This short video (9 minutes 9 seconds) popped up on my YouTube feed the other day. It resonated in many ways for me, particularly the part about catharsis.
Growing up, people would often ask me why I listened to metal—wasn’t it filled with evil lyrics and violence? No, not all of it.
Listening to metal exposed me at an influential age to a wide range of views and opinions, many of which touched me. Megadeth sang about the pain of losing someone close to you (“In My Darkest Hour”), Testament sang about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre (“Seven Days in May”). But consistently Martin Walkyier-era Skyclad sang about the urgent need to look after the earth.
I know that it was easy for some of my Christian friends to dismiss Skyclad out of hand because they marketed themselves as a pagan folk metal band. But I always felt that they spoke about the earth and nature with such love and respect that it influenced how I thought and treated this remarkable rock on which we live, spinning around our nearest star. Perhaps not enough, though.
During one of the hottest weeks I’ve ever known in Scotland, I was in the car the other day – I know! but the supermarket is too far away to walk to, especially with my poor health – listening to Skyclad’s 1993 album, Jonah’s Ark when the song “Tunnel visionaries” started.Continue reading A prophecy from Jonah’s Ark?
This year, the New York-based thrash metal band Anthrax turns 40.
Over the last two months on their YouTube channel they’ve been releasing a retrospective on their career with interviews with band members, producers, friends and metalheads across the globe. As I understand it they have 40 of these in the pipeline. So far we’ve reached episode 22 which has taken us to 2003 and probably my favourite Anthrax albums, We’ve Come For You All. I saw them live twice on that tour.
This evening (morning UK-time), they celebrated the event with a live stream event with a nearly 2 hours 15 minutes concert spanning most of their entire 40-year, 12-studio album career. (Typically, their John Bush era material was disappointingly missing.)Continue reading Happy 40th birthday Anthrax
Today would have been the 59th birthday of legendary Metallica bass player, Clifford Lee Burton.
Cliff tragically lost his life on 27 September 1986, aged only 24 years, in a bus crash in Sweden while Metallica were promoting their Master of Puppets album. I once had a poor quality bootleg recording of his final concert at the Solnahallen Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on 26 September 1986.
I’ll be spending the day listening to the first three Metallica albums, Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets as well as various early live recordings.
Happy Cliff Burton Day!
One of my favourite bands, Lamb of God’s latest, self-titled, album dropped on Friday. It’s good.
Here are some songs the band have recorded remotely in quarantine. “Checkmate” (track 1) and “New Colossal Hate” (track 3) from Lamb of God (2020), and “Laid To Rest” from Ashes of the Wake (2004).