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Terrible, awful, no good, really bad heavy metal album covers from all over the world

The cover of the 1998 album by Blue Öyster Cult, ‘Heaven Forbid.’
I know that any and every kinda blog post about album covers has been done before, including, of course, ones that choose to focus on the world of heavy metal album art. But here’s the thing—the genre really brings it when it comes to awful execution to say nothing of the bizarre concepts that somehow got to adorn the various covers you’re about to see, such as scantily clad girls with big hair, muscle-bound men with swords and/or angry animals. And I’m merely scratching the surface of what can be seen on the cover of a heavy metal album because, as I’ve come to find out, pretty much anything from vampires to fucking ostriches shooting laser beams out of their eyes goes

While there are a plethora of obscure metal bands featured in this post from Spain to Germany, there are also a number of high-profile bands that put out records with shitty covers like the Scorpions, Blue Öyster Cult, Iron Maiden, and Pantera. As a matter of fact, there are no less than three perfectly awful Pantera album covers in this post that I’m sure alledgedly aspiring bootboy Phil Anselmo will somehow blame on too much “white wine.” (I think he means “white whine”?) Racists are so hilarious when they’re drunk, aren’t they?

Some of the images in this post are perplexingly NSFW.

The cover of the 2013 album by Adema, ‘Topple the Giants.’

Fastway ‘Bad Bad Girls’ 1990.
More entirely questionable metal mayhem, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Meet Aria, the band known as ‘the Russian Iron Maiden’
12:16 pm


heavy metal
Iron Maiden

An early shot of Soviet-era heavy metal band Aria, “the Russian Iron Maiden,” (looking here very much like the actual Iron Maiden)

Born during a tumultuous time in Russia where the Communist government was still routinely attempting to repress musical expression—metal band Aria became one of the first Russian bands in the genre to rise up and achieve commercial success in the 80s.

Aria (or if you prefer Ария) came to be around 1985 and if vocalist Valery Kipelov didn’t perform his vocals in his native tongue, the casual metalhead might be inclined to believe that Aria was some undiscovered gem that was a part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands (or “NWOBHM” as I like to abbreviate it) that included heavy hitters such as Motörhead, Def Leppard, Venom, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden. After releasing their debut Megalomania in 1985 the Russian music press and metal fans quickly bestowed the band with a weighty comparison, calling the group “the Russian Iron Maiden.” Which begs the question—did Aria deserve to be compared with a band that is as synonymous with heavy metal as leather pants, ear-piercing vocals, and sweaty, bare-chested hedonism? The answer is Da my devil-horn throwing friends.

As I mentioned previously, it wasn’t easy to get a band going as scrutiny by the Soviet government not only made it difficult for bands to do their thing, it also made their ability to procure the things they needed to do their thing difficult. Like instruments and amps and tape recorders. So repressive was the environment in Russia that it was conceivable that it might take more than a decade for a band to go from forming to actually releasing music as even acquiring basic necessities like guitars and drum kits could be next to impossible. Despite these challenges, Aria would thrive much in part to the death of Russian rock and roll’s worst enemy, Konstantin Chernenko, and the appointment of his successor Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. They would also seemingly pepper their music with anti-US propaganda, which is especially apparent in the title of a song from their debut “America is Behind.”

A vintage shot of Aria.

The band’s heavy, melodic sound and use of synth has also been compared to the work of Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtrack composer, Greek electronic wizard Vangelis. I’ve included a number of selections from Aria’s massive catalog that spans over 30 years as well as some live footage, below. If the existence of Aria—who are still active and currently on tour with a 40 piece orchestra—is news to you, I’d highly recommend adding Megalomania to your vinyl collection as a start.
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Sex rained on my head’: The hair metal wit and wisdom of Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy
04:13 pm


heavy metal
Stephen Pearcy

There are reports, rumors and wild speculations popping up everywhere that the undisputed kings of bedraggled pop metal Ratt are reuniting and touring in 2017.  That’s good news, maybe the first good news in months. After the woeful year we’ve just had, we deserve a little Ratt n’ Roll, man. Let us not forget the plastic-fantastic majesty of mid-80’s Ratt: “Round and Round,” “Lay It Down.” “Wanted Man,” “Way Cool Jr.,” “Body Talk,” “Slip of the Lip,”  “Shame Shame Shame,” “Lack of Communication,” I mean it’s endless, this parade of big dumb hits these cats laid on us. And like many survivors of the glam wars, times have not always been easy for Ratt. They barreled headfirst into the grunge era and became one of its first victims. The hits dried up, the audiences shrank, and the kids found cooler, mopier ego stars to worship. In 2001, classic-era guitarist Robbin Crosby—the preening blonde golden-god of the gang—died of a heroin overdose, after wrestling with addiction and HIV for years. The rest of the band succumbed to infighting, forming half-assed versions of Ratt and scrambling for the last scraps of faded glory as they toured dismal suburban rock dives playing the hits for wistful, middle-aged Gen X-ers. Everyone had lost the goddamn plot.

