Friday, December 31, 2010

"Writing a Blog About What's Not Metal"

"How is having your mom drive you to shows 'not metal'. How else ar4e (sic) you supposed to get there if no one else drives?"
The fact of the matter is, I never really was one for confrontation. When I started this website, I had little to no clue that people were actually going to read it, much less get so upset. I wasn't really big on the idea of upsetting strangers. After all, strangers are usually unintelligent or crazy. Calling people homophobic names on the internet isn't what it used to be. We have Facebook now, and Google Earth. With enough research and patience, you can put yourself on the doorstep of any unsuspecting internet dweller who rubbed you the wrong way. Especially if they aren't very good about keeping their personal info under wraps. Which is most of us. 

What really surprises me is the backlash of hate I got and continue to get from some readers. Mostly because they think I'm forcing my opinion on them by writing about these violations. This completely baffles me. I always saw myself not as an opinion writer, but a technical writer. Like any good journalist, or textbook author, I am simply a distributor of facts, and nothing else. I started this blog to let people know just what is and what isn't metal. Plain and simple. I'm not forcing an ideology here, as people have accused me. I am just reporting a science. I've spent many years studying in the field, and I am merely here to bring back evidence of my findings to share with the masses. 

Life and science are full of gray areas, and the guidelines within the heavy metal genre are certainly no exception. However, to deny that these guidelines exist at all, or that I am pretentious for stating their existence, is nothing short of ludicrous. I am continuously propelling myself forward on my vessel of knowledge, while many of you continue to enjoy yourselves drowning in your river of naivety. 

"Pretentious metalheads are the worst metalheads.  Please refrain from linking to garbage like this. This guy can drop dead."

Since most of you naysayers are typically still in high school, let's talk algebra. 10-x=5. Therefore, x=5. If you put down, 3, or 4, or any other number between 0 and infinity besides 5 on your quiz, your teacher will appropriately mark your answer as WRONG. It's a thin line of red ink, marking your incompetence regarding the fact of the matter. On TNM, I state and explain that x=not metal. If you come onto my page and tell me that x="just my opinion", your answer will be marked as incorrect, and you will receive the failing grade that you deserve on the matter.

"This is idiotic and sexist. I will attend any metal show I damn well please with or without a male or female that I may or may not be dating/friends with. Write a new article when you get the pleasure of dating a woman into metal. If one will even bother with you."

I don't think of you as stupid. Just grossly misinformed. You simply don't know, hence why you try and defy the physical laws of true metal. If you want to come onto my page and disagree with the things I say, or tell me why I am wrong, that's okay, and also somewhat appreciated. After all, I sometimes like hearing what people who aren't metal have to say. Maybe you can talk about how much you like Breaking Benjamin or whatever unmetal people like you do in your spare time. I'm always here to listen.

If you are metal? Well, I'll be the judge of that.

I'm glad we cleared this up. If there are no more questions or concerns, I'll continue posting for your reading enjoyment. Also, a very special thank you to the readers who provided me with image captions. I hope I accurately portrayed your likeness to the best of my imagination. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Turisas - Lay Down and Snooze

ZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZZ...
A couple of years back, my face was thoroughly ruined by a group of fur-wearing, red face-painted, Finnish folk-metal warriors known as Turisas. Just like the nomadic viking soldiers they honor in their lyrics and stage garb, Turisas took the entire world by storm upon the release of their debut album, "Battle Metal", and soon again after with their equally epic 2007 follow-up, "The Varangian Way". Turisas were best known for their high-powered vocals, extreme fiddle shredding, and accordion powered anthems of flawless awesomeness. Also for having a 5-alarm babe as an accordion player....

We all Netta find a woman like that. Zing.

So when I saw that Century Media Records had the title track of their upcoming 2011 album "Stand Up and Fight" available for download, needless to say I was enthused. Granted, you need to jump through a few hoops by sharing the song on Facebook or Twitter, which I found odd, because due to my hysterical lack of followers on that website, I imagine metalheads don't find much to tweet about. To save yourself the trouble of advertising for Century Media for free, you can listen to the track here. That is, if you can stand it.

It's been a long time since I've been so completely underwhelmed. The song "Stand Up and Fight" is a complete snorefest. I'm not entirely convinced that Mathias even stood up to sing any of it. The intro is pretty legit, but at the 30 second mark, it's like somebody turned off Turisas and turned on the radio, for some "calm before the storm" crooning. Oh boy. The rock all but disappears until 1:34, when the lazy chorus erupts through the speakers about as fiercely as a popped ass boil. The song doesn't really pick up significantly until the lead break after the second chorus, which will grab your long lost attention somewhere after a staggering 3 minutes of unenergetic yawn rock.

What the hell is this? I sincerely hope that Turisas has a lot more to offer us in the rest of the album when Stand Up and Fight is released here in the States, March 8th, 2011. The last thing we need is another metal band going radio friendly on us. Pulling that gabage doesn't get you any airplay anyways. Just ask Mastodon.

I'm beginning to see why Century Media had no qualms with giving this song away for free.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

TNM Review: Bring Me the Horizon's "Two Sentence Album Title"



Despite its very obvious metalcore status, in recent months there has been one particular phrase-long band name that keeps rearing its pimple-cream covered face on the forums I frequent, the news sites I peruse, and the magazines I read. I'm speaking of course of Bring Me The Horizon, a British metalcore outfit hailing from Yorkshire. As if we didn't have enough of this garbage in the States, the Internet had to be invented, and someone found more of it across the Atlantic. So even with the teased hair, the full sleeve tattoos, and the plunging v-necks, I had to make the mistake of seeing what all the fuss was about. I decided in an effort to keep myself current with what sucks, that I would listen to, and review Bring Me The Horizon's latest and greatest: "There is a Hell, Believe me I've Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let's Keep it a Secret". Yes, you read that right. As if one sentence wasn't long enough for a screamo band's album title, BMTH pulls a fast one on us and breaks out a twofer...

Also, if you have an issue with me judging the band based on this album as opposed to their earlier works, I will kindly refer you to another article of mine.                                                                                           

I hid myself from the prying eyes of metal judgement, and played the first track, titled "Crucify Me". I suddenly found myself taken back to my former friend's basement at the age of 13 years old. Both of us acne-ridden and mad as hell at the world. The only solution at the time, of course, was to start a metal band. He brought out his cheap black Ibanez, and with a voice with more cracks than the grand canyon, he asked me to “check out this riff” that he wrote himself. Through his 10W amp, he sloppily played a little diddy he came up with on his own, through the clean channel. After playing the same tune 4 times in a row, he tripped over his cheap stomp pedal and played the same exact thing, only with distortion. At the time, I was completely blown away. That kind of musical progression is expected of prepubescents. When I heard the exact same concept in play at the first few seconds of this album, however, somehow it didn't have quite the same effect it did back then. Nevertheless, afterwards I was immediately treated to about what I was expecting... Lead vocalist Oli Sykes shrieks and hollers like a skinny high school student who loses it in the middle of the cafeteria after the bullies push him too far. An impressive feat, considering he's well into his 20's and doesn't wear braces. His English accent doesn't really come through in the squealing, which I found admittedly disappointing, thinking it would maybe set BMTH apart from the rest of the modern day screamo acts, if even just a little. Drop-tuned, fuzzy power chords, speed picking, and hardcore paced drumming jumble together in the mix of noise that provides the soundtrack to Sykes looking at the poem written on his lyric sheet and hurriedly hollering every word of it he sees. Except with a few clean electric guitar sections of the album, this formula is pretty much standard for the verses throughout. 

