Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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.

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