DRI street team

D.R.I. is about to fly into cities across the country and play shows without any crew. We need temporary roadies to help in the cities we are about to play. Here is your chance to roadie for the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles. This is serious; there will be some real work. You must be SOBER and could be asked to drive locally. You will not get paid, but you will get into the show for free. You’ll get a free shirt and free soft drinks (no beer, must be sober!). Plus, you get to hang out with some imbeciles.

The more experience you have the better. If you can tech a little (tune, change strings, change drum heads), you have a better chance of being picked. If you play an instrument or are in a band, let us know. List your experience. Tell us what you’ve done, what you can do, or even why you deserve to get the job. Keep it short and to the point. It must fit within the first page of the application located below. If you are chosen, you will be notified at least 2 weeks prior to the show.



New Year, new direction… old direction?

From the mailbag:

I just had a rather unfortunate epiphany: after watching a few episodes of Spawn: The Animated Series, which allowed my sensibilities to become firmly engulfed by early/mid-90s aesthetic grimness, I decided, naturally, to continue along the same path and give Cause of Death a listen, followed by Spiritual Healing. Something about the nostalgia, or rather the temporary transportation to another time, in which everything from the music to the imagery (in regard to both lyrics and album artwork), rang true and made the experience that much more impactful, as a result of not only the sonic brilliance, but the context in which it was conceived. Feeling myself begin to weep for the state of modern metal (a lament to which I’m sure you’re no stranger), I then put on Epitome of Darkness, as it, in my mind, represents a genuine return to Swedeath form in the age of inconsequential copycat and/or hybrid genres, and typically provides at least temporary relief from the subcultural nihilism. Yet it did very little for me, especially when compared to the transformative genius of Death and Obituary, as it lacked that sense of earnest vision found within the aforementioned albums. So I was wondering if there are any relatively new bands and/or emerging styles or scenes that you find genuinely original? And, more importantly, do you think metal, mainstream or underground, has any place, aside from a parade of pitiful sentimentality, in today’s culture?

This was my response:

Let me take these questions in backward order.

Is underground metal or metal in general still relevant? — yes, mainly because it expresses an eternal idea, which is the importance of power/beauty of a situation over individual drama. Metal is anti-individualist, as reality itself is; hence our celebration of death, destruction and other factors bigger than the individual. The problem with metal’s relevance is that many of the newer listeners have grown up on state-, media- and commerce-supported propaganda and so have no idea of a world outside the self. They are perfect consumers and little egomaniacs.

Emerging styles, scenes or new bands of inspiration? — there are some newer bands of note, but not too many; most of the ones on the list (http://www.examiner.com/metal-music-in-houston/best-metal-of-2011) are older bands brought back in new form. I think that some have found new ways to take the old ideas, for example Beherit or Blaspherian. My thought is that good music out there exists in potential form, but musicians have no idea how to form a movement, express ideas, or even what ideas to choose. Metal is either stranded in imitating the past or in imitating indie, and neither is a new direction so it confuses musicians. Further, the preponderance of bad metal getting good press is driving away talented musicians. When you see all the magazines in a genre praising utter crap, you hit the road, because you know that your best efforts would be ignored in that genre.

Originality. — I’m not sure this is important. Coming from the world of classical music, nothing seems original; it takes known techniques and develops along those lines to the point of exclusivity. For example, syncopation and pentatonic scales have never been unknown to classical, but were seen as appropriate only at particular times in larger pieces. Is it original to use them to exclusivity? In the same way, Plato touches on every topic of philosophy in his writings. When we tackle any one of those, in depth, we’re not being original but getting more in depth. What matters more than originality, then, is truthfulness meaning “does this represent useful ways of understanding the world.” To my mind, the best of death metal helps us perceive this world more clearly and to construct a spirit for enjoying it as it is. I’m thinking of Demigod here, but the first few albums from Death or Obituary would work as well.

