Wednesday, March 10, 2021

As the Calumet Pipe Burns

Pan-Amerikan Native Front – Little Turtle's War

A triumphant declaration of war against those who encroach on native and holy lands, American Indigenous black metal act, Pan-Amerikan Native Front, assaults us with their latest release and sophomore album, Little Turtle's War, a historic and unique album in the underground world of black meta
l. Being one of the few Indigenous black metal bands around PANF fill a void that has been needing to be filled for a long time, standing toe to toe with the Viking and European Indigenous themed albums, to provide a hateful outlet for those who've been crushed under the Colonial European invaders of the New World.

The album is based around the man Michikiniqua as he was known in his native tongue of Myaamia, or known as Little Turtle in English and Weyapiersenwah, or Blue Jacket. They were military strategists and community leaders of their tribes, Blue Jacket coming from the Shawnee while Little Turtle a member of the Miami people. They waged wars against the invading American forces, scoring victories across many occasions. This album is a monument of dedication for the battles they won.

The style of the album is your typical black metal style, with harsh blinding fast riff filled with hatred, with low-fi and harsh production. The drumming is very intense on the album, giving a tribal feel to the whole album, making it feel very in tune with nature and the earth. With a heavy importance on the lyrics, one would think that in the mixing they'd be more up front, with the sole member
Kurator of War delivering a fierce bestial scream. Much of the lyrics are in English, but peppered through out the album is Kurator of War's tribal tongue of Myaamia which adds to the overall atmosphere and is a wonderful touch. But sadly, much of that is lost in the rather muddy production, making much of the album feel echoed and mashed together like in a foggy haze. But that doesn't mean that the album is not good, on the contrary its a very solid release, and a great addition to anyone's black metal collection.

What really hooked me into the album was the second track,
Power of the Calumet Dance, a shamanistic and spiritual song, referencing the sacred Calumet Dance ritual, where two dancers simulated birds in flight, circling around fire while waving the calumet, or pipe, around in one hand and a rattle in the other. The song however captures that very image, with circling drum beat and a hypnotic guitar riffs that leaves one in a smoky tobacco haze that could lead one to another divine level.

All in all this is a very solid release from Pan-Amerikan Native Front, and a must listen for those who're a fan of more traditional black metal. It'll pull you in with its imagery and make you dive deep into the lyrics and culture of these peoples. Looking forward to their next declaration of war against the colonial invaders.

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