Monday, February 28, 2011

Making yourself up

It appears that Tyranneous has re-emerged from the briny depths to bring you yet another post for your enjoyment. A mighty hail \m/ goes out to all of our new friends to the site. Thanks again, Ed "The Infidel," and to all of you, keep the comments coming.

Possible conversation between two music-lovers:

“Hey Allan, I need to look different and dark and demonic, any ideas?”

“Yeah, bro; try wearing some black nail polish, black lipstick, and black eye shadow. You'll look dead and cool.”

My response:

WRONG! You look like an idiot.

Regardless of what “Allan” tells you, makeup does not belong anywhere near the metal scene accept under two situations: One, you happen to be wearing corpse paint made popular by the likes of Mercyful Fate front man and solo artist, King Diamond, or two, you are a woman. The latter is barely cool, but we'll touch on that some other time.

Corpse paint at its finest

When did a man think that wearing nail polish or lipstick was cool? This is abhorrent and atrocious and a travesty to everything that is testosterone and testicular and man. If I could go back in time to when this started, I would punch that ass in the face, stomp his skull into the ground and finish him with a tire iron over this. Metal is metal. Does anyone remember Glam? I was born thankfully as this era came to an end, but it seems like my generation is trying to bring this fad back, perhaps because it's retro.

Poison, Ratt, and Twisted Sister. Do those names mean anything to you? How about their predecessor the New York Dolls? No? These are the enemies of metal. What they did to our sacred music was so detrimental that we still haven't recovered. They did what should have been impossible, what Manowar so vehemently fights against: They turned metal into a fad, a blip on the radar of music history, so that now we have to deal with the likes of VH1 and the radio and their bullshit because forever our genre will be linked with makeup and pretty boys. When it seems that finally in my life that good metal is spewing forth from the bowels of Hell, floating on demon wings, and possessing the souls of thousands upon thousands, blanketing the world in pestilence and sin, defiling the innocent, here before me stands some atrocity in a Children of Bodom shirt wearing makeup, turning my genre into a fad again, acting as a whetstone for newly pubescent girls.

No fads allowed

NO! For all that is unholy, no. We as metal fans know how legitimate this music and genre is and how unjustly people criticize it just because of the heavy guitars, growls, and/or falsetto. We know our genre is more substantial and long-lasting than a fad. Why try to bring a fad back into our music?

I know you're going to say to me: “Screw you Tyranneous, I'm just trying to be different,” or some other bullshit argument getting at the same point. My stance is unchanging. You can listen to Amon Amarth, Finntroll, Kreator, Mastodon, Bloodbath, Deicide, I really don't care. You are doing nothing but looking like a douche, receiving nothing but scorn from those of us who actually have a valid and logical opinion of you. I am not telling you to look like me, I am certainly not telling you to look like anyone. Be you, not “different,” “edgy,” or any other variation of the word. Echoing Brenocide's recent post, if you happen to be listening to metal to be different then you are listening to our music for the wrong reasons and should stop.

I will cede you this, black just so happens to be metal, but blackening your lips, blackening your eyes, and blackening your fingernails makes you look like a tool. It does not make you look different or special, regardless of what anyone tells you. Wearing it makes you look like a goth, a wannabee vampire, Papa Roach, and a woman. Looking like a woman is about as metal as My Little Pony. Go ahead Ponyboy, stay gold, wear makeup if you want to.

Do you really want to look like this?

Sorry if I hurt your feelings, I will make sure to buy some tampons for your bleeding baby-maker whenever I so happen to hit the grocery store.

Bloodbath - Eaten (Radio Disney Version)

Andy Rehfeldt is my hero...

For more Radio Disney versions of metal songs, go to Andy's YouTube channel. I promise you will be thoroughly amused.

All about the music, huh?

With my recent surge of readers, I'm finding myself with a lot more fans and a lot more comments. Most of it has been a really positive experience, but along with the blog's growth comes the inevitable wave of people who just really don't know how to have a good time on the internet. Even when surfing porn, I imagine you are the guys who go around calling all the models fat in the comments sections. Lightening up and enjoying yourself just aren't within your capabilities as an individual. So if you want to get dead serious about the stuff I'm writing, far be it from me not to patronize you with the same kind of attitude. So let's go ahead and get serious...

Try harder next time, Nathaniel. 

When I write a violation specifically about the things people put on before shaming themselves in public, I'm always guaranteed a response from somebody who likes to wear the target of my harassment. Always. It never fails. They never ever have a good argument as to why they don't look retarded, despite facing a mountain of evidence from me about why they do. So they give me the typical bleeding heart Everybody is Friends in the Hold Hands Metal Club response that Metal is about the music, and people shouldn't be judged based on the way they externally present themselves. What a load... I either get that rebuttal or the painfully typical "I don't care what you think." If you didn't care, then you wouldn't be telling me about it, chump.

So okay, let's hold off on the concept for a moment that Metal is "all about the music" and I'm wasting my time on these articles about metal fashion and the like. That's not why you're commenting. You guys just want to fight me tooth and nail as long as it means you still get to look as retarded as you want to. Whatever you want to tell me, that's all this is really about. You're not going against me for some philosophical reason, you're not trying to talk me down because it should be okay for anyone to wear whatever they want as long as they listen to good music. This is just about you and your love of stupid pants and shit. You want me to admit that it's okay with me that you're a walking Hot Topic store, as long as you listen to the right stuff. As if my opinion really matters when it comes to what kind of crap you put on yourself every morning? Since when am I your dad? Stop arguing with me. 

Go ahead and wear it. I'm not going to stop you, and I'm not going to try. If you stopped wearing all that nonsense, I wouldn't have anything to write about. Just like Chicago said, you're the inspiration. If you want to walk around town looking like Final Fantasy X, it's not my business to stop you. I however, will make a mockery of you and how ridiculous you look until I am blue in the face. That's my god-given right, and if you don't like it, you can do one of two things: You can stop wearing it, which I feel is the obvious choice, since my opinion about you wearing it upsets you so severely, and you won't look obnoxious anymore.Your other option is you could stop listening to me. I wouldn't advise such, because I'm actually always right about everything, but maybe the truth hurts a little too much sometimes. The fat kid doesn't want to hear how fat he is. Just like the kid in neon-stitched oversized zipper pants doesn't need to know how ridiculous he looks. He already knows it.

So back to this music thing you kids love to tote so much. If it's all about the music, then why bother with your obnoxious get up in the first place? Did the music ask you to knot your hair into poo, pay $70 for giant black pants covered in ropey chains, dye your hair black, or give yourself a festering infection in your earlobes? Is this the image you associate with the music? The music doesn't ask anything of you other than to be listened to. I'm really trying to make your life easier here. All of these things require a sufficient amount of effort on your part, and it's a lot of work for you just to end up looking comical. I am a firm opponent against the concept of trying too hard. I'm a naturally lazy person. I live my life in jeans and band shirts, and the difference between you and me is people don't start laughing the second I'm out of earshot. Sounds like the right choice if I say so myself.

So like I said, if it's all really about the music, to you, then why waste so much effort with how you look? Perhaps Nocturnal Worshiper can give me some insight with the response he made today to an article about Gauges I wrote three months ago...