Something that did surprise me, (and not for the better) was the industrial obnoxiousness of Crucify Me's chorus. The album's long winded title is chirped word for word, remixed and autotuned by female Canadian synthpop no-name "LIGHTS", with your run of the mill open-stringed breakdown riff jug-jug-jugging away in the background. She also sings us out of the musical train wreck with a calm acoustic outro, which massages your ears with a gentle coffee shop open mic melody after they had been so ravaged with nonsense. I knew the calm wouldn't last long when I saw the track title for the song that followed. "Anthem" is a song reminiscent of the Northeastern American hardcore scene, with chanting of the band members as they shout in unison during the f-bomb laden chorus. You can smell the breakdown from a mile away, and almost see the Chuck Taylors karate kicking in front of you when it comes to fruition. At the track's end, the listener is treated to what I can only describe as soothing spa music. I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

Next up is the album's hit single. At the start of "It Never Ends", a synthesized orchestra rings through the mix and I am almost led to believe I am about to hear a song I'll enjoy. The first 20 seconds are definitely the musical highlight of the entire album. Then the verse happens like it always does. The song progresses in the usual chaotic BMTH style, with a couple epic tidbits here and there, such as a singing choir and more of the same orchestral theme. At the end of the track, I am lyrically assaulted over and over with the song's title, and it is a playful reminder that I only managed to muscle through three of the album's twelve tracks. The next track, "F*ck", is another cleverly titled expression of my emotions towards the album at this point. Like any song that has a curse word in a title, we're treated to a little more mayhem than usual, which is all but counteracted with clean vocals courtesy of Josh Franceschi from You Me At Six. I also get to enjoy what could almost be considered an honest to god guitar solo, but it is too early at about the 1:40 mark, and is short lived at a depressing, approximate 10 seconds.

"Don't Go" can only be described as the "ballad" of the album. From a lyrical perspective, this song makes it obvious why BMTH is so often seen on a teenage girl's Myspace page playlist. It is introduced with a synth violin melody, and army-style drum rolls. The vocals then proceed to ruin the moment as Sykes yells the emo lyrics as if his tongue were hanging out the side of his mouth. This sounds especially blood-curdling as the noisy mess of guitar wailing and chugging that usually accompanies him, is replaced with chords played through the clean channel and blended nicely in the mix. This continues close to 2 minutes before the guitars go dirty once more for the chorus, and you are almost thankful to hear BMTH like they should be. It is short lived, and the song goes back to Sykes shrieking like a window licker over the clean instrumentals. LIGHTS then takes her turn to sing, and before you know it, I'm listening to a Paramore song. The two go back and forth with some kind of obnoxious duet, and then I am rewarded with another short, lazy guitar solo, that regardless of how passionless, I just appreciate hearing after everything else I was put through. 

"Home Sweet Hole" brings the album back on track with more fuzzy, sucky guitar noise. Or so you think. When the intro ends, we're taken back to a clean instrumental verse backing Sykes' hollering. If you didn't facepalm at this point of the album, you're either a stronger man than I, or you have bad taste in music. Thankfully, it's only the beginning verse, the distortion kicks in, and the song becomes only as bad as BMTH's typical fare. "Alligator Blood" seems the heavier track of the album, and dare I say, nicely sets the pace for the next few songs. It is an almost genuine deathcore track. No upfront techno, no clean guitars or vocals to upset the flow. I can't believe I was almost at the point of appreciating it, because in truth, it is underwhelming in the brutality department. "Visions" seems to offer more of the same from the former track, until the melodic vocals chime in through the chorus, and the song starts skipping over itself techno remix style. Oh boy.
Hope you feel the same way about that ink when you're 37 and pumping my gas... er... petrol.

"Blacklist" is another deathcore song, but sounds like it has been circa 90's dance re-re-r-r-remixed. It features its own short lived guitar solo towards the end of the track, which feels like its worth mentioning, because listening to music of this caliber makes a true metalhead long for a good solo so dearly. Alas, it is as short, unimaginative and lazy as the ones before it. It seems like former Bleeding Through guitarist Jona Weinhofen certainly doesn't bring a lot to the table. Why either of these bands had to get this guy all the way from Adelaide, South Australia is beyond me. Maybe he's just that cool to hang out with. "Memorial", is three minutes of synthesized filler music, so I'll safely assume it's an introduction to "Blessed with a Curse". We sit through a bit more synthpop, some clean guitar chords and bass lines, then suffer with some more of Sykes doing his bobcat impression over all of it. I beg for the mercy of guitar distortion backing him up once again, and my prayers are hastily answered by the chorus, then dashed just as quickly. On a lighter note, the lead guitarist finds his balls towards the song's end and plays an almost genuine melody for his allotted 10-second BMTH guitar solo time. I'm going to now assume that the guitar solos in this album were so damn short, so that BMTH could leave plenty of room for sucking in each track. The album finally ends with "The Fox and the Wolf". Hands down this is my favorite song of the album, because it's the shortest, and it's the last. It features Josh Scogin of The Chariot, with a completely unnecessary guest appearance, because he's just another screamo vocalist. If you didn't see him being credited, you would have never known he was there. At only a minute and 43 seconds, the band blisters through the final track at a HxC style pace, and with that, my painful journey through "There is a Hell... There is a Heaven..." is over.

A lot of fans claimed that with this album, BMTH broke their genre's standard boundaries and matured as musical artists. I can see in a sense where they come from, as synthpop and techno remixing don't ever belong in metal, and incorporating it may come off as "edgy". The stark reality of the situation is that "There is a Hell..." is just a poorly mixed mess of metalcore noise, out of place synthpop, unimaginative guitar playing, predictable cookie cutter breakdowns, and tone-deaf wailing. This album was track for track, painful to listen to. Bring Me The Horizon, is not only bad because they are metalcore, they are also bad as far as metalcore goes. Bigger name metalcore like Killswitch Engage, Unearth, All That Remains and even Atreyu are musically leaps and bounds above BMTH. If you're a deathcore fan, much higher quality can be found in the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder, The Red Chord, Job for a Cowboy, The Acacia Strain, and Winds of Plague. Hardcore followers are better off with Trapped Under Ice, Stick To Your Guns and Madball. It's not as if I like any of these bands, it's just so easy to see their musical merit when exposed to a suckfest like this. I can't help but be impressed with BMTH's ability to incorporate the very worst of all the genres that inspire them, to conjure up something truly abysmal. 

