Sunday, December 3, 2017

Cable access metal - Video Underground / Michigan Deathfest III interviews

Let's delve into the weird and bizarre world of metal-related public access TV!

Video Underground (based out of Lansing, MI) did a series of, uh, interviews with Michigan Deathfest III bands, which fortunately were put up on YouTube for posterity.  No doubt you will notice some recurring themes with the, uh, host.

Gorguts - In hindsight, the severe lineup changes and mention of a new sound should have been huge warning indicators for terrible things to come.  The band even seemed fine at the fest--Luc sported a desleeved Ripping Corpse tee, s no clear signs of nonsensical avant-gardeness.

Coat Hanger - Never heard them, and I don't think these guys ever released anything.  The super-young drummer angle is interesting for about 5 seconds until you realize the Deathkids kid was even younger on their first CD (and also had the advantage of a dad who looked like Glen Benton).  Plus, wasn't Andy Galeon like 11 when he played on the first Death Angel demo?  Anyway, of course I wanted to find out what became of the precocious youngster in the video, one Uriah Baker; he looks like a meth addict now, which is probably beneficial since he plays in a band of the "hobocore" genre.

Fourth Kingdom - One demo and done.  Good DM but not as interesting as drummer Dion Leal's previous thrash band Infect.  I'm shamelessly namedropping them in hopes that a chain reaction will be started that leads to a CD reissue of their demos.


Never heard this incarnation of the band; liked the Disgust demo, though.

Admittedly, the vampire fangs and onstage infant sacrifice conjure up much worse expectations than the decent-but-generic DM their sole demo ends up being.  I found it amusing that the demo title and cover hint at stronger evil/anti-Christian themes than the tape ends up having--the first 3 songs are about Clive Barker's Night Breed, getting tattooed (yep, really), and Jeffrey Dahmer respectively.  A couple riffs and "The Summoning" interlude track may have been attempts at an Acheron type vibe  (that fall quite a bit short), but that could just be wishful thinking on my part.

Mike would later show up in Lucifer's Hammer.  Also, too many clothes on that sacrificing broad. 

Much better slow.  Wish they had scrapped the more straightforward DM stuff and gone 100% death/doom.  Surprised Massacre... hasn't been put on CD yet amidst all the reissue mania.

Dysphoria - The bald fellow trying desperately to be more annoying than Ray and succeeding wonderfully is a younger Nick Hernandez of Kommandant/Stone Magnum fame.  You can see the early flair for overblown theatrics that worked well when he was in Kommandant, but he doesn't have the podium, suspenders, or spiffy jackboot uniform here, so it's mostly corny.

Subconscious - Several years prior to anally raping Mary and shitting in the mouth of Christ, Lord Typhus was the unassuming death metal bassist you see here on the left.  JL America stopped putting out releases in '94, so unfortunately the compilation mentioned in the vid never happened.

Love how the attempt to score a free Bleed for Us to Live disc just gets a polite, noncommital nod.

Exhumed - Not to be confused with the east coast Exhumed or the "other" California Exhumed that released the Severely Rotted Dead demo, this is apparently a 4th US Exhumed from Michigan.  I've never seen or heard of them apart from this vid, and they don't seem to have released anything.

Now trying to score a free tattoo?

Interesting to hear about possible interest from Relapse.  I wouldn't classify LH as a cult band, but I wonder if things might have been a bit different for them if they had released an album earlier--The Burning Church demo was certainly musically superior to a lot of DM bands that released full lengths in the early-mid '90s.  I think the demo style would made them a good fit for the Osmose, Turbo, or Lethal Rec. rosters (though in the case of the last two, perhaps it's lucky they weren't signed).  While the doom and atmospheric elements in their music were more well-developed on their debut, by the time it finally came out in '97 it didn't seem as fresh, as there were all sorts of bands utilizing keyboards and atmospheric interludes.

Yeah...I don't think the black metal not becoming a trend thing worked out.

Masochist was okay but overall I've always preferred Wind of the Black Mountains and the Summon debut.

While appearing nice enough, as with the majority of promoters, managers, metal "journalists," etc., Metal Mom never seemed particularly knowledgeable or serious to me when it came to the actual music.  Support of metal or involvement in music industry aspects does not equate to actually being a metalhead.

As with Debbie Abono, there's the ironic novelty of an old lady involved with extreme music--but it's not hard to see where a maternal figure would naturally make a great promoter or manager in terms of interpersonal relationship skills and handling the business end of things.  I've never heard anything about Metal Mom being involved in shady practices or stiffing bands (well, not that way at least), and she doesn't seem like a stereotypical skeezy promoter.  Admittedly, I don't know her well enough to say whether it's a facade or not.   Maybe she's a nice lady who fell into helping out younger people in bands and acting as a surrogate mother, or maybe she's some weird cougar who used fests as a guise for getting trains run on her.  No idea.

So in summary: had I been in a death metal band, I would've wanted Sandy as a promoter.  On the other hand, if she was trying to talk to me about music, I would give a polite, noncommital nod while pretending to listen.

