Back in August, Bandcamp's editorial section put together a great round-up of metal bands whose songs have taken inspiration from the epic, sandy, and war-torn fields of Arrakis.
There's the Scottish progressive post-metal quintet DVNE:
Their first EP, Progenitor, fused a classic desert-rock feel with elements of sub-Saharan bands such as Tinariwen. In 2017, the band released Asheran, a record that toyed with themes of ecology and nature, mirroring the cli-fi (climate fiction) principles within Dune, while retaining a unique narrative of their own.
Seattle-based doom rock band Sandrider not only got their name from the series, they also released an album called Godhead loosely-inspired by the fourth installment in the series, God Emperor of Doom.
"Crysknife," and "Voices," two tracks off their debut album, explore the ancient weaponry of the Fremen warriors and the controlling force of the Bene Gesserit witches, respectively. "Not all our songs are about Dune, but when they are, I lean in pretty hard," Weisnewski jokes.
The similarly-named Wormsand is a stoner rock band from France that draws inspiration from tons of epic sci-fi:
The band's first self-titled 2019 EP honors their love of Frank Herbet through the record's artwork, depicting several giant worms writhing through the desert sands. It also mirrors the band's powerful desert rock, something which is reflected in the band's lyrical content. "To create our universe, we were also inspired by a lot of futuristic novels, including 1984, Brave New World, Soylent Green, and by dystopian universes in general," says Mozzone.
Necropanther, a metal band from Denver, also put a Dune-inspired concept album:
That LP, Eyes of Blue Light, plays out as a quasi-space-metal-opera, with singer Paul Anop's deathly howls touching upon key storylines and terminology from the book. (The album's title is itself a direct reference to the appearance of the Fremen.) Amongst the tracks, there is the blistering assault of "Gom Jabber," which tells the tale of Paul Atreides' pain initiation in brutal fashion, while "Feyd-Rautha" brings to life the Harkonnen warrior who challenges the hero in his bid to become emperor.
And lastly, there's the Chicago black metal band Annihilus, who named their 2020 album after the Fremen word for "spoils of war":
The themes from Dune play heavily throughout the LP, from the rasping outpouring of "Wormsong" to the bleak tones of "W.T.W.B." ("watching the world burn"). "I wanted to bring the massive, lived-in feel of Dune to the sounds I created for Annihilus," Cimarusti explains. "I try to channel the grimy underworld and the grandiose, epic universe to build songs you can get fully immersed and lost in, just like the Dune tales."
Check out Bandcamp for the full playlist (although the New York METALcore band Shai-Hulud is conspicuously absent from the list), or check out any of the individual artists' pages.
Arrakis Rippers: A Guide to "Dune"-Inspired Metal [Daniel Cole / Bandcamp]
Image: Pelle Sten / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)