Son of Metal FAIL

When we let rip with our “Metal FAILs — Volume I,” people were pissed — mainly because we didn’t include their favorite fails. So in the grand tradition of whoring ourselves for populist acclaim, and thus perhaps thousands of grubby fingers clicking on the same links, we’ve brought you the sequel: “More Metal FAILs” or “Son of Metal FAIL,” depending on what you want to call it. We just call it not letting this abundant bushel of failure slip the noose. So without much further ado, here’s another heaping helping of metal FAIL:

10. Celtic Frost – Cold Lake

Years of being a metalhead will condition a bowel release when you see this album. Celtic Frost is one of the handful of bands who created a completely unique take on metal, and this album represents their moment of exhaustion with life and its deeper questions. “Screw it all, we’ll be a hair metal band!” While this record is clearly a fail, it’s a minor fail because while the music is dressed up as glam, the compositions would have fit seamlessly onto “Into the Pandemonium” without the vocals.

9. Death – Individual Thought Patterns

As in life, in music the time when you are most likely to screw up is right before your final victory. Death clawed their way up the ranks and after the superlative “Human,” appeared poised to take over metal entirely. Then out came this throwback to the pretentious, glammy, art-metal of the late 1980s. It’s basically reboiled Queensryche and Shok Paris, given a death metal edge, but under the skin pure heavy metal. Now the only people who like this album are drunk masturbators on guitar has-been forums.

8. Massacre – Promise

Alcoholism is probably to blame for this weepy, whiny, and downright creepy rendition of Massacre. Their first album was great brainless hard-driving death metal, and then they tried to get all emo on us, ending up simultaneously smug and as brain-bleachingly confessional as Facebook at its worst. This album was so bad it would bring an easy chair and a newspaper whenever it arrived in a used CD rack, knowing it would be there for a while… a long while.

7. Atrocity – Blut

Their first album was good cryptic death metal, and their second a feast of technical death metal that could compete with the American bands. Next logical move? Why, go Goth metal, of course, probably because after the 11th beer what record label execs say almost seems sensible. So Atrocity excreted this poppy, dance-friendly piece of crap, and now the only people who buy it are Germans, out of misplaced national loyalty. (True story: I found one at a garage sale in the distant suburbs two months ago, proving just how far metalheads will drive to drop off this furry turd.)

6. Cryptopsy – Whisper Supremacy

Riding high on “None So vile,” Cryptopsy was a sure winner… until this. Wanting to be both death metal and “different,” as their label probably kept whining for them to be, Cryptopsy invented proto-deathcore with this disconnected, jaunty, chaotic album. The same people who love Marilyn Manson and Slipknot think it’s pretty cool. I repeat… well, you get the point.

5. Terrorizer – Darker Days Ahead

Legendary band makes comeback album almost twenty years later. Quick, what’s the first thought that pops into your head? Legendary fail? That’s correct! Unlike the first Terrorizer album, which had balls and distinct songs, this collection of riffs sounds like these guys working around their drug habits, appointments for car repair, ex-wives and beer guts. Uninspired and wandering, this album will stun you into a stupor.

4. Sepultura – Chaos AD

How do you follow up to an album as classic as “Beneath the Remains”? You make a watered-down but more musical version, Arise. One of the ten billion things you did to that record was include a few seconds of tribal beats… so that’s your new direction, obviously. It wasn’t the quality songwriting, the epic riffs, or the powerful atmosphere: it was that tribal beat. So start making standard nu-metal with a tribal beat and hey, you’ve got your niche! Even though this album pre-dated nu-metal, the (Mordred) writing was already on the wall that this was how mainstream rock would take over underground metal.

3. Carcass – Heartwork

Famous for making gutter-level grindcore, you decide to make a frilly speed metal album like your older brother (you know, the one on methadone) might have liked. Most fans don’t know this, but this album is a collection of recycled riffs and cliches from the power metal bands of the late 1980s who didn’t make it. Just a few years later, Carcass decided to re-envision all that old stuff with their trademark vocals intact. The result is as painfully blockheaded as speed metal, and as inept as grindcore bands without a good topic to write on. Fail and forget.

