Friday, November 27, 2015

THAT'S NOT METAL is no more... Introducing METAL SNOB

Connoisseurs of Kvlt 

After 5 years operating under the title "That's Not Metal" unabashed, I found myself in a position where the best way to move forward was to change our title and domain completely. Someone else now owns legal trademark to the name "That's Not Metal", which is something I never thought I would have to concern myself with. The metal community as I know and love it has always been so grass roots, so DIY. I always felt like principle and the underground honor system alone would be enough to protect my brand, but I found out the hard way that just isn't the case. Lesson learned, kids: trademark your shit. With that said, I no longer hold ill will toward the individuals who now operate as TNM, the best thing for me to do now isn't to dwell on it or continue on the war path I've been on regarding this incident. What's best for me, and you the readers, is to just pick myself up and move forward.

So I would like to formerly introduce you to the new site. This is Metal Snob. Same writers, same elitism, just a different title. If you don't like it, tough titties. The name doesn't matter, and this one is short, to the point, and conveys our message and who we are. With the new brand, we still plan to deliver you the best in quality internet elitism and closed-minded metal fandom as you've always come to expect from us. We'll be posting more news, reviews, interviews and editorials than ever before. We also plan to shift the focus off our typical vitriol to bring you more underground acts that successfully meet our near-impossible standard for metal listening. Violations will still be a thing, and I plan to keep all of the old posts from the original TNM for you to read and comment on.

With that said, there's a lot of house-keeping that still needs to be done. The domain change means that every single hyperlink to anything "" related is now totally dead. That means we're pretty much starting fresh as far as exposure is concerned. I will need to contact every blog out there good enough to feature us in their blog roll of the change. I will also have to go through my more prominent posts to repair any links there within to my past posts, so you all can have a more reliable experience reading here. It's very tempting to just scrap all the old shit altogether and start fresh to save myself this headache, but there's a lot of good material there that me and my contributors worked hours on, and still should be given a read if you're willing to dig through the catacombs of our archive.

I appreciate your patience as the site goes through these changes. It's a work in progress, and it might not ever be 100% what it once was as far as working links are concerned, but we plan to start working on waves of newer, better, more original content for you to enjoy instead. Where TNM dwelled in a pit of obscurity, we plan for Metal Snob to rise above, and become the go to true metal elitist and comedy site that will stand on its own in an already densely saturated metal blogosphere.

If you need to contact me directly for questions or interviews regarding what's happening or what's going on. You can also e-mail me at the following:


We still own the TNM domain for another year so all the old e-mails will work fine if you need to contact Sage or myself. I'm working on figuring out how to route to Metal Snob, but so far it's proving to be tougher than I first thought.

Thanks for all the years of readership, and the continued support as we go through this difficult transition. Stay true,

-- Brenocide \,,/

Friday, November 13, 2015

Review: Lord of Doubts - Into the Occult

"This is the way your career ends, Lord of Doubts, not with a bang but with a whimper"

Into the Occult is the final Release from Russian doom band, Lord of Doubts. I don't know why a career that is composed of two albums and an EP is a reason to make a fuss, but maybe this band is something special. They took the time to make their email look like a professional advertisement so they at least they have that going for them. After seeing the relatively professional way they had put everything together I had high hopes, especially after the treat I received from Exterminas. Those hopes were in vain, for in the vast wasteland that is Bandcamp doom metal, all hope withers and dies.

At first it sounded like perfectly serviceable doom metal. Not something I would seek out but I wouldn't skip it on shuffle either. And then the vocalist opened his mouth. This guy going by the name of Art has no business recording his voice. The singing itself isn't horrible because he has the good sense to do a kind of droning chant instead of actually singing. The problem is nothing about it stands out. He has the most generic emotionless voice I have ever heard in metal, and to top it off I'm absolutely sure that the reason he chose to do this emotionless chanting is because he has no real singing ability. Art, your guitar work is perfectly serviceable, in fact the instrumental tracks are the highlight of this album and are very well put together, so why did you insist on ruining your music with your voice? Maybe if you could have kept your moth shut you would have made something of your final album, but as it is, I don't think this is good enough to retire on.

