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Thread: "Pagan Metal: A Documentary"

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    "Pagan Metal: A Documentary"

    This is a taste of what you will see - "PAGAN METAL: A DOCUMENTARY" has an official release date of December 8, 2009. Go to for more info


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    Pagan Metal Documentary

    News article on it:

    Scene and heard: Pagan metal

    If you thought that what black metal really needed was more violins, flutes and Celtic bagpipes, then this is your lucky day

    As a sub-genre blessed with more than its fair share of axe-wielding Vikings and Celtic warlords, pagan metal has been slow in sailing outside the pages of the specialist metal press and invading the music mainstream. Not, of course, that this is likely to have troubled its main protagonists.

    Black metal has long since been infiltrated by scene-jumping hipsters, and if the idea of a music that involves dressing up in chainmail and animal skins, taking up pipes and fiddles, and singing songs rooted in your ancestral history still seems a little too comical for fashionable assimilation, that probably suits most of the bands involved just fine.

    But New Jersey film producer Bill Zebub is out to win this folk-tinged metal sub-genre a new audience. Director of pulp-horror comedies such as 2003's Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist and 2005's The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made, Zebub has also pursued a sideline in documentaries on underground scenes in metal. "I hated folk metal for a long time because I thought that it was a new facet of black metal, which I considered to be for kids," he explains. "The marketing seemed to be geared toward people who believe that pro-wrestling is real. But one night I was forced to go to a Finntroll show and I couldn't help but notice a completely different vibe. I had such a good time that I decided to give the music a chance. Suddenly those kinds of bands started touring the States, and I found that the music called to the European within me."

    The result is a new film, Pagan Metal: A Documentary, that features interviews with some of the scene's big players, including Finnish bands, Finntroll, Korpiklaani and Turisas, as well as Norway's Leaves Eyes and Ireland's Primordial. Their dedication to ancient traditions doesn't quite go as far as carving guitars out of birch and stringing them with the entrails of wild boar, but alongside your typical metal set-up, traditional instruments, such as violins, flutes and Celtic bagpipes, are rife. Lyrics, meanwhile, are steeped in traditional, pre-Christian themes: Finntroll, for instance, draw inspiration from from the epic Finnish poem The Kalevala.

    Although fans of the music dress up in chainmail or furs, and turn up wearing plastic elvish ears, not all the bands are quite so into pagan metal's LARPing contingent. "If they come waving plastic swords, they're liable to get a kick in the head," Primordial vocalist Alan Nemtheanga told Revolver magazine.

    There is, of course, an elephant in the room here. The music is so
    closely tied to ideas of national identity it borders on some controversial
    political areas. But many bands in the scene have publically disassociated
    themselves with racism, and while Zebub admits "the occasional band
    has Nazi leanings", he argues that pagan metal lacks black metal's impulse towards controversy and sensationalism.

    "Humans are hard-wired to collect in tribal units," he argues. "Multiculturalism breaks that, so humans are left to assemble in other kinds of groups. For example, fans of sports gather temporarily under one banner. I am drawn to the pagan bands, even if they sing in Finnish or Ukrainian – because I feel the love of their traditions. Take the band Primordial, I defy any pop artist to equal the eloquence of those lyrics. That bardic singer knows the beauty of his language."

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