2. At the Gates – Slaughter of the Soul

Wait, he must be crazy; that’s their most popular album! Yep, but if you made a graph of its popularity since release, you’d see it’s a steady downward curve. That’s because unlike everything else this band did, “Slaughter of the Soul” is an attempt to sound like other bands who made it big, just — you know — Swedishy instead. So it’s recycled 1980s speed metal with death metal flavor, like soda pop’s flavor is inspired by something that once tasted sort of organic. Now that we have dozens of melodic death metal bands, this FAIL just seems ordinarily bad.

1. Atheist – Elements

The number one dropping on our second list of bulging, greenish, corn-studded, mucus-sheathed turds is this raging FAIL from Atheist. This band is clearly one of the best in metal, and their first two albums are top notch. Then there’s this thing. Sounding like a Phish ripoff with occasional metal riffs, it fails like all progressive music does, mainly by being so busy jamming on cool stuff, man, that it fails to concentrate and write songs. So instead you get the kitchen sink: a little funk, a lotta jazz, some rock riffs, some metal, and then back again. Add the extra pretense of a prog metal album and you have a turd with an English accent, an emo livejournal, and a disorganized snobbery even us prog-metal fanatics cannot stand.


Now, as an added bonus track to this blog posting, you’ll get more — BANDFAILS: bands who should never have existed or if they had to exist, should have stayed underground in mom’s cellar until suicide was the better option.

10. Weapon

We get it — all those years of black metal getting beyond its roots were too hard to re-do, so you’re going back to the roots as you see ’em, which is Venom. Nevermind that Venom sounds like clumsy NWOBHM, not black metal. Let’s re-live that past one more time!

9. In Flames

If you’re a Dissection clone, and the Dissection guy shoots himself, do you do it too? Might not be a bad idea. From their first derivative album, which sucked in comparison to everything else out at the time, to their recent awkward contortions in order to stay “hip,” this band have been like AIDS at a swinger party.

8. Origin

This comical deathcore band make really goofy songs, to the point that you think someone would say, “Hey, didn’t I hear that melody on a commercial for a 24-hour law firm?” But people seem to not want to notice, because someone in a magazine somewhere told them this band is the future of metal. If so, I hope the sun swallows us first.

7. Meshuggah

During your first year of guitar lessons, this band just seems killer. Man, listen to those rhythms. Then as time goes on you realize that (a) not much goes on in Meshuggah songs and (b) past the rhythmic technique, nothing they’re doing is particularly hard. So you’re listening to faux prog that really has more in common with a bad Exhorder or Vio-lence clone. Errr… I’ll pass.

6. Cannibal Corpse

This band makes experienced musicians weep through their laughter. A large musical joke, Cannibal Corpse depends on fans being stoned enough to think irony means pretending you like something really dumb because, you know, dumb is funny. That lets the band keep touring and buying the quality weed. When they “compose,” they buy the cheap weed. Repeat the same blunt-shaped metal riff and chanting vocal, then split for fast guitar and a breakdown, then repeat. This music demands nothing of its fans except they think it’s pretty funny, when you’re high. In fact, you have to be wasted on something to even tolerate it.

5. Opeth

Over a breakfast of fish eyes in milk one morning, Mikael said to his friends, “You know, metalheads have low self-esteem and like simple music. If we make simple music that sounds like it is complicated, it will make the metalheads feel smart, and we will be able to afford all the spandex we want!” So Opeth was formed, causing progressive rock fans everywhere to weep. The riffs don’t add up. The fans don’t care. They’re too busy thinking about how smart they are.

4. Cradle of Filth

If someone paid me, I could not design a bigger metal failure than Cradle of Filth. If a new metal genre comes about, try to make it as boring as possible by repeating the same old formula with the new vocals and faster drumming. Then again, if they hadn’t, we’d think they were just another piss-poor Iron Maiden clone.

3. Mortician

While just about no one remembers this band now, for some time they were the future of metal: basic riffs, no key changes, simple rhythms and a drum machine doing kickbeat drums at dirge pace. It’s as if Spock rushed back into the engine room, screamed “Set phasers for dumb!” and then let the ship’s computer write an album.

