Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Cassettes

I recently found a store in the city I just moved to that actually carries cassettes, some kind of rare ones too. I love cassettes, no idea why, I just do. So I picked up five new ones. Be prepared to see blog posts discussing the new stuff. I might have to go back again soon and pick up some others that I was on the fence about. The only real problem is that the selection was a little limited so I will not be able to go back too many more times. Very unfortunate.

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 4: Metallica: Kill Em All

Metallica was the first band I really got into. This was before CDs had become the most common form of buying music so I have the first five albums by Metallica on cassette.

Kill Em All was Metallica's debut album and one of the first thrash metal albums of all time. This album is a classic. There are some great thrash anthems here including "Hit the Lights", "Seek and Destroy", "The Four Horsemen", "Jump in the Fire", and "Metal Militia". The sound is raw and powerful featuring some great riffs. The riff in "The Four Horsemen" is one of the all time greatest thrash riffs. Many of these songs, in particular the guitar riffs, were written by Dave Mustaine who had been kicked out of the band prior to the recording of this album. Mustaine has always been one of the better riff men in metal and that shows in this album.

There is nothing to dislike in this album. It is pure, classic Bay Area thrash. The songs are enrgetic and powerful, the individual performances are terrific, and the album has influenced a huge number of later bands. This is thrash at its best. This album would be surpassed by Metallica's sophomore album Ride the Lightning.

Dear Headbanger's Ball

Dear Headbanger's Ball:
Back in the 1980's/1990's you featured mostly heavy metal videos. You have never been particularly great at picking metal as the glam scene was going on at the time and you showed an exordinate amount of glam videos. In the last several years you have come back from the dead to continually disappoint metal fans like myself. Every once in awhile, you may actually feature a metal video, amongst all of the nu metal and false metal bullshit.

Last night, this was your roster of videos, and this was a surprisingly good night for you:

Let's see here: Hatebreed is a moshcore/tough guy hardcore band, very few metal influences there. Hed P.E. isn't even fucking close to metal, rap over very basic rock guitars. Static X, Slipknot, and Dope are all nu metal bands, not metal. Everything else was pretty mainstream, but it's about fucking time to see another Kreator video on there. There you go, other than that, decent job. You're learning, keep it up, or you will hear from me again.


Finally Some Decent Reunion News

Canadian thrash metal band Sacrifice has reunited and has released a little snippet from an upcoming album. Finally some good news on the reunion front. I never liked Sacrifice as much as countrymen Slaughter, but they are pretty good. It's nice to see so many early thrash metal bands enjoy the resurgence in the genre and get back together.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ozzy Osbourne is a Money-Grubbing Whore

Let me begin by saying that I love Ozzy Osbourne. I am a big fan of Black Sabbath when Ozzy was the singer and a big fan of a lot of Ozzy's solo career. A lot of Ozzy's solo career, not all of it. The fact of the matter is that Ozzy's albums often had a lot of filler on them. I am hard-pressed to think of one album I enjoyed all the way through. Ozzy has released a lot of Greatest Hits collections as well. These are normally pretty decent, although the songs that will be included are often fairly obvious. The Prince of Darkness box set for instance has all of the classic songs from Ozzy's solo work. It also features some rare and previously unreleased material as well. This is where things start to get a little fuzzy and Ozzy's money-grubbing whore side starts to show through.

Disc 1 features Ozzy's big hits from Blizzard of Ozz through Bark at the Moon. Again, many of the song choices are obvious although the Ozzman uses live songs for some of the tracks. I do not know how to feel about this. On the one hand, it is nice to hear a different version, but on the other, most of these live versions were available on the live album Tribute: Randy Rhoads, which kind of makes their inclusion less significant. Randy Rhoads was a great guitar player though and hearing his solos live is a treat. Only the live version of "Bark at the Moon" was not released on a previous album, instead it can be found as the b-side to the UK So Tired single. If none of the versions are previously unreleased versions, the producers would have been better served using the original songs. That being said, this is where most of Ozzy's best material is, so it is the disc I listen to most often of the four.

