Friday, February 29, 2008

Are you a poser? Don't be so quick to answer.

So, are you a poser? I'm sure all you reading this will quickly answer to yourselves: NO WAY! Well, I have been asking myself that question for a few days. Ever since all the poser-talk started here on M.I.. The fact is that I don’t know what a poser is these days. I know I wasn't a poser in the old days, but I’m not so sure I’m all that brutal anymore. Maybe I need to start wearing this T-shirt, I don’t know.

Well, I decided to conduct a little mental experiment: what if my 1991-self were to visit my 2008-self in my apartment. What would the 1991-me say to 2008-me? I KNOW '91 was no poser, so I’ll trust his judgment on the poser issue. Below is the full report ‘91 would write on '08's current poser status. Please have in mind that my '91 self didn’t speak much English, so the report has been edited for clarity. Unfortunately, the report was edited by '08 and my English still sucks. I should pay attention to S.O.D.
My 1991-self writes:

"When I first walked into my future self's apartment I was thinking how cool it was that I had moved to New York in the future. I'm sure I'd met the guys from Anthrax and Overkill and hang out with them all the time. Boy, was I wrong.

Anyway, let me put this very simply: my 2008 self is a fucking poser. The sad part is that he doesn’t know it. He wasn't all poser, mind you, but he was pretty close to wearing spandex and make-up. First of all, let me describe this loser, so you guys know what I mean when I say: POSER. This idiot DOESN'T HAVE LONG HAIR! I know, it's crazy! My mom doesn't care anymore, because I don't even live with her, but my future self doesn't grow his hair long!? What else? Prepare yourself: He has BOTH ears pierced! HE'S GAY, TOO! He had no beer in the fridge, just soy milk. This fag was getting on my nerves!
Sure, he wears metal shirts once in a while (some I was wearing back in '91), but most of the time he walks out of the house wearing shirts with NO LOGOS! Nothing! Most of the shirts aren't even black! Some days he doesn’t even wear a T-shirt at all. He wears polo shirts and button-ups! He doesn't wear black high-tops anymore, much less sweet biker boots. His jeans are way to baggy and get this: No denim jacket. I asked him what he sewed all his patches onto and he said he didn't have patches!
Also, there was not ONE poster on his walls. This loser has a whole apartment and doesn't have ANY posters? No flyers? Not even a goddam band sticker on his bed. This guy is a SERIOUS poser, I'm telling you. Next, I went to his record collection. I was happy to see a hefty chunk of vinyl. Aside from a few things here and there, it was a pretty brutal bunch of wax. The tapes, he told me, were "in storage". How does he listen to them, you ask? He doesn't. He doesn't even have a tape player. Not a boombox, not a stereo, not even a cassette player in the car...NOTHING.
I guess most of those tapes I bought myself, so I concentrated on the records and CD's. I only owned a handful of CDs in '91, but I guess the format took off in the last 18 years. I was impressed with the selection of metal, I must admit. Nice picture discs, nice Anthrax collection, nice Laaz Rockit test pressing, solid death metal pieces, lots of Slayer and Maiden, too. I really liked the multiple copies of "Master of Puppets" and DRI "Crossover". A few autographed things thrown in for good measure. On CD, it was mostly death metal. Not bad, but all that was cancelled out by all the POSER shit I saw. This dicklicker had a Motley Crue gatefold record. I'm not kidding. He told me he actually likes it! He tried to get out of it by saying it was "Shout at the Devil" and not "Dr. Feelgood", but I told him: a pussy band is a pussy band, no matter what record. I also came across Doors and Pink Floyd CDs. Are you kidding me? A poser AND a hippie? A Police box-set, Jackson Five...don’t even get me started on the rap! He had way too much punk, too. Not that punk is super-poser, but dude, THAT much punk mixed into your metal is never a good thing. He’d also gotten rid of most GrindCore records, Wild Rags Records and Kraze Records releases! Those were fucking GOLD!

Well, by looking at him, I'd thought: 'poser fag.' But after looking at the record collection, I thought I should give my future self another chance. I asked him what was the latest show he'd been to. This fucking pansy told me that he'd seen a jazz band in Brooklyn last weekend! Dude, are you KIDDING me? WTF is up with jazz? Do you do aerobics, too? Fuck, if you were in Brooklyn, did you at least go to L'amours and hang out with Nuclear Assault or Whiplash? "Nah," he said "I haven't been there in years." In YEARS? Dude, if I lived in New York I’d be there EVERY DAY!
Damn, I was getting real sick of this clown and I had to get back to '91. Headbanger's Ball was about to start and I was hoping to catch the Holy Wars video. I had to get my Betamax ready to record that!

Fuck, dude! I grew-up to be a poser!”

Nitro's Michael Angelo Batio Shows Off His Guitar Chops. And His New Haircut.

Michael Angelo Batio from Nitro has to be one of the few people who actually looked better during the height of the glam 80's than he does now.

