Better Late Than Before I Die. A review of Reluctant Mortem

Some context to establish why this is (sort of?) a big deal to me: I suck. I have sucked for a long time. But in the words of Richard Pryor (R.I.P.): “I really am fuckin’ trying, okay?”.

Back in March of this year, I recieved an inbox from Matt, the drummer of Reluctant Mortem, who will be brutally dissected with my scalpel of linguistic proficiency once I shut up and finish my story. So, he came across my writing somehow, I suppose, and thought, “Hey, this guy seems like he’d be willing to write up my band, and hopefully give us a favourable review even though we only have one song”. I, being a gentleman, told him I’d wait til they had more material out so I could more fully see what they sounded like, and just so I wasn’t writing a dissertation on a single song, which I could do, but it’d be a task, for sure.

A few months pass, and, as promised, Reluctant Mortem summons up three more full length, and eyes turn to me expectantly for my opinion. I take a listen, but being slave to other obligations (read: shows I had to review but didn’t get off my ass and review), I had to keep putting it off and putting it off, ad nauseum. To add to the confusion was the fact that I have done this kind of thing before with no problems, I was in a double bind: Do I say “fuck the schedule and how I normally do things, time to take control and get my responsibles out the way so I can play unfettered”? Nope, I just continue on the same way I did before, insanely expecting a change despite my inflexibility.

So here I stand (or sit), finally about to strike a critical blow to my procrastination. Reluctant Mortem, merry Christmas, and happy new year. I’m finally becoming human.

Long Island, NY, the birthplace of the legendary Suffocation, is a more metal place than one would expect. Famous not only for its iced tea, but one of the founding fathers of brutal death metal? It must be a truly soul-shattering place to inspire such sounds. Reluctant Mortem walks a different, more melodic path, however, taking influence from  modern bands like The Black Dahlia Murder with galloping Gothenburg leads and drums pounding —and occasionally blasting— steadily along through tried and tested song structures that are familiar and weatherworn, but not yet broken, if handled skillfully. They’re not too metalcore, either, so elitists, lower your swords.

“Dying Days”, after a tastefully gloomy piano intro, turns into a safely written melodeath number, with a thrash-inflected circlepit part that wants for nothing but a touch that is uniquely Reluctant Mortem and not simply the sum of years of listening to what we call Melodic Death Metal today. To highlight this, take a gander at their slower track “Embrace Your Sins”, and note how similar the opening notes are to the ending notes of”Songs For The Damned” by All Shall Perish. Don’t get me wrong, they play the songs with that heart that you can’t buy at a store, but without building on their own unique songwriting, how much longer may they keep this up? The world is overpopulated with bands under the Melodic Death Metal tag, and many are destined to either fall by the wayside unsung or be lauded without deserving it. Backwards worlds require backwards folks.

Despite my proclamations of doom and gloom in a world that’s booming with bands that are all starting to sound like a composite of what they jam between jams, Reluctant Mortem’s future looks bright. With 663 likes on Fuckbook, they’re certainly doing something right, and even though number of likes is in no way indicative of quality, an up-and-coming death metal band not yet on Metal Archives spreading their message mainly through word of HTML getting such a number must mean that enough of their own core personality as a band is shining through the layers of used riffs.

Highlights: The drumming, and the self-titled track

Lows: Vocals could be stronger, and an abundance of ‘heard-it-before typical melodeath riffs.

Verdict: I like it,and keep up the good work.

All I’ll say are these last few words of wisdom, and Reluctant Mortem may leave the nest of my negligence: dig deeper, and don’t settle for dimestore melodeath riffs. Y’all can do better than that. Keep your heads banging and your noses clean, etc.

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Sound Of The Beast: A Complete Headbanging History Of Heavy Metal. It’s Anything But.