Disc 2 takes the listener from The Ultimate Sin through Down to Earth in similar fashion as Disc 1. The first three tracks are songs that originally appeared on The Ultimate Sin, however each one is a live version only shown on The Ultimate Ozzy video. This is more like it. These tracks do not appear on other recorded albums. Also, Ozzy rarely performs tracks from this album live anymore, which is a shame because there was some killer material on the album. Four of the five songs off of No More Tears are demo versions that can only be found on The No More Tears Demo Sessions. This is an extremely rare demo collection and again is a nice touch, although most of the songs do not sound much different than the eventual recorded output, some of the arrangements are slightly different. "Won't Be Coming Home" is the most unusual track from this set as it eventually became "S.I.N.". "Perry Mason" appeared on the first Ozzfest collection, then we have some more rare recordings of other songs from live albums and a couple of unreleased demo versions. Obviously the way to get people to invest their money into buying a box set like this is to offer them something different, something they may not already own. The second disc does a much better job of doing that than the first disc.

Disc 3 features a lot of the collaborations and various artist compilations and this is where Ozzy sacrifices a lot of metal credibility with some of these match-ups. The first two tracks appeared on the Nativity in Black tribute albums to Black Sabbath and feature Ozzy with Therapy? and Primus respectively covering classic Sabbath tracks. These are fairly faithful versions of the original songs and are not offensive. Ozzy then covers "Purple Haze" which he promptly butchers. After that we get his collaboration with Type O Negative which is an okay but not overly impressive track off of the Howard Stern movie. I would have liked to hear more of a duet with Peter Steele, but whatever. Then the whole thing goes to hell for a few songs. I'm not sure which genius decided it was a good idea to put collaborations with Was (Not Was), Miss Piggy, Crystal Method, 'Ol Dirty Bastard, DMX, the Wu Tang Clan, and Dweezil Zappa, but he should lose his job promptly. The Was (Not Was) track is particularly awful as it features Ozzy attempting to rap. Apparently Ozzy will do anything for a buck, including sell out his credibility to appear with artists he has no business working with. "Psycho Man", one of the original songs on the Black Sabbath Reunion album almost makes the disc listenable and the collaborations with Infectious Grooves and Lemmy are decent but forgettable.

Disc 4 was originally the whole reason to buy the box set as most of these were previously unreleased covers. However, they were all released on the Under Cover album which came out later in the year making their desirability limited. This is interesting though to hear some of the songs that influenced Ozzy. I have often wondered what he listened to, although I did know he listened to The Beatles a lot. This disc gave me a better understanding of where Ozzy came from. I do not know the original songs well enough to comment on how good a job Ozzy did with them so I will save that.

The most interesting aspect of this box set is the packaging. There was a lot of time spent in collecting together photos of Ozzy live and in photo shoots covering his entire solo career. Also Ozzy gives some brief insight into each of the songs at the beginning of the booklet. It's funny to see him mention being too wasted to remember what happened in several spots.

Altogether, this is obviously a cash grab. Ozzy is making money off of this box set featuring tracks released multiple times. The few rarities really do not make the box set worth the money. If one already owns all of the albums, then this collection is not a great buy, it is only for the hardcore completist or someone who does not already own everything.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Me Too! Me Too! I Wanna Be Popular!

Ah, screamo-crunk. If only I could get in a time machine and go back to when I was blissfully unaware such a phenomenon existed. Ah, if only.

If you don't know what this is, either quit reading now or you will never feel safe again. Screamo-crunk grew out of two of the most godawful music scenes of the last 50 years. These bands combine the grating whininess of emo with the upbeat, club anthems of crunk, a music so horrible that most rappers are trying to steer clear of it. This melds together to create something so horrendous, words cannot begin to describe it. Run away. Run far away.

I first read about this on some other metal blogs. One of the bloggers wrote that the scene was featured in the latest issue of Revolver, a horrible false metal magazine. He said he did not see how this was considered metal, or even hard rock. Well the answer is simple, this is NOT metal, not by a long shot. It does not bear the slightest resemblance to metal. I feel very safe in saying that it will never be confused for metal.

I now know that I am old. I cannot believe the trash kids these days listen to. Here is a sample, but remember, you cannot un-hear this.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chris Cornell, What the Hell?

