Thursday, September 23, 2010

Greatest Metal Lists

As I sit on my couch today reading the latest issue of Terrorizer and leaving the TV on in the background, I am confronted by something that has confounded me for a long time; the existence of “greatest lists.” In the magazine there is the “40 Riffs of Sickness,” a list of the greatest riffs of all time and on TV there is the list of 100 greatest artists of all time. Pretty much any weekend on VH1 there are 2 shows that will always be on, reality “stars” on dating shows and lists of the greatest something of all time. Now, I am not dumb, I know that these are not some mathematically calculated lists by panels of experts that determine what actually makes someone or something better than another, rather it is just based on a poll of whoever they can get a hold of. When VH1 creates the greatest artists of hard rock, they consult everyone from James Hetfield to Kerry King to a random comic they pull from the local night club.  Most of these people have no real insight into what makes a great artist, it is simply which one they believe is most popular.  Therein lies the real problem with these lists, the basic premise of “greatest.”  If these lists are truthful they would all be titled “The Most Popular” or “Artists That We Think Will Make Us The Most Money.”  That is why just about every list contains the same people over and over again. It gets pretty tedious to watch or read these lists because they become so monotonous that you can predict the order of them almost every time.
                However, that may be the beauty of creating these lists. Creating a debate is what these people want as a result because any conversation that leads to intelligent thoughts on differing ideas can only bring about more ideas.  Whenever someone says something like, “Megadeth creates the greatest music of all time,” someone else is bound to say, “That is ridiculous because they don’t hold a candle to Angelus Apatrida!” And the main reason for their argument is that Angelus is less known of and therefore superior, however they won’t say that outright.  Even though that is an absurd argument it does one thing that is great, it brings more bands to the forefront and allows a greater number of people to discover new and exciting bands.  Angelus Apatrida is a great band and by mentioning them in the same statement as Megadeth will only gain them more fans. 
                What I am getting at in this little editorial is that while these lists have no factual basis, because they are all subjective to the creator, they are mildly entertaining and can have the ability to create some good conversation and debate.  In addition, best of lists or greatest list should be solely designated for year-end lists or suggestions for someone new to the genre. If they are created at any other time of the year, they are completely useless because they are not bringing in any new information. Year-end lists allow people to remember all the great albums of the past year, to be introduced to albums/bands they missed, and to create the debate that I mentioned as being beneficial to the existence of the genre.  The more debate created equals more interest in the music and discovering new bands.  If they are done right, these lists can be very valuable to metal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Folk Metal Playlist

When discussing folk metal, there seems to be a couple different sounds a band can have. There are those that go for the upbeat, humppa style that can put a smile on the darkest of all metalheads, and there is the grim, earthy style that embodies one’s heritage. It can be mixed with black, power, thrash, death; just about any style of metal, and still come out sounding fresh and inspiring. Here is my new playlist featuring that new subgenre that is sweeping the metal world, folk!

Alestorm – Over The Seas

Eluvietie – Quoth The Raven

Hollenthon – Y Draig Goch

Svartsot – Drekar

Windir – Todeswalzer

Suidakra – The IXth Legion

Primordial – Empire Falls

Blackguard – Allegiance

Equilibrium – Blut Im Auge

Falkenbach – Heathen Foray

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Portnoy's Leaving

There has been a lot of news hitting the metal world lately. First off, perhaps the biggest is Mike Portnoy leaving prog geniuses Dream Theater. This was incredibly shocking news because this band was his creation and to see someone with such immense talent walk away is simply disheartening. In addition, it makes it all the more worse when he is sitting in as drummer for metalcore poster boys Avenged Sevenfold. Does this mean that he is joining this group of youngsters that don’t deserve a drummer of such gift? I think that I am on the same level as most true metalheads in saying that it is absurd that a terrible band such as A7X does not deserve Portnoy as he has consistently been a true musician with DT for 25 years and A7X is nothing but a wannabe Guns n Roses in that they are more about looks than their music. Although Portnoy says it has nothing to do with his joining of A7X it is hard to believe it.

