Monday, January 31, 2011

Amon Amarth's new track is Godly

A couple weeks ago I got a comment that told me I was a "narcissistic troll". Definitely worth reading, thank you. The comment then continued to say that this person doesn't like "that viking make believe band" in regards to Amon Amarth. Here is a new song by Amon Amarth that single-handedly proves this person has an inferior opinion in music from me. I give you "War of the Gods" from the upcoming album Surtur Rising.

I hate having to prove people wrong all the time. No I don't. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Awful Metal Video of the Week: EDENBRIDGE - Higher

So it looks as if once again, we're finding ourselves back in the alternate realm that is symphonic metal with this week's Awful Metal Video. Specifically, we will be taking a good, long, hard look at Austrian female-fronted fairy metal outfit, Edenbridge. I hope you're as excited about this as I am, because today's video was suggested by Trey Lee Montpetit of Springfield, Massachusetts. This is the first video that a Facebook user was able to disgust me with so greatly, that I wrote about it on the page. Good for you, Trey. If you want to get your shot at horrifying me, go to the Facebook page and rock the discussion section with unmetal suggestions and videos. You see, I am currently conducting an ongoing experiment testing the exact number of bad music videos the human psyche can withstand before finally breaking. I think today we're going to find out that number...

So as I mentioned before, Edenbridge is an Austrian symphonic metal band with a woman for a singer. The woman, Sabine Edelsbacher certainly looks good in photo. Much like any female vocalist would, standing front and center; glowing, fully airbrushed, and with all her mopey-looking male musicians standing in the background, sullen and blurry-faced...

I'd like to give her a little try.
As the music video will reveal however, the reality of Edelsbacher's appearance is fairly grim when you see her in living motion, even with a monstrous amount of makeup. Not to say she isn't pretty, but she's more mom pretty, or better yet, high school teacher pretty. She's like that younger-than-most teacher who sure isn't gorgeous, but just hot enough to make you stare with your pubescent, hormone-driven, indiscriminating gaze for a little too long. She'll be trying to talk to you about geometry, but the only circumference that interests you is that of her modest rack. So with that, let's begin today's lesson in bad metal videos with Edenbridge's "Higher"...

The video starts out with Lanvall Lanvall (first name Lanvall, last name Lanvall, seriously) playing a grand piano. Already, I'm upset. Therion tried to pull this crap on me last week. Like I said before, I know a keyboard when I hear one. Roadies are certainly an enthusiastic bunch, but a grand piano is asking a lot. Just when you think you're about to hear some Barnes & Noble worthy, soft piano sounds, for the duration of the song, that's when the glorious heavy metal semi that is Edenbridge t-bones you with pure, unadulterated rock. The band starts rocking out and you're all "power chords and distortion whoa". It's got the intensity of watching Robin Williams getting a Brazilian bikini wax. Watch out, because Edenbridge is bringing the house down. Where's the bassist?

Okay so we got this Hell's Angel looking dude here, let's call him the Bald Viking. Bald Viking looks stressed out. He's in some busted castle and he's super frustrated about it. He's pulling at those bars, is he trapped in there? I guess he's trapped, although he seems to have a lot of freedom to move about for somebody who's in a type of confinement for medieval times. I might not be much of a history buff, but from what I heard, a medieval dungeon situation didn't allow you much option to roam freely. Nor should he look so vibrant and well-fed. Regardless, he's pissed off about something. Alright so here's this big mirror in the room, that's gotta be important right? Okay, now he's putting on a cape, and... oh... oh god damn it, he's playing swords in his room and looking in the mirror to see how cool it makes him look. He's just some god damn nerd playing swords. Awesome.

Alright, I can't ignore it anymore. Are those bubbles? Bubbles? Really, Edenbridge? Did you order a fog machine for your video, and get a bubble machine delivered to you instead? What the hell, disagree with me on every other nonmetal point I make, but bubbles are really, really not metal. Not even a little bit. As ridiculous as symphonic metal is even it should have it's limits. I mean: bubbles. Wow.

Back to Bald Viking, WHOA there was a guy in the mirror! Wow, someone caught you playing swords dude, how embarrassing. So when Bald Viking turns, there's no one there, which only means that it's time to investigate. Bald Viking reveals to us that he was never really confined at all, so I guess he was just pulling on those bars to check their durability or something. He kicks down the door to reveal the video's antagonist!

Joey Jordison? Kick his ass, BV! 

So whenever Edelsbacher sings a note in this video, she looks really surprised about it. Just a complete look of bewilderment at the sound of her own voice, her eyes and smile constantly widening. It's kind of like when you watch Herman Li play a guitar solo, he smiles goofily and looks down, amazed at himself. Like he wished for guitar playing mastery from a genie, and is just a little boy looking down amazedly at his newfound shredding powers in front of everybody. I digress...

Joey Jordison and Bald Viking are clumsily banging their swords together to and fro, until they finally take things outdoors. This hardly seems fair, as Bald Viking has the two swords, and Jordison, only the one. Soon, Jordison proves what all renaissance fair dorks know; that a man who knows what he's doing with just one sword can easily smite a n00b thrashing about with two. He totally cuts down our bud, Baldy, and he lies there, bleeding on the ground where he fell epic-style. The Slipknot drummer then leers over him, victorious. I really just want to know what's going at this point. What happens next, hardly helps anything...

The white mask is removed, to reveal none other than [SPOILER ALERT]... Bald Viking. What? I guess this was all some kind of wacky metaphor for an inner struggle of some kind? I don't know. Okay, now he's back in the room from before and there's... candles and... the mask... okay... diamond? OH, now it all makes sense. Okay, he was looking for gemstones. Cool.

I don't really have a lot against symphonic metal as a genre, but much like Therion, Edenbridge kind of sucks. When I was doing my homework for this video, I saw that their new album was topping the Indonesian rock charts. Wow. I didn't know there was a way to keep track of bootleg sales, but I guess so. Anyway, congratulations on that, but I'm pretty sure my blog has been read by 3 or 4 people from Indonesia, making it the single most visited internet blog in the entire country. Suck that, Edenbridge.

Driving a New Car

Special thanks to David Lips from Western Massachusetts for today's That's Not Metal violation. Also, another big thanks to Mike and Seth for the photo! As always, if you have an idea for me to write about, or photos of stuff that is or isn't metal, head on over to the Facebook page and post away! If I like what you post, I might just use it here on the blog. I'll also publicly oust your metalcore-loving friend as a homosexual as an added bonus to you. Think of the weight that would be lifted off his shoulders after all those years of denial...

There must be a sale going on... 
As a metalhead, you have a lot of priorities when it comes to spending your limited finances: top quality instruments and amplifiers, concert tickets, alcoholic beverages, band merch, hair conditioner, or if you're like me, condoms... lots of condoms. Reliable transportation doesn't really fit within your budget as a true-blooded defender of the faith.

Buying a new car is so not metal. It is one of the least metal things that somebody could do. It is totally corporate and bullshitty to own and drive a brand new motor vehicle. The last show I went to, some smug wannabe pulled out of the venue parking lot zipping around in a shiny black 2010 Volvo, and after I got over my very brief, denied feelings of jealousy, I was all "fuck that guy." He sucks and he doesn't even know it. I mean, what job would he even have looking like that to afford that car he was in? Other than the long-term career of being a kid with rich parents, of course. If you drive a brand new, off-the-lot vehicle, it means somebody owns you, whether it be daddy morebucks or capitalism.   

