So earlier today, I got into a spirited debate with fellow Twitter Metal community figure, @MarkCarras, regarding what is and what isn’t metal. Though I promised myself that I would put my full blogging efforts into the DETHKLOK DETHSPECIAL that I have been promising all of GOATS OF PANDEMONIUM’S readers today, this whole thing has had me quite fired up, as I am pretty fucking proud of Metal and the Metal Lifestyle. I had hoped that my piss & vinegar would fade away, but unfortunately, it appears that it just isn’t going away. I’m afraid that I feel passionately enough about TRUE METAL to state my case in the “What deserves the right to be called metal?” debate. Before reading any further, if you are not familiar with me, or the way I present myself here, BEWARE. I don’t sugar coat shit for thin skinned people. I have listened to heavy music with my father since the 70’s, metal with friends in the 80’s, and have lived the METAL LIFESTYLE since 1987. Since then, I have worked at both NECROPOLIS RECORDS as a publicist, and RELAPSE RECORDS in mailorder, as well as fulfilling an internship in publicity/promotion there in the early to mid 90’s. I have written one sheets, bios, and ad copy for CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS. I co-managed a PR firm out of Detroit, MI under the moniker of DON’T PANIK! PR. I have written reviews and interviews for PIT magazine and countless other smaller mags, as well as producing one of the first all BLACK METAL FANZINES coming out of the US in 93/94 while I was in college. I don’t state this to say I am better or more knowledgeable than anyone else, but to show that I do have some shred of credibilty.
So, let me start with one of MANOWAR’s most famous battle cries… DEATH TO FALSE METAL. What does everyone think they meant by “false” metal? What else could it possibly be? Imagine the time frame… Cock Rock. Plain and simple. Metal is not weak. Metal is strong music not meant for pussies. Metal would never bend to satisfy the subject matter that Cock Rock bands embrace. NEVER! What do these bands that Mr. Carras states “deserve” to be “metal” play? BALLADS, for fucks sake!!! FUCKING BALLADS about love and crying about the girl you screwed over but “ya don’t know what ya got till it’s gone”! How can any self respecting Metal fan consider this to be Metal? This is the music that, when I was in high school, the girls liked ’cause they were wet for the singers or guitarists and the only dudes that liked it were the mullet headed D-Bags trying to hook up with those girls! Shit, I love old KISS, but that is not at all metal! IT IS HARD ROCK! These are the decendants of DEEP PURPLE, and plain and simple, it is HARD ROCK AND ROLL.
So what is Metal? REAL METAL is the bastard children of BLACK SABBATH, punk rock,and surf music. The Dark imagery of SABBATH, the pissed off “don’t give a fuck attitude” of punk rock, and, as SCOTT IAN of ANTHRAX once mentioned in an interview, the picking style of Dick Dale and surf music. BLACK SABBATH, influenced by blues and the occult, as there was NO METAL BEFORE THEM, has a ballad… one that I can think of, “Changes”, but you got to excuse a band that was Metal before there was Metal. I don’t see any correlation between BLACK SABBATH and GREAT WHITE, WHITE LION, or WHITESNAKE. Do you? WHITESNAKE… oh yeah! Coverdale was in fucking DEEP PURPLE! HARD ROCK!
