Random Memories of Trevor

It had to be sometime in early 2003. I was on a bus heading home, and, while I still had probably fifteen more minutes before I reached my destination, I pulled out the latest issue of Revolver Magazine from my backpack. If memory serves me correctly, the magazine included a one-page section highlighting recommended up-and-coming bands. There were three bands, one definitely was Himsa (fucking absolute vomit!), and the only other band I remembered was some band called The Black Dahlia Murder, whose music the magazine categorized as “Megadeth Metal”.

That’s not a joke.

Time would go on and a whole year and a half would pass before I finally came across Unhallowed, The Black Dahlia Murder’s 2003 debut album, probably in Sam Goody. I remember that this was also the same day that I bought the very denim jacket that I’d cut the sleeves off of to make a vest out of.

Unrelated note: Don’t ever use the term “Battle Jacket” to describe your denim vest with patches and buttons and spikes on it. Or go ahead and do so and be as retarded as everyone else that uses the fucking stupid term.

Anyway, my dad drove me home, as I still didn’t have a car yet. I opened up Unhallowed and looked at the cover. What’s in a name? What’s in a cover image? In the early days of mp3 downloading and, with a whole decade to go before Spotify existed, I still bought CDs, and still do so to this day. Therefore, the only way to find out what any band sounded like, was to either download a track or two, or to simply BUY the album. I popped the album into my five-disc changer and the following two tracks fucked me up.

The music in this video is actually the opening instrumental title track to the record and it breaks right into “Funeral Thirst”, so it made sense to just post the video instead of two separate links of any kind.

Either way, upon hearing those two tracks now I remember EXACTLY what stood out to me those most. The music alone was not just balls-out heavy, but those minor chord harmonies happened to make me feel every single negative emotion I ever knew or felt in my entire life. I wanted to cry, I wanted to die, I wanted to choke anyone I could get my hands on. It was hopeless. It was beautiful.

Then I heard that fucking voice. It was like nothing I had heard at the time. It was a hell of a lot more screetchy than most Death Metal bands I’d heard, with the sole exception of Chuck’s vocals on The Sound of Perseverance, Death’s last record. He hit the traditional guttural style as well and I realized that he was using the two styles for the sake of a dynamic that was not there at the time. It changed things up in all the songs and it fucking made things far more exciting.

Clearly whoever described this band as “Megadeth Metal” in Revolver Magazine a year earlier must’ve been either high or just absolutely clueless. The Black Dahlia Murder, especially as made evident in their latter-day releases were more like the greatest Carcass disciples you’ve ever heard!

This was just the beginning of a long ride for the band for the better part of two decades, two decades that would especially see Trevor Strnad standout among the traditional Death Metal frontman stereotype. As serious as he was in the video posted above, his sense of fun and humor would become FAR more prevalent not just in the videos the band would make in the coming years, but in his persona onstage. The best thing about it all was Trevor manage to balance this act out to the point that his goofiness NEVER took away from the band’s or his onstage intensity. He never took himself seriously and that connected with all of us because we knew it was genuine.

But to be clear, his lyrics were as Death Metal, and as brutal as it got. He’s a line or two from “Christ Deformed”, one of my ALL TIME favorite TBDM tracks:

Diabolic ritual open the portal to damnation
Dark legions gathering for virtuous insemination
Molest and sodomize deride the seed of god’s creation
Impale the Nazarene succumb to a spiritual inversion

In our unholy father’s disgusting house of shame
We revel in endless hatred burning so absolute
Corrupting all who’d enter here surrender to darkness
We kneel to those no more who’d burden and beguilt

Within these wretched walls a summoning proceeds
What form will manifest of this abysmal devilry
The children now are bleeding, we eunuchate his sons
To evil blood and fire this earth will soon succumb
With hell reborn
Your Christ be scorned
Dead faith now torn
His love deformed

That’s why I intentionally waited before I wrote this piece. It was hard to let sink in, that not only is Trevor gone, but to think about how it just might’ve happened. But much like with my tribute to Chris Cornell, I will NOT discuss what happened. Enough people have written about that, and we still haven’t a clue as to the whole story. But I, like most fans of The Black Dahlia Murder, have memories of meeting Trevor and even talking with him at length. Things like this, along with his ability to ACTUALLY HAVE FUN are truly why he’s the single most important Death Metal frontman in DECADES. While my memories aren’t as amazing as others, they meant something to me then, and they without question mean something to me now. So, I’ll share them.

It was the summer of 2006, and I traveled with two friends (one of which eventually got what was coming to him via a heart attack) to the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ for the Sounds of The Underground Tour, which included The Black Dahlia Murder, GWAR, Behemoth (and you bet your ass I met Nergal on this day!) and several others. I walked by TBDM’s merch table when I noticed a tall, flabby looking guy with a tattoo that read “HEARTBURN” across his belly. It was Trevor. I walked up to him and introduced myself when he replied, “talk a walk with me for a second”.

