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Ye Olde Metal Days
May 11, 2007 5:23 AM   Subscribe


 
Bang your head!
posted by Vindaloo at 5:37 AM on May 11, 2007


\m/
posted by jonmc at 5:38 AM on May 11, 2007


also: RIP, Great One
posted by jonmc at 5:40 AM on May 11, 2007


\m/ \m/
posted by VirtualWolf at 5:51 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Girlschool?
posted by LordSludge at 5:51 AM on May 11, 2007


Haha, awesome. Just as I posted that, Metallica's "Metal Militia" came on in iTunes. :D
posted by VirtualWolf at 5:54 AM on May 11, 2007


The First Ladies of Metal, Lord Sludge. Check this out.
posted by jonmc at 5:54 AM on May 11, 2007


What, no Stryper? ;-)
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:58 AM on May 11, 2007


The Internet redeems itself once again.
posted by chillmost at 6:08 AM on May 11, 2007


Back then I would have given several of my more important organs to be in that guy's shoes.

I feel sooooo olde now :-(
posted by Mamapotomus at 6:14 AM on May 11, 2007


Am I evil? Yes I am! Great set, would click again, A+++++

What I found a little interesting on the side is the 'Umlaut' zine... I can't find record of it! Googlemagic points to a 'Umlaut' zine that existed 92-95, 12 years too late. Any SF Bay folks got an idea?
posted by cavalier at 6:22 AM on May 11, 2007


What, no Stryper?

And no Winger, either.
posted by TedW at 6:34 AM on May 11, 2007


What, no Stryper?

And no Winger, either.


Because we're talking about Metal, not poseur rock.
posted by jonmc at 6:46 AM on May 11, 2007


Randy.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:52 AM on May 11, 2007


More cowbell
posted by caddis at 7:00 AM on May 11, 2007


Less cowbell; more Lemmy!!
posted by psmealey at 7:02 AM on May 11, 2007


Because we're talking about Metal, not poseur rock.

Ah, so that would explain why no Bon Jovi, either...
posted by TedW at 7:05 AM on May 11, 2007


I can't really account for the appearances of Joe Perry here, though, but I'm not really familiar with his solo stuff. Was that metal?
posted by psmealey at 7:10 AM on May 11, 2007


Nice to find this rare photo of Metallica before they were signed, when their lead guitarist was Dave Mustaine. He would get kicked out, and go off to start the aforementioned Megadeth.

Oh, and \m/.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:11 AM on May 11, 2007


No Manowar? feh, wimps and posers, leave the hall!
posted by mkb at 7:11 AM on May 11, 2007


their lead guitarist was Dave Mustaine. He would get kicked out,

He was kicked out for alcoholism. Kicked out of Metallica for drinking too much. He must've been hooked up to a Jagermeister IV drip.

I can't really account for the appearances of Joe Perry here, though, but I'm not really familiar with his solo stuff. Was that metal?

Like Aerosmith, Perry's solo work was basically...an excellent Stones tribute band.

No Manowar? feh, wimps and posers, leave the hall!

100,000 riders, we can't all be wrong....
posted by jonmc at 7:22 AM on May 11, 2007


Bang that head that does not bang!
posted by Ber at 7:26 AM on May 11, 2007


He was kicked out for alcoholism. Kicked out of Metallica for drinking too much. He must've been hooked up to a Jagermeister IV drip.

He was also a coke fiend, he punched James Hetfield squarely in the face, and nearly electrocuted their bass player before Cliff.

He eventually kicked his alcohol addiction. By replacing it with heroin.

What a guy.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:33 AM on May 11, 2007


Photographic evidence that 80s metal was the peak of the unfortunate Band Wearing Its Own T-shirt trend.
posted by Adam_S at 7:35 AM on May 11, 2007


And I forgot to add that despite all that, he still has writing credits on songs on Metallica's first two albums. (Though none of the albums include Mustaine performances).

To get a feel for the difference between the two bands, listen to Metallica's "The Four Horsemen" off Kill 'Em All and Megadeth's "Mechanix" from Killing is my Business...And Business is Good.

