Monday, August 19, 2013

RIP God Forbid

A few months ago, I wrote about Frank Mullen of Suffocation having to take a step back from touring full-time with the band because of grown up responsibilities, and how I respected him for making the decision and how I was glad that at least he's still actively recording music.  Killer music I might add.  Today, reading Metalsucks, I stumbled upon further evidence of band falling by the wayside because someone...well...grew up.

I never really gave a shit that God Forbid was part of the metalcore movement that sprung up at the turn of the century; I always admired how hard the guys in that band worked jumping on every tour regardless of whether or not it made sense (opening for Opeth in 2001?  Really?) and putting on devastating live shows (particularly when they were touring for "Determination".)  While they were never one of my favorite bands, I always found some substance worth enjoying from each of their releases, save "Earthsblood", which I admittedly never gave a serious chance too; I've been willing to give the band a pass for being metalcore but not from relying on the harsh singing verse/clean sung chorus dynamic that other metalcore bands used.  

Apparently reality has set in for the band.  Doc Coyle, one of the creative forces behind the band, made the announcement via Metalsucks that he was quitting God Forbid and the rest of the band was going their separate ways as a result.  He noted that the band had basically peaked, and were on a downward descent in terms of the business side of things if not the creative side (I liked the final album "Equilibrium" for the most part.)  Metalcore declined as a trend, supplanted by "nu-thrash" and later other subgenres that haven't really taken hold for very long or with the same dominance that metalcore held over the genre from 2001-2008 or so (i.e. "deathcore", "occult rock", "djent", etc.)  God Forbid accordingly declined in relevance, when in difficult times for record labels attention and resources have to be devoted to artists who are going to produce a return on investment.  In essence, God Forbid's "window" had closed.

Its probably for the best.  Breaking up now ensures they don't evolve into a pathetic hanger-on that would be accused of following some new trend every time they try to freshen up their music with a new element.  They leave behind a solid legacy; alongside Shadow's Fall and Lamb of God they helped spearhead a movement that in the commercial sense eradicated much of the first wave of Walmart-core/nu-metal and paved the way for later bands to progress back to thrash, death, and genres I actually am passionately interested in.  Their live show never became an uninspired and dull husk of what it was at their peak.

One of modern metal's most underrated frontmen.

Metal is a young man's game, ultimately.  And the game is changing rapidly; long nationwide treks in a shitty tour bus with 4 other bands are going to be obsolete.  Record labels are becoming increasingly outdated; 360 deals ensure the bands that rely on the old structure get even less money at the end of the day, while Kickstarter and self-funding has shown promise to bands willing to embrace the new reality.  God Forbid had their time, but they're not young men anymore.  Frank Mullen accepted this and made a decision that I think is the best for both him and his band.  The members of God Forbid, whether or not they ever record music together again, will remain active in music.  And if it goes back to being a hobby rather than a career, then I'd imagine the quality of what they produce artistically will benefit, even if working a 9-5 job most of the time means it takes longer to record and distribute it.

I guess I'd just like to take a moment to thank God Forbid for helping kill nu-metal as a popular trend, and for fighting the proverbial good fight.  RIP


Sunday, August 18, 2013

They call it "Walmart-core"

Apparently everyone's least favorite purveyor of poverty wages and unsafe Chinese made products, Wal-mart, has begun promoting artists whose records they sell (edited, of course) on their shelves.  Metal tabloid site Blabbermouth decided to inform us that Five Finger Death Punch, the latest miserable label-manufactured cock rock tough guy "metal" band meant to cater to Hot Topic shoppers and rural mullets, was recently featured on their website.

These guys are the world champions of douchbag fake toughguy radio rock.

It's brilliant, really.  Five Finger Death Punch is mass produced, cheaply manufactured, and a false version of genuine heavy metal.  As an analogy, Wal-mart shoppers also prefer the taste of Easy Cheese over a nice Roquefort or perhaps Brie.

At least Easy Cheese comes in "Bacon" flavor. 

So my question is, who else fits into this new genre of "Walmart-Core" and is there an identifiable sound or history to the genre?

It would seem that Disturbed would be the alpha-dogs of Walmart-core; bands like Godsmack, Korn, and their ilk fit in.  It seems like the peak of the First Wave of Walmart Core peaked around the time of Ozzfest 2003.

Absolutely brutal.  In the wrong way.

Before anyone passes judgement, go to the next major corporate sponsored "rock" or "metal" festival (like those things that Rockstar Energy Drinks sponsors) and I defy you to tell me the crowd isn't almost entirely lower income white trash.

I think Walmart just struck up a winning formula here.  We may soon see the Second Wave of Walmart-core.  Evil bastards.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Another rant (LOL Varg!)

So I come home from work, retrieve a cold beer from the sacred beer fridge (which must never be profaned by anything other than beer, other alcoholic beverages, and beverages that can be mixed with alcohol...) and out of habit more than anything, I scour the headlines of

At one time, probably around 2002 or so (?) was a daily source of news regarding heavy metal music, its assorted subgenres, and events relative to it.  Being the complete asshole I am, I vividly recall hitting refresh on my browser hoping to see a new body count of the fire at a Great White Concert, which was frequently updated on the site (over 100 hair spray hags and mullets died that day!)  Long since, Blabbermouth has deteriorated into the metal equivalent of the National Enquirer or TMZ, obsessed over the latest batshit insane quotes by Dave Mustaine or the never-ending retarded drama between Geoff Tate and QueensrycheBlabbermouth has long been surpassed by wittier, more interesting websites who offer better reviews, but I think as a mere matter of habit I find myself checking the site 2 or 3 times a week alongside Metalsucks, Lambgoat, AngryMetalGuy, etc.

I think Varg gets photoshopped almost as much as the guys in Immortal.

Anyhow, if we're going to have a metal tabloid, could it possibly be complete without good ole Varg Vikernes?  Convicted murderer, unrepentant racist, and totally lousy musician?  Most famous for being a member of Mayhem long enough to have a cup of coffee and kill Euronymous, Varg seems to love attention and the spotlight.  He's also not a particularly bright fellow; for all of his longwinded ramblings about European identity and what nationalism means to him, etc...which you can read in it's brutally non-comprehendable nature here (seriously, did he learn to write by reading Mein Kampf?  Talk about fucking long-winded...), he doesn't seem to grasp that when he, or his wife, buy guns that based on his past history of violence and controversial statements that legal authorities in any jurisdiction might be concerned.

Well, the fun part is that after Varg's recent hijinks and legal issues, Blabbermouth has informed us that he has decided to "crowdsource" a legal defense so he can sue those mean French bastards that busted into his house while he was wearing his orange underpants (his words, not mine.)  I guess crowdsourcing would be appealing; after all Obituary is running quite the successful Kickstarter campaign to record a new album.  But if I know anything about fans of Varg, I know that they all seem to be basically broke-asses, and their unfortunate broke-ass-ness seems to be what drives their "anger" towards everything else which in turn draws them into NSBM and the philosophies that associate with it (feel free to disprove me.)  

I'm curious to see how many people cough up any spare change so Varg and family can sue those mean frog police; I'll be particularly interested in seeing how many people from non-European backgrounds donate to his cause.  It's not like Varg has had anything nice to say about cultures and ethnic backgrounds that aren't North-European....

This ironic fellow is probably not welcome in Varg's home...

Gotta say, I think throwing your change to Obituary to do that proper Morrisound Documentary is more worthwhile.  Just my thoughts.