NW agrees with me, "to an extent", which is kind of like getting out of the way of a speeding freight train "to an extent". He tells me why he wears gauges, then finishes by saying "much like listening to metal, (gauges) separate us from that mainstream crowd". Wow. I don't really know why you listen to metal music, pal, but I listen to it because I actually enjoy it. Not because the popular kids don't. I don't listen to metal because it's different, or it somehow makes me different. These concepts don't mean anything to me. I'm not driven by this absurd urge to be separated from everybody else and be expressive. If there was mainstream music that I could appreciate, I'd listen to that too. It's that simple. If you like gauging your ears because its different and expressive and sets you apart from people who don't have them, well then alright. Keep it at that. If that last sentence wasn't there, I would have very easily left you alone or gave you a positive response. Instead, you make some ham-fisted comparison to listening to heavy metal music so I can better understand where you're coming from with wearing gauges. You just end up being way off base. If you're listening to metal because it sets you apart, you're doing it for the wrong reason, man.
So after these last few comments, instead of having my mind changed, I'm left with a better impression of why the people who wear this stupid crap and do this stuff to their bodies are less metal than people who don't. They probably only listen to the music because much like their get up implies, they're on this personal quest to be different, scary and "expressive". They listen to death metal so that they can crank it up while driving down the street, making heads turn and hoping people think they're edgy. Tell me whatever you want, you painfully care about what people think about you. Bondage pants are expensive, and are designed with the sole purpose of catching other people's eyes. Dreadlocks take months of purposeful neglect, back-combing and forming. Gauges require weeks of cleaning, maintenance and are a constant risk for infection. That seems like quite a sacrifice just so people can think you look cool. Don't give me this horseshit about how you do it for yourself. There's only so much time a person can spend in front of a mirror. I also don't know why I'm arguing with people about posts I wrote last year.

I'm not trying to pick on the commentators I have featured in this blog post specifically, and if you feel hurt or poorly treated by being made an example of, I'll apologize. I've just heard this crap a hundred times, and you guys are pretty late to the game. Do I agree that music is the most important aspect of heavy metal? Obviously. It's what metal is. But nearly half a century of actions, antics, fashion statements, live performances and journalism have proven to us that the heavy metal experience goes far, far beyond the sound of a spinning record. If you fail to realize or accept that, you're head is farther up your ass than anyone could ever dare retrieve it.

"Metal is about the music" is not an argument.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

TNM Review: Why would modern Mastodon release a Live Album?

Mastodon releasing an album of themselves performing live nowadays makes about as much sense as Dragonforce doing the same thing... Oh wait.

Here's the thing, I love Mastodon. I'm probably always going to. I saw Mastodon perform in person at only one show, and it was during the 2004 Jagermeister Tour in Worcester, MA. They were opening for Slayer and Killswitch Engage. (Unfortunately, I couldn't get any of those kids to sit down for Killswitch.) Mastodon had just released Leviathan, arguably their greatest album to date, and during their set, they played songs from that album and their face crushing debut, Remission. I had heard of Mastodon prior to the show, but wasn't really convinced of their greatness until that moment I watched them perform. That night, I walked away a fan. Musically, Mastodon is an excellent live act. They hit every note of every solo with effortless precision, and their drummer Brann Dailor is one of the best modern metal snare smashers with all of his fills and jazzy flair.

When Mastodon started to migrate away from the growls and screams of a typical modern metal vocal style, and began cleaning up their vocals for Blood Mountain and their latest, Crack the Skye, I still found a lot to like about them. Both of these were phenomenal albums. It was all still incredible music, even if it was much more radio friendly than their prior works. On both of these studio albums, the singing was perfect for their sound. Brent Hinds' southern twang matched the eerie sound of every song, as did the deep, heavy-winded howling of Troy Sanders along with the inevitable heavier progression of each track. Even though their sound changed sufficiently enough for people to call them "sellouts" I saw it more as them maturing as artists than anything else. Maybe that's a fanboy cop-out defense, but I'd rather be that guy than the typical defender of the old stuff any day.

When Mastodon 'cleaned up their act', so to speak, their rise to greater and greater fame was inevitable. They were the cover story on everybody's rock magazine, started opening for bigger and bigger rock groups, and became increasingly less capable of walking into a bar without being hassled by douche fans. Everybody seemed to want a piece of Mastodon and then some. Then, the band finally reached that peak. They performed live in front of millions of viewers on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman. I tuned in on that episode with eager anticipation to watch my favorite prog rockers rip America a brand new asshole. This is what I saw instead...

My girlfriend walked into the room and was all "more like Mastodon't". I barely had the strength to even hit her, I was so upset. This really sucked. What happened to the band I saw destroy the stage a couple years back? I'll admit, musically, everything seemed spot on. Vocally, however, Mastodon sounds like a pack of drunken frat boys crooning along to their favorite Dave Matthews track while speeding in a Jeep Wrangler. The guys in Mastodon couldn't sing clean for free intercourse. They couldn't hit one of their own notes correctly even if a terrorist had a bomb strapped around the United States president and was all like "Sing your song right or America gets it." We all know the current president is actually a terrorist, so we don't have to worry about this kind of situation, but rhetorically speaking, we would be screwed.

So when I heard about Mastodon's new live album, Live at the Aragon, my member all but retracted into my body. That's like career suicide. I think when a live band performs up to par, their music on stage can be even greater than what you would hear on their studio albums. A live album by a band like Iron Maiden for example, is well worthy of a fan's purchase along with their most iconic full length releases. Every song is bursting with raw energy, fueled by the roar of the crowd and the excitement of the band members bringing it to them. When Mastodon performs their modern music on stage, it sounds fat and winded. The band members have no stage presence as they stare attentively at their fretboards like something out of a high school talent show. They stand as stationary as the microphone stands in front of them with the occasional head banging once one of them remembers they're still in a metal band. Here's a sample video of what we should expect from the Live at the Aragon DVD with a performance of Ghost of Karelia:

A vast improvement over the David Letterman performance by far, but compared to a sample from the live DVD The Workhorse Chronicles several years prior, there's hardly much of a comparison:

It seems possible that older age could be the culprit here. The guys in Mastodon are just about 40, and they tour a lot more than most metal bands, but we're talking maybe a difference of 5-6 years here. Is musical maturity felt in your back and your hips as well as your sound? A lack of stage antics aside, Bassist Troy Sanders makes little to no effort in masking the fact that singing this way physically hurts him. It sounds about as painful to me as it it looks for him. Frontman Brent Hinds singing live sounds a lot like this stray cat that used to hang around outside my place, moaning for handouts, but was too butt ugly and mangy looking to get any. One moment of weakness, I put an open can of tuna outside, and before you know it, I had Brent Hinds scratching my window and singing The Czar at 3 o'clock every morning looking for some more goddamn tuna. Cold buckets of water and vicious neighbor dogs did little to phase him. Brent Hinds was hungry.

