Monday, January 28, 2013

Thrash Party Hangover

So I threw a thrash metal party. A bunch of dudes showed up, who then proceeded to play the music too loud, drank all my beer and did all the drugs. There's still a bunch of those fuckers here, all hopped up on goof-balls and thrashing 'til death! Ah well....if you can't beat 'em, join' em!



Hirax
"Bombs of Death"
Raging Violence
Metal Blade Records (1985)

Verbal Abuse
"Rocks Your Liver"
Rocks Your Liver
Boner Records (1986)

Nuclear Assault
"Sin"
Game Over
Combat Records (1986)

Onslaught
"Thrash 'Til the Death"
The Force
Under One Flag Records (1986)

Tankard
"Alcohol"
Chemical Invasion
Noise Records (1987)

Carnivore
"Angry Neurotic Catholics"
Retaliation
Roadrunner Records (1987)

Death Angel
"Kill As One"
The Ultra-Violence
Restless Records (1987)

Rigor Mortis
"Bodily Dismemberment"
Rigor Mortis
Capitol Records (1988)

D.R.I.
"Gun Control"
Thrash Zone
Metal Blade Records (1989)

Ghoul
"As Your Casket Closes"
Splatterthrash
Razorback Records (2006)


Finally, after 17 days straight of thrashing the guys from Verbal Abuse and Tankard finally left. The guys from D.R.I. left the party right after Pete Steele from Carnivore started puking all over the place. I am NOT cleaning up that bathroom. Somebody get me Leif Garrett's number, I heard he needs a few bucks.

Carnivore
"Jack Daniel's and Pizza" intro
Retaliation
Roadrunner Records (1987)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thrash Party!

Here's a playlist of sorts for those feeling the urge to get thrashed. If you're here looking for Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Kreator or Suicidal Tendencies you may be disappointed, as I'll be going a little bit deeper into the underground to dig up some obscure 1980's thrash. Hopefully you'll find a new band or two here to explore further on your own.

Someone got this tattooed on their chest in 1985, I just know it.

Thrash metal came to prominence in the early 1980's and was party metal for the metalheads who didn't want to wear make-up or their mom's clothes. It survived in the underground well into the 1990's for those who didn't want to wear flannel or do heroin. In my opinion, thrash metal was the main precursor to death metal, as its influence bleeds through almost every aspect of death metal and beyond. Finding its roots in the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) scene and taking it to the next level, thrash metal has always been a bit "too metal" for punks to get into, but there has been a lot of crossover between the genres.

Thrash metal is still around today because it has a certain energy to it that only makes sense when you're drinking copious amounts of booze and hanging out with good friends. Thrash metal isn't for everybody, but it certainly has its place on any party playlist where its all dudes (with a girlfriend or two) and nothing but cheap beer to entertain yourself with.

So get ready to party! Thrash til Death!!


The Early 1980's: NWOBHM Becomes Thrash Metal

Exciter
"Stand Up and Fight"
Heavy Metal Maniac
Shrapnel Records (1983)

Warlord
"Child of the Damned"
Deliver Us EP
Metal Blade Records (1983)

Tyrant
"Free for All"
Mean Machine
Camel Records (1984)

Iron Angel
"The Metallian"
Hellish Crossfire
Steamhammer Records (1985)

Razor
"Cross Me Fool"
Evil Invaders
Attic Records (1985)

The Late 1980's: THRASH 'TIL DEATH!!

Whiplash
"Stirring the Cauldron"
Power and Pain
Roadrunner Records (1985)

Exumer
"Destructive Solution"
Possessed By Fire
Disaster Records (1986)

Heathen 
"Open the Grave"
Breaking the Silence
Combat Records (1987)
*this one is my personal favorite on this list*

Sodom
"Nuclear Winter"
Persecution Mania
Steamhammer Records (1987)

Destruction
"Mad Butcher"
Mad Butcher EP
Steamhammer Records (1987)

Vio-lence
"Eternal Nightmare"
Eternal Nightmare
Megaforce Records (1988)


HONORABLE MENTION:

Municipal Waste is arguably today's most prominent thrash metal band. They play in the same style of the 1980's, and in my opinion are a great thrash party metal band. They even named one of their albums The Art of Partying. Enough said. 

