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.