Live at the Aragon doesn't come out on CD and DVD until March 15th, but if the available previews of Oblivion and The Ghost of Karelia are any indicator of how the rest of the album is going to sound, I would advise you to pass on this one. Although it's possible they may perform some of their classic singles in all their guttural glory, the album advertises that the band is going to perform the Crack the Skye album in its entirety on stage. I don't know how else to tell you guys this, but every time Mastodon performs any song from that album, it sounds horrendous. Despite how much I actually liked Crack the Skye, and regardless of how well the band performs it instrumentally at any given show, I just can't find it in myself to get over their inability to sing any of it. If they have the spare cash for all those Fenders, Gibsons, Mesa Boogies and Marshalls, I don't know why a band like Mastodon can't drop a dime on some quality vocal lessons. Christ knows they need it, and until they make the investment, or start death metal growling like they are truly capable again, I see no need to support the band by buying a live album that will be really hard to listen to.

I look forward to their next studio effort, and all the vocal touch ups that will come with it.

Ed "The Infidel" Veter likes TNM. You should too.

Infidel tested. Infidel approved.
I came home early from work today because I like getting drunk and playing guitar more than I like earning money. No prison can hold this guy, no matter how cubicle-shaped it may be. Sometimes when I get home, and after I settle down with a beer or two, I go on the page, try to write some updates, take a look at my ad revenue (minuscule it may be), and see how my blog stats are doing. Page views average anywhere from 200-500 views a day, and I've been pretty happy with that. When I get lazy, I might get 150-180 views a day, but even still, that's a lot more than anybody else I know personally with a Blogger account.

So anyway, I check my stats and find myself with the better part of 7,000 views for just today. wut. So it turns out, true metal's biggest Tuber, Ed Veter, or as the internet knows him "infidelamsterdam" gave the blog a shout-out on his most recent video. If you aren't familiar with The Infidel's work, remove yourself from my sight (site), and make your way to his channel post haste. I strongly recommend watching this whole vlog of his below if you have time, because Ed is just a great, funny guy to listen to and watch in general. If you can't wait to hear the praise Ed has for the site, feel free to skip ahead to 15:08:

This is pretty epic if I do say so myself. My facebook page likes have practically doubled over the course of a couple hours and a guy who I'm a pretty big fan of turns out to be kind of a fan of me too. Ed and I have shared words briefly a couple times before, and he's about as cool a dude as you could imagine. I think some of my friends shared the site with him early on, and he's definitely a modest, down-to-Earth enough guy to take the time to check out anything people show to him. Despite his cult following, he takes time to give you a real, honest opinion on anything you throw his way. With 5,000 facebook friends and close to 21,000 subscribers, that's not an easy thing for a guy to do. Stay metal, Ed and I appreciate the good word! I appreciate the wave of hits even more.  

What kind of baffles me though is that Ed clearly describes to people what the site is like before he sends you here: "Up front, a little warning... if you don't have any sense of humor and if you can't stand sarcasm, DO NOT GO TO THIS WEBSITE". He makes himself clear on that more than once, and regardless of that, with any new wave of views comes a dozen butt-hurt, bleeding heart pussies who can't take an opinion that goes against their own. It provides a sufficient amount of lulz to deal with these people, and they mean less than nothing in comparison to all the new followers, new facebook likes and waves of praise that I have received since Ed's mention of the site. 

Again to Ed, if you're reading this, thanks for the good word my brother in Metal! And to all of my new followers and readers, welcome to the Metal Elite.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The 100 Greatest Metallica Songs out of the 95 Metallica Songs PT 2

Here's a list someone sent me of the "100 Greatest Metallica Songs" as featured in Guitar World magazine. As I covered in my last post regarding the matter, this is an impossible list. If you add all of the Metallica albums together that aren't covers, the band only wrote 95 songs. 98 if you count the original tracks on S&M, and a soundtrack song for Mission Impossible 2. I hope you don't count a soundtrack song from Mission Impossible 2.

No matter how we look at this, Metallica does not even have 100 of their own songs. Guitar World is basically looking at more than Metallica's entire musical career and calling it the "Greatest". I hope Dave Mustaine got a copy. Anyway, here is the entire list from "best" song, to "100th... best..."

1 Creeping Death
2 Master of Puppets
3 Seek & Destroy
4 Ride the Lightning
5 One
6 Battery
7 The 4 Horsemen
8 Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
9 All Nightmare Long
10 Fade To Black
11 Sad But True
12 Orion
13 Motorbreath
14 ...And Justice for All
15 For Whom the Bell Tolls
16 Am I Evil?
17 Nothing Else Matters
18 Disposable Heroes
19 Hit the Lights
20 Enter Sandman
21 Helpless
22 Blackened
23 My Apocalypse
24 Fight Fire with Fire
25 St. Anger
26 King Nothing
27 No Remorse
28 Blitzkrieg
29 Wherever I May Roam
30 No Leaf Clover
31 Harvester of Sorrow
32 Damage Inc.
33 (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth
34 So What
35 Trapped Under Ice
36 The Unforgiven
37 Ain't My Bitch
38 Phantom Lord
39 Breadfan
40 Dyers Eve
41 The Call of Ktulu
42 Leper Messiah
43 The Thing That Should Not Be
44 Last Caress/Green Hell
45 Whiplash
46 That Was Just Your Life
47 Jump In the Fire
48 The God That Failed
49 Crash Course in Brain Surgery
50 Fuel
51 Frantic
52 Don't Tread on Me
53 The Prince
54 The Shortest Straw
55 Some Kind of Monster
56 Killing Time
57 My Friend of Misery
58 Escape
59 The Small Hours
60 The Frayed Ends Of Sanity
61 Through the Never
62 Metal Militia
63 Bleeding Me
64 Die,Die My Darling
65 Eye of the Beholder
66 Stone Cold Crazy
67 Holier Than Thou
68 Mercyful Fate
69 Hero Of The Day
70 To Live Is To Die
71 Of Wolf and Man
72 It's Electric
73 The Memory Remains
74 Mama Said
75 The Day That Never Comes
76 Overkill
77 The Unforgiven II
78The Unforgiven III
79 The House That Jack Built
80 The More I See
81 Sabbra Cadabra
82 I Disappear
83 Free Speech For The Dumb
84 The Struggle Within
85 Whisky In The Jar
86 Devil's Dance
87 The Wait
88 The End Of The Line
89 Astronomy
90 Loverman
91 Cyanide
92 Tuesday's Gone
93 Damage Case
94 Broken,Beat & Scarred
95 Until It Sleeps
96 The Outlaw Torn
97 Suicide & Redemption
98 Wasting My Hate
99 2x4
100 Turn The Page

Is All Nightmare Long really #9? Really? This is like if someone put their iPod on shuffle and called it an article. Stop buying Guitar World magazine.


I like to joke around a lot here on TNM. I feel that humor is a good way to deal with legitimate frustrations in kind of a therapeutic fashion. Heavy Metal falsities are indeed a constant source of comedy, provided you don't let them get to you much (I do). However, there is nothing funny about this. Today's metal violation is probably one of the most common, and therefore, one of the most upsetting. I also strongly consider it as the most vile and inexcusable...

Poking your thumb out when you throw up the horns. Disgusting. 

I hope to god if I see you doing this, it's because you're deaf and you're telling someone you love them. Why? Because that's what doing this means in American sign language. This is the hand sign for "I love you".  It's the least metal thing, ever. Since you are at a metal show, I'm going to assume you listen to metal music, and since you are physically capable of listening, I am going to safely assume that you are not a deaf person. (Not yet anyway.) Also, as a metal fan, you shouldn't be capable of love in the first place. So what's your excuse? All the other hands in the crowd are doing it correctly by the hundreds, if not thousands. If you jut your thumb out along with the sign of the horns at a metal show, you're giving me permission to come over and snap it out of its socket.

