HAPPY HALLOWEEN: THE SECONDING, MY INDISTINGUISHABLE RICE GRAINS!
What GOT you as a child?
Was it clowns? Spiders? The dark?
In my case, it was my brother man-handling my two best friends and I as we were all learning to swim. Dragging us under whilst our lifejackets strangled us like an abrasive tentacle. For whatever reasons, from that point onward and generally even in the present day, I HAAAAAAAAAAAAATE being in open water. The ability to feel something massive as it passes underneath you, changing the very current you’re floating in, with nothing around for hundreds of feet to grab onto, is ZERO PERCENT my jam. It stuck with me so impactfully that any time I began to get out of the pool, for the last couple feet I would kick SO HARD, as to make sure that no imaginary shark, serpent, or sea creature would be able to catch and bind me to pull me to my death. Again, this was in our backyard in-ground pool, but that didn’t matter because of how vividly I could compare and contextualize the similarities between my brothers’ ability to drag me under, and something that simply viewed me in that state as food. There is some vague rationality to why we feel those heavy flight responses, as they obviously kept our ancestors alive for thousands of years. In a society where all we truly have to fear is man, nature, and disease, it seems superfluous to worry about something as mundane as Monsters. . .
and yet. . .
As much as any open body of water is my NOPE-place due to the horrors which may lurk beneath, there are monsters which don’t terrify me like that in any way, but rather peak my curiosity to the point of research. I touched on it gently last week, but I wanna dig that hole a new hole today. One of my absolute favorite pieces of monster lore comes from the good ‘ole Czech Republic during the 16th century. In parts of Prague, Jewish people were being persecuted under the order of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II for allegedly using Christian blood in their rituals. In order to protect his people, a highly-practicing Kabbalist named Rabbi Loew went to the banks of the Vltava River and collected clay // mud and formed it into a towering humanoid shape. He wrote the Yiddish word “Emet” on the golem’s forehead, giving it sentience and named it Josef. The golem is said to have glowing eyes, the ability to turn invisible, and can summon the spirits of the dead to do its bidding. The story goes that though the golem took commands, it was not crafted with any kind of intellect, and after a period of time, it’s inability to understand caused it to begin to wreak havoc blindly, some say from unrequited love. Seeing that the golem was not a sustainable answer, Rabbi Loew removed the first “E” from “Emet” (the word meaning truth) which turned the word into “Met”, the Yiddish word for death. The golem calmed and was placed in the attic of a synagogue to await another time of crisis. Legend has it that during the Second World War, Nazi soldiers broke into the synagogue but were torn limb from limb when they encountered the golem there waiting for them.
The Golem has always been one of my favorite monsters because it transcends being driven by carnality. There’s the vampire who just wants three brides or the poltergeist that really just wants to be friends, but then there is the golem. A thoughtless colossus. It just. . . DOES! Like a junkyard dog that can’t be reasoned with, now THAT is a monster!
HITTIN’ YOU THREE TIMES SO LEGALLY YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HIT BACK,
GOLEM – INCARNATED BEAST
(BERLIN // 1996)
Recently remastered and absolutely crushing. Somehow these guys got left behind while having a sound that incorporates almost exclusively MORBID ANGEL speed-chugging sections and the tone an variety of bands like CARCASS and ENTOMBED. Also, if your band is called GOLEM and you don’t write at least one song about said lumbering myth, yer doin’ it wrong bud.
1349 – GOLEM
(NORWAY // 2014)
Though a certainly overlooked album, if you are any kind of fan of complexity or stamina, prepare to have your arms blown off by how long their drummer just hammers during this one. Interestingly enough, lyrically this also seems to be from the point of view of the creator, and I love being able to not just hear about Frankensteins Monster, but the Doctor as well. CONTEXT, PEOPLE. LIFE’S ALL ABOUT CONTEXT.
PROTECTOR – GOLEM
(GERMANY // 1988)
And last but certainly chronologically first is a band that I skipped over about fifty times as it went by in my youtube recommendations tab, ’cause I’m an idjit. Within one round of the riff, I was so on board that you might as well have given me the hat and called me the conductor. Landing somewhere between SODOM, EVIL DEAD, and DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES, PROTECTOR is pretty much all of the things I like in a band. They don’t overcomplicated things that shouldn’t be, and they impactfully emphasis the parts they should. During the 90’s they fell victim to many rumors and misinformation about the state of the band, where many fans believed from the inconsistency of releases that they had parted way. This was untrue, though the line-up was very shaky during this time, up until between ’03 and ’06 where frontman MARTIN MISSY went off to form MARTIN MISSY AND THE PROTECTORS. They played songs from their namesakes classic albums, but in 2011 the current members of THE PROTECTORS released a 4-track rehearsal under the original prefix-less name, PROTECTOR. Since then they have released two full-lengths, “REANIMATED HOMUNCULUS” in 2013 and “CURSED AND CORONATED” in 2016. Not only are both albums on par with the original works, but they absolutely evolved into something unique against many death thrash odds.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MONSTER, AND IF YOU SAY “THE ENERGY DRINK” WE’RE GONNA HAVE WORDS.
You can find Bear smoking bong and thinking about golems on instagram.