To say that Sammy Hagar is METAL, because he sang a really shitty song called “Heavy Metal” that turned up in a film called “Heavy Metal”, that has NOTHING to do with METAL music is an absurd argument! Because STEPPENWULF coined the phrase in “Born To Be Wild”, even though it never directly says what “Heavy Metal Thunder” is in the context of the song, is also a poor argument to prove they were one of the forefathers of Heavy Metal. If I had a turd on a plate and told everyone in the world through radio, magazines, and television that this turd was a gold brick, it still would NEVER EVER be a gold brick, just a smelly, fat, brown turd on a fuckin’ plate! Therefore, just because somebody called VAN HAGAR “metal” *shudder* at some point just simply doesn’t make them a Metal band! How Metal is the song “Right Now”, huh? Yeah! That rebellious fuck all Metal spirit shines right through! Don’t these 80’s bands like POISON, CINDERELLA, WARRANT, and their big haired bretheren have much more in common with the NICKELBACK’s (hey, they’re on ROADRUNNER, like CRADLE OF FILTH, so are they Metal?), THEORY OF A DEADMAN’s, 3DOORSDOWN’s, BUCKCHERRY’s (wait, are they metal? Because they are surely classic strength COCK ROCK), etc., then they do SLIPKNOT, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, MASTODON or any of today’s more popular Metal bands (just to make it easier on the uninitiated)? If not in style, at least in lyrical content. Somebody prove me wrong, please!
Back in the 80’s hard rock and METAL were always lumped in together on weird concert packages and in magazines. This was due to the fact that the scene was quite a bit smaller for the more extreme metal types, which at the time included the founders of modern Extreme Metal, the NWOBHM bands. This lumping of bands together with hard rock effected Thrash/Speed Metal in particular, and their main influences: the NWOBHM bands with like IRON MAIDEN, VENOM, RAVEN, and ANGELWITCH. As time went on, and the Age of Cock Rock died, REAL METAL and the more extreme subgenres of Metal survived, they got their own mags, their own video shows, and their own radio programs. If any of you remember RIP magazine, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Or if you have a copy of METAL EDGE in one hand, and METAL MANIACS in the other. METAL EDGE is a forum for Hard Rock and the more accessible/popular forms of Metal. You find IRON MAIDEN next to SLIPKNOT, SEVENDUST next to KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and MASTODON. In METAL MANIACS you find NILE next to DEICIDE, and NACHTMYSTIUM next to ELECTRIC WIZARD! Of course, METAL MANIACS will still include HEAVEN AND HELL (BLACK SABBATH) and IRON MAIDEN, SLIPKNOT, and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE as these bands are relevant to its readership. One of my mentors, Jeff Wagner, was a long time METAL MANIACS editor and he knew Metal better than it knew itself! He would never put POISON in METAL MANIACS! OVERKILL, yes! SLAYER, of course! WARRANT? NEVER! This shit is not METAL! It is hard rock and belongs in a forum whose readership demands such content. Because the magazine is called METAL EDGE, again, is no arguement that all the bands included are Metal. There are no strictly hard rock magazines anymore! I’ve heard some young folks call cock rock “Classic Rock” recently! Of course, this is also a misnomer!
Mr. Carras states in his blog that “I think some are trying to change history and unless it has 45 minute blast beats and Cookie Monster impressions for vocals, it isn’t Metal.” In all my years as a Metal critic and journalist, I have NEVER heard one person insist that ONLY the subgenres of DEATH/BLACK METAL or GRIND were the be all/end all of Metal. NEVER! That is just preposterous! If you listen to any of these bands, which Mr. Carras admits that this isn’t his area of expertise (and with all do respect to him, the preceeding comment makes that perfectly clear), you will notice bands producing countless covers of the bands that are most influencial to these various, more extreme subgenres i.e: SLAYER, MOTORHEAD, THE SEX PISTOLS, THE MISFITS, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, SODOM, and the list goes on and on. This being the case, only a fool would claim that these influential bands were not METAL, or involved in the roots of Metal! If any of my readers believe that the only metal bands in world are BLACK/DEATH/GRIND bands, shame on you. Of course, you probably already read my COALESCE interview, and read my KYLESA “Static Tensions” (trip sludge) and EVIL ARMY “Self Titled” (thrash metal) album reviews, so I will assume that you are better educated than the plebians that Mr. Carras is referring to.
