" We are honored to be able to pay tribute to the soldiers that gave their lives during the battles and massacres".
Over the next few weeks Global Metal Apocalypse will bring you behind the scenes of what makes certain bands tick in what they play and sing, speaking to metal bands across the globe the central topic is can heavy metal lyrics carry a form of education that ideally could be used in lectures and lessons taught from school to college to university. These are the bands that set on singing about certain topics, subjects and even those who create concept albums. For the first part in the series I spoke to Ipswich Black Metal band Eastern Front and specifically vocalist Nagant and bassist Destroyer about how their passion for the Nazi German / Soviet battlefront in World War Two can be helpful for those studying History.
So guys can Heavy Metal be used as an educational tool?
It is our belief in Eastern Front that heavy metal music can be used to educate people in some way however small. In essence Eastern Front could be regarded as a concept band of sorts; we speak from a historical standpoint using the campaigns and battles of the Eastern Front as inspiration for our art. The campaign ran from 1941-1945 and was the single bloodiest campaign fought during World War Two. Over 30 million people died during the campaign so we feel that not only is it a brutal subject that fits our style of music, but it is also important to remind people about what happened in a war that now affords us the freedom to do what we do as a band. We are honored to be able to pay tribute to the soldiers that gave their lives during the battles and massacres. They are our inspiration to continue and push forward with the concept of the band Eastern Front, be it musically or lyrically.
We do not wish to use our music as propaganda; we are not a political band nor do we aim to teach people right from wrong, rather to illustrate the battles of the Eastern Front through our music and lyrics from a historical and emotively compelling viewpoint, it is up to the listener to make up their own mind.
Could our songs be used in history lessons?
To some extent, yes some of our songs could be used in history lessons. The songs are based on factual events but they are still just songs, even though some of them are factually correct some do use poetic license and embellishment to convey the desired emotions. On the debut album "Blood on Snow" tracks such as ‘The Battle of Smolensk’ could be used as it is solely based on an actual battle. On the second album however we are trying to keep all the lyrics historically correct and honestly the themes of our next release are even darker than those of ‘Blood on Snow’, for example the track ‘Descent into Genocide’ is about the massacre that occurred at Babi Yar in 1941. We will still use songs that deal more with emotions such as the track ‘Blitzfreeze’ which is loosely based on a novel by Sven Hassel instead of actual facts.
It has never been our intention to preach to people but if we can inspire our fans to do some research of their own and they enjoy learning then that’s excellent as it's a hugely interesting subject. During previous interviews we have been asked similar questions, to that end Eastern Front as a band can be seen as two different entities, on the one hand yes our songs are a good start point for historical study, if fans are interested they can dig deeper into our lyrics to find some interesting facts and learn more about the campaigns of World War Two, if they just want a brutal heavy metal band to listen to then that works too, we're not The World At War, we're Eastern Front, the musical equivalent.
Eastern Front’s debut album ‘Blood on Snow’ is now available through Candlelight Records