Anything Goes Tonight: 11 Heavy Songs About Doin It (In Memory of Prince, with Apologies to Prince)

Knockin boots. Gettin it on. Boning. Doin the nasty. Snu-snu. Making sweet love. Bumpin uglies. Gettin freaky. Hittin skins. Making whoopee. Doin a bunch of fuckin. There are maybe as many euphemisms for the act of sexual intercourse as there are positions, but whatever you call it, you can’t deny that Prince knew a thing or two about gettin busy.

The passing of His Royal Badness hasn’t had a huge effect on me, but it has certainly made an impact on a lot of people close to me, most notably my wife, a.k.a. Mrs. Stay Heavy. She’s a huge fan, has been since she was a teenager, and cites his concert in Indianapolis on the Musicology (2004) tour as the best live show she’s ever seen. While I’ve never counted myself as a fan of his work per se, I definitely understand and appreciate the appeal that his songs, vision, and work ethic have had on so many people. And since I have ears, I do not dislike his music.

At any rate, I though I’d celebrate and honor the life of the Purple One by putting together a playlist of heavy songs about doin it. Please note that I omitted Butt Rock as a genre, as I don’t have the rest of my life to spare on this, so you’ll find no Mötley Crüe, Poison, etc. You’ll also find no KISS songs, because KISS sucks. I did, however, include an AC/DC song, because I feel it would have been un-American of me to do so. (I realize that AC/DC are not an American band, but I also believe that it’s un-American to not at least appreciate what AC/DC does.)

I also, at the request of the missus, did not include songs about necrophilia, even though that technically counts as sex. Hence, no “Necrophilia” by Slayer, no “I Work For the Streetcleaner” or “Mortuaria” by Impetigo, and no “Code Blue” by TSOL, even though I really wanted to include them. These are in no particular order.

1. Death Angel – “Mistress of Pain” (from The Ultra-Violence – 1987)

I’ve talked about Death Angel a fair amount in these pages before, so I won’t get into it much here. Just know that this song was written and performed by a bunch of high school kids (their 14 year-old drummer is probably better than your 25 year-old drummer). It’s on my list of Top Five Death Angel Songs. It’s also the first one I heard, on a compilation cassette called Rising Metal that my cousin Nathan bought way, way back. It’s not technically about sex, but it is about a vicious and brutal dominatrix, and I cannot deny that riff, nor those screams. You can’t either, if you listen.

“Lashing you with her whips
Keeping you bonded in chains
Drool starts to seep through her lips
Gets off on affliction of pain…”

2. Flotsam & Jetsam – “Hammerhead” (from Doomsday For the Deceiver – 1986)

This is the first Flotsam & Jetsam song I ever heard, too. It was on that same tape mentioned above. It’s the first song on their first album, and it’s badass, even if the lyrics are a bit stupid (though they are far from being the stupidest lyrics on this list). Eric A.K.’s vocals are superlative on this album. It also features Jason Newsted (who went on to play for Voivod, Echobrain, and Ozzy Osbourne) on bass guitar.

“Love for the taking, she talks with her eyes,
Wants me to give her a ride.
Spellbound she takes me way deep inside,
Hammerhead baby tonight…hold tight!”

3. Megadeth – “Mechanix” (from Killing is My Business…and Business is Good!)

This song is much closer to winning the honor of “Stupidest Lyrics” on this playlist, but it’s still not the dumbest song. Even if you’ve never heard this one before, it might sound familiar. When Dave Mustaine was still in Metallica, they performed this song as “Mechanix”, but after his unceremonious booting, they made what is inarguably one of the best decisions of their storied career and changed the lyrics to this dumbass song, and “The Four Horsemen” was born. Seriously, I can’t imagine how high/drunk Mustaine must have been to think these lyrics were not total dogshit.

“Who ever though you’d be better
At turning a screw than me
I do it for my life
Made my drive shaft crank
Made my pistons bulge
Made my ball bearings melt from the heat…”

4. Overkill – “Fatal If Swallowed” (from Taking Over – 1987)

Overkill hasn’t gotten enough love in the pantheon of thrash metal, and the pages of this “esteemed” blog are no exception. I have a thing about Overkill in the works, so I won’t say much here, except that Taking Over is my favorite Overkill album, and this is not my favorite song from that album.

“Fatal if swallowed, my love’s too much to hold.
A deadly poison, a hot and heavy load.
Fatal if swallowed, a love you can’t resist.
Another believer, sealed, with a kiss.”

5. Guns N’ Roses – “Anything Goes” (from Appetite for Destruction – 1987)

I can’t add much to this. It’s a straight up filthy song about fuckin, and it’s a real fuckin  good song, to boot.

“Panties ’round your knees
With your ass in debris
Doin’ that grind
with a push and squeeze…”

6. AC/DC – “Givin’ the Dog a Bone” (from Back in Black – 1980)

The most obvious choice here was clearly “You Shook Me All Night Long”, but that would’ve been too easy. It was pretty tough to narrow AC/DC down to one song about sex, as they have at least two per album (and Back in Black has three). I’m not really sure why I chose this one, to be honest, but here we are. It’s silly, not unlike a majority of AC/DC songs.

“She’s no Mona Lisa
No she’s no playboy star
But she’ll send you to heaven
Then explode you to Mars…”

7. Motörhead – “Love Me Like a Reptile” (from Ace of Spades – 1980)

Perhaps the only thing Lemmy enjoyed as much as whiskey and speed was doin it. As a result, Motörhead also has a lot of songs about sex. I also considered “Jailbait”, from the same album, but I felt that one gave the whole mix a slightly too-creepy vibe.

“Baby you’re a rattlesnake, you know the way I feel,
Feel you crawling up my back, you’ve got no love to steal,
You know I’ve got my eyes on you,
You’re petrified, gonna stick like glue…”

8. W.A.S.P. – “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” (1984 single)

W.A.S.P. was a silly, silly band. They probably still are silly, but I can’t say for certain. This one makes the whole list a little too creepy, too, quite frankly, but I felt like I had to include it. It was slated for inclusion on W.A.S.P.’s self-titled debut album, but was removed by Capitol Records at the last minute, and was subsequently released as a single in the UK. It’s worth noting that singer Blackie Lawless no longer performs the song live, as the lyrics don’t jive up with his more recent conversion to Christianity.

Bonus fun fact: back in 1985, this song appeared on the PMRC’sFilthy Fifteen” list, along with Prince’s “Darling Nikki” (as well as “Let Me Put My Love Into You”, the other AC/DC song about sex from Back in Black). I have a thing about the PMRC in the works, so stay tuned for that!

“I’m on the prowl and I watch you closely
I lie waiting for you
I’m the wolf with the sheepskins clothing
I lick my chops and you’re tasting good…”

9. My Dying Bride – “The Thrash of Naked Limbs” (from The Thrash of Naked Limbs EP – 1993)

My Dying Bride makes me feel all kinds of different emotions at the same time, which I suppose is how you know it’s working. This song is no exception; the lyrics are sweet and emotional, the music is heavy and emotional, and the vocals are growly and terrifying (and emotional). Honorable mention: “The Sexuality of Bereavement”, from 1995’s brilliant The Angel and the Dark River. It’s just the tiniest bit too weird for this list, but it’s a fantastic song.

“With the lights low, and you naked on the warm floor
Me besides you, softly kissing, caressing
Make love to her while she’s crying
I could die now, and die happy.”

10. Pantera – “P.S.T. ’88” (from Power Metal – 1988)

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the official winner for “Stupidest Lyrics” on this playlist. Power Metal was Pantera’s first album with Phil Anselmo (more like “white power metal”, amirite?), back when they were transforming from a talented KISS-inspired band into the talented Exhorder-inspired band they became best known for (haha). Power Metal was the band’s transitional “Judas Priest-inspired” phase. It’s pretty weird, and it’s not all that good, but it’s miles better than their first three albums. I mostly included it here because it fits the criteria, and because I like making fun of Pantera, because Pantera fans take themselves too seriously. Vocals on this one are by “Diamond” Darrell Abbot, before he was known as “Dimebag” Darrell, which was before he was known as “Dime”, may he rest in peace.

“Coors Light on ice,she’s gettin’ right
She is feeling my rise, don’t stop roll the dice,
She’s got my rod in her thighs…”

11. Venom – “Teacher’s Pet” (from Black Metal – 1982)

Everything about Venom is simultaneously awesome and kind of stupid (and always, always ridiculous). The lyrics are basically “Hot For Teacher” with a “Hard R” rating. If you’re only gonna listen to one Venom song, it should not be this one. I recommend anything off Welcome to Hell (1981) first.

“Teacher caught me masturbating
underneath the desk
she looked at me and winked her eye
said ‘see you after class’…”

That’s all I got for today, friends. What are some of your favorite heavy songs about sex? Share them in the comments, why not? And remember to always, always, always stay heavy (and sexy!).

 

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Mixtape Monday (Friday Edition) Volume 11: Everything Looks Like a Target To Me

I had a pretty shitty day at work on Wednesday, and when I came home, I started putting this Mixtape together. It was inspired by one particular person at work, and I’ve calmed down considerably since, but the person who inspired it can (and very much should) still fuck off. Really though, this mix is just about being pissed off, and sometimes, you need that. This is in no particular order.