However, we metal fans are nomadic in nature, much like our ancient viking ancestors. We have to get around somehow, that's just the facts. You live in some suburban shit hole 30 minutes away from anything. (How else would you explain your restless, pent-up aggression?) Your favorite blackened death metal group only plays shows in state capitals, because these are the only cities they've heard of. You need a set of engine-propelled wheels to carry you there, and preferably a contraption to steer them. Unless you want somebody else to drive you around for the rest of your life, you need to get yourself some working wheels. Like I explained earlier, your finances are limited, and you got better things to spend your cash on. Here are some guidelines to consider when making a true metal vehicle purchase:
  • Try and keep your total cost under four figures. Here's some Brenocide history for you: my first car was $50. They wanted to just get rid of it for nothing, but I decided a working motor vehicle was a fair trade for a dinner at Outback Steakhouse. 
  • Rust damage can be covered with a lot of bumper stickers. The back of your car should look a lot like the guitar Jeff Hanneman played in the 80's. Although if I see you with a "COEXIST" bumper sticker, expect me to rear-end you. 
  • Working AC is for pussies. What was that? You need operable climate control for your luxury and comfort? What time next week should we schedule your manicure, princess?
  • It doesn't have to smell right. I mean, look who's gonna be driving it.
  • If it plays CD's, it might as well be a Bentley. If you have the option to drive around listening to true metal to your heart's content, you have the highest form of luxury possible. 
  • If it moves, you don't need to fix it. Funny noises aren't much of an issue when you can't hear them over loud music. 
Since you listen to better music than everybody else, it's only safe to assume that you're smarter than everybody else too. A car is a big set of chairs that moves you and your drunken pals to your destination, and not much more than that. An 8-cylinder, turbo-charged hot rod doesn't mean a whole lot when there's such a thing as a speed limit. You don't want to get pulled over man, look at you. Cops have this thing they made up called "reasonable suspicion" that allows them to joyfully finger around your cornhole and fondle your nuts just because you look a little sketchy. I don't know about you, but I like my cornhole just fine being unfingered, and my boys unfondled. 

Don't let the poor aesthetics, the shaky power train, or the lack of impressed members of the opposite sex get to you. A beaten, weathered car has its own charm and character to it, much like a scratched up vintage guitar. It tells people a story; that you've been places, seen things, or that you're likely to be a potential sex criminal. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Black Dahlia Murder Debate

As my close friends know, I'm actually somewhat of a fan of The Black Dahlia Murder. They particularly know about this, due in part like most metalheads I seem to run into, they don't much agree with it. Indeed, despite what I consider to be the truest of melodic death metal chops, TBDM has been met with crossed arms, scowls and furrowed brows from the true metal community for years now. As any footage from a Black Dahlia show will reveal to you, the majority of their fanbase lies in the younger generation of deathcore and metalcore followers. This has led many of us to assume or ponder; is The Black Dahlia Murder just a deathcore band themselves?

Even though nothing drives me up the wall quite like a genre debate, I refuse to believe that. I've been listening to death metal for years now, and all the right elements are in proper place. The only strikes against them being their long-winded name, their fashion sense, and the country of their birth. TBDM are a truly great death metal novel covered up by a deathcore dust jacket; and because of this, many metal fans don't even bother to pick up and read them in the first place.

I wish I could say I'm the end-all-be-all grand wizard of knowledge when it comes to what's true metal and what's not, (I certainly feel that way sometimes) and end the debate here and now by officially declaring The Black Dahlia Murder as a proper death metal band and nothing else. However, I'll let the readers decide. On the sidebar to the right of the page I've started a poll asking "Is The Black Dahlia Murder Deathcore or Death Metal?" Anyone can select what they think, but you can only vote once, so make it count. The poll will close February 10th, and I'll announce the results on that date. Although it's not really going to alter my opinion of the band, I'm just curious to know what all of you think.

Keep in mind you don't have to necessarily like them to accept them as a death metal outfit. Some mandatory listening before you make your choice would be their songs Funeral Thirst, A Vulgar Picture, Death Mask Divine, and I Will Return.

See you at the polls dudes. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mandatory Babes on Keyboard


I found inspiration for today's TNM Violation in some semi-recent news blowing up the metal blogosphere: Lightning has seemingly struck twice, as yet another piece of Winds of Plague eye candy, Alana Potocnik to be precise, is currently at the ass end of a leaked nude pic scandal of her very own. Before, in 2008, her WOP predecessor, Kristen Randall had her small, perky breasts immortalized in the hard drives of young men across the globe, with mirror shots taken of them for all to see. If your raging hormones beckon you to lay your horny eyes upon Ms. Potocnik or Randall in the buff, follow the links within the link.

Many seem bewildered that such a thing could happen to the same band twice. Just as George Santayana said, "Those who cannot learn from history, are doomed to repeat it." Smart bastard. Although some are going as far as to say that this is no more than a Winds of Plague publicity stunt, but let's be real here...

The Winds of Plague gimmick has made itself painfully obvious some time ago: Of the six keyboardists they have had total, the last three were beautiful, young women. After Randall left the band, they immediately approached Lisa Marx. After Marx, they moved onto former Breathing Process and Abigail Williams keyboardist, Alana Potocnik. Clearly WOP has the business sense to realize that sultry magazine spreads are their one-way ticket on a gravy train to exposure. Being so musically underwhelming, they need all the help they can get... So they recruit the assistance of these pretty girls with their edgy, alternative style: hair dyed black, skin covered in bad ink, ears and faces glowing from the sharp steel that pierce them every which way. Randall and Potocnik are what we commonly refer to as "scene chicks". Both of these girls taking nude shots of themselves was not some stunt that the members of WOP cooked up for exposure. Scene chicks have low self esteem and are natural sluts for attention, shamelessly pining for recognition at the cost of their own dignity. Nude pics in the mirror is just something that they do. 

The hot chick playing keyboard has been a distinctive trait of bad metal acts since Bleeding Through hit the scene in 2003ish. Marta Peterson looked damn good on the cover of Revolver magazine, and blooming projects immediately saw this as the perfect way to sell their band. Soon, a variety of metalcorists began scrambling to find the one cute goth chick that took piano lessons. Potocnik's two bands prior to WOP are perfect examples of this phenomena. I may not have much against Arizona black metal outfit, Abigail Williams from a musical standpoint, but playing keys for AW is a peculiarly female-only gig. Of their three former keyboardists (one of which, oddly enough being Kristen Randall) all of them were young ladies that were nice to look at. You can't tell me this kind of shit isn't on purpose.

Funny... your sister made a face just like this last time I saw her. 

When held up to the wailing of electric guitar, the quaking rumble of bass, and the earth-shattering blasts of the drum kit's beat, the keyboard seems like a much daintier instrument in comparison. One could say its perfect for the soft hands of the fairer sex; no blistered hands or calloused fingers required. Also, as anyone who often dicks around a music store can tell you, making cool ambient noises on a synthesizer without very much practice is fairly simple. If you put a Roland in front of me, I'm practically my own black metal band. I'm not saying that playing keyboard well isn't difficult, that there aren't incredible keyboard players out there male and female, or that it's a girly instrument overall. I'm just making the point that it's easy to find a hot chick with mild musical capabilities to stand on stage and look pretty for your show in this regard. Honestly, I think a stripper pole would be a lot less expensive (and more entertaining) than a full-sized Yamaha workstation and an amplifier, but that's just me. 

