Monday, December 5, 2011

Zeni Geva on Soundcloud


Here's a Soundcloud page containing a live recording of Zeni Geva's "Alienation," from their 2010 cd Alive and Rising.

I've loved ZG since my friend Edweird introduced me to them when we played in Porkfist together, many years back. "Alienation" is the first track on ZG's 11th album, 1995's Freedom Bondage.

If you compare the live version of "Alienation" I linked to above with the album version, you'll notice different drumming styles. That's because ZG's brought on Ruins' drummer Tatsuya Yoshida in the last few years. The  dude can play drums like such a crazy, methodical motherfucker that he'll either confuse the fuck out of you or blow your mind straight outta the water. I like TY's drumming better than the album version's drummer's drumming.

Search for Ruins or Tatsuya Yoshida on YouTube if you want to see some freakyass, talented, and mathy percussion.

Search for Zeni Geva to rock. I recommend the albums Desire for Agony and Freedom Bondage.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My too most appreciated Too Dark Park songs

Skinny Puppy's Too Dark Park (1990) had a profound impact on me in my developing years. Here are the album's two songs I enjoy most.

Neither are singles. ...which means I'm cool.


Movement crosses crimson light
Washes darkened corners gently
Forces open wide and lingering a while
Pouring thoughts electric fingers
Blinding pressure sockets stream
Matter grey the nerve free fall
Safely buried out behind a face
Let it out
Be careful watching living masks misshapen
Tumors ride the pressing tinted nightmare breeze
"Morpheus Laughing"

Album version:

An extreme solution
No fossil fuels mimicking exhaust rattles
A madman's vast, direct, iron-grooved world
Primary state average distance closer to the sun
Draws a comet nearer to a complex destruction
The well-established greed and pain inflicted on the animal model
Still nothing no cure
The ravaged instincts' silent waking to a chemical perversion
Wartime underground
Imperfect plotting grows the seeds of time
Imperfect plotting grows the seeds of time
2010 live version:

2009 live version:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Spotify has taught me today

Drake and Gym Class Heroes are annoying and they suck.

victim of modern production
Florence should slow down her vocals in the song Bedroom Hymns. Let a measure or two run by without any singing. It sounds rushed--like the song began as a slow-building piece, and her producer told her to speed it up to make it more poppy, more radio length. Cool song, though. I like how it's sorta gospel, sorta roots blues.

But then when I read myself describe those styles together as something cool, I hate myself. It sounds exactly like what those douchebag Rolling Stone music reviewers say to make all this new crap sound interesting.
Somebody likes these guys?

I talked to an adviser yesterday at skool and she said that all her friends make fun of her when she wants to listen to some Justin Beiber cause Spotify posts what you listen to on Facebook. But I can understand wanting to put some Beibs once in a while.

...but musically?
Lady Gaga is pretty annoying. She's better at visuals than audials.

Little Wayne can actually make some pretty chill grooves. This surprises me. I'm listening to She Will. Holy crap this song is dirty. Okay. My mind is blowing out my ears right now--not that LW is great, but that I'm enjoying letting him get me into his groove. Hate the lyrics, mostly. And I'll never listen to it again, because he's a spoiled brat of a motherfucker.
For idiots

Laconist is brutal and decrepit and I enjoy it.

The good music (for whatever taste you have) is out there, but you have to search for it. Sure, Spotify loves to throw music at you without you having to search, and that's a good thing. But it's not good music--it's just POPULAR music. Big difference.
More my style

Want to know the difference? Here ya go:
POPULAR music is for idiots
GOOD music is not popular
(definitions of terms "popular" and "good" may vary)

Yes I suppose I do like to set myself apart from the crowd. But it's only because the crowd holds nothing I want.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Judas Priest's "Diamonds and Rust" - an analysis

I wrote all this without doing my research and realizing Diamonds and Rust is a Joan Baez song. Fuck. Dammit! Sorry. 

I'm not taking the post down. Her version of the song is awesome too. I've gotta give her credit--those lyrics are so awesome, they can be conveyed thru her or Halford.

But in all the parts where I credit the lyrics to Halford's writing ability, just... ugh, aaahh, realize I didn't know what I was talking about.

Okay, on the same day, two friends recently told me they went to see Judas Priest on their Seattle tour stop. It got me thinking, I should immediately start becoming familiar with this band; the time is long past. They won't be around forever.

I discovered the song Diamonds and Rust when Spotifying them. This is now my favorite Priest song. Here it is from YouTube.

When I watched this video and read the lyrics along with it, even though I'd listened to the song three times since last night, I immediately started getting misty. It brought up many memories. I began thinking about the possibility of an old friend calling me up, and me having to turn him away, because our memories together are too painful. They represent a time in my life when I was not proud of myself. A time I'd rather not relive. And of the pain of having to turn away a doe-eyed, old friend.

That's probably not even what he meant when he wrote the song, but that's what it made me feel. It's my unfiltered interpretation of it, one of them anyway. That's what artists want you to do with their art, right? To let it lead to you an immense feeling, whether or not it's strictly their aim when creating and publishing it, is always most attractive to me. It's an approach I leaned from watching Lynch, who explains almost nothing in his massively affecting stories.

We both know what memories can bring, they bring diamonds and rust. Diamonds, diamonds and rust.

In short, Diamonds' lyrical theme is instantly relatable. Halford doesn't sing above you, he sings with you. Yet, somehow, he is elevated to a king's status by his choice of words. By my impression of this song alone (and that badass new one Judas Rising), Halford does exist on a higher plane. He's full of some kind of fantastical energy.

He's is a lyrical genius. A showman. A metal master: metal was not good enough for him, so he had to take it as a lump of clay in his hands, his eyes burning with fire, and shape it, vocally, the way he wanted.

Look what he's become. Respected, globally recognized, gay, evil, wonderful, entertaining millions.

I'm sure he felt nervous when coming out to the world, but god bless him for it. He's made metal into a genre where prejudice doesn't matter. If you're metal, and honest, and brutal, you will be respected. And yes, I see Halford's style as brutal, even though he's not grunting like a barbarian. He rises above all that.

Now here's a version of Diamonds and Rust I found when YouTube searching to see if the song has a music video. (I'm still not sure.) I avoided hits like, "Diamonds and Rust Acoustic."