Exodus – “A Lesson in Violence” (from Bonded By Blood – 1985) – “You motherfuckers better give it up for Exodus!” If you don’t believe me, listen to the entirety of this scorching live version from one of the best live metal albums ever, Another Lesson in Violence. After you’re finished with this mix, you should probably go ahead and listen to the entire album. It seriously rules.

Minor Threat – “Small Man, Big Mouth” (from Minor Threat – 1981) – This song was on my mind while I was at work that day, and while it’s technically about little guys who overcompensate for their size by being assholes, it’s important to remember that some small men are regular-sized, and are also assholes.

Tool – “Ænema” (from Ænima – 1999)  – I’m not the biggest fan of Tool by any stretch of the imagination, but I have nothing against them. I absolutely fucking adore this song, and the video is creepy as shit, as Tool videos tend to be.

“Some say the end is near.
Some say we’ll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will
I sure could use a vacation from this

Stupid shit, silly shit, stupid shit…”

Metallica – “Damage, Inc.” (from Master of Puppets – 1986)

“We chew and spit you out
We laugh, you scream and shout
All flee, with fear you run
You’ll know just where we come from…”

AC/DC – “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – 1976) – My brother got this tape (along with Led Zeppelin I) for Christmas when I was about 5 or 6 years old, and both albums had a profound influence on me. Dirty Deeds is still my favorite AC/DC album.

Big Business – “I’ll Give You Something to Cry About” (from Here Come the Waterworks – 2007) – I’m only really familiar with this one Big Business album, but if it was the only thing they’d ever released, they would still be fucking legendary.

“I’d like to forgive and forget, but I can’t
It’s just one of the ways that I’m petty…”

Black Flag – “Clocked In” (from The First Four Years compilation – 1983) – This job prompted me to share this song on my personal facebook page once before. The Dez Cadena version is superlative. I’ll fight you about that.

Cannibal Corpse – “Puncture Wound Massacre” (from Vile – 1996) – This song is cathartic as a motherfucker.

“I only see red, rage exploding
Two knives, one mind, that hate has broken…”

Brujeria – “Matando Gueros” (from Matando Gueros – 1993) – If you don’t know the story of Brujeria, you should look them up. Their name is Spanish for “witchcraft”, and they kick a ton of ass. The title of this song translates roughly to “Killing White Boys”. None of this should be confused for the Shakira song “Brujería”; I haven’t heard it, but I am 100% confident that they are unrelated.

Rage Against the Machine – “Killing in the Name” (from Rage Against the Machine  – 1992) – “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!”? You’d better believe this song and album made a major impact on 15-year-old me.

Clutch – “Binge and Purge” (from Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths – 1993) – Clutch hasn’t always been the blues-infected groove juggernaut they are today. They came to life in 1991 with a very rough hardcore-tinged sound, as heard on their earliest releases, 1991’s Pitchfork 7″ demo, 1992’s Passive Restraints EP, and to a lesser extent, their 1993 full length debut. I don’t listen to their earlier stuff as much, but some of those old songs are absolute classics. “Binge and Purge” is one of them. It is pure, unbridled adolescent rage, and it’s also where I got the title of this Mixtape.

Faith No More – “Surprise! You’re Dead!” (from The Real Thing – 1989) – I love Faith No More, but I was quite disappointed in their recent comeback album. Sometimes I think about giving it another chance, but with a back catalog that includes songs like this, why bother?

Grim Reaper – “See You in Hell” (from See You In Hell – 1983) – My brother used to have this tape in his room, and I was scared of it. When I finally got around to looking this song up a few years ago, I was surprised to find that it was so much less heavy and evil (and so much goofier!) than I remembered.

Vio-Lence – “Serial Killer” (from Eternal Nightmare – 1988) –  This song has been shared on these pages before, but I don’t give a shit; it should be listened to at least once a day. The first Vio-Lence album is a crash course in Thrash Metal Gang Vocals 101 and Thrash Metal Riffs 201. Fucking amazing.

Overkill – “I Hate” (from The Years of Decay – 1989) – This song probably best sums up my overall feeling from that shitty, shitty work day that inspired this kickass mix, so I’m gonna include the lyrics in their entirety, as transcribed on The Metal Archives.

So much trouble
Hate this job
Tried to get out
Trapped like a dog
No, I don’t like
Pumpin’ gas
Do ya hate to wait?

Life’s a game
We play your rules
Bottle half empty
Or the bottle half full
It does no good
No good to shout
But I scream, I hate

Say I’m hostile,
Gotta relax,
Gotta get a grip,
Here’s the facts:
I hate bein’ here!

I hate people that make you feel small
I hate having my back against the wall
You know, I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
I hate ’em all
Hate being marked to take the fall

Planet’s not big enough for me and you

So much trouble
Over me
Surrounded by jerks
Can’t ya see?
Smile to my face
I know you lie
Knife in the back

Another game
Rules, rules, rules
Not for me
Ya fuckin’ fool
Open your mouth
Just one more time
And my foot’s goin’ down

In one ear
Out the other
A waste of time
Don’t even bother,
I hate being here!

I hate people that make you feel small
I hate having my back against the wall
You know, I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
I hate ’em all
Hate being marked to take the fall

Planet’s not big enough for me and you
But most of all
I hate you…

YOU! I hate you
YOU! I hate you
I hate, I hate, I hate, I hate you

[Solo]

I hate people that make you feel small
I hate having my back against the wall
You know, I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
I hate ’em all
Hate being marked to take the fall

Planet’s not big enough for me and you
But most of all
I hate you…

Think I know
How you got this far?
Think I know how you
Got where you are?

Think I’ll hate you
When you’re dead?
I know I’ll hate ya

Smile to my face
Know you lie
Say I got problems?
Ask yourself why

Hate the games
I hate the rules
You’re gonna lose

Say I’m hostile,
Gotta relax,
Better get a grip,
Here’s the facts:
Not much more of you!

I hate people that make you feel small
I hate having my back against the wall
You know, I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
I hate ’em all
Hate being marked to take the fall
Planet’s not big enough for me and you
But most of all
I hate you…

I hate people that make you feel small (I HATE YOU!)
I hate having my back against the wall (I HATE YOU!)
I hate being talked down to

I hate your rules
Every one (I HATE YOU!)
Hate having counted you number one
I hate being placed at number two
But most of all
I hate you
I hate you
I HATE YOU!

I HATE!

That’s all for now. Stay heavy, friends.

Mixtape Monday (Friday Edition), Volume 10: Sadness Will Prevail

I haven’t done one of these mixtapes in a while, but I find myself with time to write and unable to think of much to say. One of my best friends left town yesterday to move 1,000 miles away, and I’m fuckin sad about it. I spent a while pretending it wasn’t really happening, then as time marched forward in its unceasing way, I tried to not think about it. At his going away party last Saturday, I may or may not have broken down and cried in front of everyone (I did) (although alcohol may have played a role in said possible breakdown), and since I last saw him Wednesday night, I’ve just been in a weird funk, and I thought maybe putting together a sadness-themed mix might help me move past it.

i-had-friends-on-that-death-star

Part of the sadness is undoubtedly due the fact that he’s one of like 4 friends who lives around here who doesn’t have any kids, and please do not misunderstand – I love my friends with kids (and those kids) dearly, but with Mrs. Stay Heavy and myself being in our mid-to-late 30’s, childless friends are becoming more rare these days than a PhD at a Five Finger Death Punch concert, and sometimes we wanna hang out with no kids around, y’know?

Aside from his lack of dependents, though, he’s just an all around awesome guy. Like me, he grew up watching the Golden Era of professional wrestling. Like me, he’s a fan of horror and science-fiction, and a music aficionado (although his tastes do not lean as heavy as mine), plus he’s the only person I’ve ever known who always gets it when I quote The Simpsons.

My selfish sadness aside, I understand why he moved, and it’s not like I’m never gonna see him again. I know I’ll get over it, and if I don’t, then it’s my problem, isn’t it? Either way, let’s move on to the substance of this post, then shall we?

These are in no particular order, and the title of this mix is taken from an album by Today is the Day. I included a song of theirs here, but nothing from that album, because I’m not familiar enough with it. Also, I wanted to include something from Louisiana sludge kings Acid Bath, but everything of theirs that gets put up on YouTube gets taken down almost immediately. You should check them out on your own time, though. You can just pick a song, and it’s pretty much guaranteed make you sad, creep you out, or, in many cases, both.

Anyway, this is for you, Sal, even though you’d probably only like maybe two of these songs.

Life of Agony – “Let’s Pretend” (from Ugly – 1995) – I have plans to write about Life of Agony at length, hopefully sooner than later, so I don’t want to say too much here, but sweet merciful crap, is this song ever sad.

“But sometimes I like to pretend, that she knows me, that she holds me…
I guess I can’t, ’cause she doesn’t know who I am.”

Metallica – “Fade to Black” (from Ride the Lightning – 1985) – If you’re reading these words, I’m going to assume you’ve heard this song at least a few times before, so I’ve included the live version from the Cliff ’em All home video, which you should own.

“No one but me can save myself, but it’s too late
Now I can’t think, think why I should even try.”

