Lift With Hatred

Powerlifting is an external view of how pissed off at the world I really am.  – Kirk Karwoski

The title of this article…if you follow me on Instagram you see this hashtag attached to all my training related videos.  But let it be known now: I didn’t come up with it just for the sake of having a hashtag or to have several thousand followers.  I have nowhere near that.  It’s a literal way of life for me.   I’m not Kirk Karwoski; but much like him, Powerlifting is definitely an extension of how pissed off I really am.

Image result for kirk karwoski

This guy was just a psycho.  In his prime, if he came to the gym and someone was at his squat rack, he’d give them a five minute warning.  If the unlucky fuck wasn’t done yet, Kirk would take their shit and throw it to the side and force them out!

At 34 years old, at a time where most people begin to soften with age, I’ve just become colder.  Friends?  I have so few of them, especially now.  Honestly, fuck ’em, don’t need ’em.  Playing in bands?  More like sixteen years of my life I can never get back.  Family?  Oh, lets not go there.  Work?  Let’s REALLY not go there!  The ONLY thing I want to do is lift heavy shit.  That’s my only relief from the day.

Deadlift with Hatred

Fuck Your Commercial Gym

The Deadlift.  THE single most macho lift anyone can do in their gym…if their gym doesn’t give them shit for it.  In fifteen years I’ve trained in just six gyms.  One was my college weight room, three of them were commercial and the other two including my current gym are badass gyms with the type of vibe you can only get in a smaller,  more intimate setting.  Up until last year, no commercial gym ever gave me shit for the way I trained – or even for the clothes I wore to the gym!

Then came this boy scout manager, who claimed he understood me since he himself was a pretty big guy and even complimented my Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym t-shirt.  While being given the tour of the place, the much nicer manager who was showing him around asked me to be “kinder” to her floors.  Little did she understand that the plates were rubber coated so they’d never break her floors.  And before anyone asks: no, I wasn’t slamming the weights.

Regardless, that clearly left an impression on him.  He came up to me a week later, looking like he was dry humping his imaginary girlfriend while I was deadlifting before belittling me, lecturing me on proper form like I was some fucking idiot.  We almost went to blows right away.  I realize instantaneously that he planned on using me to make a name for himself and I wasn’t going to let that shit happen.  It was his first official day on the job.  A week later, I decided to train wearing jeans and boots, something I’ve done from time to time ever since I’ve been training.  This dumb son of a bitch asked me if I had any other clothes and, when I said I didn’t, told me hesitantly that I then had to leave.  Why?  Because the rivets – the ones I didn’t have on these jeans – would rip up the pleather on the already shitty Hammer Strength benches.  I asked him to just let me go with a warning and I’d never do it again, as I had just gotten into my warmup.

Two minutes later, I found myself angrily sitting in my car, knowing for sure that my days at this “gym” were numbered.  No one had EVER kicked me out for wearing jeans and boots before, or even given me a warning.  Luckily for me, I already knew exactly where I wanted to hang my hat next.  The problem was I was low on cash, meaning I’d have to wait a while.  I endured two more months of walking on eggshells and even coming close to a confrontation with a trainer there, who I really liked and still do, over my “slamming the weights”.

So what the fuck am I driving at?  If you’re like me the gym has to feel like a home, not some fucking social club.  It’s okay to make friends.  Fuck, I’ve met amazing people in EVERY gym I’ve ever trained in.  But if you’re like me, you’re dedicated to acheiving shit that most peole could never dream of.  That means you put on those earbuds if you really have to, and you tune out the rest of the world.  That means all your focus is going to be on that set, your rep goal, whatever.  You’re going to make sure you give it all you got, with all the intensity you can.  Is it so heavy you might scream a bit?  Go ahead, fucking do it!  If anyone is dumb enough to say shit, it’s most likely because they’re too chicken shit to try it.

