The vast majority of our modern music has been imported from America and has nicely blended in amongst our home-grown talent. We've been able to laugh at the difference between our musical influences and those of our European cousins every year on the Eurovision Song Contest (until Lordi that is, who were fully capable of laughing along with us). But more and more these days we're turning our ears across the English Channel for our fix of rock and metal.
At EGL Magazine we get a lot of CDs to review from European bands; such as Lillith, Undecimber, Midnight Caine, Evestus, Kitty in a Casket and Eisheilig. In previous years, European bands have gently slipped across the border and surreptitiously edged their way into our CD collections, largely without us even noticing. They've sung in English (as ever there are exceptions, the biggest being, of course, Rammstein), they've sounded not that different from British bands, and they may have come dressed in some odd fashions, but then, so do all metal bands. But more recently, we're consciously seeking out the foreign bands. And with the ever growing Western obsession with modern Japanese culture, J-Rock bands are making a huge splash on our little island too. Of course, all of this interest in foreign bands is helped by the constant growth of the internet which makes all of them so much more accessible to us.
European bands have something that British bands don't; a darkly exotic edge. If you think about Germany, or Norway, or further east; Romania and Estonia, you think about huge, brooding forests with a backdrop of razor-sharp mountains, castles and ancient fairytales. Even when you can't understand the lyrics, you can totally appreciate the atmosphere. It's something that sparks our imagination and makes us re-establish our interest in our own country's gothic past, one that tends to become mundane because we see it every day.
Plus, of course, it's always pretty cool to be able to rave on about obscure bands your friends have never heard of.