Monday, March 31, 2008

Great moments in art history: More shitty record covers

Meliah Rage- Solitary Solitude
The cover is bad enough (I believe it depicts Phil Rind from Sacred Reich trying to force his way through an opening that is too small for his body to fit through). But the title is far worse, surpassing even Discharge-like levels of stupidity and redundancy.

Virus - S/T
Obviously the overall level of craft here is pretty low, which is funny enough. But let's focus specifically on his gun. I like the poorly rendered radar dish or whatever on the top. The artist couldn't even get the pokey thing centered in the saucer... and the gun in general looks like it's melting or something. Protip: use a ruler to make straight lines!

Psychic Possession - Toxin Diffusion
Now I'm not really sure what's going on here. The guy in the front shined his flashlight on something, and now he's all googly-eyed. Who knows what he saw. Maybe some kind of Lovecraftian horror, maybe it was just Shane Embury with his shirt off. But either way, I'm thinking he's a goner.

??? - Possessed
Not really sure what the name of this band is. "Assplunder" maybe? Who knows. But this guy put on his best leather pirate shirt and made a silly face for the cover of his demo. I like how he folded his arms like that kind of like how RUN-DMC used to do.

Pantera - Far Beyond Driven
Well first of all, let me just say that this is hands down one of my favorite albums of all time. "Strength Beyond Strength," "Slaughtered," "5 Minutes Alone"... this record just completely slays from beginning to end. It might be Pantera's finest moment. But the cover art... not so much. Vinnie Paul: "Hey, hey... guys! How about an X-ray of a skull, but it's got a fuckin' SCREW in it's head! Because that's what our riffs are like! A screw in right in your motherfuckin' head!!"

S.O.D.'s Billy Milano: Stage Banter All-Star

When the Encyclopedia Britannica finally gives Anthrax some respect and grants them a full entry, S.O.D. will be a footnote on that entry. Billy Milano and M.O.D. would be a footnote upon that footnote. The guy is a footnote on a footnote. Having said this, we must give him props for being a stage banter genius. Listen/watch and be delighted.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Iron Maiden Fans—Impossible to contian by the bounds of musical standards, age, or lack of musical skills

A "manualist" plays Aces High with his, well, his hands. I thought being a "manualist" was something your creepy uncle could be convicted of. Turns out it's just something that creepy Italian men from Jersey (who tell people they were extras in The Sopranos) do when they're home alone, while sitting on their classy camouflage furniture.

This guy's vocal range is about as deep as spit on a rock. He's no Anton Maiden, but still. Much respect.

Who plays the harp? Who the hell plays Maiden on the harp? This guy. What a winner. I'm sure his parents are thrilled that they spent 2 G's on a godamn harp.

I know that Gauchos are now old news, everyone has seen these kids play all the metal jams, but this roundup would not be complete without them. Their sister doing back ups is the best part.

Great moments in art history: Broken Hope

I remember nearly falling asleep while Broken Hope played at the Milwakee Metal Fest one year. We were all waiting for Suffocation, but Broken Hope had to play first. Damn it. Much has been made of how insanely generic they were/are, but one thing that can't be disputed is their unbelievable taste in cover artwork.

It was around the early 90's that many bands switched from using the preferred media of airbrushing, to oil paint for their artwork. Broken Hope's "Swamped In Gore" is typical of what some may call the second wave in death metal oil painting cover art.

Please note the following:

1. A green chess board? Huh? I'm happy that the guy learned how to use perspective and all..but what is the message? Is life one big game? I'm confused as hell.

2. Why are the two eyeballs (with tails) being propped up by toothpicks? They remind me of these little hours dourves my mom used to make for guests. Damn, now I'm hungry.

3. Why is the weird retarded dead guy just floating around? I think this is like the Matrix or something. A Matrix of generic death metal where retarded dead people float around looking for fancy snack eyeballs on toothpicks? Maybe. But what about the chess board?

