Phil Anselmo, Lead Singer of Pantera, turned 50 years old.
In a way, you could say that I found you out of boredom. I was thirteen, going on fourteen, changing, as teenagers do, or maybe it was the music around me that was changing. Or both. The pop music I had grown up with had grown boring, generic, phoned in. Nobody used real instruments or even, so it seemed, their real voices — bands of humans were replaced by bands of computers. At worst, it was lifeless. So I gave up.
As you've probably guessed, I love thrash. What I love even more is finding wickedly awesome bands and advocating them. When I published my first article late last year, I received a lot of feedback about bands that weren't included on the list. I'll be honest with you, some of those bands I did want to include on the list but at the end of the day, I could only pick 10. After a few months of scouring the web and with much deliberation, I was able to compile 10 more bands that I not only felt kicked ass, but also kept moving thrash forward. Without further delay, let's go ahead and jump in.
Well, "loud," "fast," "a load of screaming & shouting," "the devil's music," and simply "noise" are some of the most common answers you will get when you ask the public what they think metal music is.This, of course, is all just personal opinion and far from the truth. Any real metal fan will go into detail and show their passion for the genre. Before we go any further, I must put the story straight on fashion. I see so many people (usually teens and early twenty-somethings), wearing band apparel with no clue on who the band are, let alone be fans. Metal is not fashionable, it is all about the music.
When someone listens to metal music, they usually respond with either a resounding "Yeah!" with corresponding headbanging or a cringing "No!" with consequent plugging of the ears. Those who love the genre, "metalheads" as they are sometimes called, recognize at least three things that draw them to the genre. Ironically, it may be precisely what deters others from it.
I grew up with the 90s indie and pop-rock bands through my old man. He introduced me to the Stone Roses, Charlatans, Manic Street Preachers, andOasis. You name 'em, I've listened to them at some point. It wasn't until high school that I started to develop my own style and genre appreciation. The first one I remember of it was through watching a Green Day music video in 2004, asking Dad who this was and playing it on repeat for around the next month or so. This then developed into metal, prog rock, post-hardcore, punk, and hardcore. Never really delved into the origins of metal and where it actually comes from, as the only origin to ever cross the mind was Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, DIO, y'know. So seeing how it has changed from the small metal clubs of then, to the stadium tours and meet and greets of now is a world apart. But the age of the Electronicore is now, people, and we would be stubborn and defiant to ignore it.
May 10, 2018. Sports Arena, San Diego CA. The first day of Slayer's Final World Tour. Hell had arrived to San Diego, and we were all welcoming it with our black hearts. After a fantastic set by OG Thrash metal heroes Testament, the prophets of hell itself Behemoth unleashed the swarms of satanic glory onto Southern California in a blistering, spectacular, incredibly dark six track set, starting with hell's national anthem "Ov Fire And The Void" and finishing with the deeply personal and incredibly blasphemous, "O Father, O Satan, O Sun". Behemoth's legacy has been well established at this point in their career, but this tour will bring them to a wide range audience that have never heard, nor seen the band before. And with a universally loved magnum opus under their belt, and an incredibly anticipated 11th album coming out this year (one of the songs they played at the show is called "Wolves of Siberia," which is the first single from the, as of this writing, untitled album), it seems that Behemoth's baroque portrayal of Lucifer in music form will continue to create more Heathen Legions around the World.
It was 1996. I was 19. I was overwhelmed by curiosity. In my hand was the Mercyful Fate album, Into The Unknown. Previously, I had bought a Judas Priest tribute album, which had Mercyful Fate covering "The Ripper," which was a great effort, and it was the first time I'd heard King Diamond's falsetto vocal. Knowing I needed something new as far as music was concerned, at my local Camelot Music (remember that place?), I bought the album. When I brought it home, I was blown away by the music, but a little scared of the lyrics. I was a good little Mormon boy, living in Lakewood, Washington at the time, and was real into heavy metal. All these years, I'd been hearing that metal was the devil's music, and the opening track was called "Lucifer." I was conflicted, torn between the music I loved, and the scary lyrics. I then embraced the music, and adapted.
When you hear the word metal, in regards to music, what comes to mind? Before I became a full-on metalhead, I was afraid of metal. I hated the genre. Until my junior year of high school, whenever someone mentioned the music I would immediately think of Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Cannibal Corpse, Slipknot, and every other famously evil band that the genre had to offer. I was afraid of the music. I was raised in a very Christian household, and I thought that the music would somehow possess me, blacken my soul, pretty much everything the Catholic Church was saying throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, what my parents were taught as children. Little did I know, that I, and almost my entire family, would become Metalheads.
I am Dark Juan. I have been many things and there is much I still need to discover. I write. A lot. I write books and record reviews, mainly. I have been a recording artist, a guitarist, a father and a libertine.
You may be wondering, "Why-eth the fuck hath thou enticed me with such a headline?" only for me to ask "When-eth the fuck did you cometh from? Doth thou knowst of the heavy metals? Fucketh off!" As I plead for you to come back, I'll actually explain myself.