Well, fuck all that. The band (plus or minus contentious drummer Bobby Blotzer, jury’s still out) are back, presumably better than ever. They even plan on recording a new album. I am 100% sure it will be chock full of tasty, fishnetty hard rock jams. We’re all gonna get laid. Maybe your hair will even grow back.

To celebrate the impending invasion of your privacy, here are some of the best/worst moments of Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy’s 2013 autobiography, Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock. I interviewed Pearcy for Classic Rock a few years ago and found him to be level-headed, enlightened, and even a little humble. None of those traits are evidenced in the book, which is all sex and mayhem, all the time. A stone-cold classic, in other words. Honestly, it might be the best (genital) warts n’ all rock bio you ever read.

Page 33, after ending up in the hospital with two broken legs at age 15 and banging the nurse who was giving him a sponge bath: “I discovered a crucial law that afternoon: Women adore broken men. They cannot resist the urge to fuck you back to health. I would use this secret off and on for the rest of my life.” Tuck that advice into your back pocket, boys

Some fashion advice (page 50): “Vests covered with pins and buttons, worn without a shirt, could always get you in the door, but on wilder, drunker occasions, bathrobes and open-necked karate uniforms were good choices.” Admittedly this sartorial advice might work best for skinny guys in hair metal bands.

Stephen Pearcy in therapy, talking about the time he partied with Ron Jeremy: “He was all sweaty and hairy, and his chick had these tits that were so fake it looked like if you grabbed them you could feel the plastic wrinkling under her skin. It was awesome.” Therapist: “Why did you want to watch?” Stephen: “Because it was cool. Because it was weird, and really gross. I’m into that kind of thing.”

On 1981: “It was a very good time to be young and in heat.”

Page 113: “Ratt had a new philosophy of heavy metal. Slay, steal, pillage, fuck, inspire twenty-chick orgies, all that good stuff. But in a classy sort of way, no devil worship.”

“You smell ridiculous, bro.” - Tommy Lee, after finding Pearcy on his living room floor.

While Pearcy rarely gets around to talking about Ratt’s music, he did write at length about shooting the cover of the first EP, which features rats crawling up model Tawny Kitaen’s legs.
Page 149: “Tawny flounced off to the dressing room, and Neil waited until she was out of earshot. “I want to throw some live rats at her,” he said. “Perfect,” I said.”

“We drank for an hour, smoking weed and listening to Black Sabbath, until a man in dented Toyota van bearing the inscription Rent-A-Rat arrived.”

“For one amazing hour, Robbin and I tossed rats at the hottest chick in Los Angeles.”

Page 167: “My doctor gave me the best advice: ‘Always look in the mouth,’ he said. ‘If the mouth’s filthy, then you’ve got a filthy snatch.’”

Page 174: “I pulled my pants down around my ankles and received the blowjob of my life while losing to Blotzer at Pong. And yet, part of me feels like I won.”

Page 183: “In a parking lot, true sluttiness knows no bounds.”

Page 206: “Connie,” I said, “You don’t want what I have.” “Oh,” she said seductively. “I wouldn’t be too sure about that, what is it?” “Diarrhea dick,” I said chummily.

Page 221: “Robbin and I became permanent fixtures at the Sunset Marquis, the bull-goose lunatics of the insane asylum. Often Robbin walked around the halls fully nude in the middle of the day. “Cover yourself, sir!” a surprised clerk yelled. Robbin just looked down at his belly, shocked to find he had no pants on. “Hey, right. I’ll go do that.”

“I got trim in here that would make you sick to your stomach.” - Rodney Dangerfield, another permanent fixture of the Sunset Marquis.

Page 226: “You know, Joe, I almost died last night. Drank some weird alcohol out of a jar with cow balls in it.”

Page 232: “And then the cup was full, on the table, yellow and stinking - seventy-two ounces of tour piss. You could smell it from a mile away. “Well,” said Joe, “who’s gonna drink it?”

“Fuck, I just got a threatening phone call from OJ Simpson.” “What the hell for?” “He says if I don’t stop seeing Tawny, he’ll cut my hands off.”