As good as the instrumental passages are I would not suggest buying this. Art could have done his band a load of good by shutting his mouth and making the whole thing instrumental, but since this is the last thing they are ever going to release I guess the best thing to say is good riddance. At least Lord of Doubts can't hurt themselves anymore. You can grab the album here. There are a couple of free tracks to download if you want them. Otherwise, just let this band fall into obscurity where it belongs.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

CLICK HERE to See A Collection of our FAVORITE POP STARS Wearing POP MUSIC T-Shirts!!!

You'd be surprised to find just how many pop stars and mainstream celebrities out there are avid lovers of artists who -- um-- also perform pop music and are totally mainstream! Let's take a look at some of our absolute favorites:

Here we have Lady Gaga and Baby Metal looking cute as buttons together as they bond over music that appeals to masses of simple-minded boring people. Oh look, and if you'll notice, Lady Gaga is wearing a t-shirt of a band that's sold 60 million albums+ worldwide! Nothing unusual or worth fucking mentioning here whatsoever! Did you click on the page though? You're here reading this right? Oh, well that's great! Thanks for stopping by! Click on all the other things on this page too. All of it. Click it. Click all the things you can see on the page to look at and visit and read, that would be fucking awesome.

What mindless gallery of celebrities would be complete without post-teen heartthrob Justin Bieber wearing a t-shirt of a musical group that is of similar fame, popularity, and exactly as mass appealing and easy to digest as his music is? Even if you were exactly dumb fuck enough to get mad at this, how could you be mad at that face? If you want to share this with all your friends on Facebook, they would like it and it would reaffirm how good you should feel about yourself! Also, refreshing the page a bunch of times would be good too! 

Skip ahead to 1:17! I don't have to tell you the music industry is really competitive, but its heartwarming to hear that Demi Lovato takes time out of her busy schedule to appreciate above ground, widely adored pop music such as herself! Hey, you know you can also check this gallery out and click all around on the other stuff on your phone and your tablet while you're at it. We don't mind, we'll wait! Read all the other stuff and share it all, do it.

What is it exactly that upsets you about this picture? Is it that Megan Fox is a woman or that she's famous? You know what's really making us angry? That you're not sharing this on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Do that! Didn't you see the caps-locked words and exclamation points in the title? We were told that those would help us.

Could you have ever even guessed in a million years that Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray was a total fucking idiot with bad taste in entry level 80's rock we all stopped being impressed by when we were 16? I know, we were blown away too! Not as blown away as you'll be by CLICKING HERE!

Whoa! Somebody call the Fashion Police!! Here's a pic snapped of Chris Brown spotted wearing a custom leather jacket featuring artists as widely recognized as he is and anybody with a baseline understanding of music knows about. Look at him now! Look at this now! <----(Click here to find out)

Kendall Jenner might be a little old for pop punk bands, but that's okay. We all know what it's like to look back fondly on the music we thought was cool when we were children.

I'm really just gonna take this opportunity to say that I hate Amy Poehler anyway.

Hailey Baldwin is another famous person who is young, a female, and wearing the shirt of a band that was relevant enough in pop culture to be featured prominently on an episode of Viva La Bam. We can't stand for that shit. Somebody get Metal Injection on the phone, FUCKING STAT! There are CLICKS IN THEM THERE HILLS. Beverly Hills that is! Not familiar with Metal Injection? That's okay, you can navigate yourself to it somehow. But ugh, it would be such a hassle to go to the URL bar up there and click on it, type the name in, end up at Google because you typed the name in wrong, go looking around on the Google search page for that shit. I mean, imagine if you were trying to do that all from your phone. Here, you know what, out of the goodness of my heart, I'll give you a direct link to Metal Injection right here. Go ahead, it's fine. Enjoy Metal Injection.

