Thursday, May 15, 2008

A New Series: A World of Metal

As a follow up to my recent project about metal's distribution across the world, I'd like to begin an exploration of a few pinpoints on the world metal map.

The first pin goes into Hanoi, Vietnam, home of Ngũ Cung, a young progressive metal act, and of many bands I found while dicking around in the search-by-country section of Encyclopedia Metallum. This particular search was inspired by my recent venture in learning the Vietnamese language, and along with it, the culture. The band's songs are epic and thrilling, and fairly heavy, especially for being a progressive metal band of more or less the Dream Theater school (though with some additional Sabbathy hard rock sounds at points). The site linked has recordings of two songs, "Giã Cốm Đêm Trăng" ("Grinding Rice Flakes At Night[or possibly By Moonlight]" seems to be the meaning of this title) and "Cướp Vợ Tục Lệ Người H'Mông" (the title seems to translate to something about abducting a crying, vulgar, Hmong woman?), titles that suggest a lyrical focus on older Vietnamese cultural issues.

Further looks at the Vietnamese section on the Metal Archives suggest quite a few prog bands being based in Hanoi (as well as, like everywhere else, a number of black metal bands), though none of them so far have seemed to be of the quality that Ngũ Cung have shown. I hope to hear more from them soon.

Coming soon to the world of metal: Further explorations of the far east, and an upcoming film on the subject of worldwide metal!



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