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About the Author

Benno Hansen
Patent Assistant (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Focusing on our bright green future, environmental sustainability, global partnership and climate change.

MSc degree in horticulture from Copenhagen University, thesis on Hidden Markov Modelling of protein sequences - which is the same algorithm that lies at the core of Google. Winner of TH!NK2, Y!HAA

Have written for magazines at an advertising bureau, supported university students in their IT-tasks, helped maintain the university hardware, software and websites, vacuum cleaned bodies of escaped laboratory test frogs, been a mail man with the Danish Postal Service and counted the number of passengers for the Danish Railways.

My goal is to publish a best selling science fiction novel and/or get elected for parliament with an intellectual party. But I spend a lot more time betting on football matches (and winning), attending FC Copenhagen home games which I hold a season ticket for, reading lots of science fiction and popularized science, skating and eating organic meals with my beautiful, eco-friendly biomedicine ethicist girlfriend.

Oh yeah... every now and then I also blog ;-)


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Post

Bleeding heart heavy metal music

Published 30th May 2010 - 10 comments - 15803 views -

Some heavy metal freaks have more on their minds than the denim and leather trends of last decade. I like to think of myself as one of them so here is a little collection of music about the environment, anti-war, climate change and pollution.PARENTAL ADVISORY - EXPLICIT LYRICS

If you don't like heavy metal how about forwarding this to the annoying guy in your social sphere who is always putting noise on the stereo at parties? He too could be living in ignorance of the bleeding heart nature of heavy metal.

In (almost) chronological order:

The classics

No, this set of videos isn't just obscure nu-metal ballads. Heavy metal has been hippie stuff all along. Proof:

1970: War Pigs by Black Sabbath

No introduction should be necessary for Black Sabbath. This live recording features a very lively Ozzy. Lyrics inspired by the Vietnam War.

1988: One by Metallica

Not explicitly anti-war. Rather just about the horror of war.

The thrash era

[UPDATE] 1989: Greenhouse Effect by Testament

How could I possibly have missed this one!? Thank you JayBier at Last.fm!

 

"It's time to take a stand / Our only hope to breathe again / To stop the madness closing in / What will we do when all is lost / Environmental holocaust"

1991: Annihilator - Stonewall

"a land said to have all, wealth in land, in man / qualities soon to exhaust as man's greed poisons the land / streams, once fresh, were centres of life for so many a creature / beauty without defence, polluted, never to replenish"

1992: D.R.I. - Acid Rain

"Will our children look back / With hatred or despair / At a generation of idiots / Who just didn't care / About the fossil fuel fumes / And the aerosol sprays / That put holes in the ozone / And let in the rays / That can cause cancer in humans? And what is it all worth / Heating up our globe / Destroying our own Earth? What will they think / Of us with no concern / About the seas of shit / And radiation burn?"

Sepultura

2006: Convicted in life

Sepultura has made several songs that comment on war and human rights. But this video is awesome. Defies descriptions. Warning: contains factory farm footage.

Also, speaking of Sepultura we have to watch at least one live recording of Ratamahatta and/or Kaiowas and the classic Territory...

Tribal drumming live 1996

The world music band of heavy metal.

1993: Territory

Grind core and death metal appears

1994: Godplayer by Brutal Truth

There are other songs by Brutal Truth that are more explicitly speaking of Mother Earth and pollution, but this one they made a video for.

"Corporate science destroying lives in the benefit of none / Liberation from the foolish / Cash in cost, rhyme or reason ... no!"

1994: World Demise by Obituary

World demise is the title track so check the cover:

World Demise album cover

For that album Obituary made a video for Don't Care:

This millennia mix

Death metal wasn't just a bad idea in the 1990ies. It's still a great idea. And so is thrash, some believe. Today all music styles are recycled.

GOJIRAThe French band Gojira [official site | Wikipedia] - which ironically is playing something that sounds a bit "industrial" - are the eco freaks of the metal scene. Approximately a third of their songs are about the environment. At concerts they will tell fans to recycle. They deserve a bit of special attention here. Go out and buy their albums today. Here is one video from each of their albums:

2001: In the forest

2003: Embrace the World

"Gaïa's alive for good / Under my feet the forest / Over me the largest / It's roundness I feel / Lifelong misery / How do we get to Avalon? / There is a bridge beyond / Indestructible the earth is a temple"

2005: To Sirius

About getting depressed from sitting in your room in a polluted world - OR about riding a whale to a different solar system to retrieve the wisdom needed to live a sustainable life. Your choice. Of all the songs in this article, musically this one is my personal favourite.

