Depression and its inescapability…

Pete Steele, once of Type O Negative,  is a tough character to understand. Over 2m tall and heavily tattooed yet a gentile soul. Successful, charismatic, very clever indeed, yet depressed…he was, to some degree, a victim of his own success. Whenever I listen to their music, I find the above interpretation of his character within it without trying. There is an underlying sense of sadness moving within it, and I always feel it is there. Having just listened to Anaethesia, once again it altered my very own mood despite Josh Silver’s contribution on the keyboards being so inspirational…

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The fun in finding yourself…

It’s too long ago to be sure but I did see Obituary play in London, in the summer of 1991. I know how I used to stage dive and I’m fairly sure that is me at the 2.07 mark,

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2017 and its best songs…

Brief Introduction

The best year of my life in terms of discovering the music I love so much is coming to an end. On Oct 9th, 2016 I had a serious accident whilst cycling and was extremely fortunate to survive it, sustaining a massive head injury. When I regained consciousness I did not know anything at all, including my name, where I was, who my family were and so on. When I came out of hospital I noticed that I liked heavy metal and could remember the names of songs I once liked. YouTube assisted greatly with this as I continued to convalesce because many videos were stored in its history, and through listening to them I was able to rebuild a picture of who I was. For instance, if I listened to a certain song, it would tell me where I was at the time and what I was doing. Since Faith No More has always been my favourite band I could rebuild much of my past, which was at that point inaccessible. It quickly became the case where I listened to music every night and sometimes for much of the day. Within a month or two I was much better and as it became 2017, I was active on all fronts once more.


The song that set the year on fire…

What a way to start the year off. Kreator, ‘Fallen Brother’. Not only did I get the list of the many deceased musicians within it, I also had the German lines translated. An amazing video and song combo that I found on Jan 16th and had my brain-damaged bonce bouncing about like there was no tomorrow.

The song that awakened me like no other ever has…

I wanted to know exactly who appeared in Kreator’s ‘Fallen brother’, and if I am being honest, there were quite a few I didn’t know. The main one being Pete Steele. I never listened to Type O Negative when I was young and one day I will die not knowing why.

Truly amazing, especially whilst drunk. In exploring Type O Negative, I found this to be fantastic.

A friend sent the following link, which was absolutely mind-blowing. The song and performances are outstanding.

I can’t be so sure what the exact order of the videos that followed is but here they are anyway. So in liking a Japanese band, they sent this on, which has some brilliant guitaring in.

Courtesy of the song title, I found this interesting. The video is funny in many places

Tryptikon again. Although I like the song very much and parts of the video, Tom Fischer is far from his best in the video. Some of his expressions are contrite early on in the video.

Caliban are next up. Great video and really great song. I still recall the first time I listened to it as the 2.43 mark came. Real power and pure class.

Over the summer, I decided to take a closer look at up and coming bands and found IRON REAGAN. Forget IRON ANGEL and IRON MAIDEN, here’s IRON REAGAN. Brilliant videos.

Party thrash extraordinaires. Next video is a true classic. So funny to watch.

There’s a very pretty girl in this vid. Great song also.

Probably the funniest video of the year is from the Dutch punk/hardcore band Vitamin X. So well done and such detail in the animation.

In developing a taste for animation I explored it further and found the following over the summer. Also very funny indeed.

More graphic are the following two.


In relocating to Oman, I found some mind-blowing stuff. Having spent a decade or so not listening to metal, some bands slipped under the radar, the main one being MESHUGGAH. Again it’s a great video.

The following song is also a classic, really great riff.

Rediscovering Carcass has been an absolute pleasure with the following track becoming an instant favourite. With a double-fracture in my skull still recovering, any video with heads being cut open is something I can identify with.

On the more comedic front, I found a few songs that make me laugh, the first coming from MacSabbath.

And better still Okilly Dokilly, which is very funny indeed at the halfway stage.

As the year came to a close I found a few more songs that I really liked. The first being this djent number which I am still trying to get my head around. It’s unlike anything I normally listen to but really comes together in places.