They are the same song, except the former is metal on booze, and the latter is metal on heroin.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:39 AM on May 11, 2007


Aren't both Mustaine and the guys in Metallica all clean and sober now? And of course now they suck. It's a proven fact that getting fucked up regularly makes you a better artist.
posted by jonmc at 7:41 AM on May 11, 2007


Pastabagel, I heard that DM fucked up his hand and can no longer play...
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:41 AM on May 11, 2007


metalfilter
posted by skammer at 7:48 AM on May 11, 2007


And of course now they suck.
Sad but true. Hey! That was a $elloutica joke!
posted by MikeMc at 7:49 AM on May 11, 2007


Someone come with me to Rocklahoma. My husband won't let me go alone, and he says (and I quote) "I wouldn't listen to those bands if they were playing for free in my backyard."

He is so not metal. I don't know how it works.
posted by mckenney at 7:49 AM on May 11, 2007


For Atmosphere(MPEG link). That whirling dervish kid with the Slayer shirt may actually be an old friend of mine.
posted by jonmc at 7:50 AM on May 11, 2007


IMO metal peaked with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, and it was all downhill from there and aside from AC/DC the genre was dead by the time Kiss arrived to kill it off.
posted by caddis at 7:50 AM on May 11, 2007


Almost forgot...King Diamond FTW! "Don't Break The Oath" is one of most metal albums ever!
posted by MikeMc at 7:52 AM on May 11, 2007


Don't you steal this moment from me, Skammer. It's 8:48 this very moment, the exact moment you posted your comment is exactly when I came to write mine. I've waited YEARS to say this in a context-appropriate, under-my-breath, tongue-in-cheek fashion, glibly stating the obvious typographical pun based on a common mistyping of this URL, and then YOU, living up to your name, rip the moment right from under my mouth-breathing face. I am not angry. Oh no. I am engulfed in spirit-bending fury. I can't believe this is happening. All I really wanted to say was "metalfilter." Seriously. Admins, can't you just delete skammer's post and replace it with one of me intelligently, quietly saying "Metalfilter " instead? Wouldn't that be better for the community? Why would this honour go to Skammer, a crook and a con-man right down to his mis-spelled core? This is not just inappropriate, this is unfair, unacceptable, unbecoming and unbelievable. UNbelievable.

I have to go. I don't know when I'll be back. But when I come back, I'm bringing double the lame jokes at triple the posting speed. And skammer, you better not find yourself in my posting vicinity next time I'm about to drop a "Meatflitter" or a "Mootfilter" or something like that.
posted by Milkman Dan at 7:55 AM on May 11, 2007


(for the uninitiated: the mpeg I linked was a bunch of kids waiting to get into a Slayer/Venom/Exodus triple bill at the former Studio 54 in 1983. The idea of that obscenity being overrun by the people it despised is incredibly satisfying to me.)
posted by jonmc at 8:02 AM on May 11, 2007


Milkman Dan, you forgot Metaflyer?
posted by gwint at 8:02 AM on May 11, 2007


jonmc, more movies! you're making my day here...
posted by gwint at 8:03 AM on May 11, 2007


mckenney, something similar to that came through here a while back. I begged my husband to go with me because I OWED it to 13 year-old me who never got to go to concerts. He wouldn't give in, the big dork.
(Also, RATT played a bar in the shopping center around the corner from my house a couple years back. How the mighty have fallen.)
posted by Mamapotomus at 8:07 AM on May 11, 2007


(Also, RATT played a bar in the shopping center around the corner from my house a couple years back. How the mighty have fallen.)

RIP, Robbin Crosby. I'm still stunned that more attention wasn't paid to his AIDS-related death a few years back. I figured that some conservative numbnuts would make some half-assed morality play about decadence out of it.
posted by jonmc at 8:10 AM on May 11, 2007


chuckdarwin: Mustaine disbanded Megadeth and took a year off to heal & re-learn how to play with that hand. Fun fact- he was in rehab but fell asleep with the arm draped over the back of a chair.
posted by Mamapotomus at 8:11 AM on May 11, 2007


SLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:14 AM on May 11, 2007


Oligatory. (that video is a classic example of snibbery backfiring. the filmmakers' intention is obviously to look down their nose at the metal fans, but by the end any sane person is thinking 'I wanna party with those guys!')
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on May 11, 2007


Someone come with me to Rocklahoma.