“Do me a favor, will ya?”, he asked me, as we walked. “We’re shooting a video for “Statutory Ape” today, and I need you and everybody else in that crowd to go fuckin’ crazy. Can you do that for me?” “Fuck yeah!” I immediately said. Hours later, the band walked on stage and Trevor immediately called out the entire crowd “C’MON YOU PUSSIES!!!!”, as they grinded out “I’m Charming” off Miasma, the same record that includes “Statutory Ape”. Sorry to say that no, I wasn’t crazy enough to be a part of that pit, but once Trevor called them out all bets were off.

My last memory didn’t involve a request to sacrifice myself in the pit, no. I traveled to the now defunct B.B. King’s in Times Square, New York Shitty (I said what I said), to see TBDM along with Hate Eternal and 3 inches Of Blood in January 2008. There might have been one other band on the bill, but I forgot who it was. Anyway, my friends and I arrived at B.B.’s and almost immediately I spotted Trevor at the bar. He looked a lot like he did two years prior, funny looking shorts, topless, hair all disheveled. I walked up to him again and he laughed as we reminisced over our previous meeting.

We parted ways after that, and he eventually found his way backstage. But what I always remembered about both those times was that he made himself accessible. It’s a story we’d ALL go on to hear about him over the years. He always hung out with the fans. Upon moving to Brooklyn (and I’ve to this day no idea why he’d do that to himself!), he apparently hung out at St. Vitus on the regular and would support the local bands and talk with everybody there. He even wrote a column for Metal Injection where he’d recommend underground Extreme Metal bands.

I don’t know many other frontmen of legend status like Trevor’s who’d do all those things. We might not ever completely know what happened to the charismatic (that word doesn’t even do it justice!) frontman of THE single most important Death Metal band of this century so far. But he left an UNDENIABLE mark that can never be removed. There will never be another frontman as genuine as Trevor Strnad.

RIP Trevor Strnad 1981 – 2022

Black Label Society Live At The Wellmont Theater…Or Why Zakk Wylde Is An Icon, November 10th, 2021

I’ll make no bones about it: I idolize the shit out of Zakk Wylde. I’ve done so probably since I first got my hands on Ozzy’s 1995 album Ozzmosis. His guitar was LOUD. His speed picking style added muscularity to his playing. His vibrato was wide and unusually vocal. Those fucking pinch harmonics. Then there’s his songwriting. Zakk will never deny that he’s a disciple of Black Sabbath, and he’ll let it shine, but with his own, explosive twist.

Upon learning that Black Label Society were arriving in my neck of the woods I knew I’d be there. I hadn’t seen Zakk since I went to see Zakk Sabbath, his Black Sabbath tribute band at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. But this time he’d be not even twenty minutes away from me, AND he’s promoting Doom Crew, Inc., Black Label’s first album in over three years.

Considering he’s been calling his band and his LOYAL followers the Doom Crew, Inc. for YEARS, I’m very surprised he never gave that title to an earlier album. Either way, here’s my take on last night’s show, with featured openers Prong and Death Metal legends Obituary.

Prong

Before I continue I want to make clear that I didn’t take countless photos of every band. I took a necessary few and then I’d enjoy the show like a normal person pre-smart phones.

Having said that, I’d suspected Prong would be the first band. Therefore, I absolutely took my time getting to the show, making sure to eat while on the way. Upon my arrival to the Wellmont Theater, Prong were most likely halfway through with their set. That made me happy because ladies, Prong sucks. That “New York style” of playing nonchalant, almost Hardcore sounding music never appealed to me. I honestly found it annoying and self-righteous, and still do. The single most annoying thing about the band last night?

Any time Tommy Victor opened his mouth.

The irony of my being a native of New York City who hates that fucking accent. Any time he talked, any time he sang, the irritation grew stronger. And I could tell that a good chunk of last night’s audience had to have come from any of the five boroughs (mostly Staten Island and Brooklyn if I were to guess). I really got annoyed when he was introducing “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”, Prong’s signature song.

“Come on ev’rybody! SNAP YA FINGIZZZ!”, he yelled out while attempting to open up a pit in the general admission section. I had a really good view from my balcony seat and I really wish I was able to shoot him in the face. His accent was that fucking obnoxious!

Obituary

I have to admit, while I am clearly familiar with Obituary, I never really delved too much into their catalog. I do remember my college radio station receiving their 2005 comeback album, Frozen In Time, in which they managed to get Randy Burns out of retirement to produce it. I guess it matches the album title, huh? I did hear upon buying tickets to this show that the band were really kicking ass every night. Now I was actually looking forward to seeing this for myself and, thankfully, I was not disappointed.

I’d made two videos because I’d accidentally stop filming during their instrumental opener in which vocalist John Tardy has yet to come out. I then noticed that the bassist looked awful familiar to me. As I’d previously mentioned, I don’t follow them. Therefore, I’d zero clue that Terry Butler had apparently been the band’s bassist since 2010. For those of you who don’t know, Terry also played bass for Massacre and, subsequently, Death’s second and third albums, 1989’s Leprosy and 1990’s Spiritual Healing. He’d later backstab Chuck Schuldiner when he and the rest of Death toured Europe without Chuck’s permission or knowledge.

