Saturday, September 24, 2011

Agreeing to Disagree

This is the sort of inexcusable crap that happens when everyone stops drinking.

Freddy False: Why if it isn't my good friend, Petey! How are you this lovely afternoon?

Petey Poseur: Lovely indeed! And how about yourself, good sir?

Freddy False: I am quite content at this present time. Tell me Petey, might I inquire about this peculiar music of which we are listening?

Petey Poseur: Allow me to enlighten you, Freddy; this is a rock group that refers to themselves by the name As Blood Runs Black. They are indubitably my all time favorite musical outfit!

Freddy False: I see. Well Petey, I regret to inform you based upon what I am currently hearing, that I do not share the same sentiment as you in regards to their musical performance.

Petey Poseur: You don't say?

Freddy False: Unfortunately, they do indeed fall well outside my spectrum of taste. They simply sound awful to me.

Petey Poseur: I strongly disagree with you about this, but I can fully understand your point of view in not appreciating my personal taste in music. For instance, I find the art produced by your favorite band I Killed the Prom Queen to be nothing short of dreadful to behold.

Freddy False: Really? I'm trying desperately to hide my disappointment in hearing you say so, but it's simply in vain. I have always considered them to be the greatest act to have ever lived, and it never ceases to shock me when I hear that someone else doesn't care for them.

Petey Poseur: Shocking, but still the fact of the matter. With that said, you should fully understand that I respect you for enjoying them, and more than that, I respect them as a musical group. Each one of them has worked incredibly hard to be where they are today, have thousands of fans worldwide, and music that people truly care about.

Freddy False: Of course. Whilst your preference of music is indeed, vastly divergent from mine, I have no qualms with telling you that I appreciate the bands you enjoy for all the people they have touched, their skills in musicianship, and all of the great things they have accomplished in their lives. It is simply amazing no matter how I might feel about them.

Petey Poseur: That's fabulous to hear, Freddy. I know that you and I have a strong, everlasting bond of friendship that will hold resilient despite our greatest personal differences. I feel that differences are what make people special and unique. I adore your company so deeply, simply because I can appreciate your different perspective on so many things.

Freddy False: The same to you as well. Each of us is entitled to our own opinion of everything and anything. Art is, and always will be, subjective after all. We will always be friends and no disagreement regarding music will ever change that. Say, do you see something coming towards us just over the horizon?

Petey Poseur: Why yes, I believe so. Isn't it that Brenocide fellow? Doesn't he write that blo...


Just this week I achieved 2,000 Facebook Likes for the That's Not Metal page. How could this have ever happened? Despite my constant efforts to enlist only the elitist of the elite to form the most glorious true metal army in existence, I keep acquiring a greater and greater number of what I can only assume are a bunch of dweeby jerk-offs who wouldn't know what true metal was if it guitar soloed all their loved ones into instant cardiac arrest and shat on all their pale-faced corpses. What do you think happened to me when I was young that made me so fucked up? Just kidding. My mom is still totally alive, and keeps calling me about the funerals of relatives I "should be" attending. Message deleted. Grandpa was an asshole who couldn't understand good music anyway. Save yourself 10 grand and bury his unmetal ass in the fucking river.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

TNM Review: Anthrax- Worship Music

It’s hard not to feel a little betrayed when a band you like (or used to) puts out a disappointing album. After all, you’ve put an emotional investment into their hands. You’ve excitedly snapped up interviews and read about how this upcoming album is going to be “the best and heaviest album we’ve released”; you’ve waited patiently as they’ve cock-teased you by releasing info of the album, bit by bit; you’ve put up with DELAY AFTER FUCKING DELAY in the hope that at the end, it will all be worth it.

They had 8 years to think of a better title.

If you go into Anthrax’s thirteenth studio album Worship Music expecting that the return of Joey Belladonna would herald a return to the thrash sound of the band’s heyday, I’m afraid to tell you that you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Forget Thrash, this isn't even a Metal record, rather, the record has this kind of “hard rock, Damned Things/John Bush” feel to it. You’d think Anthrax would realise that the world wants thrash back; every other thrash band from the 80’s seems to have figured that out, but no, not Anthrax. The songwriting is based in a mid-paced, melodic rock sound that would appeal to fans of Bullet For My Valentine, Asking Alexandria, et all, and call me a cynic if you will, but the whole album seems to be a conscious effort to “get with the kids of today”. That’s not to say that there’s no thrash at all on the album, but it is used very, very sparingly. Opening track Earth on Hell, for example contains some of the thrashy stomp that put a smile on my face and the first time I heard it, I actually thought I was in for a pleasant experience. Of course, I should have known better, for immediately following that track is the stop/start melodic butt rock stomp of The Devil You Know. I took note on this track that even after all these years; Joey Belladonna still has it in him to put forward a commendable effort on vocals, having said that, there was one particular facet of the vocals that was going to grate on me for the rest of the album.

And that was overdubbing.

Worship Music is plagued with horrendously overdubbed vocal lines, from “pseudo-massive” choruses that seem to be custom built with the words “radio-hit” stamped on them in big obnoxious Comic-Sans print, to irritating vocal melodies that Drowning Pool fans would probably love to sing along to if they could find their way out of 1999. This overdubbing is so obnoxious, so shamelessly “rock radio” that it’s hard to imagine any passionate thrash fans that wouldn’t smell the bullshit being waved directly under their noses. Crawl is probably the best example of this overdubbing, whilst simultaneously demonstrating how well Joey can do melody on his own without all the studio fuckwittery.

The middle section of the album is largely forgettable, just more mid-paced melodic cringe-rock coupled with a few musical interludes and a cheesy church-bell intro to In the End. It’s not until the final track of the album, Revolution Screams, that we see some more of the aggression that was promised oh so fleetingly at the start of this clusterfuck of an album. Well, I say last track but I’ll take this opportunity to openly address every band ever... fuck off with hidden tracks! No one wants to waste precious iPod space for 7 minutes of silence and a shitty punk cover at the end of their album.

Despite what many, more complacent, metalheads may be saying, Worship Music is by no means a return to form for Anthrax. If there were any justice in the world, this album would just be a final, embarrassing footnote on a long, seemingly never-ending, period of sucking and the next album be the real return of Anthrax. If however, this is the shape of further things to come for the band, then it may just be time to abandon Anthrax to the annals of history and move on with our lives...

TNM In-Depth Review: Opeth- Heritage