I hope you enjoyed the thrash metal playlist. Tell me in the comments what you like, didn't like, think should have been included, etc. Until next time my friends.

Bow us out, boys! Thrash Partyyyyyy!

Municipal Waste
"The Art of Partying"
The Art of Partying
Earache Records (2007)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

'Cuz I'm a Weekend Warrior

Is it just me, or does Ministry's latest album Relapse sound the closest to "industrial thrash metal" that Al Jourgensen and company have done in their 25-year career? Take a listen to a few of these tracks from the album and tell me that I'm crazy:

Ministry
"Weekend Warrior"
Relapse (2012)

Ministry
"Freefall"

Ministry
"United Forces" 
(Stormtroopers of Death cover)

In home movie collection news, my Blu Ray collection is coming long nicely. I've been in the habit for a while now to replace movies I have on VHS straight to Blu Ray. Why fuck with the DVD middleman. I also have about 15 DVD's that my beloved dog Rusty pissed on when he was a puppy, thus ruining all the original packaging. So whenever I find one of those movies on Blu Ray for cheap, I'll go ahead and pick it up.

Rusty (4 years old)
Too damn cute to stay mad at for anything.

Here's a few movie revelations for you from some recent Blu Ray viewings:

1. The scene in Office Space where Peter tells Michael that he's getting laid off at the bar...the bar is actually fake, with a bluescreen background. You can tell because there's bright blue light reflected on both of their backs, along with a part of the bar. When the full bar shot is seen, there's no blue lights anywhere...where's that blue light coming from? Bluescreen of course. I never noticed that before on TV or DVD viewings. It really pops out at you on the Blu Ray. If Office Space were made today, it'd most likely be a green reflection.

I wasn't aware of it in 1999 when this movie was released...
...but that truly is the look of someone who works in an office. 

2. Natural Born Killers on Blu Ray looks absolutely no different from the DVD. The only scene where you can see a difference is when Woody Harrellson breaks free from the prison chain-gang and rides a getaway horse towards a tornado (yes, it's one of the most ridiculous/amazing moments in movie history ever). That scene looks absolutely amazing on Blu Ray. Everything else, not so much. Think about it...the movie features a lot of color changes, jerky camera movements run rampant throughout the film and it has a grainy look overall. None of that gets improved with 1080dpi.

Iron Man fucked up.

3. Monty Python & The Holy Grail doesn't look improved all that much either, except for a few small differences. I noticed a lot more detail in the clothing the Knights wore, especially with the wool and stitching. The reflection off King Arthur's crown was extremely radiant as well. Also, the cartoons looked really sharp and well done. You could almost see the brush strokes. Regardless, if you don't own this movie by now on any format then you suck.

Surprisingly, a very delicious beer. If you ever come across it, definitely have one.

4. Interview with a Vampire also looks no different whatsoever. Sure, its a bit "sharper" but its such a dark movie anyway (all filmed at night for the most part), that the transfer really did nothing for it. However, Tom Cruise still chews the scenery (literally) and Brad Pitt still acts like a depressed asshole. 

Still unnecessarily gay.

5. Groundhog Day is a massive improvement, which I found surprising. The scene where Bill Murray is doing the ice sculpture is really amazing, as are all the scenery shots. All in all a worthy purchase if you can find it cheap. Its also one of Bill Murray's best performances (next to Ghostbusters of course). 

Bestial Fun With Groundhogs Vol. 1

6. Last but not least are the classic Disney cartoon movies. I was skeptical at first, but they all look truly amazing on Blu Ray. I'd have to say that they are worth the extra cash you inevitably have to fork over to get them (as most are around the $30 mark), but only if you want a nice collection of classic Disney movies. Which I do. Alice In Wonderland in particular looked amazing. If that movie wasn't a bizarre nonsensical mindwarp before...well, it still pretty much is. But it looks great.

