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I am sort of obsessed with the VH1 Classic show Metal Evolution. It chronicles the origins of metal from the earliest Celto-Scandinavian troll worshiping proto-Druids to today’s loud and angry angry-loud dudes, and ties it all together with lineage charts, moon phases, farmer’s almanacs, bundles of sage and armor piercing cod-pieces. As Eli says above, it IS a rich and storied history.

Last week’s episode regarding the proliferation of European “Power Metal” was particularly fascinating. Power Metal is a sub-genre that involves fast soloing with classical influences, powerful high vocals, and lyrical content about dragons, destiny, glory, battle, brothers and sisters rising, challenges, more destiny, a boat, more dragons, a bigger boat, ice, THE MOUNTAIN, overcoming, an enchanted lute, a regular lyre, a sorceress’s betrayal, the last unicorn, a dwarf, crystals, and valor. Another thing worth mentioning about Power Metal is nearly all of the songs sound like they COULD be glorifying white supremacy. They aren’t. But they sound like they COULD be. I strongly recommend Metal Evolution for all fans of music and the endless permutations of musical genres.

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