Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Try Pandora if you like extensive vamping!

Pandora is a neat little online gadget that plays personalized streaming audio, sort of like Last.fm only much crappier. The fun part is that it takes the concept one step further by explaining why you like the music you like.

For example, I started off with something classic, yet contemporary: Devourment. Apparently I am drawn to "hard rock roots, repetitive melodic phrasing, and extensive vamping." I'm not entirely sure what vamping is, but I like the sound of it!

Next, I figured I would try another artist that was perhaps a bit harder to classify: Anal Cunt. Pandora came through again, explaining that AC made heavy use of "experimental sounds" and a "gravelly male vocalist." So far, so good!

But things didn't go so well when I dug deeper. The fucking posers at Pandora have apparently never heard of Gothic Slam or Sockeye. Bogus. If they don't have "We Are Circumcised" in their library, what do they have?! I decided I would just go with something I knew I would love, and asked it to play artists similar to Crazy Town.

This is where I knew I had made the right move. It turns out that, like Devourment, part of the reason why Crazy Town is so awesome is that they also use "extensive vamping!" Who knew?! I'm still not exactly sure what that means, but I am assuming it refers to something sweet like bass drops. In any case, it played POD, Saliva, and Godsmack, and I started jamming in bliss. In case you think I'm joking or being ironic, please note that I gave a thumbs up to POD but not Rage Against The Machine (yuck!).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Where are they now: Mike Browning edition

If you're anything like me, Nocturnus is still probably your favorite drummer-fronted, Florida death metal to feature keyboards, and deal with the subject of time travel extensively. Because I continue to hold this band in such high regard, it was only logical that a thorough investigation be launched by the M.I. investigative staff regarding the whereabouts of the band's leader and frontman, Mike Browning. Below are the results of our investigation:

Mike continues to live in Tampa, Florida, where he earns between 30-45 thousand dollars a year, according to his MySpace profile. He owns the home he lives in, which he bought for only $45,000 in 1995. He lives behind a pawn shop (location, location, location!), where he apparently manages to score additions to his collection of Egyptian artifacts.

Mike's house is the one with a dark roof, directly behind the pawn shop.

These days, Mike has diverse interests ranging from dressing up as an Egyptian pharaoh, to playing the bongos while being dressed up as a pharaoh. Oh, and he's also into Kabbalah. First Madonna, then Aston Kutcher and now Mike Browning? Damn. Anyway, here are some images to quench the unbelievable thirst that comes with not having seen your musical hero for many years. Enjoy.

Here we see Mike playing the bongos while contemplating his musical career. Check out all the cool candle holders he's scored at the pawn shop over the years. Poor Mike, he sang about a "Lake Of Fire", but all he can afford now are a few candles from Ikea.

In this picture we see his two cars, and it also teaches us that if you're metal, you don't need a driveway...just park in the dirt. Check out the wicker chair and the wind chimes in the porch.

These are Mike's dogs, a rottweiler and a half-wolf/half-german shepherd. I should point out that owning a half-wolf is illegal in Florida unless you have a at least 2 1/2 acres of land and are granted a special, Class II Wildlife Permit by the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission, but I'm sure Mike has all his paperwork in order. Why does Mike have these two menacing dogs? so that the droids wont enter his house while he's away. Get it? It's a joke!

Anyway, the inside of the house is exactly what you'd expect: stained carpets, and one of those awful area rugs with a wolf on it, the kind that is sold out of a van on the side of the road. (See the image below). Note the scratches on the door from the dogs trying to get out, due to Mike going on and on about how he was in Morbid Angel once. Can you blame the poor dogs?

Nothing says "evil" like pure American muscle. I'm with you there Mike. Sweet skull licence plate holder by the way.

Mike's way into marine life AND Photoshop! He's a true renaissance man, just consider his wildly varied interests.

Mike appears to be a huge fan of Steve Martin's early work.

What is it about Egypt that so captures the imagination of metal musicians? Fist there was Nile, and now we find out that Mike Browning has been parading around his house in Cleopatra make-up while wearing pirate-style shirts. Did he travel back in time with the Nocturnus time machine and end up in Egyptian times? Did the guys from Nile go with him? Why didn't they all stay there? I guess we'll never know.