2008: Vacuity

Not explicitly about an MDG for sure but pretty disturbingly symbolic about a woman in nature, life and death.


2005: Third World Genocide by Nuclear Assault 

Brand new 80ies styles thrash metal.

2006: Vicarious by Tool

This one isn't about the wars and disasters. It's about you and me watching them on our screens! Plus it's a master piece.

"Don't look me at like I am a monster / Frown out your one face, but with the other (you) / Stare like a junkie into the TV / Stare like a zombie while the mother holds her child / Watches him die / Hands to the sky cryin "why, oh why?"
Cause I need to watch things die from a distance / Vicariously, I live while the whole world dies / You all need it too - don't lie."

Tool [Wikipedia] is one of my favourite bands. If you critizice them I'll burn down your house.

2009: On the Brink of Extinction by Napalm Death

This isn't a music video. This is the singer of the band explaining the lyrics.


Finally a little blogosphere recommendation: Googling for this article I came upon Rock & Ecology - A collection of rock lyrics, articles and views concerning ecology aspects. That is one blog I'll be following for sure! Please do comment below with your favourite bleeding heart heavy metal recommendation!

Disclaimer: Some of these videos may have been put on YouTube without the intellectual property owners' agreement. As of writing this they are of course available but administrators may choose to remove them. I in no way wish to assist in spreading copyright violations but have to assume that as they are available there now, the owners appreciate the viral spread of them. Also, I strongly suggest you go see this music live if given the chance and buy the original recordings. The sound quality on YouTube is horrible! Original CDs and nice speakers are necessary to fully enjoy metal music.

"Death sign"by ssoosay

 


Category: Media | Tags: environmentalism, music, lyrics, rock,


Comments

  • Andrea Arzaba on 30th May 2010:

    Good article Benno smile I’ll pass it around hehe


  • Benno Hansen on 30th May 2010:

    Glad you like it Andrea.

    Added two more Gojira videos. They <Beavis&Butthead;>rule</Beavis&Butthead;> wink


  • Clare Herbert on 31st May 2010:

    Wow - I never thought I’d see Metallica on Th!nk. Congrats smile


  • Benno Hansen on 01st June 2010:

    Congratulations? To Metallica, yes. They got lucky. That song is a classic but whole bands are devoted to just writing about war (Bolt Thrower anyone?) and the Metallica offspring, Megadeth, actually has a song called “Countdown to Extinction”, I now remember, which on the one hand would have fitted better here but on the other hand they haven’t made a video for..


  • Clare Herbert on 01st June 2010:

    Congrats. I never thought anyone would be able to work Metallica into a piece on Development. Congrats for that.


  • Radovana Jagrikova on 02nd June 2010:

    Great job, Benno. Unfortunately, not many people - in general - pay attention to lyrics, they just want anything rhyming, but in a nice, sweet, “cool” covering…
    I have to explore the songs you mention here in more detail, some of them seem to be marvellous even if I only read the lyrics… I am not really a fan of some of the “most heavy” metal or the “hardest” rock songs (the song by the band Tool was quite interesting though - please, don’t burn down my house!), but I know that there is often a very strong message behind this kind of songs. I myself thought about introducing a collection of development-related songs or about other linked topics - so maybe I will explore other musical styles later. wink
    So far, I can mention a short selection of songs about climate change made by Veerle Vrindts on TH!NK2: http://climatechange.thinkaboutit.eu/think2/post/sing_along_climate_change
    and 2 children’s eco-songs I wrote (I sometimes have these crazy moods…): http://climatechange.thinkaboutit.eu/think2/post/video_two_childrens_eco-songs


  • Benno Hansen on 14th July 2010:

    Honorable mention: Stratovarius - Paradise. Not a video production though, but read the lyrics below the cover wink


  • Benno Hansen on 26th July 2010:

    Thanks for the links, Radovana. Perhaps if you did some headbanging and perhaps worshipped the Devil I’d put you in the article wink


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