Friday, January 9, 2009

Is metal dead? Yes. But it's alive and well in some parts of the world.

Can anyone seriously tell me that this is not the coolest guy in the world?

I know, I know. Some of you are going to get bent out of shape by me saying that metal is dead in the United States. By that I mean, that metal as I knew it, is dead. I don't care about technical death metal bands, I don't care about 19 year olds who think it's funny to wear Nuclear Assault shirts. I miss the days of pure, unadulterated, irony-free metal. That era, as far as I can see, has largely died in the types of places in this country that I will dare visit. Notice that I say "that I will dare visit", since I'm sure large portions of Kentucky and perhaps North Dakota have viable metal scenes I would love... but really, who wants to go there?

Luckily for all of us, there is a fantastic place called South America. Please take in the images below...amazing reminders that metal is not completely dead. True metal, it turns out, is alive and well. Who needs the Nocturnus time machine...all you need is a $500 plane ticket to Bolivia. If anyone thinks I'm making fun of these people...well, I may be. But I'm from South America I'm allowed.

We first learned about these guys from an earlier post about bands around the world name Guillotine. Just think about this.....the guy on the right has so many patches that he has to put some on his sweatpants. Think about that. If you think you're more metal than him...I salute you. Most posers would simply say "I'm out of room for patches", but not these industrious metalers from South America.

Again, so metal that patches end up on their pants. Do you see any black or gray sneakers in this picture? I don't. The one guy was like "what, we're taking pictures today? Cool, my mom just washed my 'Metal Blood' shirt"

Stupid hardcore kids in the United States are trying to bring back thrash and crossover as a novelty. These guys, on the other hand, are for real. How do I know? Do you need to ask? Look at those tiny denim shorts....with patches on them! Also, one guys is wearing a shirt with the toxic waste symbol. Man, these dudes look like they run some kind of metal parasailing business.

Damn, how sick must this show have been? Can you imagine being in a room full of people who listen to metal and not one is doing it for the sake of irony? Must be nice.

Black sneakers? Nope. Just four dudes posing in front of their VW stationwagon on a dirt road. Patches on pants? Yes. License plate that ends in "666"? Yes. Leather winter gloves in what looks like scorching heat? Yes.

Vests? Yes. Patches on pants? Yes. Shirt with the toxic waste symbol for no reason? Yup.

You already know what I'm going to point out. Patches on pants. But also notice the homemade Sodom shirt. No Sodom shirt has been made in anyone's home in the US since 1991...if that!

Metal bands in the states are busy trying to find proper venues to book shows in. In South America, you just run an extension cord out of your dad's empanada restaurant and start jammin'.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. How stoked were they that the VW license plate had a 666 on it?

  3. But you missed the most metal thing about the guys on the dirt road = Their license plate ends in "666" - We have a winner!

  4. what south america is for you yanks is southern europe (spain, italy, greece...)for us europeans over here: the place where metal style in its original form survived the dark age of the 90s!! i am from germany, where the metal scene as we knew it in the 80s/early 90s was mostly annihilated by grunge/hardcore/nu metal as well. i am currently residing in spain, and i get that nocturnus time machine feeling ever so often. mullets, sweatpants etc. galore. i think here nobody noticed that metal was suppposed to be in a crisis during the 90s. i am a teacher, and i was shocked to find out that one of my students (17 y/o) is seriously into whitesnake, 100% irony free.

  5. and homeboy on the left has a bullet-armband! Who does that?

    Great minds Darb....

  6. "In South America, you just run an extension cord out of your dad's empanada restaurant and start jammin'."

    HAHAHAHA that's IT. South Americans did always rock, remember these SEPULTURA pictures back in the days ? They had their metal outfit 100 % homemade, no fucking Blue Grape crap there ! They asked their mamas to fucking do the shirts for them ! They looked like REAL metalheads while Rick Rozz at the same time looked like a fucking Cuban tourist :

  7. im currently living in spain as well. well, that's it, the style survived but its like so emphasized by kids that makes them look so naive...

    i went to a testament gig few months ago in madrid and beside all the 30s and 40s old school fans (some of them following the style indeed) ordes of kids with bullet belts and stuff... they were so cute. so naive.

    but then when you talk to them you realize that they just go for a few selected bands and probably they will drop the style as soon as they'll have to because of working dress codes and stuff... basically its all about fashion and trying to look tough.

    its fun. but so manufactured. if a few years ago I would have respected them now they just look like emos to me...

  8. not that long ago I was in Spain, and I saw young girls, maybe 12 years old, wearing long sleeve Manowar shirts along with their standard school uniform. I was amazed, and had to check what year it was in the calendar.

  9. As someone who's father is from Colombia, all I can tell you is that when I last visited there in the mid-80's, the metal fans looked just like the ones in your posting. It's nice to see that nothing has changed.

