It’s that time where we get to examine the upcoming festivals for all of you who are into that sort of thing. I know that ACL starts today, and I don’t particularly care. They don’t do a thing with metal and probably never will, though they did add a Danzig show in the middle of the week, but I think that was a middle finger to this other fest coming up in November. Fun Fun Fun Fest is without a doubt the only outdoor festival that I can stomach for more than 20 minutes. Not simply because of the bands, but as I have said before, the people who attend FFF can typically be found at a club any given night partaking in live music as part of their regular culture.
This year’s FFF fest lineup has fewer metal bands than they ever have had on the Black Stage and even the FFF Nites leaves little to offer those of us who love the harder side of life, but still there are some worthy acts like Venom in their only US performance, Converge, L7, Mayhem, Rotting Christ and locals Power Trip and American Sharks. So turn this playlist up as you Uber all those douches from ACL fest, they won’t know what hit em …
This week the Motorhead show at Emo’s ended early due to the ongoing health issues of the iconic Lemmy Kilmister. It was a tough sight to see, a rock and roll legend who is arguably one of the most important figures in heavy music experiencing the effects of getting older. At 70, Lemmy has lived more and rocked more than all of us put together and unfortunately it appears to have taken its toll on his body. When a God becomes mortal before your eyes, you want to deny the inevitable conclusion.
No matter what, Lemmy obviously wants to go out swinging, and though admirable, I am not sure if he knows what all of his fans feel … Lemmy, you owe us nothing. You have given your all over the 40 years we have been listening to Motorhead, and all we want is for your to enjoy your many years you have left, if that is on stage for you, so be it, but we all know you don’t want to let us down … know this, you never have or will! So this month, my list is all MOTORHEAD!
:Motorhead – Ace Of Spades:
:Motorhead – The Hammer:
:Motorhead – Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers:
:Motorhead – Poison:
:Motorhead – Bomber:
:Motorhead – Overkill:
:Motorhead – Electricity:
:Motorhead – Motorhead:
:Motorhead – Iron Horse-Born To Lose:
:Motorhead – Metropolis:
:Motorhead – Killed By Death:
:Motorhead – Mean Machine:
I just returned from an extensive trip to the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World. It might seem strange for a brutal metal man to subject himself to the onslaught of saccharine happiness that emanates from every crevice of that hallowed ground in Florida, but honestly, I love that place. Everyone goes beyond what is necessary to be nice and respectful, the rides are damn fun and it is almost as clean as Canada. Really though taking my daughter, who is not a metalhead, makes for some great family memories and leaves me colder and angry now that I have returned home, purpose served. So with that in mind, a quick Disney Metal mix this month!
A patriotic month around these parts, people in America love their trans-fats, fireworks, flags and freedom, and add to that a violent metal soundtrack and that is pretty much everything we can be balled up into one magical nutty freedom ball. This month in order to celebrate I wanted to provide you a soundtrack from the oppressors who made all of this possible, the British. Without their over bearing, snooty attitude toward God, we would all be sipping tea instead of guzzling down 900oz of soda every day. Depending upon where you mark the beginnings of heavy metal, Britain gave birth to the genre and some of the most prolific and interesting music still comes from the Ilses, so in celebration of Freedom, Justice and everything American in July, a nod to the country who without which the USA would be a Spanish colony, Great Britain.
:Architects – Naysayer:
:Viking Skull – The Blackened Sunrise:
:Bullet for My Valentine – Temper Temper:
:Venom – The Death Of Rock N Roll:
:Diamond Head – Am I Evil:
:The Hell – EVERYBODY DIES:
:Electric Wizard – Satanic Rites Of Drugula:
:Tesseract – Nocturne:
:Iron Maiden – Only The Good Die Young:
:Orange Goblin – Acid Trial:
:Judas Priest – Painkiller:
:Napalm Death – Smash a Single Digit:
:Motorhead – Iron Horse-Born To Lose:
I hate trends. We all say these words and then tend to fall into the traps laid by those who shape the media, me included. Taste makers and trend setters glom onto the latest and greatest in an effort to look like they are ahead of the curve and have some kind of insight into what is “cool” or “now” or whatever you call it. My favorite thing about trends is watching it come to an end. When something goes down, the only ones who seem to survive are the actual originators of it, many times decades old bands revived from the depths of carpentry, plumbing or a meth addiction to play that one song a genre has been derived from and imitated over a thousand iterations. Those bands at least deserve a little credit given that they were panned for 25 years ago and discarded only to be resurrected and paraded around.
The most recent trend for my end of the spectrum Doom Metal, which is characterized by Early Black Sabbath, obviously a trend setter as one of the original ‘metal’ bands, but the second wave brought bands who took their sound, slowed it, and became more deliberate with heavy riffs and distressed vocals. Thinking about it, this may be the third time we have had this particular genre resurge, maybe only the second if you consider the groovier spawn in the mid-90s as something different. So this month, DOOM METAL, a few classics and the trendier modern crap packaged and sold as Satan’s soundtrack, enjoy!
