Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Win a copy of Decibel's Precious Metal book

What is your favorite item in the Edit menu? You could ask a million people this question and get a million answers. You'd hear everything from Find to Redo to my personal favorite, Select All. But I know if you asked Decibel Magazine's Editor-In-Chief, Albert Mudrian, his answer would be a combo: Copy and Paste. He likes it so much that he made a whole book by compiling 25 of Decibel's finest Hall of Fame stories by copying and pasting them into one file, then printing it all on the cheapest brownish-grey newsprint that money can buy!

If you're too cheap to click here and purchase a copy from Amazon, continue reading for details on how to win a free copy- and this could be your last chance, since it's burning up the charts at #18,047 on Amazon!

You can also read our 2008 interview with Albert here.

Albert hard at work "writing" Precious Metal

The Press Release
Here is the ham-fisted copy from the back cover that goes into more detail about this 250-page tribute to repurposed content. As you can see, beardos, hipsters, and dinosaur rockers alike will all be delighted- I know I have been waiting with baited breath to hear the real story behind the fucking Diamond Head LP!!
Precious Metal gathers pieces from Decibel's most popular feature, the monthly “Hall of Fame” which documents the making of landmark metal albums via candid, hilarious, and fascinating interviews with every participating band member.

Decibel's editor-in-chief, Albert Mudrian, has selected and expanded the best of these features, creating a definitive collection of stories behind the greatest extreme metal albums of all time.

Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell * Diamond Head's Lightning to the Nations * Slayer's Reign in Blood * Napalm Death's Scum * Repulsion's Horrified * Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness * Obituary's Cause of Death * Entombed's Left Hand Path * Paradise Lost's Gothic * Carcass' Necroticism- Descanting the Insalubrious * Cannibal Corpse's Tomb of the Mutilated * Eyehategod's Take as Needed for Pain * Darkthrone's Transylvanian Hunger * Kyuss's Welcome to Sky Valley * Meshuggah's Destroy Erase Improve * Monster Magnet's Dopes to Infinity * At the Gates' Slaughter of the Soul * Opeth's Orchid * Down's NOLA * Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse * Sleep's Jerusalem * The Dillinger Escape Plan's Calculating Infinity * Botch's We Are the Romans * Converge's Jane Doe * Nitro's OFR * Meat Shits' Ecstacy of Death

The contest
As you know, Metal Inquisition is first and foremost the viral marketing division of Red Flag Media, the company who publishes Decibel and acquired this blog via hostile takeover earlier in 2009. Therefore, it was only natural that we would promote Precious Metal with the following gimmicky contest:

Da Capo Press and Decibel will give away one or more copies of book to the best review(s) posted in the comments of this post.

Of course, you will be writing a review of a book you haven't read, just like when I used to write reviews of records I hadn't listened to for the magazine I used to work for (I will let you guess which one that might be; unfortunately it was not Decibel). Since it can't be accurate, it should at least be entertaining. We will select the winner next Wednesday: we'll post the winning entry/entries and you can email us your address if it's yours.


Friday, June 26, 2009

From Spain with love (Part 2)

In case you missed the first part of this post, you should know that two of Metal Inquistion's finest writers are going to Spain and Andorra, not to see some horrible metal festival, but to see the Tour De France as it makes it's way through those two countries. In celebration, we will now take a closer look at Spain's offerings and culture in the realm of metal.


Sometimes, even kvlt black metal dudes have to put grimness aside and say "ehhh...fuck it, I need to get laid"


When I see this picture, all I can think about is the fact that his mother still lovingly washes the skid marks out of his underwear.


Many bands from Spain are merely fifth rate rip offs of more established shit bands. Want proof? Just look at Spanish shit-music pioneers Nu. Have you ever had the unfortunate luck of listening to Jethro Tull? If you have, then you've also heard these guys. Spanish lesson for today: How to say "the flute is the most phallic instrument ever, and all those who play the flute were probably molested as children", repeat after me class "La flauta es el instrumento mas falico del mundo, y todos los que tocan la flauta probablemente fueron abusados sexualmente cuando eran niƱos."


This particular black metal band from Spain is really not trying hard enough. Just look at their ill-conceived stage props. Who could possibly hang themselves from a noose that is two feet off the floor?


I can just imagine the email that the band members sent the "artist" who drew this cover. Once translated into English, it went a little something like this: "So the logo will totally be made of steel, and should have rivets! Don't forget the rivets, they are very important. From the logo, lightning should come down, and be hitting both the statue that we mentioned in our last email, but also the human heart that the guy will be holding on his right hand. Oh and by the way, please make sure that the guy holding the heart looks exactly like Dog The Bounty Hunter, and please make sure that his hands are permanently locked in an action figure-like kung-fu grip.