Damn, that's a lot of hair. Winger, Slaughter, Britny Fox, White Lion and so many more. I wonder how many of the the bands (other than Ratt) have all, or even most, of the original members?
posted by MikeMc at 8:30 AM on May 11, 2007


.

No wait! Metal can't die -Metal Lives! Viva Metal!
posted by ob at 8:33 AM on May 11, 2007


Oh yeah I am totally into metal. Have you guys heard any Nelson? They rocked! Woo Hoo! Metal!
posted by ND¢ at 8:35 AM on May 11, 2007


*glares*
posted by jonmc at 8:37 AM on May 11, 2007


Yeah I like to make my angry metal face when I am listening to Nelson too. Grrrrrrr! Nelson!
posted by ND¢ at 8:39 AM on May 11, 2007


I can remember being confused at some point in the late eighties when guys that looked metal started playing acoustic guitars and singing about love. It looked like metal but it didn't sound like metal. Actually I'm still confused about this. Now that I think about it those guys deserve a big slap for doing that.
posted by ob at 8:40 AM on May 11, 2007


This saturday at Southport Hall, River Road in New Orleans, RATTPOISON (self-explanitory) Grab your ripped up jeans, slick the mullet down and put on your best wrestling shoes for some serious glam-rock.

http://newsouthport.com/
posted by winks007 at 8:49 AM on May 11, 2007


Nice one measley, you win again.

Regardless of whether you know or like the band, you need to go to the Deceased website and click on "photo history." He gives a written historical account of each picture, including this winner of Weezer bassist Matt Sharp when he was a metalhead.

More on Sharp from Deceased's King Fowley:

For so long, we had no bass-player, and this is a funny story. The guy that played for Weezer for a while, Matt Sharp, he was the guy that was local here. He always wanted to play bass for us. He'd sit there was his BC Rich Warlock bass, and he'd dress the part - he had his Slayer-Show No Mercy backpatch - but he couldn't play at all. At that point, we were actually all a little bit better. We always thought he was a cheese-wad, so we didn't give him a chance.
posted by The Straightener at 8:56 AM on May 11, 2007


metal peaked with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, and it was all downhill from there...
Here's like about a dozen reasons why that maybe just ain't so.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:59 AM on May 11, 2007 [2 favorites]




Somewhere I still have an audio cassette of an interview I did with King Fowley - I taped it over some stupid syndicated program about oceans that the radio station got on tape every week - in which he discloses that one of his life's ambitions is sniffing Gwen Stefani's crotch.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:02 AM on May 11, 2007


MegaDeth has come a long way.
Excellent! The laser cannon I installed in Dave's guitar works perfectly!
posted by Wolfdog at 9:14 AM on May 11, 2007


Aren't both Mustaine and the guys in Metallica all clean and sober now? And of course now they suck. It's a proven fact that getting fucked up regularly makes you a better artist.
posted by jonmc at 10:41 AM on May 11


I wish I could disagree with this, but, man, is there ever a mountain of evidence in your favor. Mustaine, who has reformed Megadeth with an entirely new lineup after his wrist injury, currently goes on tour with a "spiritual adviser" to keep him on his born-again Christian path.

I'll let you read that again.

It's a shame too. Because he was problably the most talented person in that whole genre.

Metallica represented a new type of heavy metal - speed metal - that was more technical and less bluesy than their forerunners. Speed metal is characterized by that monotonous palm muted pedal note you hear in just about every song on all of Metallica's first three albums (with some exceptions). Consider Master of Pupperts, Damage, Inc., all the covers on Kill 'Em All, Welcome Home (Sanitarium) etc. Anyone who's ever played guitar knows that 90% of Metallica is in the first four frets of the bottom two strings (it's an exagerration, but you get the point).

Mustaine is partly responsible for that sound. The songs on Metallica's early demos that he cowrote and that ended up on Kill 'Em All have it, and Hetfield stuck with it like a crutch after Mustaine, their lead guitarist, left.

When Mustaine forms his new band, he establishes one of metals' few twin lead guitar lineups (more on this a bit later). Unfortunately, the name he chooses, Megadeth, being so corny and cartoonish even by 80's standards, did more to hold him back than anything else. The stupid lyrics and song titles don't help either.