:Acid King – Infinite Skies:
:Yob – Nothing to Win:
:Candlemass – At The Gallows End:
:Valkyrie – Golden Age:
:Cathedral – Ebony Tears:
:Ufomammut – Temple:
:Crowbar – Existence Is Punishment:
:Trouble – The Tempter:
:Goatsnake – Elevated Man:
:Saint Vitus – Born Too Late:
:My Dying Bride – The Poorest Waltz:
:Pentagram – Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram):
:Lucifer – Purple Pyramid:
:Pallbearer – Fear and Fury:
I run a metal radio station called NO CONTROL Radio, and as part of that three years ago I had a friend of mine Metalmaster Steve, as he is known, start up a show that plays nothing but Christian metal, Faster for the Master. I know for some that may seem a little strange that Christian values and metal can exist in the same world, but there is a very long standing tradition of the two co-mingling since the early days of extreme metal in the 80s. I won’t try to give you a history lesson of anything, but I wanted to layout some tunes for you this month that spotlighted what my friend has been doing and what that side of the genre can bring.
Most of the time I am in league with Satan, and the majority of metalheads would probably stand with me in that regard, which is another reason the fans and bands who stand for their values are truly metal, standing in the face of opposition, contradictory to the norms that surround them and giving the finger to those who oppose them. So this month I give you a playlist of bands who stand with God in their corner. Enjoy! And Congrats Steve on three years!
:August Burns Red – Internal Cannon:
:Trouble – Pray for the Dead:
:Deliverance – Windows Of The Soul:
:Tourniquet – Ark of Suffering:
:Demon Hunter – Lead Us Home:
:The Famine – The Crown and the Holy See:
:Extol – Wastelands:
:Stryper – To Hell With The Devil:
:For Today – Fearless:
:Norma Jean – The Potter Has No Hands:
:Haster the Day – White Collar:
:Living Sacrifice – Awakening:
:Impending Doom – Doomsday:
When I started to look at this month’s mix, I began with the idea of Spring being that time when everyone and thing is thinking about procreating and having nasty sex, but then realized I kind of did that for Valentine’s Day back in February. I mean what would make you hornier than Meat Hook Sodomy, so I decided to do the next best thing. Metal dudes masturbate; I’m not talking about actually touching yourself, but the more existential version.
Whether it is the noodly guitar solo that only they (or other metal dudes) want to hear, or those blast beat thunderstorms that they crave so much, but the prime examples are all of the excellent metal songs about metal. You may not even realize it, but that strident self-love is all over the catalog of metal, songs about being metal, acting metal, the genre of metal, metal militias and metal women. Metal dudes love to talk and say the word metal … masturbation. Metal on metal, black metal, metal metal land, you get the idea. So this month we celebrate that giant circle jerk that metal can be and do songs about metal, or metal in the title or bands with metal in their name or metal metal metal … enjoy!
:3 Inches Of Blood – Metal Woman:
:Viking Skull – Heavy Metal Thunder:
:Anthrax – Metal Thrashing Mad:
:Venom – Black Metal:
:Anvil – Metal On Metal:
:The Crown – Death Metal Holocaust:
:Gwar – Metal Metal Land:
:Sodom – Witching Metal:
:Judas Priest – Metal Meltdown:
:Slayer – Metal Storm-Face The Slayer:
:Metal Church – Metal Church:
:Primal Fear – Metal is Forever:
:Metallica – Metal Militia:
:Pantera – Metal Magic:
March is here, Spring is knocking on your backdoor and for Austin SXSW is about to get all up in you. Although many are critical of what the conference has become in recent years, I for one am still in love with it even in my 19th year of attendance. Exposure to bands I might not regularly get or seeing bands that otherwise would be on huge stages in tiny clubs, just makes me happy. Plus industry folk canoodling together, people I have known for years in town once a year for a visit, magical. Commercialization, sell out, too big for its britches, whatever your argument, SXSW is what you make out of it, and no matter what your level of involvement a good time can be had by all.
That being said this year’s crop of metal bands shows a list not as strong as years past, even the free shows or day parties seem a little lacking in the metal arts, but some more announcements are coming next week and I will be assembling a “master list” of metal, if you are interested, on my blog for that will post on Monday. The playlist this month is the best of what has been announced so far, hope you enjoy and remember that Austin is nice, but don’t move here.
