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How can I take you seriously when you're wielding a medieval weapon?

We've all seen it - a photograph of some freaky looking metal band wearing spiked armor with one or two hands grasping a mace, sword, or some other medieval weapon (note: if only one hand is used for the weapon, the other is likely taking to be clenching an invisible apple). Today wasn't the first time I witnessed such a thing, but it was more like the next-to-last straw.

As I was browsing Last.fm's metal tags to find some new music, I unfortunately stumbled into the dark realms of VIKING METAL *queue mad riff, stage blood spewing out of guitarists' mouths, and random Nordic chanting* Such music requires a very specific fanbase, and I'm wondering who these people are... To dig deeper, I sifted through some forum posts related to artists like Ensiferum and Moonsorrow (who produce songs like that unforgettable tune Kylän päässä and the jukebox classic Ukkosenjumalan poika) - there I saw devoted fans describing their relation to extremely distant Nordic ancestors. I can respect these bands' connections to their ancestry, but when is it just going to far? Surely you don't expect me to take you seriously when you're dressed like you got here with Bill and Ted on their excellent adventure from 1,400 years ago (and in some cases actually riding a Viking ship):



Of course there are those more civilized Celts:


Luckily the bands (but not necessarily the fans) that I've seen so far actually hail from Scandinavia...that makes their outlandish acts a little more acceptable. It seems it will only be a matter of time, however, until I come across an all-American alternative. That would be the last straw! (and as 311 would say, "there is no reason to take it there at all")

The silly band member photos aren't restricted to just viking metal, though. Many genres categorized under the "metal" bubble follow this trend. I think one of my favorite metal bands, All That Remains, shares my pain:



Link: More photos of Ensiferum
Link: More photos of Moonsorrow

PS: If you're Nordic...please...don't take this personally.

Currently listening to (in the year 2007)










All That Remains
The Air That I Breathe