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 Non-English metal? 
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Post Non-English metal?
After listening to the new MASTER'S HAMMER, I've been thinking a lot about bands that are mainly singing in their native tongue. Even though I rarely understand a thing, it's always interesting to hear metal vocals shaped by other languages rather than the commonplace English. Czech for example, with MASTER'S HAMMER. So what do we have?

Of course, there are buckloads of Swedish, Norwegian and German bands singing in them languages - half of the Norwegian BM scene, a fourth of the Swedish, and several German/Austrian (from BETHLEHEM and DORNENREICH and beyond). Several Russian- and Polish-speaking bands, not seldom with an extreme right wing/patriotic bent, like GONTYNA KRY and, well, what seems like thousands of others. In the French league, we have PESTE NOIRE, DIAPSIQUIR, ALCEST, and related bands. But, come to think of it, not very many, but the language is still so central in European culture that it's not really eye-brow raising to hear of. Finnish-singing bands aren't that usual, but even though their language is so brutally weird (it's not even Indo-European!) they have such a vital and important metal scene it doesn't come as a surprise that some bands, like ORANSSI PAZUZU, take up their own language.

But what about for example Hungarian and Romanian? The former have THY CATAFALQUE, the latter NEGURA BUNGET, DORDEDUH and a new band whose promo I haven't listened to yet, SICULICIDIUM. DEAD SHELL OF UNIVERSE's only EP is on Serbian, I think.

What about metal in Portugese, Spanish and Italian? Greek? The Baltic languages, Estonian etc? PRIMORDIAL has done some songs in Irish (I think?), but it doesn't really count if it's not the main language of the band.

And what about Asian languages, from Farsi out to Japanese, down south to Indonesia? Arabic metal? Are there any metal bands in African languages? I know that there are some Afrikaans bands, a Swahili or Zulu band would be way more interesting.
Minority languages or local dialects? I remember that there is a Canadian (?) death metal band whose members are of a certain native American tribe, who sing in their own language with lyrics based in their particular culture. Can't remember their name though... And in Sweden, we have LÖNNDOM who use the dialect of the northernmost regions. And the new LUNAR AURORA album is in their upper Bavarian dialect according to the recent review here.

And how about extinct languages? ARCKANUM's lyrics are based on his interpretation of medieval Swedish. KOROVA had a few verses in that old Gothic language, but that's a minority of his/their work.

I guess I'm looking for input on the subject, if you have any recommendations. Doesn't have to be good. Certain choices may even be considered a gimmick - especially foreign or extinct languages. I think singing in your native language can add a dimension to a band, regardless if it's about poor language skills/inability to express yourself satisfactorily in other language, or a patriotic statement (like PESTE NOIRE or the native American band) - even though it's not just for bands based on patriotic or folkloric themes (of course, all nature romantics must sing in their native tongue).

Any recommendations?

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April 2nd, 2012, 6:14 pm
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
OK, singing in languages that isn't your own doesn't count - NILE or MORBID ANGEL dragging up ancient Egyptian/Sumerian/whatnot is plain gimmick, even if it's dead cool.

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April 2nd, 2012, 6:19 pm
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
It is interesting that you do not mention Latin, considering how much metal, especially black metal, loves it. It may be used mostly for song- and albumtitles, I do not know if there are bands that write all the lyrics in Latin.

You mention most of the bands I know so I do not have much input, save for Týr who occasionally sing in Faeroese.


April 2nd, 2012, 6:55 pm
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
I actually came to think about it just after shutting down yesterday, thinking that no, it doesn't count, it's just a gimmick! :D And I don't know any bands except Abruptum who's only using Latin for lyrics. And Abruptum, well they were only reading from any given book, not really caring what it was about - it just sounded cool with Latin, you know?

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April 3rd, 2012, 8:04 am
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
I agree. It is just a cliché and I doubt they get the grammar right.

Danish black metal bands tend to use Danish instead of English. I think Solhverv were the only ones that did it in the 90s but in the past decade lost of bands have followed suit.

Falkenbach have some lyrics in Old Icelandic.

Foscor have some lyrics in Catalan. And Groans to the Guilty comes highly recommended. :)


April 3rd, 2012, 8:48 am
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
Listened to an album by BLODFEST, think they sang some in dansk too, some tracks at least.

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April 3rd, 2012, 8:48 pm
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
SICULICIDIUM is Hungarian it seems, not Romanian as I thought the promo letter claimed. Or at least the song titles look more Hungarian than Romanian (which is of course far cry...)

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April 4th, 2012, 10:14 am
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
Foscor must have some nice catalan lyrics, indeed. I haven't read them all, but they (or some of them) are based on some catalan poet's somewhat dark poetry and it must be good.

Also, another Spanish band who sings in their own tongue, but it's not Spanish: Numen, they are from the basque country and sing in Euskera. That language is only spoken in that small (but populated) region of Spain, and it sounds like nothing you ever heard of, it can remind of Japanese or Finnish, not in how it sounds, but in how indecipherable it can be to foreigners. Its roots remain uncertain to this day. And what's even better, they are good and their self titled album is a really good album of black metal with both a somewhat modern sound, a classical approach (but very extreme) and folk elements inside. Try it! Numen - Numen, I think it's from 2008 or so. Egunsentiaren Heriotza! (That for example means, as I was told, Dead at dawn).