I don't know which part to laugh at first, the perspective or the misshaped roulette wheel. Having said that, I have to say that I admire the artists' ability to render the creases in both fabrics and leather. This guy must have been trained by artistic master who gave the world the sublime rendering of drapes on the cover of Death Angel's Act III


If your mom asks you to go cut down some of the weeds in the back yard, don't take it as a worthless chore. If you are truly committed to being grim, you should see it as an opportunity to be grim as fuck.


In an attempt to bring Spain into this century, the police have been rounding up metal douchebags on a daily basis, and sterilizing them in order to prevent them from breeding. Although some are protesting that these round-ups reek of Franco-era tactics, I see them as being both unimportant, and unnecessary. Why spend tax payer's money sterilizing these individuals, when their denim vests already act as a kryptonite-like deterrant against all females?


Vests in general are very useful. A life vest keeps you from drowning. A bullet proof vest keeps bullets away. A denim vest keeps women away.

Come on, you saw the joke coming from a mile away...but you still laughed. Admit it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What will they think of next: Purulent Jacuzzi

"Get me Putin!"

Until very recently, there was a place in Seattle called "Tubs" in which you could rent a jacuzzi by the hour. Yes, I know what you are thinking- everybody in the area also recoiled in horror at the idea of submerging their genitals in a rancid bath that is more or less a stew made from the lower bodies of whatever strangers happened to be rent the jacuzzi before you did.

I am pretty sure the drummer is the guy who invented Tetris. Either that or a pedophile. Maybe both.

I could go into more detail, but thanks to the wonders of Web 2.0, I can simply crowdsource it from Yelp!! Yay internets! (I feel like there is someone at IDEO or Frog right now coughing awkwardly to remind me that they coined the term "crowdsourcing" in 2002). Here are a few highlights from consumer reviews:
Brooke B.
It has been fun making jokes about contracting the clap from your titular "tubs" for the last 10 years. It was always my plan to bring a special someone and a bucket of Ezell's fried chicken to a private room and really get down. Thanks for the memories, Tubs. You will be missed.

Ari:OMG, I'm so embarrassed!
Tanya:Rumor has it that people were having sex in the totally secluded hot tubs, so they got shutdown.
JC: Yeah, people would fling gonorrhea and Chlamydia at the walls.
Ari: ehhhh...okay.
Tanya: I'm HUNGRY!
The place is obviously still closed, and surprisingly fenced up by the health department and the humane society.

Mr. Robot O.
I visited here in an "official" capacity as an inspector, not a customer, so I only got to look at, and not enjoy, the "sparkling acrylic spas with hydro-therapy jets" constructed with "state-of-the-art spa engineering."
The thought of paying someone so I could lounge around in these giant petri dishes wasn't that enticing.
With bands like the Meat Shits and Gut pushing the boundaries of poor taste over the past decade or two, it's harder than ever to shock audiences. You really have to dig deep to find something inspiring that's novel, unique yet completely foul and disgusting. For Russian goregrind band Purulent Jacuzzi, Tubs is just that source of inspiration.

That's what I tell myself, at least. I certainly can't think or any other reason why a band would call themselves fucking Purulent Jacuzzi! At first I thought it was some sort of misunderstanding; I figured they just didn't really understand what the fuck they were saying. I assumed it was like Lisa Simpson said when she saw a poster for the movie Yahoo Serious: "Those words are both English, but they don't make any sense together!"

But no! From the image above, it seems that they understand exactly what those words mean and are using them quite literally! Best of all, they are pretty fucking good, especially the song in the video above. I'm not all that crazy about bree-bree vocals, but the singer for PJ pulls them off about as well as anybody, and they definitely have their share crushing slamz.

If there is anything to take away from all this, it is that no man has a crystal ball. Wait, that's not true, Mike Browning has the Nocturnus crystal ball. But aside from him, we are all powerless to predict what strange, new, exciting forms of music are coming around the bend. All we can do is sit back and enjoy the show... and mosh our balls off to Purulent Jacuzzi.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sgt D launches Stuff You Will Hate

I am sure many of you are tired of reading about the horrible shit that I like, especially when it doesn't have much to do with metal. With that in mind, I started a new blog in which I will post about things that you will hate, but I love- appropriately enough it is entitled Stuff You Will Hate. Naturally, my first post is about a new crunkcore band that gives BrokeNCYDE a run for their money called Scene Kidz:
For my inaugural post on Stuff You Will Hate, I will introduce you to the only current challengers to BrokeNCYDE's crunkcore crown: Scene Kidz, straight out of Greenwood, Indiana. Yes, you read that correctly, these kids are from a crappy suburb of Indianapolis that is a dump even by the remarkably low standards of Indiana (although I hear the Hampton's Market there is off the fuckin chain).

I know what you are thinking: what kind of a fucking name is Scene Kidz? Isn't that like when Dismember imaginatively titled their album "Death Metal"? I'll grant you that it's a bit intellectually lazy, but like Dismember's album, the name doesn't lie. They are indeed scene kids, albeit rather homely Midwest ones. Despite being entry-level in pretty much every respect, these kids definitely know how to get crunk when it comes to their music!
Read more at Stuff You Will Hate

Monday, June 22, 2009

Guest post: Where's the love for awesome hardcore bands that turned into shitty metal bands?

