Anaria:Fantasy, Metal, and Epic Cover Songs by Robyn Stone-Kraft
Metal music and fantasy have a long history together. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Rush, Styx, Black Sabbath, and Blind Guardian, among many others, have all released songs, or entire albums, drawing inspiration from high fantasy, especially The Lord of the Rings. Even Saruman himself, the indomitable Christopher Lee, has felt the reciprocal call and released his own metal albums. Following in this long tradition, Anaria, a symphonic metal band hailing from the New Hampshire/Massachusetts area, have contributed their fantastic and beautiful cover of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire.”
The band, currently made up of Mercy Roulette (vocals), Dan Spinney (lead guitar), Kevin H. Brady (bass), and Zac Paquette (drums), have had some luck with their music so far, even opening for Lacuna Coil and the Sick Puppies, and they’re developing a following in their local area. Despite this growing musical success, at heart, they’re a group of nerds. A group of musically talented, hard rocking nerds, who wanted to show their appreciation for a song they found beautiful, and for Peter Jackson’s theatrical versions of the famous stories. The song cover and the “nerdy” video are that tribute, and a worthy tribute it is.
Many videos depicting elves and warriors wandering the woods are either done with a wink and a nod, or are done with absolute seriousness that somehow comes off as ridiculous. This video was filmed in a short amount of time with a wardrobe entirely provided by Mercy Roulette and their fight choreographer, Brian Chamberlin, and while it does depict ragged warriors and elves wandering the woods, somehow it manages to avoid both intentional and accidental silliness. This can probably be attributed to the well done fight choreography, the driving melody, and Mercy’s powerful and utterly sincere vocals. This video, however nerdy the concept, is made with love, and it shows. More than that, it’s made with very real musical talent and serves as a worthy addition to the grand traditions of metal, fantasy, and covers.
The band is currently recording a new album of original music, but their nerd roots aren’t being pushed aside. They’re hoping to record a cover of the current Disney hit, “Let it Go,” and are considering a Kickstarter fundraiser to gather the funds to do so. Check out their site at www.anariaband.com or follow them on Facebook. They’re a band well worth discovering, for nerds, and for fans of good music.
Robyn was a fan of fantasy before she was aware there were even other entertainment options. She’s been a writer just as long as she’s been a fantasy fan. In D&D she plays Wizard, she was sorted into Slytherin, she supports House Lannister, flirts with Garrus Vakarian, supports the Imperial Empire, and she has a favorite Doctor. She also has more degrees in Literature than most people tend to consider a good life choice, has somehow managed to get some of her poetry published, and gets to fail college students who decide they don’t have to turn in their assignments. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, four cats, and huge personal library.