Posts Tagged Carnivore
Carrying signs saying “God Hates Self-Righteous Fanatics” and “At Least Satan Has Good Taste In Music”, members of the heavy metal rock band Slayer today camped outside the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas waiting to protest the funeral of WBC leader Fred Phelps. An outspoken critic of people of other races, homosexuality, heavy metal and pasteurized milk, Phelps passed away earlier today after suffering a severe heart attack when informed that Ellen DeGeneres has a popular television talk show. He was 84.
Animosity between Slayer and Westboro has been mounting since Phelps threatened to picket the funeral of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman last year. Phelps, who fronted a Carnivore cover band known as “Jesus Hitler” back in the early 90’s, felt that beyond being a group of unwashed heathens, Slayer simply weren’t very good anymore. “They have profaned the name of Christ! That is obvious. But worse, they really haven’t recorded anything worth listening to since Divine Intervention!” said Phelps in a fiery sermon 3 months ago.
Phelps’ death has sent shockwaves through the Bigot community. Several Bigots across America have planned candlelight vigils to mourn the death of the man that some have called “The Godfather of Modern Bigotry”. His passing has also saddened many closeted Bigots who are now unable able to shake their heads at Phelps’ antics while masking their own hatred in the form of polished and coded political expressions.
Bigots across the world have lost a hero to their cause. “He was our Harvey Milk,” said teary-eyed Westboro member Harvey Atwater as he heard the news. “Our President is from Kenya, it’s legal for a donkey to marry a man in most states, and Satan himself is running half of the major television networks as well as the Internet. America is going to Hell in a handbasket and our greatest leader has fallen. This is a dark day for this great nation.”
There are many hidden pleasures in being a metalhead. That moment where you start talking to a stranger and realize he actually knows that Peter Steele was in Carnivore before he was in Type O Negative. The moment where you are at the gym and you see a person on the workout machine next to you wearing a Carcass Heartwork tee-shirt. That feeling you get when you are watching a bad, 1980s made-for-television movie about high school and notice one of the extras wearing a jacket with a giant Nuclear Assault patch on the back. You’ll meet a ton of people throughout your life who think metal is nothing more than bad hairstyles, ripped up jeans and “Enter Sandman”, but that moment when you really feel the presence of another member of our bizarre little community is truly a compelling experience.
There is another type of joy that being a metalhead can produce. Very few things are as invigorating as the feeling of completely freaking out unsuspecting strangers with your music and all of the insane, preposterous imagery that surrounds it. A bunch of senior citizens walk by you in the mall. They notice you rocking that vintage Cannibal Corpse “Eaten Back To Life” shirt and quickly avert their eyes. You imagine them wandering around Sears twenty minutes later muttering about how society is in the brink of collapse and decrying the death of all that is sacred and humane.
I’ll admit, it’s a bit of a cheap thrill, but there are some days that this sort of savage and surreal amusement can fill you with a genuine zest for life. Over the years, I’ve learned how to create and actively seek out these sorts of situations. I’ve experimented with many different methods of achieving this sort of “gore-vana”, in some cases with disastrous consequences. However, the one sure-fire place I know I can count on creating a minute or two of total metal-induced awkwardness and not be forced to spend an evening in the county lock-up is at the drive-thru window at fast food restaurants.
You drive up to the window with the first track of Suffocation’s “Effigy of the Forgotten” (Liege of Inveracity) booming through your speakers. The person working there has probably spent most of the day having their humanity completely ignored or, even better, being scolded by vengeful, self-righteous morons deeply scarred by the fact that two weeks ago the Wendy’s forgot to include packets of ketchup with their Value Meal. They are in that mode we so often see in consumer cultures, where the employee is simply treading water in the hopes of surviving the low wages and disrespect that are supposed to one day connect them to that shining pot of gold that politicians and suckers like to refer to as The American Dream.