1. How do you even ask for a haircut like this? Do you ask to look like a Muppet?

2. His shirt with unnecessary buckles is rather impressive as well.

3. Love the sky-like backdrop curtain. Tasteful.

The video is kinda' long, so I understand if you don't want to watch all of it...but if you hang in there you'll get to see his super white teeth come out, thus increasing his Muppet like appearance. He also plays overhand towards the end. Your call.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Candlemass: Lordy lordy, look who's forty

You have to hand it to Candlemass. As you can see from this image, they are clearly old enough to get the 15% discount on the salad bar at Rax, but they're not calling it a day. That's the kind of dedication that you just don't see from these new bands like Pantera or Type O Negative.

I mean a lot of guys would just wear jeans on stage once they had to go to an XXXL robe, but not Candlemass. Most guys would get a straight job after spending two decades on the road playing to 200 people a night for a few dollars- but not Candlemass. A lot of people would have a hard time playing second fiddle to a frontman that looks like a cross between Jack Black and Shane Embury. But not Candlemass!

Candlemass is in it for the long haul, and you can count on them to stick with it- for themselves, for the fans, and for the spirit of funeral doom!

Morbid Angel's David Vincent Unleashes His "Life As A Cafeteria Line" Theory Upon The Masses

Watching this video makes me realize how incredibly dumb David Vincent is. Remembering how I quoted parts of what he says in this video to kids in school as though these were my own thoughts makes makes me realize how incredibly dumb I was/am.

It's almost hard to believe that over the years Mr. Vincent could actually get dumber. I've heard of men doing crazy things for women....but turning into the unbelievable, rubber wearing douche that he has become is almost hard to fathom.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I was blessed to have been at the Milwaukee Metal Fest XII in 1993. Not only did Phantasm play a kick-ass show, but I witnessed the final Impetigo show...ever. it was better than a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich that has been sitting at the bottom of your schoolbag for the whole day. It was awe-inspiring. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Really. I’m pathetic, OK?

I was introduced to The Masters of Goregrind by non other than the infamous Richard C. of Wild Rags. After a few letters back and forth, he sent me a flyer for a new CD he was about to put out: Ultimo Mondo Cannibale. The art on the flyer was so sick I knew I had to get it. It looked like a retarded 14 year old had drawn it while in prison for double homicide and rape. I was doing my metal radio show at the time, so I requested a promo copy. When I first played it, I was blown away. It was SO raw! It was BRUTAL! The production was crude, but so brutal! The music was simple, but so brutal! The lyrics were cheezy as all hell, but so brutal! Stevo's vocals were terrible and awesome at the same time...and also so brutal! The cover art was simply AMAZING. As sweet as seedless organic green grapes! I was impressed at the obvious Gauguin influences in Stevo’s art.

The thing about Impetigo was that their sound was very unique. It's probably because of the low-budget production and their simple riffs. But it was all memorable and (dare I say it) catchy. Impetigo had entered my life and they entered like a freight train (Nitro reference). My band decided to cover "The Revenge Of The Scabby Man", I put an Impetigo sticker on the bumper my 1986 Dodge Horizon and another one on my white flying V geetar. I played songs from Ultimo on the air so often people would call to yell at me, but I didn't care I was in love! As it often happens in situation like these, I needed more. I had to get their demos. I wrote a quick note to Mark, the guitarist. He responded quickly and within a few weeks I had a dubbed copy of Giallo.

The demo is a bit more hardcorish sounding than Ultimo and honestly I don’t like it that much. Anyway, Mark and I wrote for a looooong time and he even said he liked my band when I sent him our first demo. I know now, of course, that he was lying (no one can possibly have liked my band then…or now). Still, it was a nice thing to say. Anyway, Horror of the Zombies came out in 1992 and instantly became my favorite CD. Even today, Horror is in my top 10 records of all times and Boneyard in my top 20 songs of all times. The cover was, again, sick as shit! Looks like Stevo remained influenced by Gauguin for this masterpiece.

Impetigo was a TRUE grindcore band. No PC stupid and simplistic pseudo-socially-conscious lyrics here. No guys in dreadlocks preaching against sexism. No black and white patches with left-wing slogans. Impetigo were pure fucking GRIND. They had gore lyrics, hyper-cheesy and offensive cover art, samples of women screaming in pain and BRUTAL tunes. They didn’t look like peace-punks or like hardcore tough-guy retards pretending to look scary. These guys WERE scary. They looked like serial killers or rapists, or plain old farmers from the middle of Illinois…which, I guess, is what they were.

The bands that call themselves grindcore these days are a disgrace to the term.

Man, I wish I still had that ’86 Horizon.

Metal Inquisition History Lesson: I Was In The Wild Rags Street Team

Here at Metal Inquisition, our primary goal is to entertain. Another, perhaps secondary goal, is to school today's metal youth in metal history. It's with that spirit in mind that this post was written. School is in suckas.

