Last week, American doom/stoner metal band Sleep released a single entitled 'The Clarity', their first new recording in over sixteen years, via the 2014 Adult Swim Singles series. [more inside]
Fans of history, mythology, language, and music: allow Metsatöll's Lauri Õunapuu to present his arsenal of traditional Estonian instruments. Then continue below the fold for an introduction to the world of folk metal. [more inside]
Austin-based Latin funk band Brownout covers Black Sabbath on their forthcoming album Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath. [more inside]
Richard Pryor is Black Death
Mina Caputo began her career as Keith Caputo, founder of the heavy metal band Life of Agony. In the early 1990s the band became huge in Europe, and the teenage Caputo found herself trapped in the life of a macho metal superstar when what she really wanted was to be a nice young lady attending Julliard. She performed as Keith for over 20 years, then in 2010 Niko Bikialo's quietly devastating music video for Caputo's song Got Monsters [brief nudity] put the viewer inside the mind of a transwoman as she struggles to find her place in the world and make a friend of the stranger she sees in the mirror. A year later, Caputo shocked metal fans when she officially announced she was transitioning. [more inside]
Nekrogoblikon - No One Survives (SLYT) (NSFW)
Metal confronts what we'd rather ignore. It celebrates what we often deny. It indulges in what we fear most. And that's why metal will always be a culture of outsiders.
"For the majority of Pentagram's career, if you wanted to hear them, you had to know someone who had a bootleg."
Meet Doctor Doom "Forty years ago, with his band Pentagram, Bobby Liebling invented a style of fiendishly heavy metal that hardly anyone heard. He spent the ensuing decades in a haze of hard drugs and big trouble. (5 arrests, 35 detoxes, more than 200 hospital visits.) Now, with the genre he spawned on the rise and a young wife and baby boy in tow, Liebling is feeling the first rumblings of success. Here's where things start to get weird." [more inside]
Invisible Oranges is a blog devoted to heavy metal. The term “invisible oranges” describes the clutching gesture you make when the mighty force of metal flows through you. [more inside]
New York voice teacher Claudia Friedlander provides a classical analysis of 5 male heavy metal singers.
We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) - a documentary on the Ozzfest '99 tour (MLYT) (NSFW - mainly swearing and tits)
Iraq gave us the heavy-metal band Acrassicauda (previously), who have recently relocated to the US and released their first EP. In Iran, indie-pop is a dangerously subversive underground phenomenon, with innocuous-sounding twee-pop bands hiding from persecution by the authorities. And now Afghanistan has Kabul Dreams, a duo who dress in skinny jeans and cardigans and write songs inspired by British guitar bands like Oasis, Radiohead and The Beatles.
Some videos: In 1985, Tipper Gore's PMRC released a list they called the "Filthy Fifteen," detailing what they believed to be the fifteen most objectionable songs of the time, and the reason they felt each song should be censored... [more inside]
Iraqi heavy metal? Sure, there's Acrassicauda. They're named after a scorpion. The Guardian has an informative article about them. There's been a movie made about them, which the New York Times has written about. Four members of the group, more recently based in Turkey, were seeking refugee status. Are they any good? I dunno, I guess so, but I''m not all that keen on metal, myself, so I'm not the best person to ask. Just go listen to 'em at their MySpace page.
Who you are is what you listen to: Prof. Adrian North of Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University recently published results of what the Beeb calls "the largest study of its kind" linking music listening habits to personality characteristics. His breakthrough conclusions? Heavy metal listeners, contrary to public perception, are not a "suicidally depressed" or a "danger to themselves and society in general. But they are quite delicate things." [more inside]
Br. Cesare Bonizzi, "the heavy metal friar"(watch out for the volume on that last link), says he was inspired by the energy of Metallica and that he is not trying to convert anyone to Christianity, but rather to "convert [listeners] to life" and get them to live their lives "full stop."
In Bed With Chris Needham (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) A BBC video-diary documentary from 1991 depicting the trails and tribulations of a teenage metal fan as he tries to knock his band, Manslaughter, into shape for its first gig, with many digressions into his philosophy of life along the way. Some NSFW swearing. [more inside]
This cheesy 1979 promo film from the group, Blackjack, offers a glimpse into the hard rock past of balladeer Michael Bolton, which also includes a co-writing credit for a Top 40 hit by Kiss. Similarly, Bill Joel disavows the days when he posed in medieval armor next to slabs of raw beef on the cover of the self-titled album by Joel's heavy metal duo, Attila, although Julian Cope is a fan of the album and its Deep Purplish vibes (check out Holy Moses and Wonder Woman). To round out the trifecta, we have Tori Amos who got marketed as the metal-chick frontwoman of Y Kant Tori Read (check out the video for The Big Picture). On the other hand, metalheads have the opposite problem of hiding their pop past. Examples include the industrial metal band Ministry's early days as a new wave synth act and Tommy Iommi's brief tenure as a member of Jethro Tull before becoming lead guitarist of Black Sabbath. Meanwhile, Bon Scott, the late lead singer of AC/DC, is probably spinning in his grave over the YouTube footage of him as an Australian teen idol and a bearded hippie with a recorder.
