Discovering True Anger In Metal
I bought my first Megadeth CD, Cryptic Writings, in 1998 when I was fourteen, almost a year after it was originally released. I tried so hard to like it, I really did. Fuck, I was anticipating a lot more from the guy who fired from Metallica AND named his band MEGADETH. Come on! But I couldn’t. It was way too fucking tame, even songs like “She-Wolf”, “The Disintegrators”, and even “FFF” were watered down compared to what I was expecting. So I wrote ’em off like I did Metallica…especially after Risk! That’ll just put you to fucking sleep! At that time THE bands everybody my age listened to were the bands of the day like most kids do anyway, the bands in this case being Marilyn Manson (when he actually had balls), Korn (this was months before they became dead to me), OLD Metallica, Shit-vana (because it was some unspoken requirement to put that dead, talentless sack of shit on a pedestal), maybe one or two more that I can’t remember right now.
But over time I eventually discovered FAR BETTER songs from Megadeth thanks to WSOU like “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?” and “Sweating Bullets”. Amazing. It was near the end of my junior year in high school in 2001 when VH1 premiered their Behind The Music on the band. Upon watching it my interest in the band was renewed before I even got to the fucking ten minute mark. The intensity of everything from the way Mustaine alone grew up to the music being more badass than any riff Hetfield EVER came up with for Metallica to their beyond fucked up life style. Then came the news that their next album, The World Needs A Hero, was to be heavier and a lot less radio friendly than the last two piles of shit. And it was. So over time I found myself buying most of the classics from their glory days.
Then near the end of 2001 I heard the news that Mustaine had remixed and remastered the band’s 1985 debut album, Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good!, including a forward written by Scott Ian (because he’s only THE biggest metal fan on earth), as well as brand new artwork. Remember this?
So badass. Not! So, the weekend it was released I went over to Sam Goody (remember that place?) and bought it. After a funny ride home from a cab driver telling me about all the girls he’s fucked I wasted no time and popped that shit right in my radio. The piano intro to “Last Rites/Loved To Deth” was crystal clear thanks to this new mix. I loved how it seemed to tell a story before the main riff kicked in. Holy shit this is intense! Listen to those double bass drums!! The morbidity of the song as he says “If I can’t have you then no one will!”. That crazy, frenzied solo – is he using his Bill Lawrence pickups as frets to hit higher notes??? Someone call 911 – he just RAPED his B.C. Rich Bich…and it was good!
So this set the tone! The entire album from here on in was pure balls to the wall, heavy as FUCK, ridiculously technical, jazzy time changes thanks to Chris Poland, whose solos run circles around most metal guitarists. Kirk who?! This was pure drug-feuled ANGER!! Dave Mustaine was fired from what was to be THE biggest band in the world and he desperately had something to prove. He was out for BLOOD. The peak of the album? “Looking Down The Cross”. This song completely summarizes the album as a whole. It’s well arranged, twists and turns at the right spots, Mustaine’s shockingly intelligent lyrics, the second of his two solos on the song is so panic stricken that it perfectly painted the mood of the entire song! The final track was “Mechanix”. For those of you who are new to this shit or live under a rock this is basically “The Four Horsemen” with a faster tempo, no slow interlude, and alternate lyrics about a horny gas attendant. Mustaine wrote the song before he joined Metallica and gave it to them along with “Jump In The Fire”, but when they fired him James and Lar$ changed the lyrics and added the two slower parts and made it the song you know on Kill ‘Em All. It was fun hearing this version of it, way more straight forward, way more badass.
I don’t know if I should thank Dave Mustaine’s thirst for revenge, drummer Gar Samuelson for introducing Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson to speedballs or both. But I’ll tell you what…Killing Is My Business… was absolutely BRUTAL in the year predating Slayer’s Reign In Blood. And with Mustaine’s amazing remix technique the newfound clarity amplifies that brutality times ten. THIS was what I needed so bad in a time when everyone around me was listening to THE lamest, shittiest music you could find on radio in early 2002. I was truly alone in this aspect but I didn’t care. When my friends were listening to either Mudvayne or shitty emo bands like Weezer I was deafening my ears with Killing… for a long time.
My First Powerlifting Meet
So after lots of thinking I finally decided to sign up for my first ever powerlifting meet, figuring that if I don’t do it now I might not ever. So as of earlier this afternoon I will be competing in Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate’s Jersey Rumble at the Ramada Inn in Newark, NJ on Saturday, May 21st. I’ll be part of the Amateur Open in the 198lb weight class in the Raw Modern Division. The Open begins between 2:30 – 3:00 but I have to be there at noon to be given the rules, warm up, etc. I’m going to see how I like it, regardless of how I do – which won’t be great. If I like it I’ll do it again. I imagine that if so I’d do one more meet later in the year, either in New Jersey again or somewhere in New York, most likely upstate somewhere. If things go well maybe I’ll join USAPL, which is an affiliate of the International Powerlifting Federation. If you’re reading this and plan on going to this feel free to drop me a line.