What the metal world needs more of are women who can blast beat, speed-pick and shred with the rest and the best of our metal masters. I honestly feel that there aren't enough women in heavy metal with a role outside of just being easy on the eyes and helpful to the band's pockets. Does a young girl truly have no worth in the metal genre outside of her sex appeal? 

Until Revolver stops being published, probably not. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wintersun "Time" Delays make Contemplating Suicide a Chore

Every time I come close to finally ending it all, I have to remind myself that I haven't had a chance to listen to Wintersun's long-anticipated sophomore release, "Time" yet, and it completely spoils my plans to put a much needed conclusion to my pitiful, meaningless existence once and for all. 

Come on Jari Maenpaa, are you telling me that you don't know a single guy in all of Finland who has a sweet enough Dell to mix the tracks you've been sitting on for years and finally get this thing released? When am I finally going to be able to kill myself without regret? I realize what it's like to have no one who really cares, but just how incredible is this masterpiece you've concocted? Does it really require a fully equipped, 64-bit, eight core processor, power horse PC, that has more Gigabytes of RAM than there is hard drive space, just to put your tracks together? Have you cooked up fast-paced riffs and guitar solos so savage, that circuit boards melt and set ablaze from merely attempting to comprehend your musical glory in digital format? Is my iPod even going to be able to play these songs?

How do you expect me to be able to break the binds of this insufferable mortal coil, without hearing a musical masterpiece so technical, so intricate, so profound that it has caused you half a decade of setbacks, misery, technical difficulties and loss of funds? You won't even give us so much as a solid release date, which would at least allow me to make arrangements to have the album played in its entirety when they bury me at my funeral. I thought maybe after listening to the lyrics of your first album, that you might have been able to understand my pain Jari, and the pain of your many fans just like me. I guess I couldn't have been more wrong, further proving how I am just stupid and worthless.

I saw your announcement last November, and was once again, let down by your vague comments and teasing words. I've been let down a lot in life. I suppose death's sweet release will dance mockingly around my grasp yet again, as I have to wait until you play some shows this summer in a country I can't afford to visit, in order for your label to provide you with the nuclear power required to run a PC capable of mixing your tracks together. This will only extend my agony, as you will have to delay finishing your album once again to focus on these upcoming gigs. The vicious cycle continues, and my empty, black heart must continue to beat begrudgingly.  

Axl Rose got over himself long enough to finish Chinese Democracy. I'm even going to get to play Duke Nukem Forever in May. I'll be smiling when I play it too, even though it'll all be sham. I don't think I'll ever truly be happy until I hear your stupid album.

Or I'll just never be happy...

Mayhem Festival: Megadeth Opening for the Two Worst Bands on Rock Radio

And the window licking legacy of Mayhem Festival's band roster continues...

As if I didn't receive enough bad news about this upcoming year in concert, the latest steaming shit pile has been thoroughly diarrhead all over my lap. Two years ago we scratched our heads in stupefied awe, contemplating how low an IQ level could possibly get, as Slayer was set to open up for who other, than Marylin Manson in a painfully awkward 2009 Mayhem Festival lineup. I could only blame such a mix up on Kerry King wearing his sunglasses indoors again, and not being able to see what he was doing when he agreed to it. I don't know, maybe the band roster was handed to him in writing? Kerry King, take them the fuck off once in a while. No wonder contracts keep getting signed for things like Vans shoes. He probably think he's just penning autographs all the time...

Coming soon to a Pepsi commercial near you.
This year, the makers of carbonated urine are back to their old tricks. On second stage, we have some meh deathcore bands for the rock radio listeners to stand around and watch, arms crossed and bewildered at the spectacle that there are bands out there heavier than Drowning Pool. (All Shall Perish is the best band out of the bunch. Yeah, I know.) On main stage, we have admitted Alice In Chains knockoff, Godsmack and pudgy goth kid favorite, Disturbed. I would go into how repulsive a crowd of Disturbed listeners looks like, but there's no punch I could throw that the album cover for Ten Thousand Fists didn't already brutally land...

100,000 Sausage Fingers
So in the time honored tradition of angering and confusing everyone, Pee Drink Inc, has Megadeth opening for Disturbed and Godsmack for their summer festival. If this is supposed to be some kind of test to see if Dave Mustaine can keep his ego mountain from blowing its top, it's a pretty cruel one. I realize Mr. Mustaine has nothing better to do with his time now that the rumored Big 4 "tour" ended up being a dud, but I don't know how he couldn't find this at least marginally insulting to him and his legacy. If there was ever a time to start backstage drama and start spewing bullshit from his mumbly face, now would be it. We've all gotten pretty sick of his attitude over the decades, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. If that smug gorillatard Sully Erna doesn't boil up some bad blood with Mustaine, I don't know who else could. Definitely not that tusk-chinned baby-face, David Draiman. Have you heard an interview with the guy? He's a total fucking sweetheart. I can't possibly imagine why he has such a problem keeping a steady girlfriend... Oh...

So I hope you're all going to be joining me for next year's 2012 Rockstar Mayhem Festival, which will appropriately feature special guest Iron Maiden opening up with a 15-minute set for Breaking Benjamin and Nickelback. The kids are gonna love it!

This TNM subject comes from Steven Pferschy of Yakima, Washington. Thanks Steven! If you want to let me know what you think isn't metal, head on over to the Discussions section of the Facebook page and let me know. If it doesn't suck, I'll happily write about it here on the page! If it does suck, I might just do it begrudgingly anyway. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jogger Making Fun of Black Metal

Maybe instead of a church we should burn down the houses/high-rise apartments of the guys in Jogger. I mean, I don't really need to give you any other reason to do it except that their mellow industrial synthpop indie hipster groove music really sucks. But here's one anyway:

The music is the kind of shit you'd find on sale at a Starbucks counter, with some black metal mock vocals over it for additional hipster hilarity in the unforgivable mockery of all things TRV and KVLT. We got some kids in this music video acting as black metal as someone who is black metal should act, and that's pretty entertaining. Soon, I lose myself in the music video as I gleefully watch an accurate depiction of how I was a child. Okay, so I kind of like the music video. It's emotionally on the same par as when you're at a comedy club, and you get up to the go to the bathroom, and the comedian just tears into you the moment he sees you get up. Your feelings are hurt and you feel humiliated, but at the same time, it's funny because you really are that fat. Anyway, we can't kick these guys' asses no matter how much we might want to, because as it is revealed at 4:36 at the end of the video, that would be a hate crime.

Still, I wouldn't blame you for feeling vindictive about having your favorite genre of music mocked by these two winners:

Could someone please pass me the irony?
You're probably mad again now. Me too. If you have to ask why I can't just take a joke or have some fun, it's because I'm metal.

The Big 4: The Big Disappointment

An advertisement designed flawlessly with the intention of disappointing everyone.
Ever since I first became a heavy metal fan as a wee lad, I've been engaged with someone in a conversation or have overheard a similar conversation regarding just how supreme it would be if Metallica and Megadeth put their differences aside after all these years, and shared a stage for one, epic monster tour. There was always the inevitable turn the conversation would take, as the biggest dreamer would fabricate a roster that not only included Metallica and Megadeth together, but all bands of "The Big 4" of American thrash metal: Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica.

