Birth of a metalhead Part 2

My last few days in Mexico were spent hanging out with my cousin and listening to my cousin’s cds and the ones I bought.  I couldn’t wait to come back home a show my brother the bands I had discovered.

When I got home, that was the first thing I did.  I was beaming while I showed him the music.  Since he was never a fan of the music he wasn’t very impressed with them but he was happy for me.  Sometimes I wonder he thought this musical taste was just going to be a phase.  If he did, boy was he dead wrong.  Another new thing I found at home upon returning, my dad had bought a computer that could connect to the internet, via dial-up.  (How many of you remember that?)

Of course the first thing I had to do was look up Morbid Angel (among other things kids going through puberty would).  They instantly became my favorite death metal band and still are to this day.  Slowly but surely I found more and more bands, some great and some shitty.  

At the time, my knowledge was pretty limited.  I only new the “metal” they would play on the radio and the death metal I was introduced to by my cousin and by the internet.  Oh yeah, and Slayer which I learned later on was actually thrash metal, another great sub-genre.  This research also led to the discovery of the different sub-genres, all with they’re own unique sounds and I said before, some great and some shitty.  

Please allow a quick side note.  You have death metal (my favorite genre)  with bands like Morbid Angel, Immolation, Death, Suffocation and Vader.  There’s black metal (probably the most infamous of them all) with Mayhem (if know them you know they have to be mentioned), Gorgoroth, Emperor, Immortal, Dark Funeral, and Dissection.  

Thrash metal is another favorite.  One thing I won’t do though is mention three of the big four because frankly I don’t think they should have that title.  Sure they’re music is great and did help pioneer the music but they aren’t thrash anymore.  But enough of that.  To name of few of thrash metals greatest you have Overkill (my favorite), Kreator, Sodom, Holy Moses and Razor. I could go on and on with metal’s different genre but that’ll be for a different time.

Now, back to the topic at hand.  A year later as I looking up Morbid Angel, again, I come across wonderful little tid bit.  

That’s right, I find out about the extreme steel tour.  It was so surreal.  I had discovered Static-X (who I thought was amazing at the time) and Pantera.  As soon as I found out about it, I quickly ran to my brother and begged him to take.  He said no on account that he doesn’t like that kind of music.  I probably asked 2 or 3 times hoping for the best but the answer remained the same.  About two or three weeks passed, my brother calls and throws a ticketmaster envelope at me.  My jaw dropped at its contents: two pit tickets for the Extreme Steel Tour.

I couldn’t believe what I was holding.  I’ve known Slayer for a long time and loved their music, Morbid Angel I discovered a year before and became an instant favorite.  Pantera, was new to me but the songs I heard were amazing.  I didn’t know much about Static-X, maybe a song or two that were decent and I had no idea who Skrape was.  Needless to say it was an amazing concert.  Only problem was Skrape should have been the opening act, not Morbid Angel.  That show I think is what cemented me in the metal scene.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good music out there and I enjoy the majority of it but there is nothing like metal.  Nothing like deep rumble of the bass, the speed and brutal drumming, the guitar riffs followed by the shrieking solos and last but certainly not least, the amazing growls.  Now that is the recipe for amazing.

Well, this went a lot longer than I wanted so I’ll just go ahead and stop here.  Stay brutal cabrones.

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The birth of a metalhead

It’s 5:45 in the morning and as I wait in my car for my shift to start, I listen to one of my favorite death metal bands (named Death) and reflect on how I got into and fell in love with this beloved music.  Yes, I am very much into and am what they call a metal head.  I can already hear you say “noooo, that isn’t music!” or “you can’t even undsrstand what they say!”  I’ve heard it all.   
My older brother is the person responsible for my love of metal.  Funny considering he doesn’t like it.  Back in the 90’s he was a member of a mail order catalog called Columbia House.  Only some will remember that name.  My brother was, more like is, a big procrastinator.  Back in those days Columbia House would send you a catalog with the featured CD of the month and if you didn’t reply saying you didn’t want it they would send it anyway.  

It was 1998 and the band featured, believe it or not, was Slayer.  The album, Diabolus In Musica.  I remember going to the front yard to grab the mail and there it was in all its glory.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had to give it a listen.  To this day I don’t what it was that drew me to it.  Sometimes I pictire Satan was, beckoning me with his crooked finger and maniacal smile, whispering “come my child”.  (That was a joke by the way, I really don’t believe in Satan).  I quickly went to my older brother and asked if I can open it.  When the first notes started playing on the first song, called Bitter Peace, I was instantly hooked.  Imagine an 11 year old boy hrading away to his first metal CD.  Yeah, that was me.

Around that same time, Marilyn Manson released his album Mechanical Animals and was becoming infamous.  Parents felt the need to point the finger at somebody other than themselves for their kids turning out to be fucked up, especially after the Columbine shooting.  My mom started to follow the herd, questioned the music and so on.  I remember telling her that I was smarter than that, that I knew it was all just a show.  But you know how parents are, doesn’t matter what you say, you’re always wrong and they’re always right.

The hunt for new bands had begun.  I Discovered a few bands I thought where amazing.  Slipknot, Static-X, Disturbed and Korn to name a few.  Although they did the trick it wasn’t nearly as good as my Slayer cd, that one was still number one.  I needed some better, something just as heavy or heavier. Then I went to Mexico to visit family and noticed my cousin was into heavy metal as well.  Boy was I super excited.  He introduced me to Morbid Angel (album cover pictured above is the cd he showed me), Obituary, Deicide and Sepultura.  It was at that point that I knew, I was destined to listen to death metal.  It became a passion. 

He then took me to a record store.  Mind you, internet was more of a luxury at the time and I didn’t know scene enough to know how to look for new bands.  So I went looking for something, anything, that was brutal looking and hope for the best.  I picked up The Bleeding by Cannibal Corpse.  I was really looking forward to breaking that puppy open and popping it into my disc man.

To my delight, it was an amazing album.  One I still own to this day, about 20 years later.

From there, my thirst for finding more and more bands grew expontentially.  It actually continues to grow, as does my collection.  It’s not all death metal mind you.  There are so many different styles of metal out there and they all have their unique sounds.  I trully think you’d be surprised, if you were to open up your mind and give them all a shot.  I mean, there are so many different styles that you can just listen to one and completely shut out the entire metal genre as a whole.  Compare it to trying food.  You may not like the way chicken tastes in chicken soup but put that puppy on the grill you’d  think you died and gone to heaven.

Anyway, I think that is as good a place as any to call it quits for now.  There is still a lot more I’d like to say about the different styles of metal but that’ll be another blog for another day.  For now, I’ll leave you with a picture of the late and great Ronnie James Dio, a legend in the metal community.

Hasta luego cabrones and stay brutal.

Blog, the first

Blogs, I’ve always been fond of the idea but never wrote one.  Why?  Well because I have no idea what to write about and frankly I’m not that great a writer.  I like to though.  Now add the fact my life isn’t all that interesting, just a simple family man with a wife and two kids and the obligatory dogs.  Maybe I’ll write about that or about the misadventures at my place of employment.  Honestly, I have no idea what this will turn into or if it’ll turn into anything at all.  We shall see what happens.  The one thing I do know is that some of my opinions my spark some controversy and if you are of the sensitive type, then oh well.  Hasta luego cabrones.