This seemingly unassuming corner in Montebello California was once upon a time the home of Wild Rags Records, the record label and store run by the infamous Richard C (full name Ricardo Campos). Richard C is without a doubt one of the more polarizing names you can bring up to those who were involved in the underground metal scene in the early 1990's. Widely known as "rip-off" (a now seldom used term common in the days before the internet when tape trading occurred strictly through the mail) Richard and his label continue to be the topic of conversation on the internet, even though the label has not existed in some time, and the man himself has long ago fallen off the face of the earth. A Myspace tribute page is out there, but very little else remains of the once infamous label. Makes you wonder who on earth would even take a minute out of their time to keep the memory of the label who put out records by Zombified Preachers Of Gore alive...but anyway. I keep using the word "infamous" when referring to the man and his label, because I don't know what else to call the label and the bands they put out. "Laughable" could also work I guess...but then again I have the entire Nuclear Death discography on my I can't make fun of the label all that much.

Though Wild Rags started out releasing questionable music (including glam bands like Cherry Street), the label would go on to put out influential releases by the likes of Nuclear Death, Impetigo, Brutality, Blood, Bloodcum, Sigh, as well as Emperor and Internal Bleeding. I also remember them distributing demos by bands like Excrutiating Terror before they became the darlings of the powerviolence scene. Back to Internal Bleeding I write this I have to laugh because I remember having Internal Bleeding's first demo, and thinking to myself "man, they signed to Wild Rags? They're gonna be huge!" Such a thing would only be funny to someone like me, who had the first Internal Bleeding demo back when it first came out. Old timer metal humor I guess.

My limited interaction with Richard C began after I went to a Morbid Angel show in 1991 or so, and received a flyer that talked about how much of a rip off Wild Rags was. Since I was planning on ordering the Impetigo "Faceless" EP that week, I included the flyer along with my order, and asked for his thoughts on the matter. The response I got from Richard was unexpected to say the least. Along with the EP, I got a large box with tons of records, CDs, stickers, tapes and about 50 copies of his publication The Wild Rag. The letter that came along with all this stuff explained how the guy that made the flyer was full of crap, and that he'd appreciate it if I would pass out his flyers, records and magazines at the same shows where the anti-Wild Rags flyers were being passed out. I quickly decided that the last thing I wanted was to get into a confrontation with some stranger at a show regarding a guy in California I had never met. So, I decided to sell the copies of the magazine to fellow metalheads in school (for a buck each) keep the records I liked, and sell the rest at a local record store. For a couple of years the boxes kept coming, and I had a steady supply of free gore and grind records, as well as a few bucks in my pocket. This all seems like ancient history now, but at the time I have to admit that I felt pretty cool being somehow connected to a somewhat legitimate record label. I remember telling kids in school that I was the local rep. for a label, or something like that. Even thinking of it now I cringe...but such is life.

I actually met Richard at the Milwakee Metal Fest one year without even knowing it. I approached him to buy a shirt in the parking lot to the venue, and noticing that he only had Wild Rags merchandise, I asked him if he was Richard. He quickly said "no, I don't know that guy". Later it became clear that it was him, but he didn't really want anyone to know who he was. I'm sure he wanted to avoid getting his face punched in by all the people he had supposedly ripped off...but the allure of thousands of metal fans eager to spend their money on his records and badly screened shirts had made him fly all the way to Milwaukee. Little did I know that angry guys in bands were the least of his problems. More on that in a minute.

After a few years, the packages of free stuff dried up. His zine The Wild Rag became even worse and more laughable than it had been before, and I lost interest. I had completely forgotten about the label and Richard, until fellow metal brother Sergeant D brought up the subject to me about six years ago. I began to tell him about my interaction with Richard C, and as I told him the story I thought to myself "Holy crap, I was in the Wild Rags street team before street teams existed!"

Out of all the stories and accounts of whatever happened to Richard, the only one I seem to think is truthful comes from Pat who played in Hellwitch. I used to trade metal videos with Pat around 1990-1992 and wrote with him a lot. He always struck me as being a nice and upfront guy (he also had unbelievable penmanship by the way, all in cursive...not very metal). In this interview from 2006 he said:

..Ricardo was charged by the U.S. government with crime of income tax evasion and was sent to prison!! Actually, I’m not sure if he was caught, but I know he was wanted for this crime. Some say he fled to his home country of Mexico. The members of Sadistic Intent went to the government auction of Wild Rags’ stock and purchased most of it. They now run a record store in L.A. called Dark Realm, which sells much of Ricardo’s confiscated inventory! Haha! I love telling this story! As we say in America, “What comes around, goes around!”. Ricardo got his!

Okay, now that I have this story out of my system...I promise I'll try to make my future posts funny.

Current Thrash/Crossover Revival = Civil War Reenactments

Just last week, fellow Metal Inquisition staffer Sergeant D wrote an interesting post regarding what to do "when posers like sweet bands". Perhaps I'm an aging idiot, but I didn't know the names of many of the bands that came up in that post, which made me feel great about myself.