Sadly, I can't think of any Spanish singing band that does it right, really. I could only recommend one that I listened to so much during my teens, Nopresion - Sobre Fosas y Vampiros, kind of a thrashcore thing that I doubt anyone in here is too interested in. And maybe Ktulu - Confrontación, that is an industrial mix of metal/crossover and, well, industrial things. But wait, their first album was better and was more metal, Orden Genético. If one was to listen to modern rock/metal music sung in Spanish, I'd mostly say go for Mamá Ladilla, but if you don't understand it, it has no sense.

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April 5th, 2012, 12:53 pm
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
Thanks for the tip on NUMEN! I'm gonna check them out. I was almost assuming that there was at least one Basque metal band. From what I've heard of that language, it's pretty mind boggling. Even more considering its obscurity.

I have heard some grindcore bands doing songs in Spanish, like NASHGUL (spelling?) and NOISEAR. It's a good language to be angry in. And I suppose there are several Latin American bands besides BRUJERIA singing in their versions of Spanish - don't know really how similar/different they are to the Spanish spoken in Spain.

Not metal by a long shot, but occult as hell. And in Spanish. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGUcLANDRUw

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April 5th, 2012, 3:14 pm
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
Didn't know about Los Iniciados! I knew of course about Aviador Dro and of course Esplendor Geométrico (which I'm sure you know), but didn't know these people. La Movida caused a lot of bands, but not all were remotely amazing, if you ask me; I'm sure you will be delighted by this, in some way or another: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eNBgHMPsak :mrgreen:

You know, there was also a big prog rock scene, only that it happened a bit later than in the rest of the world, but there were a lot of bands. Some of them even had vocals, in Spanish or even in Catalan.

There's also some Gallician band singing galego, I think for example of Xerión. And there may even be some Balear dialect singing band, but that's too similar to Catalan.

And yes, there's a lot of grindcore in Spanish, I have to mention Machetazo and their earlier albums as an example of crazy lyrics/song titles.

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April 6th, 2012, 11:35 am
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
Well, being American all you Norwegians and Swedes sound different to me. ;)

I know Finnish has been mentioned, but one of my favorites has been Funcunt, Finnish prog DM, really weird stuff and the Finnish language just makes it weirder; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W98Le5z3KHo

There is also the Lithuanian band, Anubi, who sings in Lithuanian. Their music isn't particularly good, but it fits the topic of the thread; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n5MZNTzZiA


April 10th, 2012, 4:29 am
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
eunichron wrote:
Well, being American all you Norwegians and Swedes sound different to me. ;)

I know Finnish has been mentioned, but one of my favorites has been Funcunt, Finnish prog DM, really weird stuff and the Finnish language just makes it weirder; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W98Le5z3KHo

There is also the Lithuanian band, Anubi, who sings in Lithuanian. Their music isn't particularly good, but it fits the topic of the thread; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n5MZNTzZiA



Haha, yeah I guess we Scandinavians sound as exotic to you as Lithuanian sounds to me! But can you tell Norwegian and Swedish apart? Of course, when it comes to black metal you rarely hear the proper pronunciation, haha...

for example:
STORM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MHwVuLEXbI
and VINTERSORG http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc5wNRpibok (one of the very very few songs I enjoy by that band)

thanks for the recommendations on ANUBI and FUNCUNT btw.

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April 10th, 2012, 8:15 am
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
aVoid wrote:
Haha, yeah I guess we Scandinavians sound as exotic to you as Lithuanian sounds to me! But can you tell Norwegian and Swedish apart?


I can, usually. Norwegian sounds more guttural than Swedish to me, almost like comparing German to Dutch (though not nearly as drastic). I actually learned German throughout high school and a couple classes at university, so I think I might prefer Norwegian if I ever tried to learn it, but I prefer hearing Swedish. :D

I have a friend who hosts a Scandinavian film festival once a year and we watched Trolljegeren and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo back to back one year, it was pretty easy to tell them apart.


I actually just stumbled on this one just a moment ago, Narjahanam, a band from Bahrain who sings in Arabic; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH8dFKiZ2zw


April 10th, 2012, 8:32 pm
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
aVoid wrote:
Minority languages or local dialects? I remember that there is a Canadian (?) death metal band whose members are of a certain native American tribe, who sing in their own language with lyrics based in their particular culture. Can't remember their name though...



GYIBAAW was their name, they are Tsimshian and S'malygax their language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34yu3_GGieo - reminds me of a more death metal Negura Bunget, not bad at all! This song is taken from a split with MITOCHONDRION which makes them even cooler.

Quote:
Gyibaaw - Nalaxyuubm Wil Waal Wilduu [The War was Fought on Our Land]

Ganxlaan [Hawaalt]
Iɫee [Nax'pidzuu]
Na ta gatgoydiksa gitwaaltk.
I am willing to die for this sacred, ancestral land.

Translation:

Armour, arrows.
Blood, Fear.
The warriors are here..

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April 13th, 2012, 10:27 am
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Post Re: Non-English metal?
Avantgarde-rock metal from Chile (South america)



http://favnaabisal-rerumimaginaria.bandcamp.com/

Full Album "Rerum Imaginaria"!!


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July 26th, 2012, 7:04 pm
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