Monday, March 29, 2010

Terrorizer shill for "The Secret History of Death Metal"

What is your favorite once-good European metal magazine named after an overrated grindcore band?? If you answered Metal Hammer, that was my first thought as well, but our good friends at Terrorizer also publish a magazine that used to be good. In a desperate attempt to survive in te dying print publishing business, they are releasing a "Secret History of Death Metal" special issue or something like that. For some reason, we wanted to know more, so we hit up deputy editor James Hoare (lol, what a last name). Thanks to James, and be sure to head over to Terrorizer's site and pick one of these things up!

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that Terrorizer currently owns 50% of Metal Inquisition (the other 50% is held by a variety of business entities including Century Media and Red Flag Media).

It is my understanding that you are trying to drum up interest/pre-orders for Terrorizer's new "Secret History of Death Metal" special issue or something. Please give us more information on your product and/or service.

“This really is shameless and if it’s any consolation, I feel like a whore. Terrorizer’s Secret History Of… Death Metal is an absolute beast of a one-off, prestige issue that as far as humanly possible makes the best stab at documenting the story of death metal, across the world and across the various subgenres. I’ve got me some mad loves for Albert Mudrian’s ‘Choosing Death’ [check out our interview with him here] and Daniel Ekeroth’s ‘Swedish Death Metal’, and it’s a testament to this bad boy’s journalistic prowess that when I read some of the features on more over-covered topics (Florida, Sweden etc), I wasn’t bored in the slightest. Get this down you, it’s not boring.


I tried so, so hard to come up with a better example of "highly average death metal" but I just couldn't

What *is* the secret history of death metal?? In your answer, please explain how the following bands fit in: Jungle Rot, Benediction, Mortification, Malevolent Creation, and Vengeance Rising.
The theme here is charmingly mediocre death metal, of which I have a strange, yet completely arbitrary, tolerance of. For example, I’d take a bullet for Benediction and I talk about Jungle Rot a surprisingly amount, but I think Mortification are a sad and joyless Geocities homepage of a band. You’ll be delighted to learn that a surprising volume of dull and derivative c-list bands are involved, because their perspective on the genre and its story is usually a lot more interesting than Morbid Angel’s – there’s a whole section on the Netherlands and if that doesn’t scream mediocrity (one half-way interesting Pestilence album aside) than nothing does.

The secret history of death metal probably, definitely involves Nazi U-Boats hollowing out the Earth’s core to win the trust of the lizard people.

I have not seen this issue, but I assume there is a chapter on wigger slam. What are the contents of this chapter? What is your personal opinion on slam metal?
The UK tends to be a lot more homogenised in its trends, it’s a small country and since we stopped fighting wars to preserve our ancient right to drink tea on a pile of a far away nation’s indigenous dead, dumb kids can be relied upon to largely guzzle from the same fetid trough of bullshit. The wigger slam you’re talking about travels about as well as Christian metalcore does, so mostly the proud saplings that will one day become English oak are all rubbing one out to shriek-shriek windmilling deathcore (which was big in the States about five years ago), swaggering rocky hardcore (which was big in the States about five years ago) or Hollywood Undead (which was big in the States about five minutes ago).

The super elitist and incestuous underground UKDM scene, however, fucking love their slamz and every other band is worshipping at the jism-flecked alter of Devourment – which is ironic, given as derivatively ripping off American bands is one of the reasons why they think deathcore sucks. In conclusion, slamz are br00tz and make me shake my b00ty.

"I’d take a bullet for Benediction and I talk about Jungle Rot a surprising amount, but I think Mortification are a sad and joyless Geocities homepage of a band"

Check out Ingested, they're possibly the closest thing we have to proper US-style New Era cap wigger slam and ran the whole gauntlet from being a sportswear clad underground anomaly to being liked by scene kids and therefore hated by the people who liked them five minutes ago because they deigned to be successful. That's a little microcosm of scene politics right there.

Terrorizer has featured a nearly endless stream of washed up/horrible/generic black metal bands on the cover lately (much to my dismay, since I am forced to write about them). Why the sudden interest in death metal? Black metal or death metal: which is better and why?
Turgid middle-of-the-road black metal always has a slight edge over turgid middle-of-the-road death metal in that turgid middle-of-the-road black metal bands can usually be relied upon to look interesting and if good death metal bands still think standing in front of a chain-link fence in sweats is totally rad, what hope is there for the turgid middle-of-the-road ones? Satyricon especially, their current Armani model look is super krieg. The bottom line is the cover’s got to look good, otherwise nobody will buy it and read your venomous, mean-spirited column.