Ian Christe’s groundbreaking book, titled above, was a watershed moment as far as those “big book of x genre” tomes go. Metalheads worldwide cheered almost unanimously, I imagine, as its ink dried in the saturnine glow of hellfire. Its cover art, a twisted adaptation yanked most blasphemously from the Sistine chapel. Its attention to every last minute detail of all that’s heavy would bring warmth to the hearts of metal fans, while educating and (hopefully) bringing new recruits. It’s a timeless, deathless volume, and it got everything right.
And now for what really happened.
This review has been slow simmering for a while in my mind. I really want to like this book, being that there aren’t a terrible lot of comprehensive studies, emic or etic, that look at Metal from front to back, starting at Blue Cheer and ending wherever the publish date happens to be. I’ll be the first to say that this book certainly does cover a lot, and no one can expect one person and perhaps a team of editors and acquaintances to cover the entire metalverse in a single book, but honestly, this book should have been pushed back for another five years, at least.
I will suggest that this book be renamed “Read ‘Em All: A Headbanging History At A Glance Of Metallica, And Other Kinda Important Bands”, because by Jove, this guy has a Metallica boner the size of Vesuvius.

Pictured: A reason to never make music again, because this just about covers it.

It’s almost embarrassing how diehard this guy is about Metallica to the point where he can’t even make it through a chapter on Death Metal without haphazardly throwing their name in. This book is bogged down in passages that essentially read like this: “X movement and x band(s) were important, but here’s what Metallica was doing.” It’s fucked.
To say nothing of the painfully obvious oversight in the case of bands like Suffocation, Swans, D.R.I., and Entombed, to say the very least. Sure, these names are mentioned, but only once. Now, like I said, it’s nearly impossible to give every band equal face time, but to just skimp over the New York Death Metal, Swedish Death Metal, Folk/Pagan Metal, and even Japanese movements (though Sigh, S.O.B., and Sabbat do get a mention apiece, what of equally important X Japan or G.I.S.M.? Nothing) is nothing short of criminally lazy. How about the Finnish scene, and the (then) new sounds being brought forth by Children Of Bodom, fusing Yngwie Malmsteen pretentiousness with the frosty aggression of Black Metal? Tim “Angel Ripper” Owens’ first band, Winter’s Bane is not even brought up, and speaking of Winter, why are they not mentioned despite their influence in agonizingly slow and heavy Doom Metal? When speaking of the confluence of Techno and Metal, why were The Berzerker nowhere to be found, despite having formed in 1995 and thus being readily available for observation by the time Christe drooled on his proverbial typewriter? What about the brief stint that Blaze Bailey had in Iron Maiden? The man’s name isn’t mentioned, though perhaps this is for the better, because he sucked the talent right out of them, despite being a capable solo artist.

Pictured: The reason why Nicko McBrain lies awake at night in tears

For a guy who tracked every waking movement of Metallica and to a lesser extent, Megadeth, and seems to have no shortage of quotes from Katon de Peña of Hirax, he seems rather blasé when discussing Grindcore, not even throwing a mention to pivotal bands like Assück or Extortion. Sludge, Stoner, and Doom metal get their treatments, but besides Black Sabbath, Sleep, Cathedral and Saint Vitus, nothing is spoken of in true depth, and the latter two are only given a few paragraphs, which, yes, in this book is depth in comparison to the two mentions given to The Melvins.

Clearly not important enough to warrant more than two whole pages.

Christe is decidedly a tryhard, as evidenced by his overdescribing and overinflating of adjectives. At some points, he refers to Kiss as heavy, and uses the word ‘blasting’ to refer to Lars Ulrich’s drumming. Highly inaccurate on both counts. To say nothing of his being off the mark sub-genre wise, but then again, maybe I’m off the mark and don’t know it yet. All I know is that Metallica is not Power Metal, and that by the time Chaos A.D. rolled around, Sepultura were no longer Death Metal. The man seems content with bumping everything up a level or two higher than it actually is for some strange reason. In the same fashion that an average 20-something today would use the word ‘literally’ to mean “kinda”, Ian Christe calls Manowar ‘crushing’, and makes Death Metal seem like a deliberate counterculture set on proving that growls and police siren solos can be beautiful too. Guy, it ain’t all that serious, some guys decided to hail Satan with gruff vocals and rip-roarin’ speed is all.

One must read deep into the genius proclamation of “Fuck your God”.