I remember back in 1995, Soundgarden won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for the song "Spoonman." In his acceptance speech, singer Chris Cornell said something to the effect that everyone should realize that yes, Soundgarden is a metal band. I have never had any doubts about that. They are one of the few bands arising from the Seattle grunge scene in the late 80's/early 90's that did have more in common with metal than alternative rock. The Black Sabbath influence in Soundgarden's early work was very evident.

Since that time though, Chris Cornell has done a lot to distance himself from the metal scene, and I would like to know why. Is he chasing money? Fame? Who knows. All I know is that Soundgarden's next album was definitely a far cry from their earlier work. After that, Cornell decided to go solo and sounded more like Bryan Adams than the once-mighty metal singer he was. Then he joined members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave, which was not a bad band, but ultimately disposeable modern rock. Now, he has teamed up with Timbaland of all people to form some horrible version of pop music with dance beats. I have heard a few songs, and this is one of the worst things I have ever heard. What happened to Chris Cornell?

He still has his trademark strong tenor voice, but the music he is making is atrocious. It's time to hang it up. His inadequacies are further revealed in the wake of the other members of Soundgarden joining with Tad Doyle, formerly of grunge band Tad, and performing Soundgarden classics.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear Hit Parader

Dear Hit Parader:

I just got done tearing Metal Edge down so I started looking for metal magazines. I thought of yours and recently looked at your webpage. I noticed you had an Ultimate Metal issue recently. And who was the band you picked for your cover? Slipknot. You fucking fail.


A Capella Metal? What the Hell?

This is Van Canto, a "band" composed of one drummer, and four or five singers. The singers sing the metal music with one lead singer. Honestly, I don't know what to think. They also do a cover of the Metallica classic "Battery." I think it would be a little better to just listen to and not see, their faces during the songs are hilariously cheezy.

Metal Edge Magazine: The Redheaded Stepchild of Metal Maniacs

Technically, it's the sister publication of Metal Maniacs, which doesn't help explain why it so terrible. After Metal Maniacs folded, I was left without a decent metal magazine. Metal Edge folded at the same time. I am significantly less saddened by that though. However in moving to a new town, I uncovered two issues of Metal Edge that I forgot that I had. I would have thought that I had thrown them away, but no, there they were in a tub with a bunch of my law school books, mocking me. Bastards.

Let's look at this magazine for a second, before I pitch them in the trash where they belong. I got them shortly after subscribing to Metal Maniacs. For the first two months, they sent me this magazine instead. Something I was unhappy about from the very beginning. I had to call twice in order to get the company to send me the right magazine.

I knew I was doomed from the very beginning when the band featured on the cover was the whiny gothic rock band HIM. The rest of the magazine featured such false metal luminaries as 12 Stones, Of Hearts and Shadows, and Yakuza. There were also features on incredibly mainstream metal acts like Machine Head and Still Remains. There was some coverage on groups like Candlemass, Dark Tranquillity, and Immolation, but nothing that had not been done better in Metal Maniacs. The review section was awful with glowing reviews of false metal trash like Adema (formerly known as the terrible nu-metal band with Jonathan Davis's inept half-brother on vocals), August Burns Red, and Bloodsimple. The only saving graces of this magazine were a few reviews on real metal releases and the information on Amoeba Music in Los Angeles, a store I would like to see some time soon.

The second issue featured a decent, albeit mainstream band on the cover, The Black Dahlia Murder. But it quickly shot that goodwill in the foot by featuring a large article on Coheed & Cambria, a band not metal by any stretch of the imagination. Coheed & Cambria plays obnoxious progressive geek rock with terrible high-pitched vocals. I am not a fan. There's also a large article on Avenged Sevenfold, a band discussed in this blog a few times. Seriously, every time I see a picture of this band, I want to wretch. Once again, there is some decent material, a page discussing Witchcraft, Aeon, Epica, an article about Annete Olzon of Nightwish and Flor Jansen of After Forever, an article about Katatonia, and some decent reviews including one discussing recent Metal Mind reissues of Artillery, Defiance, Paradox, and Znowhite. Then there is the glowing review of Dillinger Escape Plan's recent clusterfuck of noise Ire Works, calling it a fucking masterpiece.

