Monday, April 13, 2009

The games we play

Last week's post about the highly influential Nocturnus album The Key, prompted a good bit of discussion about video games by our readers. Having never really played video games in my life, I chose to look at a different kind of game. You see, at a recent Metal Inquisition retreat, the topic of different metal-related games came up. I'm not talking about sports either (we discussed that in an earlier post here), I'm talking about fun games...simple activities that help pass the time. In this post, I will let you into the Metal Inquisition inner circle, and share with you just some of the activities that M.I. staffers partake in to pass the time.

The Mix Tape Game

This game was first developed by Mr. Gene Hoglan's Balls and my brother SkullKrusher, while driving to one of the Metal Inquisition retreats.

How is it played?
Go through a box of your old stuff, perhaps the glove compartment in your car, or inside your old walkman. You should be able to find an old mix tape that you made for yourself, or that a fellow metal fan made for you. Throw out any information you may have about the tape's contents. On a long drive, listen to the tape (this requires that your car have a tape player...sorry, it's the one tough thing about the game) and try to figure out the bands that are on the tape. When this game was first played, the tape was titled "Absolute Insanity", and was made by Mr Gene Hoglan's Balls for himself during his high school years. The tape featured mostly Nuclear Blast bands, and both staffers competing had trouble naming any of the bands on the tape. Try it for yourself!

Band Name Game

Mr. SkullKrusher and I were in a band for the better part of the 90's. As bad as playing horrible shows was, driving six hours to play those shows was even worse. This was back in the era before cell phones, laptops or most other forms of entertainment that many of us use to pass the time during travel these days. As a result of our boredom we began to play the Band Name Game, in order to help pass the time.

How is it played?
This is a simple game. Go down the alphabet, and name a band that starts with each letter. You can play it so that everyone has to name a band with the letter A, and then B in the next round. You can also start with the letter A, and the next person has to name one with B. This second approach works way better. This game is best saved for long drives, especially if you are surrounded by metal heavy weights that know tons and tons of bands.
A tip of the hat to the all-time champion at this game, who is sadly no longer with us. Mr. Cook, wherever you always beat our asses at this game. Cheers.

As someone who played this game for way too many hours, let me tell you a few things that you must keep in mind. Set some ground rules before you begin playing to avoid arguments.

If you are playing with all metal bands, set the standard for what "metal" means. Do NWOBHM bands count? Will you count bands like Black Sabbath? Will you only count bands that are heavier than Slayer? Does D.R.I. count as metal? Decide these things first to set some perimeters.

Remember that at least one other person must be able to verify the existence of a band for it to count. None of that "oh, they put out a demo in '92...I think they're from Turkey. It's not my fault you guys are posers and don't know about them" nonsense.

3. Band names that have been used multiple times only count once. For example, yes there are multiple bands named Poison, Slaughter etc. Adding their country of origin doesn't make them count twice. Don't be a wiseguy. Yes, there were two bands called Nausea. It only counts once..and the New York one would only count if you were playing the game using the names of boring crusty punk bands anyway.

4. A band with a name preceded by "The" cannot be used for the letter T. Duh.

5. Decide if band names that are made up of numbers, or start with numbers will count as the letter the first number it starts with. This will avoid huge fights down the line.

The letter Q is a bitch. As someone who has played this game for way too many hours, I can tell you that Q is where everyone looses. Stock up on bands that start with Q. Also, if you own that book with the names of metal bands, you are an idiot you shouldn't play anyway.

The Logo Game

My brother and I have been playing this logo off and on for many years. It's sometimes fun to rope in people with minimal artistic talent, so feel free to play with family and friends. This game can be played in restaurants while you wait for your food, or during meetings at work, if you are lucky enough to work with a fellow metal fan.

How is it played?
Come up with a stupid word or a combination of words, something like "custard", or "elastic band", or maybe "chicken soup", now design a sick metal logo for it. Note that almost everyone begins to default to a Napalm Death scrawl style, or a black metal upsidedown cross style. Either is fine. Determine a winner after each round.

Keep your logos. Imagine going over these ridiculous logos ten years from now with your friend. Also, write the word that the logo is for at the top, since most of these will be unreadable anyway.

The Grindcrusher Game

Mr Gene Hoglan's Balls and I were picking up ex-poster Awakening at the airport. GHB said we needed like an hour to get the airport, and he was wrong. Way wrong. We got there with about 50 minutes to spare. Not wanting to pay for parking, we chose to drive in circles around the airport at high speeds instead. With nothing to listen to but a tape of the Grindcrusher comp, the game was born.