When the late great Dio brought the maloik to the the metal world (and yes, it was Dio, all you Gene Simmons fan boys who edit Wikipedia on his behalf deserve a fist to the sack), he didn't hold it backwards, he didn't cock it sideways and downward like a fruit, and he certainly didn't stick his thumb out. He formed his fist into a perfect gargoyle skull, jutted his index finger and pinky finger straight to the sky in perfect devil horn formation and then aimed it straight towards you with menacing glory, granting anyone in between the sights of his horns an instant orgasm. That essentially is what a maloik is. It is a portable gargoyle head that is used for the purposes of warding off evil spirits. It is the smartphone of gargoyles.
The only time it's okay to hit a woman.  
Every time you do it wrong, you are disgracing the power and the glory that is Dio, and anyone capable of doing that will never be metal ever. Even if your favorite band is Battlelore and you live out in the woods for trollplaying purposes, I will never forgive you. You are a permanent failure in the eyes of heavy metal purity. True Metal Redemption requires of you to go into your dad's garage, and give a double thumbs up to his running table saw. This will ensure that you are no longer capable of making the same disgraceful error ever again.

Enjoy playing Call of Duty with your palms, you walking apology from the condom factory. You've earned it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nerd Metal

Let us raise our hands and pray to the irony gods. 
I really don't think there is anything more obnoxious in metal today than the classification system we use to label our sub-genres. Case in point: the phrase "nerd metal" is a completely redundant one. If you listen to metal, it is a cold hard fact that you are a hopeless social reject who's shunned by his/her peers. Your music isn't what the cool kids are listening to; that's half the appeal of it. Also, this isn't like your after school anime club. Don't think for half a second that you'll find brotherhood or acceptance in the metal community. What a load if you thought otherwise. I'll never think you're as metal as I am, and I'll shun your pathetic ass just as hard, if not more so than any jock or cheerleader ever would. I am the MVP of metal. 

"So what exactly would somebody call nerd metal?" you inquire of me, because you're dumb and you don't know. Fret not, I'll be happy to explain to you all about nerd metal, or as we should more properly refer to it: Asperger's metal.

The majority (99.99%) of nerd metal consists of garage bands playing video game themes with distorted guitars. Most notable of these acts being Powerglove. Since Powerglove does a good amount of themes from different video games, are well-produced musically, and open up for a lot of big name metal acts as kind of an ironic novelty, nobody else really needs to. Regardless of this, 50-100 new hand-flapping face touchers upload tracks of themselves chugging Final Fantasy tunes on their black Epiphones every day to Myspace Music and YouTube, giving themselves and their sausage-fingered pals an 8-bit boner for turning The Legend of Zelda into something you can speed pick to. 

The rest of nerd metal is a bunch of mouth breathers pursuing originality by means of making terrible music and incorporating sounds, odd time signatures, and instruments that don't really make sense. I was trolling around on Metal Sucks today to find out the latest horribly produced underground progressive post blackened screamcore grind deathgroove band the site was madly in love with this particular afternoon, and I instead stumbled on to this treasure trove of retarded: 

I'm a nerd too, but I'm a better enough nerd to know that this blows. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate technological references. Don't think even for a moment that the Brenocide doesn't know his computers. He's using one. Check out this HTML. Sweet, right? I could have used the font tools that Blogger provided me, but I totally hit that shit hard with inequality signs, slashes and some B's and I's. I'm just 1337 57r337 like that. The only "core" I respect is a quad one. I swap hard drives like spit with your sister. I know enough to know that "Random Access Memory" is a kind of data storage, and has nothing to do with a sudden recollection of thoughts pertaining to a girlfriend who broke up with you and your neck beard.

The Unhandled Exceptions might be a bunch of big dudes with Dio shirts and long locks, but how in Oden's name does something like this even come close to being considered metal? This is less metal than a not metal thing. Look at that bass player, he has less explosive energy than a Bangkok bowel movement. Nice guitar strap by the way, it really lightens up the mood. I have a poncho just like it. Also, electric drum kit? What? Enjoy your MIDI-settings, Douche Leppard. The front man sings much the same way I moan and groan after I eat too much (any) Jack in the Box. And seriously, where's the gain in all this? Distortion is your friend. It's your only friend, since you don't have any. This might as well be played through the clean channel of a dying amplifier. It's the worst music I've heard since I got up this morning. 

In a fantasy sense, metal has a strong basis in nerdery. A countless number of metal songs for instance, are inspired by the works of Tolkien and similar fantasy and horror authors. Nobody gets that better than I do. A lot of us and our favorite artists are the D&D or Magic The Gathering playing type. We are a part of a genre and community full of fucking dorks. It's just how things are. However, there's a line, and people are crossing it. There's nothing metal about microprocessors or lines of code; unless these things are used to design a murder-bot sent on a mission to take an automated chainsaw to all of mankind. I also don't see the appeal of playing overblown guitar covers of Megaman songs like its going out of style.

So future parents, please be extremely cautious of where you take your children to get their vaccines. They might grow up to tuck their hair behind their ears and play nerd rock. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jon Schaffer's Drunken Interview with Metal Injection

I'm impossibly above average at everything I face in life, but I'm sometimes lacking in the interview/conversational department. Sometimes I just know these complex, perfect words that exactly describe the situation I'm trying to explain to someone, but when it comes time to pull them out of the queue of my brain and put them to use when they work best, I completely forget the word and struggle to replace it with a worthy substitute. It's not just really big words either, sometimes it's basic stuff like "surround" or "epitome".

In Jon Schaffer's case however, it's the words like "person" that really throw him off. He eventually gets it, but at first, he has to go with the phrase "I'm a people."

The backdrop for this situation is we're on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise ship, and we got Noa from Metal Injection sitting in an awkwardly cramped room with famed Iced Earth riff chugger, Jon Schaffer.  She's certainly no Barbara Walters as far as questioning someone goes, but she's a cutie, and she gets her point across the best she can. It becomes painfully evident very soon however, that Schaffer has treated himself to quite a few Johnny Walkers long before Noa stepped in to talk with him about his cruise line experience, and his future plans for Iced Earth and Demons and Wizards. Although every answer he gives Noa is in an almost comically drunken stupor, the little gem I wrote word for word below is probably the highlight of the interview.

Noa: You're locked on a boat with fans. What was your reaction?

Schaffer: Well... ... It's not a problem, these are people... I'm a people... guy.... I'm a person guy. It's like I'm just a guy you know I mean... so it's no... it's no big deal to... to... it's cool to talk to the people. It's cool to talk to the fans and be here and you can hear what they say and um... I listen to theyum... always... you know...

Noa: Yeah...

Schaffer: I wanna know what they have what their feelings are cause that helps give me... it makes.. it helps me make decisions that are... good for what we are doing, you know?

Noa: Mmhmm.

Schaffer: If the fans say this is... *gulp* 'this is what you need to do' and I listen. It's that simple.