Make sure your gym is not only welcoming of all kinds of lifters, but TOLERANT.  That usually means get the fuck out of your commercial chain gym that can have all the equipment you can ever need, but mostly relies on cardio bunnies for their revenue.  Does that one guy that can pull four plates do the robot in between his sets?  You need to get the fuck out of there now!  That means being in a gym with all lifters – male and female – who know that THE way to get in shape is to not just eat right, but to focus on the three greatest lifts you can do: the squat, the bench and the deadlift.  I’ve gotten more muscle mass doing those than I ever did doing just shrugs or leg presses (even though leg presses are part of my current routine).

To me, the gym is the one place where I can express myself.  Where I am now, I can lift the way I want, how I want, when I want, with as much intensity as I want and I’ll never be given a hard time for it.  Lifting is the one time in my day where I can get out all of that negative energy – and believe me, there’s so much of it! – without anyone else getting hurt.  I lift with hatred because that’s my one source of strength.  I lift with hatred because that’s all I know.  This is not a game.  I don’t do this for “fun”; I do it because I need to.

I’m leaving you with my one of my spotify Gym playlists:

Maybe one of these tracks will give YOUR workout a swift kick in the ass.

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The Official Demise Of A Musical Dynasty: In Memory Of Vinnie Paul

It was early this past Saturday morning, around 2am, when I got up to take a quick piss.  I looked on my phone for shits and giggles and saw that I friend of mine posted something, captioning “holy shit!” above it.  It was a the Billboard article announcing that former Pantera/Hell Yeah drummer Vinnie Paul was dead at 54.  I thought I was just tired; but after a few minutes I realized that this was in fact reality.  There were no facts at the times, all that mattered was that one of the greatest of all time was gone.

The facts, since then, have slowly started to become known.  We now know that he died in his sleep in his Las Vegas home (booze and strippers, duh!), and of a heart attack.  According to the Las Vegas police, there were no signs of foul play.  Then today came the news that, just like his late brother, he’ll be buried beside him and their mother…in a KISS coffin.  Of course it’ll take some time for the toxicology report to come out.  I don’t want this to focus too much on his well publicized lifestyle here.  But let’s face it: despite his machine like intensity on the drums, he never seemed to burn too many calories.  That’s most likely because he never slowed down the drinking.  I mean fuck me did this guy and his brother, the late Dimebag Darrell, know how to party or what??

As I said before, I’m not here to discuss what everyone else is bound to write about.  I’m going to talk about why this son of a bitch from Arlington, TX will forever have a spot as one of the greatest drummers of all time.

So what the fuck makes a musician one of the best?  That person is able to make himself recognizable in songwriting style, technique, skill and sound.  That guy has to be able to make himself stand out.  From non metal guys like Stewart Copeland and Phil Collins (yeah, Phil Collins was a drum god at one point!) to hard rock drummers such as John Bonham to Vinnie’s own idol, Alex Van Halen, each of the guys I mentioned had the ability to make themselves easily distinguishable because they possessed all the qualities I just mentioned.  Vinnie, along with his brother, clearly knew this early on.  And while it would take three independently recorded albums before they were signed to their first deal, the wait would be worth it, because they, along with Rex Brown and Phil Anselmo, created a new sub genre of Metal, making them the single most important Heavy Metal band of the nineties.  Pantera were to be the band that single handed SAVED Metal during the rise of the Grunge scene, and later Alternative music.

Starting with their fourth album, 1990’s Cowboys From Hell, Pantera burst out like a goddamn raging bull with tracks such as the title track, “Psycho Holiday”, “Heresy” and everyone’s excuse to mosh, “Domination”.  There are other classics on there that I could’ve named just now but I chose the ones I just mentioned because those tracks are filled with an extraordinarily seamless combination of interlocking with…groove??  Oh yeah, Vinnie never lost the groove no matter how mechanical or technical those tracks were.  He’d explain years later that, while he respected drummers with fast left hands (think blast beats), he was more concerned about making people move.