4. Why does the retarded dead guy have a large cartoon-style magnet on his head/brain? Why is it pointing towards the band logo? Dan Seagrave could have done such a better job. Just look at the blood on the dude's ribs. It's all thick, like jelly.

5. Why are there sesame seeds chasing the retarded guy's ear? Damn, I'm getting hungry again.

6. Why is a skeleton guy creeping up behind the retarded guy, lurking in the shadows? That skeleton guy is up to no good retarded dead guy! You better watch out!

7. The laughing skull with fire around it (a Ghost Rider reference?) is clearly the one thing that the dude spent the most time on. By the time he had paint the eyeballs, he was all "man, the skull rules...I'm not getting paid enough to give every part of this painting my A-game." It's pretty much how the guy that did the Death Angel "Act III" cover spent all that time on the stage and curtains that by the time it came to painting the people he just said "ah...whatever...they can look like crappy statues." To read more about that cover, go here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Al Qaeda inspired by generic 90s death metal

Apparently "Azzam the American," one of Al Qaeda's senior operatives and the first American to be charged with treason in 50 years, is a product of the 90s death metal scene. Maybe you have already seen this article, but if not, it's worth reading. Here is my favorite part (emphasis mine):
Death metal is a severe offshoot of heavy metal, a reaction to the superficiality of eighties popular culture. In the early nineties, bands that played death metal considered themselves part of an élite vanguard. They tuned their guitars in unconventional ways, and some, influenced by classical musicians, composed songs that required high degrees of discipline and technical virtuosity to play. Onstage, artists often wore sweatpants to demonstrate their athleticism and lack of pretense; the genre’s signature vocal style is a heavy growling chant. (“We like it when it’s simply rotten,” one musician told me.) It is a subculture in love with its offensiveness, and obsessive about guarding its artistic purity.
Read the whole article here

Metal Inquisition Investigative Report - WikiScanner

Late last year Wired magazine published a list of "salacious edits" to Wikipedia, including the Church Of Scientology deleting criticism from its Wikipedia entry, the FBI editing a page regarding Guantanamo, and even the Republican Party changing the entry about the Iraq war. How were such changes detected? Through the magic of WikiScanner, a site developed by a Cal Tech grad student that tracks IP addresses of those who make changes to Wikipedia pages.

Why am I telling you all this? Because everyone here at Metal Inquisition is committed to transparency and truth. Though we were unable to track if Mike Browning himself was the one that deleted the specs of the Nocturnus time machine that were posted on Wikipedia, or who on earth deleted the detailed (and scholarly) definition of Wigger Slam to the Death Metal page. We were able, however, to find changes from rather unusual sources to some pages that are probably of interest to our readers. We've included screenshots as proof, but feel free to follow the links as well.

Someone at the Tennessee Department Of Education cares about Broken Hope? Perhaps they too were confused by the fact that the intro in Swamped In Gore is called "Borivojs Demise". Who names an intro after a Metal Maniacs demo reviewer?

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix thinks it's important that the facts about Suicidal Tendencies on Wikipedia are right? Are they mad about the song "Send Me Your Money"? Is that song also the reason why the Social Security Administration is tooling around with the ST page?

Someone at Harvard University is making changes to the Wikipedia entry for "wigger"? Must be some head researcher who is way into Devourment.

Harvard's at it again folks. My theory is that a leading anthropologist at Harvard began to study upstate New York douchebag culture, and in order to understand it better, he immersed himself in the culture. Anthropologists call this "participant observation", and one particular issue with this type of research is that the anthropologist can begin to identify with the culture he's studying. Think of it as Stockholm Syndrome. Anyway, this guy starts going to Manowar shows, he writes a few thing you know, he's wearing fur chaps, and making angry edits to their Wikipedia page. All to make sure the member timelines are correct. This sort of thing happens all the time in academia

Can you find other suspicious Wikipedia edits? Let us know about them. Give it a try here. Perhaps you'll discover a mass conspiracy to try to cover up Wild Rags' early glam releases. Who knows.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nocturnus + Syd Mead = magic

Naturally, Dan Seagrave is the first person you think of when it comes to 90s death metal album covers, but can't you imagine Nocturnus and legendary futurist illustrator Syd Mead collaborating on something?? Read the lyrics to "Droid Sector" aloud while you project this painting on your wall. It will blow your mind, I promise!