Metal Edge also includes a free CD with the magazine. Out of 14 songs on the first month's CD, six were by actual metal bands. Of the 15 songs on the second month's CD, seven were by actual metal bands. That's less than half, a very poor average for a magazine with "Metal" in it's fucking name.

Overall, I would have only recommended this magazine to early teenagers just getting into the music with the advice to use it as a stepping stone to something better. I will keep looking for a new metal magazine. Thankfully this one folded along with Metal Maniacs. Maybe one day, Metal Maniacs will be revived.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Little Personal Info

Okay, I will share why I have not made any posts for a little while. I just got finished moving with my wonderful girlfriend to Norfolk, Nebraska. A new job and a new city. I will get back to posting soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nebraska Metal Scene Pt. 1: Cellador: Enter Deception

As a Nebraskan, I have a lot of interest in my state's metal scene. Unfortunately, we really don't have much of a scene. Cellador thus far is the only metal band to achieve any kind of national following. The band is signed to Metal Blade Records, possibly the best-known metal label in the country, particularly since Roadrunner's defection to mainstream hard rock. The band has released one full-length album and a couple of demos. Hopefully they will be releasing another full-length soon.

Cellador is a power metal band from Omaha. They formed in 2004 when all members were 18-24 years of age. Cellador takes a European style approach to power metal, sounding much more like a slower Dragonforce or Blind Guardian in its middle period than American power metal bands like Jag Panzer, Liege Lord or Iced Earth.

The instrumentalists, particularly the lead guitar player, display impressive speed and technical mastery. The band is able to play technical power metal at blazing speeds. Many of the songs feature long solo sections allowing the guitar players to show off their chops. The bass player is proficient and can actually be heard, which is a little unusual for a power metal band. The singer possesses a higher register voice, similar to most other power metal bands, however he is not as strong of a vocalist as the singers for the aforementioned bands and his voice wavers a little when he is not singing within his comfort zone.

Lyrically, the band differs somewhat from their European power metal influences. The band deals typically with personal issues and striving for freedom and individuality than the fantasy imagery usually associated with European power metal. This is a refreshing change of pace.

"Leaving All Behind" is the standout track from the album. Opening an album with the strongest song is a good way to get the listener's attention, but if there are no other songs matching that intensity, things can get a little stale after awhile. This is the problem with this album. No other songs come close to matching the power of the opening track. Luckily, this is a shorter album than other power metal albums making the lack of other standout tracks less of an issue.

After all is said and done, this a fairly decent showing for a young power metal band. There is nothing mind-blowing, but it's a good, quick listen and the band shows some promise for further growth. At least they know how to write a song unlike some power metal bands.


Creed is reuniting. If there were a God, He would not allow this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dir En Grey Playing Men-Only Show

Apparently Dir En Grey are playing a show only for the men out there and will be checking gender at the door to ensure that no women get in. This brings up one major question.

Who the fuck is Dir En Grey?

Okay, apparently they are a Japanese band that attempts to blend various metal and rock styles. This brings up the question as to why they would be playing a men-only show and my answer came upon seeing this picture:
Those are all men. Ah, the mysteries of life finally solved.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The First Metal Band

The question of who was the first metal band is a source of some controversy. Many people have different ideas of which band was the first metal band. I thought about this as a result of seeing the documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. The documentary mentioned Deep Purple, Blue Cheer, Alice Cooper, MC5, and Led Zeppelin as possibilities.

I, for one, have never really considered this much of a controversy. I have always thought it was pretty cut and dried. Black Sabbath, in my mind, was very clearly the first real metal band. Many of the other bands named above were proto-metal or had the occasional metal song, but were not in and of themselves a metal band. Comparing Black Sabbath to current metal bands, one can still clearly identify them as being from the same genre. This is not true of the other bands. Black Sabbath started it all. Every metal band since owes a debt of gratitude to them.