1992’s Vulgar Display Of Power saw Pantera develop a much edgier sound all around.  I mean they were already edgy, but starting here the band were starting to sound more like the soundtrack to a fist fight!  Between Phil’s rougher vocal delivery to Diamond Darrell…as he was unfortunately still calling himself at the time…downtuning his guitar and those drums.   Unlike most Thrash bands, Pantera were not JUST about precision and speed.  Vinnie Paul as a drummer was more than JUST an anchor.  He knew when to keep it tight and he also knew when to let loose and just go with the shuffle:

With tracks such as this one above, and “No Good (Attack The Radical)”, you started to hear Vinnie’s creativity.  There are syncopated rhythms in “No Good” that sounded so new.  They’d also be the basis for shitty nu metal bands later on but I’ll get to that soon.

1994’s Far Beyond Driven.  Without question it’s THE most important album in Pantera’s history.  Why?  Because it debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.  No Metal band before Pantera had EVER pulled that off before and now no one could EVER take that away from them.  It is also the HEAVIEST album to EVER debut at No. 1.  With the opening track, “Strength Beyond Strength”, your ass is kicked immediately.  It’s one big explosion and Vinnie’s much louder, much more POWERFUL drums are taking full charge.  Sounded like Vinnie had done some tinkering in the studio, both with his drum kit, as well as with the mixing board.   I mean goddamn – just listen to this fucking track!!!

I said earlier that to be the best you had to find your own sound among other things and Vinnie’s drums sounded so much deeper than on any other album up to this point.  Turns out he in fact was tuning his heads real low…like almost to the point of being loose.  And those bass drums!  They sound so triggered.  But as the story goes, while in the studio, Vinnie used wooden beaters in the studio and also taped quarters on his bass heads, right at the spot where the beaters would make contact.  The result was a clicky, yet stronger, clearer, more powerlful bass drum.  It’d also set the tone for the way many other, far more extreme Metal bands would record in the years to come.

If his brother, who was finally going by Dimebag at this point, was to be my generation’s Eddie Van Halen, then Vinnie was to be my generation’s Alex.  Both were brothers, both played together for so long that they could read each other’s minds with ease.  They both understood each other.  But on the downside, Alex, amazing as he was, was clearly destined to be overshadowed by his game changing brother.  Vinnie would be no different.  Dime’s playing and his SOUND were a MASSIVE game changer at this time, and rightfully so.  But every guitarist, bassist, or even singer are only as good as their drummer.  Eddie would’ve been just some asshole who taps had it not been for Alex.  Dime would’ve probably just been a guy with a scooped sound and a whammy bar had it not been for Vinnie.

Take for example “13 Steps To Nowhere” off 1996’s The Great Southern Trendkill.  This unmistakably is THE darkest, most intense album in Pantera’s entire discography – and my personal favorite!  It’s a headbanger for sure, very Sabbath inspired with just enough technicality to justify it as old school to the core.  It sounds like Vinnie here perfected the trigger sound on his bass drums, and found just the right EQ setting for his low tuned toms, as they cascade from high to low before Phil’s fucked up verses.  Right in the middle, the Sabbath moment takes over as the song breaks down beautifully, allowing Vinnie’s drums to breathe.  You hear every nuance, every reverberation, every BOOM.  It’s pure destruction.  It’s so sexy.

Then a problem arose in the music world.  In the four years between the release of ‘Trendkill and their final album, 2000’s Reinventing The Steel.  Starting with KoRn, actually going back to ’94, several “Nu” bands came along and tried to focus strictly on groove.  The guitarists all had a scooped sound, they all tuned down lower than even Dime thanks to the revival of seven string guitars; the drummers were playing nothing but snycopations, especially shit bands like Disturbed; and the singers all wore green shorts like Phil and were all just angry without a cause (well to be fair Jonathan Davis was apparently molested as a kid).  Unfortunately, Pantera were to get the blame for this, as most of these fuckers freely cited Vulgar as a major influence.