Enter the droids
Cybernetic crafts approaching
Through skies lit with fusion discharge
Androids from the gamma quadrant
Moving at the speed of death
Now the human race is sovulnerable
Invasion set for attack
"Enter the Droids"
Three-From-Their sun
Caught within my tractor beam
Bringing the craft to me
Disable the robot for my own use
to aid my escape
Fleets of ships are now arriving,overtaking
Physical evasion is my only demise
Left to me for my survival
Gaining data from their system, overriding
To complete my invention,the time machine
Only question is "will it function"?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"We are firmly interested in raging after the show!" Exodus' Paul Baloff—Stage Banter All-Star

Paul Baloff, Exodus frontman (who also sang in Hirax and Piranha) passed away in 2002. Luckily for all of us, he left behind a fantastic legacy of stage banter that puts him up there with some of the best.

Metal Inquisition grafix designers have teamed up to create the video below, which serves as a fine example of Baloff's genius. Enjoy.

I expect full credit for being tasteful and not using the "aneurysm" tag. He died of a stroke you see.

Orion The Hunter brings the American Apparel catalog to life

Thanks to an anonymous reader for the tip on this incredible video! If I didn't know better, I'd think this was some Andy Samberg parody video or something from the latest electro band from Silverlake or Williamsburg. Please do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing, it's incredible. Is it metal? Sure, why not... think of it as metal for your rich yuppie uncle.
(For bonus points, compare this video to "The Speed of Love" for Nike by Justin Harder)

This part isn't really that funny, I just thought this was a pretty cool modernist clock.

You can always tell when an 80s babe means business because she puts on her shades.

Featuring Freddie Mercury on drums.

And Kip from Napoleon Dynamite on guitar.

Belt by Forever 21.

Kip's outta here- he doesn't need this bitch, he's been chatting with babes online all day.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Robb Flynn's Disease Claims Another Victim — Venom's Mantas

The epidemic known as Robb Flynn's disease has claimed an unlikely victim, Venom's Mantas (real name Jeff Dunn). In case you are wondering, yes that's him on the right. Note the "wacky" haircut, facial hair and the fantastic suspenders that are hanging off his pants. The suspenders are made of chains. What else? The singer in his band (called Mantas by the way) is no genius either, check out his goggles. Is it just me or has the whole metal world started to take design cues from Rob Zombie circa 1995, and Tank Girl?

Look, Mantas looked like an idiot, even during the peak of his career. If you can call "Teacher's Pet" a peak. Just look at the picture from the back of Venom's influential "Black Metal" album. Mustache? Yes. White go-go boots? Yes. Gloves? Yes. Fan blowing hair? Yes. Over sized Honda touring motorcycle? Yes.

I've heard that "the squeaky wheel gets the oil", so perhaps this phenomenon is merely metal fossils looking at themselves in the mirror and deciding that they simply must fix the wreck that they see in the mirror. know you have turned into an absolute dope when people are actually thinking "you know, you looked better when you wore your white go go boots."

Retroview: Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh!

I believe in being honest with each other, in telling the truth to on another. And the truth is that back in the early 90s most of us Metal Inquisition staffers were pretty into grindcore, noisecore, and other genres of music other than generic death metal. It's true- I have very eclectic tastes. I mean, I'll listen to anything from Psycho to Jesus Chrust! For someone like me with such varied tastes, the Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh compilations on Slap-A-Ham Records were crucial. Although there were 3 records in the series, only the first two were really good. By the time the third one came out, the scene had been infiltrated by posers and punk rockers, so the series had pretty much jumped the shark. This isn't an MP3 blog, but since Slap-A-Ham is out of business, here's a link.

