Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Have mercy on the Devil, He's a friend of mine...

Hip hop is certainly misunderstood and often poorly represented, but no other genre elicits a yucky face more than Metal, unless you are a self-proclaimed "metal head." Metal is like shrimp, y'all: You've got your Goth Metal, Glam Metal, Grunge Metal, Grindcore, New Metal, Thrash Metal, Power Metal, Groove Metal, Speed Metal, Hair Metal, and Stoner Metal. Fuck, there is even something called Folk Metal! (Here, for your listening...something, is Skyforger. I admit, I kinda love it.)

And this doesn't even begin to cover all of the fusion genres: Crustpunk, Grunge, Industrial, Christian Metal, Metalcore, Neo-Classical Metal, and Sludge Metal. Just like any other under-appreciated / overgeneralized genre, metal has its good and its bads.

Metal has also gone under an extreme transformation since it began in the 60s (or, at least, what would be the roots of metal began in the 60s). I mean, would we really call the "hair bands" metal nowadays? No, not really. Which is why they have their own subgenre. It isn't hard to find some amazing metal music now, but it is quite tough to shift through a lot of the shit. Everyone lays claim to the "metal" genre, but there are just as many definitions of that as there are bands. (But that's why we're here...)

I'm sorry, but Creed? SO NOT METAL. Limp Bizkit? Not only NOT METAL, but also sport the worst "weird spelling" (and I'm being nice here) of the word 'biscuit' that I've ever encountered. (Now if only Hanson would attempt it; then I would have a valid reason to initiate Operation Bloodrayne. Oh, it will be so beautiful...)


So, along with my metal-addicted husband, we have created two play lists. One is for those new to the "goat" and in need a little edu-macation, and the other is for the true metal fan that might be looking for some new listens.

So first up, let me present some of my picks for Metal 'Mersion. Disclaimer here: I will say that I am extremely picky about the metal music I listen to; for me, I need some kind of melody or strong note line to follow--not just endless chord pounding, although I do appreciate its unique nature--and I must have technical dexterity. I mean, we must admit that playing metal guitar is a lot like showing off; if you are going down that road anyway, you better fucking mean it, and you better be fucking good. Shred it.

This first play list is a small gathering of very easy-to-listen-to metal-type music--don't expect dragon slaying--but ultimately they are fantastic musicians and worthy of a listen.

Boo's Metal-Lite for the Weak-Kneed:

Dax Riggs (formerly of Acid Bath and a bajillion other projects)
check out: Living is Suicide, from We Only Sing of Blood or Love

Explosions in the Sky
check out: A Poor Man's Memory, from Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever

check out: Backlit, from Panopticon

Life of Agony
check out: Wicked Ways, from Broken Valley

Wolfmother (Oh yeah, I went there.)
check out: Joker & the Thief, from WolfMother

check out: Sirius, from The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw

check out: One, from ...And Justice For All (I know they are assholes now, but they weren't always, and this is truly an anthem. Those opening lines are just...fantastic. And then they kick your balls in with the build up. Ok, I'm done.)

Between the Buried and Me
check out: Prequel to the Sequel, from Colors (This is my local metal plug. Yay for NC metal boys! And a video to entice. Note the hilarious pop ups from the video's producer. And yes, this is a long ass song, but worth the ticket price--especially the 5:16 mark.)

And now over to the man---the one and only person that could possibly inhabit the same sphere as me for as long as he has--the oil in my truffle, the Trent to my Tori, the Sid to my Nancy; my man: the Mister....

Boo's Metal Husband posting here: Second playlist is for the tried and true, those whose blood is black, those who have seen Slayer on their Seasons in the Abyss tour and ingested a few thousand metal albums! Most of the music is listened to in my studio/woodworking shop and in transit, riding around in the crazy silver she-beast! Enjoy... and please clean up after yourselves.

The Sword: Age of Winters (Kemado Records) evokes the true essence of Black Sabbath, check out "Winters Wolves." Ouch! Listen for the howling... and watch for them on tour with Clutch!

Torche: Meanderthal (Hydrahead Records) This stuff crushes, like Foo Fighters wrestling with Isis. The songs are all over the place but every one is good.

Neurosis: Through Silver in Blood (Relapse Records) and Given to the Rising (Neurot Recordings) these guys are everpresent and constantly revolving in my life... Given is the next step in the hallowed library of music that Neurosis has created and bestowed upon humanity.

The Melvins: Houdini ( Atlantic. 1993) The true alternative are touring again... these muthafukas are badass! And the drumming is phenom... thanks Dale.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: new and old, Lie Down In the Light, The Letting Go and I See a Darkness
this man helps to balance all of the seething metal oozing through my veins... this may not be heavy, but it is really fucking heavy!

Acid Bath: Pagan Terrorism Tactics (Rotten Records) You must know all the lyrics of this sick sick sick album for it to work on you! Dax Riggs and Sammy St. Pierre Duet slay with their interlacing vocals.

This playlist is always evolving.... and always heavy.

I wish I was born 20 years earlier... ahhhhh, consumed by distortion. Now back to Boo...

Alright people: Disperse and destroy. Never surrender. And most importantly...

Throw 'em the goat.


Jez said...

Great stuff. I only recognized one song, so I must be really out of the metal genre. There was a time in the 80's that I think I had heard about every metal band, from the poppy ones to the ones on really minor labels.

