30 Day Song Challenge – Day Twenty Six: Song That Makes You Wish It Were 1989 and You Were Living Your Life as a Heavy Metal Slut:
“Down on your knees and repent if you please!” – Judas Priest‘s Unleashed in the East begins with the highest point of the live set with an exciting “Exciter“. Not that the rest is “down hill” but it’s almost impossible to top the opening number, though Sinner and The Ripper (possibly my favorite Priest song depending on the day) come pretty close. In fact, the whole set, recorded during their 1979 live show in Tokyo is incredibly rocking and sounds great… perhaps too great?
Nicknamed “Unleashed in the Studio” by sceptics, many claim this can only be called “live” in the loosest terms. Holford, after years of denial even admitted that some vocals were re-recorded in a concert like setting. But really, who cares. It’s fun to listen to, it’s exhilarating and showcases the band at the height of their popularity in front of an adoring audience.
This airbrushed cover of The Final Countdown, Swedish hair band Europe‘s mega hit is enough to make anyone love it. I’ve been humming the song all day as we’ve been taking a stroll through the first season on Arrested Development. The song accompanies Gob’s magic acts.
Thor is a hunk in the traditional sense. Muscles, flowing blond hair, muscles, a body building career, muscles, a heavy metal stint and muscles. While he may not be your type in our age of skinny, quirky nerd appreciation, you have to appreciate the novelty of a classic, good old stud. I was introduced to Thor in a Found Footage clip, wherein he performed his signature feat of blowing up a water bottle until it burst. If you want to listen to his later metal sounds, you can hear I Am Thor at NPR, making a perfect fusion of today’s geeky chic and yesterdays beefcake.
Green screen demons (in this case a demon named Murray, the bad’s mascot), two handed swords, battle axes, Barbarians, rats and cat eyed monks – yes, Dio’s Holy Diver has many things to comend it as one of the greatest metal videos of all time.
If you’ve ever done the heavy metal devil horns hand sign (and I am pretty sure you have) you must give thanks to this man, Ronnie James Dio, who popularized it after taking cues from his grandmother, who used the gesture to ward off the evil eye. The powerfully voiced and long locked frontman to Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, Dio passed away last week after an up and down struggle with stomach cancer.
Leave it to Giant Robot NY to turn me into a little art collector! The Metal Mad show caught my attention when Paul Lyons, whose work is featured, sent a note out the other day… heavy metal art sounded like something I could not miss out on.
It’s a fun, small collection of skulls, bosoms, swords and beastly animals. I am/am soon to be (the show is up until March 3rd) the proud owner of Paul’s grotesquely awesome marker drawings and a fantastically creepy Audobon-esque painting of headless bat-birds battling in a black sky by Aaron Brown. These three pieces were my personal favorites, but there’s lots of great stuff to see.
Hannah Stouffer‘s dreamy, bloody paintings are lovely, the black and white pen and ink drawings by Louie Cordero call to mind the horrors of a Charles Burns comic and are fab. I was also smitten with the Bear Horde drawing by French and the intricate creations from Jeremiah Maddock. Oh, and Tom Neely‘s Wolves in the Throne rules.
Heartwarming, heartbreaking, humbling and uplifting; these are not exactly the words I expected to use when describing Sacha Gervasi's 2008 documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil, an intimate portrait of the core members (now in their 50s) of a long-lived but commercially unsuccessful heavy metal band… And I certainly didn't expect to cry; but cry I did, profusely enough that I couldn't even pretend that there was something in my eye.
If you ever want a portrait of perseverance and inexhaustible optimism, you needn't look further than Lips Kudlow, the band's lead singer, who, along with his lifelong friend drummer Robb Reiner, have stayed together to play in small clubs, go on ramshackle European tours, and work full time at blue collar dead end jobs to make ends meet.
Comparisons to Spinal Tap are inevitable, but these are real people in real situations. Once metal gods, Anvil inspired numerous mega bands like Guns 'N Roses, Anthrax, and Slayer but, unlike those bands who all went on to make millions, Lips and Robb struggle to live the dream daily. While it's sad at times, it's an overwhelmingly affectionate portrait that doesn't judge, poke fun, or humiliate.
If you want to feel the power of Metal on Metal and the triumph of the human spirit, watch it!
It would be impossible (and almost heartless) not to include Anvil's totally rocking Metal on Metal after being so moved by their struggle. Plus, deep sympathies aside, it is bona fide a classic; a lean and awesome slice of metal just the way I like it. “Join the heavy metal fight!”
