AVRAM - Metal Noam (Cover Artwork)


Metal Noam (2104)

Mountastic Records

Instrumental music with spoken word sound bites has a tradition of often mocking or criticizing the quoted speakers —— see, for instance the band Megachurch —— but Metal Noam has quite a different objective: using the music as a means to expose Noam Chomsky's thoughts to a new audience. For this to work, it has to do two things.

First, the music has to stand on its own, and it does. Nate Carson of Witch Mountain is the name draw here, and although Avram is no Witch Mountain clone, there's enough musical commonality to recommend Metal Noam to Witch Mountain fans. Which is to say, this is on the neophyte—friendly, or even classic/hard—rock—fan—friendly side of metal. Guitarist Amanda Machina's name wasn't one I knew previously, but I was impressed enough by her layered soundscapes and fast note flurries alike to check out her (not metal, but not completely un—heavy, and pretty intriguing) House of Badger project.

The second thing is the music has to make the case for why you should care what Chomsky has to say. I've known about Chomsky for a while, so that's harder for me to assess, but the sounds bites certainly reinforce the impression I've already formed of him. He challenges widely held beliefs and unquestioned assumptions with the kind of uncompromising directness often associated with crackpots —— but he's clearly too smart, and too well informed, to dismiss outright. In this case his riff is (paraphrasing) about how the United States Constitution was explicitly designed to create a state that would look like a democracy, but actually function as a plutocracy (rule by the rich). This probably isn't how you heard it in grade school, but Chomsky's primary witness is James Madison, in a quote (with eerie resonance to the #occupy rhetoric) that unambiguously places him in the 1% camp. It's thought provoking stuff, whether you buy it or not.