Highlights: With over 100 songs to choose from there, are a lot of good ones. But within the context of this blog, the highlights include the sick sewer sludge proto-Devourment stylings of Rottrevore, the only good Agathocles song, the best Infest song, and Impetigo. There are also lots of good bands on here that played really, really sick guttural death metal way before the style was really established, as well as the greats of noisecore like Cacofonia, 7MON and Meatshits. And Sockeye!

Lowlights: There are also dozens of awful songs on here, but fortunately they're no longer than 15 seconds, so the shitty songs are over before you know it. It being a 90s grind comp, it has tracks from Psycho and Agathocles (although, like I said, the Agathocles song is actually good). I also think Assuck is a terrible band and they are on here, featuring Rob Proctor's weak cheat-beat blasts. The Generica song is so bad that even :15 of it is hard to endure.

WTF: One thing I've noticed is that these comps feature a lot of bands who only have one good song, and it appears on these records. I sought out other records by some of these bands based on their songs here only to be very, very disappointed. For example, Splattereah, Suppuration, Dischange, and Rupture (why do all the other Rupture songs sound like crappy Dwarves songs?).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Ideal Gift For The Douchebag That Already Has Everything

What do you get the douchebag in your life that already has everything? A Slayer motorcycle helmet, of course! Available in three styles, and costing as much as $350, the helmets will surely be a hit in areas of the country where I hope to never find myself. The helmets are also available with Kiss artwork by the way.

Not to be outdone, Bay Area rockers Exodus are looking into getting some fanny packs embroidered. Look out for those in the summer!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Authentic Roman Catholic Funeral Doom

Forget about Disembowelment, Thergothon, Esoteric. If you want real funeral doom, nobody does it better than Roman Catholics. Especially during the holiest, and most metal, of all holidays--Easter. Honestly, what's more metal than Christ crucified? Nothing!

Here's a little taste of how it's done in the old country. Real old school style.

The Metal Inquisition Vault: Some old flyers

I know most of the posts on MI are funny. Well, they are supposed to be funny... I don't think this one is in that category, sorry. I apologize to the other MI staff if you think this post does not belong here. I just thought it would be cool to share some of the flyers I have collected in one way or another through the years. Some are from my collection, some scans I got and others from the internet. Some of the art is funny, some of the line-ups are odd (GBH/Death Angel??), but each one of these flyers brings memories to me and I hope to you too. I fully expect a few "I was at that show" out of this... I hope you likey...

Darkthrone's Fenriz—A True Maverick In The World Of Interior Design

This video is from a Norwegian TV show where they ask celebrities to speak about the album that means the most to them. Darkthrone's Fenriz chose a Uriah Heap album, which is kinda interesting, but the real story here is his taste in home decor.

Note his use of a stripped sheet as a curtain. Due to the the vertical stripes, the room appears larger, and it really brings the eye when you first see it. The tabletop foosball game is an unusual choice, but it brings an sense whimsy and playfulness to the space. In a bold (and rather avant garde move), Fenriz has chosen to do away with the antiquated concept of a bed...and has simply put his mattress over the box spring. He decorates his bed with a stuffed duck, which again brings the element of whimsy that spaces like this usually lack. Regarding his choice to do away with a bed, and simply use his mattress and box spring....It's this type of unexpected genius that has always made Fenriz a bit of a maverick in the musical world. Think of "Soulside Journey" as an Ikea Malm bed.

Most of us see that bed and think "yeah, sure that would work just fine as a bed, sign me up." Similarly, most of us would say "Soulside Journey is a fine Swedish death metal album by a band from Norway". But not Fenriz. He looks at the Malm bed, laughs at it, pees on it and comes up with a better solution. If you are still with me on the comparison of beds to albums...that would make his bedding solution "A Blaze In The Northern Sky". This is my assessment, though I know a great deal of discussion has gone on in this very blog as to the validity of Darkthrones black metal "holy trinity" (as some have called their first three black metal albums). Nevertheless, we can all acknowledge that those albums were different, and received praise by many. Similarly, his choice to do away with a traditional bed will be controversial in the world of design...but will certainly get some recognition either way. As such, the comparison stands.

