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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.



Simon said...

Indeed we have lost loads this year - and its very very sad.

Great sum-up/tribute.


Simon said...

...........and also i know it was last year (but only by a day) The Rev one of the best drummers i have ever seen........i think you should include him


MADman said...

Valid point mate, The Rev is also a sad loss. Thanks for the comments dude.