PS: Before anyone points it out, I realize that my use of the "Things I would destroy if I had access to the Nocturnus time machine" label is contradictory to say the least. If Mike Browning and Nocturnus weren't around, neither would the very time machine I speak of. The use of this label puts the very space/time continium into question. So, while problematic, this notion is nevertheless highly descriptive of the feelings commonly held regarding both the band and their musical/lyrical output.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Metal Inquisition e-Cards

I love e-cards! They're a great way to keep in touch with friends, family, and anyone else who you want to just say "What's up, I was thinking of you" to. The problem is that most of them are not very metal, so they're only good for sending to you poser friends. With that in mind, I put together a few in case you want to use them. Create your own here!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Metallica=Big Business: 1. Wall Street Journal reports about new albums sucking. 2. Metallica rebrands itself

Metallica is big business, and not just because of the recent release of these amazingly comfortable "Master of Puppets" underpants.

1. Wall Street Journal reports on quality of new album:
With all the upheaval in the financial markets, is there one financial institution that is still making money and may still be worth reporting on? Why yes, there's always Metallica. I know, I know...Metallica are not a metal band and no longer matter at all. I get it. Still, if you're my age or older...you remember a time when they mattered very much. As such, imagine my surprise when I opened the Wall Street Journal to check on my extensive and diverse stock portfolio (Earache Records, Blue Grape Merchandise, Axxis Drum Pedals, EMG Pickups) and found news about Metallica's new album instead. As it turns out, the new album sucks balls, and not just for the usual reasons (lack of musical ability, lack of songwriting skills, lack of a drummer etc). If you thought St. Anger's mix was bad, Death Magnetic has some issues as well, and it has nothing to do with Trujillo's crabwalking. Fans are signing petitions to have the album remixed, and album's mastering engineer agrees, saying:
"Believe me, I'm not proud to be associated with this one."
Those are exactly the words of every single person that has been involved with every Metallica project after And Justice For ALl. You can read the article here, or just look at this fancy graphic, courtesy of the WSJ. I don't want them to sue our asses, and I believe that by crediting them, we'll be just fine. I took one class about law in a Community College once. I'm an expert.

2. Metallica hires Turner Duckworth to rebrand itself
What should an ailing band that has not produced quality music in ages do in order to better itself? First you hire a psychiatrist (as we saw in Some Kind Of Monster), and then you hire a branding agency. Why? Metallica is a brand, you see, and as such it deserves the same treatment that the likes of Coke and Amazon.com have gotten from Turner Duckworth. Look, I'm not naive. I don't object to this on the basis that branding implies big business. I'm okay with that. I know that Metallica makes tons of money, and that they're a business with employees like any other type of company. My objection is based on the fact that Metallica bandmembers honestly think that this is even worth pursuing. Forgive me for using such an overused comparison, but this is like rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic. Kerry King (out of all people) said it best. Metallica are a sinking ship. A huge, bloated ship. Read the story here.

One of the primary components of a brand is a logo. Turner Duckworth no doubt charged tons of money to the bloated monster known as Metallica to make their logo back into what it was during And Justice For All.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Young people are funny... by "funny" I mean stupid.

Sometimes the videos we post here are so damn funny, it makes my job very easy. I don't know what I could say other than I hope you are wearing your Depends.

First off, here's gang of 13 year old little shits doing their rendition of "Iron Man." Man, Ozzy is probably turning in his grave. He's dead, ain't he?

This girl is dedicated, but very sad and pathetic at the same time. Check out the geetar solo around the 2:53 mark. A true classic!

Finally, here's this awesome, awesome clip. My favorite of the three. Please enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

You Got Served, metalcore edition

I stumbled upon this one quite some time ago, but just remembered it this afternoon. I believe it is no exaggeration to say that this is an early front runner for the worst band of all time- and needless to say, I think this song is great! Then again, I also love Crazy Town (seriously, I do- ask Gene Hoglan's Balls).

The song is called "Thunderhawk" and it is by some band called Timeless.

Usually I would try to come up with some witty, snarky comments, but, well... watch the video. There's really nothing I can say that would top it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Black Metal: Photo Analysis

Today, we present you with yet another look at the world of black metal, one of our favorite punching bags within the world of metal.

How do evil black metallers stay warm while watching TV on a chilly winter's day? With a cozy Slanket™ of course!

The guy on the left didn't get the memo about the difference between throwing the horns, and the sign for "I love you." Apparently he also didn't get the memo about not wearing flowing, pirate-style shirts, or his mom's jeans when trying to look evil.