What's that? What's wrong? It wasn't Metal Injection? Nope. You're back here. That's right. Look at Kim Kardashian wearing a t-shirt of fellow reality stars. You can't escape. You're stuck. Point is, even if you somehow managed to make it to Metal Injection, or Metal Sucks, all you're going to find is celebrities wearing celebrity shirts. That's what important in the metal news world, didn't you know? Don't you know anything? This isn't the metal blogosphere you once knew. Your community is dead. This is now the inescapable Silent Hill of rich people wearing rich people. 

There's no hope here. Only despair. 

Don't forget to share on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr/StumbleUpon/Reddit/Pinterest/Digg/YouTube/Kik/Myspace!!

-- Brenocide \,,/

Violation: Devaluing Negative Opinions of Music (7 Reasons We Don't Have to Live in a Basement to Hate Your Band)

Pictured above: Not your mom's basement. 

Let's say you're on social media talking some shit...

I mean, of course you are. You are -- or at least you're trying to be -- a true Metal elitist right? Any limp little Nancy could spend their time listening to good Metal music. Just sitting around chilling to Xasthur or some shit. Oh wow, good for you. Round of golf claps for the happy listener over here, everyone. Maybe you should buy some Bose speakers so you can just sit back, relax and really enjoy yourself. Immerse yourself in the lovely sound, you complacent, satisfied fucking priss.

Fuck that noise. Literally. What makes me a true Metal warrior is the fact that I spend countless hours listening to, forming an opinion, and then complaining about shitty fake Metal. Someone's gotta do it. The sort of complacency and indifference to improper thinking that you open-minded pusscakes keep preaching is how the Holocaust happened. These scene queens aren't going to go around Hitlering up my genre with goofy trends unabashed. Not on my fucking watch.

What's the point in trying to listen to good Metal anymore anyway? They stopped making it in like 1998. I've heard it all and now I've got work to do.

"But Brenocide's here is a post where you mention liking something produced after that..." Oh yeah? You dweebs always go around telling everyone my blog is "satire" and not to take it seriously. So let's just say I was fucking kidding when I said that. The only bits of satire on this blog were the moments when I ever hinted at being anything except the greatest Metal fan that ever lived. Joke's on you, fart pie.

Not that I would care to know, but if anybody these days is producing Metal music that can qualify as even somewhat listenable, it's because of true Metal foot soldiers like myself, tirelessly discouraging musical bullshit with everflowing internet venom. You're welcome. But I digress. Let's get back to you on social media fighting the good fight like you're supposed to. Inevitably, you're gonna get some push back from the sorry sucks that don't understand everything they like or do is dumb and bad. High chance, you're going to get something very similar to this statement tossed your way among the carnage:

This degenerate numpty wrote this a couple months ago in response to my takedown of Neill Jameson's pro vinyl post. It wasn't because I was trashing Krieg that she said this, but it's the exact kind of shit you would see someone say if I was trashing Krieg. To make this more relevant, I'll do it now: Fuck Krieg. There we go. Anyway, Jameson's post was a short tirade that I thought was a poorly thought-out, open-ended take down of Metal Sucks' Vince Neilstein's anti-vinyl postwhich was itself a poorly-thought out piece in support of streaming music. Long story short, the only smart person involved was me. Just like always.

Teal here shared her baseless non-thoughts during an enormous back-patting circle jerk of Jameson's internet pals getting together and stroking each other over how I disagreed with their favorite underground howler. I challenged Neill's position with research and facts. They challenged my position with how I'm a "non musician". Because in order for you to understand the basic arithmetic behind how badly record companies fuck metal artists, you have to be the metal artist getting fucked. Makes sense.

Anyway, eye-roll worthy comebacks like these are just one of many types of what I like to call the

"Performers On Stage Envy Rebuttal"

Or P.O.S.E.R for short.

This out loud assumption is a silencing technique used by music fans (and sometimes artists) to try and devalue your opinion as an informed, free-thinking listener and individual with a negative stance on any form of media. People who support the artist or are the artist immediately assume that because you are sharing a negative opinion regarding said artist, you are inherently envious of their perceived "success" in the artform. We can also classify this as "haters gonna hate logic". It only works if everyone involved is a complete fucking moron. Speaking of complete fucking morons, anybody remember Sonic Syndicate? (Me neither!)