We would then share a big laugh and a heavy sigh. This was nothing short of an impossibility at the time. Megadeth frontman, Dave Mustaine's severe egotism and alcoholic nature has led to a feud being raised wherever there could be one in the heavy metal community. Slayer guitarist, Kerry King and Mustaine have been each other's throats for years. I also hardly need to mention the emotional circumstances in which Dave Mustaine was cast out of Metallica, which he apparently never got over. 

Then, in 2010, thanks to a combination of maturity and sobriety, half of our prayers were answered. King and Mustaine put their years of poison words behind them and co-headlined in the North American Carnage Tour, along with fellow American thrash metal giants, Testament. As a way to keep their towering egos in check, the two bands alternated back and forth between which ones would close each night. On the second leg of the tour, Anthrax joined the run. The dream was 3/4 true. We only needed one more band to make it a glorious reality, but I feared that as one of the highest selling metal acts of all time, Metallica had become too big and too proud to consider going along with the dreams of the fans. The impossible was then at last achieved: For seven European shows, Metallica headlined along with Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. I was so thrilled that such a thing was even possible, that I almost didn't even care about not being able to attend.

Now it's our turn. As the country of their birth, these bands owe us this much. This is the kind of band roster that has been the content of a hands-clasped plea from the fans for decades now. We've been buying their albums, concerts tickets, shirts, other merchandise, and have been singing their praise for years. The very least they could do is give us what we want every once in a while. We've seen the teaser fliers, and today's the day they announce the North American dates! Drum roll please...

One show. In one place. A place that so happens to be on an opposite coast from me and millions of other fans. Thanks. Thank you so fucking much.

I don't care if they originally hail from California. I don't care if they're big bands. This is nothing short of inexcusable. How could this have happened? The hateroade between all bands has all but run dry. We saw with our own eyes that Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax were perfectly capable of touring all those dates together last year without issue. They all did it together with Metallica in Europe for seven shows. Why do we, only get this bone thrown at us? Why do they think one festival in one part of America is enough to satiate our appetite? In the distance I would have to fly to attend a show in California, I might has well have just flown to fucking Europe anyway. At least I wouldn't have to connect a flight going over the goddamn Atlantic ocean.

This is unforgivable. I'd try to stage a massive boycott, but I don't really need to. These Big 4 gaping assholes have boycotted themselves, by shunning the rest of the U.S and neglecting the millions of us that aren't going to be seeing this happen, they turned what could have been the greatest tour of all time into the greatest letdown in recent metal memory. Enjoy your show, "Indio". Wherever in California you are.

Comments are open to all as always! Feel free to share your anger below.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Awful Metal Video of the Week: Therion - To Mega Therion

I don't know exactly whether or not this is the worst music video I ever seen, but it's definitely up there. Say what you want about Therion musically, (and I have a lot of things to say) but where their terribleness truly excels is in their unbridled ability to make a really, really bad music video.

I promise you this will not be the last we see of Therion in regards to the Awful Metal Video of the Week. Speaking of which, if you have a truly horrible music video that you'd like me to bear witness to, by all means, get yourself on the Facebook page, "like" if you haven't already, (you know you like me) go to discussions, and tell me all about it in the appropriate thread. If I like your idea, I will most definitely write about it on the blog, namedrop you, and talk about how cool and handsome you are.

For the benefit of this post, I had to sit and watch this entire video from start to finish. If I had a choice in the matter, I would have probably stopped at about the third second. The video opens with the camera panning over some Gothic church architecture, and that alone was enough to rob of me of any potential joy I could have experienced today. "Great", I thought to myself, "it's one those videos." What I didn't anticipate is that "Therion - To Mega Therion" is a lot of "those videos". Images of the band playing in black trench coats and head banging in front of the crumbled, moss-covered bricks filled my mind, knowing for sure that was about to happen next, and you most definitely get to see that, but that's not all you get to see...

We are treated to a choir of singers standing on an expensive-looking, wooden staircase, and what a confusing bunch they are. They look like all the awkward extended family members of yours at a funeral  that you don't really know, and you don't want to talk to. However, somehow the conversation of your dead great aunt comes up, and you have to pretend to have some feelings about it to share with them. The women are a couple plain-janes with velvet dresses and satin gloves, with the prettier ones standing out front, and that's not saying very much. The gentlemen can be best described as the situation where you have an important job interview, and you get yourself a haircut in order to look more professional for it; but it's pretty bad haircut, the type that makes you look like an 11-year-old boy. Yet since you got it the day of your interview you have to go with it anyway. I'm guessing the job interview for these chaps was a Therion music video. I mean look at that dude on the right, he's wearing a fucking American flag tie, and Therion is most definitely Swedish. What happened here? Does Therion realize you don't need people with professional singing talent for a music video? You can get anybody you want to stand there and voice-over the lyrics. I can't come to the conclusion in my mind that these were the best-looking people that Therion knew to stand there and sing. The horrifying reality is, that's probably the case. The chick in the blue dress didn't even bother to learn the words. She's just moving her lips along with everyone else.

The church architecture shots and the painfully awkward choir is a constant theme of the music video, and before long, I pat myself on the back for my accurate prediction of band members in trench coats playing the song in front of the church. The snow is an added treat to the increasingly large pile of bad metal video cliches. I have successfully muscled through to the 16th second. Oh dear god.

The drummer apparently couldn't make it to the band shoot of them playing in the snow, or for the safety of his equipment, didn't want to. The band came up with a compromise however, and he plays drums in the warmth and safety of indoors, while wearing a t-shirt I wouldn't be caught wearing to bed, and the typical "I don't fit in but I'm the only guy they could find to play metal drums" hair cut and look about himself.

Was that a pirate?

Yes it was.

NOW WE'RE IN THE STUDIO RECORDING THE ALBUM. Oh dude, look! It's a soundboard! It's huge right? It must have been expensive! Check it out, now I'm wearing headphones and singing on a microphone with a windscreen! Look mom, I'm Christina Aguilera! I've finally made it! If you want to make the worst kind of a heavy metal music video, record video of yourselves recording your album; what the process looks like, and how cool it is to be surrounded with all the big and expensive equipment. Show off to everybody how much money is going into the production of your album. Studio footage is to a metal video what a Bentley is to a rap video. It shows everybody that you're big now. I feel sorry for this washed up porn star they have as an audio engineer for all this crap. I'm sure he feels the same way, as his face is in the dark all the time. 

More of the same: choir, church shots, trenchcoats in the snow, studio footage, rinse and repeat. Over and over again. Holy shit there's that pirate again. Why does he have flames superimposed over him? Did his ship burn down? 

They zoom in on the prettiest girl while she lip syncs a solo, and it's all she can do to keep herself from laughing. This all must feel pretty silly from her point of view. God knows I feel embarrassed for watching it. More pirate. Here's a statue of saint whats-his-face. Now here's the best shot we could possibly get of this gargoyle. It's really, really high up after all. If this wasn't ridiculous before, it is officially now so. There are no violins or grand pianos in a Therion track. What do you think I'm retarded? As if we as metal fans don't know synthesized keyboard sounds when we hear them. 

I have made it to about the 4:20 mark, and I am officially exhausted. The idea that I have to wait for at least another 2 minutes for the song to end is unbearable. I am convinced that this video has shown me everything it has to offer over and over again long before I reached one minute into it. Is there any curveball to be thrown? I guess the choir is in trouble now, because the creepy pirate is on his way up the stairs. We get to the guitar solo part of the song, and the video's footage gets really jerky and we have some flames superimposed over the band instead of the pirate. The video approaches its exit to the sound of synthesized trombone, while we look at some guys playing actual trombones. Therion, you guys are assholes. The final image of the video is the gargoyle that's too high up to get a decent shot of. 