But the biggest problem with all those fuckfaces – and the biggest reason music SUCKED in the early 2000’s – was that they completely missed the point.  Pantera as a band, and as individual musicians, took close to a decade to perfect their sound.  Did any of them understand that Dime and Vinnie were insanely talented musicians since they were kids?  Did any of those retards know that Pantera started out in 1983 as a GLAM band??  Oh it’s true.  It took years for them to develop into a harder sounding band.  It also took the drive to always want every album to be better and better.  Thanks to their refusal to truly do their homework – and actually learn to play their instruments – these Nu/Rap Metal pieces of shit chose to just be followers…and ultimately forgettable.  Thankfully.

After the break up of Pantera in 2003, Vinnie and Dime went on to form Damageplan.  Their sole album, 2004’s New Found Power, was a major change in their sound.  The brothers wanted to try something new and while I surely wasn’t a fan of all the track on the record, I understood that this was an experiment and perhaps things would change.  I was however a fan of a the beyond sludgy “Moment Of Truth”.  It’s so slow, so heavy and it allowed Vinnie to sound like nothing short of a fucking jackhammer.

Unfortunately, as we all know, that second album would never happen, as Dime was gruesomely murdered before years end while on stage.

Vinnie stayed away from the public for a few years afterward.  His final band would be Hell Yeah.  I’ll be honestly.  I don’t mean to disrespect Vinnie, but he could’ve done so much better than joining a “supergroup” with the assholes from Nothing Face and Madvayne.  If he enjoyed himself, then hey good for him.  But I personally found Hell Yeah to be so beneath what he was capable of.

His unexpected death last Friday marked the end of en era, and a musical dynasty.  If you’re new to this blog you’re expecting me to say some shit like “he’s with Dime now”.  Not here.  I’m athiest.  I don’t believe that shit.  But with his death, gone are the one family that were as successful and ultimately as influential as they were playing this kind of music.  No one before the Abbott brothers could pull it off and no two brothers have repeated it just yet.  Vinnie Paul alone changed the game with his signature sound, and many drummers will say that they started playing because of Vinnie Paul.  In fact, while in the middle of writing this I stopped to write a new Spotify playlist, featuring my favorite Vinnie Paul moments in Pantera and even Damageplan.

To end this I’m going to leave you with the very first Pantera video I ever watched back in 1996 on an episode of Beavis and Butthead.

Rest In Peace Vincent Paul Abbott 1964 – 2018

Random Thoughts

Fuck, where to begin here…

Being nearly 34 now (last month marked three years since I started this blog, by the way) and working with some real shitheads in a really fucked up part of Brooklyn, NY, I’m often bothered when I hear people say stupid shit like “Man, kids these days don’t know better”, “Kids these days don’t know what hard work is!”, “Kids these days are so dumb!”, blah blah blah.  Lets face it, EVERY fucking generation has said that about the generation succeeding them.  But in reality, I 100% blame the parents for the way I see some of these fuckfaces act.  I’d know – I’ve met parents who either have no clue how to control their own kids or they’ve no desire to because they still want to party like they did before that fateful night in which they got knocked up by that baby daddy who would disappear just days later.

Then, I hear about some shit as outlandish as THIS and I have to wonder if just maybe today’s youth really are that fucking stupid.

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The…Condom Snorting Challenge???

Yeah, you read that sub-title correctly.  Earlier this year, kids all over were eating Tide pods…I sadly had no real time to fully write about it, although I did make remarks regarding the situation on my Instagram and Facebook accounts.  So, I only found out about this shit yesterday, just as I was wondering it these idiots could somehow outdo themselves in the Retard Department.  Well, I guess they can, eh?  Just ask the retard in the picture above!

So according to CBS News, this actually started a few years ago for about five seconds and then was sadly just revived recently.  What is this “challenge” exactly?  You snort a whole condom up one nostril, inhaling it, and hoping it comes out of your mouth.  Has your ultra kinky wife/girlfriend ever tried anything this fucking stupid??  Exactly.  And teenagers are doing this.