2. Necrophagist

Like Opeth and Cynic, this band survives by convincing people with little experience of music that they’re experts. Overnight, they become sophisticated aficionados of the difficult, obscure and brainier-than-thou art of technical death metal. But when you peel back the hype, you find very simple songs wrapped in layers of sweep, chug, squeal, repeat. Confusing this with quality metal is like admiring a painter who can paint cars really well, but sucks at painting anything else, so he makes who pastoral scenes out of Hyundais talking to Lamborghinis.

1. Pantera

This is it, friends… the metal doofus epicenter of the universe: Pantera. They started as a hair band, then were a Metallica/Alice in Chains crossover that hit MTB big time with “Cemetery Gates,” and then suddenly they became the metal equivalent of hip-hop. Songs about the hard life on the streets: Check. Marijuana songs: check. Violent, swaggering attitude: check. Songs based mostly on rhythm with occasional random melodic fragments: check. If these guys were more honest, they would have just been a Public Enemy tribute band called We Rule the Burbs.

For whiners

Yes, we know: you hate us, you hate them, you hate something, you’re bubbling over with rage at how someone on the intertard can be so wrong. Either that or you were reading ANUS once, came upon a word you didn’t recognize and instead of growing a pair, tip-toeing your fingers to and rising to the occasion, you wimped out with the chorus all failed people like to repeat: “It’s not my fault, you’re an elitist, it’s not fair!”

To all such people we say: Go whine up a rope, because the only people who like that kind of mealymouthed rambling are other failures. You can all go fail together somewhere. And maybe touch each other, but in the grand tradition of being in denial so you can fail more efficiently, you’ll insist you’re not gay… it has nothing to do with what Uncle Ted did to your peenor after he’d been drinking. If you’ve failed at life, it’s because you’re disorganized and cannot man up and face reality. Don’t blame us for your weakness; fix it. (Listening to the albums on this list will not help.)

People get bent out of shape about our opinions, but somehow it’s only the people who have nothing better going on. Humans of that type enter any situation with the goal of making it “safe” for themselves, meaning that they don’t want to hear about how some fail and some are great, only that we’re all accepted. We’re all the same and we’re all OK. That kind of bullshit, of course, converts thriving metal scenes into big circle-jerks where everyone accepts everyone else but ten years later, you look back and realize finally that all the music was thinly-disguised FAIL with smugness for bling.

0 thoughts on “Son of Metal FAIL”

  1. TheWaters says:

    You guys are dead on! Alot of the bands and albums you mention are albums and bands that i first heard when i was introduced to metal (ie. In Flames and Opeth). I never listen to the work of either band anymore. The inability for either band to stand the test of time, or overcome their own whiny demeanour and produce something of value, has become one of the many sure signs of their insignifigance.

  2. Johnson says:

    Just like TheWaters, I listened to some really bad metal at first, until I found better stuff.

    But it’s not really surprising, looking back: all you could hear around you was awfully bad radio music and when you come in contact with a genre that at least SOUNDS different, you get excited. Soon you realize that it’s almost as bad as the music on the radio and you get disappointed. But you don’t want to admit it, no, instead you try to hang on, try to make yourself like it.

    This is exactly the reason why Opeth and Cradle of Filth and all the rest succeed, which is what the Dark Legions Archive have said for years and years. It’s obviously not just some invented wishy-washy theory they’ve come up with, it really is like that.

  3. reader says:

    Thank you, that was entertaining and true.

  4. fff says:

    less 4chan memes please

  5. ... says:


  6. Glarf says:

    There is a typo in the final sentence of the Necrophagist section.

  7. Nongun says:

    Nice predictable as fuck snoozer of a whine-fest. Too bad having a website gives people the false impression that a) they’re important and b) someone cares about their dumbfuck opinion. You’re not the authority on metal and your inability to appreciate anything but the bottom of the barrel swill on the site’s “BEST OF” lists, much less real music makes you sound like an anal-retentive manchild. Enjoy bouncin’ it up to None So Vile, though, while I have my diatonic scales and European melodies in my complex, engaging metal.

  8. Troll says:

    Nongun: You obviously have poor tastes, and now you are trying to justify them. Go back to your loser forum where you belong ( lul).