His mixture of a phallic helmet (that is clearly from the middle ages), with bullets (that are from the 20th century) makes his little costume highly inaccurate. I would feel like a dick for pointing that out to him though. I mean, when you were a kid, and you were pretending to be Evel Knievel while riding your cheapo BMX bike in your parent's driveway, your mom didn't ruin the fun by pointing out you were a douchebag, that you were 9 years old, and that doing a bunny hop didn't exactly count as a "stunt". So, if the dude wants to be a black metal "warrior" and dress up in cute costumes, I say we let him.

This guy's hair is insanely dry and frizzy. He's looks like the Crypt Keeper with a magic penis helmet on his head.

Can any guitar players who are reading this perhaps confirm if that's even a chord he's playing? Is his hat so magical that he's coming up with an entirely new musical scale? Why does he have two fingers on the A string, and on the same fret?

One sad thing about being in a black metal band in Florida is that after playing a sweet show in front of ten high school-age kids, you end up outside the venue sitting on one of those outdoor plastic chairs from Wal-Mart, rather than the throne made of skulls you always imagined.

MySpace photography, meets black metal, meets bad dental hygiene, meets comb over, meets a life of loneliness.

Playing the songs in front of eight people in a gym that could hold two thousand kinda' makes you feel like a douche for putting on the make up and all. So does the fact that a gym class was still going on during the epic performance of "Gates Ov Hell"

Are these guys building a house in the woods or something? It looks like a Habitat For Humanity photo shoot.

Is this a picture of a weird, third division soccer team in the Philippines I've never heard of? Douchebag FC?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Heaven Or Hell

As a young metal fan, I would often turn to books that were written to inform parents about how bad, evil and satanic metal was for information about bands I should check out. Yes, most of those books dealt with hidden messages in songs like "Hotel California", and people like Alice Cooper...but from time to time you'd get lucky and get a book (as I did) which mentioned a band like Death or Slayer. Though the tone of these books was decidedly religious, I chose to bypass that aspect hoping to get some nuggets of information about some crazy metal band I'd never heard of. Clearly, times have changed. These books are barely printed anymore. Metal and rock have gone from being the main concern of christian authors, to merely being something that can be co-opted (that term again). When searching in christian bookstore's sites for "heavy metal", all I got were guitar tab books. Can you believe it? Turns out, metal is not christianity's public enemy number one anymore. Perhaps the muslim faith in general fills that role now. Consider the image I found while searching for a cover of one of these anti-metal books. Rock and metal aren't scary anymore. What a bummer. Both can be used for a purpose now.

So, back to those books, overtime reading enough of them would sometimes get to me. I was 11 then, so I would still ask myself some questions: Heaven or hell? Is hell real? If listing to this music was really going to send me to hell...would hell be such a bad place? I mean, Slayer would be the house band...so that's not so bad. With that in mind, I leave you with these two videos so you can make your choice over the weekend. Where do you want to go? In making the decision, please disregard Tom Araya's current catholic leanings. Just remember Slayer as evil as they were, or as they seemed to you when you were a little kid. The choice is still obvious to me.



This Just In: Lehman Brothers declares bankruptcy. In response, Ex-Death drummer Richard Christy makes out with a dude on national television

Yes, it's one of the most watched videos on YouTube right now. The guy on the right with a shaved head is none other than Richard Christy, who played drums in Death and Iced Earth. he now works on the Howard Stern. So much for my post yesterday about metal not having a sense of humor.*

*It should be noted that it took some time away from metal in an active role for him to have a sense of humor, or at least to show it in such an inovative fashion.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Appropriation of metal culture: The neverending saga

If you've been down with metal long enough, you've come to expect the appropriation of its aesthetics. You can almost set your clock by it. As of late, however, a new type of appropriation has come to my attention...not that by large companies, publications or fashion designers, no. I'm talking about the use of iconography from the world of metal by other subcultures, all in the spirit of irony. Yes, some of the people who do this claim to have street cred, but I've checked and it's very seldom true.

I'm not going to dwell too much on the subject of subcultural irony (because I'm wearing a dry clean only sweater today, and if I start going down the path of "irony" I'll throw up all over myself in disgust), but I find this interesting. Why? Because to me, if you use iconography from another subculture in an ironic fashion, you are in a sense indicating the superiority of your culture over that which you are appropriating. It's clearly done in a mocking fashion.