See the difference? Do you? DO YOU?! OH COME ON!!!!! BLU RAY DUUUUUUDE!!!!


Switching gears....did any of you ever go see DREDD? Well, its out for home viewing now so if you haven't FOR THE LOVE OF GOD watch it! It was seriously one of the best B-movies I've ever seen. It kind of reminded me a bit of District 9 in certain ways (but I'm sure the fact that both were filmed in South Africa has something to do with that). The dirty cityscape also reminded me of Hobo With A Shotgun in a way, as the way that film was shot really added to the dirty/scummy atmosphere of the film. Same thing here with Dredd. Its not campy. Its not lame. Dredd is action packed and just bloody awesome. Karl Urban owned the Judge Dredd character here, and its worth seeing. True, I may be biased because I'm a huge fan of the Judge Dredd comics...but this flick was almost universally praised in the reviews so I'm not alone.

...that kid is going to grow up weird.


While we're on the subject of comics and such, let me officially praise the relaunch of Valiant Comics as being the best breath of fresh air for the comic book world in 2012. I don't think anybody expected the Valiant books to be any good, let alone outstanding. I hope their trend of putting good creative teams on relaunched characters continues to work for them, as any independent company that can take some market share away from DC and Marvel is a good company to me.

True, the Valiant books are $3.99 an issue but you can always do what I do and just read them when they go on sale. Many people will tell you that Harbinger by Joshua Dysart is the flagship Valiant title right now, but I'm a bigger fan of the new X-O Manowar series by Robert Venditti. Simply put, it's awesome. It's the story of an ancient Roman soldier who gets abducted by an evil alien race. After years of enslavement, he obtains a special suit of armor that lets him get free and return to Earth, but when he does it's 2000 years later. The premise really intrigues me, and I have to say that I am an X-O Manowar fan. I never thought I would ever type those words. But there it is.

Its like Conan the Barbarian in space. What's not to love.


That's all I have to discuss this week. I've been listening to Atheist a lot this week, so I'll let those jazzy metallers bow us out. Until next time!

Atheist
"Fire"
Elements
Metal Blade Records (1993)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Only Way to Reboot

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The comic book industry is destroying itself, and I alone have yet another solution to one of its many problems.

Believe it or not, blending Batman and Wolverine into one character is NOT the answer.

The industry has long had the problem of being an insular hobby. Connecting with new readers has always been an ongoing struggle. I've had many people who don't read comics tell me "I would totally read them but I don't know where to start" or "their long-running continuity is too hard to understand to just jump in."

In layman's terms, wouldn't you (let's pretend you don't read comics) be much more willing to read Iron Man #1 after seeing an Iron Man movie, rather than Amazing Spider-Man #578 after seeing a Spider-Man movie? The fact that comic books are serialized and long-running are part of the reason why they are doomed from re-attaining mass appeal in today's world.

"Ummm....start with THAT one."

Another problem are the collector's themselves. We as collectors like to have nice, long runs of a book featuring a character we love. For example, in addition to having every single Superman comic book published between 2001 and 2011, I also have every single Green Arrow comic book published from 1984 to 2011. Are every one of those Superman or Green Arrow stories worth owning? Absolutely not.  In fact, many of them are horrible and I HATED feeling obligated to buy them. Yet I still bought them, because collector's have always dealt with the difficult balance of being a collector or a hoarder.

If comic book collecting gets in the way of you owning furniture...
then you've got a real problem there, pal.

The real problem of being a fan/collector of comic books is that since they are stories told periodically, you wind up with long runs of stories and hundreds (if not thousands) of books on hand. You wind up buying books that you don't like or upset you for years, simply because you have a long-standing subscription to a particular book and have the habit of buying it every month. That infamous "gap in your collection" is a hard nut to swallow for almost every dedicated comic book fan, so that's why we keep buying. It's almost like we feel obligated to keep the collection gap-free, just because we have the last few year's worth of books (uninterrupted, of course). Even if the stories stopped being good years ago, comic book fans have a hard time jumping off, knowing full well they will be back when the book gets good again.