And lastly, around xmas time I found two videos from a British Power Metal band that I will probably watch in August. Here they are.

Superfast guitaring.

The videos above are the cream of the crop. I can’t include everything as that would take far too long, these are only the best. Hope you enjoyed some of them. I will add notes and anything I have missed at a later date.

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Is Jim Morrison the most correct?

Any preference on who speaks most wisely here? Whoever that may be I suspect you won’t be choosing the person at the bottom of the list.

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Averting cynicism is sometimes impossible

Why do bands carry on and on and on. Is it money for old rope? Flogging a dead horse? Having been roped into a rock band at an early age after dropping out of a formal education, is it really that difficult to find something better to do rather than toiling away at the same old stuff written decades ago? If it wasn’t that great back then, why carry on and on and on?

Dio have come under a lot of fire recently. Ronny James Dio, who was a great singer, died a few years back, so what do they do? They create a hologram of the singer and play live with him. It has been argued that he would have wanted that. But if so, is that the primary motive in play here or is something more commercially orientated moving them in this direction?

To me the performance looks lifeless and rather lacking in taste but perhaps I am just cynical.

Dio at their very best.

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A critique or two of Iron Maiden…

Iron Maiden, England’s most successful heavy metal band, have a DVD entitled ‘The Early Days’, which is an ‘account’ of their history. Much of it can be found on youtube:

Their The account of their rise to fame is uncritical and glosses over many things, such as not mentioning the manner in which certain current members were poached from other bands, and the nasty legal disputes that ensued.Writing uncritical history is, as you probably know, is what most academics would consider derisory and tantamount to utter stupidity, however, there is something that emerges from it which, perhaps inadvertently, addresses a curious critique held by so many Maiden fans.

Those who love Maiden will often cite the first three albums as their favourite or the two in the mid-eighties; so that’s Iron Maiden & Killers & Number of the Beast or Somewhere in Time & Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. It’s quite rare to find the albums between cited as favourites by anyone, those being Piece of Mind & Powerslave. I have to admit I know lifelong Maiden fans around the world and have done for decades, and admittedly, I’ve never known anyone to state Piece of Mind & Powerslave as their preferred choices.

The documentary linked above shows just how much the band toured in those years, and as a result Maiden were, to some degree, a victim of their own success. As Steve Harris even says himself, they did not have the time, energy or inspiration, to produce the material they were capable of. It is often claimed that in those two albums their music became formulaic even though they do begin experimenting more. They do seem to lack something compared to both what went both before and came shortly after.

Maiden’s work ethic is what they built their platform upon, and perhaps in retrospect, they did overcook it a bit between 83-85. To what extent pushing yourself too hard is a critique is an open question. Maiden clearly love playing live and always have done, if doing what you love the most impacts upon what is secondary then so be it. There’s nothing wrong with being better at playing live than performing in a studio despite what consumers may think. Perhaps Iron Maiden are better thought of as a perennially great live act. To some degree the previous few sentences are confirmed by Dickinson in the interview below at the 10 minute mark.

Dickenson sings the following in the song Powerslave itself.

Tell me why I had to be a Powerslave
I don’t wanna die, I’m a God,
Why can’t I live on?
When the Life Giver dies,
All around is laid waste,
And in my last hour,
I’m a Slave to the Power of Death.
Slave to the Power of Death…
Slave to the Power of Death…

It is argued by some both within the documentary linked above and in general that the song itself is a critique of the direction the band had gone in or at least the extent to which they went in that direction. A tentative meaning of Powerslave is ‘a slave to being empowered’? Isn’t life tough sometimes? Becoming famous and wealthy whilst pursuing your dreams.

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They won’t stop dying…

Last week the singer Warrel Dane from Sanctuary died. Sanctuary were a very typical thrash band: full of energy early on but when that dissipated there was nothing much left. Their first album was very hard to get hold of, and their second album had a single which was great but the video was rather strange to say the least. We all love long hair but do we love hair that long? And since when do bands stand in line?

R.I.P Warrel, further details can be found here.

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