Anyway, while reading said post, I began to think about the current crossover and thrash metal revival that appears to be prevalent among today's metal youth. I'm sure that the mere fact that I'm calling this revival "current" means that it has no doubt been going on for years, and I'm only now aware of it. Yes, it's true that my current lifestyle keeps me from knowing what's going on with "the kids" today, but that does not make my opinion any less valid. Like a WWII vet who is full of opinions and gripes, I too wish to speak my mind. I'm no Johnny-come-lately to the world of metal at large. I was in the Wild Rags Records street team damnit! And that's no joke. Don't know Wild Rags? You douche, look it up!

I would rather impale myself on a rusty fence post than go to a show where one of these bands is playing, or listen to their music, I can just tell what it's all about. Based on the picture that Mr. Sergeant D posted of the band Municipal Waste, this genre basically amounts to the metal equivalent of a Civil War Reenactment. Accuracy becomes paramount, but is nevertheless questionable. Oh my, how funny...they wear jean vests just like those older bands did! Oh, how witty! Ha, ha...a bandana? These guys must be crazy! I guess the shows probably function much like reenactments of battles, people wearing period attire, almost channeling a certain persona of the time ("Oh no, I'm supposed to be the guy who stands on the side of the stage in D.R.I.'s 'Live At The Ritz' home video, the one with the Token Entry shirt and shorts"). If someone's going to point out that the guys in these bands are not young posers, but actually old-timers who roadied for Acid Reign, and have unbelievable metal pedigree from back in the day...well, they should at least know better if that's the case. If only based on their age.

Perhaps these young men should try to re-live shows of the past by staging them all over again. Maybe even at the same venue where the original show took place. The reenactments should include cover bands doing the complete sets that would have been played by the bands at that time (if the original band is not available). If some idiot wants to make this happen, just look around for old flyers online, and put on a show based on the coolest flyer and line up you can find. D.R.I. flyers are probably a good place to start. Use the same flyer, only changing the date and you're done. If you look at the flyer below, however, you'll see that things were never as cool back then as you thought they were. Yes, D.R.I. and Sick Of It All would have been rad to see back then (even if Sick Of it All is more of a hardcore band.) but if you want to stay true to the original show, you now have to find someone to play Nasty Savage covers. Oh boy.

Look, originality has never been the strong suit of any subculture. The recycling of previous movements and co-opting certain aspects of them always has been however. Having said that, going back in time and taking a sub-genre such as crossover nearly verbatim due to nostalgia (or for whatever reason) is nauseating to anyone, like myself, who lived through part of the original era. I'm fully aware that these are the ramblings of a man whose time within a certain youth culture has long ago passed him. But I'm completely comfortable with that. Much like the oh-so-popular 80's nights that continue to plague every city in this country to this day, nostalgia reveals the inability that we all have with dealing with the here and now.

By the way, I'm only partially pointing fingers here. I mean, I just recently wrote a post about Nuclear Assault, and the year is 2008. I suppose that I too partially live in the past....but at least I don't wear period costumes while doing it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Retroview: Excel - The Joke's On You

First of all, I am listening to Mortal Decay as I write this, and man, they're sweet. What a totally underrated band. The originators of "Jersey shore slamming sickness!"

But anyway, growing up as a stupid white kid on the West coast, it goes without saying that I was super into Suicidal Tendencies and anything remotely associated with them. Yes, that includes Infectious Grooves. I would have given anything to ride on Sarsippius' Ark. It also included Excel, the poor man's Suicidal Tendencies, especially this album, their best release.

Sometimes I'm down in the dumps. I feel like the world's out to get me, like I can't catch a break or do anything right. Most people would put on "You Can't Bring Me Down," and while that is a great song, I find more inspiration in Excel's brand of uplifting Venice-core on this album, especially the lyrics to songs like "Drive":
You need drive
To survive
That's no jive
And you know what? It isn't jive! Lyrics like that will really pick you up off the ground when you need a helping hand. And when it's time to put the moves on the woman, don't move the needle off that turntable! You can leave the Excel record on, because their cover of "Message In A Bottle" is up next! Chicks love The Police. Make tantric love while you jam to the double bass in Excel's version of this classic song.

Another good one is "Never Denied." I like the part that goes, "People say Dan, why are you so negative? / I say it's the world in which we live." Amen, brother. People ask me a lot why I am so negative. I also tell them it's the world in which we live.

But the best song on this album is actually only on the 12" single that came out around the same time (and on the CD version), "Blaze Some Hate." I love that song. In fact, today I was in a meeting. It was so boring I wanted to chop off my dick like the Japanese guy in that movie "Click." But instead, I wrote "BLAZE SOME HATE" over and over again on my notepad, just like on the cover of this record. I'm pretty good at it now, I can totally copy it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Vengance Rising's Roger Martinez, The World's Most Annoying Human Being. Period.

This video serves as proof that, as the title of this post states, Roger Martinez of the band Vengance Rising is without a doubt the world's most annoying human being. His cadence, his overuse of the phrases "what have you", "boils down to", as well as the word "jams" are enough to drive anyone into a violent rage. Who the hell would ever say "that which shreds"?