Then you come along, blasting Frank Mullen’s doglike vocals and Mike Smith’s demented blast beats. That blank stare quickly changes into an expression of total confusion. What sort of person listens to this madness on purpose? Is this person a psychopath who feeds on the blood-curdled screams of the children locked in the trunk of his car? What does this unshaven weirdo hear in this music that I can’t?
You are the great and frightening Other. The Alien. The one who awakens them from their post-capitalist, slumbering nightmare for a brief second in order that they have something to post about on Twitter before they collapse into the awful sameness of reality television and quiet rage.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated a few songs that I believe are perfect for these moments. If you are having a boring afternoon and want a little more adventure in your life, try blaring one of these the next time you are picking up a cheeseburger. (For added effect, wear corpsepaint and sing along loudly and off key)
10. Anything From Gorguts-Obscura. I say anything because, as much as I love that album, I have no idea of the difference between any of the songs. (This also applies to most pre-2000s black metal)
9. Vader-Decapitated Saints. Those fast, indecipherable vocals are great, particularly if you are able to bug your eyes out and work up one of those Charles Manson looking stares.
8. Misfits-Bullet (Before you start whining about the whole it’s not metal, it’s punk thing, please understand that I find that conversation almost absurd and pointless as listening to someone describe how to properly prepare hog maws) The lyrics from this one are bound to at least elicit a smirk from your mark. Particularly when you get to the part where he starts saying, well, you know….
7. Slayer-Altar of Sacrifice. This one is a bit tricky. It involves timing. If you can manage to have Araya bellowing “Enter To The Realm of Satan!!!” right as you are presented with your jumbo-sized Diet Coke, you will achieve maximum effect.
6. Metallica-Creeping Death. Same as above except you need to sync it up with “DIE…BY MY HAND!!!”.
5. Suffocation-Liege of Inveracity. We’ve discussed this.
4. Manowar-Black, Wind, Fire and Steel. It’s not the most intimidating song on this list by a long shot, but something about that note Eric Adams holds for a half an hour at the end of the song really works for the situation.
3. Cannibal Corpse-Hammer Smashed Face I’ve tried many different options when it comes to inducing Cannibal Corpse freakouts, but for my money, this is the one that produces the most terror.
2. Morbid Angel-Hatework Part 70s horror film score, part growl from the depths of Hell, this song has a way of leaving lasting scars on the uninitated. For years, I used the last three minutes of God of Emptiness, but this seems to make more of an impact.
1. Deicide-Dead By Dawn This song, by far, has gotten me the most perplexed, stupefied looks. Glen Benton isn’t good for much, but making some high school wage slave drop a Frosty all over the register is an area in which he excels.
I woke up about two months ago with a wolverine on my porch. I think it was a wolverine. I can’t really tell. It is a horrifying beast that smells like dead otters. When I found it, it looked cute enough. Whoever left it for me put it in a basket with a blanket around it like it was a baby. However, the minute I took it into my home it went berserk destroying my entire Manowar vinyl collection and the Mille Petrozza velvet painting I had commissioned during a particularly serious Kreator listening binge. I call the thing The Freon Neonate.
The first issue that needed to be addressed was finding it food. I tried microwave pizzas, guacamole dip, Cheetos, Lysol, pepper spray….but it wanted no part of those things. I picked up some groundhogs from the pet store and it seemed to like those much better. They are expensive. One groundhog is about fifteen bucks. Way too much to spend to feed this thing regularly.
My problem was solved about two weeks ago when I took the thing for a walk to the park up the street from me. The Freon Neonate spotted a hipster Jehovah’s Witness knocking on a door in our neighborhood and went wild. He snapped the leash I was walking him with and, in what seemed a matter of seconds, retracted its jaws consumed a hipster five times his size. It was incredible. Nothing was left. Bones, horned-rimmed glasses, Converse sneakers, beard, Elvis Costello tee-shirt, Watchtower magazines….gone.