There's got to be a simpler way to keep long-term fans happy and gain fresh new comic book readers along the way without alienating anyone. I'm not even talking about pricing or page-counts with this argument (you should know my stance on that already). There must be a way to maintain that sense of continuity with periodical comics that we all love so much, yet have fresh starts to the books on a regular basis for the newbies.

"Where the fuck is Action Comics # 727 Part 48?!? MURDER!!!"

My revelation is this:

Make EVERYTHING a mini-series. No more long-running titles that go on for decades at a time. Reboot every title of a book when a new creative team/direction comes on board, and end the book when that particular tale is done. Every story can still tie into the greater story (or continuity) being told. For example, instead of Detective Comics you could have Detective Comics: Title of Writer's Story. When creative teams don't work out and a change is needed, instead of burdening the new creative team with taking over a book at #36 or what have you, give them a fresh start with a new #1 so that their story has a definite beginning and ending, which would be easier for fans to track down. What I'm saying is...instead of rebooting a title every so often (as its currently done), do it all the time instead.

What got me thinking about this as a viable way to keep comics fresh and appealing was the news that Jeff Lemire would be taking over Green Arrow with #17 of the current run. The initial interview with Lemire explained how it was going to be a completely fresh take that would be taking the Mike Grell-written series from the late '80's/early '90's as inspiration. Lemire stated that he wished the book could start with a new #1 because his run is intended to be a true reboot for the character. With the current Arrow TV series on the CW Network being a relative success, it would make sense for Green Arrow to get a new #1, right? Especially since the latest volume of the book has failed on nearly every level to connect with readers old and new. However, DC just rebooted the book (along with every other DC title) in 2011 so my guess is that they think it wouldn't make sense to reboot Green Arrow 18 months after it's already been rebooted.

BETTER THAN HAWKEYE.

If you're not a reader of the Green Arrow comic book but are a fan of the Arrow TV show, don't you think you'd be more willing to read Green Arrow #1 over Green Arrow #17 with a blurb on the front cover that says "new creative team?" In my mind, rebooting a failing book with a new #1 would be more successful than hoping Jeff Lemire can turn a lame-duck around after 16 issues of utter fail.

Mini-reboots like this would never be a problem if there was no such thing as "an ongoing series" anymore. Let every creator have his story under the umbrella of the main title of a book, but start it over again with a new "mini-series" when the next team comes on board. Comic book fans are already used to new #1's and reboots all the time anyway. Might as well roll with it.

The main benefit of this is that it would be easier for collectors to simply not pick up a book they don't like. Instead of buying the book out of obligation, it would make it easier for them to follow the characters with the creators that they like. For example, instead of being suckered/obligated into buying Tony Daniel's awful Batman stories just because you subscribed to Batman or Detective Comics, or J. Michael Strazynski's bullshit "Grounded" story in Superman just because you subscribe to Superman, you could just wait until a team you like comes on board and start with their #1. That burden of a long-term subscription out of obligation simply wouldn't exist. In a world where there are 13 related Batman titles on the market, and around 30 Avengers or X-Men titles, this could easily be done.

This was 15 issues of EPIC FAIL that could have been easily avoided if I wasn't saddled with a long-running Superman subscription. Had I known it could be skipped in favor of a better Superman story being told elsewhere (that still "counted" for continuity's sake), then this toilet paper wouldn't be taking up space in my comic book boxes right now.

For those who protest my "radical" idea, give this a thought:

You can still have your loved "long runs" of a book with my "mini-series method." Instead of Brian Michael Bendis's various Avengers books (4 different books that ran concurrently for several years, 2 of which were rebooted even though they all had the same writer), you could just have Avengers: The Bendis Story #1-350 or however many issues Bendis wrote while in control the Avengers franchise.

