Monday, March 23, 2009

Geosong: Demolition Hammer's "Pyroclastic Annihilation"

In honor of last night's eruption of Mt. Redoubt - and its glorious timing with regards to someone called the governor of Louisiana's remark about volcanoes - I give you a death metal song about explosive volcanism.

Now, I'm not a death metal fan. It isn't even particularly on my listening radar, and tuneless screaming does not do much for me aesthetically. I do, however, think that if there is any situation in which this sort of musical treatment would be apt, the explosion of a mountain would be a good candidate. I also have to admit that I adore the title of this one. "Pyroclastic Annihilation," seriously, is a winner of a title.

My knowledge of the band that performs this song, Demolition Hammer, comes entirely from Wikipedia. They were a death/thrash metal band from the Bronx, active in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They disbanded around 1994 and are, from what I gather as an outsider to the genre, pretty obscure now.

The lyrics to "Pyroclastic Annihilation" have no sense of narrative or particular sentence structure of which to speak. It simply consists of various volcano-related terms and processes strung together in random order. The album this song comes from was produced in 1992, which was well before rampant Googling of things was prevalent, so I imagine the band must have trawled through some actual volcanology textbooks or articles to derive these lyrics. Most of the terms in there actually make sense, though there's a few that make me wonder what source they were actually looking at. Would anyone care to define "subrelluric forces" for me - a creative made-up definition definitely works, since I'm not finding anything real! Also, "intrusive tuff," guys? Yes, the random trawling for large and menacing phrases in a volcano book without any sense of meaning seems to have been the modus operandi here...

But still. A death metal song about explosive volcanism. For its flaws in lyrics, I still adore the concept. And it's actually screamed clearly enough that I can understand those lyrics without having to consult any external source. That's definitely worth something! And it also shows that even '90s death metal bands care about volcano monitoring.

Hear the song on YouTube (no video, though)

Oh crap, have I really not updated in almost a month? I had some really good excuses this month, at least, though they were stressful/depressing ones. It's spring break now. I have lots of things I actually want to write about, and will probably spew them out in the next few weeks.