To refresh our memories, here's a gem several years ago from The Unguided vocalist Richard Sjunnesson directed towards me when I made fun of his former band for getting butthurt over us trolling them at a show:

"But by all means, let them have their little sexist hate society in peace. They won’t achieve anything worth mentioning in the duration of a lifetime anyway. At least our achievements and hard work took us all around the world, while they were busy jerking off to their 2-channel tape recorders in their mom’s basement. I can understand their jealousy, as we got handpicked by their favourite band to tour with them." 

Oh yeah, so jelly over here, I'm practically a doughnut. Your band is factually the worst music in the history of the artform. You actually managed to make something like Atreyu even worse:

I'd say that's an achievement worth mentioning. Just like the Holocaust was. There that is again! See how this all ties together nicely in the end? Jealousy has never once had anything to do with how much I consistently hated your haircuts throughout the years, Richard. The same will always be true of your overdone 2004-era metalcore music. More like The Ungood, am I right fellas?

So let's look at just a few out of many pointed reasons why the POSER is a weak argument made only by complete wastes of space and air, and you should have no issues overcoming such frail objections to your sturdy, elite musical opinion:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

From the Frontlines: 3 Inches of Blood's Final Show (Black Wizard and Bison B.C. Supporting)

On the grim road to the Commodore, Granville street, it was all as usual on a Vancouver night. The bums were passed out outside the skytrain station with assorted items, with their signs propped on their chests. The odd wall of Hipsters here and there, begging to be punched in their horn rimmed souls. And the usual buskers, one playing Stairway to Heaven until the sky falls, and the other girl playing pure crap and charging 10 bucks for each CD with 13 tracks of acoustic pop torture.

This was going to be a bittersweet night, to say the least. 3 Inches of Blood’s local gigs before the announcement of their final show were pretty sparse. The last time I had good notice to see them was the first time I saw them live, just after Here Waits Thy Doom was released. So this was long overdue.

I got to the lineup around the time the doors opened. It was moving along quickly, but that was a bad thing. It meant the merch booth was going to be over-fucking-flowing. At the Rickshaw or The Venue, there’s a line, but that’s not much trouble. At the Commodore, however, it’s as thick as George Fisher’s neck. When Amon Amarth was here last, I had to hop up on the bar to get past the mob clamoring for a signed guitar pick.

I walked around the place, mainly to find a good pillar to prop myself up against. When I got bored with that, I kept an eye out for anyone I knew. The Commodore is a deceptively ugly place. It’s like that Goth chick that would sit in the back of class of high school. She’s attractive. From a distance. There’s grime on the steps, the bar has untold pounds of gum stuck under the tables, and an ATM that works whenever the hell it feels like. They don’t allow smoking in the place because if the alcohol soaked carpet came anywhere near an open flame, the whole block would go up in a mushroom cloud.

I elected to get some merch to pass the time. After half an hour of slowly shuffling forth, I got my crap, and dropped it off at the coat check. When I returned, I faced the massive wall that is Conan. If you’ve ever been bear hugged and lifted into the sky by a hairy Jason Momoa looking motherfucker at a show in Vancouver, congratulations, you’ve met Conan. He’s yet to lift me into the air yet. As he began to wrap his arms, I hooked my left under his right.

 We forgot our kilts at home.

He started off with a basic lift, but I applied the counterweight easily. To throw him off balance, I moved to the left, but he managed to predict this, and anchored himself to his own left. He then tried to pull me in to lose my footing, but I swiftly shifted into an iron horse stance, making his efforts all for naught. Eventually, we disengaged and caught up since the last show we were both at. Before long, Black Wizard took the stage.

Honestly never heard of these guys before tonight. Obviously local boys, given the occasion, and they’re pretty damn good at what they do. A modern doom metal that has a strong groove and solo work that doesn’t sound like it reads from the gospel of Black Sabbath. They really know their shit, being able to get a bunch of rabid 3 Inches of Blood fans to mosh to something that sounds like Orange Goblin if they were Canadian. A Red and White Goblin, if you will.