  9. Nongun says:

    Poor tastes, in the eyes of a bunch of aspies venting their anger and frustration on the internet? Well then, have fun enjoying your boring teenager music and misguiding yourself with the notion that any of it is actually any good (hint: it’s not). Hate to break it to you, chum, but the internet is no different from real life in that (surprise!) no one cares about anything you have to say and being the intellectually stunted aspie that you are, you will never have any influence on anything in the real world. The fact that some fatass has enough nerd rage to pour it into the pitiful diatribe on this site makes me laugh and feel sorry for your parents at the same time.

  10. Gears says:

    “Go back to your loser forum where you belong”

    … lol (see URL)

  11. Troll-a-saurus says:

    Top 10 on my fail blog list.

  12. Sasha says:

    Well, this blog is not perfect, and probably easy to pick on, but it still seems like the grand majority of other metal sites/blogs are a lot worse because they have nothing to say at all (and less easy to pick on for that reason I guess). So while I don’t have to agree with everything on this site, I still think it’s a worthier visit than most other metal sites.

  13. T.G. says:

    I honestly don’t see why some see the need to complain. The statement that no one cares what you have to say on the internet, for instance, seems a bit melodramatic considering that you’re putting time and effort into notifying these people that no one cares about their opinion. I know that when I am apathetic about something I refuse to waste time on it what-so-ever, and thus if you are wasting time on it I’m going to assume you care until you spend your time elsewhere. Going on, I really can’t stand most of metal, and normally listen to classical music. However, this website has always recommended to me metal music that I can actually enjoy. Also, it’s funny to claim that the writers of the website are angry at the world, and fat, when they constantly poke fun at resentful losers and do-nothings in their articles. They seek to make impact through their communities and hard work, what do you have against that? Oh, I forgot, being a good citizen isn’t cool anymore…

  14. Death says:

    Being a good citizen entails listening to shitty music?

    “Also, it

  15. T.G. says:

    At above: No, being a good citizen has nothing to do with music. You entirely missed the point of my response, and provided nothing valid to the discussion. Instead, you opted for the same angry dialect you yourself derided.

  16. Fortress says:

    Sounds like you need a diaper change, Nongun. Between your blind rage and sweeping generalizations, it’s difficult to take you seriously.

    “Being a good citizen entails listening to shitty music?”

    Way to miss the point entirely.

  17. Butcher says:

    Yeah, because there’s no blind rage and sweeping generalizations on this site at all, and definitely not in this article, no siree!

    Dumb faggot.

  18. Fortress says:

    Sweeping generalizations? Probably, but largely for humorous purposes. Blind rage? No. There’s no pointless hatred to be found here, and nothing comparable to your belligerent idiocy.

    “Dumb faggot”…I haven’t heard that since middle school. That’s probably because you’d have to be 12 years old to say it to somebody.

  19. *3* says:


  20. Yorik says:

    “Soon you realize that it

  21. Liam says:

    well, opeth and meshuggah are for musicians, we listen to this music because it contains depth and passion.
    You obviously have little to no musical intellect and listen to very simple music but you like it because you’re obsessed with the image.

  22. World's Fattest Cat says:

    ^ aspie who convinces himself to only listen to third-rate monotonous, repetitive death/black metal to maintain his delusion that he’s listening to the paragon of complex, intellectual music

    Renaissance owns your ass, you pathetic, pimply turdlet.

  23. Bluuurgh says:


  24. Richard says:

    “well, opeth and meshuggah are for musicians, we listen to this music because it contains depth and passion.
    You obviously have little to no musical intellect and listen to very simple music but you like it because you

  25. Carnage says:

    finally someone else that spoke against those fking posers!!Just check out this fking Venomweb1 on the zune network, i’ve been tracking him down since the beginning!!
    makes me wanna laugh cause he has no life but as a living leech that feeds on a variety of metal from different ppl and calls himself a METALHEAD. The only bands that he listening to at first where twiztid kottonmouth, R Kelly… S***like that!!!!!!!

  26. Gladius says:

    Richard, your post was great and all until you excluded the fact that what stirs the soul of a soul of a sane, intelligent individual is completely different from what stirs the soul of a sheltered, involuntarily celibate ass-pie with too much time on his hands.