Don’t know what genre to call a band, but it’s fast and old school sounding? Lump ‘em all into Speed Metal, that’s fine. Nu-Metal? Oh yeah, that’s definitely all Death Metal + Hip Hop. Talk about D.R.I.? No need, S.O.D.’s the only crossover thrash band that matters. Oh and for that matter let’s call Crossover Metalcore instead, that’ll make a lot of sense. We could go deeper into the history of Pantera, and Kurt Cobain’s involvement in bands like Earth, but let’s make this chapter about Metallica before I lose interest. Crust Punk? What’s that? I’ll just call it Grindcore, that’s fine. Slayer had rough record quality on their early releases? Black Metal, fo sho. Bolt Thrower? Not even gonna discuss that shit when Metallica’s sold-out dates worldwide in support of The Whack Album are oh so important.

Such is the writing process behind Sound Of The Beast: A(n In)Complete History Of Heavy Metal. It’s a testament to patchy music journalism, something I dearly hope I have successfully avoided, in that it briefly touches on a lot, and certainly does delve into specifics on the major innovators and small-time foundation shakers, but is too stuck on something the author personally feels has captured “it”, it being a band they feel encapsulates the spirit of Heavy Metal as a whole. Should I have written a history of Metal, I sure as hell wouldn’t end up basing it around Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath or some shit with the attitude of “This is what happened while X member of Y band was addicted to screwing mangos”, so why would Ian Christe? It’s a shame that an informative book, despite its many downfalls, was written by a flamboyant Metallica fanboy with a penchant for exaggeration and hyperbole coupled with some mildly impairing spatial perception, because this man seems unfortunately colourblind when it comes to detailing the finer points of the genre he clearly loves.

Man writes book on Heavy Metal. Eats half of it. Publishes vomit.

It’s imperative that if anyone attempts to take Metal into their custody and write about it as though documenting the growth and development of a child, that they feed it a balanced diet, or else it’ll actually grow up to think the Black Album was actually Metal. But you know what really, truly upsets me about this book? Like, really rocks me to the core and makes me more prone to colon cancer? The fact that the man called “In The End” by Linkin Park a Metal power ballad. Oh, you dirty rat, I’m going to find you, and the pigs will never take me alive after they see what I do to you for this most egregious offence against all that is sacred and intellectual. The whole “Metal Lists” appendix is cringeworthy, and calls the credibility of the whole book into question, moreso than the shoddy writing itself. I must apply corpsepaint, headbang into a pot of boiling sulfuric acid, and cleanse myself.

A negative book review wouldn’t be worth its salt if it didn’t have some quotes demonstrating the utmost stupidity with which this material was at times handled. I’ll also include some quotes from interviewees that just don’t make any sense when applicable.

Presenting: The Most WTF of SOTB.

“Heartwork was a brilliant standard-setting accomplishment. It was the Metallica Black Album of death metal.” p. 246

I don’t see the relationship between Carcass and Metallica aside from the fact that they both use guitars and are white, personally.

If not exactly living up to Metallica’s sales precedent, death metal remained profitable into the mid-1990s.” 256

The man can scarcely go more than 5 pages without saying the M word. It’s as if he held his breath for as long as he could while typing and wrote about Metallica on impulse when he reached his limit without passing out.

‘Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst and Kid Rock are rappers,’ says Chuck D from influential rap group Public Enemy. ‘They probably rebelled against rock in their teenage years, because it was too white-boy or something. Now it’s available to them, and you have to tip your hat to these guys for doing it.’” 325

Chuck, just because you were one of the main driving forces behind Hip-Hop doesn’t mean that makes any sense.

“’Metallica can do whatever they want’, says Shawn Crahan of the band Slipknot. ‘They won. They earned the right to do what they want today’.” 307

Including sue the world for essentially tape-trading online?

“Combining the spectral influence of Faith No More with snippets of the hardest death metal, the nu metal bands proved that pancultural metal could pay off.” 329

Dude.

I would search for even more, but this is painful enough.

Maryland Deathfest X – Over The Hills Came The Bottles Of A Thousand Drunks: Sunday

On this most final of days, a mixture of emotions welled up in my dying heart: I was at once sad to see it all end so quickly, yet at the same time I wanted nothing more than to be back home on a normal eating schedule.I missed out on Backslider due to group dawdling, but I caught wind of their set not being particularly great anyhow, so I probably didn’t miss much. In addition to them putting on a mediocre performance, apparently the promoters of MDF didn’t realize that Backslider’s entire discography adds up to just about 10 minutes, and still gave them a half hour with which to roughly hew the faces from the attendees. Coke Bust, being none the wiser to the schedule and how important it is to adhere to it, started a bit early, so it’s good I showed up early.