Though its title lacked the word "live" or "acoustic" in its description, the vid immediately below indeed turned out to be a live, acoustic version. I was hooked anyway, if for nothing else than for the way Rob enters the stage from the side, walking reflectively, his focus within himself and yet totally with the crowd, looking totally metal in his leather coat and studs, singing the tune perfectly, with palpable feeling in his voice, totally at peace with himself. Like a master opera singer.

I love his fuckin shaved, tattooed head and big ass goatee.

One of metal's few ruling kings. Thank god for you, Halford.

Now here's a version that blows both of them away just for sheer excitement and metal capability. The song comes from a live album, recorded in 1979, Tokyo. In their early, rougher days. The album version does not do this live version justice, even without the vocal harmonies.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Funeral Age, Gravenloch, Blood Etchings at the 2 Bit, 11.10.28

So last night Justin, Shannon and I attended a black metal show at the 2 Bit Saloon in Ballard. It was fuckin awesome. I rocked out like I haven't in a long time.

The lineup was Blood Etchings, Gravenloch, Funeral Age, Scorched Earth, and Ceremonial Castings.

Funeral Age was the coolest. Justin and I got physical with a couple of them. We didn't start it! The bassist did! He grabbed my arm, pushed me back into the crowd, making his war face, carrying his bass the whole time, chest puffed out, head high, just before they played their first song. Thus the evening's tone was set.

It was brutal. I was waving my hair and making fists all over the place. The music was perfect--black metal. Fast. Crazy. Madness- and middle finger-inspiring. There were plenty of other metal people around there making lots of metal hand shapes, like the devil horn, the middle finger, the holding-a-ball-of-fire hand, the come-on-come-on-come-on finger wavings, and who can forget the standard fist in the air. I was getting tossed around, but I held my ground, didn't fight back, much, stood there and let myself get tossed around. Never fell, but came close a few times.

After that first song Justin and I took our coats off, along with the bassist (who happened to be a fill-in), and put them up on a bar-bench thing on the side of the stage, and proceeded to spend the rest of the set butting heads into chests and other heads, shaking my hair around wildly, getting some of it caught and ripped between spikes and guitars or something, busting metal moves, high kicks and somersaults, not really, and basically keeping the metal flow going from band to audience and back and forth.

It was most fun getting my jaw poked by the headstock of the frontman's guitar, and generally all the physical interacting. It was pure metal love. The three guitarists set up on the floor in front of the stage, letting the drummer fill up most of the tiny stage with his massive badass kit. Band was free to mingle with crowd. Having them walk out into the crowd to get a little rowdy while playing their crazy metal. It was always welcome. Fun stuff. Really macho, sort of. Really cathartic.

Haven't had that fun a time at a show, or anywhere, in a good few months. Years, even. I want to go back to the 2 Bit for a metal show again sometime soon.

Gravenloch was super sweet. Fast as hell. They appear to have lost a singer--I checked their MySpace and a live video shows them playing live with one. I like them better sans the vocalist, as I saw them last night. The rhythm guitar player was singing, sweating bullets, soaked in it, beard and long hair and all, with his octupus-painted guitar, playing fucking solos and rhythms really fast and doing sweet, low ass death metal doom growls.

Lots of times, all three guitarists would be doing death metal growls at once. It was a HUGE sound, combined with the two guitars, bass and drums.

I'm so glad I brought earplugs.

Incidentally, the vocalist has a shaved head--losing him make Gravenloch a long-hair-only band.

Justin and I may have recruited a few people to do bass or drums for Born Without Blood. We handed out flyers, sold ourselves to people we thought kicked ass and whom we wanted all for ourselves. To devour. I mean, to induct them into BWB.

The evening began with Blood Etchings. They were totally into the theater aspect of black metal. Blood splattered everywhere. Corpse paint. Fucking skulls, candles, ornaments, blood-soaked ornaments, blood-soaked bone necklaces, a tall guy in a robe playing both keys and bass guitar, Wolves in the Throne Room-type long passages of cool dreamy-ish black metal.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

COM359 Assignment. -- Autobio

Musical Autobiography
Glenn Smith

Music hits me hard and sweetly. Its place in my heart is located deep within. Music has gotten me through some of the tougher times in my life, and I have come to appreciate it as a powerful force. It has altered my entire way of thinking, not the least in how I can never get some form of music out of my head. Ever-present and looming, music guides and protects me. The right music, anyway.

Given this gravity of potential and purpose I have bestowed, by sober choice, upon the thing that is music, I have high standards for those pieces of the form I consider worthwhile. I view music from a musician's perspective, with a critical ear. It's a practice most people cannot stand, I've found.

Criticisms come to mind first when hearing new music. How could it be better? Was it written and performed from a place of integrity? Is it relevant to the entire canon of recorded music, and additionally to the current climate of musical evolution? Is it a rehashed version of a tried and true formula? If so, is that reason to be made nauseous, or is it tolerable, with possibly a few strands of newness mixed in with the rehashed drivel? Is it truly new, and if so, is it exciting? Is it worth studying? Is it worth buying? My critical ear brings me pleasure--it sets me apart from the masses who, it seems to me, blindly consume whatever is the newest shit that's thrown in front of them.

Guitar playing is a big part of my life as well; it helped me formulate my conception of what music is capable of. I've not gone one week without playing since I began, and my skill has noticeably improved--it was the learning of Megadeth and Metallica songs that pushed me over the edge into total playing confidence. A minority of guitarists out there can play that shit, and it makes me proud that I've put in the time and energy to be able to. Without my knowledge of how songs are put together by first being written on guitar (or whatever instrument), and then fleshed out with accompanying instruments, and the skill it takes, I never would have developed my critical ear, or my playing skill.

Uncle Brad gave me my first guitar at age 13. It was an electric guitar, a Teisco; older than sin and stiff then. Not many people recognize that brand anymore; it's a relic. It helped me learn the ropes. It still exists to this day, older and stiffer, sitting untouched on a guitar stand in a cousin's room in Bellingham. At age 14, my parents upgraded me to a newer, shinier, black and white electric Peavey guitar and a sweet, loud-ass practice amp. Since age 16 I've been writing my own material; at 19 I'd written my first song on acoustic guitar.