Andreas Kisser Insults Cavalera Conspiracy

Have you listened to the “Cavalera Conspiracy” debut album? Do you think that maybe one day will happen to co-operate again with Max and Igor?

I’ve heard the album, it is not bad but they could do a lot better. For what people was expecting, I think it is very weak. Who knows what the future will be? This is
something we don’t think about, I am looking forward to see, respecting our past
but working towards the future.

This from Andreas Kisser, guitarist for Sepultura, on his former bandmates Max and Iggor Cavalera and their new project Cavalera Conspiracy. Personally, I think he's wrong. I didn't love CC, but I thought it was a hell of a lot better than anything Sepultura has put out since Max left. Kisser is still desperately clinging to whatever credibility the band has left. The fact of the matter is that all of the parties are jokes to some degree or another. Sepultura put out some great thrash metal, but basically have proven to be nothing more than bandwagoners as far as music goes. When there is a trend, Sepultura will follow it. Now that thrash has become popular again, perhaps they will revert. The Cavaleras are not much different unfortunately. Despite my love for some of Sepultura's music, I have lost a lot of respect for them creatively.

Hot Girls in Metal Pt. 4: Simone Simons (Epica)

Gothic metal is particularly fertile ground for having attractive women in metal. Here we have the gorgeous redhead Simone Simons of Epica.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Heaven and Hell Album Cover Revealed

Heaven and Hell is the band featuring the entire second Black Sabbath lineup of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ronnie James Dio, and Vinny Appice. They changed the name in respect for Ozzy. They will release their first album as Heaven and Hell soon and this is the cover. Holy shit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gorgoroth Trial Results

All kinds of news today. Some time ago, a dispute arose over who owned the trademark to the name Gorgoroth. On one side, the last remaining original member guitarist Infernus, and on the other side, vocalist Gaahl and drummer King ov Hell. Apparently King and Gaahl tried to kick Infernus out of the band and then King registered the trademark. The Oslo City District Court ruled that the trademark registration was not valid and therefore deleted it, that the two members excluded themselves from the band when they tried to fire Infernus. Infernus cannot be excluded from the band unless he quits due to his position as the last remaining original member.

I don't really care one way or the other, I like Gorgoroth, but they're not a favorite. Apparently King has been writing most of the music lately so I am not sure how Gorgoroth will continue to sound. But there is an album in the works, so I guess we'll find out.

My position on the legal issues falls in line with the judge. Infernus was an original member. He has the say in what happens with the band. If they don't like it, tough, form another band.

Holy Shit, Varg Vikernes Has Been Released

Varg Vikernes, a.k.a. Count Grishnakh, the creative force behind Burzum and one-time bassist for Mayhem has been released from prison in Norway after 16 years. He was originally imprisoned for the murder of Mayhem guitarist Euronymous after a dispute over Euronymous's handling of Burzum's album releases. Maybe. There are all kinds of stories. Personally I am surprised he was released this soon due to his role in the Norway church burnings in the early 1990's and his escape from prison. I doubt he will have much trouble obeying the law anymore as he seems to have mellowed in his age. I would not be shocked to see him completely disappear. The last couple of Burzum recordings were terrible, if he gets back into making music, hopefully it will resemble the early stuff. I am sure he will not be rejoining Mayhem.

Signs of the Apocalypse Pt. 2: Skunk Anansie Reuniting

Okay the reunion of horrible nu-metal bands is reaching epic plague proportions. This is getting to be locust-like in scope. I enjoyed one or two of this band's songs but they were ultimately entirely disposeable. Apparently they disagree. They are a lot better than Crazy Town though, but that's not saying much.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Signs of the Apocalypse Pt. 1: Crazy Town is Reuniting

Okay, first Limp Bizkit and now Crazy Town? What the fuck, have I missed the memo saying that nu-metal has now gone from horribly lame bullshit to retro-cool now? Or is the band spurred from the lead singer's repeated, regrettable drug-addled performance on VH1's Celebrity Rehab? Either way, where's that sniper when you need him? Seriously, look at these assholes:

At least Faith No More is also reuniting.