I couldn't have said it better myself. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Awful Metal Video of the Week: Voivod - Ravenous Medicine

I don't really know if this is the best metal music video ever made, or the worst. Believe it or not, there is an incredibly fine line between both of those extremes in regards to the metal genre. Watch the music video for "Ravenous Medicine" by Canadian super thrashers, Voivod, and you'll see exactly what I mean. It's like Japanese pornography; at first you feel really excited about what you're seeing, but afterwards, you feel really shameful and dirty for ever taking part in it...

Ravenous Medicine has all the right attributes of a bona-fide metal video: unconvincing instrument playing, br00tal faces, skulls, pointy guitars, basements, bad drawings, bad editing, straight jackets, random violent images, chainsaws, and of course, a dude holding a syringe full of AIDS. I'm going to safely assume that this video is some kind of ham-fisted protest against vivisection and animal cruelty, but like I just mentioned, that AIDS injection kind of throws us off the whole message.

If you ever get in an argument with a PETA member, just show them this video, then tell them "You see this? This is how stupid you look when you preach this crap." They won't know what to tell you.

Sorry, I'm not dead yet.

I was offered tickets to see Ozzy and Slash perform live last week... for free. The person in question bought four and had two general admission tickets left over because someone else couldn't go or something. Don't really know, don't really care. Anyway, I turned them down, hard as nails. I wouldn't even pay $0 for a ticket to go see Ozzy Osbourne do anything. Him, or overrated rock n roll has-been #2. Instead I went home that night and had myself a really good shit. The superior option indubitably.

I've been keeping myself pretty busy lately outside of the blog, so if you've been disappointed by a lack of updates, oh well. I've been treating everyone to daily/bi-daily updates for quite a while now, and I'll probably continue to do that in the future, but sometimes I like to throw in the occasional week without anything at all to keep everybody on their toes. That's just how great of a guy I am. I know better than to spoil you. These last couple months I've been passing down to you the tools and knowledge required for all of you to be thoroughbred, super soldiers of rock. I hope you have taken this time off as an opportunity to practice my teachings out in the field, meeting your not so true-metal peers with crossed arms and scowls at a devastating rate. 

If so, well done, you are well on your way to achieving elite metal status. If not, you're an open-minded, laid-back individual, and therefore: a failure. Keep trying, you'll learn right from wrong in due time.

So why has it really been so long since my last update? Well, almost every naysayer I have dealt with thus far tells me to get a life, and that "I spend all day writing blogs". This is pretty common mud-slinging among the retarded. Especially from this guy:
I don't really see how I contradicted myself, because unlike Mr. Anon here, I know what that word means. It's pretty common when you argue with children for them to repeat the big fancy words you use, thinking it somehow brings them up to your level. Here's what such a concept would look like played out in a similar situation...

Me: You're an intellectual inferior and don't possess the mental capacity to actually understand that I'm insulting you.
Toddler on the internet: UR INFERYUR
Me: Oh my god, my feelings.

There's no contradiction with anything I was telling him. I don't write these things because I'm scared of how people think of me. I don't really understand how anyone could get that impression. If you don't agree with what I say, then good for you, suck face. You go ahead and think you're still super metal in your own delusional little world, go rock out to Five Finger Death Punch and get on with your mediocre life. However, it REALLY MATTERED to him that these things mattered to me. He put himself on this personal vendetta against the blog. He would come back to the page on a daily basis, I'm assuming after he returned home from a long, hard shift of bagging groceries, to argue with me regarding how the things I wrote shouldn't matter in regards to metal. Obviously, he was really upset that there was something he was doing, or something he wore that could potentially make him not metal in my eyes specifically. I don't know if he was trying to get me to recant all my statements or just close down the site completely, but he was really butthurt about how I, the grand master of all knowledge regarding what's true metal and what isn't, declared something he did or liked as being unmetal. Talk about insecure...

But he was right about one thing; if you add up all the time I spent creating all the posts on this blog, it did take hours. Maybe I am spending too much of my free time on the site?  So this last week, I decided instead of wasting a perfectly good half hour of my free time writing anything, I would go outside, smell the muddy, plantless stench of winter's death, and enjoy the real world. I trolled around Guitar Center, giving the kids playing Metallica riffs dirty looks, ate some beef, drank some beer, broke some driving laws, bought some cat food, stuff regular jerkoffs do. Not to mention the whole job thing.

But while you're out "getting a life" as all the unintelligent people like to instruct you do, you might run into the wrong kind of people, and find yourself with tickets to see really awful live music, like Ozzy Osbourne and Slash.

Lesson learned.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Unintelligible Band Logos

Hey Xasthur, this is what an X looks like: "X". Try it some time. 
I don't really see the appeal in penning up yourself a band logo that nobody can read. Sure, it looks cool. Do you know what else looks cool? A shark. If you don't want to show people the name of your band, but just want to show them something that looks cool, just hand them a picture of a shark. Good luck promoting yourself as cool shark picture.

Those aren't words, no matter what you tell anyone or want anyone to believe. They're just a picture of some shit that's curling and jagged and spiky and looks badass. Don't get me wrong for a minute here, I can appreciate that. But if you're going to draw a picture of a mess of white branches, don't treat me like I didn't take the amount of elementary school education to realize it doesn't actually say "Korgonthurus". Try drawing the Slayer logo on the front of a notebook. How long did it take you? 12 seconds tops to angle it right? Now next to that, draw me the logo for Waking the Cadaver. I'll call your family to let them know not to worry...

There is no K, O, R, G, O, N, T, H, U, R, U or S in this picture.
That's just a goddamn tree.
I'm going to assume that a garbled, nonsensical band logo is some obscene way to keep your band as kvlt and underground as humanly possible. After all, nobody can spread the good word about a band who's name is indiscernible to the naked human eye. It's the perfect way to keep your metal band a bad inside joke among your 3 or 4 close personal friends. After all, if you make any effort to promote your band whatsoever, like making a logo that's literately understandable, you're a false poseur sellout.

"Forgotten Band"
So in the tradition of the unreadable band logo, I would like to introduce to everyone the name of my up and coming future solo project:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pop Music Fans Just Realize their Music is all Recycled Garbage

Don't ask me how I stumble on to this kind of nonsense (I have the internet), but apparently there's this whole new controversy blowing up Twitter and the blogosphere that the new Lady Gaga single "Born This Way", released last Friday, sounds an awful lot like Madonna classic, "Express Yourself". You can read more about it on E! Online. While you're there, feel free to marvel at all the names that we as under-the-rock metalheads don't even recognize as celebrities. Lady Gaga gets compared to Madonna a lot, and for good reason, seeing as how Madonna did all this same pop princess shock value crap twenty-plus years prior to Lady Gaga and her bacon dresses.

If the general public, as dumb as they are, are able to tell similarities between two songs within a musical genre that all sounds exactly the same anyway, you know that this tune has to be a direct copy cat to get any kind of special notice. Upon listening to the track however, anyone with more than three quarters of a functioning brain will realize that it's just like all the other overproduced musical feces that's on the radio these days. Maybe this whole thing will finally make pop fans connect those dots in their empty-heads, make the mental leap to compare every song they listen to side-by-side, realize it's all the same stupid garbage that's aurally on the same level as the sound of pinching a loaf, and stop listening to bad music.

