Flyer InteractiveSound Advice

Aragorn

PHOTO BY Jim Hanas
Aragorn lead singer Eric Brown
I admit it. I don't get it. Death metal. Don't write me letters and tell me I don't get it. I just said I don't.

There just doesn't seem to be that much to get. It's the white man's gangsta rap, an excuse to yell about killing. At least gangsta rap has an alibi, keepin' it real and street level, know what I'm saying? Death metal has no excuse for its bestial chantings. There is no street where its versions of death take place. That's what I don't get: The fusion of absolute seriousness with total fantasy.

Or maybe local D-rockers Aragorn are just a bad example.

Their name comes, originally enough, from The Lord of the Rings, and their songs have titles like "Sacrificial Fixation," "My Right To Kill At Will," and "Not My Lord, Not My King," a shout out -- idiotically enough -- to Conan the Barbarian.

All of these are, of course, sung in the voice of the beast, with the occasional interjection of a banshee screech, which I think is supposed to be scary or dark or serious or something, but in another context would make an entirely credible Andy Kaufman routine.

The music is to be admired, if only for its obsessiveness. It can't be easy to play so fast that the differences between notes, not to mention whole genres, are thoroughly obliterated.

One song had "a little bit of a hip-hop flavor" according to stage banter from shirtless lead singer Eric Brown. It was indetectable. Another was about a "nasty, nasty, skanky bitch." Nice.

All of this could be forgiven (maybe) if the music was the least bit interesting. It was not. There were the throbbing, surging parts; the sing-songy, vaguely funky parts; the frantic, gunfire guitar parts. Speed metal, in other words, with the vocals slowed way down.

"I will kill you all," Brown warned the crowd as he was gripped by yet another cock-rock seizure.

He doesn't know how close he came. - Jim Hanas

The Memphis Flyer regularly reviews local bands on demand. To schedule your group's Moment of Truth call Mark Jordan (575-9441) or Jim Hanas (575-9408).


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