Therion - To Mega Therion takes almost every cliche I would hate about a European metal video, and jumbles it all up into one big tossed salad of suck. This music video is as boring and repetitive as the song itself. I challenge anybody to find me a worse music video than this. Like I said, get on the Facebook page to let me know about it. 

I'm going to take a scalding hot shower now, to see if its possible to scrub away this shame. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sonic Syndicate is a Band of Butthurt, Unprofessional Fairies

When Sonic Syndicate reads this blog, they are also going to write a song about it.

Hail to all, my faithful warriors of metal! I have only just returned from a splendid vacation of sun and surf in the Bahamas, to see that some friends of mine had left me some very interesting facts about a post I wrote last week, regarding a massive sit-down rebellion I staged with fellow metalheads during an Amon Amarth show where Sonic Syndicate was playing a few years ago. (If you missed the article, click here.)

Long story short, Sonic Syndicate is a Swedish screamo band that back in late 2007 made the mistake of opening for Amon Amarth, (arguably one of the hardest melodic death metal acts of all time) in Worcester, Massachusetts. They received their just desserts, as little more than half the crowd attending actually sat down on the floor for the entirety of their set. In doing so, we had hoped we would make at least a minor ding to the armor of their confidence as a band. I had no idea, being unable to interpret the vocalist's broken English, and their tenacious ability to play on at the time, just how upset the incident actually made them. The chainmail of their professionalism was utterly shattered by the massive mace that was our reaction as an audience. We broke their weak, Swedish little hearts. 

I know I'm very critical of the music that I don't like personally, and god knows I'm going to brutally fault you for liking or playing anything that I don't like. But let's be real here: I'm just some asshole. Who cares? To quote Tom Dare from a recent Metal Hammer blog: "If the huffing and puffing of trolls can knock you down, you must have built your house of straw."  (Click here to read his article, Blogs of War: Bands Vs. The Internet). Life is just like that sometimes. Haters - after all - gonna hate. God knows I have my share, being quite the avid hater myself. We do it for the lulz, it's just how we roll. Delicious, memorable, epic lulz come in the form of one thing: a reaction. Reactions are how you "feed the trolls" so to speak. If you are in a performing rock band, are signed to a major record label, and have a faithful following of fans and album buyers, you don't let this kind of stupid crap get under your skin enough to react to it. Yet it got under Sonic's skin. Way deep. 

I'd like to direct the court's attention to Exhibit A: a song off Sonic Syndicate's second major release under Nuclear Blast, "Love and Other Disasters". The song is titled; "Hellgate: Worcester". (As opposed to Hellgate: London? Who the hell knows.) You can hear the song by clicking here. Good luck listening to it. The lyrics, are as follows:

You are an inspiration to us all
Armed with your plastic sword
A narrow mind and limited brain capacity
What I don't understand is
Why you revere a guy
Who's lacking an eye and never really existed

Tell me where's the sense in this?
(Why can't you open your minds)
Tell me what's the meaning of this
(Lose lose situation)
I feel for your god of war
Your fairer expenses
Must be insane with the mount you got in your garage
Don't you get me wrong
Cause I'm still impressed
By the bastardization between a horse and a spider

Tell me where's the sense in this?
(Why can't you open your minds)
Tell me what's the meaning of this
(Lose lose situation)
Maybe you should be the one who sacrificed an eye
To gain the wisdom you so badly require

Your savage agitation won't break us, can't break us
Just sit tight and watch our power grow stronger

My "savage agitation won't break you"? You silly man, it just did. I tore your shit asunder. Sonic Syndicate wrote a song about what happened to them in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

By actually going so far as to write a song about the incident, all you did was validate our actions. We got to you, plain and simple. What we did ate at your insides so painfully, hurt your fragile, pathetic feelings so much that you had to write a song about it to get it off your chest. It's like I'm a bully on the playground and I shove you down just because I like to watch you cry; and to encourage me, you cried on cue. You sobbed and bawled and wailed in the form of a song, where you lash out at us for being the big mean bullies we were. Didn't your mothers ever teach you that the best way to deal with bullies is to ignore them?

I barely want to even get into how much this song sucks, lyrically and musically, because it doesn't matter half as much as the fact that it exists. It's also, too easy a target. For starters, I'm a guy who listens to Amon Amarth, not a devout Norse pagan. There is, believe or not, somewhat of a difference. Making fun of Odin a lot doesn't really cut me as a guy who went to a concert in Worcester, so much as its an attack on the lyrics of a superior band that invited you to tour with them in the first place. Real professional. Second, I don't know what realm of existence Sonic Syndicate hails from where the only reason people would think their music sucks is because they are "narrow-minded" or have a "limited brain capacity". I think you're a generic, scream-the-verse-croon-the-chorus, cliche, overdone Killswitch Engage knock-off with too poor a grasp on the English language to be writing lyrics in it. I guess having anything other than a positive opinion of your cookie cutter metalcore band makes me a stupid, close-minded person.

I'll admit, my competency in the Swedish language is all but non-existent. I will however, promise to all my European readers out there, if I was going to start writing in Swedish, I would learn it first. I wish I could say mascara wearing vocalist, Richard Sjunnesson had the same kind of respect when he made his announcement about leaving the band last November:

“There are only so many arguments of the ‘scary’ screaming vocals to be or not to be in various songs I’m willing to take. Seeing how there was even demands to the band (behind my back) of songs without screaming vocals and how they were later obvious downplayed in the mix might very well have been the deathblow to my emotional attachment of the band. On the other hand, that made this decision very easy for me. It allowed me to go on in life with stuff that feels more important, things that actually manage to stir my heart.”

I'll do my best to translate this, but bear with me, I don't have a lot to work with. I guess Sjunnessonomississippi didn't agree artistically with the fact that the band doesn't want to do screamo vocals anymore, and that, he says, "will simply not fly with this crow". I guess the band arguing and the painful memory of that one group of fans being really rude at that one show he performed at in one state of America a couple years ago really was really just too much for Sjunnessonolopolis to handle.

So this is a personal message to Sonic Syndicate: I am the man responsible for what happened in Worcester those years ago. I was the man who opened that Hellgate at Worcester. Comment furiously on my blog below, because it is evident you are not above doing so, and every stupid little thing said and done with negative connotations towards you and your shitty band is enough to warrant a song-sized reaction. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Posting your updates on your band's facebook page

Sometimes bands and musicians need a reminder about what is and what is not metal. What is metal? Music, metal music, is metal.
It is their right as a famous musician to capitalize off of their sound, name, and subsequent brand that they have created and I am certainly not about to criticize someone for trying to make money. Hell, I want money, lots of money, and I will tell you right now that I am shameless enough to do just about anything to obtain it and the luxuries that it affords. However, I am going to criticize you for demonstrating behavior that is characteristic of a jackass.

Recently, I read a status update from a band (and I will assume many of you did, too) including a link to a YouTube video informing me of the features of a certain bassist's brand new signature Jackson bass series. Not to sound repetitive and redundant, but I find nothing wrong with releasing a signature line of instruments to capitalize on your success and unique sound. What is wrong with this picture should be completely obvious, especially to anyone who has ever played music with others enough to call themselves a “band:”


Maybe this band has sold out so much that they have lost sight of everything but the color green, but this completely and utterly violates band code. Cool, speak in front of people at a convention, advertise in magazines or social networks; sell yourself out because you (did) kick ass, but don't use the band when you are just one part of the band. Remember, you are so-and-so from such-a-band, nothing more. You are successful because the band is successful. Market yourself on your own time.

