photo manipulation by nacrowe
INFANT ANNIHILATOR is another objectively amazing band name in the lofty tradition of other EXTREME METAL/DEATH METAL luminaries who are unafraid to have truly moronic monikers like CATTLE DECAPITATION, PIG DESTROYER, REGURGITATE, BLOOD TSUNAMI, ROTTING CHRIST, NAPALM DEATH, DEFECATION, HOODED MENACE, DYING FETUS, MORBID ANGEL, TOXIC HOLOCAUST and of course ANAL CUNT. i for one love it when METAL bands stop taking themselves too seriously and embrace the ridiculousness that is life. or is that death?
definitely check out the british DEATHGRIND band INFANT ANNIHILATOR and their awesomely kitschy videos. its about time an EXTREME METAL band did a full-blown BOY BAND parody. can't believe it took this long. maybe BLINK-182 got there first?
photo manipulation by nacrowe
its been years but im still pissed ADULT SWIM took this show off the air.
the long-defunct animated show METALOCALYPSE, which aired on CARTOON NETWORK from 2006-2013 was the brainchild of one BRENDON SMALLS and followed the banal and vapid musings of the most successful METAL band of all-time, DETHKLOK. how big? world economies hang on their every release. so big that an ILLUMINATI-esque secretive council of military, business, political and religious leaders are constantly convening to decide their fate unbeknownst.
METALOCALYPSE was easily the most cutting satire of the truly ridiculous aspects of all things METAL since THIS IS SPINAL TAP (EMBASSY PICTURES1984). it really milks for comedic effect the megalomania, paranoia, pettiness and extended childhood impetuousness that comes with being a musician. it doesn't hurt that musically no METAL genre goes unscathed, including BLACK METAL, DEATH METAL and GLAM METAL which really is a testament to the multiple talents of SMALLS who wrote and directed the series as well as constructed and played most of the music with the help of legitimate members of the metal community. and that involvement is what separates this show from SPINAL TAP in spirit, as the latter was created by a group of comedians lampooning the genre outside outside the community. METALOCALYPSE has had numerous guests, choosing adroitly to hide most of their collaborative efforts, including KING DIAMOND, ACE FREHLEY of KISS, MIKE PATTON of FAITH NO MORE / MR. BUNGLE, ISAHN of EMPEROR, KIM THAYIL of SOUNDGARDEN, STEVE VAI, GRUTLE KJELLSON of ENSLAVED, KIRK HAMMETT & JAMES HETFIELD of METALLICA, DEVIN TOWNSEND, MATT PIKE of HIGH ON FIRE & SLEEP, CORPSEGRINDER of CANNIBAL CORPSE, SCOTT IAN of ANTHRAX, BILLY GIBBONS of ZZ TOP, MARTY FRIEDMAN of MEGADETH, BRENT HINDS, BRANN DAILOR & TROY SANDERS of MASTODON, MICHAEL AMOTT of CARCASS, RICHARD CHRISTY of DEATH / HOWARD STERN SHOW, DAVE GROHL of FOO FIGHTERS / NIRVANA, JACK BLACK of TENACIOUS D and DWEEZIL ZAPPA among numerous others.
rather than ramble on i'd rather instead invite you to seek out the world of NATHAN EXPLOSION, PICKLES, MURDERFACE, SKWISGAAR SKWIGELF and TOKI WAROOTH. asbolute required viewing for any fan of METAL.
photo by nacrowe
fans often have a misconception that bands are democracies.
perhaps this has to do with the very nature of being a fan, which entails the capacity to project yourself and your feelings, fears and aspirations onto an external entity like an artist, band, politician or even a sports team. the payoff for this projection is the reciprocal confirmation of whatever narrative we like to tell and delude ourselves with. in this manner being a fan is very much about you the audience and not the artist.
so when you learnt that bands have less than savory internal dynamics where power, creative control and finances are not co-equal, for some this is a hurdle. an autocracy like SMASHING PUMPKINS with the pumpkin king BILLY CORGAN is hard to stomach given the open ethos and message of exclusivity of his music. its easier to come to terms with the fact that NINE INCH NAILS is the front group of auteur TRENT REZNOR in my mind because of the singular misanthropic nature of his lyrics and sonic palette.
enter DEATH METAL and the legendary namesake band for the genre DEATH. a recent documentary DEATH BY METAL (MENTAL PICTURES, 2016) delves into the life and legacy of frontman/songwriter/guitar virtuoso CHUCK SCHULDINER and his pioneering sound which further refined THRASH METAL into a whole world of technicality and brutality.
