When they’re not defending themselves from Joey DeMaio, three-fourths of the self-proclaimed “feminist Manowar tribute band” Womanowar are in another killer band together: Washington, D.C. trad metal ass-kickers A Sound of Thunder. Not only is their music great, but they’re in no danger of any legal attack from a dipshit who thinks his farts smell like vanilla extract, and they can get away with wearing spiked arm bands without seeming like a ridiculous parody of a metal band. So, basically, there is nothing bad about A Sound of Thunder.
This being the case, I am pleased to report that the band has now garnered international attention for a most unexpected reason: they recorded a metal version of “Els Segadors” (“The Reapers”), which is the National Anthem of Catalonia.
As you are no doubt aware, earlier this month, the Catalonian government held a referendum on the possibility of seceding from Spain (which is not at all a new idea — Catalans traditionally do not consider themselves to be Spanish). In response, the Spanish government dispatched the National police to suppress voters with batons and rubber bullets, resulting in more than nine-hundred injuries. Meanwhile, Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has invoked the previously-unused Article 155 of Spain’s constitution, which potentially puts control of Catalonia’s elections, bureaucracy, finances, and local police in the hands of Spain’s central government.
So A Sound of Thunder’s version of “Els Segadors” is certainly timely — it was released just a couple of days after that initial referendum. Consequently, the song has garnered more than a million views on YouTube less than a month after its release.
It’s also not just, like, some random cover or whatever: A Sound of Thunder vocalist Nina Osegueda’s mother is Catalonian.
Osegueda explained A Sound of Thunder’s decision to record the song in an interview with NPR affiliate WAMU’s Morning Edition:
“About a year and a half ago, my bandmates and I were writing songs for our new album, and I wanted to do a song for my mom. I was looking through Catalan music and came across this national anthem called ‘Els Segadors,’ or ‘The Reapers’ in English, which is already pretty metal. The song is about Catalonian farmers from the mid-1600s who fought against a repressive regime. The lyrics include a line about a sickle, the symbol of Catalonia. In our version, we changed “sickle” to ‘scythe,’ because it’s an easier word to sing, and made some other adjustments to the original wording.
“Musically, the song has a lot of dissonant chords and sounds very much like doom metal. We added a gallop to make it sound more like power metal but again, on its own it’s already a pretty metal song.”
You can check out the rest of the interview with Nina here.
Meanwhile, A Sound of Thunder are currently running a Kickstarter campaign for their It Was Metal, their new full-length album, bonus EP, graphic novel, and animated project. They’ve already surpassed their fundraising goal, but you can get still get involved here!