As I write this now I’m reminded of Andrew Salvatore, an old friend I went to elementary and junior high school with.  I bumped into him at a Brendan Small (Metalocalypse) show at Starland Ballroom in 2009 after not seeing him for nearly five years.  He was now a paramedic in Tom’s River and he told me that the then-latest drug craze surely outdid any of his old “get high” attempts.  Kids were letting their own human waste ferment in the sun, wrapped in a balloon, and then inhale it inhale it in order to feel the effects of Jenkem, a hallucinogen created by the fermentation.  And what does this hallucinogen do exactly?  It allegedly allows these idiots to have “visions” unlike sniffing glue in which you hear voices.  I wonder if these “visions” are of random people who look just like me, telling them that they should go kill themselves?  Because that’s exactly what anyone INHALING THEIR OWN SHIT should do right now.  Yesterday.

Digressions aside though, there actually is a silver lining to this condom snorting shit, if you could believe that.  According to Dr. Robert Glatter in the earlier mention CBS report, “Even if you successfully complete the challenge and pull the condom out your mouth, the bottom line is that it’s incredibly irritating and a good chance it will wreak havoc on your sinuses, nasal passages, and upper airway”.  That’s right kids!  If you’re too stupid to remember that there are lubricants and chemicals in those rubbers you’re putting up your nose, you really do deserve every horrible burning sensation and all the damage that will be done your sinus cavities.  You also deserve nothing but the feelings of worthlessness for the rest of your lives.

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The YouTube Shooting

Before I go any further with this I want to make clear that what happened yesterday was nothing to laugh about, obviously.  This could’ve happened to anyone, anywhere, and it’s a miracle this piece of shit’s victims are still alive.

Now that I got that out of the way, let’s take a brief look at Nasim Aghdam, the Iranian “Vegan Bodybuilder” (she hardly looked the part to begin with!) who drove ten hours just to shoot up the YouTube offices in San Bruno, CA with 9mm handgun:

 

Speaking of hallucinogens….if you watched this video ALL THE WAY TO THE END, then I really want to know what you’re on and if I could get some.  There’s no way anyone in their right mind could take that one video alone seriously.  I can see that YouTube decided to remove this shit just on the basis that it just RETARDED.  In some of her now deleted rants, this self righteous vegan psycho said that “I am being discriminated and filtered on YouTube. My new videos hardly get views”.

Ok and so the fuck what?  I only started posting workout videos on YouTube two years ago and they hardly get ANY views.  Fuck that, in the twelve years since I started my account I’ve only amassed a staggering 159 subscribers.  I guess I should get my old 20 gauge out, drive cross country and start firing away, right?  Hey, maybe if you didn’t release just stupidity you would’ve never accused YouTube of ruining your life – or maybe you could’ve gotten a real job.  Then again…who’d hire a militant jackass like you anyway?

But I’m going to repeat a statement I made on my Facebook account about jackasses like this.  She was a vegan?  Just for that she should’ve killed herself a long time ago – and I would’ve been more than happy to help her get the job done while eat a nice, juicy, rack of ribs – or even a filet mignon.  Go fuck yourself, and if Hell really does exist I hope you fucking rot.  Let this be a message to all of you: if you want to shoot things because social media is ruining your life, just maybe you should look in the mirror you fucking losers.  You can either then see that YOU ARE THE PROBLEM AND NEED TO CHANGE NOW….or just go ahead and kill yourselves, remaining a laughing stock even in death, like this stupid bitch.

The CBS Report On The Condom Shit:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/condom-snorting-challenge-experts-warn-dangerous-trend/

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Batman: Gotham By Gaslight

Like most of you reading this, I’m sure, it was a real shock when it was announced that DC Comics would be releasing a film adaptation of the classic 1989 Elseworlds one-off Batman: Gotham By Gaslight.  Elseworlds, for those of you who are unaware, is DC’s imprint created strictly for stories of their characters than have nothing to do with their normal continuity.  While Gotham By Gaslight was not the first time any DC character had been taken out of it’s continuity, it just happened to be the first of it’s kind to be released under the Elseworlds umbrella.

