Sunday, July 26, 2015

Deth Leppard's Guide to Becoming a DIY Metal Legend

Deth Leppard is a seasoned expert in the subject of DIY metal music, having seen quite a few DIY acts in his time .

If countless hours spent perusing the Metal Archives of Encyclopedia Metallum has taught this guy anything, it's that there are a tragic lack of underground Death Metal bands out there. The quantity of bedroom black metal acts is becoming even more finite! With metal being the least lucrative form of expression in today's music industry, bands are calling it quits faster than they're getting started. If you can't sell records, then you can't tour. If you can't tour, then you can't sell records. Quite the conundrum for anybody trying to break into the metal scene. It's almost as if in order to be a successful touring musician of any kind in the first place, you have to be some spoiled art school douche with the parental monetary support to buy gear, go on tour, and record music without any kind of full time job or your own rent to pay. Almost.

We are living in a tumultuous time for the music industry. Right now, it is the absolute best time in the world to be a listener. Consequently, it is the absolute worst time to be a musician. Financially speaking, anyway. The age of streaming has stripped all music of its inherent worth. Why pay for something you can hear for free on Spotify or YouTube with just a few quick mouse clicks? Nobody is buying music anymore. Metal labels aren't making anymore money. Therefore, the artists are making even less money. Getting signed is a game you can't play anymore, because the game is over. It's been that way for years. Even the bands that do get signed, do so because they just don't know any better. What little money they would have personally made selling their own records. either goes to a new set of tits for some record exec's bitch wife, or to cover the label's overblown recording budget.

FACT: You will make more dough strumming chords acoustically on a street corner in a single afternoon, then you will ever make as a signed AAA Death Metal act from your total record sales royalties.

Hence this guy.
So what option is there for someone such as yourself, who has this burning desire to share your message of metal mayhem to the masses? As a metal musician, now more than ever you need to cut out the record label middle men and Do It Yourself.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: Between the Boring And Me's Latest Album Put Me in a Coma

This guy's got the right idea. (zzZZZzz)

A lot of metal elitists dislike Between the Buried and Me. Typically, because all we need is a sentence-long band name and a few short haircuts to disregard a group forever, no matter how they might sound. It's a dumb rule, but a reliable one. The early aughts gave us a slew of deplorable, trendy bands that fell under these few vague guidelines (As I Lay Dying, It Dies Today); so if you as a group hit those places anywhere on our true metal flow chart, you were to be avoided like the plague. It was just around this time that BTBAM first hit the scene, and their original sound wasn't too far off from the other metalcore bands of the period. The fact that they debuted and released the majority of their albums on Victory Records, didn't help matters much for their reputation either.

With each new release, however, the band matured; molded themselves into something different. More progressive, more experimental. The band then found a new home with widely respected Metal Blade Records. Today, they are hailed on the internet as the darlings of progressive metal. They have become the new legends. BTBAM are now one of the preferred bands among a new batch of modern day musical elitists that believe their college attendance means they're adult enough to be real people with real opinions. The band's music has been deemed untouchable by any serious, educated criticism. Their fans simply disregard the critics as too low on the mental totem pole. We simply lack the nuance to contemplate the spectrum of musical genius that is totally present in the music, but lost on us and our monkey-level minds.

Between The Buried And Me's genre flipping, avant-garde, jazz fusion, mathcore mashing of musical complexity is perfect fodder for someone trying desperately to prove their intellectualism within their record collection. BTBAM fans are the types of people that operate under the guise that how enjoyable a band is to listen to is in direct correlation to how technical their instrumentation is. It's shattering of conventional music structure is specifically what makes it good to them. Whether or not the music is still actually listenable is completely irrelevant.

Because I'm also a worthless sad sack who desperately wants people to like me and think I'm smart, I've tried for years to get into BTBAM. I'm not kidding when I say I have listened to their entire studio discog from track to track, just for the sake of trying. Without the veil of satire, without the comedy of overblown elitism to shroud this opinion, I can just tell you straight off that I, as the real world dude writing this, never liked them. At all. I never even thought they were okay. I totally listen to all sorts of alternative metal that would easily get me expunged from The Hall were I to reveal it here, but I could never manage with these dudes. I've tried to keep an open mindbut never succeeded.

I also tried to Google a photo of the band, but I keep finding pictures of their fans instead.

