Friday Four…No More!

Good day all,

Another Friday and another Friday Four Pack? NOPE! I have decided that I will no longer be doing the Friday Four Packs as I have found that trying to find and review albums everyday has become more of a chore for me than fun. Plus there are plenty of places to go and find great metal music reviews that I don’t have to add my two cents to it every week. What I have noticed is that trying to do these reviews every week has made me miss out on the actual entertainment value of the music and forced me to make listening to music seem like work. I would try to dissect the nuances of an album or a song and not really listen to it for enjoyment purposes and I feel I have missed a bit. I still plan on having an end of year list and there is still a review or two I am working on but overall I think I am going to leave the reviewing to the guys and gals that excel at it and I am going to stick to more of my opinion and article writing.

Speaking of article writing please check out my latest article now on The Gauntlet:The Devil You Know: Internet, Social Media, and The Independent  I really enjoyed working on this and am going to get ready to work on a follow-up if I can find the interview subjects and time.

Since I won’t be doing  the Friday Four Pack anymore I think I will just list the bands I have found that I am currently into and maybe a quick blurb about each. Whether they have been released this week or earlier I will try to leave something for everyone every Friday. Here is this weeks music choices

Thrawsunblat: Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings

Zed: The Invitation

Cojones: Sunrise

Hatchet: Dawn of the End!/hatchetofficial

Also go and check out my bandcamp site at I have a lot of great music on there and don’t forget to check out my wishlist as well.

Like I said earlier there are a lot of great reviewers out there and I will link to some each week so that you can still get your fix of new music and maybe get a taste of something new. For instance look at this weeks new releases courtesy of MSN Headbang  As well as Heavy Metal Crew These guys really know how to give you the most out of a music review. I would also make sure you check out their Twitter pages as their writers tweet out a lot of great stuff throughout the week and most work for multiple outlets which will give you a wider variety of music to choose from. Additionally, if you are a metal fan you should be checking out Metal Bandcamp on a regular basis as they have both the music and the reviews, also follow them on twitter to keep up with everything they have going on.

CHeck out this post I wrote back in September about these websites and these reviewers:

I hope I have not disappointed anybody but I am pretty sure you don’t come to my blog for the reviews…and I don’t blame you!

Until Later, Peace!







True Colors

Good day all,
I had some time over the weekend to scour my favorite metal internet sites and I found an excellent interview on MSN’s Headbang by Adrien Begrand of Laina Dawes the author of “What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy MetalAs a metal fan and writer for several heavy metal magazines Ms. Dawes brings a fascinating resume to her writing and oh yea, she is a black woman in the heavy metal world. Now some of you are saying “so what? As long as she is a fan who cares?” And for some that is true and that is where it ends, but lets face it , the male misogynistic world of heavy metal is hard enough for women to break through but I can’t imagine what it would be like for a black women.

Some of us are old enough that we remember the “novelty” of King’s X and Living Color when they first broke the scene. And for as bad as it sounds yes we the white, male fans of metal were surprised that a group of black guys could be this heavy. I use the word “novelty” because to a middle-class white kid in the Pittsburgh suburbs that’s what they were to me, I liked the music and looked forward to seeing them live but they were different and at the time I noticed that. Part of that was the way some were raised and part was the image portrayed by the media and MTV at the time. MTV had a knack for telling us what and who we should listen to without actually saying it out loud. Just look at the different sets and locations for the different programs they had back in the day like Headbanger’s Ball and Yo! MTV Raps: A white long-haired host behind a desk as opposed to the black on the streets host.  MTV was assisting in showing us who should be interested in what and who should be where!

But to get back to the subject, imagine how hard it is for a black female to make it in metal even today, it has to be a scary proposition for them. And if you ask “why would they go through all of this trouble?” Just ask yourself how passionate you are for this music, could you deny yourself metal? I didn’t think so and the same goes for Ms. Dawes and other young women like her who have a passion for metal. I will say this though, Lita Ford, and other female artists who received some high acclaim on the 80’s metal scene did not make it easier for women in heavy metal today. They did use sexuality to bring attention to themselves and to a point made those of us who paid attention to them in the first place pay attention because they were acting like the big boys of the scene. Talking about the things that teenage metalheads loved like sex, drugs and who or what they were sleeping with on tour. Ms.Ford and those like her may have been making great music but it was hard to look past the sex that was being sold by them or the record company…fair or not, and today some of us still can’t look past that at times. But as long as Revolver magazine and other metal mags continue to put out cover stories titled “Hottest Women in Metal” I am not sure how soon the attitude will change.

Metalheads talk all of the time about how special our community is and that we accept all of the misfits and outcasts who just don’t understand us but it seems (in the immortal words of Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday) ” Our hypocrisy only goes so far”. I have not read all of Ms. Dawes book but the excerpts I have been able to find, create a telling view of the metal world from the eyes of an insider who is treated as an outsider and frankly it is pretty sad. The fact that Ms. Dawes has to suggest that young black women, or any women for that matter, hashould find a group to go to a show with to feel safe and “who they trust to have their backs” is just sad. I thought we were a fan base of inclusionist, how is it that we as the heavy metal community would allow anyone to act like this to a member of our community? Don’t we have enough problems dealing with the mainstream?

I have always felt and written about the fact that one of the reasons I love metal is because of its inclusiveness but after reading the interview mentioned above and a little bit of the book I couldn’t have been more wrong. I think there was a time not so long ago that metal was becoming more and more inclusive but it seems like we have lost our way on that path and are heading toward a community of separation: sad but true. I am pretty sure that ALL metalheads should take some time out and read Ms. Dawes book and understand the feelings of people outside of your comfortable norm. It may be that you/we just didn’t know this was happening and reading this book will open up our eyes. Lets hope because at this point the heavy metal community is as far away from all-inclusive as it has ever been.

Don’t be mistaken, I am not sitting up here on my high horse talking down to all of you, I am to blame as well. All you have to do is look at my post She Ain’t Heavy She’s My Singer:  I discuss my personal feelings toward female heavy metal singers and I help perpetuate the stereotype that Ms. Dawes and plenty of other female heavy metal singers are tying to overcome. I have some learning to do as well, I am not perfect but hopefully I can take some of what Ms. Dawes and her interviewees have to say to heart and open my own eyes to the struggles that women have in heavy metal. I hope so anyway…

Until later, Peace!