More from Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Handy list of the 20 most (and least) Metal words
09:29 am


heavy metal

Here’s a handy list of the most and least metal words according to ex-physicist and current data scientist Iain of Degenerate State. To get the lyrics, Iain scraped After “cleaning the data up, identifying the languages and splitting albums into songs,” Iain was left with a dataset containing lyrics to “222,623 songs from 7,364 bands spread over 22,314 albums.”

Iain did post a disclaimer on his website:

In this post I refer to lyrics of certain bands as being “Metal”. I know some people have strong feelings about how genres are defined, and would probably disagree with me about some of the bands I call metal in this post. I call these band “Metal” here for the sake of brevity only, and I apologise in advance.

While the most metal words are pretty obvious, it’s the least metal words that had me laughing. I’d have to agree that “committee” and “approximately” are some of the least metal words out there.

You can read about his detailed methods and process here.

Click on the image to enlarge it.
via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Slayer, Maiden, Metallica and more in an amazing trove of ‘80s heavy metal shirts
10:10 am


heavy metal

God bless the human magpies, for without them, finds like this wouldn’t come to light: Erna “Shelly” Hammer, an erstwhile DJ for the once-mighty Z Rock chain of heavy metal radio stations (under the name “Shelly Steel,” because evidently “Hammer” was somehow an insufficiently metal surname on its own…?), is exhibiting her collection of metal and alt-rock t-shirts, ranging in vintage from the early ‘80s to the mid ‘90s. In her lifetime of collecting, she’s discarded very little—what’s on display is a fraction of what she’s kept from her many years as an avid concertgoer, and from her time on the promo gravy train.

This is a good place to mention that this has been been a good week for vintage metal tees—Craig “The Human Clock” Giffen posted an amazing bit of pop culture archaeology (formatted in an amazingly archaic HTML style) endeavoring to catalog all the t-shirts spotted in Jeff Krulik’s classic short documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot. By all means, take a minute to check it out, this post’ll still be here when you get back.

If you happen to be in Northeast Ohio, you can see these shirts on display in a show called “You Are What You Wear” at poster artist Derek Hess’ eponymous gallery through mid-summer. They aren’t being offered for sale piece-by-piece, but when she talked with us about her, um, wardrobe archive, Hammer implied that selling them off in a single lot for the right sum wouldn’t be out of the question.

Hammer: The first real rock shows I went to, I was 15, and this guy I worked with at this diner first took me with him and his friends to see Aerosmith, and then a few months later, Kiss. I was in awe. I didn’t really get to go to too many more shows until I was driving, so I mail ordered shirts, whatever I could get.

Hammer: I had an awful lot, but I wore them—you can see some of them are pretty beat up, stretched, over-laundered. I bought them to wear, there was no intention of collecting. The only ones I got rid of were when I moved, I got rid of a bunch that were promo when I worked in radio, for bands I didn’t really care about. I got rid of a whole crate! All of the shirts from bands that meant something to me, I hung on to.

Hammer:  I never thought about selling them. When I got asked to do the exhibit, I was even skeptical about that, I asked “do people really want to look at a bunch of shirts?” and they assured me it would be cool. But there’s always a price on everything, you know. And eventually, after turning 50, it’s normal to want to start downsizing. So they could be for sale. But there’d still be one or two I’d have to hang on to.

Hammer: The one thing I love about shirts, it’s kind of like a club. When you see someone in a concert shirt by a band you like somewhere, especially if it’s a remote place where you don’t expect it, you feel a brotherhood or sisterhood with that person you know saw the same show as you did—they’re conversation starters!

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Monsterman’: The Rise and fall and rise of Lordi, the Monsterboy who never grew up

It all started out as a joke. A Finnish heavy metal band wearing Gwar-like costumes enters the cornball Eurovision Song Contest in order to freak the squares out. What happened was totally unexpected. They won! And Finland went apeshit. The band, Lordi, became national heroes, a source of enormous pride for the people of Finland. It may be about as hip as a Christmas-themed sweater, but the Eurovision Song Contest is taken very seriously with an estimated audience as high as 600 million people in 56 countries.

Lordi’s win made them a national treasure. The year was 2006. There was even a Lordi cola drink! By 2007 Finland was done with Lordi. Once the fanfare subsided, the home of the whooper swan and Hanoi Rocks banished Lordi to the “where are they now?” file, the dead zone where Spinal Tap, William Hung and The Singing Nun reside. The band that had once been Finland’s ticket to International glory had become an embarrassment.

