Click the m:h logo to follow me on Twitter

Friday, 28 May 2010

A tribute to the fallen

I like to keep Metal Harmony a relatively light, jovial read but every now and again, serious stuff happens. Please note, I don't care if you've already read a million tribute-esque articles; this is going to be mine. And it's a very personal thing.

Earlier this year, Mike Alexander of UK thrashers Evile passed away. Evile are a phenomenal thrash outfit and are rightly praised for their quality tuneage. Mike's untimely death shocked metallers around the world. R.I.P.

Pete Steele, frontman and bassist of goth metal legends Type O Negative then passed away. I feel terrible about previously questioning the legitimacy of his death but now I know it's the real thing, I'm a sad mother fucker. When I first heard Wolf Moon about thirteen years ago, I was completely drawn in by Steele's haunting-yet-soothing vocals and the chugging riffs, and loved the epic nature of the lyrics. I only ever saw Type O live on one occasion, and although they fucking sucked, my admiration for the band will always remain.

Then, of course, Ronnie James Dio. Despite the mainstream press simply referring to Dio as "that bloke that invented the horns", the metal media has been swamped in touching tributes to a man who changed a million lives. For me, it's said best here.

And most recently, bassist and founder member of Slipknot, Paul Gray, sadly passed away. This one hit me hardest as Slipknot are one of the most important bands in my life. Yes, I'm nearly 30, but when I picked up their first album a decade ago my life changed. If you deny the impact of Slipknot on music, you are a dick and I'd thank you never to read anything I write ever again. The album took the radio-friendly nu-metal genre and abused it in an 18-legged gang bang. The theatre surrounding Slipknot's stage show (vomiting in their masks, throwing shit...actual each other on stage) may seem contrived now but back then, it was making headlines and upsetting parents all over the place. And didn't we love it?!

Slipknot, for me, define a whole generation of metallers and seeing them at Download 2009 headline the main stage was an emotional experience. Anyone who's jumped the fuck up during Spit It Out will appreciate the impact of doing it with umpteen thousand others at the UK's biggest rock and metal festival (my view of it all here). Plus the band were so fucking grateful to be where they were.

All I can say is that I'm happy Paul Gray got to see Slipknot reach the heights they deserve.

Metal has lost some icons but all those who are saying things like "oh, why couldn't it be [insert pop starlet here]" need to sort themselves out. Wishing death upon others is not cool. Death fucking sucks.

Here endeth a sombre moment. Now go and listen to metal very, very loudly, drink a beer, raise your horns and celebrate the lives of our fallen brethren.


Friday, 14 May 2010

Earache, stomach ache, general aches

Yesterday was a good day. I spent a couple of hours with Wormrot and it has to be said; what a thoroughly lovely bunch of blokes. The interview will be up on MetalsFuck in the next week or so, it's worth a read. Of course I would say that as I'm a shameless, self-promoting whore.

Supporting Wormrot were British death metallers Dyscarnate who were playing their first live performance as a three piece having recently lost a guitarist, plus launching their new album Enduring The Massacre. No pressure then. Vocalist/guitarist Tom Whitty, although a solid-looking bastard, was pretty quiet and mildly spoken pre-gig. I bought my copy of the album despite having no idea what to expect (support music folks) but if it's anything like the live performance, it's £10 well spent. Raw, harsh, pure fucking metal. Go to their MySpace and check it out.

So thanks to Earache for sorting yesterday out. Despite the fact I now have an absolute thundercunt of a hangover, it's was time well spent.

Time to spare a though for the late Pete Steele. The Type O Negative frontman died a month ago and I feel a bit of an arsehole for taking it with a pinch of salt. After all, It's not as if he hasn't died before, and calling the last album Dead Again (fair enough, that was a 2007 release) is a bit suspicious. All this aside, the guy way a legendary trailblazer of thoroughly miserable music and goths all over the world are more depressed than usual after his passing.

R.I.P Pete Steele (January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010)

On a more positive note, I suggest you all go and listen to the new Arma Gathas album Dead To This World. Thrashing hardcore loveliness; I'm a big fan.

Now I need to go and eat something substantial lest last night's Guinness gets the better of my poor guts.

Bye monkeys


Friday, 7 May 2010

I'm not gay. Much.

I'm an enormous wimp. I'm absolutely terrified of the latest HIM album. I just can't listen to it.

HIM are one of my all-time favourite bands. I've seen them live shit loads of times, I spent about 6 months continuously listening to nothing other than Razorblade Romance and Love Metal, I'm convinced that I'll have The Sacrament played at my funeral and Hot Chick firmly believes I'm fully gay for Ville Valo. But all in the garden is rosy. I dutifully bought Venus Doom on release day in 2007 and was uninspired. It felt over-produced, weak, and didn't have any tunes with the raw passion of Razorblade Kiss or the seminal Buried Alive By Love.

So following on from this mild disappointment, I've been avoiding the latest album, Screamworks: Love In Theory & Practice since it's release as I don't want it to be the album that seals HIM's fate as a band passed their best. The couple of tracks I have heard are good but haven't erected me trouserly. However, as this week saw me celebrating the day of my birth, Bro Dude procured Screamworks... for me and insisted I give it a listen.

I haven't yet. I'm just too scared. After the recent abomination that was Throwdown's Deathless, I'm not sure my delicate psyche can take another blow.

Anyway, my mate Melvin has been preaching the gospel about US duo Cobalt for ages now. The band haven't been on my radar but he swears that Gin is one of the best black metal albums of 2009. It's a bold claim Melv (Behemoth's Evangelion might have a shot at that title) but I shall be digesting it with a critical ear imminently.

To finish on a tangent, well done to everyone in the UK who voted in the general election. It looks as if the bloody Tories are going to get in but nevertheless, if you went out and put your "x" in a box for any political party, good on you.

Right, I'm off to deposit last night's ale excess into David Cameron's pricey loafers.