Instead of having to follow Grant Morrison's long-running Batman story in Batman, Batman & Robin, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, Batman: The Return (one-shot issue) and Batman Incorporated (volumes 1 AND 2)....it could all have just been told in one of the various 13 related Batman titles with Morrison's story name as the subtitle. It would just be a limited series of however many issues it winds up being when it's all said and done.

This is what Time-Warner and DC Comics should just change their name to...

So what do you think, comic book fans? Do you think this would work? In an age where books are expensive and there's a lot of things out there to spend your entertainment dollars on, I think the dying comic book industry could benefit from a system like this. Books are basically advertised in this fashion already...you might as well run with it and stop caring so much about the particular issue number. Follow the character with the creator you like...not the obligation of "filling the gap."

Bow me out, Wesley...

Wesley Willis
"I Whipped Spider-Man's Ass"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Recommendations from the Sunshine State


This is going to be my last post about death metal for awhile. I think I've said more than enough about it. However, since I got a request from my good ol' buddy over at Washed Up Sounds for a compilation of good early death metal from Florida (arguably where the genre started), here's a definitive list of songs from that special time and place to get you started. I've only listed bands and tracks from the early days. Feel free to investigate further if any of these bands strike your fancy.

One thing to keep in mind with these bands is that they all got their start in the mid-to-late 1980's, so a lot of their debut albums didn't come out until 1989 or 1990.

I've listed 3 tracks for each band listed (in alphabetical order, because I'm nuts like that). Every band is either from Tampa, FL. or one of the surrounding areas. Listen to all or none, I could care less. There should be something here for everyone...if you're in a metal mood of course. Enjoy.

Atheist 
"Piece of Time"
Piece of Time
Metal Blade Records (1989)

Atheist
"Mother Man"
Unquestionable Presence
Metal Blade Records (1991)

Atheist
"Green"
Elements
Metal Blade Records (1993)


Cannibal Corpse
Butchered at Birth
Metal Blade Records (1991)

Cannibal Corpse
"I Cum Blood"
Tomb of the Mutilated
Metal Blade Records (1992)

Cynic
"Dwellers of the Threshold"
1988 Demo

Cynic
"Thinking Being"
1990 Demo

Cynic
"Uroboric Forms"
Focus
Roadrunner Records (1993)

Death
"Zombie Ritual"
Scream Bloody Gore
Combat Records (1987)

Death
"Pull the Plug"
Leprosy
Combat Records (1988)

Death
"Spiritual Healing"
Spiritual Healing
Combat Records (1990)

Deicide
"Lunatic of God's Creation"
Deicide
Roadrunner Records (1990)

Deicide
"Dead By Dawn"
Deicide
Roadrunner Records (1990)

Deicide
"Satan Spawn, the Caco-Daemon"
Legion
Roadrunner Records (1992)

Massacre
"Dawn of Eternity"
From Beyond
Earache Records (1991)

Massacre
"Cryptic Realms"
From Beyond
Earache Records (1991)

Massacre
"Inhuman Condition"
Inhuman Condition EP
Earache Records (1992)

Morbid Angel
"Immortal Rites"
Altars of Madness
Earache Records (1989)

Morbid Angel
"Maze of Torment"
Altars of Madness
Earache Records (1989)

Morbid Angel
"Fall From Grace"
Blessed are the Sick
Earache Records (1991)

Nocturnus
"Lake of Fire"
The Key
Earache Records (1990)

Nocturnus
"Andromeda Strain"
The Key
Earache Records (1990)
(if this song doesn't blow your nuts/ovaries out from the sheer awesomeness of its intensity...
then you are not metal!)