Had the band stood behind their bassist and tried to help their bandmate sell basses, maybe I would have less of a problem with this. However, the message on the band's status was written from the bassist, “Diggin'” his own basses. What? Let me repeat myself, what? Where do you get off and in what dimension do you live where this is acceptable?

One concept should be a given: the individual whose name is on the instrument line “digs” his or her series if for no other reason than you get free instruments and money. If the opposite is true, tell us why, otherwise you are telling us shit we already know.

It is well known that it does not pay to be metal or to be in a metal band. Most of us metalheads know how hard work is to come by, so we certainly are not helping the cause. What do many of the successful bands today do: record albums and tour to support them.

Say what you want about Metallica and Kirk Hammett, but it is not Hammett's fault for being good enough to have a signature line nor is it his fault that the band sucks. Metallica sucks because they suck as a band, a cohesive unit, focused on making the band money first and music second. Slayer, similar deal: I will not fault Tom Araya for capitalizing on his success in Slayer by releasing a signature bass line, but again, he did not put his interests (as far as I am aware) over that of the band, advertising through the band and making him seem better than the band. Once again, their long history of suck is due to them sucking as a unit not self-promotion. 

Bands do not survive on individualism; metal does not survive on individualism. Both are a brotherhood. Perhaps it is this individualism that has contributed to the two decades of failure from this band. They have underachieved, overachieved, and said they went back to the mindset that made their most successful album successful and have produced nothing but suck since. Self-promotion is the detriment to any band and this band is full of self-promoters. Metal is and always has been about one thing: the music, and by focusing on individual interests bands lose sight of that.

Maybe, if you guys focused on the band's success, you might find that you would make more money by producing a GREAT album.

Doesn't count

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Brenocide is On Vacation!

Greetings metal minions! Once again, I am delivering you sad news that I am going to be taking another short break from the blog. It's GREAT news for me, however, because unlike last time, it will be under much more pleasant circumstances...

The lady friend and I are going to be embarking on a cruise to the Bahamas! No, it's not the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise. Although that would be pretty sweet, this is your average cruise line that is a ridiculous amount of fun for all kinds of people and not just metal heads. (I'm sure I'll manage.) Even though I'm not going to be on a boat with Nevermore, I promise I'm going to have a sensational time regardless; soaking up some sun, sipping some brews and enjoying the room service, casinos, excursions and especially the sand and crystal blue waves! No internet, no cell phones, no unnecessary contact with the outside world for an entire magnificent week. Just me and my girl having the time of our lives. So much for "not having a life". Suck it, haters.

While you're writing about what a close-minded jerk I am in the comments section from your mom's house, this is where I'll be sipping margaritas and having sex.
Some highlights to discuss before I leave you guys for the week: I found some new blood to write on TNM in Tyranneous. If you didn't know already, he was the guy who brought you yesterday's Ear Plugs post, and I feel he'll be a great addition to the team of me that's been running the show by myself until now. He might post some stuff while I'm gone, he might not. He's got his own life and stuff to deal with, but he knows that I'll be absent for a bit, so check back now and again to see if he's got any new material for you.

Also, TNM has shattered its 10,000th view mark this week! For a guy with a blogger account on the dark, smelly corner of the internet, that feels pretty cool. Especially due to the fact that its mostly by word of mouth. I'm not really too good in the business of self-promotion. You guys are doing a good enough job without me. So thanks for reading, you guys kick enormous piles of ass! Keep spreading the word, dudes. Also to get the community involved, I've started taking suggestions for TNM subjects on the Facebook page. If you haven't already, Like "That's Not Metal" on Facebook, head over to the Discussions section, and tell me what you think is not metal. If I like your idea, I'll write about it and name drop you at the top of the post!

I will be back home January 24th. Keep it together until then! I'll be thinking of some truly epic rants to bring back to y'all when I return, pen and paper in hand. That is, if I'm physically capable of being mad about anything for the entirety of this vacation.

Keep reading, keep sharing, and STAY BR00TAL!!


Brenocide \,,/

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Recording Live Bands on Camera Phones, then Uploading it to YouTube

Today's TNM post subject comes from none other than the almighty Infidelamsterdam himself, Ed Veter! Ed hails from Amsterdam, Netherlands and is a true metal YouTube sensation. He is world renowned for his insightful and often hilarious YouTube vlogs about his opinions of music, his personal life and responses to questions and comments from fans and foes alike. If you haven't heard of him, punch yourself in the face, then go check out his channel on YouTube post-immediately. Thanks for reading, Ed, and thanks for the subject idea! 

If you want me to write about what you think isn't metal, Like TNM on Facebook, go to the discussions section, AND TELL ME WHY YOU MAD. Link is to the bottom right of the page. 


I hope your car flips before you get home and your face is smashed in by a twisted mess of steel, glass and pavement. Not enough to kill you of course, I'm not so morbid. It just needs to be enough of a crash to leave you a brain dead, comatose vegetable covered in weeping family members and infected bed sores for the rest of your shallow life as a human husk. Either that, or you regain consciousness decades later when all of your loved ones are DEAD or have forgotten about you, and you're paralyzed from the forehead down. Anything to stop you from uploading that half a mega-pixel video you just recorded of The Black Dahlia Murder on your last-generation Blackberry to the internet.

When you raise your hands at a metal show, you do it to give the horns, clap, or flip the bird at a band that sucks. (The "invisible grapefruit" claw is also acceptable.) That's it. If I see you lifting up your trendy little camera phone so you can record a blurry, barely legible visage of a human being holding an instrument while simultaneously blowing your phone's microphone with decibel levels far beyond what it is capable of capturing, I'm going to smack it out of your limp-wristed hand. 

Are you legally retarded? Don't your very few friends or (probably mother), complain to you about how static-ridden a conversation is with you and just your loud mouth alone? What dimension of time and space do you hail from where you assume that tiny ant hole of a microphone located on the bottom of your mobile device is going to be capable of capturing a decent quality recording of a live metal act from 10 feet away? I also assume it's the same dimension where you think people will find it pleasant to watch/listen to whatever aural and visual travesty you have recorded on your cheap gadget.

To find a proper example of this inexcusable internet phenomena, one merely has to type in a band name and the word "live" in the YouTube search bar. That's it. Every metal act, no matter how technical, has at least one fan stupid enough to bring that amount of a shame to a band's live performance by uploading what I struggle to call a "video" of it that he/she captured on his/her cell phone. I don't care what lowercase letter your phone's model name begins with, it's not a good enough piece of equipment to do what you're doing with it. A cell phone's camera is good for capturing only the following events:

- Girls fighting.
- The police beating up a hood rat that deserved it.
- Bigfoot.
- People getting hurt by acting stupid. (See police beating up hood rats)
- Your hideous children doing or saying something typical and underwhelming. Subsequently, putting it on the internet will guarantee you the most YouTube hits of all time. 