Remember way back when hipsters started to wear mesh trucker hats? Clearly, the intended message was that a well educated white kid was slumming by putting on such wacky attire. Facial hair, and mullets soon followed, then hi-tops. So, now that metal is being used ironically all over the place (partially as part of 80s and 90s culture revival, which is now considered "old school") only one question remains:

Where does metal rank in the world of subcultures? According to the poster above, cycling/bike messenger culture ranks over metal. But that, perhaps, is merely because metal usually lacks a sense of humor and seldom uses irony. Metal is concerned only with evil/dark/serious imagery and messages. As a result, it gets beaten to a pulp in the subculture playground. Metal is also not self aware. An obvious giveaway about how fake many of today's Headbanger's Ball-grade metal bands is that they think the very music they play is funny. They are self aware, and thus not metal. What that argument says about this blog, I don't know. And I don't want to discuss that. Because we're hella metal. Anyway, a real metal band would never have a poster, record cover or lyrics with any sense of irony or attempt at humor. Yes, Sacred Reich had that song about how they listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Anthrax had I'm the Man...but those songs sucked and were un-metal. Yes, grindcore and other sub genres flirted with humor...but you wouldn't see a poster for a real death metal fest in Kentucky with characters from Saved By The Bell or something....though AC Slater was a dope drummer, and could probably play some tight blasts.

What do Metal Inquisitioners think? Let's discuss.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Breaking through the myths: The facts about wigger slam

As I am prone to do every so often, I googled for "wigger slam" this afternoon. I was thrilled to see quite a few results, but it was clear that many people don't understand the genre

Please begin by reading my post from back in March, "Everything You Need To Know About Wigger Slam." Many people missed it because we didn't have as many readers then, but it's still a good place to start! Then, read all our other posts on wigger slam.

We ain't playing, son.
Apparently some people think that I am being ironic when I sing the praises of wigger slam. From Metal Sucks:
Reading all those Wigger Slam posts at Metal Inquisition usually makes me piss myself with laughter. I actually cannot tell if the posts are meant to be sarcastic, or if they really do like that music.
First of all, you must know that I am not joking even a teeny tiny bit about how much I love slam metal, especially wigger slam, and especially Japanese wigger slam. This shit is in my blood. While I'm at work, where I do things like market research for Pampers, Swiffer, and Febreze, I'm jamming Infernal Revulsion. When I'm at the gym, blasting my quads, you better fucking believe I've got Gorevent on my pink iPod Nano. I could go on forever. The point is that you are a poser that only thinks about wigger slam when you read Metal Inquisition, it's just a novelty to you. Wigger slam is a WAY OF LIFE for me.

Wigger slam is NOT deathcore
The next thing you need to understand is that these two genres are not the same thing, or even slightly related. For example, in the above Metal Sucks post, you can see that many people are confused (although some people in the comments do get it):
I can’t say as I get what all the hubbub is about — to these ears, wigger slam is basically just another, less cringe-inducing name for a genre we’ve all grown to hate — deathcore — with an occasional nu-metal influence — as if this is supposed to be a good thing.
To be fair, I can understand the confusion. Wait, actually I can't, they are completely different and I have no idea how they could get mixed up. I will be very explicit here so that there is no more room for stupidity:

People in deathcore bands look like this gaylord. If you photographed someone that was standing in the center of a Hot Topic when a bomb went off, it would look like the image above.

Deathcore = "Scene kids" playing shitty metalcore with blast beats and weak death metal-influenced breakdowns that aren't even good enough to be out-takes from a Green Rage or Extinction (click the link for funny pictures of Pete Wentz with dreads when he played in this horrible band) 7". Examples: Job For A Cowboy, Despised Icon, other wretched garbage they play on Headbanger's Ball all the time. Often they will mix in gay shit like singing or high-pitched screams in with their weak imitation of death metal vocals. They do not generally do guttural cricket vocals.

People in wigger slam bands look like this. If you are thinking that they look like the guy that comes to fix your air conditioning unit at work, it's because they probably are that guy.

Wigger slam = White trash dudes without two brain cells to rub together playing awesome, brutal death metal that is one Devourment-inspired slam riff after the next. The difference is that they often incorporate hip-hop references in their lyrics and the way they dress. This might seem strange, because we don't usually think of rap and brutal death metal as two things that go together. But it is actually very simple to explain: people who grow up as poor white trash (such as me) often listened to equal amounts of Eazy-E, Pantera, and Napalm Death. It is easy to see that combining those three is the formula for wigger slam. 

Wigger slam is also very popular with foreigners who don't understand how absurd it is to emulate this very American style. They have no idea how hilarious it is to see little Asian guys or dumb Swedes act like Long Island and Jersey shore trash. As Lucho Metales says, it's a little bit like watching Civil War reenactments. Although it's never not funny to watch their silly attempts at sounding tough, the Japanese are the masters of wigger slam.