Nocturnus
"Tribal Vodoun"
Thresholds
Earache Records (1992)

Obituary
"Slowly We Rot"
Slowly We Rot
Roadrunner Records (1989)

Obituary
"Chopped in Half"
Cause of Death
Roadrunner Records (1990)

Obituary
"I'm In Pain"
The End Complete
Roadrunner Records (1992)

Honorable Mentions:

Iced Earth was from the same scene as the rest of these bands, but they were the only ones who weren't death metal. Iced Earth was cut more from the Iron Maiden/Judas Priest cloth, but they played most shows with all these bands during the heyday and shared the same rehearsal space (at a storage unit) with Nocturnus. Even though Iced Earth isn't anywhere close to death metal, I thought you might enjoy a few tracks from them since they were in the neighborhood.

Iced Earth
"Colors"
Iced Earth
Century Media Records (1990)

Malevolent Creation was a death metal band originally out of New York, but later moved to Florida to take advantage of Morrisound Recording Studio being there, along with all the original death metal bands. They were never one of my favorites from the genre, but they do have a good jam here and there. 

Malevolent Creation
"Premature Burial"
The Ten Commandments
Roadrunner Records (1991)

Malevolent Creation
"Eve of the Apocalypse"
Retribution
Roadrunner Records (1992)

Malevolent Creation 
"Dominated Resurgency"
Stillborn
Roadrunner Records (1993)

Suffocation was another big death metal band from the heyday, but they were from New York (along with Malevolent Creation) and became a huge part of the hardcore and metal scenes there. Suffocation was sometimes called a Cannibal Corpse ripoff due to the vocal style of grunter Frank Mullen, yet they maintained a rabid fanbase in those early years. They of course also recorded at Morrisound Recording Studio, just like everyone else.

Suffocation
"Jesus Wept"
Human Waste EP
Roadrunner Records (1991)

Suffocation
"Liege of Inveracity"
Effigy of the Forgotten
Roadrunner Records (1991)

Suffocation
"Breeding the Spawn"
Breeding the Spawn
Roadrunner Records (1993)

Terrorizer was an early grindcore band featuring Dave Vincent and Pete Sandoval (from Morbid Angel) and Jesse Pintado (who later joined Napalm Death). The band was based out of California and broke up before their first album came out. Their album World Downfall is considered a "classic grindcore album." Give it your time, as its well worth it.

Terrorizer
"Storm of Stress"
World Downfall
Earache Records (1989)

Terrorizer
"Dead Shall Rise"
World Downfall
Earache Records (1989)

As I'm sure you know, there are tons of other death metal bands from all over the United States and the world at large. This was just where it all started. If this playlist doesn't keep you busy (or give you a headache), let me know and I can always dig up some more evil goodness.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bang Your Head! Crass Class 101 Begins Now

Welcome to 2013! As promised, with the new year comes a new format for The Vintage Warrior. This blog here will be a template for how I plan to structure things moving forward. Posts will be longer and more time-consuming for you (the reader), however my goal is that when you leave the blog you will leave satisfied. The best way I know to satisfy thirsty readers is to flood you with good information. Class is getting ready to start, my faithful. Pull up a chair, get yourself a stiff drink and smoke 'em if you got 'em. Its time to bang your head in the new year, as Crass Class 101 starts now.

Thrash 'Til Death 
1990 Mini-Documentary

This is the best documentary I've come across about thrash and death metal scene that formed in the early 1980's in Tampa, FL. It features a lot of in-depth interviews with members of all your favorite Florida metal bands, including Iced EarthDeath, Obituary, Morbid Angel and more. There's a lot of little nuggets of greatness found in this mini-doc, one of them being the sour grapes thrown back and forth between Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) and some of his former Death band-mates. Another cool thing about this doc is that they interview Scott Burns from the infamous Morrisound Recording Studio, which was the main destination for death metal bands in the 1980's and 1990's. Even bands from the UK (such as Cancer and Napalm Death) make an appearance.

The documentary outlines how many of the bands used to practice (at self-storage units), the problems with local venues and what day-to-day life was like for a bunch of metalheads in the Sunshine State back in the glory days of metal. 

The thing I really enjoy about this documentary is that it shows all of these bands at their peak, before they all got old and had families, mortgages and day-jobs to worry about. It's fun to see them all in the early 20's, before the real world interfered with their metal too much. This is a very fun documentary and well worth the half hour of your time. There's more interview than there is music, so even if you never got into the death metal scene this is still an informative and entertaining view.

