Sunday, 30 November 2014

Shameless Heavy Metal Album Covers

Hyperbole is one of the most important pillars supporting heavy metal. While other musicians might ask, 'is this too much?', the metal head will cry 'MORE! I NEED MORE!'. There is no room for ethics in the slaughter house.

The metal head is ultimately gluttonous and unashamed, drawing sword-wielding cocks on horseback, impaling its enemies on a battlefield deranged with shredded corpses. Heavy metal was created as an antidote to moderation, and it has served this purpose for forty long years. Heavy metal demands only two things: the cocaine and the stage. Everything else is filler.

Such senseless debauchery has been known to seep into all that lives outside the heavy metal membrane, however, and evidence of its absurdity is clearly seen in the artwork that it uses to market itself. Heavy metal knows no shame. If it even knew what "so bad it's good" implied, it would probably try to repeat the words with its own slobbering mouth, fail over and over again, then break a window in frustration and continue on its drunken tirade. 

Artwork has always been of particular importance to the heavy metal band, and because most heavy metal bands are unhinged dope fiends, the artwork they employ is often crude, loopy, and ridiculous beyond all reason. If you aren't entirely convinced, let's have a looksie.

Attacker - Battle At Helms Deep (1985)

The musclebound hero of this image looks as though he's just realized what a huge mistake it was to enter the lair of the goblin wizard. He wasn't expecting security to come in the form of a giant green spider dragon. He's got a look on his face as if to say "What have I done?".

 Betrayer F.T.M. - No Life TIll Fury (2010)

This would actually be considered really, really tame by death metal standards. I just love the fact that the band must have asked to be included in the artwork, eating steak and popcorn while the surgeon is strangled to death by an octobaby.

 Skull Fist - Heavier Than Metal (2010)

This would be a fantastic idea for an Adult Swim cartoon.

 Em Ruinas - ...from the Spped Metal Graves (2010)

I really hope this isn't supposed to be brooding and sullen. Due to the awful shading and contrast, it just looks like a flying torso grabbing a ball of lightning. 

 Annihilator - Refresh the Demon (1996)

Chris Farley as Satan.

 Grave Digger - Tunes Of War (1996)

I've seen covers with skeletons playing flutes, guitars, keyboards, drums, but I've never seen on playing the bagpipes. Was the kilt really necessary as well?

 Helloween - The Best, The Rest, The Rare (1991)

Helloween once again taking the pumpkin thing way too far...

 Helloween - Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991)

...and when they aren't, they're pulling shit like this. I have no idea what's supposed to be happening here, but I can't help but imagine some greasy teenager handing this record over the till and instantly stuttering up an explanation as to why it's not weird porn.

 Cobra - Grito en el Abismo (2010)

This works on paper. The concept is tried and tested, but everything about it screams straight-to-DVD 00's action flick. 

 Living Death - Metal Revolution (1985)

Walrus demon.

 Sofisticator - Camping The Vein (2012)

So, the boys from Sofisticator (Jesus Christ) are drinking "killer beer", eating a midget, fending off the living dead, and taking a moment to shred. Right on.

 Cranium - Speed Metal Slaughter (1998)

This is a horrible way to attract women. It looks like Cranium and their chainsaw-wielding zombie cohort have invaded a disco and taken population control into their own hands.

Sabbat - Geionslaught 1986 (2006)

Sabbat are not known clothes wearers. Also, check out the guy at the bottom right corner. He knows.

Dr. Mastermind - Sin Sandwich (2005)

She appears to be rubbing lettuce, maybe celery, on her lady parts. She's also engulfed in flames. I don't know what she's getting out of this, but it looks like it's her thing.

Tokyo Blade - Mr. Ice (1998)

It's just fucking horrible. Fuck you, Tokyo Blade, for making me look at this.

Grim Reaper - Fear No Evil (1985)

The Grim Reaper has destroyed yet another priceless Picasso work with his motorcycle. What a cunt.

Rick James - Throwin' Down (1982)

This isn't even a metal record, but Rick James gets it.

Anvil - Plenty Of Power (2001)

I could have picked any Anvil cover art here, but this one is just particularly disturbing. The colours are actually offensive to the eyes.

Metalucifer - Heavy Metal Chainsaw (2001)

Probably my favourite of the lot. There's absolutely no need for it at all. He's definitely been drinking as well.

Agent Steel - Order Of The Illuminati (2003)

Martians getting in some practice before the charity run. I don't know who gave the green light to this cover, but I imagine they were really into the idea of it. The artist must have some kind of explanation for this. 

Witch Cross - Fit For Fight (1984)

Nudity: check. Steel: check. Demonic bat monster: check. 'Witch' in the band name: check. Heavy metal standard.

Unicorn - The Legend Returns (1987)

You called your band Unicorn and you put a unicorn on your cover art. You fucking pansies. 