     See the source image

The original story itself places Batman in the late 1880’s, in the era of Jack The Ripper.  Long story short, Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered (well fucking duh!), and after years away from Gotham City and studying under Freud, he becomes Batman after it’s determined following a series of murders against multiple women that Jack The Ripper had come to Gotham City.  At the same time, Bruce reunited with Jacob Packer, an old family friend who was trained in medicine and also became a lawyer using the financial backing of Bruce’s father.  Bruce is framed for the murders and, despite having Packer as his attorney, is still found guilty and is sentenced to hang.

While imprisoned in Arkham Asylum, Inspector James Gordon gives Bruce documents to read in order to help him prove his innocence and with just a day to go before he’s to be hanged he discovers the Jack The Ripper was right under his nose the entire time, as Jack clearly had the skill of a surgeon and had a knife used by his father.  It was Jacob Packer.  With Alfred’s help he escapes Arkham and confront Packer as he’s about to kill another woman.  The fight ends in the site of the Wayne gravestones.  Here Packer admits that he hired an assassin to kill his parents all because he wanted to bone Martha and she rejected him.  Yet even after he had her killed he couldn’t get the sound of her laugh out of his head, so like a true pussy he decided to kill any woman who reminded him of her.  The police arrive but before they could arrest Packer he beautifully slashes Batman across his chest before the police open fire on him.

There’s a bit of ground to cover here’s so I’m going to try and make this as easy as possible.

The Great

Image result for gotham by gaslight dvd  Image result for gotham by gaslight dvd

One major aspect of the original story which blew not just my mind, but probably everyone else’s as well, was the artwork.  According to an interview segment in the bonus section of the DVD, DC might’ve had to shell out for cash than usual just to have the story printed because it involved the use of so many dark colors.  The story featured many dark shades of blue, as well as beautifully intricate detail in regards to the characters and of Gotham City.  I guarantee that recreating that look and feel for a DVD might’ve seemed just a little too ambitious but the guys making this managed to pull it off.  When I look at the way Batman alone was drawn I immediately was taken back to the moment I first read the original story.

The Changes 

If you’re one of those who hated the animated take on The Killing Joke then you’re totally going to hate this too.  Much like that movie, extra scenes needed to be added in order for the move to last over an hour.  But instead of just creating something new like what was done in 2016, DC were able to draw influence from a story I had no idea even existed.  In 1991, DC released the Elseworlds title Batman: Master Of The Future.  Taking place in 1892, it’s the sequel to Gotham By Gaslight, in which a fair is held to celebrate the new inventions that’d help bring Gotham into the 20th Century, as well as a new villain that wants to prevent any of it from happening.

So in order to fill out space, many scenes in this movie take place on the Gotham fairgrounds, which certainly allowed Bruce Timm and co. to go wild with some Steampunk stylings if you’re into that kind of thing, especially when Batman is seen riding what looks like a miniature train (a Victorian era take on the Bat Cycle, I guess).  I’m not and I actually think Steampunk is gay as fuck.  But hey that’s just me.  The bad news here is that thanks to this change it appears that the film adaption has almost nothing to do with the original story, which actually does bother me.  But that’s what leads to the most ridiculous part.

Ok What The Fuck??

Don’t read this if you haven’t watched the movie yet and don’t want spoilers.  As mentioned earlier, there are several change made just for this DVD, the one moment remaining the same being that Bruce Wayne was framed for the murders that Jack The Ripper actually committed.  Upon Bruce’s escape from Blackgate Prison he arrives as Batman at Inspector Gordon’s house.  In trying to find him he finds a white trail stopping at the wall.  Batman manages to find a secret room behind it with newspaper clippings of Jack The Ripper, as well as multiple surgical knives and pictures from his days in the military.  So let me get this straight…so in order to fuck with us all…Bruce Timm decided to make….Jim Gordon the movie’s Jack The Ripper?  Why?  Was it because he’s otherwise known for being the symbol of anticorruption not named Batman?  Who fucking knows?  I still don’t get it.

