have sounded,
And now you will fall in the valley of tears...

We will invoke the mighty Winds of Thor!

Spookywolffe said...

I bought a disc one time that was by .... some Italian powermetawwwwwl band and it had some narration between song with a such BAD Italo-English accent that I couldn't help but guffaw when the guy said something like "And now....we will tells you the story...DA WHOOOOOLE TING!!!"

Helm said...

Lordian Guard sounded wrong to me for a few years in and at some point I realized I wouldn't have changed ANYTHING about them. I prefer them to Warlord.

Nekromantis said...

There are surely some elements at work in LG's music that will make most people roll their eyes and shake their heads in disapproval like the drum machine, the weird almost spoken word instead of sung vocals and very light guitar tone (for Heavy Metal). At first it sounded more like music to castlevania or something but in a bad way so I didn't come back to them until recently someone mentioned them to me and I decided to give my final judgement. Usually if I'm not struck with band's potential automaticly I need something to get a hold on and work from there. In this case I tried to concentrate to the lyrics and melody lines only and ignore everything else at first. Suddently I was all "HOLY SHIT, IT'S FULL OF AMAZING HOOKS" and it didn't took much time to learn appreciate their uniqueness.

chrisc said...

i had the exact same reaction to Lordian Guard as Nekromantis and Helm when i first heard them years ago.thanks to this post,i think it's about time i give them another the way,it's no wonder the recommendation came from a greek metal fan.epic metal was always big around here.thank Shelby (and Helm).