The worst part of Lordi’s fall from grace is that it really was a case of a joke backfiring. What was intended as a subversive act was seen as a sellout by the audience Lordi really wanted to cultivate: the metalheads. Imagine if The Clash had appeared on Star Search. Lordi lost whatever credibility they had and the Eurovision Song Contest win killed their career while the cheers of millions faded into silence.

Filmmaker Antti Haase has made a terrific documentary about Lordi’s frontman Tomi Putaansuu called Monsterman. The film’s title refers to the title of Lordi’s biggest hit song. Putaansuu, who goes by the name “Mr. Lordi,” and Haase were childhood friends who had lost contact over the years. Mr. Lordi became a rocker. Haase made movies. When it came time for Putaansuu to stage his comeback he contacted Haase about the idea of documenting the rocker’s return to the limelight. Haase agreed and the resulting documentary is a touching, melancholic and deeply thoughtful look at the perils of fame and stardom.

Monsterman deservedly won the Jury Award at this year’s Austin Film Festival. Haase has directed a rock doc that has the cinematic touches one associates with narrative art films. This a beautifully shot movie that aspires to communicate not just by filming talking heads and concert footage but through a visual poetry that evokes feeling in ways that transcend mere reportage. Monsterman has soul.

Monsterman manages a level of intimacy with its subject without ever revealing Putaansuu’s face. In fact, we never see the faces of any of the members of Lordi until close to end of the film - and only one. The effect is quite dramatic because the person revealed is someone we’ve grown to care about. Putaansuu was furious that director Haase had betrayed an agreement they had to not unmask anyone in the band. As a result, Putaansuu has disowned Monsterman. Given the sympathetic depiction of Lordi and the overall excellence of the movie, I think Putaansuu will have a change of heart. In fact, according to Haase the healing has begun. As more accolades roll in, I expect Putaansuu to hit the talk show circuit. And why not? It’s all good theater.

Rock and roll is particularly cruel to its aging stars. For every Keith Richards or Patti Smith, there’s a dozen rockers who’ve fallen into irrelevancy or simply burned out. Does anyone take Axl Rose, Steven Tyler or Sinéad O’Connor seriously anymore? Some older rockers have taken to writing memoirs to keep their hand in the game. It’s a graceful way to keep creating without making a fool of yourself. Others, like Ted Nugent or Meatloaf, just go insane. Sometimes dying is they best way to keep your street cred. Putaansuu isn’t taking his fall from favor lying down. He’s the phoenix who’ll rise from the ashes. It’s the metal thing to do.

In Monsterman, Putaansuu is heroic in his efforts to pull himself up by his boot straps (which are enormous by the way) and resurrect his career. He knows no other world. In many ways, like most rockers I’ve known, myself included, he’s been in a state of arrested development since he was a teenager. He is still surrounded by his vast collection of action figures, masks and horror videos. He confesses that he’s too much of a child to have children himself. He lives alone in a snowbound cabin 50 miles from the Arctic Circle and is still doted upon by his loving mother. His strategy to return to the status of his glory days may actually work. The movie Monsterman is a damned good start.

Shortly after winning the Eurovision Song Contest, Putaansuu told the New York Times…

Being a hero is easy: you just have to win the Eurovision Song Contest, apparently. Until a few weeks ago the whole nation was against us totally — they did not want us to represent Finland. Now all the magazines in Finland are printing Lordi masks for children. There’s not much logic going on inside. But let’s face it, people are stupid.

Tomi Putaansuu is hoping they’ll get stupid again.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Delightful photos of heavy metal fans, captured in mid-headbang
11:56 am


heavy metal

One of the aspects of heavy metal music that keeps it a young person’s game is the centrality of headbanging. For instance, it is very, very difficult to do your taxes while headbanging, and this fact constitutes a central part of its appeal. Along with pogoing and moshing, there is a visceral thrill to headbanging that perfectly fits the music to which it is linked.

Danish photographer Jacob Ehrbahn spent the summer of 2012 traveling to various European heavy metal festivals (specifically Denmark’s Copenhell, Germany’s Wacken Open Air, and Sweden’s Metaltown) and capturing those jubilant instants in time when the heavy metal fans were at the moment of extreme exultation—in mid-headbang, naturally.

Ehrbahn’s intense, joyous portraits of music fandom in action have been collected in a book called Headbangers, which will be available in September and is available for pre-order.

We’ve collected a few gems here, but you can see more at the Great Photojournalism website.