The video also shows that he's a bit of a nut, something that would become very clear years later when Roger became a Satanist, and made death threats against the singer of the band Mortification. In 2001, after the September 11 attacks, he gave out free albums to people in the military in order to wage a "holy war against Christians". Glen Benton would be proud.

Glen Benton: The Legacy Continues

Glen Benton is one of our favorite subjects here at Metal Inquisition because his stupidity knows no bounds. He's been making an ass of himself for the past twenty years and he simply refuses to go away. If someone asked me to describe Glen Benton in one word that word would be "persistent."

I, like most other sensible death metal fans, was shocked when Deicide delivered 2006's stunning "The Stench of Redemption." It was possibly the greatest comeback in the history of death metal because no one saw it coming. By that point everyone had written Deicide off as a joke, and with good reason. Have you ever tried to listen to "Serpents of the Light?" How about "Insineratehymn?" My point exactly. They'd been pissing on their legacy for over a decade when out of nowhere Benton and Asheim, (sans the brothers Hoffman) along with ex-Cannibal Corpse guitarist Jack Owen and ex-Iced Earth guitarist Ralph Santolla, made the metal world once again take notice.

Which brings me to the forthcoming release of Deicide's new album "Till Death Do Us Part." If the new song up on their MySpace page is any indication, Benton and co. might actually deliver again. Never in a million years did I imagine I would be discussing the prospect of Deicide releasing a good album in 2008. Just look at that cover art! It's like the cover of Pungent Stench's "Been Caught Buttering" reimagined by Fernando Botero. And that sweet bonus patch! I'm glad that Glen Benton has decided to throw his hat into the presidential ring. Hey, if Ron Paul can do it why can't he? So this year for the first time in our nation's history we could be seeing not only a woman or a black man running for president, but also a satanist! It's all about mobilizing the people at a grassroots level, so I hope that all of you, my metal brothers and sisters, will do your part and proudly display your "Glen Benton for President" patches on your denim vests. Let your voice be heard!

Nuclear Assault Band Members Talk About Their Dreams And Aspirations. Dan Lilker Shows Us His Tiny Teeth.

Have you ever watched one of those shows on A&E where they interview inmates who are doing hard time for unbelievably heinous crimes? Those guys seem to always talk about the very caring, and amazing things they would do if they were out of jail. "I would like to be with my daughter every day, hug her and kiss her...and I would start an organization to help other men whose lives went wrong so they could learn to walk the righteous path."

Just like hearing a guy who was convicted of triple homicide and rape talk about his dreams, hearing members of Nuclear Assault talk about what they would do if they weren't in Nuclear Assault seems a bit disturbing and wrong. Yes they are entitled to their dreams, but they have inflicted so much pain on humanity.

Please note:

1. Dan Lilker looks like he has down syndrome, or fetal alcohol syndrome. One of the two. or maybe both.
2. Is said syndrome to blame for his insane tooth to gum ratio? This guy puts Molly Ringwald to shame
3. Dan's Wehrmacht shirt. By the way, the guys in that band should have really thought about their band's name a bit harder. At the risk of sounding overly did they come up with the name? "I know guys, since we're going to be a funny crossover band...let's name ourselves after the Nazi armed forces? Funny huh?" Yikes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

What do you do when posers like sweet bands?

Sometimes a good band becomes popular with the wrong crowd through no fault of their own. For example, High On Fire. Nobody could possibly suggest they are anything but 100% legit, but the fact is that most of their fans are posers, and beardos. What's a guy to do?

I know it's stupid, but to be honest it ruins a band for me. Like Carcass. When I was a kid, I loved them. But they have inspired so many awful "melodic death metal" bands (lolololololololz @ melody having a place in death metal!! Who ever heard of such a stupid idea?!) that now I want to borrow Nocturnus' time machine and kill the baby Jeff Walker. It's not their fault, but at the end of the day, they're responsible for their actions and they must pay. Same goes for bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Sepultura, and Iron Maiden. Especially Iron Maiden. And who would have ever guessed that a genre like crossover could be overrun with posers? But here it is, 2008, and there are more DRI and Cryptic Slaughter dick riders than ever, and they all need to be doused with AIDS pronto.

That's why I like to stick to genres like goregrind and wigger slam, because they're like kryptonite for posers. I mean think about it. No beardo has ever bought a Viral Load or Disconformity record to impress a chick, and they never will. And that's the way it should be.

Billy Milano, Gentleman And A Scholar

Billy Milano must be one of the world's most annoying human beings, and also one of the saddest. Watch this video, and tell me you don't want to just punch him in the face so many times that your hand will break in half. The guy with the glasses is also kinda' asking for it. He's like every Jersey greaseball that pumps your gas in that damn state. His cadence is so unbelievable phoney and forced. It's funny to see them talk and act like they're on top of the world, as they sit in the Holiday Inn hotel room that they all have to share while they tour with Laaz Rockit.