A guy can dream, right?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Signature Guitars

Dear Alexi, Randy Rhoads called me from beyond the grave. He wants his guitar design back.
Oh, he also said to keep up the drinking. He looks forward to talking with you about this in person... 
I am here, and you are here, because we both want the same thing. I want to transform you into the single most metal creature that ever walked the Earth. I want wimps and poseurs to tremble in your wake, mosh pits to clear out upon your entry, and lightning to fire through the sky at the very mention of your name. It makes true metal glory very hard to achieve, and makes both of our lives much more difficult, when I see you playing a cheap knockoff of somebody else's guitar.

You are not Alexi Laiho. You will never be Alexi Laiho. Just between you and me, that is a really good thing. But that is beside the point... When you play a guitar with a famous guitarists' name on it, whether it be the $200 knockoff or the $2,000 replica of his instrument, you tell the world that you look up to this person, that you want to be like this person, sound like, and play guitar just like this one person. As I explained in my post about pining for autographs, looking up to people is very unbecoming of a true metalhead. We look down upon others. We have no role models and no heroes except ourselves. Never assume for a moment that any man, no matter how famous or skilled at his musicianship, is more metal than you are. 

Wasting perfectly epic guitar skills on being a wannabe.

Let's face it: the headstock on Gus G's guitar has three very different letters on it than the Gus G shaped "signature model" you bought your pathetic self at Guitar Center. That's all you're paying for kid - a shape. Since Dimebag's name is associated with a certain guitar shape, you're paying a lot more for that shaped guitar than similar quality guitars that have a shape associated with nobody in particular. Also, the guitar that Steve Vai is playing, and the over-priced piece of wood mass-produced in a factory in units by the thousand and shipped out to online retailers and local guitar shops with his name on it, are not the same guitar. They may look like the same guitar, they may be by the same guitar company, but they're not the same, not in the least. The artist in question has his guitar custom-crafted alongside a master luthier in person, until he gets exactly the sound and feel he wants out of it. That's not considering all the additional modifications the artist may make to his model afterwards. Every artist will tell everyone that asks, that they play the same exact signature model you would be able to buy. Of course they would, as they are paid to say that. If somebody can send me proof of Frank Bello playing his Squier on stage, then I'll feel a lot less like running him over with a three-quarter-ton pickup of integrity.

Congratulations to the Dean stockholders: a dead man breaks no contracts!
It's commercially on the same bullshit level as putting Derek Jeter in a Gatorade ad. PepsiCo is trying to make you subconsciously think "Hey, if I drink this beverage, I'll be as athletic as the person on the TV." It's called endorsement or testimonial; marketing with the use of celebrities. Buying Cover Girl because you think it will make you as pretty as Taylor Swift is just as brain-dead a concept as thinking that buying the LTD KH-202 is going to make you be as good at playing guitar as Kirk Hammett. Even if your only pursuit is sounding the way Kirk Hammett sounds, and you get a guitar model as close to the one that he plays on stage, you still need to buy the custom pickups, amplifier head, cabinet, distortion pedals, wah pedals, strings, picks, etc. to match his sound perfectly. People do it; otherwise, these things wouldn't sell. It also doesn't help that like every other highly-paid artist, the moment Hammett gets behind closed doors in a recording studio, he just ends up playing Gibson and Fender guitars anyway.

Speaking of which, a lot of people don't take into account that despite an endorsement with a guitar company, the moment an artist gets in a recording studio, he plays whatever he goddamn wants. That signature sound you hear on your favorite album could come from anything. Usually something higher quality and very expensive. Chances are it's probably not that piece of crap you bought with their name on it, with the trashy skull graphic and the big, silly inlays.

When you run out of places to put stupid tribal tattoos on your body, put them on your guitar.
I love money as much as the next anyone, but there comes a point when you really have to consider what you're in this game for. Getting paid by ESP and/or getting free guitars and swag from them seems like a pretty sweet gig, but in signing such a deal, you're at risk of compromising the quality and variety of your music. (You know, that reason why you're here? That thing that got you this far?) As I said before, whatever you use in a studio is your choice, (if no one sees any studio diaries of you playing a guitar you're not supposed to) but your live show is going to be powered by guitars from only one company. You can't mix it up, it's in your contract: B.C Rich will be chunking up your entire live set. 

So let's just say you're a capable guitarist, or on your way to being one. Perhaps you're even a master shredder. You know it, your friends know it, your disgruntled father definitely knows it. Be your own man, buy your own guitar. Put your own choice of pickups in it, buy your own amplifier, your own strings. Find your own sound, make your own music. Stop looking up and sucking up to these egotistical jerkoffs and their lukewarm speed-picking, and stop buying their ugly graphic guitars like it does anything for anybody except line their heavy pockets and stroke their thick, hard ego. 

Alexi Laiho is a midget girl boy anyway. 

Jackson Randy Rhoads models get a pass because 1. they were the premiere Jackson model and 2. it looks awesome. Oh yeah, I guess I should let "Les Paul" slide too. 

Poll's Closed: The Black Dahlia Murder is DEATH METAL

Thanks to everyone who voted these last couple weeks on the TNM poll regarding whether or not you thought The Black Dahlia Murder was a legitimate death metal act, or just another deathcore band. It was surprisingly close, with Death Metal getting the majority at 34 votes (55%) and Deathcore coming close behind at 27 (44%). Even though there wasn't a ton of voters total, this sample was still a pretty good indicator of how torn the metal community is regarding TBDM. Regardless of what I said before, in reality, if Deathcore got the majority vote, I would have totally stopped listening to them. A small sacrifice to make in order to still look like a cool kid in front of all the other metalheads.

I'll be starting another poll in the next couple days. Any ideas would be appreciated in the meantime, and again, thanks for taking the second and a half to cast your vote. Sorry if you lost it and your life is now a meaningless failure. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

There's no such thing as a "Scene King"

Let them eat... oh, that isn't cake...
I made mention of this fact in my last post about hair dye, but I wanted to touch upon it a bit further for the benefit of some readers, who may not have understood what I was getting at. "Scene queens", like their name implies, are like the elites of scenesters. They have more piercings, more color in their hair, more makeup on, more bad tattoos, more obnoxious accessories, more Myspace friends, and listen to more underground synthpop post hardcore industrial indie crunk bands than the next scenester. They are the ultra scenester. They hold themselves on a higher level than other scenesters, and because of this, their only friends and connections lie within the online realm, where they post either extremely high-res or extremely low-res pictures of themselves in suggestive poses in the mirror, or downward angle shots of them doing nonsensical hand signs while pursing their lips.

"Scene queen" was a phrase originally reserved for females of this type, and when males of the same caliber started popping up everywhere, people appropriately adjusted the phrase to match up with their questionable boy parts, often cleverly referring to them as "scene kings".  It is at this time, that I would like to submit to everyone that the term "scene king" is a redundant one, and that the title "scene queen" is a label that very easily transcends the boundaries of gender.

The reason for my suggestion is obvious: these gentlemen, be they gentlemen or not, appropriately deserve to be referred to as "queens". With their flamboyancy, their girlish looks, and their love of attention, (and potentially other boys), I see the term as a very fitting one. If not even more fitting for them specifically, than for their female counterparts.