More pics after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Brutal foodies: Heavy metal Chef creates culinary masterpieces based on classic bands
08:44 am


heavy metal

The Slayer Pizza:  Chopped Fra Mani toscano, soppressata, finocchiona, Cypress Grove “Lamb Chopper” cheese, house marinara, signature communion wafer crust, and an altar wine gastrique.
Rice and Bread, an online “food and music magazine,” hosts the “perfect pairings” series in which craft beers or decadent food creations are paired with classic metal albums. Our favorite entries in this series come courtesy of Chef John Hurkes, whose brutal recipes are absolutely inspired.

Chef John Hurkes’ latest creation is the “Black Sabbath Pizza”:

Ingredients: English banger sausage, smoked mozzarella, squid ink béchamel sauce, purple basil leaf, sweet lavender honey, and an authentic Mapledurham Watermill crust.
Hurkes’ notes on his creations read like a foodie Forry Ackerman:

What is this pizza that stands before me? A slice in black which points at me. Just like the conception of heavy metal, the Black Sabbath pizza is cooked from scratch. The flour is stoner-ground and rises from the early ’70s. The 12” crust is pressed from an actual bread recipe written by an “Evil Woman,” the miller’s wife of the Mapledurham Watermill in England. Spinning like a record, Ozzy Osbourne’s legendary vocals cascade into a wood-fired wheel of flavour riffles. Would you like a “N.I.B.”ble? Finger-picking through each slice, Tony Iommi’s hand-crafted guitar solos resonate through “Wicked World” and march across heavy slabs of sausage in “Children of the Grave.” Shrouded in the creamy black sauce, Geezer Butler’s bass lines find “Solitude” under a blanket of delicious smoked cheese as Bill Ward’s drums stick to the honey and herb “Sweet Leaf.” As the pizza is finished and the beer bottles burn out, you’ll be left “Into the Void.” Soon the world will love you, sweet pizza.

Other favorite Chef John Hurkes’ metal meals include “The Danzig Juicy Lucifuge… the Mother of all burgers”

Ingredients: New Jersey black-angus beef, blue-cheese Lucifuge, the onions of Christ, and blackest of the black BBQ sauce. Served on a house-made Twist of Pain bun.
“Exodus pork belly blood feast”

Ingredients: Fire-roasted pork belly crusted with Black Carbon salt harvested from the Dead Sea, grilled and thrashed blackberry-infused blood-sausage puree, smoke-poached egg yolks, purple fingerling potatoes, seared orange, and wasabi micro greens.
“Nuclear Assault Nachos”

Ingredients: Fire-braised pig confit, pickled onions and jalapenos, nuclear cheese reactor, and OC-17 police grade pepper-sprayed multi-continental fried chips.
We spoke with Chef John Hurkes about the series and his inspirations.

How did the “Perfect Pairings” idea develop, and what makes for a “perfect pairing”?

Chef John Hurkes: It was originally developed pairing metal albums with craft beer, but it sort of shifted towards food when Jason Schreurs of Rice and Bread Magazine approached me about pairing some of my favorite metal albums with my food creations. To make a “Perfect Pairing” you need a great metal record, quality ingredients, and some fucking metal ingenuity.

How has heavy metal informed your culinary style?

CJH: Metal crossover cooking can go a lot of different ways. There’s so many different genres and albums to be inspired by. However, it’s tricky sometimes developing new recipes and styles. It’s not like you are going to listen to an Electric Wizard album and decide to slow cook a doom metal burrito in an electric microwave for an hour. There is a degree of sophistication. When you are a serious metal head it changes your overall output in life. So it has definitely influenced what i’m doing with these dishes and how I will continue to cook them in the future.

You mentioned to me before that you traded heavy metal records with a friend from England for a cookbook signed by the miller’s wife of the last working watermill on the River Thames. You used a bread recipe from that book to create the Black Sabbath Mapledurham Watermill crust. Are there any other instances where metal has been an inroad to new recipes or cookbooks?

CJH: For sure. Metal is always an influence on how I develop new recipes. Sometimes there are different influences like religion or say politics. When I made the Nuclear Assault Nachos I thought homeland security was going to raid my kitchen shelves. It was the ultimate nacho riot as the pig confit was fire-braised and the resistant multi-continental chips got pepper sprayed in the cross fire. I feel like i’m always on a special heavy metal path with my next dish.

All of the photos of your creations look absolutely delicious, but we can’t eat the photos. Are there plans to share these recipes with the rest of the world, or are they guarded secrets?

CJH: They are guarded in a metal recipe box. But i’ve been discussing with my friend Jason Schreurs over at Rice and Bread Magazine about a collaboration with a cookbook that features each of the metal dishes. In the meantime, we’ve got other evil metal cuisine to unveil over at Rice and Bread.