The band's name is M.O.D. for god's sake....Mr. Milano had such a hard time letting go of S.O.D. that he started a bizarro world version of it. It's as though Dave Mustaine had been kicked out of Metallica and had gone on to start Netallica.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do Hot Chicks Listen to Slam Metal?

Maybe I am too cynical, but something tells me this photo has been doctored. Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe, but if the Internet has taught me anything it's to not believe anything I see on the Internet. Sure, I'd love to think that hot chicks listen to Devourment, but chances are even if this photo is legit she probably got the shirt from a friend and only wears it because she thinks it looks "punk" or "edgy." This chick looks exactly like the kind of girl you'd see working at your nearby mall's MAC counter, which of course only makes her hotter. Until I see proof though I'll just continue believing that the only people who listen to slam metal are rednecks from Texas and wiggers from New Jersey.

The Way We Were...

I wonder if this is exactly what I sounded, and looked like to my parents and other adults around me in 1992. To be fair, I was cooler because I wore sweatpants 24-7.

Also, how huge has Phil Rind from Sacred Reich gotten? Jesus. His bass is starting to look smaller and smaller, he's getting dangerously close to Crowbar territory. It's hard to take songs about how stupid and ignorant Americans are (no matter how true) when they are coming out of a huge fat, white dude that looks like Fred Flintstone. Looks like he ate too many pork-rinds! Ha, ha. Get it? Rind is his last name. My comedic engine is firing on all four cylinders today!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Great moments in metal photography: Mortuary Drape

The world of black metal has always been dominated by theatrics. In response to low budgets and lack of stagecraft, bands like Dark Throne perfected the idea of shooting all pictures in dark environments, and in black and white (cutting out the mid-tones). This was the easiest way to hide the fact that the pictures were being taken in their mom's front yard. Italy's Mortuary Drape are the complete opposite, flaunting their low budget costumes and make-up in full color. You'd almost have to admire them, if it weren't for the fact that they look like retards.

Fantastic purple vest on this hooded young man. Quilted items are big for black metal this season. Who said that a store like J. Jill was not a metal place to shop?

While I applaud the consistent use of purple throughout costumes and props, I have to point out a few things. The tombstone is clearly made of cardboard and hard to read due to this picture being taken with a disposable camera. Also:
1. This guy looks depressed, and also pregnant. Maybe he's depressed because he's wearing a Mama Cass-like robe.
2. I love the little curl of hair on this guy's forehead. He's like a black metal Superman.

1. This guy was all "no-ah way-ah, I get to hold the cross made of 2x4's. I put on my aqua colored jeans and purple vest. I'll be damned if I have to stand behind the cardboard tombstone-ah" (the "ah"s are my way of saying that they probably speak with an Italian accent.)

1. Is this little strip of chest hair the Italian version of a soul-patch? Fantastic cape, by the way.
2. Nice consistent use of the purple again, great way to generate a brand. Love the quilted vest.

1. These guys are singlehandedly keeping the Italian cardboard industry afloat.
2. "This-ah show-ah gonna be so nice, all the tombstones look awesome, I HAVE-ah to tape this and watch my performance"
3. Gibraltar brand triggers. Of course. What would metal be without your bass drum sounding like a typewriter.
4. Nice upside down cross made of chain. Shop class welding lessons are paying off.

1. Do the roadies have to dress in costume as well? Damn. Maybe he plays keyboards? No, the keyboards are on the right. Hmm. Maybe he's the ghost of lame black metal from the future coming to pay them a visit.
2. Sweet lights at the edge of the stage. Tony Bennett would be proud.
3. Nice altar with red velvet tablecloth. I wonder if the roadie ever gets yelled at for forgetting the candles, and table cloth. "Luigi! you forgot-ah mama's table cloth again-ah!"
4. Aw, the cross fell.
5. Lime green Steve Vai signature guitar? Not very black, or metal.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

When Prog Goes Wrong.

Sometimes, friends who know my appreciation for the musical genre commonly referred to as "prog" ask me questions about it. "What bands should I check out?", "Are all King Crimson albums that weird?", "Does technical death metal count at least partially as being prog?", "Why is the singer of Dream Theater wearing a leather vest?", "Why did Rick Wakeman of the band Yes do a concept album about the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle?" These are all common questions, but the one that most often comes up is "Is the band _______ prog?" Some may say that most prog bands barely fit under the "metal" umbrella, but in the spirit of covering all of our musical bases, let's delve deeper into the subject. To start, here are a few items on the prog check list that you should really look into before making a decision.

1. Does the band make concept albums, or primarily write about a certain subject or a continuing storyline?

2. Does the band perform entire albums live (in the same order as the studio recording)?

3. Do band members have an affinity for Tolkien's books, mythology, science or an aspect of technology in particular?

4. Are band members credited as playing more than one instrument, and if so are they multiple version of the same instrument (for example "four, six and eight string bass"). Do band members relish in playing more than one instrument at a time in live settings to further state the complexity of their music?