Type O Negative – “Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)” (from Bloody Kisses – 1993) – If you’re not familiar with Type O Negative, you might be surprised to learn that they were often light-hearted and hilarious in their lyrics, with late singer/bassist Peter Steele planting his tongue so firmly in his cheek that plenty of people didn’t get the joke. However, when Type O Negative made a sad song, Type O Negative went ahead and made a sad, sad bastard of a song. RIP Mr. Steele.

“A pair of souls become undone
Where were two, now one
Divided by this wall of death, I soon will join you yet.”

My Dying Bride – “The Cry of Mankind” (from The Angel and the Dark River – 1995) – Since the late 1980’s, British indie label Peaceville Records has been putting out some extremely high-quality extreme music. Bradford, England’s miserable sonsabitches My Dying Bride, along with Paradise Lost and Anathema, were part of what was known as the “Peaceville Three”. All three bands were signed to Peaceville in the early 90’s (when metal was dead), and were pioneers in the death/doom metal genre that has since blossomed like a rotting black rose.

“I will make them all lie down
Down where hope lies dying.”

Voivod – “Morpheus” (from Infini – 2009) – I’m still working on my continuation of the Voivod saga, the first three parts of which can be viewed here, here, and here, so I don’t want to discuss this album much, but I will say that the lyrics were inspired by late guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour’s death from cancer. RIP Piggy.

“The thing inside me, won’t let me be
This nightmare is real, let me out of me.”

Iron Maiden – “When the Wild Wind Blows” (from The Final Frontier – 2010) – This is the last song on what is currently Iron Maiden’s most recent studio album (The Book of Souls is out in less than one month!), and it’s my favorite song on that album by a pretty wide margin. The song is inspired by a 1982 graphic novel called When the Wind Blows, and by a 1986 animated film of the same name, however, the song has a different ending than the book and movie. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried the first time I listened to this song, and, in fact, I have cried many times since while listening to it, most recently when I watched the video below, which uses scenes from the movie.

“Have you heard what they said on the news today?
Have you heard what is coming to us all?
That the world as we know it will be coming to an end
Have you heard, have you heard?”

Candlemass – “Solitude” (from Epicus Doomicus Metallicus – 1986) – I only know like three songs from Swedish doom merchants Candlemass, but all three of them rule. I should listen to more of them, and you should, too.

“I long for my time to come
death means just life
Please let me die in solitude.”

Testament – “Cold Embrace” (from Dark Roots of Earth – 2012) – I don’t really have anything new to add, re: Testament, as it’s all pretty well documented. Just look around. See?

“The sun will never shine on you
Daylight blinds your way…
Now accept this cold embrace.”

Vallenfyre – “Seeds” (from A Fragile King – 2011) – Vallenfyre began as a side project formed by Paradise Lost guitarist Gregor Mackintosh to write out the pain he was feeling after the death of his father. Hamish Glencross, formerly of My Dying Bride, plays guitar in the band as well, so the misery pedigree is not to be fucked with.

“I face an eternal winter
Without you I will cease
You were my idol
I am your priest.”

Suicidal Tendencies – “Nobody Hears” (from The Art of Rebellion – 1992) – This song instantly transports me back in time, to the days when metal was dead, and Suicidal Tendencies, Pantera (“Walk”), and Sacred Reich (“Crawling”) all had songs in rotation on the “alternative rock” station out of Indianapolis, all receiving regular airplay alongside the likes of HelmetWhite Zombie, and others. This song is a bit of a rarity in the ST catalog, in that it does not have a positive resolution at the end. It just starts and ends as a bummer. It still kicks a ton of ass, though.

“So what do I have to do
To make you comfort me
Now I’m sitting here screaming inside myself
Don’t understand why nobody hears.”

Thergothon – “Crying Blood + Crimson Snow” (from Stream From the Heavens – 1994) – To be perfectly honest, I know very little about Thergothon, except that they were a Finnish band, and are considered one of the first bands to play the style that has since come to be known as “funeral doom”, which means they obviously fit this theme.

“Oh, the everlasting winter of my soul
Ice burns my skin, I writhe in cold and grief.”

Anthrax – “A.D.I./The Horror of It All” (from Among the Living – 1987) – As a kid, I used to try and figure out what “A.D.I.” stood for, thinking it must be something deep and profound, only to find out a few years ago that it was short for “Arabian Douche(bag) Intro”. Depending on the source, it was either a way to poke fun at the then-common practice of Bay Area Thrash bands including an acoustic intro to big, bludgeoning tracks, or a way to poke fun at then-lead guitarist Dan Spitz, who was always tooling around with it before it was included as the intro to “The Horror of It All”, which is a song about the death of a loved one.

“You’re not supposed to question, but why’s there so much pain
When someone’s taken from you?
What can you do or say?”

Today is the Day – “Death Curse” (from Pain is a Warning – 2011) – Aside from one song on a Relapse Records sampler (I can’t remember which song, but I think it was “In the Eyes of God”), Pain is a Warning was my introduction to Today is the Day. I bought it at the now-defunct Ear-X-Tacy Records in Louisville, KY, along with Hater by Total Fucking Destruction and the vinyl reissue of D.R.I.‘s Crossover, and at the time, I was working a job that was slowly destroying my soul. Pain is a Warning played a pretty significant role in my survival of that year. I adore it from beginning to end.

“It’s a lie
It’s a lie
Work until you die
It’s my life
Liars!
Liars!
Work and then you die
Death curse!”

Deftones – “Teenager” (from White Pony – 2000) – Here’s a nice mellow way to wind things down. I don’t care what anyone else thinks about the Deftones; I think they kick some serious ass, and I sincerely believe that they get unfairly maligned due to their association with shitty nü-metal bands, when they are, in fact, head and shoulders above nearly all their late-90’s/early 2000’s peers. I admittedly haven’t heard much of their work past their 2003 self-titled album, but I’ve yet to hear a Deftones song that I don’t enjoy. They really do  the whole quiet/loud dynamic thing exceptionally well, and this song is just heartbreaking.

“I drove you home
Then you moved away
New cavity moved into
My heart today.”

That’s all I got for today, heavy people. For the record, it did help alleviate my sadness a bit. Time will tell how long that lasts. Until next time, stay heavy, always.

More Loose Ends and Random Bits

I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while now, and I wish I could say for certain that I’m back at it on a regular basis, but unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to do it up properly, so for now, I’ll continue sporadically updating on what I’ve been up to since my last update.

The main thing I’ve been up to that pertains to metal is that I am now also writing for Global Thrash Assault, an awesome website run by fellow thrash fanatic Chad.  I’ve written two reviews so far, both for albums by bands I’d never even heard of until Chad sent me the assignments, and I’ve really enjoyed both of them.  Greek thrashers Biotoxic Warfare lay down some dark and angry blackened thrash on their full-length debut Lobotomized, and Italian “Moshing Maniax” Blindeath combine dirty NWOBHM-style proto-thrash with balls out mid-to-late 80’s pure thrash metal and deliver an adrenaline-fueled kick to the crotch called Into the Slaughter that you’ll return to again and again.  Both albums are highly recommended.

One odd/interesting thing I’ve noticed during my relative blogging silence is that my post entitled “The Ten Best Thrash Metal Ballads of All Time” has been viewed at least once every single day since I first posted it back in mid-September, lending considerable evidence to my assertion that lists are the only thing most people read on the internet these days.  I noticed a couple of days ago that it was the second link listed if you search “thrash metal ballads” on the Google, which was very exciting, and I just now searched it on Google again to make sure it was still number two, and it is, in fact, number one now, which is obviously even more exciting.  So thanks, whoever keeps looking at my nearly five month old post!

Also, at least once a week, someone finds my blog by searching the internet for some variation of “bill kelliher haircut” or “brent hinds tattoo”, which I find endlessly amusing, and I can only assume that most of those people have not become regular readers of Stay Heavy.

I’ve got a ton of topics cookin in my brain, and eventually you’ll see the continuation of the Voivod saga, another Old-Ass VHS Review or two, some more reviews, some more mixtapes (which I will clearly refer to as “The Best (Whatever) of All Time” now, so that people will actually look at them), some more Metal in the Mainstream adventures, and a whole lot more.

That’s all I got for now.  Here’s some live Exodus with metal madman Paul Baloff on vocals, because today is the thirteenth anniversary of his death from a stroke at the age of 41.  The song begins at around 2:30.

“…and it ain’t about no trout!  This song is called…”

RIP, you crazy fucker.

Stay heavy.  It’s what Paul Baloff would’ve wanted.

Some Really Great Thrash Metal Instrumental Songs

I’m not usually a big fan of instrumental songs, aside from some jazz and classical-type stuff.  For some reason, I just prefer songs with vocals.  That said, thrash metal has produced some damn fine instrumentals.  This is unsurprising, as thrash metal by its very nature requires top-notch musicianship.  Some of these are intros to songs/albums, some of them are just shorter interlude pieces, and some of them are gargantuan 7-minute-plus riff monsters.  All of them are fucking excellent, and could serve to ease a friend or family member who doesn’t normally enjoy metal into the wonderful world of neck-snapping, ear-popping, skull-fucking, blistering thrash metal.  By the way, this is in no way a comprehensive list, and these are in no particular order.  Onward!

Megadeth – “Into the Lungs of Hell” (from So Far, So Good…So What? – 1988) – This is the opening song and intro to the blazing apocalyptic tale “Set the World Afire”, which Dave Mustaine says he wrote the lyrics to on the bus ride back to California, after being unceremoniously booted out of Metallica.