Obituary were filled with endless energy. John Tardy’s screech vocals were just as badass as they ever were. Their version of Death Metal is decidedly more on the Thrash side, not as technical as Death were. I wonder if that’s why I didn’t care too much for them. I never hated them.

They did surprise the shit out of me when the pulled out an absolutely badass cover of Celtic Frost’s classic “Circle Of Tyrants”. Overall I was very impressed.

Black Label Society

As Obituary were finishing, BLS’s crew raised a big curtain adorning the band’s logo…as in before Obituary even walked off stage. That was weird. Either way you knew that once the band got on stage the curtain would drop, blah blah, blah.

After a decent wait time, the lights finally dimmed, followed by an audio mashup of Ozzy’s “War Pigs” vocals over the music to Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. At the end the band hit a quick staccato ending that’d segue into the beginning pulses of “Bleed For Me”. It was once the song kicked into full gear that the big curtain finally dropped to show Zakk and his co-guitarist, Dario Lorina performing Zakk’s signature sideways headbang in unison.

The Setlist

  • Bleed For Me (1919 Eternal)
  • Demise Of Sanity (1919 Eternal)
  • Overlord (Order Of The Black)
  • Heart Of Darkness (Catacombs Of The Black Vatican)
  • A Love Unreal (Grimmest Hits)
  • The Blessed Hellride (The Blessed Hellride)
  • Spoke In The Wheel (Sonic Brew) *
  • In This River (Mafia) *
  • Trampled Down Below (Grimmest Hits)
  • Destruction Overdrive (The Blessed Hellride)
  • Set You Free (Doom Crew, Inc.)
  • Fire It Up (Mafia)
  • Suicide Messiah (Mafia)
  • Stillborn (The Blessed Hellride)

* For these tracks Zakk sat behind his electric piano while Dario handled the leads.

This was my seventh time seeing Black Label since Ozzfest 2004 and my eighth time seeing Zakk overall. And he never appears to lose energy, ESPECIALLY now that he’s been sober for twelve years. I first noticed his playing style change a lot upon seeing him in 2011, my first time seeing him in his sober state. He was also very willing to give Dario multiple chances throughout the night to show off his own abilities, something I noticed the first time I saw Dario with the band at the Rock Carnival in 2015. On the track “Set You Free” off the new record, Zakk actually TRADES SOLOS WITH DARIO. Zakk NEVER let Nick Catanese do that. In fact, Nick is NOWHERE to be found on any Black Label albums from their debut through the time he left in 2014.

He’s now a registered sex offender.

The biggest surprise to me came during “Fire It Up”. Before they ended the song, Zakk, in place of his usual solo spot (where he makes every guitarist in the audience want to quit), he traded solos with Dario for ten, maybe fifteen minutes. I’m not just talking lick after lick. The two even HARMONIZED together, while Zakk stood on top of his piano. They’d even harmonize during their signature live intro to “Stillborn”, the band’s show closer for the longest time.

At the end of the show, he stood up on the gig box in the middle of the stage, took off his Black Label vest, and held it up nice and high before walking off…because Zakk never plays encores.

Ever.

I genuinely don’t know of many musicians who can say with legitimacy or integrity that they’re able to get even better as live performers with age. Regardless of how long it had been since I last saw Zakk in any capacity, he’s ALWAYS stepping up his game. Black Label Society were absolutely flawless last night. Zakk himself was absolutely FLAWLESS and he, once again, demonstrated why he’s not only an excellent, yet criminally underrated, showman, but a fucking guitar GOD who will NEVER be matched.

He’s an entity unto himself. I’ve heard idiots bitch about his playing style or smirk and say that there are guitarists that are far better than him, that “he’s not that good”. I can’t help but laugh every time because being a great guitarist will always be more than just having technical skill. Being an expert in playing gay ass sweep arpeggios won’t ever make you a standout player in any genre, let alone Heavy Metal. It’s about finding the style that suits you and practicing that style so much that it becomes second nature.

Flawlessness.

It’s about finding a style that helps you to STAND THE FUCK OUT. That’s what Zakk did. When Ozzy bitched during the 1987 auditions that found Zakk replacing Jake E. Lee that “If I want Yngwie Malmsteen, I’ll just call him!”, Zakk got the hint real quick and found the one thing no one else was doing. Those other guys may be technically DAZLING. But do they stand out? Are they known to more than just the underground? Is their playing as memorable as it is heavy or technically brilliant?

Probably not.

That’s why Zakk Wylde literally is an icon.