If you have even the slightest familiarity with Slayer's audience over the past 25 years or so, you'll know that being repetitive shouting and being overenthusiastically loud and obnoxious generally goes hand in hand with being a poser.  So despite all the entertainment he's provided in this post, Ray's destiny wasn't particularly surprising.

Not quite sure how Ray managed to get the VJ gig.  He was the vocalist/guitarist for Destruction Ahead, who were an okay thrash band that released two late '80s demos, and later for Harms Way, whose first demo was similar thrash.  Unfortunately they veered into a '90s trend quagmire of alternative/funk/groove shit (fudgepackers, as Ahriman would say) and ultimately became full-on rap/rock. 

A few years ago, someone was spamming to get people to join some retarded Juggalo type group (perhaps the Detroit NYDM chapter?), and he turned out to be in a rap group that Ray played backing guitar for.

Surprisingly, despite all the vocal brutality displayed in the interview clips, as far as I remember Ray never used growled vocals on any of his old metal demos.  Perhaps he used them in the rap groups, but I ain't interested enough to find out.


Here's some news coverage on the first Michigan Deathfest.  You can see Ray (in the Slayer shirt) starting at 1:29, and then again subtly promoting Harms Way at 1:42.  The blonde guy in the hat doing the talking is Destruction Ahead/early Harms Way bassist Dave Waltz.

And finally, a compilation of several news clips about the first Deathfest.  3:02 is amusing because the reporter misinterpreted everyone casually calling Metal Mom "mom" as her being Todd Cushman's actual mother.  Also check 7:17 for a rare vintage sighting of the infamous "Megalife through prayer..." tee!

Also check out the "michigandeathfest" channel on YouTube (I have zero affiliation with them) for killer live footage from the first 3 Deathfests.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Just a couple of guys swappin' fluids

This wigger showed up randomly in a chatroom and decided to share his thrilling concert experience after lurking a while.  The screenshot is unedited--there were extremely long pauses between each line while he recounted the bizarre mating ritual, but no one responded or talked to him.  That last line makes it seem like trolling, but I'd prefer to think he was either annoyed or just autistically oversharing as a last ditch attempt for attention.

Was surprised to hear Ringworm mentioned in this context, as I was only familiar with a bit of their pre-reformation stuff--perhaps somewhat metallic, but still definitely HC; I was very confused why this idiot would mention them.   So I did some quick YouTube intel, which cleared things up:

  • Chris Ringworm is long gone
  • They were previously on Victory Records and are currently on Relapse
  • They are fond of making videos in empty warehouses
  • Said videos seem to indicate they want to be Pantera badly

Especially after #2 and #4, it all makes sense now.  Just a couple of fun loving guys letting loose and enjoying themselves at a gig.  You know--making eye contact, spitting on each other, and emptying their bladders together.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Commercial Metal, Vol. 10

This compiles some of the other ads with an additional concert commercial.

As a bonus, some old Sin After Sin print ads...

...and, appropriately, a fantastic ad for Stained Class.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Weird Tales of Metal - child geniuses like Rigor Mortis

The Rigor Mortis logo in the intro of Doogie Howser, M.D. is well-documented:

But do you remember this?

Maybe Capitol was reaching for the oft-forgotten child prodigy demographic, but associating a legitimately good thrash metal band with nerds doesn't strike me as a brilliant marketing decision.

Monday, July 4, 2016

An ABSURD mistake

I just got the Absurd Discography '91 - '92 CD, and when listening to the live '92 tracks, I noticed
that the live versions of "Storm of Malevolence" and "Drained of Body Chemicals" (which are both introduced by name) were swapped compared to the tracklisting on the CD itself and the original EP.

Sure enough, listening to track #1 carefully reveals "drained of body chemicals" is right in the chorus!  So apparently all along the first shorter track has actually been "Drained of Body Chemicals," and "Storm of Malevolence" is the second.  I poked around a bit online but could find nothing at all mentioning an out-of-order tracklisting (which struck me as kind of weird given all the dödsmetall reissue mania and Sunlight guitar tone worship). 

Both versions of the original demo tape also list "Storm of Malevolence" first, so I don't know if this mix-up originated with the original tapes or with Seraphic Decay when the EPs were pressed.  I welcome comments from anyone with further info.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Weird Tales of Metal - Hirax cameo on "Mama's Family"

In the 1988 Mama's Family episode "Many Unhappy Returns," Bubba receives a record by "Spilled Brains."  Keen-eyed metal aficianados will recognize the front as being a modified Hirax Raging Violence cover (the back of the prop appears to be the cover to some other record I don't recognize).

Based on the use of the prop LP, it's most likely someone looked through records randomly, trying to find artwork that was both weird yet content-appropriate for a syndicated sitcom.

If you care, the episode can be seen here (prop in question first appears at 11:10).

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Commercial Metal, Vol. 9

Even back in the 70s, female heavy music "fans" came off as airheads.

"Greatest metal band of all time" made me snicker.  Don't worry, the post with ads from the bonafide greatest metal band of all time is coming soon...