5. Are the band's songs too long, have interludes, or are they split up in a manner reminiscent of classical compositions? Is the term "Overture" used?

I think that if a band has at least three of these, you are looking at a prog band. But I'm here today to share with you a fine example of what happens when prog goes wrong. I'm talking about the band Persephone's Dream, a band that has all these characteristics and then some (including members that look like cult leaders, magicians, and renaissance fair attendees, multiple female singers, and a stage act that includes puppets.) They describe themselves this way:

Persephones Dream is capable of great extremes: heaviness and subtlety, the metrical complexity of prog and the rhythmic insistency of techno or industrial music, epic grandeur and pop melodicism.

If you listen to their music, and think any of the above statement is true, I'll buy you a cupcake. Holy lord almighty. Check out their site, or myspace page.

Former Iron Maiden Frontman Officially Hits Rock Bottom

If you blinked, you probably missed the time during the 90's when Blaze Bayley sang in Iron Maiden. Don't worry, you didn't miss much. All of us at Metal Inquisition sincerely hope that Mr. Bayley saved up whatever money he made during that time with Maiden, though judging by the ad would appear that he didn't. I'm sure that every night, as he cries himself to sleep holding his wig, he asks "why couldn't they keep me in the band like they did with Janick Gers? If a band has three guitar players, why not two singers...wahhhh!"

Thanks to one of our readers for bringing this ad to our attention.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Metal Inquisition Roundtable #2: Dark Angel vs. Death Angel

Dark Angel
Sergeant D: The Holocaust was a shame and all, but the real tragedy of the 20th century was the fact that Dark Angel never achieved the same status as bands like Slayer, Metallica, or Megadeth. Those bands had their moments but were mostly spineless, dull, and boring. Dark Angel, on the other hand, thrashed their balls off (or in Gene Hoglan's case, thrashed their balls out).

Also, lots of people- mostly old fossils and trendy black metal types- think their best album is "Darkness Descends." It's not- in fact, that album is terrible. "Leave Scars" and "Time Does Not Heal" are much better masterpieces of thrash metal that are trumped only by Forced Entry and Believer.

Lucho Metales: Dark Angel. The name alone does little to put this band over the similarly named Death Angel. I mean, if you are going to run into an angel...would you be more scared if he's the angel in charge of "death" or of making it it "dark." I mean, if you ask me, the angel that deals with darkness will forever be second fiddle to the angel of death. In theory Death Angel should have been a more ferocious metal act, but that was not the case. Managing to move beyond their moniker, Dark Angel delivered brutal metal beatings that left us wanting more. Yes, the songs could go on and on at times. Yes, in retrospect it seems awful that in the liner notes Gene Hoglan would state the location and date for when he wrote the lyrics for each song. Yes, naming a live album "Live Scars" after having put out "Leave Scars" is dumb...but at the end of the day, the music was light years ahead of its time. More importantly, as far as metal fashion goes, they were the undisputed kings of hesher-ware. In their unforgettable appearance in the Ultimate Revenge II home video, Dark Angel can be seen rocking white high tops that were far whiter than any other metal band at the time. More importantly, look at the unabashed commitment that the entire band made to the jean vest. Even the bass player, who was a bit out of shape, went ahead and rocked the vest with NO shirt under it. Just look at the performance here, and be amazed. Just compare their fashion sense to that of Death Angel. (click to see image larger)

Gene Hoglan's Balls:
I could probably write a book about all the ways in which I love Dark Angel, but this is neither the time nor the place for such a thing. Simply put, Dark Angel, AKA "The L.A. Caffeine Machine," is one of the greatest and most underappreciated thrash metal bands of all time.

Dark Angel came up alongside all the big name first wave West Coat thrash metal bands, Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, etc., but never attained the same measure of popularity. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that Dark Angel’s music isn’t nearly as accessible as that of their peers. Their songs are faster, darker, longer, and more complicated than those of their contemporaries. Their music was just too much for your average thrash fan to wrap their head around. They also had the misfortunate of releasing their masterpiece, “Darkness Descends,” the same year as “Reign in Blood,” “Master of Puppets,” and “Pleasure to Kill.” Of course all of those albums are widely regarded as classics of the genre, as they should be, but “Darkness Descends” is the best of the bunch and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath, which it usually is not. The only other thrash metal album that even approaches its level of savagery and intensity is Morbid Saint’s “Spectrum of Death.” Can you imagine Lars Ulrich trying to play the drum intro to “Death is Certain (Life is Not)?” It’d be like asking a 5 year old to play “Tom Sawyer.”

As the years passed, Dark Angel soldiered on. Even as the popularity of thrash metal declined in the late 80s and early 90s giving way to the eventual rise of death metal, Dark Angel kept releasing stunning albums each more over-the-top than the last. Their final album, 1991’s “Time Does Not Heal,” is the logical conclusion of thrash metal. “9 songs, 67 minutes, 246 riffs!” An epic, monumental testament to the genius of Gene Hoglan that rendered the entire genre obsolete.