Testament – “Confusion Fusion” (from Practice What You Preach – 1989) – If you’ve spent any amount of time on this blog, you already know I love Testament more than most things in life, and this song is a perfect example of the high caliber of musical ability that this Bay Area Thrash Metal beast has always boasted.

Death Angel – “The Ultra-Violence” (from The Ultra-Violence – 1987) – You might recognize the beginning of this song – it was used in a Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr commercial last year around this time, wherein a guy shoved a ludicrously large Jalapeño Turkey Burger into his mouth.  When you listen to this one, remember that the drums on this song were played by a 14-year-old kid.  Your soccer-playing honor student can fuck right off.

Razor – “The Marshall Arts” (from Violent Restitution – 1988) – I love the title of this one.  Canadian thrash metal will own your soul.

Metallica – “The Call of Ktulu” (from Ride the Lightning – 1984) – “Orion” (from Master of Puppets) holds a very special place in my heart, but “The Call of Ktulu” is no slouch, and it’s thrashier, so here it is.  This fan made video is fucking sweet.  RIP CLB.

Coroner – “Nosferatu” (from R.I.P. – 1987) – Coroner hails from Switzerland, and they are criminally underrated.  You really can’t go wrong with any of their albums, but No More Color (1989) is my favorite of theirs.  They released their last album of original material in 1993 (grunge must’ve killed them)(haha), and they broke up in 1996, but they’ve been reunited and playing shows (primarily festivals) together since 2010.  Guitarist Tommy Vetterli has stated that the band has plans to eventually record new music.  I have no doubts that it will be fantastic.

Flotsam and Jetsam – “Flotzilla” (from Doomsday for the Deceiver – 1986) – Perhaps best known as former Voivod bassist Jason Newsted’s first band, Phoenix, Arizona’s Flotsam and Jetsam have always flown just under the mainstream radar, and that’s a real shame, because they have always kicked a ton of ass.

Dark Angel – “Cauterization” (from Leave Scars – 1989) – I don’t like Leave Scars quite as much as I like the albums that bookend it (1986’s Darkness Descends and 1991’s Time Does Not Heal), but it’s still tight as hell.

Rigor Mortis – “Welcome to Your Funeral” (from Rigor Mortis – 1988) – This is the first song off the first album from this amazingly talented Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas band.  Guitarist Mike Scaccia would go on to play with Ministry (and several of Al Jourgensen’s 600,000 side projects) before joining back up with his Rigor Mortis bandmates in 2005.  In 2012, he collapsed onstage from a sudden heart attack (brought on by heart disease), while playing a show to celebrate Rigor Mortis vocalist Bruce Corbitt’s 50th birthday, and later died at the hospital.  Rigor Mortis had recorded another album before Scaccia’s death (Slaves to the Grave); it was released last month, and everything I’ve heard from it so far has been utterly fucking tremendous.  RIP Mr. Scaccia.

Nuclear Assault – “Live, Suffer, Die” (from Game Over – 1986) – When Nuclear Assault were on top of their game, they were goddamn near untouchable.  Dan Lilker is such a badass motherfucker.

Anthrax – “Intro to Reality” (from Persistence of Time – 1991) – This one cuts off abruptly, because it’s supposed to fade into the next song, “Belly of the Beast”, but I didn’t want to include any singing on this mix, so just deal with it.  State of Euphoria (1988) is my favorite Anthrax album, but Persistence of Time will probably always be their high water mark.

S.O.D. – “March of the S.O.D.” (from Speak English or Die – 1985) – This is probably my favorite intro to any metal-related anything ever.  Completely unfuckwithable.  And further evidence of Lilker’s total badassery.  It also cuts off abruptly, as it should bleed into “Sargent D and the S.O.D.”.  If you want to hear that version, look it up.  In fact, queue up the entire album, lie back, and let the Stormtroopers of Death kick your damn fool head in.

That’s all for today.  Tell me about some other badass thrash metal instrumentals I should check out.  And don’t forget to stay heavy, always!

Mixtape Monday, Volume 8: The Threat is Real

 

 

so i tied an onion to my belt

Note: I realized on 2/23/15 that I had mis-numbered my Mixtapes, beginning with Volume 4. When I fixed the numbering, I realized that this one should have been Volume 9, but if you read the introduction to this volume below, you’ll see why I could not make it Volume 9. This is why Volume 8 and Volume 9 are out of order.

It’s been too long since I’ve posted here, and I intend to stop letting day-to-day bullshit get in the way of this.  We’ll see how that goes.  One day at a time, I suppose.  At any rate, I’ve put together what I believe to be a pretty sweet mixtape for your listening (dis)pleasure.  Today’s theme, which I cannot think of a way to simplify properly, is metal songs from 1994, which was one of the years when music media would have the world believe that heavy metal was dead.  A cursory glance at this list proves that music media was as full of shit then as they’ve ever been.  Death metal and black metal were chugging along, and while it’s true that pretty much all the major thrash metal bands had slowed things down by 1994, causing a lot of metal fans at the time to accuse them of selling out and the like, let’s be honest with ourselves here: would you want to do exactly the same thing for a living day after day, year after year, just to make other people happy?  Quite frankly, there are very few bands that have been able to pull off never changing their style.  In fact, The Ramones, AC/DC, and Motörhead are the only three that come to mind.

I stole the title of this mixtape from Anthrax’s eighth album, which does not appear on this list, as it was released in 1998 (but which will be discussed in the future).  The songs appear in the order in which the albums they appeared on were released.  Let’s get down to gettin down, shall we?

Pantera – “Becoming” (from Far Beyond Driven – 3/22/94) – I’ve written about the impact this album had on both me personally and on metal in general before, so I won’t go into details here.  The whole thing is great, and it may have inspired and influenced a lot of inane bullshit, but it stands the test of time.

Cannibal Corpse – “Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead” (from The Bleeding – 4/11/94) – This is the first Cannibal Corpse album I heard, and the last Cannibal Corpse album with original vocalist Chris Barnes, who went on to make his side project, Six Feet Under, a full-time gig.  I personally prefer his replacement, George “Corpsgrinder” Fisher (The Man With No Neck), and I don’t like all the songs on this album, but a few of them are undeniably heavy, creepy, and amazing.  This is one of them.  It’s the story of a man (I assume it’s a man, as I can’t begin to imagine Chris Barnes attempting to write a song from a female point of view)  who appears to be dead on a table in the morgue, but is in fact alive, and unable to communicate that fact to the doctors.  Pretty creepy shit.

Mayhem – “Freezing Moon” (from De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas – 5/24/94) – This was the debut album of one of the founding fathers of Norwegian Black Metal, although it was not one of the first releases in the genre.  The story of Mayhem can be read in hundreds of places, so I won’t get into it here.  Just dig this weird, creepy song.

Napalm Death – “Plague Rages” (from Fear, Emptiness, Despair – 5/31/94) – This is the first Napalm Death album I owned, and it’s still my favorite, regardless of what vocalist Barney Greenway thinks of it (spoiler alert: he does not like it).  It marked a notable stylistic change for the band, and a lot of Napalm Death fans did not appreciate the shift.  I like all Napalm Death, but I definitely prefer this album and the stuff that has come out since to any of the albums that preceded this one.  Fun fact: opening track “Twist the Knife (Slowly)” also appeared on the soundtrack to the Mortal Kombat movie (and can be heard briefly in the movie itself).  It was a pretty exciting moment for 18-year-old me to hear Napalm Death over a movie theater sound system.

Overkill – “Where it Hurts” (from W.F.O. – 7/15/94) – Overkill have been one of the more consistent of the original thrash bands, in that they have consistently put out good albums.  On W.F.O., the band slowed things down a bit, which was the style at the time.  It’s maybe not as good overall as some of their other albums, but it’s still more stylish than wearing an onion on your belt.

Acid Bath – “Cassie Eats Cockroaches” (from When the Kite String Pops – 8/9/94) – Acid Bath were ahead of their time.  Hailing from Houma, Louisiana (southwest of New Orleans), they existed for six years and only released two albums, but the world is a richer, scarier, more beautiful, and more fucked-up place because they existed at all.  Both of their albums defy genre, and are absolutely essential.

Obituray – “Don’t Care” (from World Demise – 9/6/94) –  Fun fact: Obituary’s hometown of Gibsonton, Florida (a bit south of Tampa) is perhaps best known as the town where carnival freaks go to spend their winters and/or retire.  Obituary are one of the most successful death metal bands of all time, and are also one of the first.  Their Gibsonton upbringing shines through the muck in the songs; Obituary sounds pretty much exactly like you would expect a band that formed among circus freaks living in Florida humidity to sound.  I had been aware of them since their sick and twisted debut album, 1989’s Slowly We Rot, as I’d read about them in the hallowed pages of Metal Maniacs magazine, but “Don’t Care” was my sonic introduction to Obituary.

Testament – “Legions (In Hiding)” (from Low – 9/27/94) – My love for Testament has been covered pretty extensively throughout this blog, so I won’t get into it here.  This is my favorite song off Low.

Slayer – “Dittohead” (from Divine Intervention – 10/4/94) – This is one of the better songs off what is the beginning of Slayer’s notable decline in album quality, which I have discussed elsewhere.