    I’m moved by music which is beautiful in the layers of its complexity (“complex” is a whole order of magnitude different from “complicated”). Music that is beautiful, that is expertly crafted from its loudest roar to its softest squeak, carries intricately woven streams of melody that unite in some kind of harmony, takes advantage of and plays with the knowledge of consonance and scales that’s been built up by humanity over thousands of years, and has at all points in its playing something to say instead of being tediously repetitive. The impact of this music is maximized tenfold if it also carries a message of similar profound beauty and grandeur. That’s what I get out of the metal and classical music that I like. By comparison your Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger sounds like a guitar taking a small turd. Don’t interpret the fact that your sub-normal mind can only grasp the simplest and basest of music as an indication of superior composition in that music.

  27. LeopoldVonSacherMasoch says:

    I sort of laughed at the list.

    There’s only two problems with it:
    1) Cradle of Filth are one of the few bands who did something unique and worthwhile in England, other than Bal-Sagoth, Meads of Asphodel, Hecate Enthroned and Judas Priest. Dusk and her Embrace and Cruelty and the Beast were poetic, emotional, philosophical and intellectual. I believe you simply treat any British band with guitar harmonies and smooth production as a ‘copy’ of Iron Maiden.

    2) This list didn’t include Kataklysm.

  28. LeopoldVonSacherMasoch says:

    Oh, and for the “anus theory,” I listen to A LOT of Black Metal from all countries and nothing has ever compared to those Cradle albums I mentioned.

    Lyrically and thematically every every every other metal band CANNOT compare. For example, Dusk and her Embrace reeked of English Romanticism, and comes close to poets like Algernon Swinburne and Percy Shelley, where bands like Autopsy have piss poor lyrics.

    Using Dusk and Her Embrace as an example again no album is as masterful in it’s imagery, take a look in the booklet for once. Musically it is extremely dynamic. I laugh so hard if anyone listens to any of their earlier albums and thinks it sounds like Iron Maiden.

    Plus the whole themes of ‘sadism’ ‘romanticism’ and philosophy borrowed from Nietszche or Crowley means the album lyrically MEANS SOMETHING. Unlike all the Black Metal ist Krieg gore death metal black and white album cover wind tunnel bands that everyone loves since they’re so kvltastic.

  29. RIchard says:

    “Richard, your post was great and all until you excluded the fact that what stirs the soul of a soul of a sane, intelligent individual is completely different from what stirs the soul of a sheltered, involuntarily celibate ass-pie with too much time on his hands.


  30. deadite says:

    Geez, who knew this much interweb rage could be contained in the comments of one blog entry?

    Proves that the DLA is doing something right. ;)

  31. Sgt. D says:

    Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.

  32. Tr0ll says:

    Are we offended by a critical opinion and a different point of view?
    Bunch of panzies. :P

    "Cradle of Filth are one of the few bands who did something unique and worthwhile in England, other than Bal-Sagoth, Meads of Asphodel, Hecate Enthroned and Judas Priest." – LeopoldVonSacherMasoch

    HAHAHAHA, you fucking idiot.

  33. T.G. says:

    Cradle of Filth does structurally resemble heavy metal such as Iron Maiden beyond simply the use of similar technique. Also, I always find myself not very encapsulated by poetry that insists itself upon me. In other words, I feel Cradle of Filth in their early works embellished their lyrics with what is aesthetically thought of as romantic poetry in order to insist that they were poetic individuals; where as artists such as Autopsy created music that was evocative of their concept, and the poetic idea behind it was implied. I suppose you can foam at the mouth over this if you’d like, everyone else seems to be doing it (it’s a trend!), but it would be nice to see some structured discussion going on here in which a conclusion is reached beyond, “Hey, your idea pisses me off.”

  34. Gilligan says:

    While I do like In Flames, and At The Gate’s Slaughter of the Soul album, and think this entire site is run by a bunch of pretentious faggots who like to toss philosophy around in an attempt to feel smart…

    This list was excellent. Bravo.

  35. T.G. says:

    At above: the site encourages focusing on actions that produce an overall positive effect, as well as diminishing the ego as a barrier to this. One of the site’s favorite phrases, initially spread by Hellhammer, is “Only death is real”. Anyone who understands these words will not even bother attempting to look, or sound like anything that doesn’t have a tangible effect in life, because they know for a fact that once they die they will crumble away into dust that renders their social status obsolete. Due to this focus upon the reality of death, your assumption that the writers of this site are attempting to “sound smart” is misguided. They could care less, because they all realize that they’re going to die someday.

