Posts Tagged Charles Manson
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.
Deicide vocalist Glen Benton has gained a reputation over the years of being mean-spirited and callous. There was the time shot a squirrel with a pellet gun during an interview, or the time where he interrupted Christmas service at a local Tampa church by jokingly crucifying a senior citizen, or the time he sold chemical weapons to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. However, as we all know, even in the darkest and cruelest of human hearts, there is a bright light that shines. No better example of this exists than what took place in Clearwater, Florida on Wednesday night.
Benton was walking home from his weekly Bible study and burning at a local Denny’s when he noticed a fire had broken out in a single family home. Benton witnessed a man and a woman out on the curb screaming about a small baby trapped in the burning hulk of a building.
Without a moments thought, Benton rushed into the house, climbed two flights of smoke filled stairs and burst through the door of the infants room. The stairs had become impassible so Benton tucked the baby into his jacket and leaped out the window grabbing a tree with his free arm. There he hung in agony for seven minutes waiting for the fire trucks to arrive.
At this point, a small crowd of neighbors had gathered round. As the firemen helped Benton down from the tree they began to applaud his amazing feat of bravery. When he reached the ground and ran to the street, the group surrounded Benton and began thank him as tears of joy streamed down their faces.
In all the excitement and commotion, he threw the baby as far as he could. It landed with a horrible thud in the smoldering wreck of a house. The crowd was so stunned by Benton’s selfless actions, they ignored the burning child and lifted them onto their shoulders, carrying him up and down the street while singing the chorus from “Dead By Dawn”.
This isn’t the first time Benton has done something truly beautiful in service of his fellow human. Back in 1998, Glen donated his earlobes and nose to a seven-year-old child who needed them to survive. In 2003, he began a shelter for injured llamas and three-legged-pigs, which he runs out of the basement of his house to this day. He spends his weekends helping to nurse sick baby woodchucks back to health at the local Tampa Zoo.
Glen’s work with one particular charity is particularly impressive. He donated most of the profits of the Deicide album “The Stench of Redemption” to Brands For Babies, a non-profit organization that helps small children get inverted crosses burned into their foreheads. Benton is the national spokesman for the organization and has helped over 50,000 infants get the mark of Satan on their heads since 2006.
Of course, he will be remembered for creating some of the most punishing and horrifying music ever to be recorded, but there is a softer, more loving side to Glen Benton that few people see. If you look past his menacing Manson-like countenance, his frightening behavior and his cold, dead eyes, you’re likely to see a man with a heart of gold.