I guess an introduction is in order,so lets keep it “simple”:.
Age: old enough to know better, but young enough to not know the difference
Music has been such a huge part of my life, from as far back as I can remember. My tastes are extremely eclectic. I am sure I can list an artist in ever genre that I enjoy. My parents are out of touch with reality, so I cannot contribute to them, my fondness of music. I have an older brother and sister, both of them with different musical tastes, which I can say would have been the biggest influence in my life.
My sister was into artists such as Coney Hatch, April Wine, David Bowie, Nash the Slash, Elvis Costello. AC/DC. Of all of which I enjoyed.
My brother. Typical biker. I remember flipping through his LP’s and being sucked into the cover art. Judas Priest. Budgie. Rainbow. Motorhead. Sabbath. Maiden. Oh yes. I remember the fist time my eyes were laid upon the Rising album cover. The giant fist, ascending from the depths of the sea, grasping a rainbow, seaweed dangling from it, and on the shore a, what I assume is a prince, in shock of the spectacle. Or the first time I saw Eddie. Wielding a bloody hatchet. The hands and arms of an unseen victim were grasping at his shirt, and that sinister grin stretched across his face. Tell me that doesn’t bring a smile to your face! I know I am grinning as wide and wicked as Eddie as I type this.
Metal is like a woman to me. We’ve had our falling outs here and there, but then she comes back in another sexy outfit, sometimes in make-up, sometimes au natruale, then seduces me, making me beg for for. Other times I can’t wait to get it over with, I make her lick my taint and kick her out of the bed. But, unlike the women in my life. Metal has been there for me in every way.
This “Blog” was an idea I pitched to my bother Propraetor, as it seems, during our conversations over coffee, he and I tend to talk about music quite often. Challenging ourselves to create a “top artist” for a specific genre, and both of us either completely agreeing or spending time making a sale of an artist that the other tends not to like as much. More times or not we wound up walking down memory lane and back again. Its time to write this stuff down.
I am not a linguistic dreadnought like my brother, Propraetor. I am more aiken to a drunken Viking swinging his battle hammer in a blood lusted fury. Well, okay, maybe I write more like a guy with his date on prom night, in the back seat of his borrowed car, fumbling to get his rubber on as quickly as possible, and then making one attempt after the other to find the damn hole. It may take me a bit of time, but I’ll get you there.
So, moving right along.
Jester and I went out for coffee the other night and decided to brainstorm the top ten metal acts of all time. While topics like this are common for us (EG: top 5 doom metal bands, top 5 most influential death metal albums, etc), the resulting conversation prompted the creation of this blog.
Jester is a musician. I have been in a couple of bands and played poorly in all of them. I pride myself on being more of a visual artist, however I have been listening to metal, very attentively, since my youth. More often than not, I have one metal album or another playing in the background while I work on a piece of art. I do this because he mood evoked by metal is something that helps keep my inner fires burning strong. Metal, you see, channels the aggressive and emotive instincts of man and directs it in a creative way (for me at least).
I have a tendency, when it comes to any art-form, to experience it, re-experience it repeatedly and then analyze where it fits into the matrix of the rest of the art world. This makes for some long nights and a lot of ideas which, typically, get lost since I don’t always write them down. When it comes to music, I tend to follow the evolution and infection of its mood. This will probably be the main tenor of my posts on this blog: analyzing the mood of metal.
Age – 23
And no, I’m not Jester’s firstborn.
My home was not particularly musical when I was a child – mum used to listen to a fair bit of classical music, an influence which remains with me to this day, whereas Dad was into punk and 70s/80s rock – mainly from a sizeable vinyl collection. Through that collection I was exposed to many a fine band – Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Blondie, The Stranglers, The Ramones, Thin Lizzy, basically the bedrock of metal. I also acquired a deep love of vinyl itself at this stage – for you truly can’t replace a gatefold sleeve with a crappy paper sleeve.
My first conscious exposure to metal came via the ‘Air Guitar’ compilations – the number of bands I discovered through those idiosyncratic disks is too long to mention. I recall that my first ever ‘metal’ album was, alas, Saint Anger. I still have it, somewhere…Last seen masquerading as a coaster.
Much of my musical education has come via online acquaintances (Jester being one of them), who have collectively enlightened me as to the great trove of wonders that constitutes metal music. I believe that my first ‘extreme metal’ song was Black Rose Immortal by Opeth. It took me weeks, if not months, to get past the vocal issue, but I am now utterly sworn to the dark. I shall save further words on individual bands for my top 10 blog.
While I am consciously trying to expand my musical palate, and do appreciate a fair bit of jazz, classical and even a little electronica, my sonic bedrock will always be metal. It is partly due to the history behind the genre, the power, the emotion, the sheer primal fuck-off rage that can be unleashed through a blastbeat and a guitar break. Metal is my catharsis when I am angry, and my consoler when I am lamenting. Such is the beauty of metal – such an ostensibly violent, angry form of expression can actually aid man, right across the spectrum of emotional experience. A guitar can both gently weep as well as scream from the depths of a man’s soul.
As for a sonic analysis of what I appreciate about metal….I am a massive drums fiend, that has to be said – much love for the likes of Lombardo, Proscriptor, Lopez, Dailor, et al. I am not much of a prog fan – I like my music to have soul and balls, rather than just being a pure exercise in technical ability. I just love the textures, the feel, the atmosphere, the glorious guitar tones…
It has to be said that I can fully understand why people do not ‘like’ metal – it is most definitely an acquired taste, but then are not all things? You strap me into a chair and put on Radio 1 and you’ll have me bugging out like Alex in the Kubrick film. I shall however forever fly the flag and defend the faith, to bust out some clichés to finish.
I shall be contributing a variety of articles to the blog – reviews, gig write-ups, retrospective analyses of albums, who knows what else.
And number 4….
I was asked to join this blog after spending several long afternoons with Greenmaster spinning vinyl and having similar conversations to those that lead to the creation of the blog. These conversations included topics such as most influential artist/album, best solo or is new shiny production really a good thing? They also involved arguing the case for particular artists and albums so I thought I’d try my hand at putting these thoughts persuasions down in print (or er type…)
I like my metal the same way I like my sex; hard, fast, tight and aggressive. It has to have that energy and aggression for my to be really interested, so fancy technical acoustic passages and operatic vocals aren’t the kind of things that get me going (although I do have a great respect and fondness for the trad metal bands of old) My favourite genre of metal tends to go through phases I am a fanatical death head one month then a nerdy black metal kid writing death threats to people who have also heard the same obscure demo that I have and said they liked it.
My love for speed and aggression has lead me, through the wonder that is crossover, into the sprawling mass that is hardcore punk and its older, angry, slightly deformed brother, Grindcore, after all nothing says speed and aggression better then a blastbeat to the face.
When not raging to recorded music I can often be found raging on a real instrument of some kind trying to create my own recorded music with varying success. I also spend far too much time playing video games when I should be studying for my masters degree……..