Five Real Wizards Who Make Harry Potter Look Like David Blaine
By the time you read this, your humble narrator will be on the edge of our seat at the West Oaks Alamo Drafthouse watching the triumphant finale of the Harry Potter films. The books and movies have given us of our best times over the past decade, and it's hard to believe that it's all over.
The series resonated with Rocks Off specifically because we really do believe in magic and wizards, and history backs us up pretty well on the subject. You don't have to go very far back to find people who very likely had occult powers. In honor of these individuals, we present five songs and the magicians they represent.
The Man: Grigori Rasputin was a peasant who rose to be the chief spiritual advisor to Tzar Nicholas II. The royal family was very reclusive, and Rasputin often used his familiarity with them as an unofficial steward, controlling access to the monarch. His drunken, lecherous behavior offended much of the Russian nobility, and they assassinated him in 1916.
The Magic: That Rasputin was in it for the alcohol and women no one will argue, but his claim to be able to heal was apparently true. Tsarevich Alexei suffered from hemophilia and Rasputin was several times able to staunch the flow of blood from life-threatening wounds by laying on hands, and on at least one occasion from a distance. Other powers claimed by Rasputin may have been exaggerations by him or his followers, but the effect he had on Alexei is indisputable.
The Music: Turisas is a Finish folk-metal band that incorporates accordions and violins into their otherwise standard metal makeup. Here we have their cover of an old disco tune by Boney M. "Rasputin," and it's frankly one of our favorite metal tunes of all time despite being a cover.
The Man: Edward Kelley was an alchemist and sometime partner to Dr. John Dee until they had a falling out over a bit of proposed wife-swapping. He became famous as a scryer and alchemist, and even though he started out his career being pilloried for counterfeiting he died fabulously wealthy at the age of 42, when Count Vilem Rozmberk of Bohemia had him imprisoned to extract alchemical gold from Kelley. He perished in an escape attempt.
The Magic: With Dr. Dee, Kelley became famous across Europe for aiding Dr. Dee in his hermetical experiments to utilize scrying and numbers to communicate with angels. This in addition to his aforementioned alchemy at which he made tons of money. He's most famous today, however for the magical Enochian language he developed, which went on to be the basis of many magical rituals utilized by a variety of modern ritualists.
The Music: Tool has released some truly disturbing music over the years, but "Faaip De Oiad" off Lateralus has got to be near the top of the list of truly horrifying things the band has done. The song is a recording of a 1997 phone call to the Art Bell radio show by a man who claimed that aliens were coming to attack humanity; whether it was a hoax is still disputed. The song's title comes from Kelley's Enochian language language, and means "the voice of God."