The Final Verdict

Let’s make it clear now.  I don’t hate what DC did with this version.  The artwork alone is just magnificent.  Words truly can’t describe how much that alone impressed me.  It was interesting to see bits and pieces of another story I was completely unaware of.  That turned the movie into a bit of a Batman history lesson for me.  The one thing that bothers me the most is the removal of Jacob Packer as Jack The Ripper and having James fucking Gordon taking his place.  And for what?  To have as his motive that he hates women and wanted to “clean the streets”?  I think Jacob Packer’s mental instability would’ve been much better for this.  So if I had to give this a rating of 1 – 5, I’d give Batman: Gotham By Gaslight three and a half middle fingers.

 

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The End Of Days Is Near…RIP Slayer

I’ve been wondering for almost five years if they’d ever get a fucking clue and just call it a day.  Then, this past Monday, Slayer made this bombshell  announcement amid rumors of a huge summer tour lineup including Testament, Behemoth, Lamb Of God and fellow Big Four band Anthrax:

Well damn.  There was just one thing for me to say….it’s about fucking time!  In my opinion this should’ve been done nearly five years ago, as I said above.  Why?  Nothing against Paul Bostaph who’s currently in his second run with the band, but the band’s treatment and dismissal of Dave Lombardo – especially by Kerry King – was just fucking disgrace by all accounts.  A few months later, guitarist Jeff Hanneman died of alcohol related cirrhosis of the liver.  While they had already been touring with Exodus guitarist Gary Holt for a few years while Jeff was recovering from a near fatal spider bite, they should’ve stopped everything right there.

I’ve spoken about this in an article ripping Kerry for calling Jeff “worm food” back in 2015.  Yeah, Kerry is a great rhythm player, he’s a really good guitarist, probably more technically sound than Jeff.  But Jeff was the better songwriter, having written “Angel Of Death”, “Necrophiliac”. “Spill The Blood”, “Postmortem” and the perennial set closer, “Raining Blood”.  Being that he was the one guy in the band that was more influenced by Punk than the others, his songwriting and playing style were far more reckless and chaotic than anything Kerry wrote.  Same goes for his lead style, just pure balls to the wall ripping.  It was never pretty and that’s why it was amazing.  Here’s an example, go to the 1:42 mark for Jeff’s solo.  By the way the music here is all his too.

I can spend this entire article kissing Jeff’s ass but here’s my point: like it or not Jeff was a KEY member of the band.  With him gone, Slayer was officially nothing more than a tribute band.  You know, that band that just goes out there for the money and play those signature songs they didn’t even write.  Because every time they play “Angel Of Death”, their SIGNATURE song, it just does not look right seeing Gary on the left side of the stage – and by the way this is not to disrespect Gary.

But it’s like David Vincent and Tim Yeung going out on tour as I Am Morbid (I seriously cannot stop laughing at that name!).  Yeah, David wrote almost all the lyrics to those classic Morbid Angel songs; but without Trey killing it on guitar it just sounds like a money grab before the tour even starts.  From a non metal perspective it’s the equivalent of Aerosmith touring and recording without Joe Perry or Brad Whitford – BOTH of the band’s guitarists! – for five years.  Who really gives a shit about Rock And A Hard Place?  Certainly not I!

While it’s clear to me that both Kerry and Tom Araya are the two business partners of the band, Kerry most likely is the one that pushed and pushed to keep going.  He’s much more shrewd of a business man.  But there’s one problem.  His songwriting style has changing DRASTICALLY since the earlier days, as he’s almost embraced shitty trends such as Nu Metal and it showed a little too much on 2001’s God Hates Us All.  Wanna know why I’ll never give Repentless, a complete listen through?  Because who in their RIGHT MIND wants to hear an entire Slayer record written by him?  And if you say you do you’re just a fan boy and should go die – fucking slowly.