How is it played?
Easy. Play the Grindcrusher comp when surrounded by your aging metal friends, and try to name the bands as they come on. Yes, Morbid Angel, Nocturnus and the like are easy...but some are actually pretty damn hard to name. Try it! Call me a poser, but I had a tough time spotting the Mighty Force song. Mr. GHB also claims I had trouble with the Terrorizer song...but that's simply not true. I was being careful, and taking my time before yelling out the band name. Damn.

The Shirt Game

Not sure exactly where this one came from originally, as it has been played casually around the M.I. offices for some time. It was first played formally (if only briefly) only weeks ago at one of our retreats, as a team-building exercise.

How is it played?
Pick a classic metal recording, something amazing, something that has real historical significance...something by M.O.D. let's say. Without looking at the album, try to remember the shirts that all band members are wearing. If the album features multiple band shots, first establish which picture/s you are going to play for.

Some good albums to play with are Terrorizer's "World Downfall", Napalm Death's "Mentally Murdered" (double points to the person that can say what two members are wearing the same shirt...what a metal fashion faux pas!)

Lesser games that are still worth mentioning:

Terrorizer thanks list game, where players have to compete to see who can remember the most people and bands thanked in the Terrorizer thanks list. A word of advice: if you ever play this with any of us...we won't be impressed by the fact that you know that NWA and ENT are in there. It takes a good bit more to impress us.

Thanks/No Thanks game, this is one that only some people can get into. If you are the kind who likes to put a bet down on the Superbowl's coin toss, or the over/under on an NCAA game...this one's for you. Try to remember if a certain classic thrash album has a "no thanks" list as well as the usual "thanks" list. Tip: Nuclear Assault were fond of "no thanks" lists. Tip #2: almost all "no thanks" lists included posers and Tipper Gore.

Morrisound Studios game, name recordings made at the famed Tampa studio, one at a time as you go around the room. First one who can't come up with one looses. Everyone else wins. This can also be played by naming recordings produced by Scott Burns or Alex Perialis. Easily transformed into a drinking game, if you are 15 years old that is.

Metallica's Black Album game, play the entire album from beginning to end...and try not to laugh once. This one is extremely hard to play.

Do our readers have similar games that they've played? If not, are we insane losers for thinking these up? Perhaps, perhaps.


  1. used to play the name game back in the 80s when quiet riot still counted..

  2. Another top post guys!

    Here's a good game: Open any death/thrash metal bands cd/tape/record to their photo and/or (hopefully) photo collage. Find an obscured logo on a t-shirt (usually hidden by a plaid shirt, or leather jacket lapel!) and try to figure out what band t-shirt it is.
    Another good one is to spot who's in the photo collages that were ever popular in the early 90's. Bonus points for finding Jim Carrey in a certain album!

  3. Jim Carrey? wow...i'm not sure i know that one!
    i will now do a post about the photo collage...what a lost artform!!!

  4. well we were a little less mature in High School and basically would do the Alphabet game BUT (no pun intended), you had to replace or add the word "Butt(s)" to the band's name:

    A- Annhilator Butts
    B- Body Butts (Body Count)
    C- Corrosion of Butts OR Butts of Conformity.

    then we'd basically vote on which one was the coolest and that would have to be our moniker when we grow up and form a band.

    Also, for the guess the t-shirts they wore on what album game, immediately coming to mind was Obituary's Cause of Death...signed to Roadrunner...but pimping Earache...i'm sure Blue Grape's sales & marketing team were pleased ha...

  5. the Butt game sounds rad. we would have been friends back in the day for sure.

    Blue Grape were ahead of their time when i came to product placement.

  6. Drawing up family trees of metal bands. You know, linking band A to band B because of shared member(s). Whoever can construct the longest family line of metal bands, wins.

  7. oh good grief....this is priceless. way better than the guy getting his glasses knocked off at the talent show in high school

  8. how about six degrees Chuck Schuldner.

    You can basically link any musician to him through the connections of musicians he worked with. Many links can be found because he worked with people such as richard christy,Andy LaRocque,
    # Ralph Santolla gene holgan, Steve DiGiorgio, the guys from cynic, the list goes on.

    ALSO helpful is not forgetting VoodooCult where he worked with Mille Petrozza And Dave Lonbardo.

    Also if you can't find a link between members, you guys may opt to include being from the same city, or metal scenes (e.g. Florida death metal scene etc...) as links to other bands and work from there

  9. I used to play the Borivoj Krgin game: it consists in remembering all the albums in which thank lists its name appears.

  10. here's another one that requires honesty on everyone's part. Your friends will know if you purposely altered your list.

    Everyone Writes down 10-20 of your favorite musicians from when you were young.

    from there everyone turns in their cards and as a group everyone starts with zero points as you go down the lists.

    The person with the most points wins.