Megadeth discards the cliches of speed metal from the outset. Megadeth is faster, louder, and more technical than what anyone else is putting out. He takes the palm-muted low-E hammering to its ultimate blindingly fast conclusion on "Rattlehead". And never looks back.

Beyond the speed, Mustaine does something else, which is to make rhythm guitar interesting again. The rhythm parts have jarring, stop-go-stop-go again in another key feeling that give Megadeth a wider tonal palette than speed metal. Because of this, most pre-Symphony of Destruction Megadeth songs sound better as instrumentals than with the lyrics. Most Metallica becomes repetitive and boring without lyrics.

For Metallica, rhythm dynamics took the form of acoustic interludes or tempo changes from arpeggio chords to first-fifth power version of the same chords (again, banged out on the lowest two strings).

With Megadeth, the songs grow increasingly complex over time, establishing a theme that is abandoned at the bridge never to be heard again, and changing riffs, drums rhythms and keys along the way. "Wake Up Dead" is a classic here. There is a fast descending chord progression in there that is particularly brilliant both in style and execution.

In my humble opinion, thrash's defining moment is Megadeth's Rust in Peace, not ...And Justice for All or Master of Puppets
. Marty Friedman is easily the best guitarist in any band at this time, and this is a time when Mustaine is routinely found on top-ten guitarist lists.

The song "Hangar 18" is in my opinion the greatest thrash/ speed metal song ever written. The song's opening progressing is two octaves higher than the low-E pedal notes mentioned before. The fourth chord in this progression reaches a plateau, from which the rhythm leads up even higher. From the guitarist's perspective, by the end of the opening progression you are playing sixteenth note rhythm chords near the twelfth fret of the highest three strings. The song has literally turned the convention upside down.

The song is kept up near middle C to allow the drums and bass to build a solid low end in the mix, made possible because after about the first minute and a half of this 5 minute epic, the lyrics are done with, so on the high end, the guitars interfere with nothing.

And those are some guitars. The song has four distinct parts, the intro, verse, solos over a second rhythm, and then solos over a third rhythm. (this is from memory, I don't have the sheet music in fron of me).

From the second part to the end, Hangar 18 has eleven distinct guitar solos(!), which alternate between Friedman and Mustaine. Friedman's solos are legato'ed triplets, pentuplets and septuplets exploring odd modes, where Mustaine's are of the more traditional let's-see-how-fast-this-thing-goes-in-a-minor-key variety. This gives the song a weird feel, alternating between anger and anxiety.

When the third and final part stops, the rhythm guitar drops an octave lower than its previous low to merge with the bass and the drums to form not a wall of sound but a juggernaut of sound.

Furthermore, as the song moves from one section to the next, the tempo and syncopation increase little by little. so by the end of the song the drums are pounding nearly twice as fast as they were when the song started without you even realizing. The acceleration is so gradual that if you turn up the volume and the bass, your heartbeat speeds up with the song. When the song is over, you're exhausted.

In my opinion, this song defines metal. After Rust in Peace, lite metal is popular enough that Mustaine sells out. The Band output is blues riff-based, ballads and MTV metal, and in my opinion can be universally ignored.

Ignore the cheesiness and the corniness of the band's name, artwork, the lyrics, etc., and just listen to the song, and I mean listen. Try to follow the sound as it pulls you around. Listen once to the solos, and then listen again for the jolting rhythm under the solos. Listen to the drums.

Hangar 18 is layer upon layer of details and subtle flourishes. There's a quick half-second pan on a drum break at one point. Elsewhere, extra reverb is dropped on the single note at the end of a solo. The song must have been recorded at full volume, because the guitars are constantly dodging feedback. The song becomes so articulated and so fast that it's in danger of blowing itself apart

Man, there were times when this song was my life.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:25 AM on May 11, 2007 [10 favorites]


I hate to follow Pastabagel's amazing Megadeth post with this, but in Wolfdog's Youtube link does Dave have boobs?
Around 30-40 seconds in his chest sure looks... bubbly.
posted by Mamapotomus at 9:37 AM on May 11, 2007


I wish I could disagree with this, but, man, is there ever a mountain of evidence in your favor.

