On November 16th, 2016, the online metal tabloid known as Metalsucks published their “manifesto” in which they very publicly announced “We will not tolerate racism, misogyny or any form of bigotry or hate speech” (because apparently it took them ten years of running a website, not to mention a good chunk of their adult lives to figure out these things are shitty).
There was a time when I actually enjoyed being part of the online metal community. I don’t have a lot of metalhead friends in “real life,” so it was fun to finally be able to discuss the music I love with like minded people. For a long time it was a total blast.
I first started covering the resurgence of the cassette tape early last year with a review of Blut Der Nacht’s demo and a mammoth piece on the various wares of the infamous Crepusculo Negro and Rhinocervs labels. I instantly fell back in love with the format that had enchanted me in my younger years; I was once the proud owner of a big brown Fisher Price tape recorder which I would use to listen to music, interview family members and record skits with friends, eventually graduating to a boom box when I got older. Some of the first metal music I ever owned was on cassette (specifically a single of Metallica’s “One,” aka the song that kick-started this over two decade long love affair with all things heavy). Granted, the ultra-corrosive black metal of a band like Blut Der Nacht was pretty far removed from jamming Michael Jackson’s Thriller on the Fisher Price in my youth, but I was still reminded of how my initial interest in music was sparked by cassettes.
Continue reading “Is this cassette shit getting out of hand?”
This Sunday, Wrestlemania 29 emanates from the MetLife Stadium in Rutherford, New Jersey. I remember the days when I used to get pumped for this event every year; the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, the clash of the spandex clad titans. Starting with the Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View, which traditionally kicks off the “road to Wrestlemania” by determining who will challenge for the heavyweight title in April, the anticipation would build across weekly installments of Raw and Smackdown, as the storylines progressed to a fever pitch, with the performers putting everything they had into whatever feud they were embroiled in so that their inevitable collision at the showcase of the immortals would be an emotionally charged explosion of hard-hitting action.
I hate power metal. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. My hatred for the genre burns with the fire of a thousand suns going nova. Ah, that’s more like it. Anyway, it’s been years since I subjected myself to the genre due to extreme disdain, but then along came this beyond fucking hysterical review of Stratovarius’ latest flaming unicorn ride and I just couldn’t help myself. The review was so engaging that it was one of those things where I knew the album would make me cringe, but at the same time, I just had to know…
Technical death metal, brutal death metal, slam death metal… it’s all sort of one big subgenre mish-mash to me; bands classified as one of these often have elements of one or both of the other two in their sound. It’s not a type of death metal I listen to often; I nearly tech deathed and brutal deathed myself to uh, death during college (did they even have slam death metal back then?), when I was knee-deep in bands like Atheist, Anata, Gorguts, Suffocation, Psycroptic, Necrophagist, Aborted, Devourment, etc, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate simplicity and primitivism over flashy guitar-work and five-million-mile-per-hour blast beats (which is probably why I listen to way more black metal than death metal these days). But every so often I can’t help but get a hankering for this crazy shit, so I have little choice but to dive in headfirst and see what the fuck the kidz are listening to these days…
This past Monday, WWE celebrated the 1,000th episode of its flagship show, Monday Night Raw. Although pro wrestling isn’t what it used to be, I’m still a fan and was looking forward to seeing whether or not the company would be able to live up to the gargantuan amount of hype they had generated over the past several months. Part of me was hoping that Vince McMahon would go into evil genius mode and pull out all the stops, producing something on par with the classic episodes of the “Attitude Era” or at the very least giving us one five-star match. Knowing that many stars of the past would be on hand for the three-hour epic in the making, I found myself hopping aboard the hype machine against my better judgement.
Continue reading “Thoughts on the 1,000th episode of WWE Monday Night Raw.”