I wasn’t sure if it liked hipsters or Jehovah’s Witnesses. I fed both to The Freon Neonate. While it barely touched the Witness, gnawing briefly on her arms before losing interest, it sucked down the hipster like it hadn’t eaten in months. It even polished off her Hello Kitty vintage purse in two bites. Problem solved. All I needed to do to keep it healthy was go down to Little Five Points every few days, bag a fresh hipster and we were set.
After a while, I found The Freon Neonate was getting bored. It would lie on its side in its cage for hours making terrible howling noises and horrifying the neighbors. I decided that I would try to teach it English. Its language abilities aren’t bad for a wolverine. It had learned enough to communicate on a basic level by the beginning of August, but we had both got sick of the didactic nature of the lessons pretty quickly. We needed a new challenge.
That’s when I decided to give it a chance to do album reviews for Tyranny of Tradition. I called up Nuclear Blast’s PR department to see if I could get one promotional copy of the new Carcass album for The Freon Neonate to review. They immediately sent me 127 copies of the CD along with a wolverine sized “Surgical Steel” tee shirt. I threw the CD in immediately. Here is how the creature responded to each of the songs.
1985-The Freon Neonate was staring off into space when the album came on, but immediately began to pace back and forth nervously. Halfway through the track it started howling in a perverted attempt to mock Bill Steer’s guitar tone.
Thrasher’s Abattoir-The quick beginning to the song startled the animal. It began thrashing its body against the bars wailing louder and louder.
Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System-The wailing continued reaching its crescendo halfway through this tune. Then, the animal began to say “Gooooooood. Goooooood. BLERGHYPHERB!!!! GOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!”
A Congealed Clot of Blood-It didn’t seem to like this one as much. For the first minute, it bobbed its head, but it lost interest and began to lick its own feet.
The Master Butcher’s Apron-Something in this song made the wolverine unhappy. “EHHHHHHHH…..NO SONG GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD…..GLERPHICKLUHR!!!!!!” With 2:30 left, it gnawed through the bars and began a rampage through the house, breaking furniture and dishes.
Noncompliance to ASTM F899-12 Standard-I spent most of this song chasing the animal around and was unable to take notes. Great tune, but beyond smashing a vase that belonged to my Aunt Penelope, I can’t tell you much about the animal’s reaction.
The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills-Satiated in its desire to destroy things and chewing on the fingers of some kid with an MGMT that I found down at the local mission, the animal was finally able to relax and enjoy the magnificence of this utterly amazing song. We both agreed on this as the best song on the album.
Unfit For Human Consumption, 316 L Grade Surgical Steel, Captive Bolt Piston-I was, again, unable to record any response as the animal had nodded off while enjoying the sedating effect of eating hipster fingers. It seemed happy enough, but I don’t want to speculate as to the animal’s views on the songs based on its snoring.
Mount of Execution-It came out of its comatose state during the acoustic guitar intro and began to howl:
Without knowing the animal’s opinion on the last few Megadeth albums, I was unable to figure out whether this was an endorsement or a criticism.
I was one of 60 lucky people who were able to hear the new Black Sabbath album ‘13’ on Wednesday at its premiere in Hollywood. Ozzy and I have been close since we served together in the Korean War and I often get invited to these big Black Sabbath events. I don’t like to make a big deal about it, but I took a bullet for him as the two of us charged up San Juan Hill. Back then, he liked everyone to call him Sparky.
I introduced him to Tony Iommi at a VFW function in the ‘70s. His father and mine were traveling pudding salesman in Yorkshire. Pudding was a huge industry in those days. Tony and I both had part time jobs at the pudding mill up the road from our high school. When the mill closed, Tony considered moving to Pittsburgh and becoming a professional buffalo hunter. I knew he was a good guitar player and Ozzy used to sing really well in the shower in our bunker, so I put the two together. The rest is history.
The event, which took place at the Herve Villachaize Theatre, was attended by some of the top names in journalism. I was lucky enough to be standing in line directly behind former CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite. Old Uncle Walter was sipping off a mug of paint thinner and orange juice and raving on and on about how it was Bill Ward’s fault that we abandoned the Gold Standard all those years ago. Pretty soon, he had gotten completely out of control and was escorted out by security, but not before he had invited me to an afterparty down in Crenshaw at MC Ren’s house.
