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December 4, 2014

Metal Mixtape: Ancient Egyptian metal songs

Brutal Tunes, Metal Mixtape

great pyramid of Khufu

Yesterday I wrote about my experience visiting the pyramids of Egypt. Today, I want to continue the Egyptian theme with an Pharaoh-themed playlist for y’all!

Symphony X – Pharoah

From The Divine Wings of Tragedy, one of the best albums from one of the best prog metal bands, a song about Pharoah’s curse. I love Symphony X because for a prog band they don’t sacrifice the heavy while still keeping the fous on the melody and structure.

Mercyful Fate – Mad Arab

Just LISTEN to it. Fucking awesome. King Diamond has serious chops.

Iron Maiden – Powerslave

The title track of Iron Maiden’s fifth studio album, Powerslave is a continual favorite among metalheads. Says Dickenson of the track: “Powerslave” is “about a dying Pharaoh. He’s about to die and he finds himself a slave to the power of death, as well as the slave to his own power. When a Pharaoh dies, all the slaves that built his grave and prepared his funeral have to die too. Even if he didn’t want it, his power implies without questions that these people must die, far beyond his own will. Basically, he’s a prisoner of his power.”

Nile – Sacrifice unto Sebek

One of the few bands I know of successfully pulling off a continuous theme, being brutal as fuck, and also being the nicest, most down to earth and intelligent guys you’d ever meet. I can also respect the huge amount of effort that goes into creating the lyrics for their songs (which I read because I am an Egypt geek and I recognise a lot of the source text). From Annihilation of the Wicked, a great little ditty called “Sacrifice unto Sebek”.

Lykathea Aflame – bringer of elvenfris flame

Not strictly “Egyptian”, but the middle eastern influences incorporated into lykathea Aflame’s brilliant death metal make them a must-have on this list.

Meads of Asphodel – Sins of the Pharaohs

An interesting and rather eclectic black metal outfit from England, using many middle eastern melodies in their music. WARNING: Can have anti-Semitic themes to the lyrics, which I DO NOT in any way condone or endorse – I just think musically, they have really interesting ideas.

And, because I think this is awesome, here are the Meads of Asphodel doing a cover of Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World”.

Metallica – Curse of the Pharoahs

In the interest of this list NOT being entirely filled with Mercyful Fate songs, here’s Metallica covering Mercyful Fate’s “Curse of the Pharoahs”.

Also … haha. Who reigns supreme?

Dream Theater – In the Name of God

Can’t seem to get a full vid of this. I find a lot of Dreamtheater songs too long-winded, and this is certainly long, but it’s a particularly good one.

The Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian

Had to be done, folks. Had to be done.

Any more good Egyptian-themed songs (metal or not) or songs with strong Middle Eastern influences?

Life! Prosperity! Health!

10 Comments on “Metal Mixtape: Ancient Egyptian metal songs

Jean-Philippe
December 27, 2011 at 4:21 am

If I may offer a suggestion:

Edguy – The Pharaoh
Freedom Call – Pharao

The former is a majestic epic brimming with philosophy, while the latter captures a highly idealised view of the Pharaoh from the perspective of Ancient Egypt’s general populace (again I must stressed IDEALISED).

distress.
January 3, 2011 at 9:38 am

i could use your help,guys!a few days ago,i listened to a metal song.don’t know the artist,nor the name of the song.i just remember that it had a strong middle eastern influence,and the singer was a female with a strong voice.any ideas,anyone?

steff
January 10, 2011 at 1:20 am

@distress – none whatsoever, but I will do some research and see if I can find out. Any idea what country it was from?

Mario de Carvalho
August 14, 2010 at 6:27 am

Sands of Akhtathon is an instrumental song that is fully egyptian

Here —> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JixQSDgoUfA

Maciej Metody Bis
July 13, 2010 at 10:06 am

You should write something about glam metal subculture, :D
I really appreciate your knowledge about so unknown/untypical (even for me, :)) songs.
I have to bookmark your blog.

Maciej Bis
Glam Metal Blog
http://eghts.com

steff
July 6, 2010 at 2:40 am

@Thalestocracy I can’t BELIEVE I forgot Creeping Death, which is only my favorite Metaliica song ever.

@Islander Three excellent suggestions, thanks! I’m particularly taken with Barzakh.

@Vincent Another two great songs I somehow forgot about! Teaches me to write a Metal Mixtape after a night on the piss :)

ISLANDER
July 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

One more Egyptian band I should have added to my last comment: SCARAB. I’ve only listened to a couple songs, but highly recommend “Ankh”. Brutal death metal with deep grooves and a slightly oriental vibe to the riffs. Listen hear:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICwtIhWUmZc&feature=related

Vincent
July 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Nice list!

I can think of one: ‘Egypt’ (now the chains are on), by Dio.

Also, ‘Eleven Blue Egyptians’, by Jason Becker

V

ISLANDER
July 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Awesome mixtape! I tracked down all but one of the songs and put them on my iPod so I wouldn’t be tethered to the computer and have listened to it in a loop.

My recommendations under this theme: a band actually from Egypt called Odious, which plays oriental black metal. Definitely different and worth checking out. I’d recommend a song called “Deaf and Blind Witness” which is up on their MySpace at this address:
http://www.myspace.com/odiousegypt

My second nomination is a prog/folk-metal band from Tunisia called Barzakh. My choice would be an instrumental song called “Alive”, which is on their MySpace here:
http://www.myspace.com/barzakhhome

Thalassocracy
July 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Metallica – Creeping Death

About the biblical plagues in Egypt. Definitely should be on the list, it’s an awesome song, and whilst the inspiration is the Old Testament rather than Egyptian myths or history themselves, it is clearly about ancient Egypt.

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