What seemed like an honest effort to create something musically artistic and progressive, was ultimately the album's downfall. In the pursuit of deepness and musical maturity, Bring Me The Horizon bit off more than they could chew, and the result is a poorly produced, confusing mish-mash of overwhelming noise pollution. Even if you are a metalcore fan, (and if that were the case, then I hate you), I would recommend taking your listening elsewhere. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Metal Christmas from TNM


Although it's likely I'm not going to provide you folks with a real update before the holiday season comes to an end, there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to share this video with all my buds around the world. 

I want everybody to enjoy their time being the black sheep of every family get together this year. I apologize on behalf of your parents for all the gift cards. They just don't really get you anymore, and all the clothes your mother buys for you in an earnest attempt to brighten your wardrobe, keep ending up in either the goodwill box or the trash can. She's tired of getting her feelings hurt. 

Merry Metal Xmas everybody! 

\,,/ HAIL SANTA!! \,,/

- Brenocide

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hi Atus, it's me, Brenocide...

Don't look at me like that. You're only making this harder for both of us.


Greetings, fellow metal minions!

It certainly has been a wacky couple of weeks for the blog and myself. What started out as an inside joke for the benefit of maybe 4 or 5 of my close personal friends, has turned into a bigger beast than I ever anticipated. By word of mouth alone, this blog has found itself with regular readers all over the U.S, Canada, the U.K, Norway, Germany, Estonia, Portugal, Australia, and even Japan! You'd be surprised how fast something spreads when you piss the right people off.

What started out as 2-3 views a day turned into 20, which turned into 100, then 500 and so on. Today, TNM is celebrating hitting the 5,000 views mark, fast approaching 6,000. That's nowhere near viral, but that's about 4,970 more views than your average blog ever gets. Obviously I'd be happier with 10,000 views a night, but the blog is a brand new, tiny raindrop in the vast ocean of the internet's metal community, and we gotta make those baby steps first. I just want to thank everyone for their support and especially those with enough sense of humor to not get their feelings hurt. Believe me, I knew coming into this that there would be a couple of upset folks, and there definitely were. You don't see it so much on the blog comments, but on Reddit and Facebook there were plenty of readers who didn't agree with what I had to say, and also took me, this blog, and themselves, a little too seriously.  

So again, I wanted to thank everybody, fans and critics alike, for the time they took out of their lives to read what I had to say and for their input. Seriously, if it wasn't for the nasty comments, it would have never occurred to me how horrendous white text on a black background was on the eyes. I would have blinded my entire audience and myself included. I'm also making a point to host my own images now, because it's the right thing to do. So with all my heart, Domo. Danke. Tusen takk. You guys are awesome. Thanks for reading. 

So with all that out of the way, on to the main point... I'm going to be taking a break from updating TNM for a short period of time. I'm dealing with several issues in my personal life that I need to direct my focus towards resolving. The last thing I want to do is impede my blog's steady progress, especially so early in the game, by denying you folks new content. However, I've been left with little to no choice. Life happens, and whether you like it or not, you just have to deal with it. I don't plan on taking too much time off, and I might be able to update once in a while, so I encourage you all to check back every so often to see how things go. This place could be back with a vengeance in only a couple of days or a couple of weeks. It's just too early to tell right now, but you'll know as soon as I do. Just don't expect much before the Holidays are over.

I'm also going to take this time off to brainstorm and work with some new ideas I have for the blog. For one thing, I'm currently in the market for some new writers to help me out, keep the content flowing and give you guys some different points of view. At the very least I need some folks who I can bounce ideas off of and just discuss what's metal and what's not. I'm dealing with some serious writer's block now and again, and all I ever get from people is what I shouldn't be talking about. Not very helpful. I also realize that my page design is absolutely horrendous. I've been doing my best to make this place look how I want with only Blogger's default template designer, and I just keep falling on my face. I don't know my ass from my elbows when it comes to HTML, except for some very basic formatting, so I'm going to try and get in touch with someone who can help me spruce this page up. I see a bright future for TNM, and limitless potential once I get the time and the resources. In the near future, I plan on starting a podcast, a YouTube channel, selling TNM merch, and adding some new content, like music reviews, gear reviews and eventually interviews along with new violations.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

The easiest way you can help get me this place back on its feet as quickly as possible is to spread it around. Share your favorite violations with your pals on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Reddit, your blog, your message board, through e-mails, whatever. This place has reached its popularity through word of mouth, and people sharing links, so I continue to rely on you, the reader, to spread the good word of the metal elite. Also, feel free to check out my (occasionally relevant) sponsors around the page. I'm thrilled to see that I'm finally getting advertising from the likes of Relapse Records, Musician's Friend and Guitar Center for a change.

I'm also going to begin accepting donations through PayPal. Any little amount will be of gargantuan assistance in keeping this blog up and running and increasing the already staggering progress of this site. I want to keep providing you all with an unlimited supply of neverending heavy metal awesome, and you can all help contribute to the elite greatness by tossing a buck or two my way:






Thanks for your readership and your support! Once I get things sorted out on my end, I'll be back to ordering you dudes around like a pretentious snob in no time!

Happy Holidays, and keep it Metal! \m/

Sincerely,

Brenocide

Monday, December 13, 2010

RIP Chuck Schuldiner


Nine years ago on this day, after what I can only assume was the hardest battle cancer ever won, a metal musical genius and arguably the father of Death Metal itself was tragically taken from us long before his time.

Hold your horns over your hearts in a moment of silence for Chuck Schuldiner tonight. May him and his musical legacy remain in the hearts and minds of future metalhead generations for years and years to come.

Rest in Awesome, Chuck.

Wearing the Shirt of the Band you're Seeing Live

Let me guess, you kids are off to see Saxon, right? 

Probably the most frequently mentioned, and staggeringly common metal fashion faux pas, is going to see a band perform live, while simultaneously wearing that same band's shirt at the show. It's one of those unwritten, common sense rules that applies to all concert attendees. You just don't do it. Regardless, you're always going to see "that guy" there, standing around with that glazed over, clueless look on his stupid face, completely oblivious to how furiously the entire crowd is judging him and his poor selection of rock apparel. Let's all agree that nobody wants to be "that guy". 

It would be a mistake to think that this is just another nonsensical fashion rule like not wearing white after labor day. There is a perfectly logical explanation behind why you're a chump for wearing your Sodom shirt to a Sodom show. From a metal fan's perspective, when you put on a band shirt, you announce to all eyes that see you that you are a fan of that band's music. I shouldn't have to tell you that. What other reason is there to wear a band shirt? Even if you're like most of my readers and just flat out disagree with me by default, you have to at least be able to agree with that very simple fact.

So let's think about this: You stood in the ticket line at subzero temperatures for over an hour, you paid anywhere from $10-$100 for the ticket to get in, and you're sacrificing your entire evening to suffocate in the body odor of hundreds of men piled on top of each, so you can get a good look at this band playing music in person. I think we have all collectively gathered that just by being there, you like the music. So why bring in the additional visual aid? It couldn't be less necessary. You just look foolish. 

