Stangala – Klañv (Finisterian Dead End, 24 March 2016)
Blaak Heat – Shifting Mirrors (EU: Svart Records, 15 April 2016 | US/world: Tee Pee Records, 13 May 2016)
Hello out there, readers! Welcome to a new month, with more new music to send your way. Today I’d like to share a pair of recent albums (one of which is still about ten days away from its release in America and the rest of the world, but both have been out in Europe for a few weeks now) which are both filled with uniquely avant-garde variations on psychedelic-doom-rock. Good stuff, I think you’ll enjoy these.
But first I just wanted to share a thought I had, while walking down the hill to the bus stop at way-too-damn-early-o-clock this morning, still half-dazed from another late-night playoff hockey game last night. As a word of warning, this is Game of Thrones-related, so if you aren’t one of the millions currently watching that HBO phenomenon, this won’t interest you, so feel free to skip ahead, just below the next photo will be the music-relevant stuff.
For the rest of you: this isn’t anything earth-shattering or anything (and there won’t be any spoilers — no new information directly related to the latest episode or current season), just something that happened to pop into my head that I wanted to write somewhere before I forgot it. I don’t have a tv show website, so I had to put it here.
Anyway, so many events with potentially huge implications transpired in this week’s episode, it’ll take a while to sort it all out. And some of the storylines, even major ones, might even have fallen between the cracks because there was just so much to pay attention to! One of the main plots right now is the Bolton family’s rather tenuous hold on the North — a huge area of stubbornly traditional folks, many of whom probably retain loyalty to the House of Stark.
A large part of the current Bolton story, over the past couple of seasons, has revolved around the lineage of heirs to family head Lord Roose, who had declared himself Warden of the North, taking over the estate at Winterfell after the slaying of King Robb Stark. Specifically, Roose’s only living son has been the bastard-born Ramsay Snow, until it was discovered that the Warden’s new wife was expecting a baby. Of course this would be cause for concern for Ramsay: even author George R. R. Martin himself has stated that the legitimization of a bastard child happens so rarely, there really aren’t explicit legal precedents for determining how one would fit within the hierarchy of ascendancy — particularly if there should be a younger, natural-born son. Would a naturalized bastard simply be inserted among other offspring based on birth order? Or would all legitimate children come first regardless of age, then the bastard-born, before the line of succession would move on to uncles or more distant relatives? No one really knows, until such a thing would actually take place.
In this case, the questions run even deeper. Even absent the possible threat from a younger (but born in wedlock) half-sibling, and notwithstanding any promises or assurances Roose might make to his son, the fact remains that a bastard can only be legitimized by an official royal decree. The documentation that officially made him Ramsay Bolton, you’ll recall, was signed by the current occupant of the Iron Throne: King Tommon Baratheon by name, but as viewers (and practically everyone in the show as well) are aware, like his siblings, this “king” is only related to the late King Robert Baratheon because their mother had been married to him; since his parentage is exclusively of the Lannister family, Tommon is in actuality just as much a bastard as Ramsay Snow had ever been.
With the Northerners’ allegiance probably torn between the Boltons and Starks, one thing they all share is a mistrust and lack of respect for the Lannisters, particularly one who is falsely wearing a crown, calling himself the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. So my theory is that very soon, Ramsay’s legitimization documentation will be called into question by his fellow countrymen, throwing the leadership of the North into an even more chaotic state than it is already. As they say, “The North Remembers” …
Well, that’s it for now; we’ll returning to our regularly scheduled programming. Anyone who has anything to add to the discussion can hit the comments section below. Or if you think I should just shut the hell up and stick with writing about music, feel free to say so.