My favorite Sabbath stuff is with Ronnie James Dio. Songs like "Heaven and Hell" and "Sign of the Southern Cross" are my favorites.

Anonymous said...

Dude, Dio is awesome. My hubs has the entire Dio/Sabbath collection.

Also, we watched the Pick of Destiny the other night, with an awesome Dio cameo. It was sweet.

TK said...

Worthwhile additions (some of which I've mentioned before):

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
The Hope Conspiracy (more hardcore than metal, but still. Plus, they're local boys!)
He Is Legend
Norma Jean
Dillinger Escape Plan

And I'll forever believe that Metallica's best two songs are Damage, Inc., and The Four Horsemen.

This post fuckin' rocked.

Anonymous said...

LOVE some DEP--I haven't heard the others, although Metal Hubs might have. I'll definitely check it out.

thejodester said...

Finnish folk metal about drinking mead in the woods -- Korpiklaani. I'm told they have some hilarious vidoes, probably available on youtube. Check it out!

Also, a key addition to the must-listen list: Sepultura. Arise and Chaos A.D. are excellent albums to start with.

Anonymous said...

Sepultura is an excellent addition.

The folk metal just kills me. The Skyforger guys are from Latvia--they are the BIGGEST thing coming out of Latvia, too, and people idolize them! They have these great street-playing videos on the youtube, so it is also worth a search. Acoustic folk metal. Ha! I love it.

Andrew Miskowiec said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

I'm trying to headbang while I read this post, and it's giving me a headache.

Being metal is hard!

I don't know anything about metal, but I'll drop a little \m/ and thank you for the new music recommendations. :)

Sarina said...

I've never heard some of these! I am off to procure them all. Also, I totally agree with you about Metallica's old stuff being excellent, despite their rampant asshattery nowadays.

prisco said...

I like Dragonforce, but that's me and most of the junior high school/Guitar Queer-o clan. It's worth beating the game to jam to Through the Fire and the Flames.

Try The Casting Out. It's some of the dudes from Boy Sets Fire (which is so angry and full of pain, Inner Child Boo will actually burst into purple fire). Good times.

Felicia said...

Good lord don't ever mention Creed in a post again! If I ever jumped off a bridge, they would be the sole reason.

Anonymous said...

you forgot the prog metal ;)
oh and Dethklock!!! duh!

Anonymous said...

David: Well, thank you for reading. And commenting. I really DO have friends! :)

Sarina: Sweet. Another convert.

Prisco: ooh, great suggestions! I haven't heard several of those.

Felicia: Done.

Anonymous: Between the Buried and Me is prog.

Oh god, I have SO MUCH LOVE for Mastodon. They rock--I didn't forget them; I'm saving them for another post. (Stupid fan girl moment: I'm friends with Braunn's dad! He's a cool mf'er.)

As much as I love them, Tool seemed a bit too obvious for introducing people to new music. I mean, EVERYONE loves Tool.

Dethklok works! Thanks for the suggestion. :)

Anonymous said...

ok fair warning i love extreme metal (death/black/grind) so my list is more for seasoned listeners.
dissection- storm of the lights bane
incantation- onward to golgotha
morbid angel- covenant
death- symbolic
napalm death- scum
that pretty much covers the early years of death/black metal and grind. the next list is gonna be bands that in my opinion are the best metal bands out now. I'm not listing btbam or dillinger because i already saw them mentioned.
pig destroyer- phantom limb
dawn of azazel- sedition
crytopsy- whisper supremacy
crowpath- sons of sulpher
rune- the end of nothing
immortal-sons of northern darkness
gorguts- obscura
that's it. now everyone knows what a giant metal nerd i am. also the only band on here i recomend for people who hate metal is immortal because they're so damn catchy.

MelodyLane said...

Boo, speaking of the Tool, have you heard any of Maynard's new pet project, Pusifer? (I think I spelled it wrong.)

It is some weird and seriously out there stuff.

Metallica should be embarassed at what they have become. "Seek and Destroy" is my favorite of the old stuff.

Anonymous said...

Melodylane, I am definitely digging Puscifer, but I am also of the mindset that Maynard can do no wrong. NONE.

Metallica should be embarrassed about a lot of things, but first and foremost that Lars is still the drummer. God AWFUL.

schrome said...

Explosions in the Sky are one of my favorite bands and i think they are vastly underrated because they are instrumental.

Anonymous said...

schrome-- agreed! They are amazing, and if you like them, you should check out the Japanese band Mono. Amazing ambient, layered, building instrumentals.

Damn, I may have to do a post just for them.... :)

Ervie said...

I listened to a few of these songs and I thought the mice were revolting in the walls! Turns out it was just my squeeky oscillating fan...

MelodyLane said...

Maynard can do no wrong. Have you caught the live performance of "Muhammed my friend" with Tori Amos? It is stellar. Tori kind of overpowers Maynard at one point, but still, it is very cool. Here is the link.

My "people I most want to meet" list has both Maynard and Trent at the top.

The death knell of Metallica was "Some Kind of Monster" the "documentary" in which they whined for 2 hours about how life is so hard and it is difficult being famous and wah, wah, wah.

Anonymous said...

melodylane: I fucking LOVE Maynard and Tori together. And Trent and Tori. :)

I think the Metallica documentary was like the obit. They had been on a long, dreary descent since 1994...