    What also should be pointed out, is that in the 80's, it was next to impossible to find say a Destruction LP in Colombia yet I remember seeing kids wearing the shirts. The tape traders were dedicated!

  10. Let's be honest, we are old farts. When we were young, we did it just for the fashion, too.

  11. Seb! Is that Rick Rozz, really? I often wonder what he's doing these days...signing up at the unemployment office of his town, maybe?

  12. It's not just in South America that Metal still lives, I was in Singapore last year and had the amazing chance to go to an all day Metal festival (The Japanese Sabbat were headlining... never, ever thought I'd see them play live!!). Most of the other bands played Sodom covers and the like, but the crowd were all decked out in bullets, spikes and denim. Not a hint of Irony. and they went fucking wild too!

    I'm from the UK were Metal died a death like it did in the States. Most of the fans are posers and wimps and they should leave the hall!!

    Seriously though, it saddens me to remember the old days when we would all go crazy at gigs like they were our last, whereas now people are more content to watch from the safe semicircle, nodding their heads. Maybe I'm just an old fart who can't slam any more...

  13. Being a Brazilian, as I am, and living in Brazil, as I do, I´m proud to say that you´re completely right: we rock. Hard´n´heavy.

    One of the bands featured on the pictures is Violator, who´s signed now to Earache - in its attempt to see what´s cool today. They rock hard, and they´re envolved with a huge Metal Festival in Brazil´s capital city - Brasilia - named "Caga Sangue", which means something like "Shits Blood", where hundreds of kids stage dive, mosh and bang their heads frenetically.

    Their site is

    Also, there´s other cool new bands here, as Possuido pelo Cão - - and Bandanos -, who also organize a huge festival in my city of São Paulo, with almost a thousand people per event.

    Some notes: people here make their own shirts and patches, and the trend now is not only to put them in jackets or pants, but on baseball hats too.

    We don´t speak spanish (sad but true); all these bands in the pictures are brazilian (but there are huge metal and crossover scenes in Chile, Paraguay and Argentina); we don´t eat empanadas (but pastel and acaraje, which are deep fried); and we have lots of concerts on the beaches themselves.

    Also, there are at least 2 organized soccer fans groups (not hooligans) whose members are only metal heads!!!

    Yeah, Brazil rocks, even in soccer with heavy metal.

  14. So, Phil Lynott is alive and well, living in Brazil, and listening to Tankard?

  15. This shit is crazy! I am still bummed that the Manowar stagewear look never caught on. I prefer leather speedos and fur boots

  16. Mão do Macaco,

    I know you don't speak spanish or eat empanadas. I'm from South America myself...but see, all these americans and euros reading this won't know the difference. we'll keep it our little seceret. glad to see that metal is alive and well back in S America.

  17. Wait, was the "Caga Sangue" metal fest held in one of the buildings that Oscar Niemeyer designed in Brasilia? That would be rad.

  18. Lucho, don´t take it badly, I just said we don´t eat empanadas ´cause "pastel" and "acaraje" kick ass, as most deep fried foods do. And if "Americans" and Euros can distinguish french fries from falafel, so that can´t be that hard. I guess.

    The "Caga Sangue" fest is not in the Niemeyer buildings. This old stalinist rag just designed the government ones, back in the 60's, and the "Caga Sangue" is held in new buildings, not so "gray" and cold as those of Niemeyer.

    I see it´s not the first time here you make a remark concerning architecture...

  19. Zachary...seeing that picture, I was thinking about Lynott, too! ;-)

  20. mao de macaco:

    along with signing violator, further attempts by earache to stay hip and relevant include their signings of gama bomb, bonded by blood, and SSS.

    and now, with their signing of cauldron and their release of a new-and-improved heavy metal killers comp, they threaten the sanctity of traditional HM's freedon from poseurs. sad world!


    thanks for this post. glad to see one that isn't about shifty shellshock or pyrexia.

  21. About being young and dress like a real metalhead, I think you always do it to look tough, because it's a time when you are just getting into metal and you feel like someone can say you are a poser (and you still look like a kid), so you don't want anyone to think that, so you put as much metal shit as you can. I remember being a teenager and trying to dress like a badass, specially when going to concerts because I didn't want to look like a poser. Then, you get older and you know what you like and you don't feel that you need to prove to the rest of the world you are true, so you stop caring about it and you feel like you can start wearing clothes without patches, etc, etc. So I don't see a problem in people dropping the style when they get older. However, the thing I hate is when people dropped the style and stop caring about metal and they tell you: "Oh, I used to like metal when I was young", like saying they grew up, so they got over it, and then you asked: "So what did you like?", and they answer: "Metallica". Those are posers, the ones that liked just 3 or 4 big bands for 3 years because it was cool.
    Anyway, I'm from Argentina, and I can tell you that metal is not dead there (I'm in the US now). The weird thing is that classic heavy metal is the most popular style among heavy music, and that was ALWAYS the case. I was amazed during the 90s, when classic heavy metal/power metal was in bad shape, you couldn't even tell in Argentina. Rage (or any German metal band) could go there and people went crazy. Just go to metal-archives and check Argentina. I think that 90% of the bands play heavy metal.
    Anyway, Long Live to South America.
    Good post.