I’m going to name some bands, and you tell me what kind of food immediately comes to mind. We’ll start with Iron Maiden.

CJH: A virtuosic metal salad with “Trooper” battlefield greens.


CJH: Probably a Japanese guitar shredded squid dish with a sweet red chili sauce. Law of Devil’s Land is a great album.


CJH: It would have to make you go BRRRR! Perhaps a stout beer ice cream float topped with chopped bacon and a burnt and candied communion wafer stave church steeple.

Mercyful Fate

CJH: The course of the pharoahs is served at the sound of the dinner bell. That’s all I got.

Celtic Frost

CJH: Morbid pig tails.

Municipal Waste

CJH: Is there such thing as weed-fed beef? Maybe a burger with beer soaked cheese, an IPA mustard, booze sloshed pickles, and a few other ingredients I shouldn’t mention for legal reasons. You would be wasted by the time you finished eating it.


CJH: I’m thinking tequila braised goat shoulder hacked apart with a machete and piled into tacos with in an unholy mole crafted from an evil trinity of chile peppers.

What is the most evil ingredient in any metal-inspired meal?

CJH: Communion wafers. You can bread anything with them and they cook amazingly in a lake of grease fire. I even made the delicious “Slayer Pizza” with them. For a while I was convinced that my kitchen was cursed after I made that pizza. Every Sunday for several months, my kitchen appliances would break or some crisis would happen. Evil cooking has no boundaries.

Carcass-inspired surgical veggie sammich. “Welcome to the poser slaughter. It’s an eight-inch vegetarian mouth-thrasher’s abattoir.”
Drool over more crossover edibles at Rice and Bread.

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Douchebag denim company sells $298 jacket and $348 jeans with fake heavy metal patches on them
03:53 pm


heavy metal

Apparently “Heavy metal Chic” is the hot new look, whether you like the music or not! First, retailer H & M created an affordable line of metal vestmentss for bands that have never existed, including a few pieces that appear to reference white supremacist imagery (you’d think as a Swedish retailer, they’d know better). It was an absurd stunt, and we all had a laugh, but at least we all learned something. Right?!?

Wrong! Diesel—commonly known as the denim line of Guido douchebags—is now selling a $298 jacket and a pair of $348 jeans, both covered in “metalesque” patches. Again, these are not real bands, nor do they sound even passably cool—“ACAB” is apparently an acronym for “All cats are beautiful?!?” You know, at least with the H & M stunt, this stuff was affordable, but these prices for phony bands and “70% Cotton, 26% Polyester and 4% Elastane-Spandex?” The denim isn’t even real!

If I may dust off an old chestnut: death to false metal! (And death to false denim!)



Via Metal Sucks

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘He’s a Woman, She’s a Man’: The Scorpions’ transgressive transgender lust anthem
09:27 am


heavy metal

Sure, everyone knows Germany’s Scorpions from their 1980’s (thinning) Hair Metal hits “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “There’s No One Like You,” but The Scorpions career goes back much further. Their first album, 1972’s Lonesome Crow is (surprisingly great) proggy Krautrock. Over the course of the bands next four releases they shifted their approach to more of a hard rocking, proto-metal sound—a sort of Deep Purple on speedball. By the release of 1977’s Taken by Force, The Scorpions were in full-on assault mode.

The track we’ll be examining today is so musically (and lyrically, as we’ll see) ahead of its time, that I dare call it proto-thrash. The performance here from a German television show (how did this get on TV?) rocks so unbelievably hard that you can almost forgive Klaus Meine’s interpretive jazz-hands dancing.

What makes 1977’s “He’s a Woman, She’s a Man” so breath-taking is the stark way in which it deals with the subject of transgender that’s light years beyond what The Kinks were ambiguously laying out in 1971’s hit “Lola.” Granted, The Scorpions’ 1977 English-as-a-second-language is not necessarily sensitive to the titular character referred to as “it” throughout the tune; but a breakdown of the lyrics reveals the storyteller encountering a person of indeterminate gender, at first expressing shock and disbelief, but ultimately essentially saying “fuck it, I’m horny and attracted to this person regardless of my Teutonic heavy metal dude confusion.” The first two verses express bewilderment, the second two express acceptance.