The ideal drummer outfit includes short-shorts.

Coke Bust aren’t exactly a Grindcore band, but their intensity, song lengths, and love of the blast might have some fooled. They’re Straight-Edge and quite proud of it, so don’t let that be a turn-off, since they’re probably one of the best Hardcore bands I’ve discovered in recent times. The set probably only lasted about 8 minutes, but anyone who knew how to dance did so accordingly, because time is money for a band who pride themselves on keeping it short and sweet, giving any band after them time to dick around during set-up. I greatly enjoyed every second of it, with this DC outing pumping out some of their sweetest tunes, including No Authority, Deathbed, Degradation, and Another Fucking Problem. I am a satisfied customer.

Up next were Australian grinders, Agents of Abhorrence, who have drawn comparisons to the legendary Discordance Axis, and you’ll see why if you give both a listen.

It was loud, dirty, and at times surprisingly harmonic, which is the kind of brain-bending stuff I like in my Grindcore. Not to say the old way isn’t great too, but a little experimentation is always great, and not just for your sex life. I’m sure these guys don’t hit up the US very often, since Australian bands who aren’t Parkway Drive have a hard time getting big, much less the support for tours, so for anyone who missed this half-hour of power, shame.

Still dealing with blows of exhaustion after going all-out for Coke Bust, I basically sat through Cough and Rwake‘s sets, taking in the Sludgy mayhem both unleashed in a row. Note to all: When exhausted, keep in mind that this kind of music will counteract any rest you try to get if you’re sitting too close to where it’s being played. After the latter finished, I dragged myself into the sunlight to catch Church Of Misery, Japan’s bluesiest serial-killer obsessed Doom outfit.

Someone please photoshop a Head & Shoulders logo over this

You would never believe the amount of Hardcore dancing that went down during this set. It was damn ridiculous that any went down at all, to be honest. Blame it on spillover from fans of the two opening bands of the day, I suppose. The dickery of the crowd did little to diminish the quality of the music blasting from the stage, luckily, with pounding grooves and early 70s psychedelia colliding with Hideki’s schizophrenic delivery, ranging from Rock’n’Roll howls to hellish growls and pained screams.

The band didn’t miss a beat the entire time, despite looking stoned out of their minds, but for a band of their type, it must come with the territory.

Keeping in line with the Sludge/Stoner/Doom theme of the Sabbath day was YOB, who are in my personal running for one of the heaviest bands out there.

The dancing weirdo trend must have caught on for YOB, since some people were picking up some dropped change during some of the sludgier parts of the three songs YOB played. Successfully enjoying their ethereal brand of Stoner Doom (some call it “stoom”) involved a little meat dodging, but no matter. YOB played two tracks off the new release Atma, which seems to be even larger and more crushing than previous effort The Great Cessation, which I thought impossible. They seem to be actively trying to one-up themselves with each release, and that’s the mark of dedicated musicians. Also, it is indeed pronounced like “Yawb”.

YOB’s sound can only be described as celestial bodies waging war by colliding into one another, so if that sounds like your thing, do it up. The final song they played was The Mental Tyrant from The Great Cessation. Not one of my favorites from that album, as I would have preferred The Lie That Is Sin or the title track, but it’s YOB, so it promised to be epic regardless. Seeing only three songs seemed much too short, so I hope to catch them headlining a tour soon.

Right after YOB’s last note I fought my way outside and towards the stage where Suffocation was already in the process of laying waste to the crowd.

The Slap-Chop is a go-go

This set was quite special amongst the 3 other times I’ve had the pleasure of catching them (two of which were in their home state of New York), in that they played a set consisting mostly of old songs and stuff they either don’t play often or haven’t played in over ten years. The whole set was a trip back in time, with the most recent tracks being Cataclysmic Purification from Blood Oath and Abomination Reborn from the 2005 s/t. They even played a couple tracks off Despise The Sun, which was a real wowser.

Another difference between this set and all the others is that long-time drummer Mike Smith has stepped down (again) to make room for Dave Culross of Despise The Sun fame, which probably explains the heavy leaning towards the old, and two tracks from a release he kinda helped create. Guy seems to be growing his hair back, and looks weird as hell. I was almost getting used to him being bald, but the curly moptop deal he’s currently sporting makes him unrecognizable to say the least.