  36. Eric says:

    A devastating read! I loved it.

  37. ffff says:

    T.G. Which is why the site’s Nietzschist positivity and hatred of what it perceives to be inane and/or entertaining merely on a shallow level in art is misguided. Who cares, we’re all gonna die, right? /cutcutcut

  38. nothing says:

    "Yeah, because there

  39. T.G. says:

    At ffff: Actually, the implication the website’s views is the opposite of the one made by those who mutilate themselves. We’re all going to die someday, so why not attempt to achieve the greatest things possible? The positivity is present in articles that encourage people to only settle for things that bring about the greatest for their close friends, for their community, for their people. Of course, if they trashed your favorite Behemoth album, that’s a perfectly good reason to start an ad hominum rampage and claim that every single sentence on the site is a load of shit with absolutely no positive intention at all. You know, fuck them for not agreeing with me. Amirite?

  40. >:L says:

    NOOOOOOOOO. opeth is complex as shit. i know this because i major in music theory and am an artsy-fartsy fagbag.

  41. Dillon says:

    Im only 16, I dont have that much musical knowledge outside of some theory and what this website has had to offer me. Its easy to see that Nongun is an idiot with poor taste. Unfortunately…my only guilty pleasure off this list is Opeth. I dont feel smart for listening to it but its easy to see why people think/know its a bad band. Its sad to see that people judge bands because of music theory and think that because they have complex riffs/rhythms e.g Cynic, Meshuggah. Im still in the process of listening to everything this site has to offer and its plain to see thats its a lot better than anything on this list. So far Gorguts, Demilich, and Burzum are at the top of my list.

  42. Dillon says:

    I love trolling but try a bit harder

  43. Jeremy says:

    Is it too late to say something? Enjoying the hell out of the most and indeed the ONLY entertaining blog on the fagnet over at Dark Legions Archive! Wish I had near enough disposable income and time to invest in the latest releases from all those bands. But in this "top 10 list" world we now live in, of course the most saliva inducing posts as of late have been the various "Metal Fail" write-ups, from by far the most knowledgeable source on the topic! And that’s the point of my email: please add my name to the list of people suggesting "10 Most Ironic Triumphs of Metal" (or a less ham fisted title) to include nothing "darker" or death-metallie, which would exclude the likes of Motorhead, Iron Maiden and even Fagass Priest. The ironicer the betterer! I remember seeing your review awhile back of the latest AC/DC Wal-Mart offering, so I just know you’ve got a couple more good ol’ boy faves bottled up inside. I sure as hell can’t be the only one who would appreciate such a thing from the Dark Legions of all places. A couple that come to mind off the top of my head might be Van Halen’s Fair Warning, Def Leppard’s Pyromania, the first one or two releases by Ratt, Motley Crue or Dokken … you know, some really whacked out shit that you used to, or may still, appreciate. I mean after all metal DID exist for at least a decade before v2.0 surfaced, am I wrong? Then again, you may prefer not to have words like Motley and Crue sully up your blog. But time is running out fast, so if you’ve thought about it then you may want to go ahead and shock us all to fuck and back.

  44. nothing says:

    “The fact that some fatass has enough nerd rage to pour it into the pitiful diatribe on this site makes me laugh and feel sorry for your parents at the same time.”

    Does anybody else see the irony in this sentence?

  45. Gojko says:

    I can forgive you all, but Gorefest being “bad metal”…..

    Chaos AD, Elements, Slaughter of the Soul, Heartwork, Individual Thought Patterns……. fails? Are you sure? You mean the opposite?

    The question is: What do you listen, folk metal or glam?

  46. Gojko says:

    And one more thing: NEW SLAYER IS SHIT! And your opinion is retarded.

    Hailing to Slayer all your life doesn’t make you a real metalhead,
    you fag!

  47. Caleb says:

    I just wanted to drop in and say I almost had more fun reading the comments than I did reading the article. I especially liked the guy who’s convinced that Opeth is the apotheosis of metal music because – wait for it – their music has lots of parts. I wonder if he thinks books are better when they have lots of pages.

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