Keith Kahn Harris

professionally curious, communally engaged

Metal jew

Miscellaneous Metal Jewish Meshuggas

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I haven’t done a metaljew post for a while now, in part because of pressure of work and in part because of website problems. To get me into the mood of posting more regularly, here’s a brief update on some recent items of metal Jewish concern:

 

  • The British (non-Jewish) band Meads of Asphodel released their new album ‘Sonderkommando’ earlier this year. A concept album dealing with Auschwitz and in particular the experience of the sonderkommando who disposed of the gassed bodies of Jews, it’s pretty strong meat. It’s one of those albums that could be appropriated by the far right. However the extensive ‘codex’ published on the band’s website  suggests that the album comes not from a place of lurid fascination (as in Slayer’s ‘Angel of Death’) but from a genuine sense of horror and a struggle to understand the Holocaust. Musically it’s a bizarre mix of black metal, progressive rock and all kinds of other stuff – hard to grapple with but worth sustained listening.

 

  • Israel’s Orphaned Land go from strength to strength. They are graduating to the top league of metal bands, with a huge amount of press coverage for their new album ‘All Is One’ and an extensive tour to follow. All Is One continues their desire to create religious unity, both musically and in spiritual terms. It’s more accessible than previous albums and, even if their quasi-messianic symbolism does sometimes grate a little, it’s probably the best thing they’ve ever done. Here’s the title track:

 

  • Finally, Heeb magazine has an amusing  piece about a deaf rabbi metal-fan who has signed onstage for Twisted Sister.

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