GO HOME.
If you're going to a metal show, proper upper body attire goes as follows: A shirt of a band you like that isn't playing. That way, the other metalheads there can know what you enjoy outside of the venue, and you can possibly discuss it during breaks in the acts. At the very least, your fellow headbangers can tap you on the shoulder, point at your shirt and show you their horns of approval. Just be wary that you don't wear a shirt of a band that isn't true metal, ergo sucks. I once saw a guy at an Amon Amarth show wearing an Avenged Sevenfold shirt. I don't have to tell you upon seeing that how thoroughly I didn't talk to that guy. 

Like with all rules, there are the exceptions. First off, if you got the shirt from the merch table early in the show, we'll all know it, and it's cool to throw it over what you already had on. This has been up for some debate, but if you don't put it on, you'll just be standing around holding it like a tool. Second, if you have a particularly rare t-shirt of the band's, such as a tour shirt from a long time ago, (let's say over a decade) that is also acceptable and will be appreciated. There are limits to this however. For instance, nobody is going to believe you attended Iron Maiden's World Slavery Tour if you're a 17-year-old. 

I know a lot of people hate reading what I have to say, but I take the time out of my life all in the efforts of making sure you don't make yourself look like a jackass. Take note. 


 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christian 'Metal'

Demon Hunter would kick my face in for writing this, if they didn't have to forgive me.

Heavy Metal is certainly no stranger to oxymoron: "Led Zeppelin", "Quiet Riot", "Blind Guardian", and the like. However, it's fair to say that a phrase like "Christian Metal" really pushes it. Jesus has about as much place in metal music as a dolphin in a desert. Sorry about the confusion, bible-thumping rock fans, but last time I checked, people burn down churches in my genre.

Christian Metal (or "White Metal" if you want to be cute), was originally formed back in the mid 80's as a clever way for hard rock record producers to take advantage of the untapped market of young, impressionable children, whose conservative Christian parents had forbidden them from having good taste in music. The most notable out of the bunch was Stryper, famous for writing tunes such as "To Hell with the Devil", and for throwing bibles into crowds of confused, disgruntled metal fans. I'm sure a good amount of Christian parents were clever enough to recognize that Satan resided in big hair and tight pants, not just lyrics, but enough people bought into the nonsense, and Stryper enjoyed significant commercial success as a glam band with a message.


To hell with Stryper
Fast forward to the late 00's: As I Lay Dying comes dangerously close to being a Grammy award winning act for their metal chops. A couple years later, Tim Lambesis makes a genius of himself on cable television by getting a tattoo of Jesus Christ playing a B.C Rich on his leg. I'm sure his minister was all about that... "God loves metal kids that grew up banging their head and who can still, you know, have a personal relationship with Jesus." I thought God loved everyone? What about the metal kids that grew up banging their heads and just knew better? Although Lambesis will typically deny up and down that As I Lay Dying is a "Christian band", he's not afraid to follow up by saying his views "always come across in our lyrics in some way or another." Kind of like how Creed members tip-toed around the "Christian" label by feeding us garbage about how their lyrics weren't Christian, just "spiritual" and "focused on questions of faith".

Like As I Lay Dying, Christianity in today's hard rock music is mostly seen in a metalcore outfit: bands like Norma Jean, The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath, August Burns Red, Demon Hunter and Haste the Day all claim themselves to be Christian groups and to write lyrics that are inspired by their faith. As much as I disagree with it, being a Christian metalcore band is excellent business sense. Albums by these bands will end up in a metalcore fan's collection, regardless of the individual's faith. Metalcore lyrics are typically such cryptic, forced poetry, that you could put any message behind them, whether it be "praise Jesus" or "I miss my girlfriend a lot". So they can get away with being a non-Christian band for the kid who hates his parents, as well as a Christian band for the kid who loves them, all at the same time. I'm only this upset because it's such an ingenious plot, and I didn't think of it first.

Easily the worst perpetrators of the Christian metal violation is the band Mortification, based solely on the fact that they make music that I want to listen to. It's like a sheep in wolf's clothing. Yeah, I didn't mix that up. These guys are sheep wearing wolf suits. You are lured in by a quality death metal band, and upon routine lyric lookup, you find nothing but Satan getting harshly rejected and all this crap about "preaching the word".

If you find yourself listening to/enjoying a metal act that happens to be Christian, true metal redemption lies in long, sleepless nights listening to the discographies of Deicide,  Mercyful Fate, Dissection, Immolation, Venom and for heaven's sake, SLAYER until you get your metalhead on straight.

God damn it.



Sidenote: Haste The Day has recently announced their eventual parting of ways after their "12 Days of Christmas Tour". I say "Haste the Day" when you break up.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Keytars

NO.
I don't really see what's so funny about a band like Sonata Arctica. Their music as far as metal goes, lyrically and instrumentally sounds really sad to me. It's just sad metal. Frontman Tony Kakko sounds and looks like he needs a lot of effort and a prescription just to get out of bed every morning. That man holds on to his microphone with both hands, because he is so exhausted with life. Regardless of his high-energy stage presence, you can clearly see something missing in his eyes.

In comes keyboardist Henrik Kinglenberg with what is essentially the rubber chicken of musical acts: the keytar. An obnoxious musical invention that was popularized by the likes of Devo and similar pop acts in the early 80's. The end result is this blend of sorrow and comedy on Sonata Arctica's stage, much like the concept of a sad clown: something which is in a morbid, ironic fashion, way more depressing than just a normal person who is sad. Nobody wants to see that.

The term "keytar" is a portmanteau of the words "keyboard" and "guitar". You already knew that, but I couldn't pass up the chance to use a big word like "portmanteau".  It is a lightweight keyboard that is supported by a strap around the neck and shoulders, just like a guitar, and has its own dumb little "neck", where lies controls for pitch bends, vibrato, portamento and sustain. So what we had in the 80's were a bunch of awkward, lanky keyboardists, so excited to escape from the shadowy back corner where they typically had to stand stationary, prancing around on stage and messing up the guitarists' vibe. Soon, like everything in the 80's, keytars were looked upon as silly and regrettable. In no time, keyboard players were standing behind heavy racks and stands in the back, where they belonged. All was well.

Fast forward to present time, the era of irony. Where things that aren't cool are cool, and painful memories of the past are dug up all for the sake of some bizarre, awkward hipness. Inevitably, the keytar has made a comeback. Pseudo-indie synthpop hipster acts like Cobra Starship were quick on the keytar's retro-style uptake. Most notably, Lady Gaga, on her never-ending quest to look really stupid, couldn't incorporate a keytar into her act fast enough. However I'm not here to be concerned with what they do.

I'm only beginning to warm up to the idea of keyboards being incorporated into a metal band. So much so, that I began writing an article stating my case against keyboards on their own. However, upon careful reconsideration, a keyboard at the right fingertips can help blend a symphonic style of epic sound into a metal band's mix, adding a new dimension to the song's musical aura. So like nearly any instrument that's used tastefully, it can find its proper place in a metal band, and I'm okay with it. For now.