Rotting Christ – “Non Serviam” (from Non Serviam – 10/11/94) – The Greek black metal monster that is Rotting Christ will get inside your mind and build a home there if you let it.  I first heard them about three years ago (on their unbelievably good full-length debut, 1993’s Thy Mighty Contract), and they promptly built a full-on castle in my brain.  They have since downgraded to a condo, where they come to stay now and then, but they will always hold citizenship in my head.

Mercyful Fate – “Nightmare Be They Name” (from Time – 10/25/94) – King Fucking Diamond.

Megadeth – “Train of Consequences” (from Youthanasia – 10/25/94) – The last of the slowed-down thrash bands on the list, Megadeth pretty much ceased to exist after Youthanasia, as far as I’m concerned.  The album is not flawless (in fact, only about half the songs aren’t bad), but the other half-or-so of the album is good, and some of the songs are really good, even.  I saw Megadeth live on the Youthanasia tour, with Fear Factory, Flotsam & Jetsam, and an up-and-coming band called Korn in support.  Korn brought the house down.

Brutal Truth – “Displacement” (from Need to Control – 10/25/94) – Brutal Truth has also been discussed here before, and will be discussed more in the future.  If you don’t own this album yet, you’re really doing yourself a disservice.

Bolt Thrower – “Remembrance” (from …For Victory – 11/29/94) – Bolt Thrower are from Coventry, England, and have been one of the most consistently high-quality death metal bands since the early days of the genre.  Their name comes from a weapon used in the tabletop strategy game Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and their lyrics are heavily influenced by the Warhammer games, as well as dealing with the topics of real-life war and its consequences.

That wraps up another edition of Mixtape Monday.  Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to stay heavy.

Mixtape Monday, Volume 9: Obey Your Master

Note: I realized on 2/23/15 that I had mis-numbered my Mixtapes, beginning with Volume 4. When I fixed the numbering, I realized that this one should have been Volume 8, but if you read the introduction to Volume 8, you’ll see why I could not make it Volume 9. This is why Volume 8 and Volume 9 are out of order.

Some time ago, I wrote briefly about the fact that a lot of metal lyrics (thrash metal in particular) contain a fair amount of social awareness.  I quickly got off track, and still intend to follow up on the topic eventually, but for today, I’ve put together a Mixtape with a theme of drug use (both lawful and illicit).   The majority of these songs take a decidedly anti-hard drug stance, some of them are more in vein of urging caution, and a few of them have a positive message regarding the use of mood-altering substances.  Without further ado, I present Obey Your Master (which is a line from one of the songs presented below).

Vio-Lence – “T.D.S. (Take It As You Will)” (from Eternal Nightmare – 1988) – I’ma start this fucker off with a big-ass bang.  The fifth song on Vio-Lence’s utterly perfect debut album (“T.D.S.” is short for “The Drug Song”) tackles the issue of heroin use.  The song starts out sharing the point-of-view of a user, then shifts gears to tell the dealer’s side of the story (not unlike N.W.A.’s “Dopeman”).  Like all the other songs on Eternal Nightmare, this one is packed so full with Sean Killian’s lunatic lead vocals, as well as gang vocals and lightning-fast, insane guitars that it leaves you with very little time to think.  Then again, when Vio-Lence is playing, what the fuck do you need to think about?

Anthrax – “N.F.L. (Efilnikufesin)” (from Among the Living – 1987) – This song has remained a staple of Anthrax’s live set since the release of Among the Living, and for good reason – it’s one of their top 5 best songs (this issue is not open to debate).  The lyrics were  inspired by John Belushi’s untimely death from an overdose of heroin and cocaine.  The fact that Jim Belushi is still alive is not actually relevant to this, but it sure as hell is unfair.

Nuclear Assault – “Emergency” (from Handle With Care – 1989) – Nuclear Assault will be one of the primary subjects when I finally get around to writing my “socially-conscious metal” piece, and more should be written about them by more people, because their first three albums are amazing.  “Emergency” (very quickly) tells the story of a guy (I assume it’s a guy – maybe it’s a gal) who has more or less given up on life, and exists solely for the purpose of getting fucked up.  I’ve listened to this album hundreds of times since 1989, and the way this song ends still blows me away.

Brutal Truth – “Mainliner” (from Need to Control – 1994) – This makes the third band in a row that Dan Lilker co-founded (although he only appeared on Anthrax’s 1984 debut).  That was unintentional, but it’s pretty fucking awesome.  “Mainliner” is from Brutal Truth’s second full-length (which, like Vio-Lence’s Eternal Nightmare, happens to be a perfect album), and it’s about heroin use.  I fucking love the way the song starts.  Like many of BT’s songs, the lyrics are bit abstract, but one set of lines make it pretty clear where they stand on heroin use:

“It is all/sick desire/kicks for liars/fuel for fire/your head shoved firmly in your ass/nod out/right now.”

System of a Down – “Psycho” (from Toxicity – 2001) – Maybe you don’t consider System of a Down to be metal.  Maybe I don’t care what you think.  They are obviously heavy, and their first two albums are among the best heavy albums of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s.  They, along with the Deftones, were definitely victims of the media’s burning need to classify everything into genres.  Both of those bands were light years better than their “nü-metal” peers.  Anyway, “Psycho” is about a crazy cokehead groupie, and I assume it’s based on a real person (or people) the band had to deal with.  I don’t feel like looking it up, because it doesn’t really matter – the song is great.

Metallica – “Master of Puppets” (from Master of Puppets – 1986) – Not much to say about this one.  It’s about drug abuse in general, and seems to be about cocaine and/or heroin specifically, but the thing that sets it apart from the other songs on this Mixtape is that it is told from the perspective of the drug itself.  I miss Metallica.

Black Sabbath – “Sweet Leaf” (from Master of Reality – 1971) – This is the first of the few songs on this Mixtape that discuss drugs in a more positive light.  Everyone knows the riff from “Sweet Leaf”, and if you don’t, shut up and listen to it right now.  It fucking rules.

Brujeria – “Marijuana” (from Marijuana EP – 1998)Brujeria is Spanish for “witchcraft”, and the band is a death metal supergroup whose members pretend to go to absurd lengths to mask their identities.  The “official” story of Brujeria is that they are all Latin drug lords who are wanted by government officials, and therefore conceal their identities when they perform live.  In reality, people ranging from Fear Factory’s Dino Cazares, Napalm Death’s Shane Embury, Faith No More’s Billy Gould, and Carcass frontman/bassist Jeff Walker have performed with the band (studio and live).  This song is not the best Brujeria song, but it is pretty fucking funny.

Death Angel – “Ex-TC” (from Act III – 1990) – Death Angel fucking rules.  This song, as you might have guessed, is about ecstasy.  The lyrics are almost overwhelmingly positive, not unlike the effects that ecstasy is reported to have on the user.

“Come into my place/there is great pleasure/in what you will find/I throw away hate/that’s how you tell/X is on my mind.”

Pantera – “Suicide Note Pts. 1 & 2” (from The Great Southern Trendkill – 1996) – Technically, only “Suicide Note Pt. 1” is specifically about drug use, but the songs are fucking amazing together.  Phil Anselmo was clearly in a very dark place at this point in his life.

Motörhead – “Motorhead” (from Motörhead – 1977) – “Motorhead” is a slang term for a person who regularly uses/abuses amphetamines.  Even if they were called The Jesus-Loving Choirboys, I don’t think it would be any secret that the band Motörhead have used/abused amphetamines.  And just in case you still weren’t sure, a song called “Speedfreak” appeared on their 1982 album Iron Fist.  Lemmy’s love of Chuck Berry really shines through on this song.

Ozzy Osbourne – “Suicide Solution” (from Blizzard of Ozz – 1980) – This is the Ozzy Osbourne song that reportedly caused a depressed teenager to kill himself.  Ozzy has stated that the lyrics were inspired by the death of original AC/DC singer Bon Scott, but Bob Daisley, who played bass on Blizzard of Ozz and wrote much of the music and lyrics (regardless of what Sharon Osbourne has to say about the matter), says that he had Mr. Osbourne himself in mind when he wrote the lyrics to “Suicide Solution”.  Either way, the lyrics are obviously about alcohol abuse, and do not in any way encourage a person to commit suicide.

Sleep – “Dopesmoker” (from Dopesmoker – 2003) – If this were a real Mixtape, this song would be a bonus disc, as it is just over one hour and three minutes long.  In my own dopesmoking days, this song blew my mind clean apart on many occasions.  I don’t do that anymore, but “Dopesmoker” still melts my face from time to time.  On the surface, the song seems to plod along and go nowhere, but if you have patience, you will be richly rewarded.  The lyrics are surreal (and almost impossible to sing along with), and the riffs are unbelievably heavy.

“Drrrroooooooooop oooouuuuut of liiiiiiife with booooooooooooooooong iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand/follooooooowwwww the smooooooooooooooooooke to the riff fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeed laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand…”

Final Thoughts:  Don’t do drugs, kids.  Unless you want to.  But if you do, for fuck’s sake, don’t be stupid about it.  Getting hooked is dumb, and overdosing is even dumber.

Stay heavy, y’all.