I like your observations on the state of metal and hope you take them further. We need more people to point out that the Emperor has no new clothes, and that we need instead to put our focus on quality and intensity so that newer metal of power can grow out of the community.



There are two views of history; one is the linear view (we evolve steadily toward higher levels) and the other is the cyclic view, which states that similar approaches in evolution beget similar results, and that individuals and populations tend to go through “cycles” as they discover these truths, until they stick and no longer need discovery. This approximates learning itself, in my view.

In the linear view of history, metal is evolving toward a higher state.

In the cyclic view of history, metal has lost a higher state and is stumbling through error until it rediscovers the value of a higher state and starts making moves in that direction.

Which is it?


Morbid Saint “Thrashaholic” 3CD set

Morbid Saint is re-releasing their first album with a demo of their second album and rare tracks in addition to a live DVD:

  • Disc 1: Spectrum of Death. The purest form of the original recording done at Opus Recording Studios in 1988.Our own master copy that has been re-mastered at Sixsound Studios.This is the only copy of Spectrum of Death made right after the final mix was done, before any mastering.
  • Disc 2: Destruction System with Extras. Re-mastered demo of the second album (master tapes have been lost). Also includes four previously unreleased songs in live and demo form.
  • Disc 3: Morbid Saint live DVD. Recorded live in 1991 at our first show. Recorded with multiple cameras, this DVD shows never before seen footage of Morbid Saint playing songs from both albums live.

As with all things Morbid Saint, stay in touch via http://morbidsaint.com/.


What can be

As you head into the new year, think about this:

What matters is not being part of the crowd, or doing what others do, or even doing better.

The only yardstick that matters is how high can you fly.


BIRTH A.D. Hits the Studio January 3rd

Dynamic crossover killers Birth A.D. will enter Pyramid Sound on January 3rd to record the highly anticipated full-length follow up to their critically acclaimed ‘Stillbirth Of A Nation’ EP. Titled ‘I Blame You’, the album will be engineered and produced by Alex Perialas (SOD, Testament, Overkill, Carnivore, Nuclear Assault).

“We chose Alex not only because he presided over many releases that allowed Birth A.D. to exist,” explains vocalist/bassist Jeff Tandy, “but also he is still a commando producer of the highest order. He is very hands-on, and sometimes his enthusiasm exceeds our own. With his direction the new album will be amazing no matter what!” The album will be recorded, mixed and mastered in the space of 12 days. ‘I Blame You’ will also feature a guest appearance by Rotting Christ front man Saki Tolis. “Sakis has already been a strong supporter of the band,” says Tandy. “The fact that he offered to appear on the new album is a huge honor. He knows his metal, so we couldn’t ask for a better endorsement.” Birth A.D. is currently seeking label support so they can cause problems worldwide! – Pure Grain Audio

For more information, please visit the Birth A.D. Facehugger page.

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Death metal band saves cats from life on the street


Donald Tardy of death metal band Obituary and his wife, Heather, spend their spare time and most of their “spare” money picking up stray cats off the street and taking care of them. Their charity, the Metal Meowlisha, cares for 20 colonies of feral cats 365 days a year.


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True metal: pushing hipsters aside

It’s not so much that true metal is a genre, but a label that bands are applying to their music to say that they are not part of the newer hybrid genre, and that they want to return to the spirit that produced the great music of the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. The spirit is what allows bands to create music that carries the power of older metal, say fans, and many fans suggest that the newer music has lost that spirit because it’s going in another direction. Whatever the case, the true metal movement is suggesting that metal isn’t just a bunch of techniques and tropes, but a gestalt that ties them all together and communicates some kind of union with power and transcendence of the human condition, while more recent metal hybrids have been all about celebrating that human condition. – The Return of True Metal

It’s good to see this finally happening. People got fooled by the hype for a decade or so, as often happens.


The Best Metal of 2011

I’ve just completed reading the 2011 “best of” lists from a number of popular websites. The results are predictably dismal. Are these people incompetent or just deaf?


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Classic reviews: