Archive for September, 2012

Learn something every day. All this time, I’d thought that a “revenant” was a form of avenging dead, who emerged from the grave only because of a need to hammer justice into some evildoer’s skull (usually the person who killed the revenant).  It is that — in some tales and legends — but it appears that in most Medieval folklore, a revenant had no purpose other than to terrorize or be a pain in the rear to their former family and friends.  The cure for a revenant showed your typical “get your hands dirty” Medieval quality: the offending corpse was usually dug up, burned and/or decapitated.

These two songs illustrate the definition of “revenant” that I was working with before I started this entry and did a little research.  If anyone knows of a song about the harassing form of revenant that’s along the lines of “That Osric is being a real thorn in my nether eye,” let me know.

Warren Zevon’s “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” has all the hallmarks of a ’70s men’s adventure novel. Exotic locales, mercenaries with really big guns, double-crosses, the works. It doesn’t take long for the song to take a supernatural turn after Roland gets his head blown off. This is a classic Zevon track, full of keen detail and a wry sense of humor.  It’s a shame that “Roland” often gets overshadowed by “Werewolves of London.”

Chad VanGaalen is a newer indie artist with a penchant for spooky off-kilter songs.  For the most part, “Molten Light” has a soothing sound, with acoustic guitar and VanGaalen’s falsetto, which makes the first chorus of “I’ll find you and I’ll kill you” that much more jarring.  A grisly crime, a dumped body, justice from beyond the grave, all illustrated by in nightmarish style by VanGaalen.  Needless to say, the video for “Molten Light” has its fair share of NSFW elements.


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