Mixtape Monday, Volume 7: Metal on Metal

It’s been a while since I’ve put together a Mixtape, and I’ve been stewing on this one for a few days now.  Today’s theme is heavy metal songs about heavy metal.  There are a lot more than I’ve included here, but I wanted to keep it to a manageable amount, because this blog, unfortunately, is not my job.  You’ll note that with a single exception, all the songs on this Mixtape were recorded before 1986; it was much more common for metal bands to sing about metal back then.  The single exception to that is a band that never stopped living in 1985.  I had some difficulty putting this mix together in a proper order, so I just left the songs in the order that I typed them.  The title of this one comes from an Anvil song which does not appear on this Mixtape, because I don’t really like Anvil very much.  Let’s get down to it.

“Metal Church” by Metal Church (from Metal Church – 1984) – Metal Church hail from Seattle, Washington, and they are a vastly underrated band.  This isn’t my favorite Metal Church song or album, but it’s a pretty fuckin’ tasty song.  Rest in peace, Mr. Wayne.

“Metal church will find you, can’t run very far, the metal church inside you, it knows just who you are.”

“High Speed Metal” by Razor (from Malicious Intent – 1986) – Hailing from Southwestern Ontario, Canada, Razor played/play fast, hard, and angry thrash/speed metal.  Really, if you look at the name of the band, the name of this song, and the name of the album, there’s no possible way you could expect anything other than what you get when you play the song.  Fun fact: according to Wikipedia, the band’s hometown of Guelph, Ontario, is “consistently rated as one of Canada’s best places to live”, due to its “low crime rates, clean environment and generally high standard of living”.

“Power and mayhem, the onslaught begins, fist rises up to the sound, we tear up the stage with our violence and speed, and bring the iron hammer down.”

“Witching Metal” by Sodom (from In the Sign of Evil EP – 1984) – German thrash metal has always been a seven-headed, ten-horned beast of a different color.  Something in the water (or perhaps the air) over in Deutschland seems to have made them faster, angrier, and just a bit sloppier than the majority of their non-Continental counterparts.  Sodom are one of the “Big Three of German Thrash”, along with Kreator and Destruction.  This song is not really indicative of what they would go on to sound like, but it’s heavy, evil, and sloppy as fuck.  Rest in peace, Messrs. Witchhunter, Destructor, and Strahli.

“Metal war Sodom, wildfire Sodom, bloodlust Sodom, witching metal.” (Their English improved a lot over the years.)

“Metal Command” by Exodus (from Bonded by Blood – 1985) – Exodus is amazing.  Yesterday, today, tomorrow, for-fucking-ever.  Rest in peace, Mr. Baloff.

“A wall of sonic sound, with amps turned up to ten, our legions are advancing, to battle once again.”

“Metal Warriors (Brothers of Metal, Part I)” by Manowar (from The Triumph of Steel – 1992) – Here are some facts about Manowar: they once signed a contract with a record label in their own blood; they were once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Loudest Band; they once fired a band member because he had been experimenting with different kinds of music in his free time, and they believed it would be “false” to continue with him in the band; they are ridiculous; they are FUCKING HUGE in Europe; they have at least 6 different songs with the word “metal” in the title; they are kind of amazing.

“Heavy metal, or no metal at all, wimps and posers, leave the hall.”

“Metal Storm/Face the Slayer” by Slayer (from Show No Mercy – 1983) – This is from Slayer’s first album, when they were a little bit less heavy, but no less evil.  The “Metal Storm” part of the song is instrumental, but it’s considered one song, so there.  Rest in peace, Mr. Hanneman.

“(FUCKIN SLAYER!)”

“Metal Militia” by Metallica (from Kill ’em All – 1983) – This is from Metallica’s first album, when they were still fucking amazing.  I often forget how much I love Kill ’em All, and then I’ll listen to it again, and then I’ll end up playing it two or three times straight through.  Rest in peace, Mr. Burton.

“Joining together to take on the world with our heavy metal, spreading the message to everyone here, come let yourself go.”

“Soldiers of Metal” by Anthrax (from Fistful of Metal – 1984) – This is from Anthrax’s first album, when they barely sounded like Anthrax.  It’s also one of two songs from that album with the word “metal” in the title.  The other one has been featured elsewhere on this blog.

“The rages of fury, the cause of the fight, we’re soldiers of metal, and we rule the night.”

“Death Metal” by Possessed (from Seven Churches – 1985) – Depending on who you talk to, this song may or may not be the starting point for Death Metal as a genre.  Either way, it’s heavy as fuck, and really, really good.

“When the sun doesn’t rise and the day is like night, know that your life is at its end. Rendered helpless, so scream out in fright, death metal came in the wind.”

” Heavy Metal (Is the Law)” by Helloween (from Walls of Jericho – 1985) – I’m not a big fan of Power Metal in general, but Helloween (arguably the founders of the genre) were a pretty great band.  To be fair, they may still be a great band.  I haven’t heard anything from them past 1988’s Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part II, but their first three albums are aces.  Like Anthrax, they also had two songs with “metal” in the title on this album.

“Heavy metal can’t be beaten by any dynasty, we’re all wizards fighting with our spell.”

That’s all I got for today, you heavy fuckers.  Feel free to share some of your favorite metal songs about metal, or to ream me for not liking Anvil.  But most of all, I urge you to keep on staying heavy.  Always.

Mixtape Monday, Volume 6: Thrashing Rage – 1984-1988: The Glory Years

At this point in our time together, if it’s not obvious how much I fucking love thrash metal, then you might be kind of slow.  No offense.  Today’s long overdue edition of Mixtape Monday, wherein I make a mix with a theme, is all about thrash metal.  I decided to narrow the time span to 1984-1988 for a couple of reasons:

1. Taking from a larger pool of years = too many bands to make this a realistic mix.

2. Almost all of the best thrash metal was recorded and/or released between those years.  There are some exceptions to this rule (Death Angel’s Act III, Nuclear Assault’s Handle With Care, Megadeth’s Rust in Piece, and Persistence of Time by Anthrax are a few that come to mind right away), but for the most part, ’84-’88 (and especially ’86-’88) were the years when thrash metal was king.

I heart thrash t-shirt

Buy me this shirt! XL, please! UPDATE: Someone did! Thank you, not-so-anonymous stranger!

One final note: the order of the songs on this mix is determined by release date.  If I could only find the month or year of a release, I included it after other releases from the same month or year.  Let’s get down to business.

1. “Ride the Lightning” by Metallica (from Ride the Lightning – 8/15/84) – This is my favorite Metallica album for a number of reasons.  It showed tremendous growth in the band both as musicians and as songwriters when compared to their cacophonous speedfest of a debut from just one year prior.  Kill ’em All and Master of Puppets are great albums, but Ride the Lightning is an absolute masterpiece.  This here video I found has lots of badass pictures of lightning, which makes this song even more enjoyable.

2. “Burning in Hell” by Possessed (from Seven Churches – 10/16/85) – Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Possessed thrashed out of the gates with one of the angriest, most evil-sounding albums of the 1980s (I might even argue of all time), accidentally helping create a whole new sub-genre called death metal.  What I find most amazing about the band’s debut album is that at least two of the members of Possessed (vocalist/bassist Jeff Beccera and guitarist Larry Lalonde) were still in high school at the time of its recording.  Fun fact: if Larry Lalonde’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he went on to co-found a little band called Primus with fellow Bay Area Metalhead Les Claypool (the two met while playing in progressive thrash band Blind Illusion).

3. “Demons – Evil Forces” by Hirax (from Raging Violence – 11/85) – Hirax frontman Katon W. De Pena was an early champion of thrash metal, spending much of his time writing letters and making tapes for other thrash enthusiasts around the world.  This opening track from their debut album showcases his over-the-top vocal style, which is a big part of why I love Hirax, but the music is undeniable, too.

4. “Desecrator” by Flotsam & Jetsam (from Doomsday for the Deceiver – 06/04/86) – Phoenix, Arizona’s Flotsam & Jetsam played thrash metal with more of a NWOBHM vocal sensibility, and their first album is nearly flawless.  You might have heard of this band when their original bass player, Jason Newsted, left some band called Metallica to join Voivod in the early 2000s.  Their style has changed quite a bit over the years, but they’re still a good band.  They had a minor hit in 1992 called “Wading Through the Darkness”, which is worth a listen, too.

5. “Wake Up Dead” by Megadeth (from Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? – 07/20/86) – Megadeth’s second album is probably best known for the title track; if you ever watched MTV News in the late 80s, you know the bassline.  It’s a phenomenal album, arguably their best (Rust in Peace is also arguably their best), but for me, this opening track, along with album closer “My Last Words”, are head and shoulders above everything else on the record.

6. “Lethal Tendencies” by Hallows Eve (from Death and Insanity – 08/31/86) – I first heard this song in the amazing film River’s Edge, which you should watch immediately after finishing this mixtape (whether or not you’ve seen it before).

7. “Necrophobic” by Slayer (from Reign in Blood – 10/07/86) – Reign in Blood was Slayer’s breakthrough album, and it was a thrash metal game-changer.  It is perfect from beginning to end, and I don’t usually recommend listening to songs from it out of context, but shut up and listen to “Necrophobic”, then listen to the rest of this mixtape, then watch River’s Edge, then listen to Reign in Blood.