Of course there is. I am always right. the sooner you accept that, the better off you will be.

as a bonus hre's Chuck Klosterman's breakdown of what kind of girls different heavy metal/glam metal band seemed to like to have sex with:

GUNS N' ROSES: bisexual models, submissive women, girls who would buy them booze

MOTLEY CRUE: Strippers, women who have sex in public (particularly elevators), lesbians

RATT: Hookers with a heart of gold. or strippers with a heart of gold. or thirteen-year-olds.

WARRANT: Virgins who exhibited the potential to become nymphomaniacs

DEF LEPPARD: drunk girls, female vampires

THE CULT: Female Vampires Only

FASTER PUSSYCAT: GNR rejects

W.A.S.P.: Magician's assistants, women with rape fantasies, lower primates

AEROSMITH: Models, but not waifs, high school snobs, more girls who like having sex in elevators

CINDERELLA: Gypsies

TESLA: Farm girls, whoever they used to date in junior high

SKID ROW: Nameless, faceless, top-heavy sex-machines (with hearts of gold)

BULLETBOYS: girls with particularly deep birth canals

LA GUNS: Drug-addled hitchhikers who like rough sex

BANG TANGO: Faster Pussycat rejects

VAN HALEN: Party girls, bikini models, the homecoming queen, cast members of One Day At A Time

DAVID LEE ROTH (solo): same as above, except with bigger boobs

BON JOVI: the girl next door

VINNIE VINCENT INVASION: the dominatrix next door

SLAUGHTER: Bon Jovi rejects

WINGER: whoever Bon Jovi groupies used to babysit

POISON: girls who liked to tease, girls from small towns, good girls gone bad

KISS: any girl who wasn't dead

IRON MAIDEN: dead girls

JUDAS PRIEST: boys

METALLICA: none of the above
posted by jonmc at 9:42 AM on May 11, 2007


Someone come with me to Rocklahoma.

I will be there. I wouldn't miss this for anything.
posted by bradth27 at 9:46 AM on May 11, 2007


Pastabagel, you know what really killed metal?

Beavis and Butthead made fun of it.

.
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:47 AM on May 11, 2007


Ah, Cliff Burton. Metallica went straight down the crapper after he died. "Justice..." doesn't count, because it was mostly written when Burton died.

Amusing post. Thanks.
posted by drstein at 9:48 AM on May 11, 2007


So, drstein, I've always been wondering does your name refer what I think it does? Are your hips aching?
posted by Wolfdog at 9:50 AM on May 11, 2007


Kicked out of Metallica for drinking too much.

That's fucking hardcore. Reminds me of Bootsy Collins joining Parliament because he couldn't handle all the drugs with the JBs.

You joined Parliament to be around less drugs? Holy shit.

Great post, making me nostalgic for old Thrash-on-the-Grass and local metal heroes playing at the Vet's Hall. Must dig up some Metallica - as long as it's pre-Black album and hell of pirated. Dicks.
posted by freebird at 10:20 AM on May 11, 2007


Pasta: Mustane also has credits on Master of Puppets. Leper Messiah, I believe.

Since you went into so much detail on Rust in Peace, I have to mention that the beginning chord progression of Megadeth'sHanger 18 is the same as the chorus(?) of Metallica's Call of Ktulu. When googling that, I found I was not the only person to discover this and my revelatory reason for this entire post falls flat.

For my money, Megadeth was everything you said but it just grated on me after a while. I liked some of Countdown but it always seemed so...self absorbed, technical just to be technical. If you will excuse this: Metal Music for the Metal Music Geeks. Not a derogatory usage!
posted by Brainy at 10:22 AM on May 11, 2007


Rad, Pastabagel! I love to see someone give that level of caring technical and aesthetic analysis to this stuff.
posted by freebird at 10:32 AM on May 11, 2007


Pastabagel translation - I like it too!
posted by winks007 at 10:36 AM on May 11, 2007


Megadeth is not technical. Dream Theater is technical. check out the keyboard+guitar unison shredding at 1:19!!
posted by LordSludge at 10:54 AM on May 11, 2007


Since you went into so much detail on Rust in Peace, I have to mention that the beginning chord progression of Megadeth's Hanger 18 is the same as the chorus(?) of Metallica's Call of Ktulu.

And guess who has the writing credit on Metallica's Call of Ktulu?