There are a few things I want to do before I die. One is to lead a successful band that plays big shows to large crowds. This band will be my own, where I write and control everything. At my back will be a huge orchestra at my disposal. They'll sit at the back of the stage, behind the main sextet--three guitarist/singers, a keyboardist, drummer, and a bassist.

With three guitars I can have two of them always doing dueling harmony lines, and one filling in with power chords, which the bass will mime. Maybe the keyboardist will be unnecessary. Perhaps I can just have a pianist in the orchestra. We're a quintet, everyone! Now we're a quintet. (my imaginary backstage crew grumbles)

My music will be like that of the composer character in Atlas Shrugged, Richard Halley. It will make my  concertgoers feel the highest, most noble emotion there is to be felt. The only difference between Halley and I will be that, when the crowd cheers for me after my grand symphony, and I'm standing there center stage, soaking it in, I won't see through them; I won't be unmoved; I will love them back.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fear Factory -- Fear Campaign (2010) video

Not sucky modern metal. My heavenly underlord, the two cooler Fear Factory dudes kicked out the other two and got twice as heavy as anything on Digimortal.

I won't try to post the video here and take Metal Injection's hits away from them.

Not sucky modern metal.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I, uh.... Neil Young, Le Noise review?

Retaining Metalhood Through Dadhood: I, uh.... Neil Young, Le Noise review?: Basically I've had a Neil Young type of morning. His album Le Noise was in my stereo when I pushed play this morning, for to have the ac...

Monday, September 26, 2011

ULoops, Born Without Blood update

So I've downloaded this program called ULoops for my Android smart phone. It's a digital music creation program. Basically you can take from all these instrument sounds and layer them and tell them when to play and what notes and there's lots of fun things you can do.

The full version is $10. Not an incredibly expensive thing. The free version I'm currently using has many limitations. One great aspect of the program is that it will publish your song as an mp3 and send it to your email. Fucking cool! And there are lots of options about how private you want it to be too. However, the free version only allows one publishing per every 6 hours. Lame.

My favorite thing to do is make drum lines. There are lots of drum sounds to choose from, even in the free version. It's beautiful. Another free version limitation--you can only make 6 loops per song! You can have them repeat in any order up to probably a million minutes, but you can't make a song with more than 6 different measures.

So I was thinking--hmm hmm I'm getting devious here--what if I made sections of my songs on ULoops,  uploaded them to SONAR, put them sequentially in order, and ... made a whole song out of many sections of songs? Oh man that would be so annoying.


Someone tell me what a good program to do that with is. I'm looking to get the best one out there. You know, make a tiny investment in a good thing, instead of paying less for a crappy thing. Is Fruity Loops still a thing these days?

Here's my band's YouTube page. Check it out. We're both starting school this week, for the first time in many years for both of us, so don't expect too many new updates. We're gonna go down to a once-a-week jamming schedule now, which is sad cause, as of the past couple months, we've been jamming almost every other day. We've written almost a whole album's worth of songs. It's really brutal!

Maybe since we're not playing and writing so much now, and we've been recording almost all of our jams every time we get together, we can put some more of that stuff up on YouTube and make a MySpace site and stuff...

So far we've got two Facebook, one Twitter page, and a Gmail account for our band. We've been making ads that are on The Stranger.

That's about it. Today we're gonna try to schlep it to the drum school and put up some flyers and see what's what with the place. Then I'm gonna go to UW's campus and try to figure out where my classes are going to be. Wednesday is the first day of classes.

Well, that's it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

God's Will

‎"My God's will becomes me. When he speaks, he speaks thru me. He has needs like I do. We both want to rape you."

"I got bitches in the livin room gettin in on and they ain't leavin till 6 in the mo'nin"

"Within lies the story of our decay"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Witchcurse: Still Evil review

New wave of British heavy metal, indeed. 
Last May, Witchcurse released an EP entitled Still Evil. It's got two songs, "I'm No Fool," and "Way of Life."

Witchcurse embodies the NWOBHM sound unabashedly, and they don't do too bad at it either. It could be really bad--they could have made it really corny--but the instrumentation is really good. The guitarists are awesome, whipping out lots of solos and single-string harmonies without caking on the distortion. They bring out some really cool Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, and Black Sabbath-style rhythms.

The drums and the vocals are cool, too. This album totally could have been released twenty or thirty years ago and it would have sounded right in place with the direction metal was going back then. I recommend this EP to all fans of the old school metal sound. It's not anything near death metal, or emo metal, but has a lot in common with thrash metal with the awesome solos. And thrash metal takes a lot from the British new wave metal sound, so it makes sense.

Too often with modern metal, the vocals and the lead guitar are mixed way above the rest of the band. Not so here. Still Evil was mixed just the way I like it. No one instrument is dominant over another. Even when the solos are flailing, the rhythm guitar and bass are still audible. A good mix is integral to a good album. Properly done, the result sounds like a band working together. Still Evil has a true band-working-together sound.

The vocalist doesn't autotune or try to sound overly emotional, either. He's got a good singing voice, and he doesn't bother with screaming. Finally! It's pure. I'm a fan. This is good metal. It's not showboaty, but it's not played by amateurs, either. These guys know what they're doing, and they know what sound they want to achieve. It may seem a little boring to fans of more modern metals, but as we all know, modern metal sucks. And Still Evil sounds straight out of the 70's. This is metal that I can listen to when my wife and kids are hanging around, even though the album cover isn't family friendly at all.

Oh, and I love that album cover. Truly awesome. Black, white and red, with skulls, witch zombies, and a pair of titties.

Check out their MySpace page.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I'm still trying to figure out the second track (the first song). I have a feeling that when I do, I'll be really moved. I'm on the verge now.

I think I've got that riff figured out. But there's one thing that's stopping me. It's the mixing. I can't make out what the guitars are doing individually. There's too much gain, or fuzz, or something, possibly on one of the guitars, or the bass.

Track 3 is awesome. The bass is definitely clean here, and played well.

Just listened to most of the album without realizing it. Good stuff.

The new material sounds sweet, as well!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dave Mustaine Reveals New Megadeth Album Details | Rolling Stone Music

Dave Mustaine Reveals New Megadeth Album Details | Rolling Stone Music

Oh, Dave. You're so old now. I like you well-spoken. Someday I want to grow up to be as good at guitar as you.


