Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Long Delay

As I knew would happen when I made the resolution to update this blog every week, I knew I would miss many weeks between each post, which of course doomed me forever.

Although the last few weeks have been very productive (working on my script again and making a pen and paper RPG), I have neglected my blog heavily. Hopefully I will no longer ignore it. I am making a concerted effor to put more work into the blog, at least until I get a steady job. That will be all for now.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

TATDMMT: Metal on Metal by Anvil

I have been way too lax when it has come to my blog. I made a resolution to update it regularly. I decided once a month couldn't be too hard, but alas, it has been over a month since I posted. So without further hesitation...

There are so many things I want to talk about. The films that inspire me, the music that moves me, what albums made me what I am today, etc. I can never decide on my own. Hrm. I randomly decided to watch the new documentary Anvil and was reminded of one of the most important albums of my youth: Metal on Metal by Anvil. I had totally forgotten about it until I saw this documentary. So without further annoying banter from me I present:

The Albums That Defined My Musical Tastes

That is one heck of a title, maybe I should shorten it to TATDMMT, or What Made Me a Metal Fan, meh, too lazy to change it so The Albums That Defined My Musical Tastes will have to do.

So every so often I will make TATDMMT posts and go through an album track by track.

Metal on Metal by Anvil
Anvil is one of those awesome bands that should have made it, but didn't for various reasons. Every serious Metal band lists them as one of their influences. Anvil is one of those bands that didn't sell out or sell short for anything and it may have cost them fame and fortune. But 13 albums later and they are still heavy as hell.

This album was one of my favorites when I was first introduced to heavy metal in the mid-nineties. It started with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and spread from there. Most metal fans follow the evolution of metal into their favorite sub-genre just like the actual evolution of their sub-genre. So it follows that I listened to Black Sabbath and Iron Butterfly and drifted into Judas Priest and Iron Maiden which exploded into Diamond Head and Anvil which lead into Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer which morphed into Manowar. Very strange that last leap but hey, whatever works. Thus an obsession with metal began.

1. Metal on Metal
Yeah, it starts like that. Anvil's most famous song and it hits your right in the face. An almost plodding doom style track with great lyrics and an awesome riff. My friend Tom handed me this CD to listen to and my toes curled with the awesome power of this album and this song rips through your ears on a horrible weekend bender.

2. Mothra
If Metal on Metal was a punch to the face then Mothra is a kick to the gut while on the ground. This song is fast and furious. It's also about a creature that kicks ass. It isn't about the Toho character, but it is about a giant flying creature. The title seems out of place, but the song kicks ass.

3. Stop Me
This slows it down a bit. Feels more like a glam metal song, but it is very different at the same time. Very passe now, but it probably felt pretty fresh in the 80's. This was the song I skipped the most, but I still love the guitar riffs and the drums seem pretty solid. The solo at 3:05 is fucking sick.

4. March of the Crabs
A very nice instrumental track. I miss the days when heavy metal albums almost required instrumentals. Every Metallica album up until their self titled album had a solo. Some say that is when they lost their touch. I think the secret to success with heavy metal is to have at least one solo on your album. Anyways, this one is fast and furious and feels very well put together.

5. Jackhammer
Another fast and furious thrash track, it is with this song you feel they were very masterful thrashers. This is one of those songs I would put on my workout mix, if, you know, I worked out. That being said it is one of those songs that I use to pump myself up.

6. Heat Sink
Very familiar sounding riff at the beginning of this one, also a blisteringly fast song. The riffs between lyrics are very fun. The lyrics in this song are a bit weak, but still enjoyable. It always conjures up interesting imagery.

7. Tag Team
Another slower song, this one's lyrics are about tag team wrestling. Wrestling with hot sexy ladies. It is so misogynist that it makes me smile. Oh, my misogynist lyrics from a band in the 80's. Fuck yeah, lets sing about hot sweaty ladies wrasslin'. The riff and drums on this track are very meh, very mundane. That guitar solo at the 1:55 mark is very awesome.

8. Scenery
God damn that riff sounds so fucking similar to another riff I have heard... Aside from the riff that feels like someone ripped someone else off at a later date it is a straightforward song with a nice driving riff. Drum work on this track is quite well done. This song however feels a bit long when you finally reach the end you wish it were just a minute shorter.

9. Tease Me, Please Me
Well if an 80's hair band played a thrash riff over their lyrics it would sound like this. I hate the lyrics to this song, but the music is so strong that I rarely skip it. The guitars drive home this feeling in my gut. I don't know how to describe it, it just is.

10. 666
The second best known Anvil song and one of their best. This song is epic live, on the album it feels less powerful. The lyrics are great and the riff is masterful. The drums are amazing. This is one of those songs that can really get your blood pumping and is one of the quintessential thrash tracks.

Final Thoughts:
At the end of the album you feel out of breath and a little sad that it is over. This album is a sonic gutpunch that leaves you wheezing on the ground. Metal on Metal is still one of my favorite albums because of it's power and speed. I find myself listening to the faster tracks on the album when I am writing action scenes, especially car chases. The album feels like it should be called 'Anvil presents The Car Chase Album' but I digress. Everyone should have this album in their collection as a piece of history. Without this record I don't think thrash would be what it is today.