This is the first of what we hope will be many guest columns from MI readers, in this case from frequent commenter and MI Twitter follower Snoopz. Naturally it isn't as good as something we would write ourselves, but you can't have everything, can you? If you're interested in writing something, please send it to our email or send a direct message on Twitter- the more the merrier!

This is my shot at a guest column for Metal Inquisition and it’s gonna be about hardcore bands that “went metal” in the 80’s and early 90’s, and, well, how that was totally fuckin awesome! Now right now, people who were hardcore fans in the 80’s, their heads are exploding, because what I just said is the equivalent of a teenager today telling me, a 30 year old, that it must have been awesome to be around in the 90’s to see the emergence of Slipknot and Sevendust. I’d say, “no, I went to Tattoo the Earth Tour and it sucked” and we would just not see eye to eye. Well I don’t connect well with older hardcore fans, record collectors, and so forth. I see them as the No Fun Club. Like, if my favorite Cro-Mags album is the wrong one, forget it, I’m not even worth talking to. No accounting for personal taste with these hardcore puritans, there are good albums and bad albums and, a consensus has been reached on the matter, and I should shut up.

School of Violence, Junkyard, and Broken Bones?! It's like a who's-who of forgettable crap all in one image!

The records I’m going to mention today, by Warzone, Token Entry, and DYS, are universally hated despite musical innovation and adventurous lyrics. What the fuck? I’ll get into this right now. I’m pretty positive most Metal Inquisition readers have a general awareness of hardcore music, but I should clarify that records I’m talking about don’t sound like the metalcore bands that were all spawned by At The Gates’ Slaughter of the Soul. In fact death metal is not really a factor. Think crossover, cheese metal, funk metal, thrash.

Here is a photo of my room around 2000. I was heavily involved in some hardcore archeology at the time, digging up albums from ten years earlier. Note all the tapes. Guess what? They were cheaper than Cds. And what tapes was I finding the most in used bins? The “sellout” metal albums by punk and hardcore bands that nobody wanted. Now you are getting an idea about why I know so much about this shit.

Warzone - Self-titled
Warzone was a NYHC band, had a killer 7 inch and two great, well-produced full lengths, and then the 1989 S/T album dropped, ruining everything in a lot of people’s eyes. When I was first listening to Warzone in the mid-90’s (they were reunited and playing often) I did not even know that the album existed. I found it hard to believe, when told by friends, that some “awful” Warzone record was out there with bullet holes on the cover. I searched for years. Nothing. Finally in the early 00’s I met a friend who had received the record as a birthday present. A gag gift of course. Amazingly his copy was a promo sent to a radio station and contained a press release for Caroline Records that was, I admit, rather funny, describing their logo as “the iron cross of unity.” My heart sank when I saw that the program director of the station had written on the release, in pen, “despite their best intentions, this is a lame band.”

Almost as awesome as the old Lion's Den picture where they're on the train tracks

The record rocks, good luck finding it on mediafire. Sure it has a thin sound, the guitars sound like a series of samples for a RUN DMC record all strung together, but this whole record moves at a mid-tempo groove that will fuck you up.

Token Entry - "The Weight of the World"
On to Token Entry, a melodic straight edge band from the late 80’s who dropped Weight of the World in 1990, a kind of hard rock funk metal record that is near and dear to my heart. Here are the words of AMG “The vocalist looks ready for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the guitarist is black, the bass player was kidnapped from a hairy metal band, and the drummer looks like seventy percent of the male actors in Los Angeles.” Too much for most hardcore fans I’m sure. A photo of a band not looking right on the back of the record is enough for most fans to dismiss the album as “sellout” before putting it on the turntable. It’s like, if the record’s cover is in full color, it’s a deal-breaker. Oh well, their loss, this release is real fun and was recently re-issued.

DYS - Self-titled
Last and the best. DYS, self-titled LP. Fuck man, it kills me to see people on Amazon.com saying the discography CD is good only if you program your CD player to play the tracks from Brotherhood alone. 1984, this record is not influenced by thrash, it’s really just longer hardcore songs, with some higher-pitched vocal. In the words of the guitar player, "the most technically proficient and cleanest sounding record in the history of Hardcore." This shit is all muscle, so look out. Lyrics?
A demon trapped within all men
Has won the battle here
And those who set the demon free
Now have cause to fear
Gone the days of loneliness
Trapped within his brain
He steps forth into darkness
And remembers all the pain
Damn, you should listen to that stuff when working out.