There is however, nothing in good taste about the musical abomination known as a "keytar". When it comes to keyboardist Vadim Pruzhanov of Dragonforce, (the most successful comedy metal act since Immortal) doing something obnoxious and making a mockery of music as an art is to be expected. It doesn't surprise me watching him run around on stage defacing the metal genre, keytar with custom blood-soaked paint job in hand.

I kind of expected a member of Sonata Arctica as a fairly respectable act to know better. Henrik and Vadim's infamous keytar duel proves that's not the case. I'm all about having a drunken good time, but this is just flat out unmetal. At a typical Dragonforce show, in place of your typical 10-minute guitar or drum solo, there is instead a twinkly synthesizer-fueled dance party. The crowd looks on and sadistically cheers as they watch the good name of metal soiled with such debauchery. This is what we're seeing happen in the video, with Kinglenberg as a "special guest". Simply revolting. It's like I'm watching an assault in progress and there is nobody to call to report it.

As a metalhead with a background in piano lessons, you are already a bit out of your element. If a prog or black metal band deems your talents necessary, then count your lucky stars, grab your stand and lay down some of that epic, synthesized orchestra glory. We're all happy for you, and we're all glad you're here and have a purpose. Just don't mock how the guitarists do their job with a cheap plastic keyboard that was designed to do exactly that.




Thursday, December 9, 2010

Insane Aboriginal Metal Gangs

The video below is a documentary posted on VBS.tv last year about the Heavy Metal gangs of Wadeye in Australia. Total insanity, thought I would share...












Comments are now open duders. Please tell me what the hell you have to say about this.

Paying for Music

The record stores are on their death bed, and Steve Jobs is slowing pulling the plug with his wiry nerd arms.


I still regularly visit record stores like any other music fan. It used to be so that I could scare everyone on the way to the heavy metal section. Then when I got there, I would stand around long enough for another guy looking at metal CD's to see how brutal I was, by scoffing at every album of interest he picked up and looked at.

Those were the glory days. Now all the kids got the computers and the MP3 players and the iPhones and the whatnot. The steady rise of digital music distribution by the likes of iTunes, and Rhapsody, has in turn meant the steady decline of the record store. Nobody is buying CD's anymore, and I find myself more and more alone in that heavy metal section, with no one to play victim of my silent ridicule.

So to keep up with the times, my record store habits have changed. I still try my best to horrify the 2 or 3 patrons left on my way to that metal section in the back corner. After I arrive, I diligently flip through the titles for something that will grab my interest. Once I find one or a couple of albums that I think I would want, I put them back where I found them. As the cashier eyeballs the metal detector with hawk-like precision, I leave the store. I'm going home to listen to it free.

With the way the internet is set up these days, paying for music makes you a chump.

Now let's get one thing straight here, metal isn't a platinum selling act. There's no money in record sales, and if there is, not much is going to the artist, if any. The game has changed. The only guys who are suffering from a lack of sold metal CD's are Robert Kampf, Markus Staiger and Brian Slagel, and don't worry. They're all doing fine.

Metal bands in this generation have no issue with uploading their entire discographies for listen on Myspace Music. I also hard press you to have much too much issue finding hiqh quality tracks of practically any metal song of merit on YouTube. Uploading songs is probably against YouTube's terms and conditions, but it's pretty easy for metal tracks to fly under the radar. You're probably going to have a little more trouble uploading Shania Twain than you would Vader.

So if you're on your PC, I guarantee you that if you put enough effort into it, you'll find the song you want to hear streaming for free somewhere. If however, that's not good enough, and you want to own a digital copy of the music files on your hard drive or to put on your iPod or Zune... well, you know. I'm not really going to publicly condone anyway that you can do that.

If the urge to attempt to download music for free is too great, I will tell you this: There is no festering malware hole worse on the internet than the world of free MP3 downloads. It's like shooting heroin: if you want to try that illegal crap, you're doing it at your own risk of getting AIDS.

You will be able to support your favorite metal acts easily enough by going to their shows, buying their merch and spreading the good word about them. You shouldn't allow listening to their music for free effect your guilty conscious.



Sidenote: I had my advertising pulled on the main page because of paying tribute to a certain 6-year dead metal guitarist yesterday. Probably from what I can only assume was due to his colorful nickname. I pulled the post and I'm waiting to see if that changes anything. For now, enjoy the lack of ads and RIP Darrell Abbot. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Putting Real Effort into Hating Justin Bieber

Okay. He's an annoying, little wuss. When are they not?



The Backstreet Boys.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how upset did you become upon reading that name? In all honesty, it probably barely phased you much at all. Let's go back in time a bit, then. Pretend that it is 1997. You just finished waiting for your 28k modem to dial-in and access your AOL account. From there, you attempt to access my geocities web page at a snail's pace. As you watch the words start to load, you see me asking you the same question. I guarantee you that if you are a young man in that time period, the second you read that name, your blood pressure shoots through the roof. Your mind is clouded with visions of their pencil mustaches, pink lips, doey eyes, and the sea of screaming, crying, brace-faced teenage girls who are unreasonably, madly in love with them.

So let's try this again...

Justin Bieber.


Easy there champ, he's not in the room and his skull isn't readily available for the smashing. So what's the 1 to 10 rating now? If it's 11, as I am safely assuming, then you and I need to have a little talk...

Justin Bieber is just the latest in a VERY long line of pop music teenage heart throbs. The formula of packaging and selling a popular act based on what makes the general female populous moist in the pants, dates back from NSYNC, to Hanson, to New Kids on the Block, all the way to The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Jesus of Nazareth. This isn't anything new or different we are experiencing here. Justin Bieber is just the hated boy toy of your generation like many before him. Also, like all those before him, in due time, he will quickly become irrelevant as his pre-teen girl fans outgrow his nonsense, and record producers cast him aside as they move on to the next big thing. What you should be doing is sitting down, putting on a Finntroll album to lift your mood, opening a beer, and waiting this whole Justin Bieber thing out. Don't think about him. Don't talk about him. Don't seek his music out, and stop bringing him up every time you watch a music video on YouTube that you enjoy, or for that matter, don't enjoy.

"Yeah, this is REAL music. Not like that JUSTIN BIEBER GARBAGE. Long live metal!! \m/"

Oh, you.

While I appreciate your enthusiasm, kindly shut your stupid hole. We are all trying to enjoy some real, genuine heavy metal, a genre that has stood unwavering for nearly half a century, and you have to ruin the mood with some ridiculous pop music comparison. You know who you should compare to Nile? Melechesh. Now there's a goddamn argument. Raise up the difficulty level a little bit for you stupid pansies. 

Where have you boys left your balls? Nowadays metal discussion is a "down with Justin Bieber", followed by a big group hug and passing of cocoa. It's like we'll find anything with a distorted electric guitar acceptable in the face of this little Bieber dork and his whiny fans. Also, speaking of his fans, I'm assuming you all must have gotten really riled up by this kid's declaration of war against you. Seriously? The moment anyone watches this video, the only rational thing to do is laugh very hard, and never speak of Justin Bieber again. I know this child speaks ill of metal in his little vlog, but let's be real here. We know that you started this. This little dweeb probably didn't even hear the word "metal" once in his little Disney Channel watching life, until you numbskulls started flooding his favorite singer's video comments with your irrational hate.