Album Of The Year 2017

There were lot of brutal albums that came out this year, from just about all forms of Extreme Metal.  I knew by June that it’d be difficult to chose just one.  It was so bad that I even put out an Instagram poll – in which just one person voted…which is why this year’s Album Of The Year…is actually a tie.  One of these two is a record I had already reviewed over the summer, and the other one is a record that took me by surprise, not because I didn’t expect this one in particular to be any good – oh I did! – but the increase in songwriting quality and atmosphere absolutely blew me the fuck away.  So let’s get started:

Municipal Waste – Slime And Punishment

I reviewed this record back in August, by which point it had been out for a few months.  Here’s the link:

https://metalheadconfessions.com/2017/08/03/municipal-waste-slime-and-punishment/

But in short, Municipal Waste are BACK.  Five years away plus the addition of additional guitarist Nick Poulos to beef up their sound, did the band way more good that I ever expected.  The album sounds fresh compared their previous albums, 2009’s Massive Aggressive and especially 2012’s The Fatal Feast, a seeming desperate attempt by the band to be more of a Crossover act.

The songs are all perfectly quick and to the point, with the longest one clocking in at just over three minutes.  The guitars are way beefier, and singer Tony Foresta found the perfect vocal approach, using the same high pitched scream he’s used for the last few Iron Reagan albums.  Bottom like:  With Slime And Punishment, Municipal Waste found a formula that absolutely works for them, one that’s focused yet reckless at the same time.  Let’s just hope they keep this for a bit, eh?

Key Tracks: Breathe Grease, Enjoy The Night, Shrednecks, Parole Violators, Poison The Preacher, Under The Waste Command, Think Fast

The Black Dahlia Murder – Nightbringers

See the source image

The other album that blew me away.  I was dead set on making the Municipal Waste record my album of the year until this past October.  The Black Dahlia Murder went through a possibly band shattering change two years ago when lead guitar Ryan Knight left the band just a month after the release of Abysmal and after four albums with the band.  As far as I’m concerned, Ryan’s playing is what turned The Black Dahlia Murder into a full fledged Death Metal band.  In his place they hired Brandon Ellis of Arsis, marking the second time the band has poached anyone from Arsis – which is fine because Arsis are absolutely fucking BORING.  I never thought technical guitars with a black metal vocal could get so stale so fucking fast!

When I heard the band were releasing a new album I expected it to be good, until I heard this:

Oh fuck!  I knew the band were Carcass disciples but I’ve never heard Trevor Strnad sound so much like Jeff Walker until this moment.  Same with the music, it honestly sounds like the band’s best interpretation of Carcass during their early 90’s peak.  A lot of the credit here goes to guitarist Brian Esbach, the only other remaining original member of the band, for seemingly NEVER forgetting where he came from and NEVER straying away from what has essentially become his signature songwriting style.  You can hear any song from the band and know instantly who you’re listening too.

As mentioned earlier, BDM are essentially disciples of the old school and Nightbringers, at times, is without question equal parts Carcass and even Domination-era Morbid Angel – and if you’ve read this blog in the past you know I love that album!  Tracks such as “Matriarch”, “Widowmaker”, “Of God And Serpent, Of Spectre And Snake”, “Catacomb Hecatomb”, “As Good As Dead”, are absolute balls to the wall musical masterpieces that, while calling on the band’s obvious musical influences, enhance the band’s own signature style, one that seems to easily convey every single negative emotion I could think of.  I own every single BDM album going back to Unhallowed and that album was THE last time the band made me feel every negative emotion I knew of.  That was fourteen years ago, by the way.

I love reading the lyrics sheets to these albums.  Trevor Strnad’s lyrics at times are either straight out sadistic and very Poe-ish.  Take for example these lines from “Kings Of The Nightworld”: Enshrouded in ebony mystery/Blacker than the darkest pitch/A bond of blood to death an drek/Seeking to defile everything which bears his name we will/Destroy you all the same sucking each vein we shall corrupt and dismantle/waging a war without end until/The head of the one fettered Christ doth sate/Our lust for revenge…”.  Trevor never seems to run out of inspiration from the dark side.

So why was this a tie along with ‘Waste for Album Of The Year?  Consistency.  They never strayed to far from what works; they also have a unique signature sound that can reach out to more people than most modern Death Metal bands today.  It’s the reason why Nightbringers was the biggest pre-ordered album in the history of Metal Blade Records.  It’s the reason it’s a tie for my Album Of The Year.

Key Tracks: Of God And Serpant, Of Spectre And Snake; Matriarch; Jars; Kings Of The Nightworld; As Good As Dead; The Lonely Deceased

Honorable Mention

Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained

See the source image

Speaking of Morbid Angel!  I want to make it clear right now – if this came out earlier than it did it would’ve easily knocked off both ‘Waste and Black Dahlia for Album Of The Year without me hesitating.  But I couldn’t write this post without mentioning Kingdoms Disdained.  This is literally THE record no one saw coming regardless of how excited people were to hear Steve Tucker rejoined the band nearly three years ago.

I actually wrote an article on the situation at the time, debating whether David Vincent or Trey Azagthoth himself were to blame for that last pile of shit Morbid Angel released an it could’ve gone either way.  Yeah, David is now a completely different person, but apparently Try is actually into techno.  But with David’s departure, as well as the release of this track, it’s easy to see who wasn’t to blame after all:

Oh yeah.  This right out the gate reminded me of something off Covenant…but with Steve on vocals instead of David.  It’s absolutely brutal from beginning to end, chock full of polyrhythms, time signature changes, and the single most angry performance I’ve ever heard from Steve Tucker as a vocalist.  Sounds to me like he felt the need to make a statement after being gone for twelve years!