The chords are the same but the delivery is what makes it Metallica - it's deliberate and ponderous. Metallica is arpeggiated where Megadeth blasts it out.

Megadeth could be grating, too much of anything is. I could never make it all the way through a Metallica album even back then. Megadeth annoyed me because of the dumb lyrics, and because Mustaine so dominated the composing, the songs sound like his songs, that gets boring after a while. And everything from Countdown to Extinction on is pop-metal dreck.

What killed metal is rap (and that isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just is). Moving into the mid 90's, it became hard to piss off parents who listened to Zeppelin by playing Metallica. But you could sure get under their skin with "Straight Outta Compton".

Metal died when it stopped being "street" and required concentration. The problem for rock was that the street moved from white suburbs to the inner city, which had its own soundtrack. NWA was rap's heavy metal.

For me, Rust in Peace closed the book on heavy metal. Sure there were still some creative things being done here and there, but mostly whatever could be done in metal, had been done. Everything else was derivative, too much like metallica, too much like guns n' roses, or it was shlocky let's offend for the sake of offending straight-off-the-deep-end black-, death-, sludge-, grind- cores, etc.

I mean, I agree that using a crime scene photo of a rival band's singer's real-life bloody corpse as your album's cover art (warning, my description doesn't do it justice) is as metal as you can get, I just happen to think that there aren't enough people out there who are that metal to make the genre viable.

Who knows what "the kids these days" listen to? Godspeed You Black Emperor is kind of metal in a "let's play dark music with violins instead of guitars and drums" kind of way, but that lasted pretty much as long as the vocal part in "Dead Flag Blues" before you're reaching for the the fast-forward.

It's still a great song, and they were a great band all things considered.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:56 AM on May 11, 2007


Nice work pastabagel, I am pretty much right with you there.

One thing, though, that has bothered me about the early Megadeth and Metallica records is the cheesy production, just too much high end and too much reverb everywhere.

Sometimes I wish we could send either Jack Endino or Steve Albini back in time and have them record those albums over again.
posted by psmealey at 10:59 AM on May 11, 2007


Megadeth is not technical. Dream Theater is technical. check out the keyboard+guitar unison shredding at 1:19!!
posted by LordSludge at 1:54 PM on May 11


Dream Theater sure is technical, and Mustaine would agree with you as he booked Dream Theater as the other headliner on his Gigantour tour.

DT was never my cup of tea. It was too technical, it sounded like synchronized exercises. It sounds like metal without the drug abuse. But lots of people like it, and that's cool. At least they're still doing their thing. Marty Friedman is playing back-up for some pop-idol in Japan.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:04 AM on May 11, 2007


I have to disagree that everything ended after Megadeth/(good) Metallica though - certainly for "mainstream" speed metal. But some of the borderlands between punk and metal and experimental stuff stayed creative and fresh for a while. I grew up really liking Neurosis - I haven't heard anything since "Word As Law", but that's one of my favorite albums ever.

Not great quality, but this gives some sense of what I liked about them anyway.
posted by freebird at 11:23 AM on May 11, 2007


It was too technical, it sounded like synchronized exercises.

Oh yeah, I hear ya. Took me a couple years to get into them, cuz I couldn't get over the "technical for the sake of being technical" feeling -- and I was a huge Rush fan at the time! FWIW, their third album, Awake, is a good DT stepping-on point, as the songs are generally more straightforward than their other stuff.

After listening to DT for a number of years and learning to cope with mentally decypher and enjoy the aural assault they present, Megadeth sounds downright simplistic to my ear. (No offense intended -- Rush now sounds like easy listening adult contemporary. Like, c'mon guys: DO something!! heh)
posted by LordSludge at 11:27 AM on May 11, 2007


What killed metal is rap ... Metal died when it stopped being "street" ... Rust in Peace closed the book on heavy metal ...
There's more talent and breadth in metal now than there ever was, even if there isn't the excitement of a new "scene" breaking out that the very early days had. Once bands stopped signing to labels like frickin' Atlantic and trying to court popular taste, it seems like there was a lot more focus on content, creativity, experiment, and growth. I mean, just off the top of my head here's a really fast list that should give you at least one pretty brilliant album a year every year since Rust In Peace, and for the most part, no two of them have very much in common. I don't know about 'requires concentration', but as the big treatise up thread show, music that rewards concentration will always make the deepest impression on people who get engaged with it.

