Through a Google search for Korean (symphonic) metal music I stumbled across a heavily symphonic song called Without A Break by Moranbong Band. But what’s so special about this all-girl band? They’re from North Korea and were created by the country’s leader Kim Jong Un.
Morangbong Band formed on 7 July 2012 and consist of female performers who sing but also play their own instruments. According to their Wikipedia page there are many members who participate in performances and it’s likely they rotate on who plays instruments or who goes on vocals.
This particular song I spotted was described by a metal music fan as sounding more like symphonic rock. Going by the video clip linked further down it could possibly be the case. Their overall music genre is “Socialist realism” which gives me chills just reading those words, but surprisingly enough for a song coming from a rather political propaganda act Without A Break is a track that manages to make me a little hyper because I happen to be a fan of symphonic rock and symphonic metal. I like how the guitar riffs flow with the violin and cello sections.
Metalheads and rock fans might find the song cheesy because of the keyboard sections and the fact the music style easily reminds the listener of an 80s rock band (I think of Van Halen‘s Jump here). It could also be seen as a potential theme tune for an action-packed tv series.
Is this song potential headbanging material? Maybe. However don’t expect mind-blowing guitar solos. Hearing the song by itself is exciting but when you see this band perform in front of a live audience the performance is absolutely eerie and surreal. There isn’t much singing in Without A Break. The women only repeat one phrase a few times and let their music do the talking. However they can sing rather well. When photos and footage of Kim Jong Un or the satellite launch show on the screen the very serious audience suddenly clap with enthusiasm and roar when this female group finish their performance.
At first I was shocked to find something like this originating from North Korea of all places. You’d have thought they were utterly strict and incredibly closed off from the world but if Moranbong Band is anything to go by, it makes North Korea seem like they’re catching up with the modern times or they just happen to have been hiding music talent. Who knows?
UK Potential: This track might work for a crossover genre i.e. music where pop meets classical. If you are familiar with the upbeat tracks from the likes of Bond and Vanessa Mae for example, Without A Break could fit in here. I can definitely see Moranbong Band ‘s instrumental pieces or classical covers of popular songs being played on Classic FM. As for their catchy 70s pop style tracks it may attract easy-listening music fans however the politics behind the songs could raise a lot of eyebrows.
Possible UK potential overall – 3/5
Here is a live performance of Without A Break. If you want to find out more info on Moranbong Band you can visit their Facebook page.[youtube id=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z3GdZTpaXI”]