Another great addition to the band is new drummer Scott Fuller.  On tracks such as “For No Master”, “Paradigms Warped”, and “Architect And Iconoclast”, Scott shows that not only can he channel the legendary Pete Sandoval’s double bass expertise, but he also has his own feel and style.  That’s important because…there’s only ONE Pete Sandoval.  Back behind the controls for this one as former Morbid Angel and current Hate Eternal guitarist Erik Rutan.  I wonder if he was intentionally trying to give Morbid as much of a bare bones sound as possible because this doesn’t sound like any of the other bands he’s produced over the years.

What I’m thrilled about most, as I’m sure most fans are, is hearing Trey rip it up in a way we haven’t heard in a long ass time.  His solos remind me of the late Jeff Hanneman’s at times, always have.  Oh yeah, there’s structure.  But in that structure is so much dissonance and chaos, yet it all fits perfectly every single time.  Not many guitarists can pull that one off.  As one of my Instagram followers put it recently “thank fuck they are back!”.  And more so than even ‘Waste, lets hope they keep this up!

Key tracks: Piles Of Little Arms, For No Master, Architect And Iconoclast, From The Hand Of Kings

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Giving The Devil His Good Name Back – The Metal Mike Show, September 9th 2004

In my very first post here I briefly mentioned that I used to DJ for my college radio station.  Hell, that show, without question is the precursor to this blog because it gradually became my first platform to just talk shit AND not get in trouble for it.  But that’s a story for another time because how I got this fucking show so easily requires a bit of a back story anyway.  Oh, by the way, I won’t be mentioning which station it is because I don’t feel like giving anyone any undeserved attention.

So, I decided to give my station a shot in April, 2004, thinking I wanted to be a DJ.  I liked the idea of being able to play music and not be seen.  To this day it’s amazing how UGLY some of the top DJ’s in the country really are.  But since they sound great who the fuck cares?  I went through two meetings, one with the personnel director and the second with the station’s chief engineer…part super genius…part angry, bitter, and an all around asshole.  If Gregory House was a real person he’d be this guy! What made me laugh inside was in despite only being in his mid-30’s, the combination of his skullet and his awful 70’s looking moustache made this fucker look like an ex-member of the Doobie Brothers.

If I’m not mistaken I took the test a good week later and passed with just two wrong answers.  I originally chose to join the Music Department because that meant I could review records for play as well as maybe even dictate what got played at all, the first CD I ever reviewed being Black Label Society’s low key masterpiece, Hangover Music, Vol.6, which I was also able to burn and leave at the station while I took the original copy home.   But long story short the director at the time let no one do anything with her, frustrating me, so I joined the Engineering Department.  I had wanted to join Production but, at the time, it was mandated that you couldn’t do shit in production unless you knew how to run the board properly.

Some time goes by, the middle of summer arrives, and I was approached by the newly appointed engineering director about being his assistant.  Why?  Neither he or anyone else wanted the only other person around to be involved because that’s how lowly they all thought of him.  We’re talking a really nice guy too.  And there you have it, proof that even college radio isn’t clean of slimy politics!  So, from then on until I left for good in early 2007 I was the Assistant Engineering Director of my station.  But of course there was something else I wanted, and part of the process I didn’t even have to go through.

While I had applied for a show to start in the fall semester, I didn’t have to make an audition tape, and all because I was an engineer.  In other words, I already knew how to operate the board.  Before I was told that was even getting my first show I was approached by another DJ from the Production Department about covering him because he wasn’t able to get out of work.  It was easy enough, his show had a specific format which he wrote down for me – all I had to do was follow the bullet points.  So there I was, fresh from sitting in with the two BEST DJs in the whole station at that time – both actually being alumni volunteers at that point – and DJing my first show.

It was a little nerve wracking, I was already engineering and cohosting someone else’s public service show on Mondays for a month at this point, but this was the first time I was on my own.  After reading off the most important bullet point of this guy’s show he surprised me by calling me up.  I didn’t think he was listening but here was telling me I rock and even complimenting my voice.  And after I finished up, that angry chief engineer – who can still go suck a dick and die – even told me he liked my voice.

Thursday, September 9th, 2004.  This day would see the launch of the Metal Mike Show at 4pm.  My then guitarist, Chad, jokingly suggested I call myself Metal Mike.  A manager of mine at work suggested Iron Mike, but some at the station just didn’t like it.  For a few weeks prior to this I had hand drawn ads and plastered them all over the walls of every single building on campus, as well as on the walls of music stores where I lived and even in places in Manhattan, especially the now defunct Manny’s Music on w 47th St.  The guy whose show I covered for read the script for my station promo and immediately asked if he could read it on mic.  It was hysterical hearing him read “It’s time to give the devil his good name back…Hell never sounded so good!”, with as much bass as he could get out of his voice.