Happy late birthday to the broccoli head.

Frank’s banter was classy as usual, with talk of him wishing he could be in the army just to kill people, and how the sun’s a bastard and screwed him over, it’s the story of everyman. The crowd was violent and I think I witnessed a few injuries, and a man walking around with a bleeding eye was swinging wildly at anyone he came in contact with. Great success was had. Saint Vitus followed on the opposite stage, and so did a cloud of magic smoke.

Never look a wild Wino in the eyes.

Saint Vitus have been delivering some of the fuzziest, bombed out, bluesy Doom this side of the Atlantic for just a decade less than the masters Black Sabbath, which is still a damn long time, and considering that Saint Vitus is officially making a return like a slow, stoned phoenix from resin laced ashes, they’ve proven their tenure shall be grander and more enduring. Weinrich and co. playing back-to-back with Electric Wizard is a scientific formula made to get people goddamn high, and nothing more, but good music was involved, so the crowd willingly fell for it.

My only gripes with this set were that Wino’s voice wasn’t as powerful as it is on record (possibly due to lack of ridiculous reverb) and this is my own fault, but I didn’t recognize a great deal of the songs. Though I was hoping dearly that they’d either play Zombie Hunger or their self titled song, I still enjoyed the slow, brooding heaviness that is 34 years of smoky doom come back from the grave. Weinrich proved to be an able frontman even after all these years, surprisingly encouraging the moshers during their set, and saying “Fuck the pigs”. A man after my own heart.

Not one to stand all the way in the back during Electric Wizard‘s set, I made my way down to the other stage during the last few songs, and I learned that pot doesn’t always mellow people out.

The true stoner witch

To say that Electric Wizard don’t play the US often is to say that not all homeless people are in a dire situation. Due to a combination of legal issues and hating the weed over here, they seldom make the flight to the land of baseball and saturated fats. It just makes it all the more urgent that one be willing to make the journey to see them if they feel generous enough to blaspheme our shores.

The mark of a phenomenal performance is the intensity of the crowd, and there was no shortage of passionate movement. Even before the band officially began, it was already a roiling mass of flesh and po t. Allow me to describe the scene: countless plumes of smoke, frenzied eyes, ravenous inhalation of intoxicating fumes, humans taking flight, mentally and physically, all at once, it was a raging no-sided war and a joyous dance, a tribute to mother nature and her greatest green gift. The ultimate aftermath; a desert plain of broken plastic and misshapen aluminum, lakes of spilled alcohol and mounds of ash. A lost shoe as well.

I needed a good sit-down afterward, so I was almost praying they wouldn’t encore, and got lucky. God exists after all, but must be angry at Bethlehem for stealing the name of a holy land and playing something called “Dark Metal”, which to me comes across as some weird kind of Black Metal that hints at Gothic, Symphonic, and Doom elements. After that was Mortuary Drape, who I’ll check out later, decent Death Metal. Can’t you tell I’m just about done posting? I can, so fuck off. Until I have the strength to review a project named Amish Noise, goodnight.

Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I’ve Had My Dying Fetus at the PVD Social Club

I haven’t been fucked like that in months. I’m sorry, I meant I haven’t been to a show that intense that wasn’t in such close quarters as to render all sensible movement impractical. There we go. I did pop into a free Punk show this sunday but had to leave only two bands deep, so that shall not be written about, as great as Ancient Filth were in a pure burst of Punk energy that threatened the demolition of the Midway. This here is my first time properly slamming it down in probably months, and the pains in my back, chest, arms and neck say “welcome back, faggot.” I almost didn’t make it in, but with some simple math and the fact that I kicked logic out and did the impossible made it all the better on Leap Day Eve.

Last Chance To Reason

Somewhere in a distant land, Powerglove is crying.