8. “Death is Certain, Life is Not” by Dark Angel (from Darkness Descends – 11/17/86) – Darkness Descends was maybe the only album released in 1986 that could compete with Reign in Blood as far as speed is concerned, and while it is a great album, the songs just aren’t as strong overall.  But that’s apples to oranges, and this song is one of the exceptions.

9. “The Five Year Plan” by D.R.I. (from Crossover – 03/09/87) – Crossover is, interestingly enough, D.R.I.’s crossover album.  1985’s Dealing With It! hinted strongly at the crossover to come, and 1988’s stellar 4 of a Kind saw the crossover more or less completed, but Crossover contains a nice mix of both hardcore songs and thrash metal songs.  Let me be clear, though: you cannot go wrong with a Dirty Rotten Imbeciles album.  The clip below is from their live video Live at the Ritz, which will see an Old-Ass VHS Review here one of these days.  Dig that crazy fucking crowd, y’all.

10. “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.) by Anthrax (from Among the Living – 03/22/87) – The odd title to this song is a purposeful backward misspelling of “Nice Fuckin’ Life”.  The lyrics were inspired by the death of John Belushi.  Anthrax rules.

11. “Deny the Cross” by Overkill (from Taking Over – 03/87) – New Jersey thrash monsters Overkill often get ignored in discussions of thrash metal, and that is a fucking shame, because they are a brilliant band.  Their first five albums, especially, are great, but they’re still making really good albums today.  Like many of their East Coast Thrash Metal contemporaries, Overkill shows a strong punk rock influence, as contrasted with the more noticeable New Wave of British Heavy Metal influence on the San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal bands.  Anyway, “Deny the Cross” is the first song on their second album, and it’s fucking amazing, no matter what the cover might have you believe.

12. “Mistress of Pain” by Death Angel (from The Ultra-Violence – 04/23/87) – Death Angel is such an awesome band.  They rode out of the Bay Area on the second wave of thrash metal and unleashed their beastly debut album on the world in a hail of frenzied riffs, frantic drumming, and unholy screams.  Fun fact: every member of the band was under 20 years old when this song and album were recorded, and original drummer Andy Galeon was 14 years old.  What the fuck were you doing with your life at fourteen?  Probably not anything half as cool as this.

13. “Seeds of Hate” by Exodus (from Pleasures of the Flesh – 10/07/87) – Pleasures… was the first Exodus album to feature Steve “Zetro” Souza on vocals, after he left his original band, Legacy, who replaced him and went on to become Testament.  Zetro replaced original Exodus frontman Paul Baloff (RIP), who had a legendary stage presence, but who also couldn’t carry a tune, or stop partying.  The band reunited with Baloff in the late 90s, recorded a fantastic live album, and had plans to record new material with him before his untimely death.  Afterward, Zetro rejoined the band for one album before leaving again, to be replaced by Rob Dukes, who has now fronted the band longer than anyone.  I don’t like his voice quite as much, so I sometimes forget about Exodus when I’m thinking about thrash metal, but then I remember that they have songs like this.  The lyrics were written by Baloff.

14. “Victim of Demise” by Sacred Reich (from Ignorance – 10/13/87) – Phoenix, Arizona’s other thrash metal heroes Sacred Reich were one of the most politically and socially conscious thrash metal bands of their age.  Their first album, Ignorance, is goddamn brilliant.  They are technically still together, but they only play the occasional European festival show.  I really hope I get a chance to see them live someday.  The band maintains an entertaining, informative, and very interactive Facebook page.

15. “Justice” by Nuclear Assault (from The Plague EP – 1987) – My favorite Nuclear Assault album, Handle With Care, falls outside of my self-imposed timeline for this mix, so I’ve decided to include the first Nuclear Assault song I heard, on a compilation tape called Rising Metal, which my cousin Nathan bought in 1989, and which is also where I first heard Death Angel (the song above, in fact) and Flotsam & Jetsam.

16. “Disciples of the Watch” by Testament (from The New Order – 05/05/88) – The lyrics to this song are inspired by Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn”.  I’m pretty sure this is my favorite Testament song.  It is today, anyway.

17. “Macrosolutions to Megaproblems” by Voivod (from Dimension Hatröss – 06/29/88) – I used to read about Voivod in magazines when I was younger, and I was always interested in them (mostly because of the ads featuring their outstanding album covers in those same magazines), but I could never find their stuff in stores, living as I did in the middle of nowhere, southern Indiana.  Once I had easier access, I wanted to get into them, but I knew from my research that every album of theirs was different from the others; I didn’t know where to start, so I kept putting it off.  Finally, in 2007, I randomly chose their fourth album Dimension Hatröss and ordered a copy online (which I happened to receive in the mail two days before the anniversary of the release date).  I listened to it three times straight through before I was sure whether or not I even liked it, and then I didn’t stop listening to it for a full two months – I literally listened to nothing else for two months straight.  I tried, but I couldn’t be bothered to care; Dimension Hatröss had given me new ears, and nothing else sounded good to them.  I know now that if I’d listened to it when it was new, which is to say when I was eleven years old, I wouldn’t have understood it.  It’s almost 26 years old, and it’s still ahead of its time.  I really need to sit down and write about Voivod soon.

18. “Serial Killer” by Vio-Lence (from Eternal Nightmare – 1988) – If you’ve read my blog before, you surely know how much I love Eternal Nightmare, the debut album from second wave Bay Area thrashers Vio-Lence.  They came along at a time when a lot of the thrash metal old timers were slowing things down and expanding their horizons, and Vio-Lence had no interest in anything but neck-breaking riffs and gang vocals.

19. “Soldier of Fortune” by Razor (from Violent Restitution – 1988) – I’m a relative newcomer to Ontario, Canada speed merchants Razor, and so far Violent Restitution (their fifth full-length) is the only album of theirs I’ve heard, but if the rest is anything like this one, I have no reason to believe I won’t love them.  This might be the earliest example of a chainsaw being used in a song, although unlike Jackyl’s “The Lumberjack”, the saw is not used as an instrument so much as a device to make you feel like the band might break down your door and cut your damn fool head off.

That’s the end of this week’s mixtape.  Now go watch River’s Edge and rest your neck for your Reign in Blood listening party.  And stay heavy, always!

Mixtape Monday, Volume 5: Under the Covers, Part 1

Hello!  And welcome to this week’s installment of Mixtape Monday, wherein I make a mix with a theme.  This weeks theme, as you might have guessed from the title, is cover songs.  There are a fuckload of metal covers out there, so this is definitely going to be a reocurring theme within this recurring series.  Hell, I could do at least three Mondays worth of mixtapes with nothing but Black Sabbath covers.  Enjoy!

1. “Celebrated Summer” by Anthrax (originally recorded by Hüsker Dü) (from Stomp 442 bonus tracks – 1995) – Two of Anthrax’s best-known songs are covers (“Anti-Social” and “Got the Time”), and those are both great covers of great songs (the band also recorded a version of “Anti-Social” with lyrics in French, and it’s every bit as good).  The thing about Anthrax covering songs  (and they’ve recorded a lot of covers) is that they often don’t really add much to the song, i.e., they tend to not make it their own.  Their covers  are usually just played straight, but sometimes I don’t mind that.  This song was recorded during the sessions for their pretty much universally-maligned album Stomp 442.  It’s the second album with John Bush on vocals, and the first without lead guitarist Dan Spitz, and it definitely explored a new direction for the band.  I can honestly understand why long-time Anthrax fans don’t like it, but I fucking love it.  Bush’s voice has a depth and power that really works well with the songs on Stomp 442, and it works just as well on this cover, which happens to be one of my favorite Hüsker Dü songs (the original version is available on 1986’s New Day Rising).  As and added bonus, bassist Frank Bello’s backing vocals are crystal clear on this song, and his voice is fantastic.

2. “Astronomy Domine” – Voivod (originally recorded by Pink Floyd) (from Nothingface – 1989) – This reminds me that I need to get around to writing more about Voivod, because goddamn are they ever amazing.  This song served as the introduction to Voivod for many people, as the video received moderately heavy rotation on MTV at the time.  I chose the version presented here over the Official Video Version, because the Official Video Version truncates the guitar solo, and the solo played here by the late, great Denis “Piggy” D’Amour (RIP) is without question one of my favorite guitar solos of all time (second only to Adrian Smith’s emontion-drenched solo in “Wasted Years” by Iron Fucking Maiden).  The original version of this song is available on Pink Floyd’s first album, 1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, which is also a beautiful piece of work.

3. “Remember Tomorrow” by Crowbar (originally recorded by Iron Maiden) (from Slave to the Power: The Iron Maiden Tribute – 2000) – I just found out this cover existed last week, and I’m glad I did.  It’s really fucking great, but then how could be anything but?  I’m not very good at mathematics, but even I can work out that if Crowbar = great band, and “Remember Tomorrow” = great song, therefore Crowbar covering “Remember Tomorrow” = really fucking great.  If you need more empirical evidence, note that Crowbar also did a cover of Gary Wright’s “Dreamweaver”, which is not necessarily a great song, but they made it fucking great as well.  The original version of this song is available on Iron Maiden’s self-titled 1980 debut, which you should already own.