With two hours to go I began writing down my playlist for the next three hours, trying to find a balance between the music I wanted to play and the music I’d be required to play.  There were two other metal DJ’s who happily pigeonholed themselves to two extremes, one to Black Metal so underground the bands themselves don’t even know if their demo tape is even circulating, and another guy that loved to cater to his drunk following in England, playing nothing but Swedish Melodic Metal and Power Metal.  Power Metal…GAY.  I wanted to be the balance between those two guys, being a fan of almost all types of Metal…expect Power Metal or anything related to it.  I’d like to think I did a good job with that over the next two plus years.

Ten minutes to go.  I walked in to the On-Air room where another DJ was getting ready to wrap things up, this was on of the two people I sat in with.  Now this woman had an incredible radio voice.  She’ll be oh so shy talking to you but when she’s on air she gets so sensual to the point that you’d think it was a different person.  Looking on the instant messenger on the computer screen I already had to messages.  One was from my dad, who had tuned in on his office computer to hear me, the other being some jackass in the station busting my balls “I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY ACTUALLY GAVE YOU A SHOW!”  I think I know who it was.   She left, I played a few PSA’s to get settled in, my show’s promo, followed by my favorite station ID track…and off we go!

I had Ozzy open up my show with “Miracle Man” off his classic 1988 album, No Rest For The Wicked.  This was Zakk Wylde’s recording debut with him and I was such a Zakk fanboy at the time.  Also, that opening riff is just huge!  Nerves hitting me so hard, I couldn’t help but practically scream right into the mic once the song ended.  I knew I needed to calm down but I was so nervous I just couldn’t stop myself!  After screaming out the station’s phone number for requests I immediately but on Death’s “Bite The Pain”, a request for one of those two metal DJ’s I mentioned before.  I tried to do everything I could to calm myself down.  It took awhile but as time went on I got a bit more comfortable…until someone came to check on me.

It was 6pm, two hours down, one to go.  Someone asked me how I was doing and as soon as I said ok it went downhill.  I put on Black Sabbath’s “Fairies Wear Boots”, only for it to start skipping.  So I quickly put “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” on the second CD player…and THAT started skipping.  So I pulled out Metallica’s …And Justice For All CD, put on “To Live Is To Die”…and THAT began skipping.  FUCK!  I had no choice but I go back on air and try to save myself.  Luckily for me, the rest of the show went off without a hitch before the next DJ came to relieve me.  All in all I had fun; I clearly had a lot of work to do as far as calming my nerves so I don’t scream into the mic, but this was the beginning of a time that would consume the next two years of my life.

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Looking For Underground Bands to Review!

I want to start reviewing EPs, albums and demos from new and upcoming metal bands for my blog. I’ve reviewed CDs in the past for my college radio station and have even conducted interviews for my old show including L.A. band Cerberus (I’m mentioned in the thank you credits of their 2007 release Dispute The Truth, great album!)and ex-Venom guitarist Mykus; I want to start doing that again and just maybe help out some real good bands. Are you out there?

If you are reading this and know of any good underground bands worth listening to or are in a band and want me to check you guys out hit me up! I’m looking for anyone playing Death Metal(especially the really brutal shit!), Black Metal (nothing symphonic or with any keyboards please!), Thrash, Sludge, Grindcore or anything with a crust influence.  Bottom line:  I want it Extreme.

I’ll also need whatever links you can give me so I can use them to promote the bands, should I choose to review them.

Hope to hear from you!

Powerlifting Meet Progression and Musical Inspiration/The IPF Guys Need A Life

Had a damn good leg day this past Thursday.  It was very energetic, I feel myself getting stronger all the time.  5/3/1 is the shit!

2/11/16 Training Log:

Squat

95lbs – 1 x 5

115lbs – 1 x 5

140lbs – 1 x 5

180lbs – 1 x 3

205lbs – 1 x 3

225lbs – 1 x 6

Leg Press

190lbs – 3 x 10, 10, 10

Dumbbell Side Bends

8lbs – 3 x 10, 10, 10

This was all followed by six Prowler Sprints using 90lbs.  I’m looking to slowly increase up to fifteen sprints on Squat and Deadlift days.

I owe part of my energy  to this!

I’d also like to thank the site of the red headed FAGGOT piece of shit that trains at my gym for getting on my nerves just by being there.  Long story short, this asshole decided to be rude with me all because I didn’t realize last week that the dumbbell section was no longer crowded and I could move my duffel bag.  “It’s just…common knowledge”, he blurted out like a jerkoff.  If you’ve got nothing nice to say to a guy you don’t know from a hole in the wall then don’t say shit because that guy might just kick your ass.  I decided to be the better man because I wanted to get my work in but the next time he opens his dumb fucking mouth I might just fuck him up or at least give him a nice warning.  Although I’d love to see someone just shoot him is his face repeatedly – now THAT would be awesome!

ipf-logo

The International Powerlifting Federation…you guys seriously need to get over yourselves, leave your office and go get some air, go meet a girl, buy a plastic doll that you all can share, something.  Is attending the seminar of a guy who’s banned from the IPF for life really considered a form of association with the guy?