All of these things are okay to record with your mobile phone because they don't involve music. I guess after you get through all my berating and threats of harm, that's really the point behind all of this: the music. If you look past my daily gripes about wardrobe and concert etiquette, I am a fan of music. At the end of the day, that's really what matters to me. You could be a Christian, gauge-eared, dreadhead wearing bondage pants, and you wouldn't concern me a quarter as much as somebody taking my favorite songs and putting them through the aural cheese grater that is a cheap, tinny cell phone microphone. It's nothing more than an insult to a musician's art form.

I guess to really get the point across to the individuals that are guilty of this, I would have to consider your motives for doing it in the first place. A possibility would be that these musicians are celebrities to you, and you wanted to prove to others that you were only a few feet away from your metal gods. Maybe you're not so focused on capturing the song and its performance, but recording your overall experience to share with others. It might be a combination of both; either way, no matter what angle you approach this, I still can't personally agree with what you're doing. Why would you share your concert experience with a bunch of jerkoffs you don't know? They didn't buy those tickets. You did. You planned your day, traveled distances and paid money to be at this show. Why should those who didn't do all that, get to see what you saw? Maybe thinking that way makes me a naturally selfish person, but when I buy a taco, I eat it myself.

Keep your phone in your pocket... nay, in your vehicle. You don't need anybody bugging you with phone calls, it's time for some metal. After all, the last thing you want is to fall on top of your fancy new mobile phone when you inevitably get knocked on your ass in the pit.

4G speeds don't mean dick when your phone is broken in half. Consider that a threat. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wearing ear plugs

Greetings fellow metalheads, another authority on all things metal has joined forces with the mighty Brenocide: Tyranneous. A tyrant with words, a wizard of the pen, a mighty beast of ideas; I, Tyranneous, hope to bestow useful knowledge to my fellow brethren so that we can create a more educated elite. Enjoy.

Not in my show, dumbass.
If there is one sight that irks me more than just about any other at a metal show, it is that of a fellow “metalhead” with pieces of orange foam stuck as far into his (it is always a he) ear canal as he can muster.
Typically, this “metalhead,” with his pube-like wiry hair, lanky physique, and hoodie walks uncomfortably around the venue, wetting his pull-up's (Mommy wow, he's a big boy now!) because he has no idea what to expect, this being his first show and all, and he heard from his best friend's older brother's dad that rock shows are loud.
Listen folks, your parents might tell you that your hearing is precious and to protect it because you never get it back, but leave that shit at the door of the show. Protecting your hearing is fine on the gun range, but losing your hearing is a battle wound that all of us metalheads are proud to display. Eventually, these “loud” shows become listenable because you lose those wimpy cells in the ear canal and you are left with pure, unadulterated metal cells. This my friends, is a fact.
There is an adage, “if it's too loud, you're too old:” learn it, love it, live by it; it is the first commandment of the metalhead way of life. Some jack off is blasting his hip hop next to you, well “Blow your speakers with rock and roll!” as the mighty Eric Adams belted and crush your enemy with your overwhelming metal-ness and ability to tolerate a volume of music that far surpasses anyone else. When Lemmy asks you if the music is loud enough, you say NO!

Got it?
If you are an up-and-coming metalhead – which you shall remain until you are capable of driving yourself to the show – proper ear protection should never cross your mind. We, your metal elders, embrace our deafness because it gives us the ability to drown out the noise of everyday life: your bullshit problems and that of the rest of the world (you because you have not been accepted into the community as above mentioned). We never think about tomorrow because it has yet to arrive and today is a show, where we can experience one of our favorite bands, and nothing satiates our hunger for metal than hearing it louder than loud.
Metal is an experience and nothing completes this experience more than the volume. When you come to our sacred ground wearing ear plugs, what you are telling us is that you really do not want to partake in this experience with us; you are telling us in a roundabout way that you are better than the rest of us and when it comes to a show, no pissant little dipshit is going to be better than us.
So, when daddy hands you a pair, grow a pair and tell him to shove it; you are a “metalhead.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wearing your Boyfriend's Band Shirts to Bed


Great, now the neck is all stretched out. I'm going to have to make up some story about how some guy grabbed it in a mosh pit so I don't look like a tool in front of my friends. How many times do I have to tell you not to wear my band shirts to bed anymore? These aren't pajamas, Carol, these are uniforms! This is complete horseshit, Carol. I'm not going to stand for it anymore. 

No, they aren't just my old rags, these shirts tell a story to everyone about where I've been and what kind of person I am. They are my badges of honor, Carol. I got this t-shirt at Ozzfest in 2004. They charged me $45 for the long sleeve and now look at it, just look at it. It's ruined now. I can't wear this thing anymore! Do you know how many more Ozzfest 2004s they're going to have again, Carol? Zero. There will never be another Ozzfest 2004. That was such a sweet ass lineup too. I saw Slayer, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath all on the same stage. Black Sabbath, CAROL! It was the coolest day of my life. Now, that memory is ruined. Ruined, just like this shirt. I'm never going to get it back. All because you wanna go to bed all comfy-cozy in the first piece of cotton you put your grubby mitts on. Don't you walk away from me! 

Well if you like them so much, name one song by them... Okay, name one song besides "Raining Blood", genius... Yeah, didn't think so. This is almost as bad as the time you cut the arms and neck off of my Maiden shirt. Real original, Miley Cyrus. I bet all the other fashionistas at Forever XXI were just blown away with how ironic you looked.

No Carol, it's not just a "god damn t-shirt" and no, I'm not going to "get over it". This is more than that! This is about your disrespect for my personal property! Oh, here we go again. We're not getting into that again, just stick to the subject! It's always got to be so dramatic with you. Look, all I'm saying is that my Kreator shirt wasn't in the closet this morning, and I had nothing clean to wear when I had to go visit my parents. That's all I'm saying. Just you wear your clothes and I'll wear mine. I don't know why that's such a difficult concept to grasp.

Oh, Jordan let you sleep in his hockey jerseys, huh? Now it all comes together! Well good for Jordan. Why don't you send him another text message about how much you miss him and his giant retard sports gear? Who the hell else would you be texting at 12:30 at night Carol? How stupid do you think I am?! Why don't you go over to Jordan's, make a big hockey jersey fort with him, then crawl into it together and dry hump each other in the face?

No, Carol. Carol... don't do that. Carol... don't... look, hey come on hey, I'm sorry... Carol...

Look, hey look I'm sorry okay? I'm sorry. Look, I'm sorry just don't... look it's fine okay? I'm not that mad it's not that big a deal. Come on, I don't hate you Carol, you know that's not... seriously, you know I love you I just...

Carol, where are you going...? Carol?

God damn it. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TRV METAL HISTORY: Venue Patrons Take a Seat for Sonic Syndicate

The day was the first of December in 2007. The place: The Palladium Nightclub in Worcester, Massachusetts. The headlining act was Amon Amarth, and their appropriate fan base filled the venue with a sea of scraggly hair and unkempt beards. We stood and conversed loudly and proudly amongst ourselves, sharing stories of concerts past, while we eagerly awaited the opening act to take stage and give us a sufficient appetizer before our main metal course.

The classic rock background music was abruptly silenced, and the crowd began to clap and cheer with excitement. Even if this was just the opening act, we paid to see some live metal, and the more of it the merrier. The first time I ever saw the name "Sonic Syndicate" in my life, was when I took a look at my ticket stub after I bought it and walked into the venue. It was a really stupid name, but I'm not one to judge a book by its title. I had literally no idea coming in to this what I was in for. When I saw the mutual look of horror that spread across the concert-goers' faces when the band members took the stage, I imagine that was the case for everyone else there.