After their set and assurance that on their life that 3 Inches of Blood would play, I pretty much tailed Conan around the place as he talked to his real friends. I never have anyone to go with to shows, so I just follow him till he stops at some point. Let me tell you that a night with a bunch of crappy death metal bands is ten times worse when you have no one to talk shit about them with.

One of the people we met up with is a guy I see at literally every single show I go to. His name is Dane, or Dwayne, or something like that. I call him The Duke. He kinda looks like Biff Byford if he was 20 years older, a foot shorter, and had a cane. A pretty cool guy, but we had to drop it short for Bison B.C.

I’ve heard good things about this band, and honestly, I have no god damned clue why. They aren’t terrible by any means, but it was just putting me to sleep. Their songs just could not end, some of them had like 4 riffs, and the least interesting and most boring ones were the ones they spent the most time on playing. It was so long and arduous, it’d make latter day Iron Maiden blush. Speaking of Iron Maiden…

After Bison cleared the stage, the subject of my opinion of the Book of Souls came up in conversation. Conan called me full of shit for hating it, but then it got ugly.

“Look, I like Iron Maiden, but they’ve been just fucking sucking for the past 15 years!”

“Like fucking what?!”

“Book of Souls, Final Frontier, Dance of-“

“Dance of Death is a fucking masterpiece!”

“Name two good tracks!”

“Dance of Death and Montsegur!”

“I said two!”

“No More Lies!”

“More like No More Choruses!”


“One of the most worthless battles in history, and one of their least engaging songs!”

“Oh fuck you! What about Matter of Life and Death?”

“You couldn’t waterboard me hard enough to find a good song off that wet fart!”

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this from you! They have no bad albums! This is all coming from the guy who likes Motörhead!”

Now this got personal. I was stealing this one, but if there was a time for it, it’d be now.

“Seventh Synth Rock Ballad of a Seventh Synth Rock Ballad.”





So yeah, it’s pistols at dawn next week, just after the Blind Guardian show.

The lights dimmed for the final 3 Inches of Blood show. Despite the fact that they’re doing another one on Sunday, I call this their last one. They originally announced this as the last, and scheduled a second after all the pre-order tickets sold out the day it was announced. Sunday’s going to be the sloppy seconds, and I never settle for that.

 Besides, I was one of the people who purchased that ticket at June 4th, 10:01 am under the impression it was their last, so I'm calling it as such.

They hit the stage with Helix’s Rock You playing, the entire crowd joining in. They began the night with Metal Woman, causing all females in attendance to sprout spikes from their shoulders, bullet belts to materialize upon their waists, and to climax instantaneously. This was a pit night for me. you could scarcely find me outside of the pit, I was the denizen of this realm, I was born and bred in there, you couldn’t put me down even if I wanted you to.

They were going to play the show in two sets, with a short break between them. The first one consisted mostly of recent material, Leather Lord, Call of the Hammer, and a few flashes from the past like God of the Cold White Silence and Wykydtron. Hydra’s Teeth is a song that they haven’t played live in eons, so it was like a hand job after a Charles Bronson movie, exactly what we needed. It ended with their glorious tribute to Ronnie James Dio, Look Out.

During the whole time that me and Conan were in the pit, we were often on crowd surfing duty. We stood at the front rim of the pit, and would lift the hapless dorks who did not have the frame of titans such as Conan and I upwards into the crowd. Bit of a funny story there. On the skytrain in, I was minding my own business, scowling at the tools who crossed my path, when at the other side of the car, there stood three skinny little dorks who could not possibly be any older than 18.

I didn’t think much of them, but for some reason, my gaze was drawn to the least skinniest one. He was wearing a plain gray t-shirt, so I don’t know what I saw in him. He had a wispy little leather wrap on his wrist, didn’t strike me as anyone of importance, so I just wrote him off. But in the mosh pit of 3 Inches of Blood’s final show at The Commodore, I saw him, recognized him, grabbed, and threw him upon the crowd, beginning his ascension to True Metal. I get the feeling I’ll be calling him a poseur should I again see him, though.