Quick back story: Ed Coan, considered the greatest powerlifter of all time, failed three drug tests with the IPF, the most prestigious powerlifting federation in the world, between 1985 and 1996 before finally being banned for life from the fed.  So when Ed was getting ready to host a series of seminars in Sweden the IPF issued a really pathetic statement reminding both IPF lifters as well as their own staff members that they were not to attend Ed’s seminar or they would be banned for life/fired.

I don’t care what anyone says – that’s the dumbest fucking statement the IPF could give.  So, as someone on YouTube said, should Silent Mike from Super Training Gym be banned from USAPL, which is affiliated with the IPF, because he and Mark Bell interviewed Ed for Power Magazine?  Hey how about Stronglifts creator Mehdi Hadim?  There’s a video of him training squats with Ed – should he not be allowed to lift in the IPF should he ever choose to compete?  He’s banned because he fucked up – he wasn’t some junkie pro wrestler who killed his wife and kid, and then hung himself on his lat pulldown machine in his basement.  Oops.

 

Fucked By Satan: Goatwhore Live and Sold Out at Saint Vitus Bar 7/6/15

It’s been a few weeks since this show happened but I took awhile to finally do this blog partially because of time constraints, partially because of the fact that a lot of things happened at this show, partially because I was sure some drunk piece of shit blatantly sabotaged one of my video of the Black Breath set but as I now know she failed.  But I’ll get to her.  I’m doing this post a little differently than my other posts because there was a lot to cover so I’m going to recap this as quick as I can and then list the bands and I’ll add their pictures and videos that way.

So I arrived at the bar a good half an hour before the show was supposed to start and within maybe ten minutes of my being there I recognized the woman I was standing next to during the Crowbar show just a week earlier.  She had checked on me after the psycho fanboy kicked me in the back of the head and she now revealed to me that her legs at that moment we were talking were still bruised all over from that night.  We both spoke for a bit about the crowd as a whole that night, how brutal that show in general was because that pit wasn’t really a mosh pit – it was one big fucking fight!  See the video on my post about that night see what I’m talking about!

The first band of the night was a band called Theories, who are out promoting their latest album, Regressions.  I recorded the first few songs of their set which I will post.  They weren’t bad.  I don’t know that I’d buy their stuff but but I’d definitely see them again.  I’d say that their singer should definitely work a little more on coming out of his shell with his stage presence.  I imagine it will happen over time.

Ringworm were next and all I can say is…OW!!  There’s a reason James Bulloch is the “Human Furnace”.  Damn.  The band as a whole were absolutely brutal…so much so that that this where the circle pits and even some idiotic dancing began!  I stood to the side of the room while filming to avoid getting hit but some retard who was dancing around like a spaz  threw himself in to the guy next to me, who obviously bumped in me, hitting me right in the ribs and forcing my thumb to turn the camera off.  Within a minute or two of starting over I knocked into again twice, tailbone first in to the wall both times so this time I just got out until the band finished.  Again…OW!!!  By the way as of this writing my tailbone STILL hurts.

Black Breath…where shit went down.  What’s in a name?  That’s what I need to remember when it comes to Metal bands because these guys shattered all my expectations and fucking killed it! I couldn’t even use the word brutal to describe their intensity on stage.  They were PERFECT!!  So what was the problem?  I had gotten a brand new Droid Maxx just a few days earlier so I was unaware when filming that there was an automatic light that I had to remove.  So while I was filming there was a light on the whole time so I was a little confused when the woman in front of me began giving my phone the finger and then gave me the finger.  Of course I gave her the finger back.  She then turned to me and told me that the light on my phone was really bothering her and I was “making everything suck”.  I understood and kindly asked her to give me a minute so I could find a place to move and I guess that wasn’t good enough for her so she pushed me.

I didn’t do anything only because I assumed she was a bit drunk but the fucking bitch did it again!  When I was done filming she and her much calmer boyfriend thanked me.  I politely approached her and told her that there was no reason to push me.  “Well I tried to reason with you and you wouldn’t listen so I’ll push you all I want!” was her immature reply.  I called her out on it and she declared “I’m not afraid of you!”.  I never threatened her.  She then tried to insult me again and gave up.  It’s incredible, how tough women act when their boyfriends/husbands are around, although part of me thinks that this drunk bitch wears the pants in the couple.  And by the way you dumb twat, if you’re reading this I hope you get shot repeatedly in your fuckin’ head!  I do have to acknowledge the guy behind me, who saw everything and offered to lend me his spot so I could continue filming, but I was already finished at that point.  If you happen to be reading this, thank you bro, it obviously wasn’t forgotten.

After I took a few deep breaths in amazement that I didn’t punch the drunk bitch in her throat I got ready for Goatwhore.  I slowly got more in the mood the longer I heard Venom’s song “In League With Satan” blasting through the speakers…so bad but so good!  I was getting ready to film again and when I saw the guy in front of me looking up at my phone I decided to stop and look at the problem.  That’s when I discovered the light and turned it off – it still doesn’t justify some dumb bitch pushing me.