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 3: Black Sabbath: Cross Purposes

Believe it or not, this was the first album by Black Sabbath I ever bought. I picked it up along with Ozzy Osbourne's No More Tears. Kind of strange that my first Sabbath record did not feature Ozzy and I got it at the same time as an Ozzy album. Anyway, Tony Martin was the singer for the band at this time. The band still had Tomy Iommi and Geezer Butler in it so it had the backbone of the band intact. This was the last good album full of original songs that Black Sabbath released.

As I said, this is actually a very good album. Tony Martin bears a slight resemblance to Ronnie James Dio if he had a lower voice. The guitar work is the highlight. Tony Iommi had not lost a step and the trademark evil atmosphere is still present. As for the songs, "Cross of Thorns" is probably the best. Slow-building, establishing the atmosphere, waiting to strike. The second half is mostly filled with faster songs and the album closes with a bang. Overall an impressive album for a band that has lost a lot of its identity. I just wish they had ended with this one and not recorded the rushed Forbidden.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dear OC Music Awards

Dear OC Music Awards:

First of all, what the fuck? I had to look this "award ceremony" up because I have never heard of it before. I can just imagine an award show happening in the richest part of the neighborhood with a thousand identical douchebags showing up, the only difference being the slightly different angle their fucking hair is pointed. Apparently your goal is to promote exposure and recognition to artists in Orange County. I have news for you, we don't fucking care. Artists from Orange County get plenty of exposure from MTV and the like. While you are trying to promote these fuckwads, the rest of us are trying to avert our eyes and ears to avoid this horrible, contemptible bullshit. Artists from this area are some of the most vapid, vile pieces of shit to ever congeal in a gutter somewhere.

Let's just get this shit out of the way. You have a Best Metal category apparently. I was scared to look at this, because I had a pretty good idea where you were going with it. Still though, I am a glutton for punishment. Here it goes:

Best Metal:
Atreyu: Oh my fucking god, I knew it. Atreyu is like the retarded step brother to Avenged Sevenfold and bears little to no resemblance to metal in the slightest. Far more emo than metal, apparently the OC Music Awards believe that anything involving guitars and screaming is metal. Which brings us to:
Avenged Sevenfold: Fuck. I pretty much outlined my feelings toward this shit earlier in a post. I will only say this: Fuck A7X.
Bleeding Through: Okay, I can tolerate Bleeding Through and they are actually a metal band, so they better damn well win this, or I will never trust the OC Music Awards again. On second thought, I think I would prefer they not win, so I can make fun of this shit again.
Death By Stereo: Never heard of them, very bad sign. Apparently they're a punk band upon googling them. Apparently the OC Music Awards have never heard of metal.
Motor Gun Hotel: Same situation. Checked their Myspace. They list themselves as rock/grunge/psychedelic. I am hearing some unholy conglomeration of Nirvana, Nickelback, and The Doors. Assumption that the OC Music Awards have never heard of metal is confirmed. Plus they look like jackasses.

Upon looking at this list, I am struck by the utter stupidity in failing to have your award nominees match your message. Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, and Bleeding Through are already well-known bands who have toured the world with some huge acts. Way to drop the ball on your own awards show.

In closing, fuck you. I look forward to you fucking up again in the future.


P.S. In 2008 you gave this award to Sacred Storm, a thrash metal band who does not have much exposure, although they do still look like douchebags. I cannot conceive of how you got it right one year and failed so horribly the next.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

False Metal

This term has been bandied about quite a bit in recent years, although the sentiments go back quite a bit farther even to the glam rock/metal days. Metal is a genre that is typically better when it is underground. As is the case with all music, when something is popular, it gets watered down and there are more imitators than there are genuinely talented groups with something original to say. Pop music is ultimately disposable and many of its listeners are not hardcore fans of music, they just seek the immediate gratification of a hit song. This is not normally the case with metal. Many people who listen to metal will do so for their entire lives.

Back to false metal. I have seen many different definitions of the term, but here is mine: false metal bands claim to be metal or seek to be affiliated with the metal scene, however their music bears little or no resemblance to metal.

There is a spectrum of course. To meet my definition of metal though, a band must be predominantly metal, that is a majority of their sound is metal. If a band is more hardcore than metal, they are not a metal band.