Again, I’ll tell you all, I wasn’t there when all these records dropped, but I’ve been listening to this kind of shit for years and have got pretty much 100% negative feedback from people learning about my musical tastes. I dig Mucky Pup, and M.O.D., two bands recently dismissed here at Metal Inquisition. I don’t know why I got to go against the grain. A few years ago I saw a review in the thrash zine HeartattaCK lamenting that the cover of a new 7” featured cover art in the style of the Suicidal Tendencies Join the Army record cover. “I hope that this style of art does not come back,” said the reviewer. I wondered, “what the fuck kind of crappy album covers does this person like? Blurry photos with typewriter font lower-case text?” That is the antithesis of cool. Crossover rules.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Billy Milano speaks! (like a painfully unfunny brain injury patient)

We are proud to present an interview with the notorious Billy Milano, singer for the legendary MOD! That said, it's a shitty interview. I guess I shouldn't be even a a little bit surprised, but his answers were uninspired, terse, and boring. I'm still kind of let down in spite of having low expectations, he really phoned this one in. I did my best to spice it up with some of my own comments, but you can only polish a turd so much. The harder you try, the more you get shit all over yourself, and it's still a turd.

Immediately after this picture was taken, Billy the Hut put this poor AIDS victim out of his misery by eating him

What are the lyrics to the Crab Society North Song "You Nigger"?

Your link didn’t work so I don’t know if it’s really a song. I don’t think it is but it it were a song it was probably very short and had a dark tone to it. Yuck-Yuck.
[We just pasted the link into an email; apparently he only knows how to click URLs, not copy and paste it into the address bar. I know he's on the wrong side of 40 so technology isn't really his friend, but this was the first sign of trouble. Also, he has an AOL email address- do you think he spends a lot of time seeing what's in keyword megaforce?]

With looks like this, one can only imagine the high-caliber pussy that he is surely drowning in

In your Hard N' Heavy interview, you talk about "life on the road", and banging the caliber of girl that would have also banged Poison back then. Did you feel it was necessary to lie and make up these stories because a camera was on you?
You know my initials are the same as Brett Michael's. I find it ironic that you mention Poison besides I have no respect for anyone who fucks me and wants to brag about it.
[His initials are BM. I am not sure if our readers abroad know this, but in the US that means "bowel movement," or "shit."]

Here is a curious collage of Billy Milano images that I found in an equally curious article about him on a bear blog (I'm not talking about the kind of bears they have at the zoo)

You were in SOD and then MOD. Do you ever talk to Dave Mustaine about how he should have named Megadeth "Netallica" instead? What do you think of "Slayer 2"?
Never cared to ask Dave about that shit, Slayer 2? I actually think there was a band called slayer from Texas or somewhere and Slayer in LA was a band at that time. That is something you need to check on.
[I seriously think he missed the point of this question. I know he is not going to be in MENSA anytime soon but honestly... it's kind of sad to see a human being who is this dense!]

In the MOD video for "true colors" you wear many hilarious outfits, in order to mock the look of other styles of music (glam etc), yet we couldn't help but notice that in the portions where you are dressed as yourself, you are still wearing spandex cycling shorts. Can you tell us more about the decision to wear those?
Ha ha - BUSTED!!! No, seriously I always wore them for comfort and nothing more. I will say this I bike 20 miles a day in Austin Texas and don’t wear them so I find this also Ironic.

In this horribly dull video, Billy tries his hand at improvised, observational humor... and fails miserably. Don't come crying to me when you realize you pissed away several seconds of your life that you'll never get back on this before frantically mashing the "stop" button.

An argument has been made by some that the cost of medical care for illegal immigrants is not as costly to the US economy as caring for the medical needs of the overweight Americans. Do you care to comment?
Yes this is true, I have read that argument and it has valid points but let me embellish. No illegal immigrant should be given FREE health care or GOVERNMENT sponsored health care when American citizens who do NOT have health care can and are denied.
[I think he also missed the point of this question. Hint: we were calling you fat, Billy the Hut]

A girl is sitting next to me as I write this. When she saw this image over my shoulder she said, "Who is this guy? Why is this image online?! What is he doing??" All I could say was, "Uh... he's the singer in this crappy band called MOD, I have no idea what is happening in this picture but it's funny."

Aside from SOD, what other musical influences do you have? And you can't answer "Anthrax" or "Scott Ian" to this question.
Hardcore Punk.
[I can only assume he is talking about Fat Nuts, 25 Ta Life, and Fury of V]

You made a song entitled "Wigga" in which you mock suburban white kids who dress like poor black people. Can you tell us more about this phenomenon? What do you make of wigger slam metal?
This question is about as relevant as the interviews some journalist gave me for the Decibel interview. NEXT! [Translation: I can't think of anything entertaining to say]

"Wait where am I again?"

When most people see Danny Lilker, they think he looks like he has Down's syndrome due to his retarded face and tiny baby teeth. What was your reaction when you first laid eyes on him?
He looked like a stoned mop.
[Now THIS is funny!! Come on Billy the Hut, you can do better than 1 for 13!]