Goatwhore got on and they fucking tore it up!  I personally feel that leaving Crowbar was the smartest move Sammy Duet ever made; he’s a totally brutal, loud, heavy guitarist.  Let’s face it – he never would’ve been able to truly express himself had he stayed.  That’s no disrespect to Kirk Windstein, but when the band you’re in is the product of one guy’s sole vision you’re not going to have an easy time getting your ideas out there.  The good news here was I was in a spot were I was able to avoid injuries this time and STILL see the band!

This is actually the third time I’ve seen them in the last eight years and the second time I saw them while on tour for their latest album, Constricting Rage of The Merciless, an album I recommend HIGHLY.  Someone once said that Goatwhore is exactly what Venom would have sounded like if they weren’t such a joke and I couldn’t agree more.  The place really came apart near the end when the began their song “FBS” (right….I don’t know why they didn’t just label it what it is.), of the new CD.  At the end of the night everyone knew what is was to get Fucked By Satan…and they loved it.

Theories:

Ringworm:

Black Breath:

Goatwhore:

Morbid Angel: A Death Metal Soap Opera

What a week it’s been for Morbid Angel, because in a matter of just a few days, the band lost…everyone.  It all started when founding guitarist Trey Azagtoth announced that bassist/vocalist David Vincent was out of the band and back in the band has non other than Steve Tucker – the very guy who replaced David when he first quit the band back in 1996.  Trey even said they were working on new music together.  Then came the drama; a few hours later David responded saying his basically had no idea what anyone was talking about and that he never the band or was asked to leave.

But wait, this gets better!  With the next two to three days drummer Tim Yeung quit the band, saying he left over financial reasons, which is not too much of a surprise, and then co-guitarist Destructhor (his real name is actually Thor.  That is fucking awesome!) announced that he was out because he wanted to go back home to Norway to focus on his other band Myrkskog.  What I find funny about this already is that both Tim and Destruthor decided to leave Morbid Angel after their most recent European Tour ended in December 2014.  I imagine that they both left because of money and their both too professional to say anything, although according to Destructhor the band wanted to work with someone “more local”.  Already sounds a bit fishy.

Then, just two days ago, David reversed his initial statement and announced that he too was in fact out of Morbid Angel.  He said that he Trey had a long conversation and they both agreed that they had some “incompatibilities” in regard to them working together any longer.  Of all the band departures this is the one that was the lightning rod.  David Vincent is the vocalist you hear on those first four classic albums.  He left the band in 1996 to join his wife’s bondage themed rock band The Genitorturers.  There was some dispute over the creative direction of his last album with them, Domination.  David thought at the time that it was sonically their best album to date due to their upgraded production values and the fact that they tried a few new things.  Trey, on the other hand, said a few years later that he found the sound on Domination to be so sterile that it pissed him off.  He also didn’t like that David wrote all the lyrics this time around and that they strayed very far away from the themes of the previous three albums.

Steve Tucker came in and did three albums with the band and then something happened in 2004.  Trey and David started talking again, which led to him doing a few surprise gigs with the band…which led to him rejoining the band altogether due to the positive reaction from the fans.  There’s been a bit of controversy ever since the band released their 2011 album, Illud Divinum Insanus, an album so techno sounding that David was given the blame for the musical direction.  Hell, look at the guy.  Really – look at him, even in the picture on this post!  God damn if he doesn’t look like something out of a sex shop or Hot Topic before they were bought by the Gap!  Some of you call him David Sixx, which I think is hysterical.  Given that along with his Genitorturers past and his big influence on Domination twenty years ago it’s easy to make a martyr out of David.

So I wonder like everybody else what happened because Trey obviously isn’t ready to talk yet.  He might never be because he doesn’t like to talk…which is probably why he kept David around – he’s very social, I met him so I know as does anyone else who met the guy.  Some people are saying that this is Trey cleaning house and regaining control of his band because David was once again too strong when fighting for creative control.  Some are a little bummed that he’s gone again and some are REALLY happy that he’s gone and Steve’s back in.  And remember I mentioned David not knowing he was gone?  Sounds like Trey didn’t really have the balls to tell him he was gone, kind of like when Warrell Dane of Nevermore discovered through Blabbermouth.net that Jeff Loomis had quit the band.  Pretty scummy if you ask me.

So where does Trey Azagtoth go from here?  Does he hire all naive rookies in order to pay them less than guys like Destructhor and Tim were already getting?  Is Trey ever going to discuss what happened?  Is this new album he’s doing with Steve Tucker going to blow Illud Divinum Insanus out of the water?  Only time will tell but if Trey ever talks he has a lot of explaining to do because a whole band leaving in or announcing their gone in just a matter of days raises a few red flags.  I’ll always be grateful that I got to see Morbid Angel with David Vincent during last year’s Summer Slaughter Tour at Irving Plaza in Manhattan.  Great show and no songs from Illud!  Here’s a short video I made of the band playing “Fall From Grace” off their second album, Blessed Are The Sick.  It’s not even two minutes long though because my phone was dying after a long day out.