through 7 albums over an 11 year span he did not repeat the same recording lineup twice. keep in mind that all these albums absolutely slayed which is testament to his vision, passion and technical abilities. it also gets into the nature of megalomania and the challenges of maintaining a singular focus. there are lots of bands that function on a high level with a seemingly regular interchanging of musicians around one visionary artist, namely QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, BLACK SABBATH, MEGADETH, KING CRIMSON, THE MISFITS, ANTHRAX, and GUNS N' ROSES to name a few. with the exception of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, most of these groups have one lineup from which they derived their cult status and later permutations were meant to maintain some semblance of legacy stature on subsequent tour packages.
not the case with DEATH. if anything their music became more progressive and technically demanding as the "band" continued onward. people have several arguments for which lineup was the definitive "classic" permutation of the band, which to me is amazing. this documentary really gets into gritty details of how SCHULDINER pulled off this streak and how his singular focus was both an inspiration to his former band-mates and the bane of their existence while in the eye of the storm.
highly recommended this documentary and for the record, personally i'd put SCHULDINER on the REZNOR end of the cultural spectrum as CORGAN has been exposed as a joke and a fraud in recent years. definitely dont want to confuse that issue.
photo by nacrowe
recently i finished reading this book CHASING DEATH: THE IMPROBABLY HISTORY OF DEATH METAL & GRINDCORE (BAZILLION POINTS, 2016) by DECIBEL MAGAZINE editor-in-chief ALBERT MUDRIAN. it very much gets into the weeds on how both these genres developed out of teenagers in the mid-80s who were looking for a more intense expression for their rage in the wake of the HARDCORE and THRASH METAL scenes in both the industrial midlands of britain and the eastern seaboard of the united states.
my impetus for exploring this genre was partly to provide context to a host of bands i've enjoyed over the years including PIG DESTROYER, NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS, DEATH, THE LOCUST, MORBID ANGEL, SUFFOCATION, CANNIBAL CORPSE, BOLT THROWER, GORGUTS, NILE, IMMOLATION, AUTOPSY among countless others.
what i didn't expect to find was the relative obscurity of bands that made a truly global impact due to the international tape-trading scene of that pre-internet age. case in point: DEEP WOUND from western massachusetts and the pre-DINOSAUR JR harcore band of J MASCIS. despite their relatively minor status in the BOSTON hardcore scene of which they were on the periphery stylistically, socially and geographically, their music which was more intense, uptempo and chaotic made them a must-have for tape collectors seeking their next fix of more extreme music as far away as JAPAN, SWEDEN, HOLLAND, GERMANY and the UK. despite being a regional act, their influence abroad far outweighed their geographic limitations and proved to be influential in the scene. that cross-polination of the HARDCORE, INDIE and extreme metal scenes wasn't something i was aware of but makes sense given that their supporters (american college radio, JOHN PEEL at BBC1) were equally open-minded, even during this formative stage.
even the amount of label infrastructure that came about to support and profit from this burgeoning yet seemingly hopelessly unprofitable scene is staggering in its own right and has benefitted countless other extreme genres in its wake (and, er, NICKLEBACK). this includes most predominantly:
COMBAT RECORDS (DEATH, POSSESSED)
METAL BLADE RECORDS (CANNIBAL CORPSE)
RELAPSE RECORDS (AMORPHIS, NILE, ICANTATION, DYING FETUS, SUFFOCATION, PIG DESTROYER)
EARACHE RECORDS (NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS, BOLT THROWER, MORBID ANGEL, TERRORIZER, BRUTAL TRUTH)
NECROSIS RECORDS (REPULSION, CARNAGE)
PEACEVILLE RECORDS (AUTOPSY, AT THE GATES, OPETH)
ROADRUNNER RECORDS (DEICIDE, OBITUARY, PESTILENCE, IMMOLATION, SEPULTURA)
CENTURY MEDIA (GRAVE, ASPHYX, ARCH ENEMY)
NUCLEAR BLAST (DISMEMBER, IN FLAMES)
the book is definitely worth looking into if you are interested in getting a broad overview of the history of the scene. like any comprehensive book on a given genre, reading this has helped me rediscover stuff i hadn't thought of in a while and made me consider how diverse and complex fringe music can be.
art by nacrowe
watch HERE for our most recent episode of DEER GOD RADIO where we abused and eviscerated our listenership by pummeling them with nothing but brutal, unforgiving, hardcore DEATH METAL. damn straight.
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO as well as other MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC shows like MAKE HER SPACE, NOWHERE FAST, and THE SYNTHESIZER SHOW are available here at the DEER GOD website.
art by nacrowe
tonight's episode of DEER GOD RADIO at 8PM on MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC will be nothing but DEATH METAL. it will be brutal.
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO as well as other MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC shows like MAKE HER SPACE, NOWHERE FAST and THE SYNTHESIZER SHOW are available here at the DEER GOD website.