(on another note, it's funny to see how upset the guy from Short Bus Pile Up is that I called his band wigger slam instead of just slam- and don't get wigger slam mixed up with cornfield slam!)

I hope that covers everything. In conclusion, please watch the above Devourment video. They aren't wigger slam, but as many readers already know, they are the pioneers of slam metal, and this video is a particularly good representation of them (featuring their original singer Wayne, who is now dead).

Also watch this Glossectomy video, particularly the very unusual dancing at around :33! I think it captures the silliness of Japanese wigger slam very well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Andreas Kisser forced to play with Scorpions to pay rent — Cavalera brothers overheard saying "mission accomplished!"

Though some thought Soulfly was an actual band, it was merely a dress rehearsal for Max Cavalera's masterpiece, The Cavalera Conspiracy. From the moment the band began, the entire world has been laughing, but today we received news which clearly show that the band is no laughing matter at all. As it turns out, The Cavalera Conspiracy is not just the name of a band, but an actual conspiracy put together by the Cavalera brothers to do two things:

1. Take over the world's entire urban camouflage supply

2. Keep former Sepultura member Andreas Kisser from earning an honest living by playing in any semi-relevant musical act.

Proof that the Cavalera brothers have succeeded in accomplishing their second goal comes to us in the form of Andreas playing with Scorpions. Yes, he's a current touring member of the band. Can you imagine that the incoherent guy who did that rad 180 flip in the video for "Inner Self" has had to pimp himself to aging rockers like the Scorpions? I know that maniacs like Mr. Gene Hoglan's Balls enjoy early Scorpions material (last time he was at my house, he played side A of The Tokyo Tapes at least ten times), but this is so sad. It's about as sad as Max's camo bandana, or as sad as the one dude in Soulfly wearing a backpack while he plays guitar.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

About time: Celtic Frost call it quits (AGAIN)

Yes, it is true! As I write this my eyes are tearing up. Sure it's just '
cuz my office is really dusty, but I'm still sad (sorta...actually, not really) that Tom and Martin have called it quits. Again. Seriously, this band breaks up and gets back together every 3-5 years. I understand that the only choice these Swiss rockers have to re-forming the band is going back to day jobs as bank clerks in the main branch of UBS in Zurich, but c'mon! Have they done anything worth a Swiss Franc since 1987? Strike that, I forgot that "Into the Pandemonium" was as heavy as dirty gramma panties.

By the time "Pandemonium" came out they were already starting to look like glam fags. Still, there something about this shot I really like... The jury is still out on this one.

In their official statement they said
"...that any continuation of CELTIC FROST without either one of us would be irreconcilable with our original ideas and detrimental to the group's legacy." Wait a second... wait a second. I'm sure you know where I'm gonna go here... "detrimental to the group's legacy"? Are you fucking kidding me? What would you call "Cold Lake"? Or the photo below? Fuck me! THAT was detrimental!

Jesus, Joseph and Mary! I don't mean to be blasphemous here, but c'mon! Unbuttoned pants with suspenders and no shirt? Fingerless white gloves? Frosted denim? What's missing here? Oh, yeah, denim shorts! The ONLY redeeming wardrobe piece in this shot is what appears to be a calculator watch on Tom G. Warrior's wrist. I point that out 'cuz I'm wearing one as I type. No joke.

In the statement, they also refer to CF as a "truly unique band". But are they really? I happen to know a lot of bands that put out two or three good records and then decided to start sucking asshole. Then, after 15 years of being mocked by their old fans, they decide to "come back", just for said fans to mock them even more in blogs such as this one. Sorry, guys, you're not that "unique."

I'm sorry if you disagree, but this video is WAY more of a joke than St. Anger could ever be.

Listen here: I know how influential CF were. Shit, I have Morbid Tales in my CD player in my car right now, but let's not forget that these clowns are partly responsible for the disease we call black metal.

Thanks for nothing you Swiss fuckers!

If we're gonna dedicate post after post to making fun of
Danzig and Metallica, I think we should do at least one post to celebrate yet another passing of the band with the highest awesome-to-shitpile ratio in the history of metal. So, here is to Tom G. Warrior and 17 other guys who were in CF at one point or another. May you have a happy retirement and see you again when the money runs out in 2-5 years!

Hey Tom, do I detect a mild case of Robb Flynn's Disease?

"After the battle is over
And the sands drunken the blood
All what there remains
Is the bitterness of delusion"
Exactly! You said it best...