For the past 20 years you have relied heavily on Jewish musicians to make a semi-decent living, yet you are an anti-Semite. How do you reconcile these two facts?
I converted to being a Jew in the 80’s. I like bagels and have an accountant name Murray, Oi vey such a thing. My Jewish friends only know me by my Jewish identity. “ Sol mehaya Lowenhidlebaum” His name is my name too. Or wait that’s “John Jacob Jinggleheimer Schmit”.

This is 1 million times worse than BrokeNCYDE and Crazy Town put together and wrapped in swastikas

When you were making the video for "Wigga," and you realized that you had become the thrash metal version of Weird Al or The Offspring, what went through your head?
Thank you, what I was thinking was Most metal bands sing this evil shit and their the biggest pussies walking. I am far from a pussy and just wanted my song and record to be fun. Music used to be fun. Everyone is so fucking serious they need to get laid or at least take a shower they will feel better.
[This is certainly true. Maybe he would like screamo crunk??]

Please read our review of "USA For MOD" and share your thoughts on it. In particular, can you comment on this part?

"Man of Your Dreams" – 3:40 I had to look this one up, because even though it's one of the longest songs on the album, I didn't remember it at all. Then I remembered it was a song about Freddy Krueger. How original!! I imagine Scott Ian feeling like the older brother does when the younger brother copies everything he does

First off your links don’t work. That would be kinda of what Dimebag was feeling about Scott, Right? Baaazing!!!

Like if you get a skateboard, and your little bro makes his own out of an ironing board and rollerskate wheels and follows you around all over the place. Not only does he get it all wrong, it's embarrassing for everybody involved, but you don't tell him to stop because you know how bad it would hurt his feelings. But you know Scott must have been like, "Dude... you gotta find your own voice... we already did the Freddy thing. At least write about Jason."

I was SOD. I am an original- they (ANTHRAX) Stole SOD’s voice.

When we were writing these questions, we took bets on whether you would have a good sense of humor about it or be a butthurt pussy. I bet $5 that you would try to come up with witty answers to the questions in an attempt to show us up, maybe even putting in a few playful jabs of your own every now and then to avoid looking like a complete pushover. Who is right?
How can I possibly know whose right? I don’t know what the other person you made the bet with said.
[I'll admit, this was a tough question that didn't give him a lot of room to move, but even then, what a shitty answer]

That creepy bear article about him has a comment that declares "His butt is definitely NOMy."

That's all we have. Would you like to add anything? Thanks!! Oh, and what is "Bushwackatees" about?
Your mom’s hairy cunt! Peace Nigga.
[I feel vicariously embarrassed for Billy the Hut when he tries to be shocking like this because it's not even slightly offensive, it's just tiresome and dull]

* In case you haven't yet, please make sure to read Billy Milano: Evolution of MOD on BearMythology.net!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

From Spain with love (Part 1)

Put aside you preconceived notions about men with shaved legs and spandex shorts for a minute. Look, this is a sport where a Norwegian guy named Thor bleeds all over himself as though he were doing a photo shoot for a Mayhem album cover. Not bad, not bad at all.

Breaking news from the Metal Inquisition headquarters, news big enough for me to post my usual Friday piece on Thursday. What's the big news you ask? Two of Metal Inquisition's finest (myself and Mr Skullkrusher) are heading over to Europe in just a few weeks. Why are we going to Europe you ask? That's a perfectly valid question. Are we going to Europe in order to catch some sweet metal festivals? No. Are we going to Europe in order to find where Euronymous' Helvet record store was, in order to laugh uncontrollably while standing in front of it (since it's now a bakery)? Nope. Are going in order to visit the slightly pathetic Cliff Burton memorial that was erected miles away from the site of his accident, and without support of the band or his family? Nah.

You see, we are going to Europe for a much cooler reason. We are going so that we can watch the Tour De France live and in person, as it makes it's way through northeast Spain and Andorra for a few days. What could be more metal than that? (Please don't answer that question.) Although it's tempting, I'm not going to bore you with more details about the trip and my extreme excitement about the whole thing. While perhaps it would be cooler to go to Belgium to see the spring classics, this was an opportunity that presented itself and had to be taken. In order to not focus on cycling, and because our marketing department has determined that all posts relating to sports must be about cricket (due to the international nature of our readership), I will instead write about what Spain has to offer in the realm of metal. Oh, and for any of you that live in Spain, if you manage to spot us in the huge crowds, simply say the magic password and you'll get a prize. The magic password/phrase is:

"M.O.D. was both derivative and self referential in a post-modern sense"

If you successfully spot us, and deliver this line verbatim, you will win one of my most highly prized metal possessions....my cassette of Benediction's "meh" inducing "Subconscious Terror" album.

Before I move on to the primary content of this piece, allow me to make one final point about cycling being metal. Look for yourself, and tell me that the picture of Thor Hushovd wouldn't make for a pretty good black metal album cover. Check it out, side by side with an actual Mayhem cover.