Mass - Swiss Connection (1981)

A giant and probably autonomous guitar cracks through the side of a mountain and you just sort of stand there with your mouth agape. I'd fucking run. If guitars are anything like guitarists, it'll want to talk about itself.

Virgin Steele - Noble Savage (1985)

Let's get the skinniest guy ever to be our barbarian.

Bitches Sin - Invader (1986)

I don't know what's worse, the fact that they crossed Edvard Munch with aliens, or the fact that said 'invader' is actually being chased by Victorian weasel men.

Attila - Rolling Thunder (1986)

This is here for the same reason the last Anvil one is and then some. What is going on? Why is the rocket there? Why is so much happening at once? How do you get into this much trouble?

Piledriver - Metal Inquisition (1984)

He's using his guitar as a jack hammer to drill a hole in a man's head. Piledriver.

The Exalted Piledriver - Metal Manifesto (2008)

With a slight name change and new music over 20 years later, The Exalted Piledriver returned to reclaim their place at the top of album artwork kitsch. 

Dogs With Jobs - Shock (1990)

I actually really like this one.

Racer X - Superheroes (2000)

I really don't like this one. Then again, how much can you expect of a band that thought "Hey, let's name our band after a character from an ancient Japanese anime show".


Monday, 24 November 2014

The Best Kinds Of Baby To Adopt And How To Eat Them.

Life is an underhanded bitch. So much so that it keeps certain harsh realities obscured, only to reveal them to you as you stand trembling at the end of its diving board. One of these grim and sobering facts of existence is that your future partner may want you to use your sexual apparatus for procreation, as opposed to merely slapping it about wildly in a room of tin foil to the forensic pathology grooves of Kraftwerk. Indeed, according to certain "experts", I've learned that I may one day have to create a crude copy of myself and entertain the idea of a family for long enough so that I don't have to be buried in a pauper's grave.

I've always enjoyed my own company, but then again I was lucky to have turned out to be the fun guy I am now. However, the idea of drinking cans of Hackenberg and dancing to New Order alone in my room at the age of 30 is pretty bleak, so I know that one day I will have to try to keep someone entertained for longer than a week or two. Though this may all sound like I'm making a huge compromise for the sake of romance, I've learned of alternative remedies to my situation that might prove beneficial to all parties. Instead of using my dude to create a clone to which I can pass all of my addictive and destructive traits to, I will instead buy a baby with the money I make from embezzlement.

Buying a baby makes far more sense than making one. Firstly, you don't have to change the shitty nappies of your own tiny, screaming pastiche. Secondly, when you eventually find yourself cooking it at 250 F degrees, you won't feel guilty knowing that it's been in two different ovens in the same house.

So, without further ado, here's some babies that would make great food for you and your lover right before you get back to fucking constantly like normal people.

1. Hairy Babies.

Hairy babies go wonderfully with French toast and a Mimosa. Light but energetic, sweet but bold. The kind of thing you'd serve at a swinger's brunch. They came out with a mane, don't let them go back in vain.

2. Giant Fake Babies.

Giant fake babies are hard to come by, but you know that if you do, you have to snap them up before they're gone. Fantastic for special occasions when the table is full. Best served with a real baby.

3. Babies Dressed As Animal Babies.

Cute as a button, but not so much that you won't stick a fork in them. Served best with red cabbage, tiger prawns, and a tall glass of Raging Bitch.

4. Babies That Won't Stay Still.

Lively little things with a considerable amount of muscle tissue to consider when choosing a cooking format. This is one for the frying pan alright. It doesn't matter whether you like it bloody or well-done, this is one that needs all the garlic and parsley in the world. Chili if you're having adventurous guests. 

5.  Old Babies.

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Friday, 14 November 2014

The 10 Greatest Metal Bands Of ALL TIME

Heavy metal. Our music, our way of life, the altar at which we kneel inside the church of steel. Metal. Our culture. Brotherhood. Heavy metal. Rock and roll. Dimebag. Party. Dean guitar. Family. Family. Brotherhood. Metal. Beers. Orange Amplifiers. Skeletons. Our music. Our Music. Our Music. Brotherhood. Friends. The collective. Powerslave was great. We're all in this together. Metal. Heavy metal. Skull bong. Anton LaVey. Denim on denim. Dimebag. Rust in Peace was great. Righteous. Gnarly. Metal chicks. Metal chicks. Scott Ian. Just checking out the merch table.

