Metal Musings

Now is as good a time to cover this topic as any.  In a few weeks I’ll be attending  BriefcaseFest 2014, which will feature a wide range of local metal bands spread over two evenings.  Needless to say, I’ve got metal on my mind.

I often think that metal does not get the respect it deserves.  I say I often think that.  When I let my eyes do the judging more than my ears, I tend to laugh at it as much as the next guy.


Graveworm – As The Angels Reach The Beauty


When she’s gazing deep into the eyes of this dead soldier (not to be confused with Staring Through The Eyes of The Dead), she must be realizing the error of her ways.

Based on the title, I’m assuming that she’s some sort of angel (She certainly has a heavenly body!! Feel free to use that pickup line to see how quickly your prospects for a fun evening vanish.).  I’ll go further and assume that she’s his guardian angel.

Some guardian angel she’s turned out to be.  She takes a pit-stop for a good old fashioned naked frolic, and misses the battle by a few years.  His face is decaying for crying out loud!  No wonder she hasn’t earned her wings yet.  And if that faint cloudy formation behind her are her wings, I’m hoping they’re that faded out because they’re in the process of being revoked.

I know some might be thinking that is not how guardian angels work, and that they just watch over us.  Then what are they?  Narcs for God?  If there is an afterlife, I’d hate to think snitches would have it so well.

Sending them in the form of the type of co-ed you can only fantasize about or access through websites requiring a credit card is the crudest form of mockery.  We can’t even see them!!  I guess that would be the Lord’s form of a sense of humor I’ve heard so much about.  Why can’t he just stick to his regular means of entertaining himself like picking on good guys or helping his son become the ultimate wedding crasher.


Vengeance Rising – Destruction Comes


I won’t accept this.  He’s too damned happy to be on the cover of a metal album.  And why is he happy anyway?  Glad the wave of destruction didn’t get his good side?

You’re supposed to look as poor as possible when facing hardships.  Be it as gruelling as leprosy or as commonplace as good old fashioned punch-in-the-face, never think that things will be better tomorrow, you bloody optimist!

Not sure why he’s just got the shorts on either.  He must have been kicked out of that library for ignoring their no-shirt policy, but is still glad to have settled that misunderstanding over a misplaced copy of Curious George Hits The Weight Room.


Viogression – Expound and Exhort


It’s sort of like the cover for Iron Maiden’s The Number of The Beast, making you wonder who’s controlling who.  Which of these demons are pure evil and which are simply passive aggressive?

This one really makes me think… nothing of leaving this album in the store next to other recordings of fellow extreme metal bands with clever names like Bloodgasm, Rageflower, and Torsofuck.  It’s hard enough to come up with an original band name, so why not think outside the box and invent new words?

There’s just so much going on here.  The main guy in the foreground is placing a freshly beaten victim on a cross.  Looking closely at his right leg and you see some beast appear to be humping the hell out of it.  The ankle his leg is out either means he’s trying to kick the pervert off or that’s some child demon who he’s just in the midst of giving a leg ride to à la Bill Cosby.

That’s some belt he’s wearing too.  Liberace had a similar one made for his time keeper gig at the inaugural Wrestlemania.

Another rather sinister looking creature poses with his boot resting on the back of some poor soul.  I’m guessing he’s either praying for a quick death or for Morbid Angel to squeeze him onto their upcoming album.  The guy in the background at the far left isn’t praying.  He’s bowing his head so to moon the album purchaser anonymously.

How about a crater for no reason!!  There are enough skulls kicking around you’d think they’d chuck a few down there to clear up the clutter.


Split Beaver – When Hell Won’t Have You


Of the top of my head, I can think of two meanings behind Split Beaver, and I don’t think they’re referring to a mutilated woodland critter.  When I hear that band name, I’m expecting a grindcore band.  However, this album pre-dates that sub-genre by about five years.  And I’m sure their cover would be so graphic that I wouldn’t even have the balls to hyperlink to a JPEG.

I’ve got to say it: how about that ass!!   All that’s missing from it is some meat.  No, that isn’t sexual innuendo.  Her backside has the shape and complexion of Walmart-grade hamburger buns.  Realism is the key to pull off a sexy album cover.  If you’re going to give me something cartoon-ish, is it too much to ask to tie in my Princess Jasmine fantasies I’ve had since my first viewing of Aladdin?