I did find another flaw in Mr. Carras’ argument regarding Nu Metal. Of course, that is another bullshit invention of media. No bands ever came out and said, “Yeah, man. we play mostly NuMetal and some covers!” He states, “Now Nu-Metal used the guitar riffs strongly inspired by rap, but never had Rap vocals so it’s another story”, but SLIPKNOT was part of that NuMetal movement and they have tracks, at least “Spit It Out”, where they are clearly rapping. Or am I hearing things? STATIC X is also a member of this era of popularized Metal and I wouldn’t say that their riffs had a hint of rap influence across their entire catalog, which I actually own. But for the true focus of my debate, this is off topic. This stuff at least has lick of toughness and originality and stays away from sappy/pansy subject matter. STATIC X, SLIPKNOT, DISTURBED… they have songs that repel thin skinned twats! “Vermillion” by SLIPKNOT is as close to a ballad as they have produced, and I would say that it is not their greatest shining moment, but the BRUTALITY that is the entirety of “Iowa” is. An album extensively influenced not by rap, rather by, as the band said in REVOLVER MAG, “SUFFOCATION, MORBID ANGEL, and MALEVOLENT CREATION”. Ya know, those “cookie monster” impersonators!
The main focus of my debate was that pussy Cock Rock, so named because everyone in the 80’s wanted to be in a band like that ’cause it pulled all the pussy, is not Metal. When did IRON MAIDEN sing love songs? “22 Acacia Ave.”? Or VENOM? “Poison”, “Red Light Fever”, “Acid Queen”, “Teachers Pet”? These are songs are all about fucking prostitutes, man! This shit is REAL METAL! Not giving a fuck about what any D-Bag thinks, especially not some girl “like a cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise!”
Do I like any Cock Rock? The closest I get would be MOTLEY CRUE’S “Shout At the Devil” era and the make-up era of KISS. KIX, TRIXTER, FIREHOUSE, STEELHEART, JACKYL, and all the other one-trick ponies from MTV in the 80’s (when they still played videos) are fucking garbage. I hated it then, and it is just embarassing to listen to now. MANOWAR was on top of this debate from the very beginning… “DEATH TO FALSE METAL!”
I do want to make mention that I harbor no ill-will towards Mark Carras, in fact, it’s quite the opposite! This guy has gone out of his way to establish a strong METAL community through the Twitterverse. On top of that, he pens a very interesting, thought provoking blog, that I highly recommend. You can find it here: www.markcarras.com. Also, I do not want this debate to be misconstrued as “in-fighting” or anything so gay as that. Fighting on the internet is like the Special Olympics… no matter who wins, you’re still a fucking retard! On that note, if you were offended by a single shred of this editorial… FUCK YOU AND DON’T COME BACK! I wouldn’t fucking care if a single soul read this fucking blog! It doesn’t matter to me! I do this as an outlet. The reason for this can be found in my introductory editorial “.50 Cal Hails…”, where I explain in full detail why I bother blogging at all. If you’re not an easily offended wimp and share the TRUE Spirit of Metal, then I hope you at least got a laugh out of this debate!
Lay Down Your Soul to the Gods of Rock ‘N Roll (wait, isn’t VENOM a BLACK METAL BAND *gasp*… a new debate!),
\m/ Wolven Joker Lokison 666 \m/
PS: 8 June, 2009… just want to make mention of something. If you are unfamiliar with GOATS OF PANDEMONIUM, I am constantly editing my posts. I am on high doses of morphine for pain control from injuries I sustained during my 15 months deployed to Iraq (my day job is US Soldier, stationed in Bamberg, Germany) and often find mistakes in my blog posts. It is very hard for me to present myself in a logical and smooth manner of writing, because I have a Devil of a time concentrating. Please except my sincere apologies. Please stay tuned, as I will attempt to explain both the importance and evils of “genre labeling”, as well as adding a couple thoughts to the STARK RAVING MADNESS that you just experienced! Thanks to all Headbangers, Crusties, Metal Freaks, and other Sick Fucks that read GOATS OF PANDEMONIUM and share their opinions, hate mail, and/or encouragement… TOTAL WAR, WJL666