BTBAM just never hit the right notes for me. And I mean that quite literally. These guys, with their playing, never hit the right musical notes. Every time they had a good groove, melody or riff going, something that could really make the hairs stand off the back of your neck; they would always fuck it up at the end. They would wank it off into somewhere unexpected at the last pivotal moment and fuck up your internal rhythm with the song. BTBAM as musicians were always one fret away from sounding good. Just enough to make you cringe. It's as if you were listening to a guy who's good enough at guitar just sitting there practicing. Noodling around, not really playing anything cohesive; just looking for inspiration to hit while aimlessly fretting notes that were too flat or too sharp to make sense with each other. Yet, instead of working more on making it sound right, the band just kept the guitar noodling and recorded it. That shit was just their song. Maybe that's the whole point behind BTBAM's music; maybe that sort of thing is done to challenge me as a listener? Maybe I'm just too stupid to like it? Whatever the reason, the band typically missed my approval with their music.

I say typically because it wasn't all bad. I never found myself liking the complete songs that BTBAM produced. But I would find myself liking parts of songs. For instance, I can tell you right off the bat I don't like the title track of Alaska. But I can tell you I liked the first 35 seconds of the song. The rest of that song, and the whole rest of the album can pretty much fuck off. I really like the part 10:44 into the song White Walls, and it's pretty cool until its conclusion at 14:13. The 10 minutes and 43 seconds prior to this moment however, can fuck right off with their rest of their tunes, (maybe the intro is okay). If you have time to load these songs up on YouTube or Spotify, you'll find why I like these small parts over the rest of the track. They're melodic. They're cohesive. They have a real groove, a real melody, they are music of substance. If BTBAM did that sort of thing all the time, they would all around be enjoyable to listen to. But they don't. So they're not.

The biggest plight of listening to BTBAM is that once you start a song, you're gonna be hearing several completely different songs by the end of the... song. Some of these pieces are so wildly different from one another, that it's easy to hate the first six minutes of a track, really enjoy the next minute and a half, and then be apathetic about the final two. With BTBAM, it was never about the destination, it was always about the journey. Anyone who's ever driven from Western Massachusetts to Nashville Tennessee can tell you that some journeys are long, back-aching bullshit where you never have anywhere to pull over and piss. Also you have a cruel, heartless, life-sucking sea hag waiting for you at the other end; one that you have to miserably live with, without a single moment of genuine joy, until you finally catch her cheating on Craig's List and you get the balls to do what you should have done 5 years fucking prior.

I think I'm getting off topic.

With all that said, I kind of liked Coma Ecliptic. It's a good album. Not great, not amazing, but good. It's a good album, but only because it's BTBAM's most conventional album musically. Back in my day, we used to call that shit "selling out". It's that thing bands like to explain away as them "maturing"; when really they're hurting for a little extra dough from the pockets of a little wider audience. Coma is BTBAM's most digestible album musically, and scaling their bullshit back is exactly what the band always needed to do. It confirms for me that for years BTBAM could always play good music, they just never wanted to. In this album, they see the melodies to fruition, they hit the right notes, they keep things cohesive.  They do switch it up with each track like they normally would, progressively speaking; but King Redeem - Queen Serene, the album's strongest track, actually has a verse. And a chorus. A fucking chorus. A chorus that allows itself to be repeated 3 complete fucking times. That's unheard of in the realm of BTBAM. It's completely ground breaking in the way that it's not ground breaking. Only these sons of bitches could blow your mind by trying to be less mind-blowing. Clever dicks.

Rapid Calm, another pretty solid track, still brings me back to the familiar frame of mind of enjoying one part of the song and not so much the rest. I dunno, I guess that fact should keep a lot of their fans happy. I found myself enjoying the groove at 6:25. Once I dissected why I found it enjoyable, however, I recognized that it sounded familiar. I realized it sounded familiar, because it sounded pretty Mötley Crüe. Then I stopped liking that... Then I stopped liking much else about the album. For in that moment, I realized what made this album the very best BTBAM album was because the band continuously teases the listener with how enjoyable pieces of pop music can be within the context of the over-complicated wankery that has always been BTBAM's music.

One last search... for GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS

You know, this review started off with me planning on a much higher score, and then got a lot lower as I worked my way through it to its conclusion. In that way, this album review is just like any BTBAM song. Some parts are positive. A lot of parts are negative. In the end, it's a fucking mess.