Iced Earth - Night Of The Stormrider
Dream Theater - Images And Words
Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power
Cynic - Focus
Carcass - Heartwork
Edge of Sanity - Purgatory Afterglow
Samael - Ceremony Of Opposites
Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free
Death - Symbolic
Blind Guardian - Imaginations From The Other Side
Dark Tranquillity - The Gallery
At The Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul
Fear Factory - Demanufacture
Amorphis - Elegy
Bruce Dickinson The Chemical Wedding
Testament - The Gathering
Nevermore - Dead Heart, In A Dead World
Ayreon - Universal Migrator
After Forever - Decipher
Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors
Moonsorrow - Kivenkantaja
Orphaned Land - Mabool
Ensiferum - Iron
Kamelot - The Black Halo
Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain

There'll be a million albums I kick myself for not including, too, once I look at this.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:31 AM on May 11, 2007


Meshuggah anyone?
posted by ob at 11:32 AM on May 11, 2007


I usually just refrain from commenting on this kind of thing or bothering to explain why I like what I like because you say , I dunno, "Amorphis", and what people hear is "Nelson / ACDC / Kiss... LOL", as if they had anything to with each other.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:33 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I miss The Stone. Most people don't know why there is a head shop/rock shirt store next to the strip club in North Beach.

Because there was a time Broadway and Montgomery RAWKED!!
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:38 AM on May 11, 2007


I can't take seriously the cookie monster vocals, nor can I get into the quasi-Satanic/pagan/horror lyrics Featured in some of those bands but to each his own.

If I had to recommend one band to someone who completely stopped listen to metal 15 years ago (my demographic, I guess), it would be Opeth. Damnation is a work of art. Deliverance nearly so.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:06 PM on May 11, 2007


Dude, jonmc. That makes me hate Klosterman just a little bit less. Don't get me wrong; I still hate him. Well all but this one little part of me.
posted by dame at 12:49 PM on May 11, 2007


I've met Chuck. You'd actually like him.
posted by jonmc at 1:29 PM on May 11, 2007


I can't take seriously the cookie monster vocals, nor can I get into the quasi-Satanic/pagan/horror lyrics Featured in some of those bands but to each his own.

And yet you take Opeth seriously? Come on, they're goth for fuck's sake. ;) And anybody who can write a dissertation on a Megadeth song ought to know that great things sometimes come in seemingly silly packages!

Anyway, there's tons of great black, death, thrash, doom, and even trad metal
stuff in the underground right now... it's a killer time to be a metalhead. I'll admit that I don't know much that isn't at least somewhat quasi-Satanic/pagan/horror/war themed (other than the trad stuff)... but then again, I don't ever want to! \m/
posted by vorfeed at 1:39 PM on May 11, 2007


And yet you take Opeth seriously? Come on, they're goth for fuck's sake.

Are they? Oh well. They don't wear any makeup. Don't goth bands have to wear makeup?

I had never heard of Opeth when I bought Damnation, about 3 years ago. I walked into a record store, noticed the artwork, and turned over the CD in my hands a few times.

The guy behind the counter (who admittedly did look like a goth-type guy) asked me if I wanted to hear it. I sort of think he wanted me to say no, so that I would feel compelled to leave. I said sure, he put it on, and it blew me away. It sounded like early Pink Floyd, or that haunting acoustic song "Tangerine" from Led Zeppelin III.

I asked if they were a new band and he told me "no, this is their seventh album," like I should know that. How would I know that? Ten minutes earlier I was parking the car to the dulcet tones of Foghat on the classic rock station, how the hell am I supposed to know who Opeth is?

He looked at me like I was an alien. He had more metal in his face than I have on my keychain, I'm wearing a suit and tie, and here I am, oblivious, buying the latest record from some Scandanavian death metal act. I told him it reminded me of early Pink Floyd, and he lit up like we finally had some common ground, "Yeah, Dark Side of the Moon!"

When he told me they were death metal, it almost stopped me from buying it. I have a job and a mortgage, can I really be buying death metal? It's something of an existential question, granted, but not an imponderable one, so I did buy it, and am glad I did.