Tom, on the other hand, made it clear several times over the years that at his age he’s become homesick.  He’s tired, and I think he’s kind of lonely without Jeff.  Starting in the late eighties/early nineties, Tom and Jeff began a songwriting partnership that produced some of Slayer’s best tracks, including “War Ensemble”, “Season In The Abyss” and my favorite latter era track, “Eyes Of The Insane”.  Jeff wrote the music but Tom wrote the lyrics.  Here’s a statement Tom made to Loudwire in 2016:

“At 35 years, it’s time to collect my pension. [Laughs] This is a career move.  I’m grateful that we’ve been around for 35 years; that’s a really long time. So, yeah, to me, it is. Because when we started off, everything was great, because you’re young and invincible. And then there came a time where I became a family man, and I had a tough time flying back and forth. And now, at this stage, at the level we’re at now, I can do that; I can fly home when I want to, on days off, and spend some time with my family, which is something I wasn’t able to do when [my kids] were growing up. Now they’re both older and mature. So now I take advantage of that.” Araya added: “Yeah, it just gets harder and harder to come back out on the road. 35 years is a long time.”

So I’m wondering if either certain business/contractual matters were finally resolved or Tom finally let Kerry know that he had enough.  I personally think that at 56 years old he’s burnt out.  It probably take it’s physical toll to scream like that every night at his age.  Or just maybe he has enough common sense to understand that things can NEVER be the same with Jeff gone.  Either way, the band has finally made the right call because at this point they’re more than beating a dead horse.  I almost want to see this farewell tour.  The lineup is fucking sick, and I can almost guarantee Anthrax is on there because they’ll probably have both bands on stage together at the end of every show to play a few songs together and it’ll be one big party as 2/4 of the Big Four.  Hell, even Dave Mustaine said he’d like to put together one last Big Four show as his way of sending them off.  Sounds actually really cool, considering the interband relationship between his own band and Kerry (Kerry was in Megadeth for five seconds before he got sick of Dave’s dictator-like approach).  But will they agree to it?  However, as I’ve hashtagged on Instagram posts for a while now, #nojeffnoslayer.

No Jeff, no Slayer.  He’s not there and I’m not interested.  Kerry and Tom, congratulations.  You’ve had an amazing career, creating a legacy that’s UNDENIABLE.  But please, after this is all over, make sure it stays that way.  Don’t be like that pro wrestler that retires then almost as quickly comes back because they can’t stand to be away – or need the money.  Here’s one of THE most fucked up songs the band ever released, written by Jeff:

 

In Memory Of “Fast” Eddie Clarke…and the end of a legend.

Wen I began this blog in March of 2015, I clearly had no way of knowing that within months I’d begin paying tribute to the dying members of the classic Motorhead lineup as they slowly began dying.  It started with drummer “Philthy Animal” Taylor, then a few weeks later we lost Lemmy himself, obviously signaling the end of the band.  Then came the news earlier this month that we lost guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke on Jan 10, 2018 due to pneumonia.  What a shitty way to start off the new year, because he was the last surviving member of the original lineup that brought us such filthy albums like Overkill,  Bomber, and of course, Ace Of Spades.

Wanna know why those early albums were so influential?  Yeah, Lemmy and “Philthy” brought the thunder, but Eddie brought the filth.  Eddie’s guitar style is heavily rooted in blues, and rightfully so.  But the way he incorporated it into the Motorhead sound was just…so…fucking…imperfect that it was perfect!  His riffs, his speed, his ATTITUDE, the let it fly style in his solos.  Add in that voice that sounds like Lemmy gargled fire and the result is pure, beautiful, disgusting filth and no one else can come close.  When he left after 1982’s Iron Fist, shit was never the same.  That’s not a knock, Motorhead continued to kick ass all the way until Lemmy died.  But shit just seemed less filthy afterwards. Here are two examples from Overkill that show just how filthy Eddie’s playing was.

 

 

Rest In Peace “Fast” Eddie Clarke.  October 5th, 1950 – January 10th, 2018.