Coma Ecliptic might alienate some BTBAM fans in the way it acts more conventional musically, and at the same time -- despite some high points -- will still probably be too much to stomach for someone who wants to listen to a solid, musically conventional metal album. So in the end, nobody wins. Just like always. There are no more good albums. Stop trying.

2/5. No, 3/5. Well, wait 4 out of -- nope--nah, 2.5/5 I guess. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Quick Reviews: Metal of May 2015 Wasn't Better

Shut up idiot. I read your album review, and the whole time I was sitting there just like OH GOD STOP WRITING IT BURNS MY FUCKING EYES. It's cool when I write on and on about anything, because I'm funny and awesome. But you? You're boring as wood. And I don't mean the wood they use to build super strats. I mean the wood they would use to build schools or some shit. Snore. When you're not wasting everyone's time with your high falutin breakdown of any given death metal release, your blog is all about news. We get it, metal musicians OD on heroin and break up, thanks for the fucking update Sludge Report.

There's so much talk in your typical metalhead's album review. Going on and on about each track and the mood of the album and how it compares to their previous work and just constant, analytical dissection. The only dissection that matters to me is the one where the lead singer killed himself for Satan. At least that's what he claims in his suicide note. I'm pretty sure we all know he did it because his last album was radio rock. Yeah, I said it.

Enough with the paragraphs and paragraphs of album reviews already. This is the age of streaming. I don't need to read an in-depth critique someone has of an album when I can just go listen to it myself for free somewhere and figure out it sucks in 4 minutes. I don't need some thick rimmer in a hoodie on his Mac to help me decide what album to listen to in a nine paragraph essay. I have my own hoodie and glasses, thank you very much. I can't afford a Mac because I'm too underground, and I don't have time to write nine paragraph essays about metal albums because I'm too busy writing fifty paragraph essays about how everyone should act at shows. 

Veil of Maya - Matriarch

Everyone who's into Veil of Maya got really mad about how VoM has a new vocalist who sings typical good cop/bad cop metalcore circa 2004 vocals in this new album. They should instead be angry with themselves for getting into VoM in the first place.  

2/5 But hey, if you like Periphery... then stop that too.

Nekrogoblikon - Heavy Meta 

It's kind of tragic really. I was looking forward to this album ever since I heard Nekrogoblikon started working on it. With all the wait, and all the hype, I so very badly wanted to enjoy this album, and then I did. Too much. The absolute worst thing about this album is that I didn't hear it sooner in some sort of prophetic vision during my darkest nightmares and had to wait until it was actually released. Buy it with what little money you have, you fucking idiot. Stop reading this and buy it. Steal the money from your mom's purse if you don't have it. I mean look at all those 20's in there, she won't notice. Do it, you pussy. Don't you want to be metal? If you pay for this album, I will take back all those times I called you a poseur. Seriously. You will be the only other person who managed to be true metal alongside me. It's gonna be sick. Together, we can rule the galaxy as father and poseur. I had you going there for a second. You will always be a poseur, don't you ever forget that. Buy it anyway, poseur:

5/5 Because the band that's just kidding on this list still makes way better music than the bands that aren't.  

Skinless - Only The Ruthless Remain

Skinless is a death metal band.

3/5 Consequently, this was a death metal album. Could always use more of those.

Leprous - Congregation

If you're not familiar with the band Leprous, then this album is as good a place as any for you to get yourself started. They're metal. They're from Norway. What more do you need? Obviously, you black metal kids are really gonna like it.


Paradise Lost - The Plague Within

Much like every other Paradise Lost album, this one's a day brightener. 

 3/5 Doom metal with haunting melodies, but you already knew that.

Kamelot - Haven

I have and always will completely hate Kamelot. Kamelot is like power metal music for people who don't like it too powerful. Just sort of a little stern metal, I guess. Whenever I need a perfect reference to discuss what could be wrong with power metal or what could be bad about a power metal band or song, I use Kamelot as the prime example. I'll say things like "this sucks, it sounds so Kamelot". Whereas other power metal acts showcase the badassery of a renaissance festival with swords, armor, knights, wizards, mages, dragons, mighty steeds and jousting, Kamelot would go there and be all about the frilly coats, powdered wigs, dainty handkerchiefs, feathered hats and lacy corsets. With that said, "Haven" isn't all bad. Kamelot's musicians are capable. Guitar work is solid, the melodies are gripping, but much like every Kamelot release, there's this inherent haze of gothic wussiness that can't be shaken. This overly synthesized softness of Kamelot's music brings about instant images of the eye-liner donning, pouty, soul patched faces of the fruitcups that play it. I feel like I'm being caressed by the soft fingers of a delicate man for 100% of the time when their music is playing. You feel that way too, and that's probably why you like it.