We call effeminate men who dress like women "drag queens", or at least we used to. (As you can tell from the rest of my page, I'm not exactly up on what's politically correct.) As you'll often (always) see, that is what we're dealing with here in reference to "scene kings". They wear lip gloss, eye liner, wax their eyebrows, tease, dye, and straighten their hair, wear bright colors, paint their nails, shave their bodies, wear impossibly tight pants, and go on strict diets to maintain their girlish figures. I hardpress anyone to have an easy time calling Hans Harling anything but a queen:

I think I've made my point.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dying your Hair

Always check for an Adam's apple. Always.
The dictionary definition of a poseur is "a person who pretends to be what he or she is not". I don't have to tell any of you kids that poseurs are the sworn enemies of true metal: you wouldn't be reading this blog if you didn't know that already. So if we take into consideration a person who enters our mortal realm, naturally bestowed with locks of blonde, brown, or red hair, but uses a hazardous chemical treatment to paint the the top of their skull black, they are a person pretending to be something they are not: a black-haired person.

You are not a black-haired person. Unless of course you are a black-haired person. 

Black is the most metal of all colors, because it isn't even a real color. It's just an empty, colorless void of NOTHING. We metalheads like our shirts, jackets, shoes, jeans, accessories, and our coffee to be as black as our metal. So I understand the reason why you would want your hair to match the rest of your get up. I also realize that there are a large number of metal artists with unnaturally black or color-treated hair. For some of these musicians feel that their hair is their livelihood, and of course they're going to want it to look as cool as it is long. This hardly effects my stance on the matter...

If you're in your bathroom all night, wearing rubber gloves and old clothes, mixing up color chemicals, applying Vaseline to your forehead, covering your hair in bands, clips, tin foil, and then proceeding to mutilate your scalp and roots with toxic waste all in the efforts to look cool, different, or attract attention: CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE TRYING TOO HARD. 

When we go through life dealing with other people, the act of somebody being false or fake as a human being doesn't usually take a physical manifestation. It's not typically something you can understand just by looking at someone. You usually have to get to know people first; converse with them for a while before you inevitably figure out that they're full of themselves or just full of shit. People with colored hair however, (and its always obvious, always) are one of the few exceptions. They make life a lot easier for people like you and I. We recognize they're trying to be something that they're not from the very get go, and from there, we can make the educated decision to either not deal with them, or throw beer in their face upon approach. 
If you headbutt your monitor, I'm not responsible for the damages.
The worst offenders of this violation are the rainbow headed scene queens, in their tireless pursuit of attracting everybody's attention, positive, or negative. Allow me to clear something up as well - there's no such thing as a "scene king". Male or female, you're just a queen. Look at you. I don't really understand the motivation behind making your hair look like a box of Crayolas, although a couple of years ago, WKUK might have hit the nail on the obnoxious, spiky blue head:

Although coloring your hair like My Little Pony isn't as rampant in the metal community as it is in other scenes, it still happens, and inexcusably so. You're going to see it on females more than anyone else, which leaves you without an ass to kick, but to chase instead. This works out really well for us on the male side of the metal spectrum; you can genuinely tear into her about her stupid hair color, and all the negative attention is going to make her want to have sex with you. It's just science. This is especially effective when she goes to a show with the boyfriend stupid enough to take her.
Kill it with fire.
For the metalheads who dyed their hair and are seeking true metal redemption, don't dye your hair back like a douche idiot. You made the mistake, now you can either shave it off, or just grow it out until it goes away. Your punishment is that you're going to either have to be bald, or look like a gay jaguar for a couple of weeks until it's all natural again. That's your fault, not mine.

We in the metal elite pride ourselves on our genuine nature, and trueness not only to our genre, but to ourselves. You should wave your all natural, unkempt manes of glorious awesome in the frigid winds like they are flags of your true metal majesty - not to be tread upon by scissors, gels or dyes. I would gladly tell you that you should just be happy with the way God made you, but we all know God isn't real, and that would be silly. Just don't dye your hair like a phony. End of story. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Awful Metal Video of the Week: Chelsea Grin - Sonnet of the Wretched

Although they may be quite far from my musical cup of tea, I see Salt Lake City Deathcore outfit, Chelsea Grin, as an inspiration to all of us in the hard rock community. Say what you want about their predictable breakdowns, their chugging riffs, their crabcore dancing, and piggy cried "bree bree bree" vocal style, you can't help but commend them for their caring hearts, their open mindedness, and their ability to view all of us in the world as human beings...

I'll tell you that I've never read an interview with the members of Chelsea Grin. I don't think I have to. They are probably full of spirit-lifting quotes such as "We in Chelsea Grin think that everybody deserves the right to be a rock star!" Also things like, "He's a lot sharper than you think! If he just hears you say the word 'Cannibal Corpse', he will yell out every song they ever wrote on every album from start to finish! It's really impressive!" The interviewer would then proceed to kneel down next to brave, lead vocalist Alex Koehler while he's lying on the floor playing with his matchbox cars. He (because strange women make him nervous) would ask Koehler if he thinks singing for Chelsea Grin is a lot of fun. Koehler would enthusiastically reply, "Your pants are blue!" The band mates would then pat him on the back and hug him, ecstatic about his growing observational skills. 

Chelsea Grin has employed the help of three "guitarists"; something unheard of, and completely unnecessary for a Deathcore band. The third guitarist is actually a clever ruse; even though he has an Ibanez and an amplifier, he's actually pretending to play along with the band to keep a careful eye on Koehler's antics. It's not unheard of for Koehler to get over-excited from the flashing lights and cheering crowd. He's probably been known to run off mid-set, flapping his hands and squawking with delight. 
Koehler is seen pictured here, with his first written complete sentence.
"He does flap his hands a lot when he gets a bit too stimulated." Dan Jones, pretend guitarist and Koehlers' handler would explain to the magazine editor. "People like Alex have been known to do that sometimes. He can't really help it, but it doesn't stop him from having a really great time!"

We in the metal community could learn a lot from the philanthropist members of Chelsea Grin. They show us that everybody has the right to rock, disability or no disability. "We love him to bits," lead guitarist, Michael Stafford would explain to the potential interviewer, "even if he does dance like a retard." 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The 100 Greatest Metallica Songs... out of the 95 Metallica Songs

Thanks Dave for bringing this to my attention. I did have to see it with my own eyes, to make sure he wasn't making a typo. It is indeed, a countdown of a hundred Metallica songs, not just ten. Ten is a nice countdown number, ten makes sense. It would actually probably take some careful thought to pick out the very best 10 songs out of Metallica's entire career. (Although I could save you some time and just hand you the album, Master of Puppets). I'm actually surprised to hear that Metallica even wrote 100 songs, nevermind that Guitar World Magazine was going to pick out the best 100 of the... bunch.

It took a bit of time and and elementary school mathematics, but I just had to satiate my curiosity. If you add all of Metallica's tracks together, (not considering Garage Days Revisited or Garage Inc covers), Metallica wrote 95 songs total. Hrmm. So now, I'm not anywhere near as curious about what 100 songs Guitar World considers the "greatest" Metallica tracks - but what 4 songs that aren't even Metallica's Guitar World is going to consider. Whiskey in the Jar, maybe?