    PS1: So Lucho, you are not from Mexico or Central America. I wonder where you are from?

  22. i was never this metal lol...i think by time i was old enough (and my mom let me get some of that stuff), I was already trying to "branch out" and be punk or hardcore or goth or whatever lol...

  23. Regarding architecture:

    This is the only metal blog in existence with a "postmodernist architecture" label

    Regarding my place of birth:

    Due to strict regulations, our security staff has always insisted that we keep much of our identity secret. It would be like asking the U.S. president to go bowling at the local alley. The secret service would never allow it, same with us.

  24. I've traveled to Mexico, Brazil & Chile several times and when I'm there it feels like music stopped in 1989. I remember seeing a show poster for Kreator, Destruction & Vader (circa 2006.) The thing that perplexes me is all these dudes wearing Burzum & some of the other White Power/Nordic and National Socialist type bands. Haven't they read "Lords of Chaos?"

    You go into a record store there and the Metal & Prog sections are the largest genres by far.

  25. I know Lucho, I know, I wasn't expecting an answer, I care about your security, but it was something that I was wondering.

  26. I love metal... but none of these guys can get it. Also, is the first guy Hirax's singer?

  27. Lucho you idiot, as someone pointed out, all the bands you picture are Brazilian. As a dirty south american yourself, get things right moron!

  28. Mao,
    What teams do the metal/futbol groups support? IAlso I love Violator. Total 80s Thrash revival with the sound of Beneath the Remains-era Sepultura.

  29. Notman:

    There are lots of soccer support groups by metalheads in Brazil.

    The biggest is Galo Metal, they support Atletico Mineiro, from Minas Gerais,

    Força Jovem, supporters of Vasco da Gama, from Rio de Janeiro

    Norusca Metal, supporters of Noroeste, from Bauru,

    Leão Metal, supporters of Avai, from Santa Catarina,

    Metal Tricolor, supporters of Fortaleza, from Ceará

    Metal Santista, supporters of Santos, from São Paulo.

  30. there's a cool North dakota band named serviam. check it out on the myspace

  31. Great blog bud! It was recommended on metalbears, a live journal group.

  32. This post only proves that metal is dead. How about talking about what these people are doing musically? No, let's just talk about what they're wearing, because it's all just rehashed slayer riffs anyway.

  33. this entire forum discusses nothing more than what metal is visually. with all do respect wearing patches, bullet link belts, bandannas, ripped and tattered clothing and metal shirts doesn't make a fucking lick of difference to someone who wears a t-shirt and jeans. the "metal look" is a cliche stereotype that every attention seeking asswhipe believes will gain respect from fellow metalheads, pfffft fuck that!! metal is in the soul plain and simple. i wouldn't call myself a metalhead cause i firmly believe it's a useless label anyway :)

  34. Man I can dream till my death to find guys like that in belgium the only patches you can find are "job for a cowboy" "fall out boys"... and all this shit. You can only find patches in live or festivals. Dude I say your are lucky too have those in your quotidian.

  35. Metal is in your heart, soul and body. Not what you wear. Metal should be about music that makes you wanna stadge dive, headbange and mosh. It's all about rock and roll in a way. It's about body movement in some way or the other. My wish is that all people should do the metal dance.

  36. Every 10-15 years metal 'dies'. But that's okay because it always gets resurrected.

    At the end of the 70s the early promise of Sabbath had been replaced by turgid and stodgy progressive rock music. But then NWOBHM and early US thrash came and everything was great again.

    Then everything went crap in the 80s with glam/hair/MTV/pop metal. But then more punky 'alternative' heavy-sounding bands came along and labelled grunge. Some of these acts could be called metal, some not, but they influenced metal and killed off the late-80s malaise. All was good again.

    Now in 2012 things are shit again. There are emo somethingcore bands with haircuts and trendy clothes everywhere. They all have high-end expensive guitars and 20 racks of digitally modelled effects. There are genres like djent which are just meaningless crap. There are no songs or killer riffs, just syncopated chugging on a 7-string and screaming.

    Soon some band going to come along with battered old amps, cheap guitars and a stomp box and write good music again.

  37. It's still alive in the world in somewhere.