Notice how I skipped the random local bands. Right. Anyhow, Last Chance To Reason are a fucken good band, but their lack of keyboards and the vocal effects on their album make them cunts. The atmosphere they had at Metalfest was missing almost in its entirety, and instead of feeling awash in the sound, I was merely being beaten over the head with it. Luckily LCTR are great musicians on their own and their vocalist can still hold a tune even without the Masvidal effects, but it just felt a bit naked without at least some programming in the background. I’m not sure if they’re working to decrease reliance on the effects, but I kinda want them back, please. It’s just not… gamey enough. That being said, they were on point and had a nice flow, pumping out their normal blend of Progressive Metal, airy synths, and Metalcore with relative ease, smashing through boulders like it’s a breeze, you know the dealio. Now to pretend that their vocalist is still a machine and see what happens when they reach Level 3.

Volumes

Play chess in my white T, git crunk in my white T

Whether or not you like Volumes, it’d be a bit mean to say that they’re a shallow band. Sure, they’re doing the whole djentcore thing, but they’re doing it well and with feeling. The crowd certainly seemed to respond well, throwing their hearts and souls at Volumes while they threw theirs back. It was like a big ol’ lovefest but with more sweaty fat men, and we liked it.

Aside from almost having a couple front teeth knocked out by the more energetic partygoers with enormous logs for arms, I’d say their set went without a hitch. Where a lot of bands that rely on chugging riffs would fall apart at the seams —the proof being some of the local bands— Volumes could hold it together through entire songs, and that’s definitely worth mentioning, especially when you wanna get your dance on and need an actual rhythm to back your rompin’ and-a stompin’. Wake the fuck up, but try not to lose an eye while you’re in a Volumes pit, eh?

Job For A Cowboy

I love Jesus, best of all the messiahs!

Goddammit, Job For A Cowboy, you’ve had many years to get this playing live thing correct. If I were one of the Hahdcoah kheds, I’d be a little saddened that they teased with the beginning of Entombment Of A Machine, but it simply became that much more comedic when they gave the proverbial “Fuck you” to the crowd by swithching to Embedded after the high pitched squeal, which Johnny Davy didn’t do —sly devil, probably allowed himself a second to chuckle— but instead let the crowd simply yell ARRRRGH! as if they braced for pain in advance, predicting the bitchslap to come. I do like that song, but tell me this; where the fuck were the leads? Why was the solo 100% improvised (and badly at that)? Hell, why were there no leads in the whole set? Why was the sound so shitty? I’m not even a huge audiophile and I know little to nothing about mixing on a soundboard, but I know diarrhea when I hear it.

I’ll go so far as to say that the rhythm section and Johnny Davy’s steadfast refusal to point back when I pointed at him before their set were the only things done well. The vocals were er… okay, but it’s Job For A Cowboy, so you can’t expect the best of the best. I am sorely disappointed, but since I expect it, it all evens out to a solid meh. Job For A Cowboy stopped being interesting when they decided they were too cool for -core, and just to heap onto the monumental failure they’re carving in ice and the steady downward course their career has taken, they’ve somehow roped in Cephalic Carnage’s bassist to endure this torment alongside them. And he’s doing it all with a straight face. Though nothing is funnier than watching people try to relive JFAC’s glory days by hardcore pitting to their straight up no-bullshit Death Metal material, and from that I gleaned some form of enjoyment and distraction from the ball-peen rhythms to my eardrums that they referred to as guitar. Now I’ll let you go back to your scheduled Black Dahlia Murder copycatting.

Dying Fetus

One of these men is not quite like the others.

These fuckin’ guys. I think I could see them once a month and never get bored of the energy they consistently put out. For only three guys, all of whom being rooted to the spot due to having heavy instrument/vocal duties, they still manage to get a crowd willing to kill at the drop of a dimebag. These are the grand daddies of Deathcore. And by Deathcore I mean Death Metal with Hardcore, not what we call Suicide Silence and Emmure just because we can’t think of a better name for it. The fact that they were A) on such a strange tour with bands that would have a hard time competing with them in terms of impact on the music scene and B) in such a small venue was a bit jarring, but it’s always great to see a band outside of their comfort zone, provided Fetus actually got comfortable playing larger places like the Palladium in Worcester, and to be honest, I wish I could see more bands of their status playing venues this size all the time. Suffocation playing the Crazy Donkey, which is just a few levels up from being a dive, was probably the best I’ve seen them at in all the three times I had seen them. But I digress.