What are we doing here? The right thing for us as metalheads to do is come together, and once again, fight amongst ourselves. In only a few short years, Justin Bieber is going to replaced for the next goon that record producers use to sell sex to little girls. Yet your fellow headbangers with flawed opinions in your own genre are always going to be there. 

Stop wasting your time fighting against popular music, and get back to what matters: fighting each other.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

News: Judas Priest Calling it Quits

Alright fellas, one more picture and I promise you can all go home and get back to sleep.

After a meager 40 years of rocking, the Metal Gods, Judas Priest, are turning their backs on millions of adoring fans. The sour news of Halford's, Tipton's, Downing's, Hill's and Travis' stunning lack of work ethic can be read about here:


"After storming the world for nearly 40 years and taking their very special brand of heavy metal to all four corners of the planet, Judas Priest - one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, have announced this will be their final world tour", the band stated (probably lazily, while just sitting there) in a recent press release. "With all guns blazing and amps cranked to 11, the band will be giving all their fans one last chance to witness the ultimate metal experience that is Judas Priest."

Apparently all the millions Halford and gang have been earning from touring the world, selling albums, and changing lives, was all so that they could invest in their 401k. Like this is some kind of goddamn clerical government work they're doing. There's no freaking retirement plan here. Metal meltdown is for life. You can stop rocking for two reasons:

1. You're dead. Preferably from a motor vehicle accident or drug overdose. I hear that cancer is also very in these days.
2. You guys broke up. "Personal differences" is metal slang for "we got dangerously drunk and kicked each other's asses".

I guess we'll get to enjoy one more tour out of these guys. Hopefully they'll have the decency to stand up and move around during at least some of their performances. Yet with this kind of negative attitude, don't hold your breath. 


Dreadlocks

I'm planning on investing in "Halls" stock, because I know Chris Barnes exists, and it sounds like his throat hurts.
I realize that long hair can be pretty difficult to comb, brush and maintain. I know this can be especially frustrating since most of us are guys, and aren't really used to the extra three and a half minutes of preparation time every morning that comes along with an illustrious, flowing mane. I do promise you however, that maintenance is pretty minimal, and shampoo and conditioner really aren't all that expensive; even if you do have to buy the type that specializes in dandruff control. (Which I strongly recommend, due to our preference for black t-shirts.)

Please, it's not womanly. I don't care if you use your girlfriend's zebra-striped, gel handled brush. Just comb your goddamn hair. If you think it's too much for you to handle, cut it off, and make your father happy for the first time in his entire life. Your other alternative is to look as hard rock and true metal as Bob Marley. Hey, there's an idea...


Dreadlocks, whether intentionally formed or not, are the result of years and years of self neglect and laziness. They were popularized in Jamaican Rastafarian culture and reggae music, and as far as I'm concerned, they should have stayed there. They are now commonly seen on white, granola-loving hippies, and occasionally seen on hard rock fans and musicians looking for the newest way to shame their parents. Although it has been debunked that dreadlocks aren't formed by a lack of bathing, an impressive odor typically emits from a young man or lady with this hairstyle regardless, from what I can only assume, is a mandatory association with weed once your hair becomes matted enough. 

You hear the term "shithead" get thrown around pretty often as a young adult, but dreadheads take this term literally in their appearance. The best way to describe a good set of dreadlocks in words, is that it looks like your scalp is pooping in multiple directions. It's as though your head was covered with a gang of nasty anuses, and a single long dingle berry hung from each one. 

If somebody looking like the rasta king alone isn't enough to convince you that dreadlocks aren't metal, let's consider some popular "metal" acts who have violations in progress...

Shadows Fall vocalist, Brian Fair does not only don dreadlocks of Rapunzel-length, but he's also a vegetarian, and PETA spokesperson. If we consider all of Shadows Fall's shortcomings as a heavy metal act, from tired metalcore formulas, to tone-deaf hollering and wailing, an association with an organization like PETA is probably the worst. Regardless of what PETA is trying to convey to our young, impressionable children, "peta 2" is still just PETA. 

Next on the list is Max Cavalera, guitarist and frontman for Soulfly, and former singer for Sepultura in the long, long ago. Soulfly is musically on the same level as Slipknot and Korn, yet are still regarded as a heavy metal act, based on what I can only assume is Cavalera's colorful past. With a band such as Soulfly, it's almost impossible to believe that it was started by a former member of a legendary thrash metal act. 

The last piece of evidence in my case against dreadlocks is In Flames frontman, Anders Friden. For those of you who don't know, In Flames was once a respectable Swedish melodic death metal band, that flipped the bitch worse than Metallica when they released their album "Reroute to Remain" in 2002. They have been releasing inexcusable butt rock ever since, with catchy, "wuss part" choruses, screamy verses, and only a minimal return to form to keep their fans and everybody else except me fooled into thinking they're a listenable metal band. 

ROOTS. GNAPPY ROOTS.
If you are a dreadhead metalhead, redemption is cheap, quick, painless, and can be found in a pair of clippers at your local barber. Invite your dad as a Father's Day or Christmas present. He will love it. I would definitely recommend having this done at a barber shop, because it's going to be worth it to pay someone else to clean up the disgusting mess you made.

Obviously you aren't to be trusted with long hair anyway. 


Monday, December 6, 2010

Bad YouTube Guitar Reviews



"It has a lot of stuff on it that's good. You know..."

Thanks for the input, hyperheart24. I now know that the Dean MLX has two "DiMarzio" pickups (pretty rare on a $189 guitar), 22 frets, doesn't have a whammy bar, has a "jack at the bottom right there", and looks "very nice". All of these things I could have gathered from looking at a picture of the guitar, but your grainy cell phone camera really enhances the experience. I will keep all of this information in mind next time I'm in the market for an entry level guitar. You've been incredibly helpful.

Not to pick on this poor kid exclusively, but this is a perfect example of a rising trend on YouTube of "guitar reviews" that don't go anywhere, are full of gross misinformation, and take the whole "reviewing" part out of the review. After wasting 1 minute and 44 seconds of my precious lifespan, I still have no clue what the Dean MLX sounds like, if it plays well, sits well, feels durable, anything. hyperheart24, like many clueless YouTube guitarists before him, treated us to a minute and a half of him mumbling things out as he saw them on the guitar. 

I've stared at a wall in a Guitar Center for over a minute. I had no idea it was called a "review". 