"I BEG of the fans to please NOT hold A7X responsible for MY decision...they are just as shocked as you guys..I had been contemplating this and desiring a 'break' (not split) as long ago as last year...everything else is fully explained in the press release...thank you all for your support and understanding...this is the hardest thing I've ever done..." (

No matter what is said by all parties involved, this is a truly said day for one of the greatest bands of our generation. Hopefully this is just a temporary split as DT will not be the same without its heart and soul.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Black Metal Playlist

Darkened caves, frozen tundras, pits of hellfire, and of course, Satan! This is all part of what the mind conjures up when thinking of black metal. Dim lit, thinking man’s metal that came about from a frame of mind that was upset over the single minded nature of the mass majority. Here is a small look at the grim, frostbitten genre that has scared thousands for decades.

Barathrum – Bride of Lucifer

Ceremonial Castings – When Winter Spectres Come

Negura Bunget – Dedesuptul

Dodheimsgard – Horrorizon

Ludicra – A Larger Silence

Archgoat – The Light Devouring Darkness

Rotting Christ – Nemecic

Peste Noire – Le Mesniee Mordrissoire

1349 – Sculptor of Flesh

Emperor – I Am the Black Wizards

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Behemoth's Nergal comments on his illness

BEHEMOTH's Nergal answers back to the overwhelming response of those offering to set up benefits in the vocalists honor

Singer's main goal is to raise awareness and get people involved by registering to be a bone marrow donor

Since news on Nergal's recent health issues has been released, the band, management, and label has received an overwhelming response from fans and bands all over the world asking how they can directly help Nergal. In response to everyone offering his or her help in terms of setting up benefits and shows to raise money for the frontman of the Polish blackened death metal band BEHEMOTH, Nergal has issued the following statement:

"I haven't intended to manifest myself in any way and, especially at this stage, to share my feelings or any other news with the world for obvious reasons. It is simply too early for it. But it was YOU who provoked me to say a few words. Regarding my personal low opinion of humankind, I'm shocked by the reaction to my illness. I actually expected NOTHING yet received feedback which surpassed all expectations. I want to ensure you I read EACH mail I receive, although I'm unable to reply to all of them. The power of your words is pure magic and I thank you all for it. You are a gigantic indestructible army that truly inspires me in this difficult time. The fact is that a fight with this illness is going to last for many months. Most of this time I will spend in hospital and I will go through various psychophysical states. If you know the history of Behemoth you also know we achieved everything by hard work and a steely determination. The same goes for my private life. I happen to be a strong son of a bitch. I have no faith but rely on a 100% victory and I am sure I will get out of it stronger than ever. Sun Tzu in his 'Art of War' said that if you know your enemy and yourself the result of a thousand battles will not surprise you… I enter the ring with this Nietzschean attitude and I will leave it as a winner, as usual. Just watch and see!

So I want to emphasize that Behemoth will by no means goes through any hibernation state. Obviously all concert plans must be postponed until some unknown point in the future, but things are happening! Lately our newest video for '…Alas, Lord is Upon Me' has premiered and stirred up quite a storm in mass media, which fills us with utter pride. Plus we've just finished the project of our new DVD; Evangelia Heretika is a three disc release, a real encyclopedia of Behemoth with nearly 5 hours of material and a bonus audio CD that will be out in November (Metal Blade US - Nuclear Blast Europe). Expect an experience of visual madness as we went to hell and back to make it! Our official Webstore has been functional for a couple of days and official merchandise and some very exclusive stuff can be bought there. At the beginning of 2011, Peaceville in Europe and Metal Blade in US will reissue the EPs with new artwork, bonuses, liner notes, and more. As you can see, despite a complicated situation and difficult circumstances we're remaining active wherever we can.

Nergal's official view on benefit concerts, fund raisers, etc. is focused on marrow donations as a whole issue, not his specific situation. If you want to help Nergal the best thing you can do is set up a marrow drive or register to be a bone marrow donor. Every person that registers to be a donor increases the chances of survival for Nergal and every other person out there suffering from the same illness.

To learn more about how you can register to donate marrow check out:

(From Metal Blade)