Satan Rides the Media is a documentary about the Norwegian black metal scene and the notorious Varg Vikernes, founder of the one-man band, Burzum. In 1993, Vikernes was convicted for a series of church burnings and the murder of Øystein Aarseth a.k.a. Euronymous of the band Mayhem. Varg's crimes inspired both copycat arsons and the book Lords of Chaos, which led one book reviewer to make the claim that neoconservatism is totally black metal. But if that doesn't quench your thirst for demoniac documentaries, you can always check out the grindhouse flick Satanis, Anton Lavey in a kiddie promo clip to sell Satanism, and Geraldo Exploring Satan's Underground (Parts 1 and 2).
"Once Were Kings" Some call them 1980's pop icons, others the Kings of Heavy Metal. Regardless, Van Halen has announced a 2007 tour with David Lee Roth. But without Michael Anthony, will it be worth paying to see? While Dave's current fan base is huge, others feel he has not aged gracefully. Well, it could be worse.....(youtube, ytmnd, and bad 80's haircuts warning)
Mr. Frank J. Stola (flash): a self-described professional musician who mangles any and all genres he attempts. Don't miss his take on instrumental fusion rock classical jazz, revolutionary country n western traditional, or heavy metal instrumental on CD Baby. Equally marvelous are his strange, minimal videos. And don't forget to pick up Mr. Stola's myriad products at his Cafepress store. Is he serious?
Top 10 most ridiculous black metal pics of all time - 2005 edition. This is a follow-up to the original 2004 list. NSFW (via Buzz)
Heavy Metal FAQ. (More inside.)
I have seen the future of Metal and it's name is Norselaw and their anthem "Sweet Home Scandinavia". Let the Berzerking Begin!
The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM to cognoscenti) one of the lesser known but most influential movements of the past quarter century. After the innovators of Metal ran out of steam in the late 70's and were stampeded in the maelstrom of punk, heavy metal (and testosterone-soaked delindquents everywhere) found itself in a quandary). A number of UK acts took some cues from the punks, shortened the songs, reigned in the self-indulgence and speeded up the tempo, and upped the relevance and intelligence of the lyrical content, while still retaining the vocal prowess, instrumental pyrotechnics and young warrior energy that makes it Metal in the first place. Some groups became world famous. Others only big in Europe. Some great ones missed stardom by just a notch. Many of these acts have been cited as inspirations by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Napalm Death and the thrash/death metal hordes, and even many post-punks. An interesting summary for fans, and a good introduction for non-mans who may have to recalibrate their opinion of the genre after checking some of these bands out.
POWERSLAVES: An Elektro Tribute to Iron Maiden A record label in Amsterdam has assembled 14 electro-fied covers of classic tracks by the British metal band. Vocoders, drum machines, and analog synths galore, plus influences as diverse as industrial, synthpop, and Miami bass. Loving tribute? Unholy abomination? Entertaining genre cross-pollination? You decide -- the entire album is available as streaming audio from this Dutch radio station.
Dokaka Insane Japanese a cappella that makes Jud Jud or Anton Maiden seem sober. Check out his 3 albums: One of heavy metal covers (including an incredible version of Metallica's Creeping Death), one that includes classics like Ramblin' Man, and another that's just a wonderful hodgepodge (Stevie Wonder Triple, oh my....). He's got a fairly useless homepage, but it's worth keeping an eye on because he posts new songs there.
Mötley Crüe offers their new single "Hell On High Heels" as a free MP3 download...promoting their upcoming album "New Tattoo", hitting stores, June 20th.
See guys...*that's* how it should be done.
KNAC was the heavy metal station in southern california from 1986 to 1995. Their stickers graced the back of many a 4x4 and street sign. While driving around today, I noticed a KNAC PURE ROCK sticker for the first time in ages, but there was a .COM where "105.5" used to be. Going to KNAC.COM reveals that they are in fact back with their same format, now solely internet based. After firing up their broadband stream, I heard some good old Ozzy and it was like being in high school again. This begs the question though, since they went under from a lack of advertising before, is there enough money in internet radio to keep them afloat today?