Gustav Holst: the Grandfather of Heavy Metal and Star Wars

I’ve been a fan of both classical music and metal for most of my life. One of my favorite pieces is Gustav Holst’s The Planets, a seven-movement suite written between 1914 and 1916. The brilliant-in-itself score for 1977’s Star Wars was, at George Lucas’s request, practically an homage to it. Its first movement, Mars, Bringer of War also inspired the main riff for Black Sabbath’s … Continue reading Gustav Holst: the Grandfather of Heavy Metal and Star Wars

Ultimate Power Metal playlist

Remember when Guitar Hero popularized Dragonforce and everyone treated them like some kind of novelty band playing retro music? In reality, they’re one of probably several thousand bands belonging to the very popular (outside the U.S) subgenre of metal called “Power Metal.” The music is over-the-top, characterized by hyperspeed tempos, neoclassical guitar shredding and operatic vocals. The term “Power Metal” was tossed around a lot … Continue reading Ultimate Power Metal playlist

‘90s Metal playlist

In the ’90s, there was a moratorium on even saying the word “metal” in the mainstream music press. They called it “hard music” if they even bothered to address it. People said it was dead. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, it was thriving. Record labels like Earache, Nuclear Blast, Relapse, Peaceville, Season of Mist, Roadrunner and others, all names synonymous(at … Continue reading ‘90s Metal playlist

Song of the week 11/16/20

I’m going to start posting weekly links to some of my favorite lesser-known jams every Monday. Personally, I enjoy discovering new or new-to-me old music, and I assume there are others out there who do as well, so here goes: This week’s installment is Prince’s The Ballad of Dorothy Parker off 1987’s Sign O the Times. On the surface, the track sounds so sparse and … Continue reading Song of the week 11/16/20

Fish in a barrel

I’m not one to keep up with current pop culture events but I’m thoroughly enjoying Eminem’s roasting of rappers he views as mediocre or just plain terrible. This current crop of smelly-looking  brain dead auto-tuned mumblers look like lunch to a lion like eminem awakening from a deep slumber to find a bunch of sickly hyenas stumbling around his territory and pissing on the genre … Continue reading Fish in a barrel

Opinions Are Not Facts

“Just ’cause you don’t understand what’s goin’ on, don’t mean it don’t make no sense. And just ’cause you like it, don’t mean it ain’t no good!” That’s a quote from one of my all-time favorite songs, “You Can’t Bring Me Down” by Suicidal Tendencies from their 1990 masterpiece “Lights…Camera…Revolution!” It’s my go-to anthem of choice when I’m feeling particularly downtrodden or persecuted. That line … Continue reading Opinions Are Not Facts

Artists don’t owe you anything

I recently watched a YouTube vid in which an obnoxious metalhead rants and raves about how horrible Darkthrone’s latter day punk and nwobhm-infused records are. He seems genuinely angered by the band’s decision not to craft albums suited to his specific tastes. The thing is, artists are under no obligation to please fans. If they’re not pleasing themselves and following their respective muses, they aren’t … Continue reading Artists don’t owe you anything

EVERYTHING IS METAL

Long before the Holst-inspired opening riff of “Black Sabbath” erupted forth from Tony Iommi’s Gibson SG, there was METAL. Long before Vikings raided and conquered foreign lands, there was METAL. Before giant reptiles ruled the earth, there was METAL. METAL is a powerful force emanating from the center of the earth. It heaves, it cracks, it boils, it explodes. It does this constantly. It’s beautiful … Continue reading EVERYTHING IS METAL

The corporate filter between the artist and the fan

Almost everything we consume is “brought to us by” some major corporation looking to hawk its product by shoving it in our faces. You want music? Movies? Your favorite tv show? A book? A funny vid someone posted online? Well, you’re going to have to go through them. It’s a necessary evil, especially in these days of people being entirely unwilling to pay for anything … Continue reading The corporate filter between the artist and the fan