Monday, December 30, 2013


Parsifal is a Swedish/Norwegian/Dutch power metal band consisting of a few Youtube celebrities that decided to get together and form a band. I'm pretty sure you haven't heard of them because their Facebook page has about 150 likes and the songs on Youtube have around 1000 views. And don't bother trying to search up the band on Google, all you'll find is the opera that the name is inspired by. The page for Parsifal is about some dance DJ but is slowly being taken over by the far superior band. They do however have a Metal Archives page, so that's nice to see. But needless to say, this band needs some more exposure. That's where this blog comes in.

Clockwise: Bjarte, Oscar, Victor, Bram
Parsifal is made up of Bjarte (guitars), Oscar (vocals), Victor (bass), and Bram (drums). I've been subscribed to Bram and Oscar for years, back when they were both making videos regularly and I subscribed to Bjarte shortly after I found out about the band. I don't know if Victor has a Youtube channel, but I'm sure he's a cool guy regardless. Needless to say, they're all extremely talented musicians. Bram has covered almost all of my favourite songs pretty close to flawlessly. Oscar does (used to do?) "different" covers of metal songs, singing clean vocals over ones that are usually growled. If you wanted to see the standout videos on both of their channels, it would definitely be Oscar's heathen warrior cover of Cascada's Every Time We Touch and Bram's epic collaborative cover of Sons of Winter and Stars originally by Wintersun.

Bjarte, Bram, and Oscar all have channels full of covers of other bands, but with Parsifal they've shown that they can create great music of their own. In my opinion, the band is best described as power metal with folk influences. They even throw in some keyboard and other instruments at times, possibly from a ghost player because no one seems to be credited with any extra instruments. The songs in their debut album, Here From the Past, cover a nice range, from slower to fast (but mostly fast, just how I like it) and atmospheric to slightly less atmospheric. The only thing that needs to be said is that Oscar's vocals take a little bit to get used to. It's an odd thing to say because his vocals are all clean, but he definitely has a unique voice. My only real criticism of the album is that Oscar's vocals are not always used in the best way. In most songs the music compliments his voice really well and it all creates a great atmosphere, like in Forever till Dawn. But other times he tries to fit too many syllables into too short a time or there's too many vocal tracks going on at once. I think it's just a matter of the short time the band has actually been working together and I'm sure it'll get better with each new song they write. My other issues with the album deal with the mixing and sound quality, but I'm guessing it was made with a very small budget so it's well within the limits of acceptable. The sound quality is actually surprisingly good with all things considered.

Whether or not I've sold you on the band, you have no excuse to not check out the album. Here From the Past is available for free on Parsifal's site. That's right, just go to and scroll down until you see the download album button. And best of all, clicking the button won't put you on some stupid mailing list like so many "free" download links nowadays. Give the album a listen or two and then consider pressing the donate button right beside it. Just think about what these guys could do with their next album(s) if they had a bit more money to work with. Alternatively, it's available for "name your price" on the band's Bandcamp.

Parsifal is a band with all the talent and none of the fanbase. They definitely deserve to become better known and maybe have some money thrown their way so they can make more music and maybe even tour (am I being too hopeful?). The band's members are to blame too for not getting the word out about their own band. You guys all have Youtube channels, put some Parsifal songs/videos on them! It's not selling out or shoving the band down our throats because the album is free! Since I wasn't subscribed to Bjarte at the time (the only member who has Parsifal videos on his channel), I only found out about the band due to a small post on Bram's Facebook page. Just knowing the name isn't enough since you can't search "Parsifal" anywhere and get the actual band to come up in the results. It all just seems kind of silly to me. Oh well, hopefully they'll get popular enough that this won't be a problem anymore.

You can find Parsifal at the following internet locations:
Metal Archives

-Zombie Viking

Friday, December 27, 2013

Out of the Ordinary #2: Semargl

What comes to your mind when you think of black metal? It could be church burnings and the grim forests of Norway. Or possibly blasting instruments and low production values. Maybe your image of black metal is entirely based around Immortal. Or perhaps you think of a band covered in pentagrams and corpse paint... playing pop music with growled vocals. If that last one doesn't come to mind, then you haven't been introduced to a little band called Semargl. They're definitely out of the ordinary.

Semargl is made up of (from left to right) Romulus, Anima, Rutarp, Adele Ri, and Shaddar. They make a unique blend of black metal and pop that they call "satanic pop metal". That's also the name of their most recent album, what a coincidence! They started off back in 1997 making pure black metal and somehow gravitated towards this equally amazing amalgam of music.

Of course, any time a band betrays their fanbase and changes to a completely unrelated genre, they're going to have some backlash. In fact, it's sometimes hard to sort through the pile of negative comments on their music videos and various website profiles (ie. Facebook,, their official site..), so I'm going to say what needs to be said: Semargl is a great band and makes great music. There, I said it. And I will stick by it. They started off making quality black metal and now they make quality pop metal. I've been looking for something like this since I stumbled upon the genre known as industrial metal. You can try, but you'll never find anything quite like Semargl.

I'm not exactly sure what prompted their change into the band that you see in the video above. They're a Ukrainian band, which is not exactly an area known for its metal. They've also gone through plenty of lineup changes. Rutarp and Shaddar are the only founding members left in the group. I'm sure it had something to do with Rutarp. Just look at that face. Plus, what kind of vocalist would willingly give up their position as frontman to play keyboard? Someone who's busy transforming their band's genre, that's who.

Semargl released their first full-length album in 2005, Attack on God. By all means, this was a good black metal album. It had blast beats for days, symphonic keyboards, and all the devilish screaming you could ask for. It's a very different sound then the band you were introduced to.

The band even had a whole satanic mythology/philosophy that they created and centred their first 4 albums around. They put a lot of effort into their work and fully developed their ideas until it was time to try something new. I'm still not sure what prompted the change into their specific genre, but it can be seen as a new phase of the band. Semargl changed their members, they changed their logo, and they started making a new type of music. Their black metal days are behind them but they keep their costumes and face paint as an homage to their roots. If you strip away everything, Semargl is a band that just wanted to try something different. And different they did.

Rutarp is keeping his own black metal spirit alive with his side project of the same name. You can check out one of his songs here. I also wanted to include this remix of Credo Revolution by Zardonic, since it's how I found out about Semargl in the first place.

You can find Semargl at the following links (copied from their website):

-Zombie Viking