2/5 Hey, there's nothing wrong with that. You deserve equal rights just like everyone else. 

Faith No More - Sol Invictus  

Somehow, this exact song wasn't on there. Disappointing...

2/5 It's so cool, it's so hip, it's alright. It's so groovy, it's out of sight.

Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! - Get Lost, Find Yourself

I am going to start a petition to change the genre title of "easycore" to "softcore". Firstly, because "soft" is the proper antonym to the "hard" in the phrase "hardcore", since it is in reference to toughness, not difficulty. But mainly, because having to sit through this happy-go-lucky garbage is the musical equivalent of trying to wank it to Cinemax while the camera keeps zooming in on rippling dude ass.

1/5 Dude ass.

Gorgoroth - Instinctus Bestialis

I dunno. What could I tell you in order to convince you that I listened to this whole album and cared enough to form a well-rounded opinion about it? How about we say it's more of a Gorgoroth album than the last Gorgoroth album? It's more gooder? It's consistent. How about I say it's a solid return to form while still bringing a fresh new take to the band's sound? Maybe I heard something you didn't and that's just how I perceived it. That sounds good.

3/5 That seems like an inoffensive score that won't raise any questions.

We Butter the Bread with Butter - Wieder Geil

Oh god, full blast diarrhea right in my ears. You don't have to speak German to know every lyric is the dumbest thing ever said. This album can leck mich im arsch. Three songs in and it was a chore deciding not to fucking kill myself.
 1/5 Scheiße
Feared - Synder 

Ola Englund is a kick ass guitarist that I greatly respect. As a budding gear head, I follow him religiously on all forms of social media. It makes it that much harder for me to admit that in his extensive resume of metal bands, there isn't a single one that I enjoy listening to. Unfortunately, the band Feared is no exception. Synder is an album of such baseline modern metal, that even though it does everything right, I can't recommend it at all. This album, like all of Feared's music, is so aggro, so well mixed, so full blown thrash riffage and occasionally melodic and harshly vocalized, so chugga chugga widdly widdly. It's such standard post-aughts metal that it doesn't take any brains to be a metalhead who's into it. Each track just blended into the next one as I was listening. Before I knew it, the album was half over and I was already checked out. This is the kind of stuff that frequently ends up dominating the airwaves of SirusXM Liquid Metal, college radio metal hours, and cable TV metal music playlists. It's like the Nickelback of the metal genre. It's too easy and there's too much. Enough already. Can we call this the last album of its kind? Haven't we sold enough camouflage shorts and chain wallets?


Want me to review your album for next month's quick reviews? Send me a message on Facebook, or better yet, email me a link with your band page to

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Violation: Misplaced Concert Enthusiasm

Once again, TNM descends into that deep dark abyss known simply as the heavy metal show. What a horrible place.

Events such as these are a mass breeding ground for the socially retarded and mega awkward. Individuals, who's thirst for raw brutality and unbridled riffage is only rivaled by their complete inability to maintain eye contact during conversation. I'm sorry, I take back the breeding ground bit. None of you poseurs are having any fucking sex.

You're all a bunch of mumbly dorks who have never quite deconstructed the proper way to engage with other people, much to your own dismay. In your frustration, you have immersed yourselves in the counterculture of Heavy Metal as a means to put up an abrasive front to others. You think that if you look and act like you don't want people to approach you, that you can convince everybody -- and more importantly yourself -- that your lack of good friends and connections with others is on purpose. You think there's just no way that you could possibly be so inept at interacting with others... these normal people just don't appreciate the badassery of your redundant wrist wear, skull tattoos, chain wallet, gurgly vocals blaring from your car stereo, and t-shirt with an eviscerated woman on it; right? The honest hard truth is that you're an insecure pillow soft puss bitch with wittle marshmallow feelings that your pathetic, feeble self doesn't want to get hurt. You and everybody around you can smell your repugnant, foul. unwashed loneliness underneath all that tough metal guy bullshit from a block away. Fuck you, liar. You dishonest, frail piece of subhuman shit.

That doesn't have very much to do with what I'm talking about today. I just thought someone should remind you why you're depressed.