I may be a metalhead, but --
I love The Beatles, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Journey, Neil Young, The Flaming Lips, Beck, Pink Floyd,  Simon and Garfunkle, Yes, etc.

You know, all that stuff hippies like. Except The Grateful Dead, Phish, and The String Cheese Incident annoy the piss out of me. And low-rent blues music is like razors in my ears.

I love my vinyl, too.

I'm listening to Let It Be, all the way through, for the first time. It's kinda douchey, but it's also mostly awesome. I can get down with some of this blues stuff.

Some Indie/emo stuff also hits me the right way: Low, Shellac, A Perfect Circle, The Mars Volta, The Stone Roses, Trans Am, Slint, Shipping News, June of 44, Sonic Youth, Blonde Redhead, Sunny Day Real Estate, Radiohead, Norman Schwarzkopf.

Well, hell, glam rock and industrial pretty much rules, too: Skinny Puppy, Foetus, Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Marilyn Manson, Adam and the Ants, Brian Eno, Slade.

It's all good.

I won't go into all the metal I like. Not yet.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Metal vocalists are starting to piss me off.

There are way too many metal bands out there who mix the vocals way above the rest of the instruments, which is a travesty. When are metal producers going to learn that mixing metal the same way as pop music does not work for the genre? People who listen to metal love to get pissed, but it's like whoever mixes the music thinks the listeners don't care about guitars as much as drums and vocals. Pop music rides on the vocals--the instrumentation is not meant to be noticed, cause some guy was brought in and paid to put music, which is secondary, underneath the vocals, which showcase the talented performer. That's fine. But with metal, you can't even understand what the motherfuckers are saying half the time. Metal guitars are also hella distorted, and the pitches can't be made out if other instruments, like vocals or drums, are drowning them out. The obvious solution is to mix the vocals WITH the music, not ABOVE the music. There's not enough emphasis on guitars and bass in modern metal. Fuck vocalists if they think they're more important than the rest of the band. Without instrumentalists, vocalists who can't play any instruments would be nothing. And you know that the vast majority of people out there who think they're vocalists don't play any instruments. And don't tell me that vocals are as demanding of an instrument to play as something that doesn't come naturally out of your body. It just doesn't happen that way. Guitars and drums take real talent. Anybody can sing. And even if you can't there's autotune! Just ask every modern pop singer.

Here's a metal song that mixes the vocals with the music. The song isn't spectacular, but you can hear the pitch of the guitars and bass along with the vocals and drums.

Another thing. When are metal vocalists going to learn to not do the same type of screaming and growling as every other metal band out there? Screaming is great for expressing a lot of anger, but if you do nothing but scream through every song, it gets old really quick. Yet, it's what most metal vocalists rely on. Max Cavalera did it well; hardly anyone else does. Phil Anselmo was a great vocalist in his time because he could scream, sing, and go many places in between, and through it all, his unique voice shined through. No one else sounds quite like he used to. Yeah, I get it, you're pissed, modern metal vocalist. Now take me somewhere else. What you're doing has been beaten to death.

And oh my god, metal lyricists, get educated. For serious. You get off on nothing but complaining about how sad you are. Get murderous. Your lyrics are stupid; easily seen through; corny, and relying on XXX. Metal is not emo, nor should the two genres come close to mixing. I would say that emo metal is good for teenagers, but that's bullshit. When I was a teenager, and even younger, Megadeth and Metallica were the best for me. It's still that way. Any vocal style Robert Smith ever did should stay the hell out of metal. However, metal should definitely require singing. I'd love to hear Chris Cornell vocals along with some really metal shit. Or a voice with the quality of Maynard James Keenan's, right on top of some crusty, angry metal. Chino Moreno should be held as the gold standard for pop/metal vocals. He can add RSmith-style vocals to his band's hip hop-influenced metal and it sounds awesome; however, Deftones aren't metal. We need to address the stylings of more underground metal acts and bring some talent up from the bottom of the pool.

Let me also say that it takes one to know one. It's easy to judge a book by its cover. What seems emo and crappy isn't always such. Take that band whose video I posted above--Truth Corroded. Sounds like a corny name, right? But how many times in your life, be it from personal experience, or watching political events unfold on the news, have you seen the truth corroded? It's not such an alien concept. That's why I think Truth Corroded is a 70% good band name. To me, it's a better song title. A band name should sum up what you want to do about truth corrosion, not to focus on only that. That's a dead end street. There's nowhere to go from there. The album title is fucking terrible, though.

The band name Tool is sort of perfect. To me. They named themselves that because they want to be a tool for better understanding on the part of the listener, and possibly, the whole world. Ambitious. Easy to make fun of. Tool is good at making themselves vulnerable, easy to make fun of, but when you put aside your prejudices, their prog will take you to new heights. But Tool is not metal; they're prog with a 30% dollop of metal on top. Soundgarden and Deftones, as band names, are along the same lines as Tool. At least they're not totally corny like TRUTH CORRODED.

I'm gonna name my band Calculator. It'll be mathy, a bit robotic, calculated, tight, and offer solutions that are free of prejudice and the general malaise of the uneducated and uninspired. My band will span many genres. I will span black metal, thrash metal, heavy rock, and pop rock. But basically it's gonna rock.

Another project of mine is Ravenna Tremors. I've got one song written for the project. It's a punk band. Ravenna is a district here in Seattle. There's a punk scene here that not many people know about. Check the bar Gallway Arms on any show night to see what I mean. I personally love the name I picked.

Metal is all about strength and self empowerment. It's hard not to overdo it. Choice of words is very important. A delicate balance must be struck--anger, vengeance, and evil, mixed with a solution to the problem, humanness, and a dedication to love.

Unless you're Cannibal Corpse.

Saturday, June 25, 2011



This is a link to the new Anthrax song, "Fight 'Em Till You Can't"

Anthrax are true old school metallers. I'm glad that nothing sucks about this song. Fast, brutal, and lyrically concerning zombies. Badass. Great guitar, drum and vocal work.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

YouTube - Unsilent Death by Nails

YouTube - Unsilent Death by Nails

Oh yeah. Fuckin metal. The other tracks on this album are much faster and harder to make out. Beware.