    Musicians that are no longer alive are worth +2 points since they went out before this declining metal state we live in now.

    Musicians that are still active and are making somewhat coherent music are worth +1 points.

    Musicians making awful music are worth -2 points.

    And here's the trump card...

    Musicians agreed upon to be suffering from Rob Flynn's disease are worth -5!

    see who comes out on top!

  11. I'm still wondering what t-shirt Bill Steer wore on the "Mentally murdered" EP...beside that, there's a game me and my friends/bandmembers played back in the day. We opened the "Symphonies of sickness" album gatefold cover, then tried to recognize each body part.
    Let's play:

  12. It was first played formally (if only briefly) only weeks ago at one of our retreats, as a team-building exercise.

    i remember this! didn't your brother say, "what fucking shirt was the bassist wearing on 'USA FOR MOD'? i know it's something funny but i can't remember."

  13. that's exactly how it went down. all games have humble beginnings.

    ben that video rules. will use in a future post for sure.

    Goddess, i love your game..but its too easy. ANY album made from like 86 to 95 MUST have his name. it was the law back then.

  14. We used to play a variation of the name game on tour. Start with any band, the next person had to name a band whose first letter was the last letter of the previous band. eg: Mayhem -> Metallica -> Accept -> Testament...

    Except we played with punk bands...

  15. A variation of the shirt game was to get some death metal zine like Sounds of Death, with pages and pages of dumb ass band photos. Then go through page-by-page and identify every logo on every t-shirt shown in every band photo. It gets tricky with "uderground" bands because they're not about to wear an Iron Maiden shirt.

    I would only know of certain bands because I saw Brutal McSlamenstein wear a T-shirt of them, and they split up before recording anything. But their logos are a part of history forever thanks to Xtreme Brutality #1.

  16. I'll give you a hint, Jim's standing with Rob Barret...

  17. First Name Game: Give yourself a metal band/first name mashup.

    Ian Maiden, Dan-Zig, Daveicide, Necros Chris-tos, Carl-cass

  18. ahhh, Rob Barret...Cannibal Corpse then...because of Ace Ventura right? That's in a collage?

  19. Food Metal:

    Very simple.. very funny.

    Name a band but has to be a food item/recipe/well known brand.


    Pie On Fire
    Morbid Angel Delight

    (i forget most of the good ones!)

    The food/metal combo should rhyme or contain the exact same words as per above, so something like Total Fucking Spagetti Bolognaise doesnt count.

    Came about at a friend's birthday when someone made a joke about starting a viking themed veggie restaurant.. something to do with the salad bar being the (Vegan) Pagan Altar... it quickly became more sophisticated and the food metal game was born! the rest of the night was drunken hilarity.

  20. Lucho,

    Quorthon of Bathory had a side project titled, "Quorthon". Would Quorthon and Bathory be the same band or two separate entities?

    That, Queensryche, and Quiet Riot are the only bands off the top of my head that begin with a Q, but I'm sure the latter two don't count.

  21. How about playing "slug-bug", but instead of VW bugs its chain wallets? I ruled at that game in Seattle circa mid-90's.

  22. side projects count as as a band, absolutely!

  23. Yep, The Bleeding, Lucho! I'm anticipating this collage post! I've spent hours looking at heaps of them! Nuclear Assualt and S.O.D. were quite fond of them I recall.

  24. Back in middle school my friends and I would play a game at the lunch table where someone would call out a band and you would have to name the members of the band. I'm pretty sure that, at one time, I could name all of the guys in bands like Keel and Helix. It kept us moderately entertained until someone wandered off to go spit in the salad dressing.

    Another game could be the Non-Metal Shirt game where someone mentions a non-Metal shirt in an album photo and people have to decipher which album and maybe the band member wearing it. For example: Trump Plaza = Effigy of the Forgotten/Frank Mullen.

    Thanks/No Thanks game is awesome. I love the "No thanks to all the people who tried to stop this album from coming out," as if there were all of these people just actively working against the members of the band who were totally crushed that the album did, in fact, see a release date.

  25. we used to play either the RUN D.M.C or Misfits drinking games back in the dizz-ay....For RUN D.M.C you pop in tougher than leather or other classic album and anytime they refer to themselves or RUN DMC take a the Misfits game you have to drink evertime they say "whoooa-oh-oh" ...hatebreeders is an incredibly hard is "king of rock"

  26. Borivoj Krgin is a stupid little cunt. No one knows who this insect is but he really is fucked in the head.

  27. This is an amazing post . Like this lot here .

  28. Thanks for sharing this blog its very informative

  29. This is so fun! What a great idea. Also I love how authentic you seem to be. Your style and passion for blogging is contagious. Thank you for sharing your life!


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