I don't have the time or the patience to root around the subgenres. There's way too much interesting music that isn't even rock to get involved with sifting through ten albums of muck to find one gem of a song.

For example, there's this other band I heard the other day that sounded cool. The guy on the radio called it "post-rock". That sounds cool, like postmodern with guitars.

They're called M83. Have you guys heard of them?

*ducks
posted by Pastabagel at 2:56 PM on May 11, 2007


I don't have the time or the patience to root around the subgenres.

These days all it takes is one day with YouTube and a list of the important bands in the genre in question. You'll be missing some recent gems and overlooked classics, but this is more than enough to get the feeling of a subgenre without spending years cooped up in record stores.
posted by vorfeed at 4:09 PM on May 11, 2007


I haven't listened to Rust in Peace in maybe 15 years. Thanks pasta. I can't say I know a damned thing about music, but Hangar 18 always struck me as a crazy trip.
posted by cavalier at 4:14 PM on May 11, 2007


holy moly - check out this Insanely Amazing (Improvisation) Guitar Solo
posted by vronsky at 6:28 PM on May 11, 2007


You guys ever read Gig? There's a bit in there from a roadie who worked with various metal bands before they were big. Interesting stuff.
posted by maxwelton at 6:32 PM on May 11, 2007


Wolfdog: Testament - The Gathering

Alex Skolnick now plays in his own jazz trio. They've a couple of CDs out which feature, among original tunes, covers of some classic metal/rock songs.

LordSludge : Oh yeah, I hear ya. Took me a couple years to get into them, cuz I couldn't get over the "technical for the sake of being technical" feeling -- and I was a huge Rush fan at the time! FWIW, their third album, Awake, is a good DT stepping-on point, as the songs are generally more straightforward than their other stuff.

You linked to Lie as "more straightforward" and I agree with that but would also point out that Lie is also an example of pitch axis theory.

Also, check out The Main Monkey Business or Malignant Narcissism from the new Rush album for non-adult contemporary sounding Rush (although, again, I hear you).

And Hangar 18 is awesome.
posted by psmith at 6:49 PM on May 11, 2007


Fantastic. I haven't seen that Raven/Metallica flier since that summer. I just sent this post to one of my good childhood friends. He is the keeper of all of the demos, vinyl and fanzines from that time. We didn't have enough money to buy that stuff individually so we pooled our cash to buy music and tape it for the other guys. The Hellhammer demo, the Venom LPs, the Death Fanzine and letters from Evil Chuck are still in existence and rolled out for old time's sake now and again.

That summer is one of the most evocative of my life. Riding my old, orange ten speed, blasting Kill Em All on my boombox until the low power level of my batteries caused the tape to run at a slower than normal pace. Then I had to turn it down a little, which we all hated. My first all ages show at the Metro (Exciter). Buckets of beer at the Aragon (Motorhead). Riding for miles to the HIP to get Ride the Lightning--only to be .13 short--and have the clerk not let me have it. Riding home in that humid Chicago summer, cursing my luck and sweating like a bastard. I grabbed .13 and returned (seriously, just .13) and hopped back on my bike to get that LP.

This brings me right back to it all. Thanks!

Metallica and Slayer You Tube links:




posted by zerobyproxy at 9:05 PM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am bad at linking--sorry.
posted by zerobyproxy at 9:08 PM on May 11, 2007


A lot of people complained about Mustaine making a new version of A Tout Le Monde. After reading this thread, I can see why.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:24 PM on May 11, 2007


I love that link -- what a great Flickr set.

There is a guy at work my day job slave shift for bill paying & friggin benefits and he likes Metallica; I asked him one day about when he started to really dig them and what tour he first saw them on.

You wanna chat old -- sheeeeeee -- he said the Black album ( he is in his 20's ) and I gasped. I recall driving a million miles an hour to Ride the Lightining down Rt. 9, freaking out when I first heard it.

I entertained said co-worker with the tales of Old Bridge NJ Metallica sightings, the Ozzy show when I saw Metallica on the Master of Puppets tour ( the one where the audience, goaded by Ozzy to "go fucking crazy" tore the seats and generally did go apeshit.)
posted by RubberHen at 12:29 AM on May 12, 2007


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