Lastfm is truly an amazing website. You can type almost anything in the search box and put ‘metal’ after it, and you’ll likely get a result. Don’t believe me? Well, I’ll spare you the details of my past misadventures on Lastfm and get straight to the reason we’re here: Harry Potter metal.
Yes, that’s right folks. There are, in fact, metal bands themed after Harry Potter. I did a little research and discovered this fairly large genre called ‘Wizard Rock’ which consisted of bands mostly named after Harry Potter characters like Draco and the Malfoys or Harry and the Potters. They are not the most inspiring names, I must say. But that is not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about not two, but three underground metal bands based on the Harry Potter series.
Our first (and probably best) band is Elzevir (originally named Hogwarts), which not only uses lyrics based on Harry Potter but has a Harry Potter-ish sound as well; I mean, some of these songs sound like they could have come from the movies if not for the vocals. They have a demo and a full length album and have, sadly, split up, but at least they released some pretty cool music beforehand. The album does not use Harry Potter themes so I will only discuss the demo, and unfortunately I could only find two of the songs from the demo on the Internet.
Anyway, the band’s basic sound is melodic death metal on top of keyboards that, as I said earlier, sound reminiscent of the music that plays through the Harry Potter movies. It’s kind of hard to explain it, but just think of the theme that plays at the beginning of the movies mixed with bands like Norther and Skyfire and you’ve got the basic idea. This band is really good and it’s sad that it split up, but it did make some good, unique metal before that.
Muggle Death Camp
This band has very little to do with the previous band Elzevir, but fortunately, it is good as well. As you can probably tell by the name, this band likes the dark side of the Harry Potter stories, as you could easily tell by looking up any of their songs on YouTube. It is a one-man band that has a single demo called Avada Kedavra, which any Harry Potter fan will recognize as the killing curse Voldemort used so often in the books and movies. It talks mostly about the Death Eaters and Voldemort (although you can tell it’s not a serious project, but then again how could it be when you’re playing metal based on Harry Potter) and has a sound like early symphonic black metal bands with keyboard intros followed by typical black metal riffing and screaming. The quality is not great but the keyboards save it; the person playing really knows how to make a creepy, ambient intro with a piano and even incorporates it into some of the metal parts of the song. This band isn’t as good as Elzevir, but it’s still one to check out.
This last band is just silly. While Elzevir talked about the world of Harry Potter with a sense of fantasy and wonder, and while Muggle Death Camp discussed only the dark side of Harry Potter, Voldemort, a thrash/black metal band from Norway, talks about it in a very satirical manner. It does so with song names like ‘Evil is Sexy’, ‘The Baby Headed Death Eater’ (although that actually happened in the books), and ‘Cradle of Filch’, so it’s pretty easy to tell. Their music is kind of low quality and they aren’t amazing musicians, but the band is worth listening to just for the amusement value. ‘Cradle of Filch’ is one of the funniest songs I’ve heard in a while, and the singer’s voice just makes it even more hilarious.
These bands are a lot of fun and are worth checking out if you are into strange and interesting metal. Whether or not you like each band will probably depend on your music taste. They are folk/melodic death (Elzevir), symphonic black metal (Muggle Death Camp) and thrash metal, with some black elements (Voldemort), although each of them is pretty amusing, especially Voldemort.
Out of all of these, Elzevir seems to handle the concept of Harry Potter metal the best, adapting their own musical style to fit the Harry Potter world, although Muggle Death Camp also succeeds in creating a darkened atmosphere that would be perfect in the movies for every time Voldemort walked out on screen.
Bottom line: Give them all a listen, although they might be hard to find, especially Elzevir and their demo as Hogwarts.
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