Music to Write Realmgard to: Stormbringer

“Comin’ out of nowhere
Drivin’ like rain
Stormbringer dance
On the thunder again.”

When you get down it, a lot of Metal musicians are really just colossal nerds with enough stage presence to make us forget that fact.

Zeppelin was super into Lord of the Rings (and, in fact, one of Lord of the Rings‘ first major waves of popularity was with hippies), pretty much every Blind Guardian is based on something from a Fantasy novel (and the cover art of their latest album is a pretty obvious reference to Evangelion), every Bal-Sagoth song pretty much is a Fantasy novel, the Swordlike I’ve mentioned before — is basically Conan stories set to music.

So, it’s not exactly surprising that Fantasy Metal is a genre unto itself, and has been since at least the 70s.

Which brings us to the title track of Deep Purple‘s 1974 album Stormbringer.

All in all, the lyrics are cool, but pretty obscure. There’s no real indication of what exactly Stormbringer is beyond some vague force of destruction. Now, while Stormbringer is the name of Elric of Melniboné’s evil, magic sword that doesn’t appear to be what the song is about.

For one thing, the literary Stormbringer isn’t really associated with actual storms in the way the Stormbringer of the song clearly is — e.g.:

“Comin’ out of nowhere
Drivin’ like rain
Stormbringer dance
On the thunder again.”

For another, the album art depicts some kind of Magic Rainbow Sky Horse. And if the lyrics are anything to go by, he’s one badass Magic Rainbow Sky Horse.

A Virgin with a Unicorn: Domenichino. via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.
Eh. Close enough.
A Virgin with a Unicorn: Domenichino. via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

Incidentally, my Mom bought my niece a blanket with a picture of a Magic Sky Horse on it. Upon seeing it, I immediately started singing Stormbringer to myself…

But, like. it is a Metal song, but some kind of high literature. And lyrics that sound cool but don’t really mean anything is a longstanding tradition in the genre…

There’s not much by way of a story to the song, but there’s enough evocative imagery to the lyrics to pique the imagination.

Whatever Stormbringer is actually supposed to be, you can hear all about him here:


And, now, several reminders:

I’m writing 30 days of Realmgard’s history all November. Today’s write-up is here:

Yesterday’s weekly chapter is here:

And my previous Music to Write Realmgard to is here:

And, of course, follow me here:

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