I do not deny that many false metal bands may actually have some metal influence, however some influence is not enough to actually consider a band metal. Take the case of Korn. Undoubtedly Korn has some metal influences in their music. For example, the breakdown in the song "Ball Tongue" off their debut album is lifted from Morbid Angel's "Angel of Disease". Korn also has very strong rap/hip hop influences as claimed by their bassist Fieldy. No one would suggest however that Korn is a rap/hip hop group, so then why do people try to pass them off as a metal band? Their metal influences are really no greater than their rap influences. Korn is principally influenced by alternative rock and grunge music with some other influences thrown in, and that is therefore what they are.

Slipknot is in much the same position albeit with fewer rap influences and more metal influences. Nevertheless, their grunge/hard rock influences actually dominate their sound. Slipknot has much more in common with Korn than it does with Metallica/Pantera/Cannibal Corpse/whoever the hell else people claim they sound like.

Avenged Sevenfold is another example. This is a band that fits the above definition of a group having more hardcore influences than metal influences. Yet the band claims itself to be a metal band. I have tried several times to listen to them and figure out where their metal influences are and have come to the conclusion that there may be a metal riff in each song, but by and large, metal is completely lacking. Besides the band is ungodly terrible, particularly after their singer M. Shadows lost his voice, his vocals now consist of high-pitched whining. Besides their music, visually the band resembles what would happen if Guns 'n Roses and My Chemical Romance mated. Further destroying the band's metal credibility is their affiliation with Good Charlotte which includes one of the guitarists contributing a solo to a GC song.

All that being said, here is a partial list of bands that fit my definition of false metal:
Avenged Sevenfold
Guns 'n Roses
I Killed the Prom Queen
Parkway Drive
Stone Sour

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rotting Christ Discography

Rotting Christ is one of my favorite bands, and also one of my favorite bands to namedrop into a conversation because their name is so patently offensive that the reactions, especially in a small Christian community, are utterly hilarious.


Early in their career, Rotting Christ was actually a grindcore band. They only put out a couple of demos in that style before moving on to their more familiar black metal sound. As these demos are rare, I have never heard them and cannot comment on the quality.


Rotting Christ was a part of the second wave of black metal, and one of the elite acts in Greece. Greek black metal, often referred to as Hellenic black metal, had more of an emphasis on atmosphere than their Norwegian and Swedish counterparts. It was not as well-known as the other scenes, but produced some very fine bands as well; along with Rotting Christ, there was Varathron, Septicflesh, Necromantia, Thou Art Lord, and Kawir.

At this time, Rotting Christ released several terrific records. The 1991 EP Passage to Arcturo is one of the first well-known Rotting Christ albums. The sound was raw but did contain the atmosphere that would later become known as Rotting Christ's trademark. The sound would be perfected on Thy Mighty Contract, the band's official full length debut in 1993, and further smoothed out on Non Serviam, their 1994 sophomore album.


Soon thereafter, Rotting Christ began experimenting with some Moonspell-like gothic elements which would come to dominate their sound on their 1997 album A Dead Poem. This is one of their least popular releases with fans, yet it contains some of their catchiest songs such as "Among Two Storms." Rather than continue in this style though, the band took a step back and incorporated the gothic elements into their previous black metal style.


The two styles melded seemlessly, the band has released amazing album after amazing album, culminating in the fantastic Theogonia. Easily my favorite album of 2007, the band has paid homage to their roots by incorporating Greek rhythms and instrumentation into their music while remaining firmly entrenched in their metal style.

I urge the reader not to be turned off by the band's name. This is a truly great band that should not be ignored.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hot Girls in Metal Pt. 3: Drain

Drain was a band that came from Sweden in the mid 1990's. I don't think the band is still active at this point, but they were a group of four women who were all highly attractive. Playing a more traditional brand of metal with some influences from Alice in Chains and occasionally nu-metal, Drain created a sensation with their debut album. They were known as Drain STH in the U.S. with the STH meaning either Stockholm (their hometown) or Straight to Hell. The lead singer, Maria Sjoholm is currently married to longtime Black Sabbath axe-man Tony Iommi.