Not too bad huh? Aside from the bright green bib shorts, I think it's pretty good. I mean, you can also argue about the fact that he's wearing a yellow jersey...but hey...Dead was wearing a white "I Love Transylvania" shirt when this picture was taken...so it all evens out. By the way, if you're wondering what the white text says, it's a phrase I ran through one of those online translators. The name of the brutal album would be: "Thor falls while wearing the yellow jersey". Look, when you know what it says, it's not that evil...but just looking at it...it works. *

* Leave it up to me to spend like six minutes in Photoshop in order to make a joke about Mayhem and Thor Hushovd that a grand total of two people worldwide will really get. Ehhh.

Okay, with these formalities out of the way, let's move on to taking a closer look at Spain's offerings in the realm of metal. Enjoy.


I don't care where you live, I don't care what type of metal you're into...I think we can ALL agree about one thing: nothing says "extreme metal brutality" like three pairs of fuchsia jeans in one picture. While American fans are barely trying when it comes to their attire, dudes in Spain are rocking jeans in colors that are rarely seen in nature, let alone in clothing. Take that American fuckers!


Spain has really weird traditions. You've probably heard about the running of the bulls in Pamplona, perhaps you also know about the Tomatina festival. A lesser known festival from Spain takes place once a year in San Sebastian. In that celebration, metal fans from throughout the region gather to discuss the validity of Destruction's early recordings for hours upon hours, to see who the last man standing will be. Slowly, lesser competitors fall asleep as they talk, leaving behind the lone "Campeon De Destruction" who will hold his title for one full year. If you thought going to Pamplona and getting gorged by a bull straight into your rectum was painful, you should try listening to these guys talk about Infernal Overkill for eighteen hours straight.


Spanish lesson for today: How to say "Dan Lilker has super creepy, tiny baby teeth, and so does this guy"

Repeat after me class, "Dan Lilker tiene dientesitos de bebe asustadores, y este tipo tambien los tiene. "


In some parts of Europe, it's common for semi-grown men to still live with their parents. The upside of this arrangment? Free rent, and the fact that your mom will wash your jean vest (taking extra care to make sure that your Sarcofago patch doesn't come off in the wash.) The downside? Mom makes you take out the garbage when you're in full metal uniform. What's a metal fan to do when confronted with such an inconvenience? If you're like this guy, you see metal opportunities where others see obstacles. Don't let chores slow you down, rock those fucking chores! Take out that fucking garbage. Metal, and metal attitude should never take a holiday. Just look at this guy and learn, this fucker could make yard work look metal.


Some have said that the Catholic church is too powerful in Spain, and that as a result homophobia is on the rise. I disagree. When you see flagrant displays of homosexuality such as the ones by the singer of Angeles Del Infierno, you have to applaud the church's changing views as well as their leniant policies.


Quiet down class, please quiet down. Our Spanish lesson for today is the following, repeat after me class: "El Wigger-o Slam-o"


"No Papi, that's not what I'm saying at all...I'm saying that Baron Rojo and other bands from Spain are valid, but Sarcofago and Vulcano were lightyears ahead of their time, you know? Also, Beherit merely used that sound and that type of production as a crutch, so I don't know that their contributions were valid at all."

"Uh...okay, fine. Sure, sure. But seriously, when are you and your collection of fingerless gloves moving out of our fucking house? Your mom and I seriously want you out of our fucking lives once and for all."


They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That's all fine and good, but can we also say that it's the sincerest form of unimaginative plagiarism?

* Top image is of a tribute record of bands from Argentina, covering Baron Rojo, who are from Spain.


"So I was thinking, we can use my sister's drawing at the top of the picture...we can just photoshop it in there. Juan, you can make a wooden manhole cover, just remember to glue some bottle caps on it....what else, what else. Oh yeah, I just remembered. It would be super awesome if we had a shadowy rendering of the Enterprise kinda' like behind us, it would add a grim, outespsace kinda' feel to the picture."

More to come next Friday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Metal Inquisition Archives: Crossover

Back in the late 80s, my brother and I would head down to the local supermarket in search of the newest issue of Metal Hammer on a monthly basis. Metal Hammer was the only publication available to us which had anything to do with music aside from Menudo, although thinking back, Menudo were pretty rad and almost metal looking themselves.

Look, the colors on the pants might be a bit much, but the guys from Manowar have dressed in outfits that are pretty similar to this.

South America in the 1980s being what it was, the "newest" issue of Metal Hammer in the supermarket's newstands would always be two years old, had pages ripped out, and would cost nearly three times what a normal magazine would cost. Still, being able to see pictures of the bands that we listened to was so rare, that no price was too large to pay. It was a bit annoying to read articles written in Spanish from Spain (a bit different from that spoken in other countries), referencing the recording process of albums that had been out for nearly two years. Nevertheless, the pilgrimage to the local supermarket was part of our metal routine, and we loved it.