If you add all the tracks from the Metallica albums that are worth dick, you get 35 songs total. That really puts into perspective how much bad music Metallica has written over the years as opposed to good. It also puts into perspective how the majority of this countdown is going to suck something severe, and you're probably going to find some good Metallica songs in places they shouldn't be, and bad Metallica songs way too high on the list. I predict "Enter Sandman" is going to be somewhere in the top 5. "Fuel" somewhere in the top 10. 

Edit - I originally screwed up on the math and accidentally added an album twice by mistake. Sorry about the confusion, I'm not foolproof. So it's not 106, it's actually 95. So now I'm even more confused....

Update: You can read the Guitar World list of the "Greatest Metallica Songs" here.

Getting Pizza for the Game Tonight?

I ordered some food from Domino's online last night, because I hate talking to people on the phone almost as much as I just hate people. It looks like there are now a couple of "themes" to choose from in regards to their famed pizza tracker. It's pretty gimmicky and pointless, but I decided to look through them anyway. I think the right choice was obvious...

On a side note, I don't know what's more obnoxious - people who actually are football fans, or pseudo-intellectual snobs that every single year put themselves above witnessing such ruffian entertainment; then tell everyone they know that they will instead be watching specifically for the commercials. Sharpen the end of your toothbrush on a rock, and then shove it in your retina. No one cares. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

TNM Review: Escape The Fate - Self-titled suckfest

Late last December, I wrote a review for BMTH's latest album, that was almost as painfully long as the album title itself. I got way too in depth, spent way too much time on it, and ultimately, nobody ended up reading it anyway. So why not make the same mistake twice? Here's my review of Escape The Fate's latest travesty to the music world...

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to align yourself against these so-called "enemies of metal", if you don't even know who they are and you don't know them well. Manowar has been telling the wimps and poseurs to leave the hall for decades now, and we have raised our fists and horns on cue in defiance against these nameless antagonists whomever they may be. In our minds we have fabricated this heavy metal battlefield, with swords held high, where those of us in allegiance with true metal valiantly charge towards our faceless adversaries. Today I would like to put a name and face on the concept of all that is false, untrue, and poseurly. That name and face is Las Vegas buttcore band, Escape the Fate.

ETF is hardly a new face to the suck scene. Their launch to internet kid stardom was set off by winning a local radio contest in 2005 that was judged by the then relevant My Chemical Romance. They then released their first full length album in 2006, and pranced around the mainstream wearing Slayer and Cannibal Corpse t-shirts in an effort to mock and deface our genre as much as possible. Meanwhile, drummer Robert Ortiz spends every waking moment of his life participating in a Slash look-alike contest...
I'd be offended if Slash didn't already suck as it was...
The band would later run into some murder controversy with their singer Ronnie Radke, and he appropriately got the boot. He was replaced with Craig Mabbit, former singer from christcore band Blessthefall.

Getting past their scene queen looks, musically is where ETF truly horrifies. It's like if a screamo band went to a Sum 41 show, then as soon as they got home, tried to do it themselves. That's pretty much it. Or at least that used to be the case with Radke. I start the album, and after the twinkly intro, I get to the track Massacre. This is a Bring Me The Horizon riff. The last thing I want to do is defend one of my least favorite bands, but there's something to be said if you're ripping those guys off.  The main difference here being their clean chorus crooning, which actually sounds more emo than your typical metalcore setup. Didn't know it could be done. Then I get a guitar solo, and I can't really deny the fact that guitarist Bryan Money has got some chops. At first I was a bit more impressed, thinking "pretty good for a girl", because until I found out his name, I legitimately thought Money was a woman. I'm not kidding. He's probably the biggest transvestite in the scene today. If I was drunk in a bar, I would hit on him. Breakdowns and shrieking are a plenty here, along with random remix skipping and chirping. I was worried that this terrible track would set the mood for the rest of the album, and I would be in for a long night. I had no idea the terrifying reality of my situation...

So then we get to the single of the album, IssuesI'm fed another overproduced, quirky, chirpy industrial intro before they start "rocking". This song sounds a lot like something you would hear on the local rock radio station that refuses to keep up with what's current. Maybe it is a song on the radio now? I wouldn't know because I'm actually metal. Dare I say, the singing and guitar is almost Linkin Park-esque, which isn't really all that daring, because it's a perfect comparison. The guitar solo, which I was expecting to be the only saving grace, was actually lazy and incredibly short. The next song Zombie Dance starts out surprisingly promising, as the music crescendos to almost epic metal proportions. Could Escape the Fate really write a song I might actually like? I am immediately slapped back to reality as the song starts to blow worse than anything ever. It sounds like an over-driven No Doubt tune. I know its easy to say because 2011 just started, but this is the worst song I've heard all year. It sounds like a Britney Spears song with electric guitar. I'm going to link it to you, because I want you to be as mad.

The pop princess routine continues musically and lyrically with Gorgeous Nightmare. Money plays another pretty okay solo, but it doesn't do much to help things. With City of Sin, I'm convinced that this isn't a metalcore album anymore, but a pop album. Not even the kind of pop music sung by a man. Escape the Fate's music isn't manly enough to be on the same par as Adam Lambert. Nay, it is the type of music written for young girls like Miley Cyrus and Katie Perry to sing. If Katie Perry's California Girls had a guitar solo at the end of it, it would be an Escape The Fate song. This is truly terrible stuff.

Boys in black makeup... They still make you?
Day of Wreckoning blares through the speakers and I am so joyfully grateful to hear some ol' fashioned cliche metalcore. When I say cliche, boy do I mean it. To best describe the predictability of this track, you are able to put the headphones down, walk away, go microwave a hot pocket, come back with cooked hot pocket, put the headphones back on, and start eating at the exact moment of the breakdown. Then.., keyboards! It's the next song, Lost in Darkness. What a gothfest. Listening to this song, I'm surprised I don't have a razor at the ready. Moving on, if I rolled my eyes any harder at the marching troops sound effect at the beginning of Prepare your Weapon, blood would pour from them. Is there some kind of vault or desert we can bury that overused sound gimmick in please? Anyway, the song is so far the fastest, and comes closer to something metal than anything else on the album thus far. It's still, however, metalcore in its very essence, and Mabbit's voice would have the ability to even gay up a viking battle reenactment if he was given the chance. This is an ETF song, and it still sucks. The mild goodness of the song ends halfway, and it just gets weepy and fairyriffic like everything else I've heard so far.

Then... power ballad! I wish I was 15 again so I could go through a mild enough breakup to truly appreciate The World Around Me. Why would you put a power ballad in an album that desperately needs less gayity? Clearly ETF's goals lie in revitalizing glam rock and everything it represented, to do all the damage it did to the music world once again. The album finally reaches its conclusion with Aftermath. The track starts out pretty metal with some high gain sweeps and taps and such, but the rest of the album has taught me to know better than to hope for something more. You can tell the band really poured their heart and soul into this last track, it truly is the best effort of a worthless album, but like always, that's not saying much. It's just a speedy metalcore song with all that cookie cutter goodness we've discussed so far.

Escape the Fate may have released this self-titled disaster around the end of last year, but lucky enough for them, it was just in the knick of time to be a strong contender in the running for worst album of 2010. Avoid this album like it were Helen Thomas running at you in a teddy with a box of rubbers.