The second set was mostly of their early stuff. And for good reason. This was when previous band members came up to play (Nick Cates was already playing bass for the whole night). Matt Wood on drums for Revenge is a Vulture, Byron “Fucking” Stroud on Bass for Dark Messenger, and Bobby Froese for Destroy the Orcs. Then, something magical happened. During the wrap up to Battles and Brotherhood, they seamlessly shifted into a medley. To Heaven and Hell. One of my favourite bands playing the best song ever.

There’s something about this song and The Fraser Valley, I don’t know if it’s like this elsewhere, but Heaven and Hell is the heart and soul of our scene. It’s covered by every other band, we jam with it, sound check with it, tune to it. Hell, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who first picked a guitar up because of this song, or that I'm alone in saying it’s the first song I learned. To hear 3 Inches of Blood play the song that’s ingrained that fucking deep in our skulls was nothing short of a religious experience… Oh, they covered Tom Sawyer some time during the night, too.

Speaking of religious experiences…

In the year of our Dio, 2008, Jamie Hooper left 3 Inches of Blood due to severe vocal cord issues. But on Saturday November 7th 2015, late into the night, or probably very early November 8th, he took the stage once more alongside his brothers of old. Motherfucker looks as anorexic as he always had, with that goofy tiny gap in his front teeth, screaming like a demonized goblin despite looking like a massive hipster punk. To see Jamie Hooper singing alongside Cam Pipes with the other previous members was fucking cosmic.

I don't take photos at shows, so stolen facebook photos are all you're gonna get.

Night Marauders, The Goatrider’s Horde, and the fucking Canadian metal anthem that is Balls of Ice. But they’re missing one song. It’s the song that defines 3 Inches of Blood. The heart and soul of 3 Inches of Blood fans, Motherfucker, you know I’m talking Deadly Sinners. It was fucking majestic. Despite going one hundred percent, operating at peak efficiency, and the centre of the pit doubling as a steam room, the mosh pit went even faster. This is a song to draw blood to. Which I did to Conan with my bracer.

Above the crowd, one lone surfer was riding the waves of chaos. One man, his hair blowing in the bedlam and metal. holding aloft his cane to the sky whilst throwing the horns. It was The Duke. Magnificent bastard damn near got up on stage, but he poured behind the rails to be swept aside. It felt like that went on forever, but that song is only so long. Once they finally concluded, with all poseurs in attendance converted or dead, leather and steel adorning the walls, and beer flowing through the crowd, then did Deadly Sinners finally end. This was the last of 3 Inches of Blood.

The feeling of seeing a band end their career by playing one of their most well known songs is one of the most satisfying experiences one could have, but it also left everyone feeling empty. Everyone kept cheering for a good 10 minutes after they left the stage. Everyone started screaming  “One more song” over and over again. Are you serious?

What other note could they possibly end on? They gave a bitchin' set with all of the best songs from their albums, brought previous, beloved members to perform with them one last time, and brought it to a close with them all performing the song that defines both the band, the fans, metalheads in general, and pretty much all of heavy metal. You want to spoil all that by getting them to play Crazy Nights? Needless to say, I didn’t join them in the chant. I simply roared above the crowd with a mighty bellow of “LONG LIVE HEAVY METAL!!!”

Corny, I know, but a much more fitting epitaph to one of, if not the best Vancouver metal band.

So, this is it.

Life after 3 Inches of Blood.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review: Exterminas - Dichotomy

My salvation from unending legions of horrible Bandcamp music.

Dichotomy is the second full length release from the Italian black metal band Exterminas, and it is FUCKING great. Up to this point Bandcamp has betrayed me time and again with horrible band after horrible band, but like a shotgun at a metalcore concert, Exterminas has saved me from a purgatory of unworthy filth.

The album has everything you would want from back metal: speed, anger, and incomprehensible vocals. While the rhythm section is certainly up to snuff, the dual guitar attack of Moloch and Eskathon are what really elevate this album. Sometimes reminiscent of Skeletonwitch, Slayer, or Belphegor but never seeming to outright rip them off, it gives them a sound close to many blackened death metal bands but still very rooted in traditional back metal. If I was going to drive into hell in a souped up muscle car with hood mounted machine guns, I would blare this on my awesome but admittedly impractical demon slaying rampage. If I could understand what Februus is saying I'm sure it would be condoning the opposite of killing the legions of hell, but as every true metal head should know, when it comes to demons you can either worship them, or murder them and both are equally metal. The less practical your chosen method of combat is the better.

