This has been one of the most enjoyable World Cups so far, in my memory which stretches back to 1974! In fact I’ve not been this excited about the games since Italia ’90. Great games, exciting football and a plethora of goals to satisfy everyone (that’ll be the kiss of death then!). And I’ve just realised how insane this blog post is. In the group stages there are 32 teams, each playing 3 games and that means I’ll be featuring 96 (32 x 3) different bands and then when the knockout stages occur I’ll be featuring a further 32 musical acts! Insane but at the same time quite enjoyable (when the spotty internet connection decides to work!) Enough of my bitching, let’s rock!
IRAN vs NIGERIA
COLD CRY vs FELA KUTI
Metal from Iran? Black metal from Iran? Oh yes, my friend very much so! Cold Cry are one of the few metal acts from Iran (47 active metal acts according to metal-archives.com) and play black metal with doom and ambient influences. They have two demos and a split album with fellow Iranians stalwarts Mogh, pleastanly titled ‘Islam Is Dead’ Nice!
Fela Kuti was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and political activist who was the father of what is called afrobeat, which is a complex fusion of Jazz, Funk, Ghanaian/Nigerian High-life, psychedelic rock, and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native “tinker pan” African-style percussion that Kuti acquired while studying in Ghana with Hugh Masekela , under the uncanny Hedzoleh Soundz. Afrobeat is characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals, and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A riff-based “endless groove” is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere, muted West African-style guitar, and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song. Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes. Fela’s music is rich, diverse and very satisfying and all albums are essential purchases.
GHANA vs USA
OSIBISA vs SATAN’S HOST
Osibisa are a Ghanaian afro-pop band founded in 1969. They fuse African, Caribbean, jazz, rock, R&B (the good kind) and funk to produce some highly infectious music that can make the most whitest of white boys shake his rump!
Satan’s Host seem the most apt act to feature for the U.S. in this blog as most of the rest of the world consider the States to be the ‘Great Satan’.
sidenote: ‘The Great Satans’ would be an excellent nickname for the U.S. soccer team. Ghana are the ‘Black Stars’; Nigeria ‘The Super Eagles’; Cameroon ‘The Indomitable Lions’ so why not?
Satan’s Host play some great old-school heavy metal (the kind I grew up with in the early ’80’s) mixed in with some blackened power metal, high vocals and some amazing drum work and lyrics that are overtly ‘satanic’, mind you with a name like that you’d hardly except the lyrics to be hippy-dippy ‘boy-meets-girl-and-falls-in-love’ tosh, now do you? The vocalist Harry Conklin (ex-Jag Panzer) is outstanding and once again, all their albums are pretty much essential heavy metal listening.
GERMANY vs PORTUGAL
FALKENBACH vs MIDNIGHT PRIEST
A one-man band from Germany, Falkenbach is a Black/Viking/Folk metal artist with half a dozen full length albums to his name. The music is dramatic, with plenty of atmosphere and epic tales of Norse mythology.
Midnight Priest are another traditional heavy metal playing like it’s 1985! The good thing about them is their energy and that they sing in their native Portuguese. I do prefer acts that sing in their native tongue as opposed to English, due to the fact that if their knowledge of the English language is not strong, the lyrics can be unintentionally hilarious (“if you are a false, do not entry!” anyone?) whereas singing in the native language can evoke more emotion AND make the singer sound more confident. Anyway here’s their 2009 ep with some interesting cover art.