4. “Media Blitz” by Brutal Truth (originally recorded by The Germs) (from Need to Control – 1994) – Brutal Truth has gotten some mention here previously, and will continue to be mentioned, because they are an amazing band.  This explosive version of “Media Blitz” features guest vocals from Mike IX Williams of New Orleans sludge metal kings Eyehategod.  His parts are the parts where you can almost understand the lyrics.  The original version of this song is available on 1979’s (GI), which is the only full-length album The Germs ever released, because Darby Crash.

5. “Nobody’s Fault” by Testament (originally recorded by Aerosmith) (from The New Order – 1988) – This cover is so fucking good.  The original version is available on Aerosmith’s 1976 album Rocks, which is probably Aerosmith’s heaviest album, and is a contender for best Aerosmith album (the only other real contender, in my opinion, is 1975’s Toys in the Attic).  I’m not knocking Aerosmith, but they sure did turn to shit.

6. “Symptom of the Universe” by Helmet (originally recorded by Black Sabbath) (from The Jerky Boys soundtrack – 1995) – You might be able to argue that Helmet is not a metal band, but you can’t deny that Helmet is heavy (and this blog is, after all, called Stay Heavy, not Stay Metal)  Their first four albums, in particular, are genital-rattling heavy.  I finally got a chance to see Helmet live in 2005, when they were touring for their “comeback” album Size Matters.  That tour was notable for this long-time Anthrax fan because Frank Bello left Anthrax briefly in 2004-2005 to join Helmet, and I got to see Helmet live with Frank Fucking Bello on bass.  Granted, I would still love a chance to hear original bassist Henry Bogdan play Helmet songs live, but if it had to be anybody other than Bogdan, I’m glad it was Bello.  John Tempesta was also playing drums with Helmet at the time, and that was cool too, but really you could go see just about any metal or hard rock band on any given night, and there’s a decent chance that John Tempesta would be playing drums with them.  But I kid John Tempesta!  The original version of this song can be found on Black Sabbath’s excellent 1975 album Sabotage.

7. “The Small Hours” by Metallica (originally recorded by Holocaust) (from The 5.98 EP- Garage Days Re-Revisited – 1987) – The 5.98 EP… is notable in the Metallica discography for two reasons: firstly, it was the bands first release with Jason Newsted on bass, and second, it’s the most audible that James and Lars ever allowed Newsted’s bass to get on a Metallica recording.  It’s one of my favorite Metallica albums, and it was tough to choose one song from it, but “The Small Hours” is the one that I seem to come back to the most since the release of this tremendous piece of work.  I think it’s the plodding, trudging groove – I’m a sucker for that.  I know pretty much nothing about Holocaust, other than they rode out of England on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), and apparently this song originally appeared on an album called Live (Hot Curry & Wine), which was released in 1983, and which has an exceptionally odd title.  Note: today is the mighty Cliff Burton’s birthday (RIP), and I considered replacing this song with one of their covers with Cliff on bass (i.e., “Am I Evil?” or “Blitzkrieg”), but those songs have gotten a lot more play than this one.  I don’t think Cliff would disapprove.

8. “Anarchy In The U.K.” by Megadeth (originally recorded by the Sex Pistols) (from So Far, So Good… So What! – 1988) – Dave Mustaine won’t play this song live anymore, because as a born-again Christian, he’s afraid to sing the opening line (“I am an antichrist…”)  That’s a true story.  This was recorded when Dave knew how to properly channel his anger and aggression.  I placed it after Metallica in this mix just to piss Dave Mustaine off.  The original version is available on the Sex Pistols’ sole album, 1977’s Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.  Personally, I think you can skip the original, but then I think the Sex Pistols are a load of bullshit, important only for the influence, not unlike Kiss.

9. “Lord Of This World” by Corrosion Of Conformity (originally recorded by Black Sabbath) (from Nativity In Black: A Tribute To Black Sabbath – 1994) – This is not my favorite version of Corrosion of Conformity (that version would be the one that recorded the stellar 1991 album Blind, the only C.O.C. album with Karl Agell on vocals), but they sure played the fuck out of this Sabbath song.  If you can get your hands on a copy of Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath, I recommend it.  It’s not 100% gold, but it’s pretty great for a tribute album.  The original version of this song can be found on Sabbath’s 1973 jam Master of Reality.

10. “Doctor Doctor” by Iron Maiden (originally recorded by U.F.O.) (from “Lord of the Flies” single – 1996) – This song is on the B-side of the second single (“Lord of the Flies”) from 1995’s The X Factor, which was the band’s first release with Blaze Bayley on vocals.  I will definitely be delving into the Blaze Bayley era of Iron Maiden sometime in the near future, because it deserves a delving, but for now, just enjoy this badass jam.  Fun fact: when Iron Maiden performs live, the original version of this song (from U.F.O.’s 1974 album Phenomenon) plays through the house PA before the band starts their show and blows your head clean off with heavy fucking metal.

11. “Dissident Aggressor” by Slayer (originally recorded by Judas Priest) (from South Of Heaven – 1988) – It’s Fuckin Slayer covering Judas Fucking Priest.  It fits in so perfectly in its position on South of Heaven that for several years I didn’t even realize it was a cover.  The original can be found on Priest’s third album, 1977’s Sin After Sin.

12. “Summer Breeze” by Type O Negative (originally recorded by Seals & Crofts) (from Bloody Kisses – 1993) – Type O Negative was a band ahead of its time, and the loss of vocalist/bassist Peter Steele in 2010 (RIP) was all the more tragic in that Steele had essentially started a new chapter in the story of this phenomenal band.  Bloody Kisses was the first Type O album I heard, and I only bought it because I knew they were opening for Pantera on the Far Beyon Driven tour, and I wanted to familiarize myself with them a bit.  I’m definitely glad I did, and I’m also glad I got a chance to see them live, even if my age and my upbringing conspired to make me unable to appreciate their live show to the fullest possible extent.  There are so many great songs on that album, and the band did a lot of other awesome covers (including a live version of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” which is more than twice as long as the original), but this song holds a special place in my memory, taking me back to a very specific time and place in the neighborhood where I grew up.  It’s clearly tongue in cheek, as a lot of Type O Negative songs are, but it’s still a little slice of perfection.  The original is much less enjoyable, but can be found on Seals & Crofts’ 1972 album Summer Breeze, if you feel the need to check it out.  A more enjoyable way to hear it is to watch the Freaks and Geeks  episode “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers”.  That way everybody wins.

13. “Oven” by Pig Destroyer (originally recorded by Melvins) (from Explosions in Ward 6 – 1998) – Pig Destroyer formed in the Washington, DC area in 1997 in order to bring back (in the words of guitarist Scott Hull)  what “grindcore should be”.  They do a pretty sweet job.  They’re worth checking out, and they keep evolving into an increasingly ferocious motherfucker of a beast of a band, but as this song shows, they were already pretty goddamn ferocious at the time of their debut.  As you listen to this song, keep this in mind: when this was recorded, Pig Destoryer consisted of a vocalist, a guitarist, and a drummer.  THERE IS NO BASS ON THIS SONG.  That’s some real shit, right there.  The original version, which is also fucking rad (as it is a Melvins song), can be found on 1989’s Ozma, which features no hits, but which does feature covers of The Cars, Mudhoney, and Kiss.  Note: I believe that Kiss covers are always superior to Kiss originals, but that’s a topic for another time.

14. “Who Sets the Rules” by Napalm Death (originally recorded by Sick of It All) (from Our Impact Will Be Felt: A Tribute to Sick of It All (2007) – Sick of It All is the first hardcore band I ever heard, and Napalm Death is the first grindcore band I ever heard, so this marriage of ‘cores makes my nether regions all tingly.  The original version, which you should definitely seek out, can be found on 1994’s Scratch the Surface, which is the first Sick of It All album I ever heard (and which I still think is their best album).  “Fly by night – scenester! Fly by night – hipster!”  God damn that’s some good shit!

15. “Planet Caravan” by Pantera (originally recorded by Black Sabbath) (from Far Beyond Driven – 1994) – Pantera often gets dismissed by metal purists (by which I mean snobby assholes), who derisively throw terms like “jock metal” and “redneck metal” at the band, all the while failing to see the important role that Pantera played in keeping heavy metal alive in the vehemently anti-metal 1990s.  Far Beyond Driven debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 in the age of Snoop Dogg and Pearl Jam, for fuck’s sake!  To be clear: I realize that metal was never actually near death in the 90s, as the underground was very much alive with death metal, grindcore, and black metal, to name but a few subgenres, but to a lot of people, Pantera was the face of metal in the 90s, and for many more, Pantera was their gateway into heavy metal, and for that reason, if for no other, they should be more widely respected.  Even their first three albums, when they were a full-on Kiss-inspired glam metal band, are good for what they are (I don’t listen to them, but the songs are well-performed), and Phil Anselmo’s debut with the band, 1988’s Power Metal, was heavier, and hinted at what was to come (nevermind the cringe-worthy album closer “P*S*T*88” – I, for one, like to pretend that song never happened).  Everything after that is fucking legendary.  Long live Pantera, and RIP Dimebag Darrell.

As for this song, it’s fucking dope.  I heard this version of this amazingly trippy song about a year before I heard Black Sabbath’s original, from their 1970 masterpiece Paranoid.  Both versions are awe-inspiring.

That’s all for this week’s edition of Mixtape Monday.  Thanks for reading.  Stay tuned for more heaviness, and while you stay tuned, be sure to stay heavy.