Noise. Grind. Metal. Fierce. Badass. As Southern Lord Records always says, "Maximum Volume Yields Maximum Results"

Monday, May 30, 2011

IS TROPICAL | THE GREEKS (Metal video to an immetal song)


A friend on Facebook said, when I posted this vid, that this is the most accurate depiction of what goes on in a kid's mind. Basically.

At first I thought that he was a little off, that this video goes overboard, since the violence is brutally and salaciously glorified.

But I think what really happened is that the director had the effect he wanted on me--the violence repulsed me, because it was committed by and against children.

But then I realized I was being a douche bag, and that the violence is all animated, and no, it doesn't lead to a lack of character on the part of the kids, the band, or the video makers. This is what kids are pretending to do when they play guns.

It is accurate. And plus, it owns. Brutality reigns in this video. The musical style is definitely not metal, but we won't hold that against them, cause the song goes perfectly with the video. Somehow.

Metal. (reload the page often to refresh image...very cool)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

LA Noir, Low, Inverta -- I dub thee METAL

Gonna take my pregnant woman (42 weeks and contracting--wooooo!!) and my girl Lucy to Best Buy and get LA Noir. It's gonna be totally metal.

I'm also gonna look for the new Low album. Also totally metal.

Lastly, I found this band today on MySpace. So if you click that link be prepared to load a super slow MySpace band page. I think the first song, the only one I listened to, is instrumental because they're looking for a singer. I might be wrong. Anyway, don't they sound like Tool from the AEnema/Undertow days? More modern, of course. I kinda like em. They're named Inverta.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

YouTube - Transformers 3 : Dark of the Moon - Official Trailer 2 [HD]

YouTube - Transformers 3 : Dark of the Moon - Official Trailer 2 [HD]

The best thing about this preview is the music. The movie could be the best of all three, but that's beside the point. The music to this trailer is really cool. I could see it in a metal format really easily.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Deathspell Omega--Chaining the Katechon

I feel as though I can't even talk about Deathspell Omega. They're so fucking crazy, awesome, unflinchingly and sorrowfully all black metal. Dissonant beyond dissonance, yet retaining melody.

I'm listening to Chaining the Katechon (2008). One 22-minute song. Starts as if it was in the middle of an extreme black metal song. No intro. Full on nutbars right at the get-go. Guitars full of distortion, scraping- the-dungeon-walls vocals, drums hitting maddening  rhythms I can't begin to comprehend.

The weirder it is, the more I'm interested. This hits the nail on the head. Those French posturers. Those pretentious black metal elitists.

How dare they tempt me so. They manifest my desire for weirdness with their ultra-weird music, something few other bands aspire to do.

They use a lot of techniques and sounds that other black metal bands don't. The sound varies, differs, stays interesting, fresh. Terrifying, even. It's recorded well, too, with emphasis on a lovely mixture of all sounds. Nothing is too loud, nothing is too distorted. The music swells, quells, and loops over mountains of suffering. It's not so heavy that it's stupid and you scoff at it. They kick off half the distortion sometimes and totally change up the feel of what they're doing.

They probably could have made this piece many songs, but then that would require less attention from the listener. Deathspell demands your attention, or they can just as well leave you behind. They do nothing to draw in the casual listener; they do everything to draw in the avant garde listener.

Elitists. How I love Deathspell.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

Read about it here at Wikipedia if my synopsis is less than your prog dork mind wants to envelop regarding these four dudes. Because if you're reading this, you probably recognize their names as belonging to four of the dudes in Yes, sans the bassist, during their greatest period. This lineup put out the four Yes albums that I have--Close to the Edge, Fragile, Tormato, and Tales from Topographic Oceans.

Edge and Fragile are easily the best of those four works, the former being less accessible, the later being more rock oriented. Both are sweet, weird prog rock albums that rely more on musical innovation and technical ability than lots of distortion and typical rock song formats. They've become two of my favorite vinyls to listen to.

So I pick up this used cd of ABWH, not knowing what to expect. And goddam, it's crazy. It's really 80's, and annoyingly so. But by track 6, they're doing some cool jazz-infused jamming... ugh, then it starts sounding like it could be Jimmy Buffet or some such drivel.

It certainly was a find. I think I'll like it during the next listen. I don't know when I'm ever going to have the patience to listen to the whole thing all the way thru. Lots of it is just too happy for me. I'll grumblingly admit that it is very family-friendly, if it ever comes to that.

The album was released in '89. The Yes lineup had already gone thru extensive changes. So there was Yes, and then there was ABWH, both wanting to play Yes songs, and both, in my mind, having the right to. And get this--the NEW Yes sued the OLD Yes (ABWH) to keep all mentions of Yes off their promo releases! Fucked up!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Waltari discovery

YouTube - Waltari: In The Cradle

I had no idea about this band until I saw the review from Avant Garde Metal. The video is really awesome. I love that singer. He's got acting talent as well as vocal, and stage presence. Reminds me of Marilyn Manson quite a bit--sometimes it's flinchingly corny and goth, and the musicianship isn't so spectacular. But it's really cool how the song flows, and the middle path has a pretty cool metal riff and the backing band really shines. The singer really does a good job of keeping you interested the whole way through.

One way he's better than Manson is that he's singing well. His voice isn't all coked out. Yeah, I said it, Manson. You crazy fuck.

My favorite part of the Cradle video is when he looks back at her, like, "Aren't you coming?" I won't say much more. It comes at the end of the video. He acts with his facial expressions, and it's pretty hilarious. He's a real character, this singer guy. I really like him. He does very well at creating moods.

This is good modern metal. I would definitely put it somewhere between industrial metal and metal. It's pretty rockin. Pretty driving throughout. Good stuff.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Meshuggah - Catch Thirty-Three

Explorers of New Metal Ground

Alright, I usually don't like all-screaming vocals, but this band really does it for me.

For one thing, he's not screaming all the way through every song. Oftentimes he just lets the band do its thing, sometimes for several minutes at a time. I can imagine him onstage, feeling the energy of the crowd, the band, and just waiting for that chance for his part to come up, building up that energy, walking the stage, feeling his own inner zen, being at peace among the heaviness and the fellow math metal bretheren, and when he does finally release his screams, he's had time to build it up and concentrate and make it sound awesome.

