Eco-metal evolving: Gojira walked so Greta Thunberg could run

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg is at the forefront of a new wave of eco-metal.

As former President Barack Obama pointed out, Finland holds the most metal bands per capita—but neighboring Sweden also sports a robust underground tradition. From death metal pioneers Entombed and melo-death titans At The Gates and black metal blasphemers Marduk, the country’s metal scene speaks for itself. Of late, the dire state of planet earth has begun to emulate the apocalyptic lyrics of many extreme metal acts. It only makes sense that Sweden’s flagship climate activist Greta Thunberg would embrace death metal to amplify her message.

During her address to current world leaders, no one could have expected Thunberg to drag the United Nations into hell. The 16-year-old unleashed a blistering combination of beatdown hardcore, tech-death and death-doom. All at once, she embodied the collective anger of those watching earth go down in flames. Whether or not this metallic outburst was coordinated with the interviewer remains unclear.

Taken on musical value alone, Thunberg’s performance ruled. Her range as a screamer far exceeds vocalists twice her age. Her chops are complemented by stellar instrumentation from thrash metal drummer John Meredith. His YouTube account only has three uploads, including this one—the other two centering on avant-garde performance art. His experience in Swede-style metal is evident, as he gave Thunberg the perfect backdrop for her guttural diatribe.

Thunberg’s eco-metal comes from a movement of conscious headbangers, popularized by France’s Gojira. Her explosive debut sets her at the vanguard of the burgeoning genre, pushing it’s boundaries and introducing it to new audiences. Judging by her tweet below, seems her new musical identity may usurp her activism.

While it will be sad to see her career as an activist come to an end, Thunberg’s undeniable talent and emotional delivery will surely serve her well within the Swedish metal community. In the mean time, onlookers can cope with the increasingly rapid decay of the world through this mosh-worthy jam.

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