We were greeted with guy-liner, skunk hairdos and tight muscle shirts. I was convinced that somebody had kidnapped the opening act for the Amon Amarth show and replaced them with a Swedish version of Bleeding Through to play a prank on us. This was the wussiest batch of screamo music I had ever witnessed at a metal show... and I've been to Ozzfest before. When the singer crooned their first clean chorus, I couldn't help but cringe. I thought there would be a riot. We were Amon Amarth fans standing here having to watch this. Who could be responsible for such a horrible mix up?

Truthfully, this kind of thing has been an ongoing problem at metal shows ever since metalcore and all its sub-genres first came out of the closet. I don't know who isn't getting the hint, but Bullet for my Valentine is not someone you should have open for Iron Maiden. Nor is Emmure a band you should have open for Motorhead. (I wouldn't have been able to make that last one up if I didn't see it happen in person.) Some of these band lineups they have going on tour with one another are like a bad joke, and its only getting worse. Marilyn Manson and Slayer? I'm sure those fans got along great.

So there we were, the truest fans of our kind face to face with the falsest of the false. This was a nightmare. Fans booed and threw up middle fingers as high as they could be stuck, there were even demands for the chick bassist to show us the goods. No matter what, the message just wasn't getting sent to these jerkoffs. They were up there prancing around, playing their fairy breakup music, like we didn't even exist or matter to them. We had to do something drastic to get these pillow biters off the stage and fast...

I'm probably in this photo somewhere. Probably.
Then I saw him: a bright-eyed young man in the crowd, trying to get everybody's attention. His voice just wasn't able to cut through the garbage that was blaring through the massive PA system, and I did the best I could to read his lips and figure out his hand motions. "Everybody SIT DOWN." It was brilliant in its simplicity. I couldn't think of any better way to disrespect a rock band more than to not even bother remaining standing for their performance. Immediately, I turned to the disgruntled metal fans and the friends I came with around me, and repeated his orders as loud as I could. I shouted for everybody to sit the hell down, and without missing a beat, planted my ass on the cold concrete floor. Four or five people in the crowd were happy to follow. Then nine or ten. Suddenly, we had the majority of the venue sitting down during the remainder of Sonic Syndicate's set. We were staging a big, fat, lazy revolt.

Sonic Syndicate tried to remain professional and continue playing, (God bless 'em,) but with our display of such overwhelming defiance against them, they couldn't help but falter. They missed beats, their voices cracked, they stumbled with lyrics. Lead singer Richard Sjunnesson then proceeded to tell us to go take our fat American asses to Quizno's and eat some sandwiches in the best English that he could muster, before storming off the stage in a huff. They may have played all of the songs in their set; they may not have. Regardless, this victory was ours, even if the only thing we got out of it was that Sonic Syndicate had slight feelings of regret for touring with a band as supremely metal as Amon Amarth. We can only hope...

Did we hurt your feelings? WRITE A SONG ABOUT IT.

So if you find yourselves paying to see a genuine metal show, and the opening act they offer you is some wussy buttcore that gives your genre a bad name, don't start throwing bottles, that will only get you ejected, or the lead singer will call you out in front of everyone. (After all, it's easy to act tough when you're standing on top of a stage that's behind a guard rail and a group of bouncers). Just brush off that concrete floor, check twice for vomit and have yourself a seat.

Who says protest can't be civil?

All photographs credited to

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Those Big Hot Topic Pants


I've been holding on to this one for a while...

For months I have pondered whether or not making mention of something so ridiculous, so out of bounds, so unmetal was actually necessary. The day I begin writing about unmetal things so obvious as "Oprah", "Martha Stewart" or "Meshuggah", I hope you have enough sense to stop visiting and reading my blog. Alas, I still feel a strong need to bury this one. I haven't attended a metal show yet where this form of dress was not worn by several young individuals; sweeping the grime off the beer and vomit-soaked concert floor wherever their big, silly goth kid pants dragged behind them. If someone hasn't already said it twice, I'll say it again, because it bears repeating: those big obnoxious pants you buy from Hot Topic are the least metal article of clothing on the planet. 

This over-sized attire is often referred to as "bondage pants". Bondage pants are characterized as such, due to the chains and straps that are draped around, hooked, and sewn to each gargantuan pant leg. The terminology leaves me a bit puzzled, as the "bondage" that I have familiarized myself with doesn't typically require any pants at all. (Just a lot of rope and a scared Japanese girl.) Bondage pants take the chain wallet concept to the extreme: cut out the wallet, and just cover your pants with giant swinging chains. Everyone can hear you coming from yards away: the sounds of cheap fabric scraping against the floor under your skater shoes, chains and grommets jingling and clanging against one another, and a curse-laden dialogue so you can overcompensate for how tough and edgy you think you are. When I hear all of these things coming from around the corner, I turn and walk the other way. I want nothing to do with what your presence is about to offer me.

The majority of these behemoth slacks are designed by the clothing company Tripp NYC. Tripp is an enormous fashion supplier for Hot Topic outlet stores here in the States. They design stupid looking jackets, lingerie, hats, shirts, pants, boots, you name it. If it's an article of clothing, Tripp NYC will figure out some way to make it in black and stick some handcuffs and grommets on it. Hot Topic offers a wide variety of ridiculous fashion, from goth to emo, hipster to "geek chic". You'll find some decent metal band shirts there, but every time I venture into the Hot Topic at my local mall to find such, I immediately regret it. The radio blares with crycore from opening to closing. I am half-heartedly greeted by some tattooed, pierced, pretentious scenester jerk off slumped behind the counter, putting off organizing the Insane Clown Posse shirts on the clearance rack like he's supposed to be doing. He then asks me if I need help finding anything. At this point, it's usually a gun. I digress...

This is what an ass that needs kicking looks like. 
What I find so bizarre about the bondage pants phenomena, is even though Hot Topic tries to keep itself trendy and cutting edge, these tremendous trousers were an eyesore for me even at the start of my high school days. That was a decade ago. Hot Topic has not stopped carrying these things since then, and they only look more ridiculous as time goes on. They aren't hip, they aren't trendy, they don't look good, yet Hot Topic still sells enough to keep them on the shelves; selling a pair for $60-$80 a pop.

Here are some defining characteristics of the types of individuals who wears bondage pants:

1. They thoroughly enjoy Invader Zim, or any other similar ADHD-fueled children's cartoon that involves 22 minutes of shrieking an episode. 
2. They wear an over-sized, baggy band shirt or hoodie so they can keep up with their frumpy "pile of dirty laundry" look.
3. They love things that are "random" and describe themselves as such. 
4. Slipknot is, and forever will be, the greatest band of all time. Ever... 
5. Next to Tool of course.
6. They decorate themselves with other Hot Topic accessories, like studded wrist bands, beanies, etc.

With the exception of your occasional camouflage shorts, Heavy Metal is a jeans-only uniform. Black or blue, acid-washed, stone-washed, new or mangled, don't care. As long as you find that perfect, straight leg balance in between ghetto baggy and sister's pants tight. (Neither extremes are acceptable). In fact, jeans are so welcome and appreciated in the metal community, that the more denim you have on, the better. Ask any of your friendly thrash metal fans, and they will explain this concept to you thoroughly.

So don't make the janitor's life at the metal show any easier. Leave that pair of street sweepers at home and do everybody a god damn favor. Especially yourself...