He's also really just about using his voice as an instrument, rather than a way to make you feel sorry for him. There's no angst in his vocals. No childishness. No room for love. He stares death in the face and feels the fear of the images his band's metal conjures.

And the guitars.... oh my god. On Catch, the two guitarists are playing custom-built, Ibanez 8-string guitars. The band's very informative Wikipedia page contains a quote from one of the guitarists where he says that trying to play power chords on one of those 8-string beasts sounds too mushy. It makes sense. You ever try to play a low power chord on a bass guitar? It sounds like shit, unless you really know what you're doing and have a good sound. That's why all the riffs on Catch are single-string riffs, similar to bass lines. Somehow it's still ultra-metal and ultra-brutal. This album certainly conquers new ground in metal.

One feeling I get from this album is one of ... I dunno, a mechanical mechanation of some sort. Like the people making this music aren't human. Lots of metal, especially screamo metal, reminds me more of human weakness than strength..

The combination of two guitarists and a bassist playing those single-note lines, all the same, give those lines a big sound. A less discerning listener might think that the band is just one guitarist, a drummer and the vocalist. But that's cause all three of those Swedes are playing in exact unison. It's a sound you won't get with any other band. It's thick and mechanical and human. Meshuggah borrows from no one, except maybe Metallica, and every metal band must do this. It's in the rules.

Another important thing about this band--they almost never are playing in 4/4 time. It's beautiful. You have to remain open to suggestion with Meshuggah, cause you can never predict where they're gonna go. It's not really easy metal to follow, but it is easy to listen to. Because, somehow, you can bob your head to almost all of their riffs. Metal definitely needs a beat you can get behind, even if every rhythm is a polyrhythm. Somehow their drummer is so kickass that he can go along with these insane guitar lines, and yet make it head-bob-able.

Every song on Catch is a movement in the one song that comprises the whole album. Lots of tracks will change without you realizing it, unless you dutifully watch the track times, which is boring. It adds a prog element to the music. There are recurring themes and riffs that are heard all throughout the album, and yet there are still individual songs to pick out. Here is a video for one such song, "Shed." It comes near the end of the album. It's the epitome of badass. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Radiohead: The King of Limbs review

The new Radiohead album, King of Limbs, is a perfect example of a band stepping out on a limb.

Either that, or it's about a big giant tree. I can't tell. I don't want to exactly find out right away--the exploring of new Radiohead material, to find your own meaning in their weird music, is what I like most about the band: the exploration factor.

I'm not going to pretend that I know exactly what to feel about Limbs. I'm not crazy about the album, but I don't dislike it either. It's too advanced for me right now. It's hit me in an unexpected place. It's from a plane of existence I have not experienced yet. Something foreign. Alien, but from Earth. I want to listen to it more to find out what it's all about. You can probably find somewhere to stream it, if you look hard enough.

What I will not do is say something stupid, like, "I can't believe they'd betray their listeners like this." Additionally, I will not pass undue judgement on the album, as if I have any claim to it or know anything about the writing process the band went through to create it. I'll bet some of the band members were as apprehensive about putting this out as they were Kid A.

Artists must be able to put out what they want, when they want. We'll still eat it up with a spoon. We need new, interesting art, and artists need to be free to make whatever art they want, free of boundaries and gatekeepers and worries of how they might piss off their undeserving fans by creating art that doesn't sound similar to their previous work.

Many people really want to hate this album. I've heard one reviewer say that he wanted more sweeping, emotional moments on Limbs, like he found on In Rainbows. It seems like Radiohead were sick of giving people emotional, sweeping moments, and I don't blame them. It made them into rock stars, caught in the whirlwind of fame. It's made them jaded as hell, and who wouldn't be in that situation?

A friend of mine said, "I sure hope this is a joke album, and not the new Radiohead." Well, go cry over a cup of tea and How to Disappear Completely if you're so worked up about it. Let out those demons. Then realize that Yorke, Greenwood, Selway, O'Brian, and Greenwood don't have to do anything they don't want to; further, they must be allowed to fulfill themselves creatively. If Limbs is how they do that, then they must be respected for their choice. If not, they may just get too pissed at the world, say Fuck you, I'm leaving and you can't have any more of my sweet music, and we'd have to right to complain. Ever read Atlas Shrugged?

Radiohead choose not to dwell in the past; their fans should, too. I mean, come on, it's not like all their old classic albums are going to disappear completely. What many people will realize, after the smoke of Limbs' release clears, is that this album is an integral part of Radiohead's collection, and a natural following of their previous works. They're sick of fame anyway. They have been since OK Computer. They don't want to be big rock stars anymore; they just want to be themselves--weird, quirky, having fun, not worrying about critics.


I totally respect Radiohead for, once again, going out on a limb and creating music nobody expected them to create. We don't need more of the same, no matter how much we want it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Full disclosure

If I'm gonna title my blog the title I titled it, I should probably be talking about what metal doesn't suck, and why metal that came in the 70's and 80's was so much more badass than that which came about in the 90's (w/some exception) and happily ever thereafter until we stand here, at today.

Be ready to load some slowass MySpace pages.

This is good modern metal.

Just kidding.

This is good metal. (dunno how long this page will stay up, what with My_'s new copyright enforcement standards) The first two songs, anyway. That opening riff on The Thing That Should Not Be is brutal.

This is better metal. Megadeth stayed good throughout their career. Not as brutal and fast as they always were, but still metal, still carrying the torch. Never let it burn out, Dave.

Yep, you can't go wrong with the two M's. And that is installment 1 of
What, then, is good metal?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Justify Your Shitty Taste: Pantera’s “Power Metal” | Decibel Magazine

Justify Your Shitty Taste: Pantera’s “Power Metal” | Decibel Magazine

A good article. It's got all you need in an album review: not too short, not too long; got pics of the album and the band from that album's era in with the text, and a YouTube vid of a song from the album that you can play whilst you read.

I'm starting to like Decibel.

Friday, March 4, 2011


This is a track from the new Weedeater album Jason... the Dragon. Steve Albini-produced. Sounds fuckin awesome.

Here's a good review of the album.

Fantano's reviews are always good.

I haven't heard the album myself. But it looks like it rules.