It’s doubtful that Dark Angel will ever get the respect they deserve, but if it’s any consolation we here at Metal Inquisition couldn’t hold them any higher. In the words of the Geto Boys, “you gotta let your nuts hang!”

Awakening: Leave Scars is the opus. The pinnacle of all that was Dark Angel. It challenges and defeats many a thrash album before and since. The riffs are crushing and dark. The double bass is oppressive and pounding.

Often times people in the metal scene are so quick to say that output a few records into a band’s career are never as good as the demos or the first album. That is retarded. Sure Darkness Descends is a great album, but it sounds like so many others of that time. This is the record where Dark Angel got their groove. And then promptly lost it shortly thereafter. From there we have Time Does Not Heal, which is great, but slightly too perfect. The drums sound better, as do the guitars, a little too perfect though. This was the plague of so many bands in the 90s thrash scene. Death metal was taking over and they were trying to remain relevant. Which they did well, but man…Leave Scars was the shit.

Death Angel
Sergeant D: Maybe 10 years ago, fellow Metal Inquisition writer Lucho Metales and I were discussing this band, and I said I never liked them because of the gay curtains on the cover of "Act III." Basically, I stand by that comment. They were always a puss band, like the Filipino version of Testament but not even that good (and Testament were never good).

Also, aside from the gay curtains on that cover, what exactly is going on? Evil steam is coming out of the curtains?? And it looks like the artist ran out of time when it came to rendering the audience (where are they, anyway- the theater at the mall?). He spent all of his time resolving all the intricate details of the arch around the curtain, then was like "Fuck it, the audience can just look like concrete mannequins, I'm sick of this painting."

One final note... we tag lots of posts on here "male pattern baldness," but there is perhaps no better example of this in metal than Death Angel singer Mark Osegueda. Like Brett Michaels, he always wear bandanas to cover up his ever-retreating hairline. A word of advice: salvage what's left of your dignity, bro- just shave it all off.

Lucho Metales: I almost don't want to write about Death Angel. Why? Have you seen their video for "Room With A View"? It's the video that I took the stills from to make my "metal/not metal" chart above. The video is almost exactly like Extreme's "More Than Words", and the music is rather similar. For me to try to find some redeeming qualities in Death Angel after such an atrocious musical act, would be like saying "well, Hitler kept the trains running on time." I would be ignoring a huge elephant in the room, an elephant called "Room With A View".

Gene Hoglan's Balls: My gay uncle Tony has a Filipino friend named Steve. He’s a really funny and fun guy, and he just so happens to be the most flamboyantly gay person I’ve ever met. I’m talking giant diamond rings, gold bracelets, pink shirts, silk scarves. When he walks he sticks his bony little ass out and he has the limpest wrist I’ve ever seen. When I try to wrap my mind around the reality of a Filipino thrash metal band all I can think of is Steve. When I listen to Death Angel’s music all I can think of is Steve. You get where I’m going. To be fair, “The Ultra-Violence” is probably one of the better albums to ever come from a second-tier Bay Area thrash metal band, and to some people that’s even a compliment.

Awakening: You know, youth is never an excuse for shitty music. If memory serves me correctly, this band was always touted as one of the "youngest" thrash bands ever. Old Skull were at least humorous. Death Angel was just sad. The worst part about Death Angel is they are releasing a new album this year. Booooooo.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Great moments in art history: Some random thrash bands

Living Death - Killing In Action
As you can see, this cover depicts a horned demon getting ready to roast his victim (a common theme with the Warlock cover below). But if you look more closely, you see that the real story is that he can't get the fire started. He's trying to get it going with the lightning from his hands, but it won't go. Maybe there is a strong wind or something, I don't know.

Apocalypse - s/t
This cover depicts a mildly retarded bat. Maybe it has fetal alcohol syndrome. In any case, you can see that it's very bloodthirsty, and is probably on the prowl for some fresh meat. Hopefully the band picked up on this and titled one of the songs "Fresh Meat," but I don't have the album, so I can only speculate.

Razor - Shotgun Justice
This concept explores the tragic duality of man. He can be so cruel, so heartless, yet so selfless and kind at other times. Also, I like how he has his pinkie finger held up like he's holding a glass of wine at some faggoty party or something. This record is great, though.

Warlock - Burning the Witches
What is happening here? Why does the goblin have Down's Syndrome, and why does he have such a kindly, helpful look on his face? Like the Living Death cover earlier, this album focuses on how difficult it is to start a fire when you don't know what you're doing (like in the novel Hatchet that I had to read in 7th grade).

Arakain - Schizofrenie
I just don't know what to say about this one. I'm pretty sure this is a foreign band, which would explain why they are retards, but even then, this is really bad. Look closely at this to see all the details like the pair of tits with bat wings on the upper left, the gleaming axe earring or whatever on the blue side of the face, and the complete disregard for proportion and human anatomy. This is why foreigners shouldn't be allowed to express themselves. Speak English or die!