Having only recently unearthed the Metal Inquisition archives, seeing our large collection of Metal Hammer magazines was a pleasant surprise. Seeing those magazines was like welcoming an old friend back into your home during a snowstorm. As such, I welcomed these beloved Metal Hammer's back into my life, and began to flip through their pages. As I turned each page, I was amazed by how many of the pictures, articles and ads I remembered perfectly. I must have looked through each of those magazines millions of times, and thus I still remember details from every page. I remember perfectly that the article about Slayer came after the Robert Plant picture (the selection was iffy at best) and before the Uriah Heap concert review. Among all the articles and reviews that I remember perfectly, the one you can see above, detailing Charlie Benante and Scott Ian's love of crossover and hardcore music is perhaps the one that (as awful as it is to admit) had the most profound impact on me. Look, I've already opened up about my embarrassing past to all of you, and even shown you the horrible drawings I made as a kid, so sharing yet another stupid aspect of my life seems like no big deal. It's kinda' how the anthrax (not the band) scare seemed like no big deal after September 11. It's exactly like that...but kinda' different. Anyway, back to the article. Around the time I saw this picture, my brother and I had already heard Cryptic Slaughter and D.R.I., and loved them both. I had trouble placing such bands within the metal spectrum, but enjoyed the fact that some of the band members had short hair, and dressed kinda' like my mom made me dress back then. Yes, I certainly tried hard to rock a vicious mullet (and I did from time to time), but whenever my mom took me to the barbershop at the mall (the one in front of the ice cream place, by entrance #7) my mullet was chopped off, and with every snip I cried tiny metal tears. Like Samson, I too lost my powers once my plumage was removed. For that reason, seeing pictures of guys in bands with short hair made me feel empowered, I could now tell other kids at school that my look was planned out, and not simply as a result of my mother's overbearing, tyrannical parenting style (any latino readers, or jewish readers for that matter, probably know what I mean). In contrast to the more relaxed approach of crossover bands, seeing pictures of Venom made me feel rather disconnected from them based on their attire. I simply couldn't relate to what they were wearing. As an 11 year old, my only thoughts were "How do they get their mom's to let them wear those outfits?" and "Does Mantas realize how phallic those nunchucks look?"

Thigh-high red leather boots, phallic nunchucks and a spiked girdle. Wow, you have to love 80s black metal.

In contrast to Venom, bands like DRI and Cryptic Slaughter looked (at least in their early albums) more like me. I remember seeing the picture below in a Cryptic Slaughter album, and being amazed by the fact that this guy's mom also made him cut his hair and wear white t-shirts. Though it may seem silly and superficial to be drawn to a musical style for aesthetic reasons, please remember that I was 11, and most of these bands seemed to play as fast (if not faster) than most metal bands did at the time. Also, how could you not love the DRI mascot? Which reminds me, was I the only kid who would run and try to stop suddenly in order to hold the DRI pose? Hmm....maybe it WAS only me who did this.

Awful spiked up hair? White t-shirt? Yay! This guy looks just like an 11 year old version of me!

Now check out this picture of the Crumbsuckers at the beach, and compare it to Venom. What a fun bunch of guys!

For the very reason that some kids were attracted to Slayer (aesthetics), I was attracted to these other bands. That, it would appear, was enough to make me like them at first. Yes, I realize that crossover amounted to little more than many bands sucking at two musical styles at once, instead of one. But hey, what can I tell you, I like pickle and peanut butter sandwiches too, and as far as I know, I'm not pregnant. In the end, it was no different from the people who were drawn to Venom because of their leather pants. Another aspect appealed to me was their lyrical content. Although I couldn't speak English at all back then (see my "welcome to the hell" drawing here if you need proof), I could make out some of their messages, and could easily see that the devil played no part in their lyrical content. Don't get me wrong, I too thought Eddie and Iron Maiden's visuals were cool as a little kid, but growing up in South America during an insanely violent time, songs about the devil didn't scare me or make much of an impression on me. Skulls, pentagrams, even Venom's whole thing on the back of Black Metal about raping nuns or whatever didn't seem all that evil. Real evil was the insanity that surrounded all of us in that area of the world back then. I had no proof that satan existed, but I did have proof that actual human beings had the ability of being insanely brutal and were murdering each other around me all the time in ways that Slayer and Sabbat could only dream of. Although I'm aware that many metal bands came from modest backgrounds in European and American cities, the levels of comfort they enjoyed were unheard of to most people in South American countries. Wealth and luxury, it would appear, afforded teenage minds the ability and time to wander and dream up these silly scenarios. Confronted with reality, South American bands (at least where I lived) largely sang about real topics, even if they looked a whole lot like Venom. Even having grown up in a comfortable setting, at just five years old or so, I saw a man's body after he had been shot in the face only minutes before. I remember his face and body being covered by a white sheet, as the sheet automatically soaked the blood from his contorted face. This happened outside a Chineese restaurant in the outskirts of the city, and I'll never forget how customers continued to stream into the restaurant, unfazed by the fact that a murder had just taken place. Similarly, for a short period of time during the mid 80s, the highway that my schoolbus took on its way to school would have bodies hanging from the trees along the route. Suicide was on the rise, and even six and seven year olds like me who were on that bus paid little attention to the bodies swaying in the morning breeze. When you see those things at an early age (and I saw way more, though in comparison to many I had a fantastic and easy life) Eddie was justy not as scary as it seemed to some American kids. Dead bodies, shootings, bombings, mass murder, these were the sort of things I had proof of. Humans, not the devil were way scarier to me...but I'm getting off topic.