One of the best parts of death metal history is all the compilations like At Death's Door, Corporate Death, Grindcrusher, and Death Is Just The Beginning (see Retroview: Classic 90s generic death metal compilations for more). Which is your favorite and least favorite of these? What in God's fucking name were Relapse thinking when they greenlighted the Convulse album?? (Please choose a non-committal, boring answer to avoid offending any advertisers)
Oh wow, these things are all equal in my eyes – terrible ‘Warhammer’ supplement cover art, three good bands and eight tracks of Central European filler, or in shorthand, Morgoth. That was a simpler age wasn’t it? I think the ‘Death… Is Just The Beginning’ series were the best, because at that point Nuclear Blast had enough of a roster to do these things entirely in house and unlike Earache and Roadrunner who at least made an effort to single out the bands they thought were interesting, Nuclear Blast dropped a stick dynamite into the lake and signed whatever floated to the surface. As a result 'Death... Is Just The Beginning' is a perfect storm of bands you'd never hear from again (Napalm Death side-project Defecation, Paul Speckmann's thrash outfit Abomination, Toxic Shock), bands who went on to be a whole new kind of awful (disco-disco-techno-disco Atrocity and Hypocrisy) and bands who just continued along the same path for the next fifteen or twenty years (Dismember, Benediction, Sinister, Master, Macabre etc).

Relapse had Amorphis too didn’t they? Someone over there clearly got Moomin fever in the early ‘90s. That non-committal and boring enough for you? I was actually listening to this album a few nights ago and I genuinely cannot think of anything to say about it other than the intro sounds like 'Duke Nukem' incidental music.


I thought Morgoth were pretty good back in the day... but then again, I also liked Bif Naked :(

Another part of death metal history I miss is PIT Magazine, which I read religiously along with Terrorizer (back when Terrorizer was still good). PIT was sweet because it looked like they made it with Microsoft Publisher and I think it was the first time I heard about bands like Dismembered Fetus, Dying Fetus, Cephalic Carnage (back when they were still good), and Internal Bleeding. On the other hand, they also wrote about Jungle Rot far too often. Do you remember PIT? What other magazines did you like back in the day?
I was reading Metal Maniacs long before I was reading Terrorizer, there was a newsagents by the train station in the shitty town where I went to university and they always had a few import titles – so I always picked up Metal Maniacs (for the billion pages of size 3 type), Alternative Press (to see what homegrown cat Aids had made its way to the US and was being rebranded as the New Wave Of XYZ) and Hardcore Ink (because at this point in my life I lived for Undying, this point in my life was very, very boring). I compulsively read everything.

I am ghey
James enjoys novelty headwear and decades-old thrash bands who are adored for no apparent reason

You also ran a two-part "History of Metalcore" feature recently. I was thrilled to see you mention Above All and Unborn, two of my favorite 90s UK metalcore bands. From what I can tell you are more of a d-beat/grindcore kind of guy, so what is your take on metalcore? Which member of Winds of Plague would you choose to have anal with and do you think (s)he would enjoy it??
I stayed out of that whole thing because it was still a little bit too close for me, I only broke edge and eBayed my Eighteen Visions t-shirt four years ago. I even liked Eighteen Visions more then they became Stone Temple Hatebreed and the world's definitely a sadder place without them. I've sort of returned to hardcore recently through d-beat and I'm utterly surprised to discover that I still have a lot of time for some good, solid chug, which is nice because people who lose touch with their musical indescretions turn into exactly the same sort of people who beat their chests and carp on about 'deathcore faggotry'.

"I was actually listening to the Convulse album a few nights ago and I genuinely cannot think of anything to say about it other than the intro sounds like 'Duke Nukem' incidental music."

I saw Winds Of Plague supporting Shai Hulud the first time they were over in the UK, and then I had the misfortune to see them again, as well as Born Of Osiris, on the Summer Slaughter tour last year. I can really see no redeeming feature to this band, except for the fact that I'm not listening to them right now – they can have a flapjack for that. Symphonic deathcore has a high enough percentage of absolute wackness without them having their own Bleeding Through.”

Finally, the other day I was trying to think of metal songs about farting but couldn't come up with any. Can you think of one??
Decapitated 'Human's Dust'

Buy "The Secret History of Death Metal"
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My favorite venue

As a world-renowned blogger, people ask me questions all the time in order to get my opinion about important topics in the world of metal. The one I'm asked most often is:

"What is the best venue that you've ever seen a show at?"

While I'm tempted to talk about that one strip club in Fort Lauderdale where I saw Exhorder, or the Eagle's Ballroom in Milwaukee where I saw Testament, Overkill, Downset and Body Count all in one day...I always come back to the same answer:

The loading dock at my uncle's lumber business. The acoustics were so good there that no band ever had to use amps taller than their knees. It was also cool because you could park on stage with the band, as you'll see in the second video. Yes, it was there, at the loading dock that I saw some of the sweetest shows in metal history. Luckily, these days EVERYTHING is on YouTube. Thank god for the internets.