Monday, February 28, 2011


I purchased Diamond Eyes on cd today. I'm pretty much thoroughly impressed with it, because of the singles, alone. You've Seen the Butcher is my favorite so far, but Diamond Eyes, Rocket Skates, and even Sextape, are really cool. Those songs alone are worth purchasing the album for. I've heard all these songs cause they've all got videos, already! And they're all awesome!

And... listen, I really sound like I'm advertising this band, like they paid me to do it or something, but... I'm just that into it. Ok? Yes, I'm that into Deftones. It's not juvenile! This album is really good. The production and the performances are top notch.

The style is at once new, and a revival of their past work, in just a few delicious parts. Too much old-style revival would not suit me so well. I'll openly admit I'm not a big fan of their first two albums anymore. There are good moments, but it's not anything I want to hear at this point in my life. I'm older, and they're older. Their maturity shows in their newer music. DE is romantic and beautiful without dolloping on lumps of sugar, and it's heavy and bracing and lovely, and doom, separately and all at once, all without devolving into cliche.

Ever since "White Pony", these motherfuckers can do no wrong. "Deftones" and "Saturday Night Wrist" are all awesome in my mind. But I think I'm into Diamond Eyes more than any of them, even "White Pony".

DE contains a lot of what made Type O Negative great, in my mind, believe it or not. It's the romance angle. The dark beauty of love and lust and sensuality. I'm listening to Beauty School right now; that's what's giving me this feeling. It's sort of ambient, but guitar-based. The vocals are beautiful. Chino's got this really fucking emotive voice that will bring you to tears and catch you off guard. It's almost as if he pulls one over on you, like, deceptively like.

One of my other favorite things on this album is the guitar work from Stephen Carpenter. I don't know if he's playing a 7-string guitar, or just tunes it down really far, but it's low as hell. And he's got this... sort of minimal thing going on...

Holy crap, Prince could totally have been on "Around the Fur", but it's better than most of the songs on ATF, (not My Own Summer (Shove It), tho, THAT SONG OWNS) Prince is structured like an ATF song, or two or three. Steph and Abe, those guys are the rhythm section that make this band rule. Chino along with them is perfect. Somehow they struck gold.

I'm glad they overcame the tensions of the SNW recordings. I'm glad they ditched "Eros" and decided to rerecord an entirely new album. You can tell the whole band had been through something real, with Chi getting in that car accident and entering a near-conscious state, where he still lies. In cases like these, you can't just put out something you're not completely proud of. In these cases it's time to lose all your walls, and all the bullshit and write from your heart.

And somehow, they made it poppy and metal at the same time. It's what they had to do to make what they needed to. Chino can still scream like a motherfucker, like a banshee from hell, even though he threw his voice out, five or so years ago. It's really awesome.

Rocket Skates. "You're red, soaking wet. I'll be right next to you." Dah-Dah-DAH-Dah-Dah-DAA" Need I say more? Okay, how about "GUUUUNS!! RAZOOOOORS!! KNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVES!! WHOOOO!!"


Sextape is quite beautiful. Lovely. The video accents it well.

One thing Deftones' videos have much of is skinny model-looking women. I always think that glamor models people have no place in music videos, and it always weirds me out. That's just me. I like art videos. I like a music video that pushes the boundaries of its medium and makes me feel something. Deftones' videos don't always achieve that.

But the video for You've Seen the Butcher, which has lots of "hot chicks" in it, it still is an amazing video. The women aren't doing anything indecent, and they do look hot. I love the shot of the woman in the chair, watching books fall slowly outside the dusty window, legs crossed, foot dangling there. And the blood... the blood. Makes me cry, all that blood. You've gotta watch it, you'll know what I mean. Go to their YouTube channel.

The last two songs on DE remind me of the way Billy Corgan ended Ava Adore, with the last four tracks. It's got the same vibe.

Keep in mind, if you ever give DE a thorough listen, that all the while the band performed every song on it, they had the near-loss of Chi to think about, or try not to think about. If that doesn't make a heavy album, I don't know what does. They sound like they took it hard and it's an appropriate album to deal with their pain. You can hear it, lying just underneath its porcelain skin.

My heart goes out to you gentlemen in Deftones. Nicely done. The new album is really moving.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tell Me About Your Feelings Metal

Bad poetry is really bad, but ...
(Read in a sort of Mike Myers from So I Married An Axe Murderer while he's onstage performing voice, mixed with hipster who likes Incubus, and also without a HINT of irony)

see me here
I sit here
here is where I sit
my plate had food on it once
but I ate it
hate it
spread it on my chest hair?
It was pie
and raspberry
a mix
and it would
Really Stain!
My Skin!

Check out Vogelkopf. Lo-fi, Australian black metal. Pigeon Hatred. seriously.

Let's search You Tube for Modern Metal and see what comes up. I'll bet it sucks.

Oh my god it's bad. It should be called Tell Me About Your Feelings Metal.

Here's some good metal. And it's modern.

And don't tell me this isn't metal. It's metal as hell.
Okay, you want drums and speed and heavy? ... Ok, hold on. Here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wide world of boring music

Musical lightweights duke it out

With the wealth of different, interesting, new material out there, readymade for quick consumption, it's surprising how many people don't want to explore new music. People really are made to live in their own small worlds, and new discoveries usually seem to prove more rigorous than they're worth.

It's a shame to only listen to a limited musical selection in one's lifetime. The world we live in is chock full of people making music, and that's no exaggeration. How many bands do you think are out there? Sure you've got to wade through a bunch of shit to find gems, but it's worth looking. You can't give up. The new thing you didn't know existed, that you will love, is out there.

One way to discover new music easily is to go to MySpace. Usually you can just search for a band you like, and in their top friends will be similar acts. It works like clockwork.

There is a problem with MySpace music, though: it resembles the Rolling Stone head-giving to popular acts like Taylor Swift, Key$ha, Beyonce, Kanye West, and The Strokes, among other popular, currently-selling-big-time (but-not-for-long) artists, mixed with even more immediate, hot for now, flash in the pan artists that I've never heard of, but look silly.

So there's nothing for me, basically. MySpace Music for people who like pop music, autotuned and soulless. It's what sells, isn't it. Shameful.

Another route you can go is This site has some pretty cool organizational tabs on the home page that make finding music that doesn't suck easier than MySpace does.