I became an immediate fan of The Fucking Champs' IV and have been deeply into its brutal sounds all week. I think any fan of Priest or Iron Maiden would be psyched about this band, but (rather strangely) they seems to draw an indie rock crowd that (may) sadly mistake their work for mere parody or, even worse, irony.
I think they're for real and this is just pure, unadulterated metal music but, unlike most well known heavy acts, the album's (almost) entirely instrumental. The record will make you think of Frank Frazetta paintings, giant snakes, and many of the songs remind me of early video game music taken to its heaviest extreme.
Of course, this is all just my interpretation of an album that's likely to become a personal favorite. Many fans refuse to call the music 'metal' at all and the band itself is fairly enigmatic and obtuse about their image. I can't even find out if they're playing in NY anytime soon… their site only features a blank page of 2007 tour dates. I guess I'll just have to become your best friend if you inform me of their coming to the city.
I was really in the mood for some sludge and after seeing that Black Sabbath Four was not available on itunes, found Witchcraft instead and was happy to hear that they fit the bill. I assumed from the low budget basement sound that the album was recorded decades ago but it's much more recent. The band probably would love to hear they managed to sound so authentic. From covering songs by Pentagram and literally recording in a basement, they seem happily entrenched in the sound of the past. They even look perfect with rock star long hair and
The Swedish band is on their way to be as underground and influential as the band that inspired them. The songs are dark and heavy and fans of Black Sabbath will be pleased so long as they don't mind the lack of catchy riffs. Her Sisters They Are Weak and Please Don't Forget Me are probably my favorites.
In a move that is usually reserved for angry fourteen year old boys in the mid 80's, I have only recently, as a thirty year old woman who draws butterflies for a living, gotten really into the thrash metal stylings of Slayer. Heavier than even Metallica because of its lack of polish and devotion to evil in their lyrics, their second studio album Hell Awaits is a wall of extreme metal. It's noted as one of the most influential albums in metal, even though it never chartered and was too dark and heavy to get any air play.
The first two tracks, Hell Awaits and Kill Again are my personal favorites (Join us!). Fans may enjoy watching the band acting young dumb and full of cum on the Combat live Tour – The Ultimate Revenge for the album along with Exodus and Venom.
Is it just weird to be naming a high school drop out cartoon character as a hunk? Well, it's not like I haven't been here before (hello Tygra), and Nathan Explosion has a flowing head of raven hair like a fallen angel and a voice like a piles of rocks.
While creator Brendon Small says George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer was the inspiration, I see more of a physical resemblance to the romance novel biceps of Type O Negative front man Peter Steele, who once graced the cover of Playgirl.
Hell yes, Great Kat, a British born Long Islander is the kind of girl the boys from Metalocalypse could fall in love with. She may not be a huge well known name in metal, but she can shred like a monster goddess. Her music of choice is Beethoven, Rossini, and Wagner. Think you've heard Flight of the Bumble Bee? Try it from a long haired, leather clad dominatrix with an axe.
Plus, she's into theatrical blood and green screening, which have historically been favorite techniques of Jim and mine. Her videos can be seen on her site (where you can also buy her CDs) – and I've also posted some great stills here.
Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest! Jim is seeing Judas Priest!
While I immediately took to the Metalocalypse intro music, it took a bit longer to fall in love with the humor. Am I really recommending a cartoon where a man that pukes all over himself discovers free balling? Strangely, Yes, and further more I rather love the thing almost obsessively.
The show takes place in a future/alternate world where a heavy metal group called Deathklok rules!! – literally, they truly rule the world – like a teenage Iron Maiden fan's day dream come to life. They employ an army of hooded soldiers, reside in a metal dragon lair, are endorsed by a million products and bring fear to a Illuminati type coalition of military, religious and mysterious leaders.
The show plots center often around mundane realities like grocery shopping and buying the perfect birthday gift, but it mostly trudges through strange, really extremely violent territory where things surreal things like conjured giant Nordic trolls and a flock of ravens kill and maim thousands in gory, graphic ways. If you think you might not like watching lots of artistic interpretations of decapitations, face slicing, blood splattering, and bone crunching, you probably should watch something else.
To quote the band, this is brutal stuff, but just like the covers of our most favorite metal albums (Eddie!!), its really fun and great to look at too. And I promise you will not find anything else like it on TV.
If you're still not convinced, Kirk Hammett voices The Queen of Denmark.