Grindcore: 85 Minutes of Brutal Heavy Metal
1993 Documentary

Don't let the title or the length of the documentary turn you off from giving this a view. This one is just as good as Thrash Til Death, but it focuses on the UK and Scandinavian bands that were forming in response to various influences (the Tampa, FL scene and German metal scenes being prime examples).

This documentary is basically an Earache Records documentary, as it focuses almost exclusively Earache bands. Napalm Death, Godflesh, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, Entombed and Carcass all get interviewed, along with a few other bands from various labels and genres. I'm not sure why this was called a grindcore documentary, as they focus on almost every form of extreme metal. What makes this one special is that it really shows some of the subtle differences between the European and US metal scenes, and gives you another peak into their world.

Another cool thing about this documentary is that they interview Digby Pearson, the guy who started Earache Records and the man responsible for exposing Napalm Death to the world. There's also an extremely pretentious interview with Dave Vincent from Morbid Angel, proving once again that eloquent well-spoken death metal dudes can still be complete asshats. Also, the vocalist from Paradise Lost (Nick Holmes) proves what a poser he was by saying how hard it is to growl. The interview with Bolt Thrower is interesting as well. I never knew they were so closely tied to the gaming community, as their album Realm of Chaos tied in with the roleplaying game of the same name. Definitely give this one a watch, it's worth the hour.

Napalm Death: The Scum Story
2007 Documentary

This is a rather new addition to Youtube, but I'm glad it was put there because this is another fascinating peak into the world of underground metal. Napalm Death is referred to as one of the first grindcore bands to come around, and this documentary fully details all the ins and outs of how they recorded their first album, Scum.

One fun thing to take note of in this video are the interviews with Mick Harris (ex-Napalm Death) and Digby Pearson (of Earache Records). They both appear extensively throughout the Grindcore documentary listed before this one, so its funny to see how they've aged from 1993 to 2007. They both look quite different!

This documentary is also kinda sad in a way, as it mainly features Mick Harris walking around to various shabby locales around Birmingham, England, reminiscing about the early punk and hardcore scenes and how they eventually mixed together to form grindcore. It also shows Mick Harris playing drums for the first time in over 10 years, and he's clearly embarrassed by his output (going so far as to claim "I definitely need to practice again"). 

When it comes to Napalm Death, there's only so much of them I can take. However, this documentary is a fun watch. Its more interview than it is music, so you can rest easy there.

Who Controls Morbid Angel, Dave or Trey?
1995/1996 Interview Mash-up

Its almost impossible to talk about death metal these days without bringing up Morbid Angel's extremely divisive 2011 release Illud Divinum Insanus, an album with insanely dull and cold production with industrial elements peppered throughout. Morbid Angel fans nearly shat blood for a month upon hearing this album, as Youtube is absolutely flooded with anti-Illud reviews and mockumentaries. I happen to not mind Illud Divinum Insanus all that much, as I've been a fan of death metal and industrial music for the past 15 years. To me, its not that much of stretch from the last album recorded with Dave Vincent (1995's Domination), but I can see how hardcore death-heads would overreact to such an album. 

One of the anti-Illud videos can be seen above, which is a composite of interviews with Dave Vincent and Trey Azagthoth from 1995/1996. The point of the video is to show how different Dave and Trey are from each other, both of whom had completely different views and thoughts for the band and their last creative effort together (Domination). Dave Vincent left Morbid Angel in 1996 to join his wife's industrial band Genitorturers. Knowing that, "who controls Morbid Angel" is a fair question to bring up regarding their most recent album and what their next step will be, now that Dave Vincent is back in the band and writing Morbid Angel music again. Interestingly enough, the album was so poorly received from the metal crowd that Morbid Angel only plays 2 songs from it live, and they're two of the metal tracks. Go figure.