Okay, let's compare the bands these two sites are featuring right now:
In the MySpace corner, weighing in at 50lbs, Young the Giant
In the Purevolume corner, we have: Panic at the Disco!

Okay, YTG's first song on their player is called, "Apartment." It's boring and I don't care. There's no distortion on those guitars. But--it doesn't completely suck. It's just that it's boring, melancholy, and made by young people who need to grow up to make music that will last through the ages. It sounds like a million other pop/soft rock songs I've heard before. Definitely lame rock radio material.


PATD's first song is a clip of a tune called, "Mona Lisa." Slightly heavy. Next song is a live one: "Nine in the Afternoon." Can we say The Beatles? Pretty cool. A light ditty. I like it better than YTG, but not much. It's less melancholy, and the singer sounds like he's really going for it with some energy.

Panic wins. Young loses. By TKO.

In summary, I'd say that Purevolume is less full of stupid shit than MySpace. But both sites offer adequate search options, and the metal is out there. Too bad most modern metal sucks and is full of stupid screaming by people who think they're special enough to front a band with shitty I'M-ANGRY-NOW vocals.

MySpace also runs slow as shit.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Re-vamping my recording process/ ADVICE PLZ

I want to re-vamp my recording process, and my birthday is coming up, so this dream may soon manifest. I want advice on how best to record at home. Here, let me tell you what I'm using, what my problems have been, and then, if you've got a good home recording situation going on yourself, you can let me know what works and what doesn't, too.

I've been using my laptop, a Dell Inspiron 1521, Blood Red and Grey, a pretty cool machine, with a fairly large sweet widescreen, to record digitally, via Sonar 5 Studio Edition, and my Line 6 TonePort UX2. Just guitar and bass tracks, so far. I've got a sweet SM58 mic, and a Fender Fat Strat that's like a big brother to me. I have yet to unlock its true power.

Problems: the laptop can't power it all, and the recordings lag in many annoying ways. Using both Sonar and the TonePort seems to tax it really bad. The laptop gets really hot underneath after only about 15min, which is usually spent tuning my guitar and shaping the sound with TonePort.

Then when I open Sonar, things begin to slow down. You may find this hard to believe, but my biggest problem with recording thus far has been--the metronome. Point is, I simply cannot run a metronome through my computer and expect a solid rate per minute, without lags. This computer is pissing. me. off.

One problem might be--my hard drive is full from the zillions of Lucy pictures and videos I put on there. I'm getting an external hard drive soon, which should clear up some space, which may solve some of the lag problems. We'll see.

If not, I'm totally open to suggestion as to how to rightly get good recordings with a machine that performs well and gives me good sounds.

Megan has a high-performance HP laptop that might do the trick. Still runs Vista, like mine, but has a nearly empty hard drive, and better hardware all around. Cost something like three times what my laptop cost me. If that's the case, my troubles would be over and it wouldn't cost me a thing, which would be the optimal cost for a solid recording solution.

If not, I'm thinking, maybe--go for a mixing board or something? Do I have to buy a Mac?

Monday, January 10, 2011

This guy raises a few good points. I don't agree with a small portion of what he says, but most of this video I like. The overall sentiment is true: death metal should not be overproduced. Nor should any metal.

Where I disagree:
A band needs technical talent to succeed.
There is no death metal that has ever been made solely by overproduction.

Where I'm confused:
-the difference between death metal and deathcore. I'm just not educated in this realm.

Here is a video of popular, modern sucky metal. I present to you:
TRIVIUM (duck)

It's all the things that make modern metal suck:
   - soulless, monotonous, monotone vocals
   - techincal-without-feeling guitar lines that you could easily forget
   - vocals mixed above all else
   - bass is inaudible
   - music is overproduced
   - video is overproduced
   - you can tell they're not really into it

I don't mind the eyeliner, though.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shut Up and Play Yr Guitar

Last night was a very tired night for me, and I was falling asleep on the couch around 6pm. I could totally have gone to bed then. Megan said to me, "Get up. Move around. Go play some guitar or something."

Her advice couldn't have been more on the mark. I played for like an hour or more. It was great. I'm gonna go play more right now, so help me. It's important to stay up to par on guitar skillz, for me anyway. How can I be a good metal critic if I can't make metal myself?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is A Place On Earth

My jaw sort of dropped when this started playing. I had the song in my head, but I didn't realize the video was her watching little kids with glowing earth beach balls and opera masks and grey clothing on spin in a giant centrifuge while she dances against several walls and turns around too many times.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Boris: Smile, Kalot Enbolot: MCCCXLVIII

Last night, around 11 or so, I played music at work for the whole place to hear. It was the end of the night, my fellow employees and I were closing the place down, and the bluegrass band had just finished. I needed something attitudinal. I went for Boris' latest full-length Smile.

It sounds like maybe there's some traditional Japanese music influence in the way this band plays. It's almost as if they learned about music... IN JAPAN!!

It becomes most apparent to me when Wata solos over Takeshi and Atsuo's grooves. It's not exactly along with the beat, but it is really distorted, and emotional as all hell. It has this sound that's just kinda... I don't want to say crazy, but it sounds crazy.

In addition to that, her solos follow a way less rigid idea of meter and time than most American guitarists build their solos upon. Maybe it's more rigidly tuned to the structure of Japanese solo flute pieces, or that one instrument that's just a string on a board that makes that awesome fucking sound I can't name.... ever see Kung Fu Hustle? The blind guy who plays the instrument that shoots invisible swords--one of those things.

And this is particularly on the album Smile's first five or six tracks, and only at certain points. All of her solos, and all of Boris' musics for that matter, don't always sound the same--and that's what's great about Boris. I just brought it up cause, when I put the music in, I didn't expect what came out at me. It goes to show that you can never really truly know an album until you play it for a large group of people. You hear what they hear, what you hear, you see and sense their reactions, you notice things about the album you didn't before, etc. It's great.

Moving on.

Kalot Enbolot has an album out called MCCCXLVIII. It is pretty much standard awesome black death metal. They cover an Immortal song at the end of the album, and they pretty much sound like Immortal with twists of other bands in there.

They definitely have their own sound, but it also is really palatable to the standard black metal fan. Then the fourth track is totally clean tone and corny. Don't care.