You see, when I first came upon this article in Metal Hammer, I read it slowly, picking up every band name that was mentioned. I also made a mental list of the albums that were being held up in the picture, the ones that Scott was giving his decidedly positive thumbs-up to. Am I/was I a complete douchebag for taking musical advice from a godamned picture in Metal Hammer? Absolutely, but hey...as an 11 year old, it's not like I had that many other sources from which to derive musical suggestions. So with the list of albums from the picture, I would go on to buy every one of them (minus the Inferno one). I have to admit, it took me years to realize that the album which I thought was by a band called "The Wacky Hi-Jinks", was actually by Adrenalin OD. When I figured this out, I cursed Charlie for having hidden the band's name on the cover by not holding it at the very front. Had he held it up at the front, instead of the DRI album, I would have saved myself years of searching, and stupidly asking older dudes in my school if they liked the band "The Wacky Hi-Jinks". Oh well.

So over the years, I made my way through the list that was endorsed by these two metal titans. Much like I first listened to the Misfits purely because so many metal bands wore their shirts, I first listened to the Cro-Mags because of this picture. Unlike the first time that I heard the Misifts, which was a bit of a let down, most of these albums delivered the goods quickly. See, the Misfits were tough for me to like at first. I thought that if all metal bands liked them, and their skull looked so damn evil, they must surely sound like the fastest, heavist thing in the world. Having heard Napalm Death's Peel Sessions in 1988, I thought the Misfits were probably even faster and crazier. Imagine my surprise upon buying a Misfits cassette and hearing some mid-tempo music with a Jim Morrison impersonator singing. Sure, I grew to love it...but that first experience left a bitter taste in my mouth. DRI, on the other hand, delivered . Fast, short songs that came in bursts and made Metallica seem dopey and contrived.

The Crumbsuckers were perhaps my favorite among the bands I discovered because of the Metal Hammer article . Although my love affair with the Cro-Mags (who I also first listened to because of this picture) has lasted longer and been more intense, the first time I heard "Trapped" by the Crumbsuckers, I nearly pissed myself. That's not saying much, since I had a propensity for pissing myself back then at the drop of a hat. Unable to get their album, I first heard and saw them on the Hardcore video compilation, which was put out by Jettisoundz Productions. My friend Nicolas had a beta dub of it, so my brother and I made a dub of his dub. Our beta machines didn't have RCA connections, so we hooked up the two machines via coaxial cable, resulting in a dub of the poorest quality. You can see the tape below, complete with dot matrix printer song listing (circa 1988).

Although most of the bands on the tape were decidedly punk, The Crumbsuckers stuck out, as did their look. Like the singer from Cryptic Slaughter, Chris Notaro rocked a haircut I knew well, the very bowl cut that my mom had forced me to wear for so many years. The intensity of the video seemed crazy to me and as a result, upon visiting New York City for the first time I tried to look for CBGBs right away. Sadly, when I first went to New York City, I was 12 years old and my mom and grandmother wanted to go to Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue instead of looking for CBGBs....what a bunch of posers! But let me get back to crossover, as this could easily go down the path of hardcore and punk...and this is neither the time or the place. I'll simply say that it's a bit embarrassing to admit that you first listened to the Cro-Mags, not because you saw them at CBGB's at an early age, but rather because you saw Scott Ian holding up one of their records. Oh well, such is life.

Look, this is by no means a definitive post about the subject of crossover, which was such a hot musical topic back in the day...but merely a quick exploration about my first exposure to the genre. A more thorough post will have to be made one day, one that follows the fallout of this type of music (Pro-Pain, Biohazard, Scatterbrain, Downset etc) as well as the use of skateboards as photographic props by bands like Anthrax and Metallica. Crossover was a way for bands to show their street cred, and was something that punks and metalheads could both hate. Who knew that this musical style would later on create an entire sub-genre filled with denim vest-wearing hipster douchebags (complete with ironic haircuts, guitars, backpatches etc) that would basically add up to a Civil War reenactment.

So where does that leave me? I'm not really sure. I'm getting older, and thus find blending my enjoyment ("love" would be a bit much at this point) for this type of music with my mature lifestyle to be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, DRI has just released this very tasteful polo-style shirt, which is equally at home on the golf course, or in the pit at a Ritz matinee (sweet Lalapolooza tribal armband not required). Why let the guys in the IT department have all the fun? Along with an nice pair of pleated Dockers, you'll be representin' your metal roots, and pleasing your boss all at once. Everyone wins!