We were escorted through a long tunnel into the basement of the building. There we were all strip searched by former Sabbath singer Tony Martin and forced to bathe in ox blood in order to make sure we had no audio equipment and were free of what he called “impurities”. It was all quite weird.
Finally we reached a cavernous room filled with medieval torture equipment and a buffet table featuring all sorts of Black Sabbath themed appetizers. I avoided the Rat Salad. Ozzy was in the midst of an in depth conversation with several reporters about which brands of freezer bags are best to preserve the ear wax of small children when I caught his attention. We talked for a minute or two, then he got that far away look he gets that makes him look like he is receiving signals from the planet Melmac. I knew my time with him was up.
I wandered around for another 15 minutes trying to find Tony, but when I finally caught up with him he was locked in a heated debate with former Happy Days star Tom Bosley over whether aerosol cans were actually a technology created by aliens. Tom was getting pretty heated and said some stuff about the breeding practices of the British royalty and Tony stormed off after threatening to have Tom’s legs broken by a gang of soccer hooligans.
After sitting through some opening comments from Ozzy’s son Jack about the importance of proper dental hygiene and watching Geezer Butler pass out face first into a bowl of tomato bisque, they played the album. The whole thing was terribly awkward. A group of strangers shuffling around in their seats watching other people listening to music. Everyone casting nervous glances at Ozzy, hoping they wouldn’t chuckle when he turned some simple lyric into an incoherent noise that could only be deciphered by a team of top-flight linguists or a pack of geese.
The whole experience took a turn for the worse quickly. The album started off with the pseudo-ironically titled “End of The Beginning”. A catchy song that seems slightly longer than director’s cut of Apocalypse Now. The guy next to me began to doze off and was audibly snoring through the last 12 minutes of the song. Ozzy start walking over with his mouth gaping open, pointing at the guy and looking ominously like Donald Sutherland at the end of the 70’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. A security guard instantly grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and jerked him out of his seat. Two other guards pulled him to the back, beating him on the head with a truncheon as they walked.
Next thing I know, the second song lurched forward muffled by wild howling and jeering from the press as the wheezing miscreant was dragged out of the room for some sort of 14th century torture at the hands of Ozzy’s goons. The song was embarrassingly titled “God Is Dead?” and, unfortunately, is not a Carnivore cover. And then came the next song. And the next. And on and on.
It sounds like a Black Sabbath album. What else was it going to be? It’s not like they were going to shift gears in their late seventies and start sounding like England Dan and John Ford Coley. Everything sounds vaguely like Children of The Grave. Tony tunes down to Q flat minor for most of the record and Ozzy’s voice floats its way through hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of production equipment in order to sound like he’s in tune. It’s all assembly line stuff at this point.
The thing about the record that is unique and somewhat horrifying are the lyrics. I was astonished to see a bizarre homage to MC Hammer’s gangsta phase in the song “Age of Reason”. “Pumps and A Bump, I liiiiiiiii-ke the gi-rrrrrrrrls with the Pumps and A Bump” bellowed Ozzy in a hideously uneven chorus that would shame even the most ardent of Sabbath fans. Then, there was the whole part where Ozzy starts mumbling about the dangers of poison sumac in “Damaged Soul”. I can’t begin to explain what he’s talking about there. The albums high point, oddly enough, is the uncredited cameo rap verse that OJ Da Juiceman lays down about halfway through the album’s final track “Dear Father”.
The record ended and a chorus of applause cascaded through the hall. The band said a few things and the press, several members of whom were greedily jamming the remaining trays of bat-shaped chicken fingers into their Sabbath ‘13’ tote-bags, anxiously filed out trying to get home in time for the night’s airing of American Idol. In what felt like seconds the room was empty of everyone but Tony, who sat alone in the corner with his guitar playing notes to no one in particular.