And why would hell have her?  I’m sure it would be chalk full of top-shelf party girls off of Scorpions and Ratt album covers.  Why settle for something that Beetlejuice would reject?


Metallica – Texas ’89 (bootleg)


Whoever put this cover together did a rush job on their Metallica research.  This is in no way representative of the band, especially during their touring of their …And Justice For All album.  I see how an older song title like “Fight Fire With Fire” might conjure up Dungeons and Dragons-esque visions, but I never once thought “Blackened” alluded to how dragons like to cook their wannabe slayers.

Note that this pre-dates their mammoth single “Enter Sandman”, where James Hetfield sang:

Dreams of war

Dreams of liars

Dreams of dragon’s fire

And of things that will bite


To several in the music industry, bootleggers are the scum of the earth, profiting off of a band’s popularity by selling inferior recordings to die-hard fans.  Perhaps there is more to their hatred than this.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think they’ve evolved.  Maybe this one’s found a way to bootleg the future.

Despicable!!  First he can foresee upcoming Metallica lyrics, and the next thing you know he starts removing Kerry King‘s hair from Slayer bootleg packaging, throwing Ozzy Osbourne’s family on covers alongside him,  and envisions Glenn Benton‘s (of Deicide) transition into a career as an elderly care provider (stay tuned!).


Scanner – Mental Reservation


God shedding a tear?  How beautifully poetic a concept!!  Never has the aftermath of touching myself at night been so accurately depicted on an album cover.

In all seriousness, this is a great looking cover.  What I like about it is that you can’t tell what type of metal band you’re going to get without listening.  It could be a thrash band, a death metal band, a doom metal band, a progressive metal band, etc.

Images like this were meant for LP records.  No miniature CD photo, even smaller cassette package, and definitely not an icon for a digital file will do it justice.  There’s always more that a band can add to a cover concept that can’t be contained in just one image.  That’s where the gatefold vinyl comes in.

Give me the full story.  A day in the life of the man upstairs.  I want to see him wagging his fingers at those speaking on his behalf, his mouth laughing at all the funny looking animals he’s helped churn out, and his feet dangling from the clouds to air our that foot odour problem that St. Peter complains about.


Tony Macalpine – Freedom To Fly


Cool!  His guitar can levitate.  I’m not sure why he’s looking so mournfully at it, when I’m led to believe he can fly after it.  Otherwise, he’s just free to watch like the rest of us.

Shredders are a different breed of person.  While their astonishing guitar wizardry can mesmerize many and yet put others to sleep, you cannot deny their superhuman ability.  I’m sure while Tony is so worried to see his guitar slip out of his grasp, he’ll be delighted when another guitar arrives through air mail courtesy of Greg Howe.  They are both members of the Black Mullet Brotherhood’s guitar exchange program.  He got the suspenders in an unrelated transaction with Tommy Lee.


AdrianGale – Feel The Fire


What a bitch!!

I’m a shorter than average male (5 feet 5 inches tall on a good day), so I have my experience in dealing with taller women.  It can be a bit intimidating approaching tall women.  I will say this, though: not one of them has ever taken a magnifying glass to me to try to roast me like an ant.  Having to explain such a gag to me afterwards would just be taking the long way around ripping my heart in half.

Since I’ve learned some members of AdrianGale have played in Christian-themed bands such as Guardian and Tempest, this mocking of the vertically challenged has really begun to cut deep.  Thankfully, I don’t hold Christian bands to a high standard.  That would involve listening to them in the first place.

Would a band like Anthrax get in on this heightism?  No.  They’d just throw one of us a guitar and let us to join in.

How about Rainbow?  No.  They helped make a god out of one of us.

Voivod?  Of course they would!  It has nothing to do with their respective heights.  It’s just they’d be bound to retaliate if they caught me imitating their French Canadian accents.


Xtra Large – NOWiEATthem


This goes to show you how backwards society was back in 1992, where only the insects were progressive enough to preside over a lesbian wedding.

Good restraint on those bugs in attendance, too.  You know they want to rush the altar and give those flowers the business end of their mandibles, but there are more pressing matters at stake here.

Right from the bottom of their thoraxes, they want to see this couple’s love for each other become legally binding.  Believe me, if they could shed a tear, they would.  And why not?  Several of them had their wings plucked to squeeze into their tuxedos.



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