I saw it walking lonely down the street
Cool like a cat and like a crazy dream
I’m looking twice again and can’t believe
It turned around and then it looked at me

I thought, “Oh, no”, it really couldn’t be
It was a man and was a woman too
He’s a woman, she’s a man

I think it really came from far away
I’m feeling hypnotized, I have to stay
It takes my hand and says, “Come on, let’s go”
We’re going home there’s nothing more to say

He starts to move, she starts to play
I need a body, why not you?
He’s a woman, she’s a man

The Scorpions were no strangers to being sexually confrontational in their art. The album which preceded this one, Virgin Killer, featured in its shocking original cover art a nude prepubescent girl with slivers of cracked glass just barely covering the area over her pelvic girdle. The cover, which frequently makes “worst LP cover of all time” lists, was banned in the US, as was the Hipgnosis-designed cover for their Lovedrive LP.

More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Terrible heavy metal t-shirts
10:24 am


heavy metal

So we’re clear up front, obviously not ALL heavy metal t-shirts are terrible—you can have my 1997 Keelhaul shirt when you can steal it off my rigid corpse. And of course, over-the-top offensiveness is half or more of the point with a lot of the more brutal bands. But as with many things, a hell of a lot of these ARE just objectively, completely shitty, and the Metal is Awful Tumblr is dedicated to collecting photos of the very worst.

Metal has so many terrible aspects, but the worst is the fucking shirts.

This is where we revel in that awful truth.

We reserve the right to comment on any awful metal shite anywhere, anytime. But mostly just terrible shirts.

And Trey Azagthoth. That guy is an idiot.


One of Odin’s ethical axioms is apparently “blow up planet Harrelson.”

Morrissey has shirts that are more metal than Diabolos Rising‘s.

The front of this VxPxOxAxAxWxAxMxC shirt is kinda crap, too. I’ve never been sure if this band was a goof, or if they were legitimately trying SO HARD to be “extreme” they ended up hilarious by accident. The name stands for “Vaginal Penetration Of An Amelus With A Musty Carrot.” An amelus is a baby born with no limbs. Draw your own conclusions.
More ridiculous tees after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Heavy metal T-shirts transformed into heavy metal quilts
04:14 pm


heavy metal

Skull Kontrol
A San Francisco-based artist named Ben Venom (nice name!) cuts up heavy metal t-shirts and turns them into fantastic handmade quilts on general themes that are pretty heavy metal in their own right. He also does the same thing with motorcycle t-shirts (not pictured here).

Hard to make out any specific logos…. I do spot Red Fang, Manowar, and King Diamond. Pausing the video at bottom makes it much easier—also saw Metallica, Kreator, Ozzy, Pantera, Death, and AC/DC.

Can you spot any others?

In to the Sun

Tools of the Trade

Killed by Death / Strange Case of Mr. Wolfman and Dr. Death
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘What are You Doing Here?’: The memoirs of a black woman in the heavy metal scene
11:20 am


heavy metal

While my interest in heavy metal music is peripheral at best, I’m incredibly fascinated by one of the great incongruities of music subcultures: how can an outcast group, formed on the margins, manage to marginalize people?

Much has been made of Riot Grrl, formed as a response to hyper-macho punk scenes, but Girlschool and Lita Ford, aside, metal has never really had its own ladies’ auxiliary, so to speak. Compounded with the fact that metal, of course has an overwhelmingly white fanbase, black women have certainly never had much of a visible presence in the scene.

Laina Dawes is a black music journalist from a small city in Ontario, and the author of What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal. Adopted by a white Canadian family, and raised in a fairly monochromatic town, her musical tastes developed initially around pop radio. As she was exposed to the heavy metal bands favored by boys in her neighborhood, she quickly became a life-long fan.

Laina talks at length about her issues with the scene. Aside from a general lack of diversity, no subculture is immune to explicit racism or sexism. When there were women at shows, there was an expectation of a certain type of sexpot hesherette. When Dawes wasn’t the only black girl at a show, she often felt the palpable subtext of female competitiveness heightened, belying the comradely atmosphere she sought out in metal in the first place.

She portrays the scene unflinchingly, despite her connection to it. Black fans and artists were sometimes subject to racism from white fans and artists, alike. When actress (and part-time metal singer) Jada Pinkett-Smith got on the Ozzfest bill with her band, fans noted a sudden volley of unselfconscious racist diatribe, the likes of which hadn’t been overt in shows past. Dawes compellingly compares the presence of black women in metal to the election of Obama: while it may be progress, it still exacerbates the nastiest of reactionary tendencies.