Death Metal Special
1993 Documentary - Part 1 of 8

This documentary is on par with Thrash Til Death, as it features cool interviews with the Tampa FL. death metal people, including producer Scott Burns, Death, Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura, Atheist, Morbid Angel and more. Most of what's talked about here is covered in Thrash Til Death, but there's still some standout material, such as Scott Burns being pissed off about a sports game (hockey?), Chris Barnes from Cannibal Corpse looking spaced out the whole time and Dave Vincent of Morbid Angel being his usual pompous self.

The one thing I like about this one is that they go a little bit more in-depth with how the record label side of things worked for a lot of the bands. At one point, Kelly Schaefer of Atheist claims that some death metal bands were selling hundreds of thousands of copies of their albums, while smaller bands like his were selling around 10,000-30,000 copies during the heyday. All things considered, that's not too shabby for an underground band to achieve.

Unfortunately, Death Metal Special is split up into 8 parts, with the average length of each segment being between 2 and 6 minutes. If the video linked above doesn't automatically take you to the other parts after viewing, you can get to them here if interested. I recommend that you do.

2008 Cannibal Corpse Interview 
regarding their appearance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

This is a must-watch, for obvious reasons. This is a clip taken from Cannibal Corpse's 2008 Centuries of Torment DVD, and they interview Chris Barnes (now of the band Six Feet Under) and the rest of the original members about meeting Jim Carrey and being amazed that he was a fan of theirs. It's always been kind of funny to me that Jim Carrey is (or at least was) a Cannibal Corpse fan. I wonder what else he listens to?

This also features some footage with Brian Slagel, founder of Metal Blade Records. He talks about how he was worried about Cannibal Corpse coming across as a joke in the movie, but wound up being pleasantly surprised alongside the band. 

2012 Interview with Chris Barnes of Six Feet Under (ex-Cannibal Corpse)
about his views on marijuana

And here's one more from the mind of Chris Barnes, former front-man of Cannibal Corpse and current Six Feet Under growler. This video is an interview with Barnes about his thoughts and beliefs on marijuana. Within the first 10 seconds, you will claim "Chris Barnes has smoked himself retarded." This guy has some of the most ridiculous viewpoints about marijuana, going so far as to claim that marijuana is not only "a celestial gift" from a higher power (or aliens), but that it might actually cure cancer. The scary thing is that you can tell he is NOT joking about any of it. If you took Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg and told them to bring their finest stash....something tells me whatever they have doesn't even compare to the stuff Barnes is smoking! 

Red Chord bassist Greg Weeks goes undercover (as an indie rock guy)
Maryland Deathfest 2008

This final video is hilarious, at least to me. Its the perfect way to close out a blog about a bunch of guys who might act a bit too seriously sometimes, and need some hilarity to ensue. This is a fun video because it shows the honesty of metal fans. Jokes are made about all the black t-shirts in the crowd, how almost every band logo is unreadable and you might even see a badass jean jacket or two. 

Everyone who gets mock-interviewed is fairly cordial, even though Greg Weeks (of Red Chord) acts like a bit of a nerd throughout the whole thing (which I'm sure was the point). There's a few drunk metal chicks that he talks to, which is pretty entertaining...especially when Drunk Bitch #3 says that she wants to take a dump on Fred Durst's face. It almost makes me glad I never wound up with a metalhead chick, as I believe I would get sick and tired of the "slutty crass metalbitch" routine after a while.

This brings us to the end of Crass Class 101. I hope you learned something, or at the very least found a new band or two to check out. One of the bands I re-discovered from these videos is Nocturnus, an early Tampa FL death metal band that mixed sci-fi lyrics with cosmic-sounding keyboards over brutal death metal. They only released 2 albums back in the day, but I've been digging on both albums recently. Your homework is to listen to the track below and give me your thoughts. If you can tell me the names of the two planets featured on the album cover, you get a gold star.

Until next time, take us to recess boys...

Nocturnus - "Climate Controller"
from Thresholds (1992) Earache Records