If you just bought yourself a new guitar, suffer from delusions of grandeur, own a video camera, and are conceited enough to pretend you know what you're talking about, here are some mandatory steps to follow if you want to post a video review of your new instrument:
  • Give us a quick, accurate equipment rundown. If you're not 100% positive about what's on your guitar, or what it's made out of, do three minutes of research before making a jackass of yourself and turn your comment section into a pillar of corrections. However, do not stop the video here, that's not a review, Satriani.
  • Play on a clean channel. You don't have mountains of high gain and distortion to cover up your sub-par playing, so try and keep it nice and simple. Showing off the sustain will mean playing only one note or chord and waiting several seconds.Then you're off the hook. 
  • Play with distortion. I'm going to have to add that you should be a guitar shredding demon before posting a YouTube video of you playing guitar. People want to know what this thing is capable of. Your critics will also be senselessly brutal. It's really easy for me to tell you that you suck and what you're doing wrong via YouTube comment, regardless of whether or not I've picked up a guitar in my entire life. That's just the internet. If you're still just a beginner, then your opinion on the guitar isn't reliable, because you don't know enough yet, and shouldn't be posting "reviews" anyway.
  • Switch between pickups. Nothing too fancy, but if your guitar has more than one pickup, show off how the neck sounds, the bridge sounds, how they sound together, etc
  • Tell us what you DO LIKE and DON'T LIKE about the guitar. Be honest, I know you put down a lot of money on this thing, ($189 can be a lot of money for the person who buys the $189 guitar) but nothing in the world is perfect, and the rest of us who watch reviews want to find out why. 
A lot of people in the market for a new guitar surf YouTube videos to get a good idea what the guitar sounds like at its full potential. This means that your video is going to get a fair amount of views from serious players who want information, and you should treat it as such. Watch a couple of professional guitar reviews on YouTube by the likes of Guitar World for a reference point.

Or just leave all the reviewing to them.

If you have a youtube guitar review done right, feel free to share it in the comments below!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

That Guy in a Tool Hoodie

 The man in the photo I am using is a professional model, in an attempt to protect Tool hoodie guys everywhere...

As the frigid winds of early winter are upon us, bundling up for the cold weather becomes a necessity. Black hoodies are becoming commonplace in the heavy metal community, and will provide you that extra layer of cotton necessary to make it through the winter months in their entirety. If anybody talks to you about "North Face", tell them that you haven't heard of them, and ask if they sound like Darkthrone. After all, you're no fairy. Amon Amarth has filmed entire music videos during Swedish winters with nothing else on except tight, black jeans and leather wrist gauntlets. Keep Johan Hegg's bare, frosted nipples in mind next time anybody recommends you fleece-lined anything.
Hooded sweatshirt season also means that a particular, commonly-sighted creature will emerge from his long hibernation during the warmer months. Some call him a nickname he picked himself, such as "Raven" or "Dak"; others refer to him as "yeah, I don't really know who that guy is, I think he's that guy's friend". However, we all know him infamously as "that one guy in the Tool hoodie".

Tool hoodie guys all have their own little differences, but are ultimately the same. Here are some distinguishing features to look out for:

  • Disheveled goatee or chin beard.
  • Wearing an over-sized black, hooded sweatshirt with a Tool logo on it.
  • Loose-fitting jeans or in worst cases, bondage pants. 
  • A hunched stature, lacking in confidence 
  • Stands around quietly smiling or smoking a cigarette while the rest of you and metal friends talk about music. 

Nobody really knows just how big of a fan he is of Tool, because nobody in his company actually likes, or wants to talk about a band that lost all relevance a decade ago. However, one must assume his dedication to them must be very serious, seeing as how he is going to wear that one hoodie every day, from summer's end until next spring. Although it is faded from years of typical wear and tear, we can only assume that as his only piece of outerwear, it is washed a minimal number of times.

Shrouded in mystery, scientists can only guess at what Tool hoodie guy says when approached with the intent to communicate. Hypotheses have been thrown around, such as how he would describe how those ignorant radio listeners who like the song "Schism" don't actually 'get it', or how A Perfect Circle 'had a lot of potential'. 

Although he seems like a good natured individual, and may enjoy listening to and playing true Heavy Metal as much as the next guy; due to his constant silence and the band name on his hoodie, we're just going to have to take the safe route and assume that there isn't anything metal about this individual.

Sorry, Dak.

Bringing your Beer into the Crowd


They built the bar all the way over there for a reason, dipshit.
Beer is a significant staple in a good headbanger's diet. If there was a heavy metal food pyramid, beer would most certainly be the foundation. The contents of the rest of pyramid are up for debate, as Finland definitely eats a lot more elk than we do here in the States. (So far, anyway.) Beer however, is the sacred, delicious elixir of happiness enjoyed around the globe, by all metal fans at all hours of the day.

Beer belongs in three places: in your hand, on your taste buds, and in your stomach. Where it doesn't belong, is all over the concert floor where the rest of us can slip on it and break our ass bone, or down the back of my shirt. I want to be able to back up half a centimeter while standing in the front, and not have your cup of overflowing PBR hovering right there waiting for me. You ordered it at the bar, now drink it at the bar.

What  the hell do you think is going to happen when you bring a teetering plastic cup of liquid into a wriggling crowd of aggressive people? Do you have autism? You spent at the very least 4 dollars for that cup of greatness, and you're going to put it, and everybody else at risk. What you do with your money is none of my business, but whether or not I'm going to do a Charlie Brown "aagh" flip and break my ass, or smell like your cheap beverage the rest of the night, most definitely is my business. 

Drink beer. Drink a lot of it. But drink it over there in the back while the band is playing, until you can finish it like a big boy. Then you can go out and play with the rest of the kids. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The 2011 Honda Odyssey



Despite everything, (and I do mean everything) this commercial advertises to you, the Honda Odyssey is not a heavy metal masterpiece. As much emotion as hearing "Hellion" should invoke in you, it's just a minivan, and a pretty expensive one at that. I hard press anyone to see if they can fit that sweet Marshall half-stack, plus five starving band mates in a motor vehicle that size. Even if you're black metal enough to need no more than a Chinese B.C Rich, and a drum machine, good luck.

Not to say that vans aren't metal. Far from it. Where do you think the only talented member of Metallica got his skull crushed in rural southern Sweden? True metal transport is an American-made cargo van. The older, cheaper, more mileage, and less windows, the better.

Perfect.
The appearance of a proper metalhead's van should cause enough public concern to warrant bystanders to call the police whenever they see it parked anywhere around town. As fearsome and sketchy as you may look as an individual, nothing strikes fear into the hearts of American parents like a shady, unmarked utility van.

And for you metal dads out there; we're talking over 30 grand for a vehicle here. GTO's have seatbelts. Grow a pair. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Having your Mom Drive you to Shows



Hi Cody, this is Mom. I'm sorry for calling you on your bus ride home. I know, I'll let you get back to your friends, but they're just going to have to wait and let me borrow you for a second so that we can talk about this. I need to make sure we're on the same page for this concert you're going to tonight. Just so we're clear, we're not going to have an episode like we did last time. I was driving around downtown for 20 minutes, trying to get you to answer your damn cell phone. I couldn't find the place, there was no parking, and people were honking at me every which way. I'll be damned if that happens again, Cody. Understand? I'll be damned.