Lastly I'd like to quickly highlight two more pieces in the composition. The white grandma-style chair brings a touch of class and a sense of history to an otherwise modern space. Another unexpected classical touch is the knotty pine bookshelf on the back (somewhat reminiscent of French rococo decorative arts in the 18th century), which works well in highlighting the architectural detail of the room, and also works well for holding the stuffed kitty that sits at the very top of it.

So next time you're going to criticize any part of Darkthrone's musical output (be it the death metal albums, the black metal, or any of the other crap they've the weird vocals in Goatlord) think about the fact that while you're just sitting around doing nothing, Fenriz is busy in Oslo helping shape the future of interior design.

ps: If you are in the mood for more Darkthrone, check out some nice highlights of videos they made for the re-relase of the their early albums here. The Nocturno Culto part is the best, which starts about 40 seconds in.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What will satisfy me???!!!!!!

I am not sure how many people do this, but have you ever seen something so ridiculous that then something else pops into your head and just kind of combines with the first thing? Then you are left thinking "Man, I could just combine those things via Photoshop and it would be awesome!"

This image of Gorgoroth made me do that.

And here is what I have combined.

Canada's Anvil Makes A Documentary

I know what you're saying "There's a documentary about Anvil? Oh hell to the no...I was with you when you posted about the Overkill documentary, but this is too much!" Look, I too thought this movie would be a huge waste of time (and it probably still is) but this clip proves that when metal is involved, comedy is ALWAYS around the corner. Wait for the fat dude towards the end rocking out while sitting on a La-Z-Boy.

Everything you need to know about WIGGER SLAM METAL

We talk about wigger slam metal a lot here on Metal Inquisition, but there is still a lot of confusion as to what exactly the genre means. In this post, I will attempt to explain the basics. Unlike a lot of what we write about on here, I take wigger slam metal very seriously and I honestly love this stuff.

What's wigger slam?
Slam metal is just death metal that focuses on the mosh parts instead of the thrash parts. It's very straightforward. They key elements are a very ringy snare, guttural cricket vocals, and of course tons of slam riffs. Wigger slam metal is simple slam metal played by wiggers. And there is no shortage of this stuff, as you will see.

The early years: Long Island guido slam metal
In the beginning, there was Internal Bleeding. And before that, there was Pyrexia and Suffocation. But it wasn't until Internal Bleeding that the guido and wigger elements crept into the slam sound. They had lots of slam riffs and acted like tough guys. It makes a lot of sense when you think about how stupid people from Long Island are.

Waking The Cadaver: Jersey Shore slamming sickness!!

Then you had bands like Repudilation and Entorturement that took it to the next level of wiggerdom by actually rapping over slam riffs. It was equal parts totally ridiculous and totally fucking awesome. I still listen to the Repudilation demo all the time. Rounding out this scene were bands like Dehumanized and Disfigured that slammed like crazy but lacked the wigger overtones. They're still worth listening to, though, even though you'll miss the wig.

The next generation: Devourment and Texas slam metal
However, it was really Devourment that created the genre we know today as wigger slam metal (although they were mostly Mexicans... but whatever). They introduced some of the common elements such as TR-808 bass drops, gravity blasts, and post-Internal Bleeding cricket vocals. I mean Frank Rini had some deep-ass vocals but in a totally different way from Devourment. Most wigger slam bands these days are essentially just refining the Devourment formula, ever so slightly improving on it every time. It's almost as though Devourment was put through the Toyota kaizen process a thousand times, getting a little more refined each time. I think Jack Welch would be proud. Other notable bands of this generation include Sect of Execration, Prophecy (keepin' it fuckin sick!), and a zillion other bands I can't think of right now. Viral Load or something I guess.