:Byzantine – A Curious Lot:
:Weedeater – Hot Doughnuts Now:
:Cancer Bats – Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake:
:Veil of Maya – Phoenix:
:Dillinger Escape Plan – Prancer:
:The Well – Trespass:
:Fallujah – Carved from Stone:
:Sick of it All – Road Less Traveled:
:KEN Mode – Your Heartwarming Story Makes Me Sick:
:Power Trip – Conditioned To Death:
:King Parrot – Bite Your Head Off:
:Norma Jean – If You Have it At Five:
Few months garner the type of pleasure that February brings with such a special holiday like Valentine’s Day. No other holiday can match the selfless devotion to love and relationships the way one day, nay the entire month of February. So in the spirit of such an important day in your life, I assembled a very special list of metal songs that reflect the hard as nails love that every metalhead has tattooed on their blackened heart. Songs not only to dance, caress and canoodle too, but songs that will make you crave your love like a junkie craves their next hit, and possibly contemplate violence against small animals. So kick back, share those earbuds with that beautiful pierced prince or princess and maybe make a little love tonight …
:Cannibal Corpse – Fucked With a Knife:
:Type O Negative – Love You To Death:
:Converge – Heaven In Her Arms:
:The Beards – You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man:
:Faith No More – Be Aggressive:
:Strapping Young Lad - Love:
:Gorerotted – Can’t Fit Her Limbs In the Fridge:
:Six Feet Under - What Do You Do For Money Honey:
:Judas Priest – Ram It Down:
:Rollins Band – Liar:
:Killswitch Engage – The End Of Heartache:
:Pantera – This Love:
I know it’s a new year, we should be looking ahead and all that, but as my first mix of the 2015 comes only a week in I can’t post a bunch of music that isn’t out yet without a gaggle of lawyers breathing down my neck, and since I resolved to have less litigation against me in 2015 I’m instead having one last look back at some overlooked items of the past year. Every year a bunch of EPs hit the racks and they seem to get missed on the year-end metal lists. Whether it is big bands looking for a vehicle for that one good song that hit the cutting room floor or a grindcore band putting out a doom EP, they offer examples of short bursts of creativity that might not have otherwise seen the light of day.
My favorite out of the bunch last year by far was the band Junius with the Days Of The Fallen Sun EP, as a fan they can do no wrong anyway, but this little spark early in 2014 was forgotten by most but gave me a glimmer of brightness when I had new material from them to jam. Enjoy!
:Junius – Battle In The Sky:
:Black Tusk – Vulture’s Eye:
:Swans – Oxygen (Edit):
:Carcass – Intensive Battery Brooding:
:Pig Destroyer – Red Tar:
:Cloudkicker – Sky Guide:
:Periphery – Feed The Ground:
:Down – We Knew Him Well:
:Myrkur – Nattens Barn:
:Converge – Dark Horse (BBC Live Version):
:Godflesh – Dogbite:
Last month I wrote about the Housecore Horror Film Festival that took place a couple weeks ago. It was a smash hit, with some excellent acts, and great horror films, but my friend and organizer of the event, Corey Mitchell, died directly after the festival concluded. Shocking to say the least, he was 48 years old, had just finished a great event and while loading out suffered a heart attack and died. Coming to terms with the loss has been difficult the last few weeks, trying to put things in perspective in a scene that deals with death as a focal point should be easy; there has been no shortage of losses through the years in metal.
This month, I wanted to feature music from bands who have lost members and suffered extreme tragedy, some have been able to carry on, others came to an end, but either way as metal fans we help keep their memories alive through stories, albums, photos and paying tribute as often as we can. I have never dealt with death well, I usually just drink and try to forget, so let this serve as a dose of medicine to help me relieve my pain with losing another friend. RIP Corey and to donate to his family go HERE.
:Damageplan – Breathing New Life:
:Woods of Ypres – I Was Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetary:
:Death – Altering The Future:
:Voivod – Voivod:
:Decapitated – Spheres Of Madness:
:Suicide Silence – No Pity For A Coward:
:Deftones – Around the Fur:
:Static X – Cannibal:
:Dio – Stand Up And Shout:
:Snot – Joy Ride:
:Gwar – Murderers Muse:
:Slayer – Spirit In Black:
:Rigor Mortis – Rain Of Ruin:
Last year the inaugural Housecore Horror Film Festival – curated by Phil Anselmo – cast its darkness on Austin for the first time, and it successfully bridged a film fest and music fest into one very exclusive party for metal and horror fans. As an attendee and host of the awards show, I had a great damn time at an event that elevated the culture of a scene that gets overlooked in our community all too often. It was imitated on the west coast, but honestly there is nothing like a good ole dirty southern party and this year will be even better!
Featuring so many cool things, the 40th anniversary of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, massive amount of exclusive docs and horror flicks, and special guests like Randy Blythe and Brian Posehn, but I focus on the metal music of course. Performances from reunited bands like Superjoint Ritual, classic acts like Napalm Death, Voivod, Danzig, Samhain, and Gwar, and cutting edge metal with KEN Mode, Origin, Unearth and Decapitated will all serve to deafen us for three days coming up October 23-26 at Emo’s and Midways. If you know nothing about it check HHFF out whilst you jam this month’s playlist!