I'm not yelling, I'm just trying to make sure that we're perfectly clear. Good. Now, first things first, what time is the concert going to be? Oh, well then I guess you're not going to be home for dinner tonight. We're cooking chicken and green beans. Do you like green beans? Well, we're having green beans. We'll be eating them for leftovers tomorrow so they'll be in the fridge when you get home. You can reheat them in the microwave. Now who's going to meet you at the concert? Does Derek have a ride there? If you don't know, then I'll just give Derek's mother a call to double-check. No, it's alright. I don't mind calling her. Better safe than sorry. 

Okay, now what's the name of the band you're going to go see? I haven't heard of them. Do they swear? There's no reason to give me an attitude, Cody! I just don't like it when you listen to music with foul language. Is it alright if Noah goes with you? I know Cody, but Noah's your little brother and he doesn't have a lot of friends. 

Now what time is the concert going to be over? You're kidding, right? That's ridiculous. I'm sorry, that's just ridiculous. You and Noah need to meet me at the front entrance at 11 o'clock sharp. This isn't up for debate, Cody. Tonight is a school night and your father needs to wake up for work tomorrow. Well, maybe next time you'll think about that before buying concert tickets without my permission.

Listen sweetie, there's a lot of traffic and I gotta hang up. We'll talk about this when I see you at home okay? I love you. Cody, I said "I love you". I love you too CoCo. Okay. O-okay. Love you honey. Okay.

Buh-bye.

Bringing your Girlfriend to Shows

"I like the lead singer! He's really cute! What's this band called again?"
As a man who pays his proper respects to the metal gods, you can now enjoy a few perks that you may not have been able to experience in the past. One of the most valuable of these, is your uncanny ability to piss off a woman's father with your appearance alone. You see, girls are naturally driven to disappoint their parents. So fiercely, in fact, that it is not uncommon for them to bring an unsuspecting black man home, just to see the look on their father's face. Shit, if you are lucky enough to be a black metal head then you are like pure gold in a young woman's eyes...

Black gold.

So as strange as it may sound, there is a certain group of females who will seek you out. They will pretend to like and know things about your musical tastes in order to intrigue you, all in the efforts of forming a relationship that her dad will be ashamed of. I am happy for you friend. By all means, rejoice in that action while it lasts.

Whatever you do with her, or whatever your relationship, leave that gabby idiot at home while the rest of us enjoy our metal show. 

Metal shows are sacred rituals in which metal heads from neighboring cites and states congregate in one single venue to rejoice in our common fandom of a certain metal band or group of bands. This is a gathering where men can be men; we celebrate by hitting each other, banging our heads until our necks are broken, shaking our fists and yelling a lot. Or at least that's what I should be doing. God forbid my elbow meets your broad's face because she's 5'1 with platform shoes, and you get all vindictive about it. 

I never thought a human voice without microphone assistance would be capable of cutting through drums, bass, rhythm guitar and lead guitar all at once, but somehow, she makes it possible. Her opinion needs to be heard wherever she goes, and she has to holler it, because the music is 'oh my god, really loud'. She also has to be up front, as close to the mosh pit as possible, so that she can get a really good view of the band, but looks really flustered and upset when 'that guy almost hit me'. The band in question she isn't familiar with, and doesn't really like; but she's wearing that black lipstick she bought at Hot Topic clearance, so to keep appearances, she will clap and squeal at the end of every song.

As the boyfriend, not only are you responsible for ruining everybody's good mood by bringing your pet troll, but you are now also ridiculous and out of place yourself. You cling tenaciously to your female, convinced that your fellow metal brethren are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to pounce on and ravage your true love the moment your arms aren't draped around her shoulders. So now, instead of having any fun yourself, you're too caught up in this irrational fear of the rest of us snatching away your precious poon and stand around clutching her like a tool. Sounds like a night to remember...

The fact of the matter is this: a Dying Fetus show is not a date. It's not. At her very core, no matter what she says to you, she doesn't actually want to be there. It's loud, it's smelly, and it's violent. She's your girlfriend. Take her to Red Lobster or some shit. Leave the rest of us out of it.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gauges

Brent Riggs of Job for a Cowboy is pretty white for an African tribesman.
Straight out of the Amazon, comes the latest fashion statement that scenesters use to scare Grandpa. This time, I'm referring to ear gauging; a popular form of body modification that's like ear piercing, except multiplied by a thousand. Regrettable tattoos and tongue studs are things that can be covered up and hidden in situations where they aren't appropriate, but there's not a lot you can to do to be incognito about tea saucer sized expressways that are dug clear through your fucking earlobes.

Gauges can range from tiny black plugs, all the way up to obnoxious, baseball-sized 'flesh tunnels'. A common practice in gauging is starting off small, and then stretching your earlobes out with increasingly larger plugs on a monthly basis. When a month goes by, and your self-mutilated body barely manages to heal itself, you replace your plug with the next size up, tearing your festering ear hole one quarter of a millimeter larger. Soon, the damage becomes permanent; and just like with exposed tattoos, when you finally grow the fuck up and remember what a job interview is, it will require expensive surgery to fix. Unless your job interview is at a tattoo parlor that appreciates this kind of self-destruction, or at a warehouse or sewage plant where nobody has to look at you, you're out of luck. Long John Silver's has a reputation to uphold, after all. 

Come on, dude...
As a metalhead, ear piercings are a bit more up in the air than some of your other exterior guidelines, but a short while of browsing Myspace Music will immediately tell you that gauges specifically are a scenester trademark, and as such, should be avoided. Your best bet is to follow in the footsteps of the rock legends you look up to, and go without completely. Let me put it this way: Rob Halford doesn't wear earrings, and he's a flaming homosexual. If he won't even do it, it has to mean something.

If you are a metalhead who has gauged his ears past the point of them closing on their own, can't afford cosmetic surgery, and want to redeem yourself, fret not! Steak knives are cheap, sharp, serrated, and can easily be sanitized in bleach. Or ammonia. Or probably a mixture of both.

Now fix it. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Long Hair Parted from the Side

What band is she in again? 
Does anyone remember Rachel from Friends? God I hope not. I don't even know the actress's name, Calista Flockhart or some shit. She's not relevant anymore anyway. All you need to know is that her hairstyle was very popular with young women in the late 90's and at the beginning of the new millennium. It is now however, a hairstyle that is becoming increasingly popular among young men who enjoy playing and listening to false metal. One of the biggest modern threats to the metal genre's curb appeal, is that we have an increasing number of dudes who are walking around looking like Rachel from Friends.

Long hair on men has been a trademark of heavy metal style since the genre's birth in the late 60's and early 70's; but leave it to the 'scene' to take something that we hold sacred, bastardize it, and make it wussy. The end result is what your little sister looks like when she wastes another day at the salon; hair that is perfectly combed, teased, and parted ever so elegantly from the side of their pretty little heads.

To keep your long hair truly metal, it needs to be parted dead center. This allows for ease of maintenance, which is a must for all the hair swinging involved in being a champion of your musical genre.

I'm not trying to tell you how to look, I'm just trying to help you avoid looking like a wussy douche.