The album drops November eleventh at their label Satanath's Bandcamp page where you can also get the preview track Dawn of Deceit. Grab it, and then buy the damn thing when it comes out. What else were you going to do with that money? Feed your children? Don't lie. No woman would want to birth your spawn. So instead of crying about it go buy this album. Maybe get the jewel case if you have a fetish for being able to tenderly caress a disc. Hurry though. There are only 500 physical copies and we wouldn't want your fully engorged member to go unsatisfied because it sold out.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Variety, Thy Name Ain't Metal Vocalists.

It was pretty fucking windy that day, but in Hope, shitty weather is the norm. I grabbed my guitar out of the trunk and handed Beth my bass, which she reluctantly slung over her back. She didn’t want to play an instrument. I, quite reasonably, said to her “Your fucking problem”. If she was going to start a band, she was going to at the very least learn how to play an instrument so I wasn’t going to be writing everything myself.

As she climbed down the hill behind me, she was moaning and complaining.

“So, why do we have to do this here?”

“I come to Hope whenever I write, besides, you can’t write this kind of metal in a basement.”

We were down by the river under the bridge that heads past Haig. It’s always windy there, but today we needed to face north so our glorious fucking locks weren’t blowing in each other’s face.

“What about the river in Abbotsford, It’s only twenty minutes away from home!”

“Oh quit your bitching and lets make some fucking magic.”

After about a half hour showing her a couple riffs and how to play them, I started into something I was working on. A Doom/Pagan kind of bit. After playing it a few times, she started to sing over it. Could not remember, or even hear the lyrics for that matter, but it sounded pretty good. After a vain attempt of us both improvising a chorus, we took a water/smoke break. She was doing her damnedest not to talk about anything related to the potential band she wanted to start. After a bit, she coughed through the haze.

“Fuck, I can’t fucking sing.”

“Shut up, you just did.”

“Yeah, but I can’t sing well.”

I really need to give this woman an ego transplant. It’s every fucking day with this bullshit. After a few more minutes, we sat down on the rocks and started playing the riff. After I finally managed to talk her back into singing again, I decided to ask where she got inspiration to sing from.

“So, who do you try to sound like?”

“Well, I’ve always tried to take my cues from Danzig and Lana del Ray.”

I stopped and stared at her for five whole minutes.

I seriously didn’t know whether to smack her, or to start violently making out with her. Knowing her, she probably wouldn’t let me do either. On one hand, pop singer. But on the other hand, Danzig, and she did something that some of my favourite vocalists do.

They take inspiration from vocalists that aren’t metal.

Don’t get me wrong, I love metal vocalists infinitely more than any other vocalist, but seriously, in this genre, every metal vocalist rips off every other one. Doom metal bands rip off Ozzy, Death metal bands rip off George Fisher, Thrash Metal and Bobby Ellsworth, and Rob Halford is ripped off in every genre like it’s nobody’s business. Does anyone really want to be just a c-grade imitation of a legendary vocalist? Must be some people, because bands like Holy Grail and Elvenking have those losers holding the mic.

Listen, I’m not saying we need every single frontman out there to sound like they have every Prince album alphabetized in their closet or whatever, but we need some fucking variety. We need vocalists that don't step too far away from the true metal path. Singers that while taking clear inspiration outside of metal, are making it their own. It’s actually kind of why I like certain Folk Metal. Skyclad, Eluveitie, Korpiklaani, Týr, these guys all have/had vocalists that are either doing it with little influence from other singers, or are taking it from the drunk guys singing songs in their pub.

And since I suck at transitions, here's a short list of vocalists that have deviated from the tired banshee wailing.