:Acid Witch – October 31st:
:Voivod – Voivod:
:Danzig – Twist Of Cain:
:Unearth – The Swarm:
:Decapitated – Instinct:
:Superjoint Ritual – Haunted Hated:
:Gwar – Womb With a View:
:Portal – Awryeon:
:KEN Mode – Your Heartwarming Story Makes Me Sick:
:Origin – Unattainable Zero:
:Napalm Death – Silence Is Deafening:
:Neurosis – Through Silver in Blood:
The recent news about Chimaira losing every single member other that their founder Mark Hunter (which has happened before) got me thinking about how metal is one of the few genres that seems to forgive and forget lineup changes in bands. Whether it is from death, disputes or simply creative differences, metal bands have been exchanging personnel for years and in some cases for the betterment of the band in question, and in others out of necessity.
So this month I pulled some of the more successful transitions to new membership in groups ranging from the classic metal bands like Sabbath replacing Bill Ward, Iron Maiden swapping out Paul Di’Anno or Carcass losing Michael Amott, to newer groups like Suicide Silence finding themselves after the death of Mitch Lucker, or The Faceless finding people who can deal with Michael Keene. Either way, a playlist of bands who have survived under extenuating circumstances and prevailed!
:Anthrax – The Devil You Know:
:The Faceless – Emancipate:
:Black Sabbath – God Is Dead:
:Suicide Silence – Don’t Die:
:Carcass – Mount Of Execution:
:Slipknot – The Devil In I:
:Chimaira – All That’s Left Is Blood:
:Iron Maiden – Stranger In A Strange Land:
:Death – Crystal Mountain:
:Gwar – Gwar Theme:
:Decapitated – The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God:
American Death Metal has been getting a bad rap in the world lately. For some reason the Eurozone and Scandinavians tend to look down their nose at the genre championed by Americans. I’ll concede Black Metal, Power Metal, Viking Metal and several other genres for not being ours, but when you think of the early bits in the genre, the umbilical was cut in the 50 states (mainly Florida).
Admittedly, the last decade has been rough on Americans – Polish, Austrian, Sweedish and even British Death Metal have garnered more favor for doing innovative and creative things, and I jumped on the bandwagon until a few albums struck this year. It give me hope to know bands like Origin, Fallujah and Misery Index not only have some history that is decent, but new albums that move what can typically be a tight subgenre in a new direction.
So my mix this month, DEATH! Some of this year’s best Death Metal songs and a couple classics to remind you from whence it came. The standout album being from Fallujah, seriously a game changer, in subtle ways, but nonetheless a dividing point between traditional and experimental. Enjoy!
:Fallujah – Carved from Stone:
:Aborted – Necrotic Manifesto:
:Vital Remains – Dechristianize:
:Autopsy – After The Cutting:
:Origin – Manifest Desolate:
:Cannibal Corpse – Sadistic Embodiment:
:Morbid Angel – Suffocation:
:Death – Mutilation:
:Misery Index – Cross to Bear:
:Deicide – In The Minds Of Evil:
:Incantation – Carrion Prophesy:
;Goatwhore – FBS:
There is no question that women love heavy metal. It may not be in the same numbers as men, but the women who love to listen and create metal music can have a difficult road to what they enjoy, questioned at every turn, objectified, crucified, taken advantage of and in some instances even injured or murdered. Most recently Aaron Lewis of the band Staind (Definitely not metal, but hard rock at least) called out some douchebags at their Rockfest show groping a young girl who decided to crowd surf. By its very nature, you might have an errant finger in your butthole while someone is trying to keep you aloft of the crowd, but many times if a woman takes to the crowd, bros try to get frisky, even tearing at clothes or worse.
Unacceptable, not because they are women or young girls, but because you shouldn’t act like an animal, groping at the smell of the opposite sex just because you can. Considering the world we live in, getting groped at a concert doesn’t seem nearly as disconcerting as being raped on a bus in India, but it still makes ladies wary of enjoying themselves when they should have the freedom to do so. So cut the crap Neanderthals and grow the hell up. This month, I wanted to pick out some bands with female members who freaking rule, not because of sex, skin or any of that superficial crap, they are players and singers who dominate.
:Arch Enemy – As The Pages Burn:
:Within Temptation – Paradise (What About Us):
:Benedictum - Burn It Out:
:Walls of Jericho – A Trigger Full of Promises:
:Chthonic – Supreme Pain for the Tyrant:
:Otep – Apex Predator:
:Electric Wizard – Black Mass:
:L7 – Shitlist:
:Eths – Ex Umbra In Solem:
:Kylesa – Unspoken:
:iwrestledabearonce – Letters To Stallone:
:Jucifer – Blackpowder: