on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2017 18 Mrz

Metal Lifers

von: Ian McCartney Filed under: Blog | TB | 10 Comments

Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales. Just stunning. The recording / production have never dated. Like a lot of the best metal, there’s a strong sense of humour here. A towering work of art.

Venom – Black Metal. Arguably (probably) instigated an entire genre. I’ve never read up on the history of Venom, but there has to be a punk rock influence in here – the whole enterprise is gloriously free of the past.

Motorhead – Motorhead. Apologies for the lack of Umlauts. But yeah. From start to finish, just a great record. Love the subtle use of distortion: not overstated, saying „this band is too loud for the recording apparatus“.

Slayer – Reign In Blood. It kind of didn’t get any better than this. The LP is about 24 minutes long – and it’s difficult not to love an LP that does so much in such a short space of time. It’s an exhausting listen, in much the same way as Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is an exhausting read, despite being only covering about 100 pages. I’m pretty sure Seb Rochford has mentioned Slayer in interviews more than once. Maybe that’s why Acoustic Ladyland clicked first time I heard them? Who knows. Fuck knows. But that’s given me an idea. I will do a Jazz Lifers at some point.

Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden. Great tune after great tune. Not sure how metal this is though. I hear elements of prog in it, elements of the genre known as „pub rock“ (which despite the slightly pejorative connotation, was not a bad genre). The intro to Phantom of the Opera – amazing.

Iron Maiden – Somewhere In Time. Tempus fugit. By now there was a different singer, and the band were very much in the metal sphere. Brilliant use of operatic vocal style in the line „tiiime is aaalways on myyy siiiide“. I think this LP is themed around time travel, but I haven’t ever read the lyric sheet so I don’t know for sure. A time travel themed metal record with a track named for an Alan Sillitoe short story. What’s not to like?

There are other records that could conceivably also fit here – 1984 (Van Halen). Surfing With The Alien (Joe Satriani), 1989 (Ryan Adams), Streetcleaner (Godflesh), Diadem of 12 Stars (Wolves In The Throne Room) and others. But where does rock end and metal begin?

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  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    This blog is so utterly confessional. It’s raining outside, and I only had a metal lifer when I was a teenager. Can one lose a metal lifer? It was a song (a wall of sound) from the first or second Black Sabbath album – when I hear it again, it’ll be my metal lifer again. I once was on a train ride, surrounded by metal lifer fans. All males. Hard guys, no sense of humour. They were four. I put on my Scott MacKenzie t-shirt telling the dudes: I LOVE SCOTT MACKENZIE. They took it personal.

    All thinhs considered, you make me want to hear that time travel record from Iron Maiden. At least once. I think it will happen after fulfilling my Tumbleweed Connection promise.

    I have 12 new Jeb Loy Nichols lifers, all on one record.

  2. Ian M:

    I love Sabbath but no lifers. I like singing the first two lines of War Pigs.

    Micha – I had a listen to Jeb. Not what I expected at all. Reggae vibes lol. Enjoyed.

  3. Ingo J. Biermann:

    Very interesting. I have never really listened to much metal. I had two albums by Voodoocult a long time ago – which I liked. But not many others. But why is Ryan Adams part of this list? Nice, though, since it’s the album of his discography which I’ve been enjoying most. The only one I still own also.

  4. Ian M:

    Yo IJB Ryan is there because he is a metal aficionado and to do a post on metal with no Ryan Adams mention would be like serving pasta without sauce.

  5. Uwe Meilchen:

    I once had a soft spot for AC/DC, at the end of the 1970s … …

  6. Ian M:

    Uwe – I love AC/DC! They are well worth revisiting. Bon Scott was a poet. Didn’t mention them above as they are in that kind of ‚is it metal or is it just loud rawk‘ space.

  7. Christoph:

    Slayer – Reign In Blood!
    and nowadays John Zorn
    Ps. Does someone have a free ticket for John Zorn Marathon in Hamburger Elb-Philharmonie this month?

  8. Michael Engelbrecht:

    No tickets. John Zorn is a huge admirer of the band with the name Napalm Death. Since the times of his first Naked City album.

  9. Christoph:

    Hallo Michael,
    right, Napalm Death was for sure important for JOHN ZORNs music. But he also works several times with Dave Lombard (drummer from Slayer).
    Beside his Nacked City there is also Pain Killer and more recent Moonchild, all John Zorns group/projects with strong influence of „metal music“. This influence is also present in his Masada project and his „orchestral“ work.

  10. Michael Engelbrecht:

    In regards of metal, I am purely amateurish. Maybe I should give Sunbather by Deafheaven another listen, or that band everybody seems to be in awe of right now, Power Trip and their album Nightmare Logic.

    A band that has some metal in teir genes, and I really like to hear, is Sunooo)))) – I never learn the right spelling. But I loved their album with Scott Walker and another one with „Monolith“ in the title,

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