Hansi Kürsch

If you're on this website, you already know who Hansi is, and your cock is poking through your jeans as you're reading these words. I'm not going to bore you with shit you should already know, but I will ask of you this:

Look me straight in the eye and tell me Hansi did not waste his youth hanging around renaissance fairs listening exclusively to the troubadours. Dude sounds like Freddie Mercury if he came from a time with no plumbing and bubonic plague.

He could easily bard it all up at a larp with a lute in hand and robin hood tights till everyone got sick and tired of hearing The Maiden And The Minstrel Knight. So yeah, he'd be there forever. Point is, this vibrato wielding maniac sounds like he should be boosting the morale of a dragonslaying party mid fight.


You all know Danzig as the guy who put out Mother, the guy who got his shit shoved in by a two legged Orca, and as a fancier of kitty litter, but did you know that he actually releases albums? Because his vocal peak has to be Danzig II: Lucifuge.

Instantly shifting from a hushed whisper to his trademarked werewolf howl, Glenn Danzig is a monolith of doom metal vocals, putting to rest the notion that you have to be an Ozzy Osbourne ripoff but decent in doom. Motherfucker's been sporting the Elvis pipes for decades, and if Deth Red Saboath is any indication, it ain't going away any time soon.

...Although his touring schedule is.

Göran Edman

Jesus fucking christ, I love this man. I love every god damned thing about his voice so much, that it's hardly even a man crush, it's almost full on gay. He's got a smooth, Stevie Wonder timbre with all the range of Paul Rodgers, who is forever at his prime. He's most notable for being Yngwie Malmsteen's vocalist for two albums before one of Yngiwe's regularly scheduled egosplosions, and for doing session work for every single band none of you even care about.

He can effortlessly switch between a low introspective murmur, to a melismatic whirlwind that isn't just there to show off. Not only is the guy skilled, but his voice hasn't aged a fucking day. Compare his short lived (and by short lived, I mean not even making it out of the recording studio) time with Talisman:

To his somewhat recent guest appearance with the ridiculously named Boguslaw Balcerak's Crylord project:

Motherfucker's a time lord. Case closed.

Doro Pesch

To this day, I am perpetually bewildered as to why Doro and her previous band Warlock are not more widely recognized as heavy metal greats. Sure, they get a name drop here and there, but hardly what they truly deserve. Every Warlock album is filled with anthem after anthem, has incredibly talented guitarists that went god damned nowhere, and of course was fronted by the Teutonic titan that is Doro Pesch. 

Yeah, she has a three octave range, but what's truly impressive is that while fellow German Hansi Kürsch does utilize vibrato, Doro has been using it much more effectively for her entire career. What's more, it's just absurdly awesome when she goes as high as possible and loses the fucking leash for that werewolf of a throat.

Bill Ramp

Fuck, he looks like your dad

There are people on this planet (bafflingly ignorant people) that have never heard of Axehammer. If you fall into this sub-phylum of uncultured philistines, I recommend taking a long walk off a short cliff. Short story is that they're an L.A. metal band whose heyday is far, far removed from when they were in their prime. Yes, the Windrider album is good, but Bill's vocal performance is merely serviceable, while he was a true beast on the glorified EP that was Lord of the Realm.

You know what annoys the crap out of me? When I get recommended an album or band, and the Darwinian reject with the CD describes the vocalist as "soaring" or "operatic". Motherfucker, everyone says that! Hell, just because Dickinson had fairly wide range in his youth or Rob Halford watched opera, doesn't solely make their voices operatic.

Now Bill Ramp? I could totally see him up on stage in some frilly French dress beckoning some daffy broad to disregard her father's strict religious doctrine or something. He had a natural bellow that came much earlier than when Halford cultivated his, and very easily go from highs to lows with little notice of a break. To me, Bill Ramp and Axehammer are one of the truly lost metal bands that could've made it much further had they been in the right place and the right time.


After the last pack of cigarettes was spent and all the alcohol I could handle for the drive home was ingested, we made our way back to my car. We talked, mostly about subjects that had nothing to do with music, which leads me to believe that this won't go anywhere. Not the first time a band won't pan out for me. But maybe she'll go somewhere.

Lucky bitch.