13 November 2008

The Art of Grimness, Ep. 9

His dubious right-of-right-wing politics notwithstanding, Robert Fudali (alias Rob Darken) is nevertheless a pretty snazzy dresser. Truth be told, he's also a pretty good musician. Hailing from Wrocław, Poland, Rob Darken is the driving force behind the well-known Black Metal band Graveland.

Though Graveland took many cues from predecessors such as Bathory and Burzum (and who among early Black Metal bands didn't?), Rob Darken injected a certain idiomatic and epic style into his music. Whereas the majority of Scandinavian Black Metal bands concerned themselves with garden-variety Satanism, Graveland set aside the corpse paint and explored the unfamiliar territory of Slavonic Paganism instead (although with the prerequisite anti-Christian hoopla largely intact). Rob Darken's secondary project, Lord Wind, takes that theme one step further and plays a brand of Medieval folkish music.

Along with Kaldrad of Branikald over in Russia, Rob Darken of Graveland has inspired legions of Slavonic Pagan Black Metal acts across Eastern Europe, both ideologically and musically. Among their followers may be counted such notable projects as Kroda, Temnozor, Nokturnal Mortum and Drudkh.

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