So call me crazy, but Your Treachery Will Die with you has got to be one of the best choices for an opener that they can go with at this point. It’s got everything quintessentially Fetus; groovy Death Metal riffing, challenging technicality, slams, and a love for Hardcore rhythms that’ll get the Metal and Hardcore fans trying to rip each other’s faces off. It just got better from there as slab after slab of aborted offal flew at the crowd in the form of One Shot One Kill, Killing On Adrenaline, Schematics, Shepherd’s Commandment, Opium Of The Masses, Homicidal Retribution, and the all new bruiser From Womb To Waste. How they didn’t already have that song title at the very beginning of their career is a bit of a baffle, but fuckit, they went there.

It would have helped the atmosphere tons if some people knew that Dying Fetus approves more of people throwing the shit down instead of shoving matches akin to how you’d try to take on the rival sect in the elementary school playground, but we powered through, planted our flag in the ground, knocked a few people over, and had a gay old time with the sultry smooth lyricism “Can’t these fuckers leave the shit alone? Always trying to start some stupid shit.” Dying Fetus aren’t there to make you feel comfortable, folks, unless your idea of comfort is in a forest of swinging fists and ducking acrobatic hardcore attacks from all sides, then by all means, please jump in. A couple of ways that the set would have been even better would be if they had actually played Grotesque Impalement —as unlikely as it was, as that release is encrusted in layers of neolithic waste— and if they finally played Kill Your Mother/Rape Your Dog. Only an extra minute, and it’s easily one of the least Technical song in Fetus’ entire discography with the exception of their cover of Next Step Up’s Bringing Back The Glory. But you get what you pay for, and I’d probably need to pay at least 30 for that. Though no admission price guarantees an unofficial meet’n’greet with John Gallagher. Stoners beware, he might ask to bum weed off you.

More like Kill Your Dealer/Steal His Hash.

Worst Logo Changes

I’ve been struck with a creativity bug, if you count my meandering attempts to arrange thoughts into prose creation. And yes, I am a sodomite.

Some bands can’t just be happy with what they had, or went and fucked it up for another reason. Some bands were wise enough to fix it. Others haven’t survived.

Napalm Death goes Elephant font

While this change didn’t necessarily mark a change in their musical quality, it raised a few red flags. Why go from perfectly fine electric fire to what basically amounts to a ransom note on quaaludes? It has since been mercifully reverted.

Tiamat decides their logo should be an italicised Helvetica typeface

I’m pretty sure fans wrote in complaining that the old one was a bit too hard to draw and the intricacy hurt their poor widdle hands.

Death hires pest control, a priest, a team of firemen, and a ghostbuster

It’s a tad hard to find a stand-alone of the middling logo without the spider but still with the Reaper head and a little fire’n’blood. Though this perfectly illustrates the odd cleansing the logo has undergone, as though someone up and sprayed it with holy water.

In Flames flirts with fonts, but then scratches it in a wooden desk

It’s a slight improvement, but only cements in people’s mind the fact that In Flames is now for angsty youngsters armed with a pen and an urge to destroy school property.

Sepultura goes to their roots in basic typography

Notice how they get less cool as the band does the same.

Fleshgod Apocalypse is tired of being a few steps away from unreadable, or so they say

If the music on Agony (which is good, but not as much as the first two) is as much an indicator, it’s also a sign of them being weary of having a guitar driven sound.

Immolation decides Death Metal needs Felix Tiling

This is a case where one must REALLY ask what was wrong with the logo. It looked like fire and a sword on fire! How much more Death Metal can you get?

Neuraxis felt that they needed to look towards a more geometrically sound future

While the new logo is certainly still great in its own way, looking at the masterpiece that was present on their first few albums almost makes you wonder what happened along the way. Like being fed bologna your whole life and then being given a small sampler of steak, if you’re one to think in those terms.

Judas Priest. Yes, I went there

Metallica loses its edge(s)

Metallica’s history of logo changes really tells its story; They started out badass, then they decided to drop their weapons since they appeared a bit too grizzled and hard, and once they realized their mistake, they attempted to re-grow their fangs, only to have them come back in a little crooked.

And that’s all I’m willing to do for you tonight, so put your wallets away for now. If you want a few examples of bands who have stuck with the same logo for their the entirety of their existence, peep these and remember; keep it simple, stupid.