Last Thursday night, I had dinner at Bar Carlo with my good friend and her one-year-old son Lucian. As the adults sat perusing over the menu, Lucian took it upon himself to bang two knives against the table and crank his head up and down, as he sang a song at the top of his lungs that only he knew the words to. This might have been annoying to the staff and other patrons of the restaurant, but for me it was an enjoyable experience watching a very intelligent child express himself. I turned to my friend in the midst of the noise and said, “Your son is so metal.” And if you think about it, what I said to my friend was completely true. What is metal if not someone pounding on the drums, head banging and bellowing lyrics that you usually can’t understand?
It is generally the high energy, screaming and testosterone that makes us love metal, not necessarily the message behind the music. But many metal bands like Manowar, Iron Maiden and Portland’s own Last Empire do have a message, and for Harry Potter nerds like myself, it is a message of heavenly geekiness.
Fantasy-metal purveyors Last Empire sing about unicorns, falcons and kings of the throne. Their sound has a definite old school ’80s feel, but mixes in a new school style and swagger. The band has received nothing but great reviews, especially for the out-of-this-world vocals of singer Brian Allen; but they haven’t quite caught on the same way in the U.S. as they have in Europe. Portland is lucky to have access to such a talented band, so you listeners out there need to take advantage of it by seeing them play on Saturday, January 16th with an all-Oregon bill also featuring Portland’s Goatsoldiers, Excruciator and Salem’s Filth-Machine at Satyricon. 8:00 p.m. All ages. $8.
– Deanna Uutela