Japanese wigger slam metallers Vomit Remnants

The new wave: Wigger slam goes international
New school wigger slam metal just might be my favorite kind of music in the whole world. These days most of the wigger slam metal happens in places like Russia, Japan, and Scandanavia. I think this is because their malformed third world minds don't quite understand how absurd and uniquely American it is to wear camo shorts, basketball jerseys and play slam riffs with cricket vocals. But whatever, because those Japanese really know how to fuckin slam, I'll tell you what. The Russians are developing a really distinctive style as well. But the Americans are still holding it down. You definitely need to check out Cephalotripsy- they sound just like Voracious Contempt but with even more machine-like slams, an even ringier snare sound, and even deeper vocals.

Yes, they even have wiggers in Sweden

Cephalotripsy (probably the very best wigger slam band ever)
Guttural Secrete
Waking The Cadaver

Vomit Remnants
Rest In Gore

Check out the cornrows on the left and how the bassist is playing like Fieldy from Korn (this is Rest In Gore)

Russia & Scandanavia
Abominable Putridity
Soils of Fate

Here is a song by Rest In Gore that's maybe the very best example of the latest wigger slam stylings from Japan.

And here is a video by the Japanese wigger slam metal band Glossectomy. Please note the MC Hammer-like beanies and wiggerish arm movements.

Budget Wigger Slam
There is a small but important sub-genre of combines the lo-fi production and sloppiness of grindcore with the traditional wigger slam style. We call this budget wigger slam, and it is typically found in the wilds of MySpace. There are zillions of these bands, and like noisecore, you either like all of them or none of them. I like lots of these bands, with Artery Eruption and Grymer being excellent examples. But fucking Malignant Rupture are the kings of budget wigger slam! They're like 15 years old and slam like there is no tomorrow. I hope they put out a demo or something, I can't stop listening to their MySpace song.

I wish I could slam like this slam wiglet from Malignant Rupture when I was in 10th grade

Big Chocolate
This 17 year old kid, who goes by Big Chocolate on the interweb, really deserves his own entry in the annals of slam history. In my opinion he is the finest wigger slam metal musician in the history of the genre, and I'm not even fucking kidding a tiny bit. I'm totally on this kid's balls. He is in the bands Disfiguring the Goddess and Malodorous. Please note his Wu-Tang shirt.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Metal Inquisition logo design contest: we need your help!

Ok, we don't really need your help, we just think it would be funny to pretend we do.

However, here's your chance to make Metal Inquisition history. We are looking for a logo and we think you might have what it takes. Then again, you might not. Either way it'll be fun to post your sad attempts at graphics design. In the words of Strong Bad The Wise: "We want to see your skills of an artist! "

Here are the rules...

1. Media: All logos will have to be produced in the ONLY metal media: #2 pencil and/or ball-point pen. All logos will have to be on the ONLY metal surface: spiral notebook. Blue lines MUST be visible.

2. Criteria: The logo has to be brutal, of course! Pentagrams, up-side-down crosses and knife-like letters are encouraged. You can use some chiaroscuro shading if you want, but NO Trogdor drawings, please!

3. Delivery: All logos must be scanned and emailed to us as jpgs, 700 pixels in width. Also, let us know how you want to be credited. Otherwise, we'll credit you as jizbucket or fucktard. Email your horrible art to: inquisitionofmetal (at)

4. Judging: The MI staff will post all logos and make fun of them and the artists. After that, we'll just pick one. We're too metal to let you losers vote.

5. Prizes: Your shitty logo might grace the MI masthead and you might get your own MI crappy t-shirt with your logo on it.

6. Deadline: April 4th, 2008, so get on it.

7. Legal disclaimer:
We reserve the right to think all the logos are shit and not award anything to anyone. We also reserve the right do whatever we want with the logos submitted. That includes (but does not limit us to) making fun of them, show them to our really mean friends, or printing them out and wiping our dog's barf with them. Matt Camacho of Forbidden is really effeminate. All the logos and art sent will become the property of MI and if you want them back you have to pay us $45.60 for handling charges.