Metal brotherhood. Loyalty. Dimebag. Studded leather jacket. Broadsword. Family. Our music. Culture. Us against the world. Stoked to see 'Tallica. Beers. Titties. Rapier. Fog machine. Lightning Fist. Storm Puncher. Steelizor. Dean guitars. Influential. Speed Metal belly top. I didn't like St. Anger. Family. Girlfriend's Nightmare Before Christmas handbag. Booze. I hope Nevermore reunite. I hope Nevermore reunite. I hope Nevermore reunite. Scott Ian's goatee. Death Angel > Dark Angel. Custom Dean. Forever. In the annals of. Glow in the dark skull bong. Glove chains. Fuck Phil Anselmo. Glove chains. American Thrash Metal > EuroThrash. Metal God. Robb Flynn is great. Stoked to see Robb Flynn. Machine Head are great. Jacket chains. Bullet belt. Bullet belt. Bullet belt. Cargo shorts. Dark Fortress are the best black metal band. Obey. Consume. Family. We're all family. Metal chicks. See you in the pit.

10. Electric Wizard.

9. Electric Wizard

8. Electric Wizard.

7. Electric Wizard.

6. Electric Wizard.

5. Electric Wizard.

4. Electric Wizard.

3. Electric Wizard.

2. Metallica.



!!Electric Wizard!!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Stream of Consciousness: Wearing Maggots To Bed.

There are visual intricacies to sleep paralysis that are only noticeable by eye if the eyes allow them to be seen. The knee-jerk is to attempt a closing of the eye, but the eye is pried open by the sonic dread violating the ear, and so all senses available to you are essentially arrested by the episode. Often the occurrence may prove so frightful that a childish squeal might escape you and in hearing your own frightened tones independent of these encompassing, horrendous wails, you are agitated further and further into giving life to something that is very much living inside of your brain. It is a highly visceral birthing process engendered by the sperms of nightmare. It is a terrestrial invasion by the shapeless black things that dance whimsically somewhere in the loft above bedtime. It’s easy to call them phantoms or devils but those are inventions of the conscious and what you’re experiencing comes from the collective unconsciousness, those shared and ancient vibrations that make mad, voodoo satellites of all soup-swimming brains. It is only terrifying if you close the eye, so long as you allow what’s happening to run its course, and as long as you become a willing participant, you will be rewarded for at least a moment.

Sometimes the shuddering, mutant obscurity reveals itself to be the face of a friend, a baby, a robin redbreast, or anything delicately simple, just enough to defeat the screaming for a few moments. It is frightening in itself to note that one of these intricacies is that your sedative visual is actually a hideously precise moment in time that has latched itself for some reason to your subconscious. The furrowed brow of a friend or the glistening spittle on an eager tongue. Those detailed memories proven inaccessible by independent thought, and no matter how warm the optic may be, it has now manifested as something grotesque. That is the reward for your courage, a moment or two of merciful stillness with a dead reflection. The question is: who showed it to you?

And then it starts over again.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Movies: Trail of the Screaming Forehead

Trail of the Screaming Forehead (2007)

Organic madness. 

The unimaginative neckbeard with his expensive collection of LOTR replica swords would tell you that this movie was the result of "tons of weed man, ah-huh-huh". He would then likely regurgitate his month's worth of two-minute microwave hamburgers and nod off in the bubbling slime, a shuddering victim, overdosing on his own passionless drivel. I say this because TOTSF should never, ever be pigeonholed as simply another throwaway gimmick flick for lifeless college frat types. There are plenty of movies out there that serve that very purpose, the purpose of pandering heavily to a couch full of roach-lipped figurines with gags about Stifler peeking in the girl's bathroom. As much as I do love the crude and the trashy, this is one film that doesn't rely on the reliable. It's familiar, but it's adventurous. It's shimmering, clean comedy. It's organic madness.

If you've never heard this oh-so recyclable plot line before then your mother is probably still using stabilizers. A small, quaint little strip of Americana becomes ground zero of a sinister alien invasion, and each of the town's inhabitants are systematically brainwashed by these parasitic visitors. As stated before, this story has been done to death. It's been fucked, flipped over for seconds, and fucked again for the last sixty years, but as far as my knowledge stretches; it's never been done with sentient foreheads from a distant, dying planet. 

This is the first Larry Blamire film I've seen, but I can already confidently tell you that he has mastered 1950s pastiche like no other. Everything from the bubbly soundtrack to the traditional and perpetual mid-long shot is executed perfectly as though Blamire had sat at his desk and thrown two bugling eyes on every single nuclear family sci-fi ever belched forth during that so paranoid era. It's full of a snappy, but completely idiotic kind of charm, with absolutely zero reliance on innuendo or vulgarity. It's audio/visual proof that there is really an art to writing terrible dialogue, and it's effortlessly funny in its delivery from the cast, all whom portray characters that need little highlighting, each of them standing out in their own way with their own set of eccentricities. 

"Avant-garde" isn't a term I like to throw around, especially for a comedy that so clearly sets out to be derivative, but everything from its bright visuals to its unconventional humour designate this as something entirely different to anything yet produced during this b-movie revival. It predates many of the most well-known revival flicks like Hobo with a Shotgun or WolfCop, but it's every bit a rival to their quirky charm. If this film is anything to go by, Larry Blamire is definitely one to keep a hawk's eye on if you require a strong fix of bizarre fun.