Murder in the Front Row: Shots from the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter, by Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew

Brian Lew was an early metal nerd (liked to read, watch Star Trek, and may have been a computer nerd) who went to Bay Area speed metal shows and took a number of classic photographs. You may know Harald Oimoen as the longtime bassist of DRI. Together, they’ve thrown together their best pictures of this early scene, in the hopes perhaps of catching the growing wave of nostalgia for when metal was actually good (pre-1995).

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Metal Works: AR-15 Build

A proper Hessian knows his metal music intimately. He understands the moving parts and how they fit together to form a functioning whole. Just as a Hessian understands his music, he will also understand his weapons. What better way to understand our weapons than to build one ourselves? AKs are rather easy to build, but require some more expensive specialized equipment. ARs are also quite easy to build, and because of their ingenious modular design, one can either build a complete AR or one can build half an AR for use with already extant other halves. Because building an AR lower is somewhat more complicated and requires some more expensive equipment, today we will focus on building your own AR upper. You will see from the crappy pictures, taken with my old flip phone, that one needs no specialized facilities to do any of this – I did it in my spare bedroom in about 45 minutes. Recommended listening while building: Immortal’s “Battles in the North.”


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Hi Point 4595: Following the paths of our ancestors.

The modern carbine hearkens back to the days of the American frontier when the man in the saddle needed both a sidearm and a rifle but could not be encumbered by the logistic complications of two types of ammunition; his rifle and his six shooter fired the same ammo. Various modern carbines are available in various modern pistol calibers: .45, .40, 9mm, .380. Hi Point makes carbines in all four of those calibers and is currently introducing one in 10mm.



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Heavy Metal In Academia

The last two decades has witnessed an exponential growth of studies devoted to popular music, coupled with a re-evaluation of past theories and models for interpretation and analysis. This paradigm shift has sparked interest in music “at the fringes” which in turn has led to the unlikely emergence of “metal studies”: a multi-disciplinary field of research centered around all things related to metal music.



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Satyricon were always a band to live in the shadow of better bands and thus it is only fitting for their farewell U.S. tour to suffer the same fate.  The band announced their last trip to the United States just hours before Slayer’s shocking announcement that they will soon cease to exist. Understandably, this caused the Satyricon “news” to be buried deep under a pile of apathy. Feels bad, man.



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Death looms over thrash metal’s most sinister (and probably most influential) band: Slayer.  After 35 years of touring and recording, the demise of the band’s most valuable member Jeff Hanneman, and age coupled with 25 years of creative rut, Slayer is about to expire.  The band announced via a short video that it’s time for one last ride before a long overdue end.



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Bring Back The Apocalyptic Raids

Hellhammer is the ultimate symbol of what black metal should be about: a free exploration of dark phrasal music at the hands of a twisted mind.  Typically it was not only the chromatic movements between sections which defined the music of Hellhammer but the linking between them, whose effect was great because individual sections were in fact proper tonal areas.  It was their sensible juxtaposition, which gave the music its unique flavor.  Furthermore, the maniac howling of Tom G. Warrior added the final touches of a music that was to set the example for an enactment that resembled an entrancing ritual more than it did a simple, mundane hedonism and biker metal, which had been the rule until that point.



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The Haarslev PB30/60 As Big As The Ritz

Dennis Emmental hated being late because it revealed to everyone how little he wanted to be there. Slipping past the creaky back door, he took his place in the line at OptiFood. Orders came from the digital kiosk at the drive-thru and Dennis had twenty-four seconds to assemble the ingredients for the OptiMeal:

  • Chinese: steak|chicken|fish, Szechuan sauce, noodles, lettuce, pepper, peanuts, onion
  • Mexican: beef|chicken, cheese 1, Picante sauce, lettuce, pepper, Guacamole sauce, sour cream
  • Italian: beef|chicken, Diable sauce, noodles, pepper, lettuce, onion, cheese 2
  • Thai: beef|chicken, cheese 1, noodles, Picante sauce, Szechuan sauce, pepper, onion
  • Murican: beef|chicken, cheese 2, Diable sauce, bread 11, Gaucamole sauce, cheese 1, lettuce
  • European: steak|chicken|fish, lettuce, pepper, sour cream, cheese 2, onion, bread 11

He and his cohorts were dumping ingredients in the short, stout, beaker-shaped commemorative plastic buckets used to serve the twenty-four ounce meals. The store was open twenty-four hours a day, and had a thirty-eight percent turnover rate at a six month interval. The owners were unconcerned; they had reached the point where it took a million bucks just to think about suing them, and everyone knew that most of their employees were retards and flakes and so just laughed off their complaints.



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YouTube Censorship Begins Targeting Musicians

It’s here!  YouTube’s rapidly accelerating censorship committee has finally begun targeting musicians with their Orwellian “hate speech” laws.  Pandering to the advertisers that have quietly bought the operations of Silicon Valley tech companies and the souls of all Silicon Valley employees, YouTube has begun a fascist campaign of censoring any videos that may cause trouble for any company that may accidentally place an ad on it.  So far this has primarily targeted vloggers for (conservative) wrongthink- videos portraying horrifically offensive hatred such as statistics, scientific research, or biological facts.  Yet strangely, the first band in the greater sphere of heavy music that YouTube has gone after is a modern nu-metal/rap rock band who, in all honesty, looks pretty leftist….


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Power Trip – Nightmare Logic (2017)

Every year we are treated to an endless amount of ridiculous lists.  It seems that any individual with the ability to express their opinions is obligated to share their Top 10 or top 20 metal releases that more often than not echo the same three websites.  The bands that enter such lists tend to come in two varieties: veterans rehashing the same ideas in a more streamlined fashion and those who trick their audience via the use of gimmicks and presenting a familiar product with slightly different aesthetics as the next big thing.  In these last two years, speed metal has conquered the number 1 spot of most of these lists.  Last year Vektor’s Terminal Redux ruled the metal lists by far with it’s melody derived from Voivod and the phrasings from Destruction’s Eternal Devastation all held together in long sloppily composed epics… ultimately resulting in an above average album but a strong move for the funderground.  This year, Texans Power Trip succeed in winning the “funderground 2017 award” with their second album Nightmare Logic.  The Speed metal revival movement has finally found its idols to guide it’s path of remaining in the past and offering the most faithful reproduction of late 80s speed/thrash.



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