Ultimately, however, Dawes is writing about her love of heavy metal, and the community she seeks to foster within the scene:

I was dying to find other black female metal fans who were equally passionate about their ethnicity and their metal. I was always proud to be a black girl, but I struggled with people perceiving me as not being black enough. I traveled to as many concerts I could afford, and I collected albums, concert t-shirts, and metal buttons. I encouraged others to use the music to create personal freedom, to get them to acknowledge their feelings of anger and aggression. There was a lot of rage around me, and I knew that it could be channeled into the positive energy that I found through metal.”

What Are You Doing Here? isn’t an academic study, just a memoir of how one music fan navigated a scene, and an interesting look at how it feels to be an outsider in a culture already on the outside.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Trolling is his business: the world according to Dave Mustaine

So I was gonna sit here and write a long, rambling post about Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine and the amount of bullshit that’s been spewing out his tiny little mouth of late. You know, something about a guy with a shoulder length frizzy perm being anti-gay, something about a 100% no-homo-heterosexual dude feeling threatened by the sex lives of African women and other consenting adults. Maybe throw in a little reference to still smarting about Metallica here, or “small man syndrome” there, perhaps go off on a diatribe about the über-pseudo-macho world of heavy metal being just as “authentic” as that of drag queens, about how the biggest shit-talkers always reveal themselves to be the most immature, petulant little nerds desperate to live up to a false sense of masculine superiority in the end.

But I’m not going to waste my effort.

I mean, why should I bother? Mustaine is doing all that hard graft for me! Seriously. Here are a selection of quotes from recent interviews displaying the wisdom of Dave Mustaine:

Dave Mustaine on Bible prophecy:

Mustaine explained a biblical prophecy to LA Weekly. “Even if you don’t believe in God and you don’t believe in faith, you’ve got to understand, when Israel became a country again, that was a prophecy in the Bible that came true, and the Bible was written so many hundreds of years ago,” says Mustaine. Also, any of the stuff that it says in there about the end times — that stuff’s really happening right now. Look what’s happening over in the Middle East. It’s crazy.”

Dave Mustaine on Rick Santorum:

Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable. Also, just watching how he hasn’t gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney’s done against Newt Gingrich, and then the volume at which Newt has gone back at Romney… You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum.

Dave Mustaine on Afircan women:

There’s so many houses without a dad that it’s just terrible. I mean, you know how they used to say there should be a license to have a baby? Well, as far-fetched as that sounds, I really think that, if the parents aren’t going to stick together, they shouldn’t make that kind of commitment to life. I watch some of these shows from over in Africa, and you’ve got starving women with six kids. Well, how about, you know, put a plug in it? It’s like, you shouldn’t be having children if you can’t feed them.

Dave Mustaine on gay marriage:

Do you support gay marriage, or is that something you oppose?

Well, since I’m not gay, the answer to that would be no.

OK. What about for people who are gay?

Since I’m not gay, the answer to that would be no.

Would you support legislation to make marriage between a man and another man legal?

I’m Christian. The answer to that would be no.

All this is a real shame, because Megadeth were a fucking great band. It’s just too bad that if Dave Mustaine’s reputation ever recovers from being a “very conservative” über-douche who lets the TV make up his mind for him, he’s going down in the annals of history as the guy who wept for Metallica:


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘Ave Satanas’ - Satanic psyche rock and proto-black metal from 1967 - 1974

The second of this week’s seasonal mixtape treats, and this one is quite a departure from yesterday’s Disco Argento mix. Ave Satanas is (as the name would suggest) a compilation of Satanic rock from the late Sixties and early Seventies, that could be considered the roots of what we now know as black metal, though at the time it would have been classed as psychedelic. It was compiled by one DJ Goatface Killer, better known as Russell Elder from Glasgow’s Mono music emporium.

There are culty groups aplenty on Ave Statanas, like Germany’s Lucifer’s Friend, Chicago’s Coven (pictured above), Leicester’s Black Widow and the original Iron Maiden (not to be confused with Bruce Dickinson’s lot). The music represents a time when rock was getting heavier, drugs were getting harder and post-hippy culture was getting darker, hence the inclusion of extracts from both Anton LaVey’s “The Satanic Mass” and Bpbby Beausoleil’s score for Lucifer Rising. It’s also unlikely that you’ll hear the word “Satan” uttered so much in the course of around 80 minutes - below is the tracklist featuring the year and country of origin of each track:


Download DJ Goatface Killah pres Ave Satanas here.

BONUS! The original video for “The Witch” by The Rattles:

Yes, there is one rogue track from 1977 on the mix, care of Roky Erickson and The Aliens, but I’m sure we can all let that oversight slide. After the jump, audio clips of some of the tracks featured on Ave Satanas…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
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